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Most recents (24)

NEXT UP: 3rd seed Bearcat (Arctictis binturong) vs. 6th seed Lion-Tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus)! #2019MMM Close up of a bearcat's faceClose up of a lion tail macaque's face
Last round we saw our mammalian #AltCat contestants "triumph" over their herp competitors: Lion-Tailed Macaque held a long protective vigil until the Cat Snake departed for tastier pastures, and Bearcat took a tumble out of a fig tree directly onto Leopard Tree Frog. #2019MMM
Lion-tailed macaques are highly endemic to the Western Ghats - India's monsoon-pattern-changing-mountain chain with forests older than the Himalayas & biodiversity up the wazoo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site!) #2019MMM timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environme…
Read 16 tweets
Next up: 3rd seed Banded Mongoose & Warthog (Team #WarGoose) vs. 6th seed Diana Monkey & Red Colobus Monkey (#SimianSquad). (Collaborative Narration w/ @tinkeringprim8) #2019MMM
Mongooses are cooperative breeders & males play an important role guarding young (Rood 1974). #ActualLivingScientist Sarah Hodge posits males pay lower costs of weight loss from helping than do females #2019MMM exeter.ac.uk/about/vision/e…
Female warthogs can raise their young along or cooperatively with other females who help by babysitting. pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/71317 #2019MMM
Read 17 tweets
NEXT UP: # 4 SEED FISHER VERSUS # 5 SEED TIGER OWL #2019MMM photo credits: Tom Kogut
Tiger owls are generally "free from natural enemies" predators such as coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions & are known to attack humans who get too close to their nests (Baumgartner 1939) #TheyWillCutYou #2019MMM
Males & females tiger owls mature by year 3 & females are larger. They produce 1-6 eggs/season & alternate roosting & hunting during the nesting season. Males do most of the hunting while females spend their time protecting the brood. (Baumgarter 1939) #2019MMM
Read 24 tweets
NEXT UP: #5 seed Beaver (Rodentia: Castor canadensis) vs #13 seed Rakali (Rodentia: Hydromys chrysogaster). It's #TeamRodent vs #TeamRodent! #2019MMM
In Waterfalls Round 1, Beaver tail slap sent Mink circuitously for a muskrat meal. A poacher's gunshot took out Peccary & Rakali advanced #2019MMM
Beavers influence entire ecosystems, even in the face of wildfires. #ActualLivingScientist @EmilyFairfax reveals how busy Beavers engineer an ecosystem: #2019MMM
Read 19 tweets
NEXT UP: 9-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus; 10) vs STREAKED TENREC (Hemicentetes semispinosus; 15)! #2019MMM
Last week, the 9-banded armadillo went up against & suffered no injuries due to the sifaka during its nice vacation to Madagascar.

The streaked tenrec also suffered no injuries (other than to its pride) against its battle with the markhor. #2019MMM
The tenrec is now transported from the rocky ledge in cold northeast Afghanistan to a patch of scrubland in the much milder state of Texas, where our armadillo is just leaving his burrow & where tonight's battle takes place! #2019MMM
Read 14 tweets
NEXT UP: 2nd seed West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) vs. 10th seed Aquatic Genet (Genetta piscivora) #2019MMM
In the first round of the Waterfalls Division, we saw Manatee triumph over the Ring-tailed Vontsira via nibble and Aquatic Genet eek out a victory over the Marine Otter thanks to a close encounter of the orca kind. #2019MMM
We again find Manatee facing off against a much smaller furry reddish opponent. Will the extra three stoats the Aquatic Genet has on the Vontsira be the key to victory?? #SoVeryDifferent #SuchAdvantage #2019MMM
Read 16 tweets
UP NEXT: 4-seed BHARAL versus 12-seed ROCK-WALLABY #2019MMM
During round 1, the rock-wallaby upset the serval with one wicked kick #CrouchingMacropodHiddenWallaby #YouGotSERValED #2019MMM
And to recap, this 10lb/4.5kg/21stoat sized marsupial edemic to northeastern Queensland in good ol' Oz bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:ls… photo by @MichalKrause #StoatsAsMeasurement #2019MMM
Read 19 tweets
Next up: 6th-seeded Diana Monkey (Cercopithecus diana) & Red Colobus Monkey (Procolobus badius) #SimianSquad vs. 11th-seeded Bornean Bat (Kerivoula hardwickii) & Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes hemsleyana) #TeamBatToilet. #2019MMM
(n.b. This is a colloboration between myself and @tinkeringprim8 #TagTeamTeamwork #2019MMM)
Our setting this afternoon is the Taï National Park, Ivory Coast. This tropical evergreen forest is home to almost a dozen different primate species, including both of these monkeys... #2019MMM
Read 18 tweets
NEXT UP: #8 seed Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) versus #9 seed Water Chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus) aka mouse deer #2019MMM
Flat-headed cat occurs throughout the southern Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, & Borneo in low tropical forests (including oil palm plantations). They also occur in riparian habitats. animaldiversity.org/accounts/Prion… #2019MMM
Flat-headed cats are small, about the size of a domestic cat (1.5-2.75 kg), with a short stubby tail. Flat-headed cats can't retract their claws (neither can fishing cats or cheetahs!) (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002) #2019MMM
Read 17 tweets
NEXT UP: 7th-seeded Verreaux's Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) vs. 10th-seeded 9-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) #2019MMM
The 9-Banded Armadillo (can actually have 7-11 bands) can grow 2.5 ft long (half of this is tail) & tip the scales at 17 lbs, or roughly 19 stoats, as it forages in broad ecologies throughout the Americas #2019MMM #stoatsasmeasurement
Other names for the 9-Banded Armadillo include the Long-Nosed Armadillo and Tatu Hu. Tatu comes from the Tupi language family, spoken in places including Paraguay (see description from David Attenborough in 'Adventures of a Young Naturalist') #2019MMM
Read 18 tweets
UP FIRST TONIGHT: everyone's favorite river horse, the 1-seeded PYGMY HIPPO Hexaprotodon (formally Choeropsis) liberiensis, vs. the scrappy 4-seeded brush wolf, COYOTE Canis latrans! #2018MMM
Many minds came together to bring you tonight's first battle, so a quick hat-tip to @AnneWHilborn, @PKurnath, @TCastanea, & @tinkeringprim8. Seriously, the #teamwork has been amazing #Monstars #2018MMM
To reach the #FinalRoar, Hippo crushed star-nosed mole, intimidated both maned rat & Tasmanian devil, & STOMPED the cheetah out of competition #hangryhippo #2018MMM
Read 36 tweets
NEXT UP: #1 seeded PYGMY HIPPO vs. #2 seeded CHEETAH! #2018MMM

(photo credit: #actuallivingscientist @AnneWHilborn, Dr. John Carroll (snr.unl.edu/aboutus/who/pe…), Dr. Hernandez (warnell.uga.edu/people/faculty…) & @conservationorg (pygmyhippo.uga.edu/index.html))
Tonight's battle was a tag-team collab between @AnneWHilborn (Anne) and @am_anatiala (Asia)! #whapalabmates #2018MMM
ASIA: So, Anne, I wouldn't think that this 130lb/265 stoat-heavy fast cat would make it this far. Cheetahs aren't generally considered great fighters, right? *whispers* Unlike Kylo. #2018MMM #StoatsAsMeasurement
Read 22 tweets
UP NEXT: #3 seed Berlin Boar (Sus scrofa) vs #7 seed Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) #2018MMM
The top-ranked competitor still has homefield advantage, so this Urban Jungle battle takes place in Berlin, Germany. Berlin Board & Porcupine don't have a lot in common; they last shared a common ancestor ~96 mya (timetree.org) #2018MMM
Did you know what "Porcupine" is Latin for "Quill Pig"? Follow #ActualLivingScientist @porcupinedoc for some more amazing porcupine facts #2018MMM
Read 18 tweets
FIRST UP: 1st-seed Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) vs. 5th-seed Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)! #2018MMM secretary bird glamour shotOrinoco croc showing off it's jaws
Our competitors in this first battle have so far only faced off with much smaller Arthropod foes, so the Sweet 16 Round will be their first tournament tumble with large vertebrate competitors. #2018MMM
The Secretary Bird has used its lengthy gams to crush the carapace of a horseshoe crab and given the mantis shrimp the ol' one-two kick right out of the tournament (and this life). #2018MMM
Read 18 tweets
NEXT UP: 3rd seeded Dimetrodon limbatus vs 7th seeded Pseudaelurus quadridentatus (aka Puff quaddy or Puffy) #2018MMM
This battle is a collaboration between @je_light & myself. #2018MMM
In R1 (seems so long ago, right?), Dimetrodon & Puff quaddy both took out extinct primates. Dimetrodon (early synapsid around ~300-260 mya in the Permian Period) shredded an exposed, & much smaller, Aegyptopithecus zeuxis (early catarrhine primate) #2018MMM
Read 24 tweets
NEXT UP: #2 seed Cape Town Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) vs #7 seed Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) #2018MMM
It's round 1 all over again: Primate vs Spiky thing! #2018MMM Unlike R1, tonight's battle was a collaboration between @je_light and I!
Baboons are in the same primate group as rhesus macaques (Cercopithecidae). These Old World monkeys last shared a common ancestor with New World porcupines (Erethizontidae) ~90 mya (timetree.org) #2018MMM
Read 19 tweets
Next Up: #4 Coyote (Canis latrans) vs. #12 Sewer Rat (Rattus norvegicus) #2018MMM
Our combatants advanced entirely unscathed from round 1: Coyote gave up on pursuing a possum while Sewer Rat was very fortunate to have encountered a Moscow Dog that prefers human handouts to hunting #2018MMM
Coyotes have been particularly adept at adapting to human landscapes, and are important at controlling deer, geese, and RODENTS in suburban & urban areas urbancoyoteinitiative.com/10-fascinating… #2018MMM
Read 19 tweets
NEXT UP: #3 Crabeater Seal Vs. #6 Jaguarundi!!! #2018MMM
This battle was written by @Drew_Lab. Josh is in the UK right now & he was at Darwin's House today. How cool was that? #2018MMM
The Crabeater Seal skated into R2 after lightly munching on the surprisingly aptly named Edible Dormouse, while the Jaguarundi defeated the Desman #2018MMM
Read 21 tweets
FIRST UP: #1 seed Pygmy Hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis) vs. #9 seed Maned Rat (Lophiomys imhausi)!! #2018MMM
In round 1, the pygmy hippo inadvently stabbed a wandering star-nosed mole with its tusk in a swamp #oops #mybad #2018MMM
While the maned rat dared the platypus to fight over a burrow #ComeAtMeBro but the monotreme, lacking his venom, wisely passed on the encounter #2018MMM
Read 18 tweets
NEXT UP: 8th seeded Bothrops asper (Terciopelo or Lancehead) vs. 9th seeded Theraphosa blondi (Goliath Tarantula or Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula) #2018MMM
AKA, THE GREAT VENOM BATTLE OF 2018!! We've seen a lot of venom tonight. Who's ready for more?? #2018MMM
First, a brief review of venomous vs poisonous. Both competitors in this match-up are venomous #2018MMM
Read 21 tweets
NEXT UP: 2nd-seed Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) vs. 15th seed Tardigrade (Milnesium tardigradum) #2018MMM
The tardigrade was discovered by German Pastor J.A.E. Goeze in 1773. He dubbed it a "water bear" based on the way it moves-like of a bear lumbering around. Water bear isn't the only name for the tardigrade, however. It is also known as the "moss piglet". #2018MMM
A moss piglet known by any other name would be just as indestructible. Tardigrades are "extremophiles" that withstand environments up to and including the vacuum of space. The post-apocalyptic world is one of cockroaches and tardigrades. #2018MMM
Read 23 tweets
NEXT UP: #3 seed Komodo Dragon versus #14 seed Hellbender #2018MMM
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a bohemith of a lizard, the largest extant species can be up to 3m (10ft) in length and weighs in at up to 70 kg (150lb) It is listed as Vulnerable by @IUCNRedList en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dr… (Ciofi 2004) #2018MMM
Varanus komodoensis occurs on a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore (Hocknull 2009). Photo: @NatGeo #2018MMM journals.plos.org/plosone/articl…
Read 18 tweets
NEXT UP: 7th seeded Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) vs 10th seeded Delhi Rhesus (aka, Rhesus Monkey or Rhesus Macaque; Macaca mulatta) #2018MMM
Erethizon dorsatum are the 2nd largest rodents in North America (1st place goes to beavers), weighing anywhere between 5-14 kg (23-64 stoats #stoatsasmeasurement) #2018MMM
When we think porcupines, we think quills, right? Quills & spines have evolved multiple, independent times across the mammal tree of life as a defense strategy & are excellent examples of convergent #evolution (see the hedgehog battle) (animaldiversity.org/collections/sp…) #2018MMM
Read 22 tweets
NEXT UP: #4 Tasmanian Devil vs. #13 Ghost Bast #2018MMM
The ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) gets its name from the Greek "macros"=large and "derma"=skin #2018MMM
Hopefully you didn't confuse our competitor with the south american bats of a similar name (genus Diclidurus, way more fuzzy) #2018MMM
Read 15 tweets

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