, 14 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Next up: #1 seed Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) vs. # 16 seed ringtail cat (Bassariscus astutus) #2019MMM
The ringtail cat is not actually a cat. The scientific name, Bassariscus astutus, means cunning little fox, but it is not a fox either! the ringtail is in the raccoon family. In #2017MMM the ringtail shocked fans by taking out heavily-favored patas monkey. #UpsetCity #2019MMM
Major predators of ringtails include owls, coyotes & bobcats (cc @NatickBobCat). However, their flesh has a "strong flavor" & often isn't eaten once killed. They are also the state mammal of Arizona, home of MMM editor-in-chief @Mammals_Suck #2019MMM
The small ringtails (~1.5kg) are remarkable mountaineers. When descending, their hind foot can be pointed straight back, parallel to the body. This allows them to run down steep inclines head-first #2019MMM
Ringtails are amazing jumpers! a captive ringtail "ran across the floor into a corner of the room, jumped up against one wall, bounded off upwards to the adjacent wall, & bounded off again, with a radical change of direction, to land on a table" (Trapp 1972) #parkor #2019MMM
HUNDREDS of kilograms bigger than the ringtail is the Bengal Tiger. 150 years ago, an estimated 150,000 tigers roamed the Indian subcontinent, but today there may be as few as 5000. #2019MMM
Despite their size, tigers are scansorial- a term for "adapted for climbing" and can leap as far as 10 meters. #2019MMM
Tigers have the longest canines of any living felid (the can be as long as 7.5 cm!) which allow them to deliver a kill bite to the neck/throat of its prey, including wild boar, roe deer, Indian tapirs, AND BEARS. #OhMy. #2019MMM
Tonight's battle takes place in Nepal’s Parsa National Park, a forested region near the base of the Himalaya Mountains (goo.gl/muTWmX).This habitat gives tiger a slight advantage but ringtail isn't too confused #2019MMM
The omnivorous ringtail is foraging for food. The tiger hasn't eaten in days and is getting hungry. Tigers need ~3,000 kg of meat a year and in one meal tigers can eat 18-40 kg of meat (which would be ~ 13 ringtails). . #2019MMM
Tiger spots the ringtail. For large carnivores, it doesn't typically make sense to hunt small mammals- the energy it takes a big cat to ambush & chase a small critter is more than the energy gained from such a small meal #OptimalForaging #2019MMM
The tiger would much rather put its energy to a larger meal, LIKE THAT HOG DEER GRAZING NEARBY! (Støen & Wegge 1996). #2019MMM
Tiger bound ambushes the deer, alarming the Ringtail to scamper up a nearby rockfall for safety #2019MMM
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