NEXT UP: Markhor (2) vs Streaked tenrec (15)! #2019MMM choose your fighter spiky boy or spikier boy
The markhor (Capra falconeri; Near Threatened) is a large mountain goat that lives in the mountains of central Asian countries, including Pakistan, Tajikstan, & Uzbekistan. They can get to 4 ft at the shoulder & weigh up to 243 lbs/496 stoats! #2019MMM #StoatsAsMeasurement
Meanwhile, the streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus; Least Concern) is smol & weighs one (1) stoat.

They may look like a Jolteon-hedgehog hybrid, but it is actually part of the family Tenrecidae, & is only found in Madagascar's rainforests. #2019MMM #StoatsAsMeasurement
One thing that unites these two competitors are SPIKES. Male & female markhor have corkscrew horns that are used in defense, but males can have their horns grow up to 5 ft in length. Streaked tenrecs use their detachable spikes for defense & communication! #2019MMM
This little patch of specialized spikes can be rubbed together, much like a cricket's legs, to make a noise that streaked tenrecs use to keep in contact with their family members while looking for delicious bugs on the forest floor. #2019MMM tenrec with the stridulators
Unfortunately, the streaked tenrec's spine signals won't be of much use as it's transported from the warmth of the Malagasy rainforest...

to a much cooler scrubby oak-juniper forest in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, where tonight's battle will rage. #2019MMM
What's this? It's the markhor, regally cresting a forested ridge, the early morning light gilding those sizeable horns. Although females wander in herds with their babies, male markhors are loners.

Right now our male markhor is looking for some delicious veg to nibble. #2019MMM
He uses his strong legs to sproing his way down a cliff face to a place with better forage.

His split hooves spread to keep his weight evenly distributed.

His hooves are also equipped with their own all natural No-Slip gripping pads, which stops him from slipping. #2019MMM
(here's a video of two mama markhor teaching their mini markhors to rock climb! ) #2019MMM
He easily spies a nearly invisible and definitely terrifying (to me at least) path along the cliff face to a place that's green with veg.

But that's not the only thing he spies with his goat-y eyes. #2019MMM
What's this small, black-and-yellow creature snuffling about on a small square of rock jutting out right by his left eye? #2019MMM
It's the streaked tenrec! #2019MMM
The streaked tenrec, which can't see very well, is quite confused at the change of ground material & temperature.

The chill wind blows & he thinks about whether it would be better to go into a temporary state of torpor. #2019MMM
The markhor isn't sure what to think about this creature, so decides to give it a good sniff. #2019MMM
Streaked tenrec squints & sees an enormous brown thing getting closer.

A FOSA???? #2019MMM #FosaFriday #ButOnWednesday
No fosa are getting him today!

The tenrec jumps towards the markhor, bucking and bristling so that his spines are ready for action. #2019MMM
The streaked tenrec's spines lodge deep into the markhor's nose! #2019MMM
The markhor, feeling a sudden stabbing sensation in his sensitive nose, shakes his head, and then sneezes in an effort to dislodge the irritant. #2019MMM
The now snot-covered tenrec jumps again, threatening another spiking!

(He doesn't realize, however, that his jump has left him perilously close to the edge of the ledge, & that it's a fatal drop to the ground below) #2019MMM
Will this next jump be his last??? #2019MMM
Before he can jump again, the markhor snorts once more, and decides to continue on with his journey to his breakfast.

He leaps ten feet away from the tenrec in a single bound! #2019MMM
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