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ARE YOU READY?!?! #2019MMM
TONIGHT'S BATTLE FOR #2019MMM CHAMPION HAPPENS NOW!
(or rather the battle happens AFTER some very important pomp & circumstance) #2019MMM
Huge appreciation to magnificent @grumpator & the @ASULibraries team for their K-12 #LibGuide #2019MMM
The awesome folks at @OUPAcademic curated a special open access collection of academic literature about tournament taxa! academic.oup.com/asm/pages/marc… #2018MMM
The American Society of @Mammalogists provided amazing images from their photo collection! #2019MMM
The gorgeous graphically designed bracket by @nickleyw saves you all from my janky powerpoint version from years past. Check out his nonprofit: localtechheroes.org #2019MMM
Huzzah for @MrJDoty for his unofficial #2019MMM bracket site that lets us know approximately how many folks will be furious at the @MMMRNG1 but take it out on the narrators.
Huzzah to Dr. Stephanie Schuttler @FancyScientist for contributing to the #2019MMM lesson plans & learning materials for the 3000+ Educators using March Mammal Madness with their 250,000+ students!
For every night's inspiring quotes & images on land stewardship and their tireless efforts on behalf of conservation all year long- thank you @AldoLeopoldFdn #2019MMM
For the genetics & phylogeny info that showcases the biological web of life for all the battles- thank you Profs Anne Stone @StoneLab_ASU & Melissa Wilson @sexchrlab #2019MMM
The Sportsing Show Rodent Recap by @MC_Marmot & Roving Rodent Reporters is a highlight every round. Thanks for burning the midnight oil & celebrating all animals & especially rodents! #2019MMM
Penn State grad student @KateLesciotto crafted written sports summaries to send out on the wire for teachers to quickly summarize in their classrooms & for folks who don't watch the action live on twitter! #2019MMM
Emma @2018MMMletsgo for amplifying only the official #2019MMM team tweets! #2019MMM
For thousands of years, science & art have together enhanced our understanding & awe of our natural world #2019MMM
Through illustration & narrative, the stories of science are written, and made indelible in our hearts & minds. HUZZAH to artwork created by Art Director
@TheOddAngel & artists @maryccasillas @Opellisms @VPellicerArt. #2019MMM
Tip them a cuppa! ko-fi.com/oddangel ko-fi.com/marycasillas ko-fi.com/F1F2BLZK ko-fi.com/veppart#_=_ AND CHECK OUT ALL THE AWESOME MMM ITEMS AT THE SHOP! All proceeds go to the artists! #2019MMM society6.com/mammalmadness/…
Extra special shout out to Deputy Editor @c_n_anderson for always being there when I got head below water! Even during BIRTHDAYS WEEK #2019MMM
& The Architect @Mammals_Suck #2019MMM
This tournament is made possible ultimately by the life's work of scientists. Find the scientist who inspires you by following @realscientists @biotweeps @scientistselfie & the hashtags #actuallivingscientist #BLACKandSTEM #2019MMM
Lastly, the HEART & SOUL of MARCH MAMMAL MADNESS is this amazing emergent community of fans & contributors to this PERFORMANCE SCIENCE #2019MMM
Since 2016 we have acknowledged that some fans take the tournament to the next level. And this medal ceremony can't be captured by ONLY Gold, Silver, & Bronze... #2019MMM
TARPIT- introduced in #2017MMM for inaugural awardee @little_jems, claimed by @MetroFieldGuide in 2018, BUT for even more constantly trash-talking THE NARRATORS- @little_jems RECLAIMS HER TITLE!!!!! #2019MMM
NEW AWARD: PSEUDANIMAL- a medal debutting in #2019MMM is a 3-way tie for @wchevrotain @ratatosk4 @Fisher_2019MMM
Honorable Mentions: @TeamBatToilet & @D2019mmm
BRONZE- 3rd Place is a 3-way TIE in #2019MMM & is awarded to @radiationmouth @sm9eb & @LavLobster
SILVER- oh look at that, 4th year in a row... it's @NatickBobCat #2019MMM
AND BRINGING HOME THE GOLD IS... @spencerj1212!!!! Thank you for all of your enthusiasm, joy, & celebration of science! #2019MMM
Now... the March Mammal Madness Animal Anthem has always been "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night #2019MMM
But because we are so 90s nostalgic, our additional #2019MMM anthem is OMC's How Bizarre #Elephants #Lions #Snakes #Monkey
And without further ado #2019MMM
TONIGHT THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE: #1 seed BENGAL TIGER VS. #3 seed BANDED MONGOOSE & WARTHOG!!!!! #2019MMM
Tonight's battle is a collective effort from @tinkeringprim8 @StoneLab_ASU @annewhilborn @PKurnath @JE_Light @TCastanea & me! #2019MMM
The Tiger has been on the hunt for most of #2019MMM. Our #1 seed from the Waterfalls Division began by scaring away the Ringtail Cat to eat a hogdeer & continued eating his way through the competition by snacking on the Springhare & devouring the Bharal #2019MMM
During the Elite Trait, the Tiger watched as the beached Spinner Dolphin flopped down the sandhills. Earlier this week, Tiger battled with & killed the Moose in the mangroves but the liquid sand kept the big cat from enjoying another meal #Hangry #2019MMM
Tag-Team Division #3 seed Banded Mongoose & Warthog have been winning & surviving their way through MMM. #WarGoose easily took out Burying Beetle & Phoretic Mites & they outlasted the #SimianSquad Diana Monkey & Red Colobus Monkey by escaping a chimpanzee attack #2019MMM
Then #WarGoose entered #UpsetCity by using their honed defensive skills to overtake #2 seed Coyote & Badger & battling it out against the #1 seed Plains Zebra & the Yellow-bellied Oxpecker. Our dynamic duo remained victorious but not before the Warthog took two big hits #2019MMM
Earlier this week, #WarGoose made a meal of the Sealion after the pinniped became weak from blood-loss while traversing the Thorn Forests of India #TerribleTusk #CarnageInducingCARNASSIALS #2019MMM
Current conditions for tonight's championship: #Wargoose is full of seal & Tiger is #hangry after losing Moose kill to the liquid sands of K'gari. Also, both Tiger & Warthog took defensive hooves to the head AND warthog has a busted tusk. #ThanksZebra #2019MMM
Banded mongoose will work together mobbing an eagle to rescue a captured individual. #BandOfBandedBrothers africageographic.com/blog/martial-e… & will clean a ROBOT WARTHOG built by scientists to study the mutualism #2019MMM
Mongooses are also fierce predators themselves, able to defeat the skeletal armor of some millipedes by smashing them against rocks (Eisner & Davis 1967) #2019MMM science.sciencemag.org/content/155/37…
The cartilaginous "warts" that give Warthog its name can be up to 15cm (almost 1/2 a stoat) long. They help protect the eyes & face when male rivals spar with their tusks #StoatsAsMeasurement #2019MMM
I have decided that the #WarGoose Mutualism is best captured by "Annie's Song" by John Denver- here he is performing it at a 1995 "Wildlife Concert" to benefit Wildlife Conservation Society #2019MMM
Tigers today occupy less than 10% of their HISTORIC range. Prehistorically even wider range, tiger bones were among the remains Rev. William Buckland discovered when he explored an ancient cave (likely a hyena den) in England! (Buckland 1822) #2019MMM royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.109…
Feared by many, "man-hunting" Tigers are actually relatively rare & caused by injuries, illness, or human-impacted ecologies that prevent Tiger from hunting its normal prey smithsonianmag.com/science-nature… #2019MMM
Tigers are important figures in the folklore of many cultures, often representing royalty & protection #2019MMM blog.nationalgeographic.org/2014/04/09/why…
Tonight’s battle takes place in the… SANDHILLS!!! #2019MMM
….specifically the playa-lake system located at the east edge of the Namib Sand Sea in Namib-Naukluft National Park where the ephemeral Tsauchab River dead ends because it dries up. #Sossusvlei #2019MMM tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.108…
The “living fossil” Welwitschia mirabilis, a unique gymnosperm that can live 1000+ years, is endemic to the Namib Desert link.springer.com/article/10.102…. Aardvarks, WARTHOGS, MONGOOSE, & cheetahs roam Namib-Naukluft landscapesnamibia.org/sossusvlei-nam… #2019MMM
Vegetation is sparse in the Namib Desert dunes (estimated to be the oldest in the world… lasting since the Miocene!) but bacterial communities show physico-chemical gradients in four 4 dune habitats: the dune top, slope, base & inter-dune zones #2019MMM frontiersin.org/articles/10.33…
Namibia's 1990 constitution promotes “maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes, & biological diversity of Namibia, & utilisation of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present & future" #2019MMM
Namib-Naukluft National Park just happens to be South East of Namibia's Skeleton coast... who becomes a SKELETON TONIGHT? #2019MMM
The Namibia Meteorological Service reports a high pressure system in the region w/ clear skies, a slight SW breeze & temperature at a comfortable 23 degrees Celsius (meteona.com) #2019MMM
Although Warthogs love to wallow in mud (which cools them off & can provides relief from biting insects), they can do fairly well in dry & arid areas at low densities. In especially hot areas, Warthogs sleep mostly during the day & become active at night (IUCN) #2019MMM
Tigers are less-prepared for the arid environment of the sandhills. Tigers drink water daily & rely on at least scrubby foliage for shade & ambush cover. In semi-arid environments, tigers can turn to livestock, increasing conflict with humans pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ab1a/b9392b897… #2019MMM
Water scarcity also brings wildlife & humans into closer contact as people & livestock & wildlife start relying on the same water sources. This contact can increase the spread of diseases btw animals & humans (Fox & Alexander 2015) #2019MM
journals.plos.org/plosone/articl…
As our climate warms, extreme droughts & flooding threatens ecosystems around the globe, and a quarter of Earth's human population endures water scarcity. We know the solutions: qz.com/1234012/we-can… #2019MMM
(Okay now the fighty fight bitey bite part) #2019MMM
Warthog dozes in a sliver of shade cast by one of the few rocks scattered about #2019MMM
Banded Mongoose finds a millipede & dashes it against a rock. "Fatally injured, with its shell broken and its body torn apart" Mongoose is about to promptly eat the millipede... (Eisner & Davis 1967) #CarapaceCarnage #2019MMM
WHEN TIGER ARRIVES!!! #2019MMM
Banded Mongoose & Warthog teach the apex predator about the invertebrate delights to be had! Grubs, millipedes, beetles #SlimyYetSatisfying. Singing ensues. #HakunaMutata (Mecchi, Roberts & Woolverton 1994) #2019MMM
They decided to throw a party & invited everyone they knew. #ThankYouForBeingAFriend Singing continued. #2019MMM
WHICH IS OF COURSE UNSCIENTIFIC NONSENSE #2019MMM
Returning to our somewhat more credible timeline: TIGER arrives on the scene! In the sandhills, Tiger is exposed, dehydrated, & tired from walking on sand... has he stumbled upon an easy meal? #2019MMM
Ignoring the small mongoose, TIGER lunges at warthog! In semi-arid environments, tigers consume wild pig (Bagchi et al. 2003) #2019MMM (lion stands in for Tiger in image)
Squealing in mortal fear, Warthog backs up toward Mongoose's millipede-cracking rock! (Fradrich 1965; Cumming 1975, 2013) #2019MMM
Warthog would prefer to use an Aardvark burrows as a bolt-hole, backing into it to protect his relatively small & defenseless back ends, so Tiger has to tangle with his tusks! (Osborne 2000) #2019MMM indigo.uic.edu/bitstream/hand…
BUT ONE WARTHOG TUSK IS BROKEN FROM ZEBRA KICK!!!!! #2019MMM
Tiger closes in... but given their face to face orientation & relative sizes, Tiger's "go-to" moves to bring down bigger prey won't work! #2019MMM
Tiger can't jump upon Warthog's back & Tiger's face would be dangerously close to Warthog's remaining lower tusk if Tiger attempted to seize Warthog's throat with his jaws. (Seidensticker & MacDougall 1993) #2019MMM
Sensing the coming attack, backed into a corner, Warthog "growl-snorts" while tossing his head to slash with his tusk! (Fradrich 1965; Cumming 1975, 2013) #2019MMM
JUST AS TIGER DELIVERS A BLOW WITH HIS OPPOSITE FOREPAW TO WARTHOG'S FACE! (Seidensticker & MacDougall 1993)
SCHLIKTKT!!! #2019MMM
Warthog's jagged broken tusk has gashed open the Tiger's paw! #2019MMM
TIGER SNARL-ROARS IN FURY... #2019MMM
AS MONGOOSE CHARGES, SCREECHING INTO THE BATTLE!!! #MurderBerserker #2019MMM
With his bloody paw, Tiger SLAP-TOSSES Mongoose 10 feet away... #2019MMM
AND turns to see Warthog high-tailing it outta there, running toward mongoose! #2019MMM
Mongoose is already up & running with Warthog! #2019MMM
Tiger begins to chase #WarGoose... AND GRINDS SAND INTO HIS GASHED PAW PAD!!!!! #2019MMM
The pain in his paw stalls Tiger from pursuit as he watches #WarGoose sprint into the distance. #2019MMM
Though vanquished, #WarGoose survives.
Though damaged, Tiger triumphs.
#2019MMM
TIGER DEFEATS MONGOOSE & WARTHOG!!!!!! #2019MMM
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