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FIRST UP: No.1 seed Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) vs No. 16 seed & wildcard winner Pygmy Spotted Skunk (Spilogale pygmaea) #2020MMM
Our #TeamDogsish Pygmy Spotted Skunk is a #smol skunk, blackish-brown in color w/creamy-buff longitudinal stripes over most of the body. The genus name Spilogale is derived from the Greek "spilos" (spot) and "gale" (weasel) (Kinlaw 1995 #2020MMM
The Pygmy Spotted Skunk is @IUCNRedList vulnerable due to rapid human encroachment on their Pacific Mexican habitat, hunting, & predation by CATS AND DOGS! #IntraOrderCarnage… #2020MMM
Sloth Bear is also #TeamDogsish (Family Ursidae, Suborder Caniformia) & males are large (140 kg or 636 stoats #stoatsasmeasurements) with a shaggy black coat & characteristic light-colored, "U-shaped" patch on the chest. Like other bears, Sloth Bear is omnivorous #2020MMM
But, Sloth Bear prefers ants & termites & has several morphological adaptations for its myrmecophagous diet including a long tongue, nostrils that can close completely, mobile lips & snout, & missing incisors #slurp (Laurie & Seidensticker 1977 #2020MMM
Tonight's battle takes place in Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary (…) in Northern Odisha, India, where it's the beginning of summer & our Sloth Bear is using his large forefeet to dig into a termite mound (Palie et al. 2020 #2020MMM
Although in an unfamiliar & not preferred environment, Pygmy Spotted Skunk finds the warm weather pleasant & perfect for a snooze. Skunk snuffles off & finds a nice tree to curl up in & catch some zzz's #2020MMM
Diurnal foraging Sloth Bear digs into the tree where our nocturnal Skunk is resting. Pygmy Spotted Skunk is startled awake & threat displays by handstand, pointing its rear at the Sloth Bear! Pretend the Fox in this video is a Sloth Bear: #2020MMM
Small animals usually don't bother Sloth Bears....much (Laurie & Seidensticker 1977 #2020MMM
Pygmy Spotted Skunk continues its display, stomping its forefeet & trying to intimidate Sloth Bear away, but Sloth Bear is ignoring the skunk #2020MMM
Pygmy Spotted Skunk depleted much of its noxious odoriforous spray after the encounter with Gandidier's Mongoose Monday night (in some skunks, it can take up to 10 days to recharge its spray; Macdonald et al. 2018 #2020MMM
To save its precious musky resource & to avoid a potential attack by Sloth Bear, Pygmy Spotted Skunk leaves the battle field in search of a new sleeping spot #2020MMM
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