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LAST UP: No. 8 seed Finlayson's Squirrel (Callosciurus finlaysonii) vs No. 9 seed Kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei) #2020MMM
Finlayson's Squirrel is our 3rd #TeamRodent of the night. These "beautiful squirrels" (but aren't they all??) are quite lovely with highly variable coat colors ranging from all white to all black to all red (Boonkhaw et al. 2017 #2020MMM
In fact, Callosciurus is Greek for beautiful ('callo'), shadow ('skia'), & tail ('oura') (Borror 1960 Finlayson's Squirrel are #smol squirrels (1.3 stoats #StoatsAsMeasurements), found in the trees (arboreal) in southeast Asia rainforests #2020MMM
Kowaris are #smol marsupials (~1 stoat long #StoatsAsMeasurement) in the order Dasyuromorphia with the Tasmanian Devil, Thylacine, Numbats, & Quolls. Although similar looking to other small dasyurids, Kowaris have a pink nose & unique bottle-brush tail with a black tip #2020MMM
Endemic to Australia, Kowaris are restricted to southeastern Queensland & northern South Australia…. Preferred habitat is gibber plains, desert areas of crushed up rocks… #2020MMM
Our battle tonight takes place in the Khao Yai National Park, Thailand's First National Park (…) #HomeHabitatAdvantage #2020MMM
Accounting for time difference, it is early morning in Thailand. This dense rainforest habitat is nothing like the gibber plains of Australia & the nocturnal Kowari is all out of sorts #2020MMM
Despite being primarily a ground dweller, our Kowari is an adept climber & high-tails it (literally) into a nearby tree currently occupied by our Finlayson's Squirrel #2020MMM
Things have been dry in Australia & our Kowari is in search of water, which it gets from prey items (MacMillen & Dawson 1986). Common prey are insects, but this carnivorous marsupial will eat vertebrates, including rodents! (Pavey et al. 2018 #2020MMM
Kowaris have even been known to consume vertebrate prey up to the size of Rats (54-280g) & European Rabbits! (960-2420g) (Pavey et al. 2018 Finlayson's Squirrel is well within this range #2020MMM
Finlayson's Squirrel is happily foraging on flowers & seeds (Suzuki et al. 2006) when it sees the Kowari climbing closer & closer. Kinlayson Squirrel emits an alarm call in response to this unknown animal (Bertolino et al. 2004 #2020MMM
Kowari suddenly stops in response to this strange noise & eyes the Finlayson's Squirrel for edibility #2020MMM
Finlayson's Squirrel continues its alarm calling & holds its ground... er, um, BRANCH #2020MMM
KOWARI JUMPS a foot & a half into the air ( at the loudly chirping squirrel!!! #2020MMM
THWONK!!! #2020MMM
A Shikra (Accipiter badius), diving for the loudly alarming squirrel, instead catches a surprised Kowari #2020MMM
Kowari rather unwillingly leaves the field of battle #breakfastisthemostimportantmeal #carnage #2020MMM
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