NEXT UP: No. 2 seed Midgardia Seastar (Midgardia xandaros) vs No. 7 seed Yeti Crab (Kiwa hirsuta). This battle is #TeamWork between myself & @Mammals_Suck #2021MMM Image is a Midgardia Seastar on the left, located on the sea
In Norse mythology, Migard (Migardia) Serpent was the child of LOKI! Our Seastar's species name, xanderos, is Greek for fabulous sea monster. More about deep-sea starfish from #ActualLivingScientist @echinoblog here:… [gif is Loki flipping knives] #2021MMM
Unfortunately, little is known about our long-legged creature of the deep. There are less than 20 specimens in natural history collections, most at the @TAMU Biodiversity Research & Teaching Collections #BRTC #CollectionsAreEssential #2021MMM Midgardia xandaros specimen from the Texas A&M University Bi
Yeti Crab is a deep-sea #SquatLobster, specializing in the areas around hydrothermal vents. This preferred habitat is so deep that it is perpetually dark & Yeti Crab is likely blind. See how deep here: (scroll down to 1650 m deep) #2021MMM
Although deep, the waters around hydrothermal vents are warm. Countless microorganisms such as bacteria live near these vents, obtaining nutrients & energy from methane & hydrogen sulfide by using chemosynthesis to change methane gas to glucose #2021MMM
Yeti Crab setae (hair-like bristles) provide an ideal surface to house & grow bacteria. These bacteria were observed in the original description of our Yeti Crab, Kiwa hirsuta (Macpherson et al. 2005; Figure part F). Learn more with @BizarreBeasts… #2021MMM Image is a plate from the original species description by Ma
Tonight's battle takes place ~512m below the surface, off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, where an actual specimen of Midgardia Seastar has been collected @GBIF…, the same specimen shown a few tweets ago #2021MMM Image is a snapshot from GBIF, showing the locality of the s
GULF OF MEXICO: Midgardia Seastar is sitting on the seafloor, its arms waving gently in the current. The center part of our seastar, the disc, is small & is where the mouth is located. Downey 1972 noted no trace of food in this region #2021MMM
Meanwhile at a HYDROTHERMAL VENT ~7300 km away on the vent site Annie’s Anthill in the Pacific Ocean (37°46.49’S, 110°54.72’W, 2228 m below the ocean's surface; MacPherson et al. 2005), Yeti Crab is hard at work #ArmFarming microbes #2021MMM Image is a map showing the distance between the Midgardia Se
HYDROTHERMAL VENT: Yeti Crab waves her claws through the water around the vent to provide more gases to help her bacteria grow (video: ) (Thurber et al. 2011…) [video is Yeti Crab waving claws] #2021MMM
GULF OF MEXICO: Given the small mouth & lack of food in the digestive track, Downey (1972) hypothesized that "It is quite likely that this species, and possibly most of the Brisingidae, do not feed directly but absorb nutrients through the general body tissue" #2021MMM
HYDROTHERMAL VENT: The #MMMagic Battle Portal opens next to Yeti Crab to transport her to the Gulf of Mexico... But Yeti Crab is busy eating her episymbiont microbes!!! (Thurber et al. 2011) [video is Yeti Crab eating bacteria off of setae] #2021MMM
GULF OF MEXICO: The arms of Midgardia Seastar are quite unique: "Distally, the arms become extremely attenuate" or thin, ending in a plate armed with small spines "that looks like a tiny cat's paw with claws extended" (Downey 1972) [gif is cat claws] #CAT #2021MMM
HYDROTHERMAL VENT: Yeti Crab steps AWAY from the #MMMagic Battle Portal to continue #ArmFarming, too busy to battle. "Unplowed fields make hollow bellies; unread books make hollow minds" Farming AND Learning Proverbs, TOGETHER AT LAST #Forfeit #2021MMM

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More from @je_light

19 Mar
FIRST UP: No.1 seed Dugong (Dugong dugon) vs No. 8 Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus). Teamwork battle by myself & @MarcKissel (& a great assist from @Mammals_Suck), with genetics info from @sexchrlab & @StoneLab_ASU #2021MMM Image of a Dugong floating vertically in the water on the le
Although our two combatants may seem really different (one being obligate aquatic in tropical, marine waters & the other terrestrial in mountain forests), they do have one thing in common......TUSKS #2021MMM Image of Dugong skull on left, Musk Deer skull on right, bot
Dugong tusks are elongated second incisors, similar to elephants (remember, Dugongs & Elephants are close relatives!). Tusks are found in all adult males (& mature females). Take a spin on @Sketchfab to have a look:… #2021MMM
Read 16 tweets
12 Mar
FIRST UP: No.1 seed Dugong (Dugong dugon) vs No. 16 seed Colo Colo Opossum (Dromiciops gliroides). Genetics tweets for this battle provided by the awesome @sexchrlab #2021MMM Picture of a dugong on the left.  It is a large grey marine
Dugongs are found in tropical, marine waters of the eastern hemisphere oceans. These large mammals (3m long, 300kg) never come out of the water; they are obligate, aquatic specialists #2021MMM Map of range of the dugong with areas it lives highlighted.
Dugongs are 1 of 2 living genera within the order Sirenia. The other living genus is Trichechus, or Manatees (a #2019MMM combatant!). Tricksy taxonomy: what in the world are Sirenians? Where do they belong in the mammal phylogenetic tree? #2021MMM
Read 16 tweets
11 Mar
NEXT UP: No.5 seed Red Brocket (Mazama americana) vs No. 12 seed Siberian Weasel (Mustela sibirica) #2021MMM
GET THIS: Red Brocket is RED! This South American deer species is reddish-brown in coloration across most of its body, perfect for camouflage in dense, tropical forests #2021MMM
Red Brockets are the biggest of the Mazama cervids. Our male Red Brocket is ~4.3 stoats long (145 cm) & he's dense weighing in at 30 kg (136 stoats) #StoatsAsMeasurement #2021MMM
Read 18 tweets
13 Mar 20
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
Read 18 tweets
12 Mar 20
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
Read 13 tweets
26 Mar 19
NEXT UP: #1 Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) & Yellow-Billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus) vs #8 seed Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) & Aardvark Cucumber (Cucumis humifructus) #2019MMM
In Round 1, Oxpecker (& Zebra) picked off the Batfly (& Gammaproteobacteria). Aardvark & Cucurbit advanced against #Tripletrouble monkeys in an epic #BeastieBoys Battle #2019MMM
Why do Zebras have stripes? Scientists had thought these stripes were anti-predator devices, making it difficult for predators to cue in on 1 individual among the herd (called disruptive coloration) #2019MMM
Read 23 tweets

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