P NEXT: From the Tricksy Taxonomy Division, 2nd-seeded RED WOLF versus 3rd-seeded MOUNTAIN TAPIR #Sweet16 #2021MMM Colored photograph of Mountain Tapir standing in woods.  CloColored photograph of Red Wolf standing in grass with trees
This battle was a group effort by @sexchrlab, @TanisBP, @StoneLab_ASU & yours truly! [gif is of four men jumping in air together, from Anchorman movie, with "Best Team Ever" text at top] #DreamTeam #2021MMM
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU Red Wolf has some majorly tricksy taxonomy, which has made protecting this critically endangered, small-ish & slender (27.5kg, 125 stoats) member of genus Canis challenging #StoatsAsMeasurement #2021MMM iucnredlist.org/species/3747/1…
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU To prevent extinction, remaining wild Red Wolves were captured in TX & LA during 1970s to start a breeding population & descendents of 14 individuals were reintroduced to NC #PlotTwist: new DNA data shows Red Wolves are still in LA! #2021MMM tinyurl.com/4nj3zzz6 Places where Canis genetic samples (n) were collected during
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU Genomic analyses of three Red Wolves from the reintroduced population show high proportions of coyote gene flow into the Red Wolf (48-88%, vonHoldt et al 2016) #2021MMM advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/7/e1… Schematic depiction of the population phylogeny assumed in t
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU But a new report suggests the tricksy taxonomy of Red Wolf will not be resolved until genome sequences from ancient red wolves (meaning before coyote expansion & potential inbreeding) are analyzed (NASEM, 2020) #2021MMM tinyurl.com/csmsx575 Phylogenies w/orange arrows = allele sharing by hybridizatio
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU Mountain Tapir has the appearance of elephants, hippopotamuses & even pigs, but is actually a smaller (150kg, 681 stoats) odd-toed ungulate (mammalian Order Perissodactyla, includes horses & rhinos) #Tricksy #StoatsAsMeasurement #2021MMM Colored photograph of Mountain Tapir. Tapir dark brown or bl
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU Unfortunately, habitat fragmentation & loss as well as hunting pressures have resulted in wild population declines of Mountain Tapir, leading to their Endangered status by @IUCNRedList #2021MMM iucnredlist.org/species/21473/…
@sexchrlab @TanisBP @StoneLab_ASU @IUCNRedList But we have more to learn! For example, although unique parasitic trypanosomes were detected & their DNA characterized in Tapirs, the intermediate hosts are not always known & could include ticks & leeches (Acosta et al 2013) #2021MMM ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P… Light microscopy of Trypanosoma terrestris. Photomicrographs
#Sweet16 #RecapStats: Red Wolf enjoyed a meal of Giant Golden Mole & scared away Tarsier, while Mountain Tapir outlasted Tree Shrew & Jaguarundi #ForeverSleep #StinksofOcelot #2021MMM
Tonight we find both competitors in the southeastern corner of North America during the 13th century, prior to the European colonization of the Americas, when Red Wolves lived among the Cherokee people & called "wa ya" #AdvantageTeamWolf #2021MMM tinyurl.com/u7pb4hpd
Mountain Tapir feels at home in the hilly grasslands & shrublands of North America, so begins for forage for grasses, daisies & other leafy greens (Downer 2001) #NoHabitatAdvantage #TapirsGottaEat #2021MMM tinyurl.com/8zjdhu9h
OmNomNoming on plants is not TOTAL KNOCK OUT #PlantCarnage. Tapir's digestive tract aids the germination of many plant seeds, & Tapir are thought to be mutualistic seed dispersers! (Downer 2001) #2021MMM tinyurl.com/c2sjrnnb
Suddenly, Tapir raises its proboscis and sniffs the wind.... it recognizes the smell of a canid predator somewhere nearby. In its home turf, packs of bush dogs can kill Tapir! #2021MMM
Not too far off the Red Wolf is out hunting. Spring can be especially hard on Red Wolves, as it is harder to track prey amid new vegetation. Luckily though, Red Wolf has caught the scent of prey and moves in! #2021MMM
Now hearing the wolf, Tapir tries to quickly escape by sliding down a hill on its rump. Tapir have bare patches of skin on their behinds reportedly from sliding down slopes & wearing the fur away! (Pardilla et al. 2010) #2021MMM tinyurl.com/4nd7utmv Text reads "Patches have been attributed to rubbing to
Red Wolf, however, is hungry and in hot pursuit! Wolf quickly courses even with the Tapir, looking for an angle to safely do some damage. #2021MMM Colored photograph of Red Wolf in full stride, viewing it's
With nowhere to go, the Tapir falls back on its go-to move against bush dogs: stomp the floor and make frequent loud whistles! (Wallace et al. 2002) #2021MMM Text reads "... noise was heard coming from the same di
Red wolves most frequently eat far smaller mammals than Tapir, (Philips et al. 2003). Deciding this loud and odd looking animal could actually do damage in a fight, the Red Wolf moves on in search of more familiar prey. #2021MMM tinyurl.com/2ncavtbv Image shows two tables summarizing prey consumed by red wolv

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More from @PKurnath

23 Mar
UP FIRST: From the Sea Beasties Division, 1st-seeded SABER-TOOTHED ANCHOVY vs 8th-seeded PINK VENT FISH #2021MMM Black & white illustration of Saber-toothed Anchovy with a sColored photographs of Pink Vent Fish collected at East Paci
#RecapStats: Saber-toothed Anchovy is about 1m long (about 3 stoats), an ancient (45-50 MYA) marine predator & named after a vampire-like demon due to it's large single tooth (artwork by @JoschuaKnuppe) #StoatsAsMeasurement #2021MMM tinyurl.com/5bx5ths2
@JoschuaKnuppe Described just last year by #ActualLivingScientist @acapomorphic & @Friedman_Lab, the existence of Saber-toothed Anchovy suggests this ancient family of fish was diverse, from large predators to small planktivores (Capobianco et al 2020) #2021MMM tinyurl.com/254ya7jr
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18 Mar
Next up: 7th seeded Blue-capped ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi) vs. 10th seeded Brussels Griffon* (Canis familiaris) #2021MMM  Color photograph of blue-capped ifrit. Small song bird withColor photograph of Brussel's Griffon. Small dog is tan-brow
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16 Mar
NEXT UP: No. 2 seed Midgardia Seastar (Midgardia xandaros) vs No. 15 seed Hydra (Hydra vulgaris). This battle is a team effort from myself & @je_light #2021MMM
@je_light Midgardia Seastar is a relatively new species, described only 50 years ago! M. Seastar is an echinoderm (star fish, sea urchins & sea cucumbers) with lots of arms - in fact, it has the longest arms of any other known starfish (Downey 1972)! tinyurl.com/m9y6m3fa #2021MMM Black-and-white photograph of a star fish with a small, circ
@je_light Midgardia Seastars can have 12 long arms, each up to 600 mm in length (that's 1.76 stoats!) & can reach over 130 cm long from arm tip to arm tip (3.8 stoats!) #StoatsAsMeasurement #2021MMM
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12 Mar
LAST UP: #8 seed Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus) vs #9 seed Aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) #2021MMM A silver grey deer with no antlers but prominent tusks protrHead shot of a large brown sheep with backward bending ridge
Tonight's battle is a team effort by @am_anatiala @Mammals_Suck @sexchrlab @AnneWHilborn & me! [gif of man throwing confetti with text saying teamwork make the dream work] #Teamwork #Dreamwork #2021MMM
@am_anatiala @Mammals_Suck @sexchrlab @AnneWHilborn The Musk Deer, Moschus moschiferus, is not a true deer. They are the only surviving member of a group called Moschidae. DNA analyses show musk deer clustering next to the group with cattle (Bos) & Sheep (Ovis): tinyurl.com/2rbenmna #NotADeer #2021MMM Phylogeny showing several species of musk deer, including Mo
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9 Mar
TONIGHT'S BATTLE: Hopi Chipmunk vs. Southern Red-backed Vole #2021MMM
This year, the wild card bout pits two pint-sized but fierce rodents against each other #TeamRodent #2021MMM
So everyone is asking the same question... WHO WILL @MC_Marmot CHEER FOR?!? #TeamSquirrel #TeamVole #2021MMM
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12 Mar 20
LAST BATTLE: 8th-seeded Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) versus 9th-seeded Spotted Linsang (Prionodon pardicolor) #2020MMM
Our last #TeamDogsish competitor is the Red Panda, a small-to-medium sized carnivore (5kg/11lbs/23stoats) recognizable for its white face, red-ish back & long tail with red-and-buff colored rings #StoatsAsMeasurement #FLOOF #2020MMM
Red Pandas have round heads, large pointed ears, & their bodies are covered with woolly hair (even the soles of their feet!) as an adaptation to their cold, native climates at high elevations #MoreFLOOF #2020MMM animaldiversity.org/accounts/Ailur…
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