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Chris Anderson @c_n_anderson
, 40 tweets, 19 min read Read on Twitter
#2018MMM folks, you'll want the sound on tonight... obviously.
It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights... #2018MMM
Welcome to the 6th Annual MARCH MAMMAL MADNESS!!! #2018MMM
Ringleader Prof. Katie Hinde @Mammals_Suck is still Down Under for the @OzBreastfeeding fest, so I am the official host of tonight's tournament launch! #2018MMM
& you know what they say... "WHEN THE KAT'S AWAY, we other organizers include #AltMammals beginning with tonight's WILD CARD match up of a BIRD & an INSECT?!?! #2018MMM
That's right! An entire division of non-mammls in our yearly mammal tournament? Mass hysteria! #2018MMM
But before we get to the "nature, red in tooth and claw" (Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam A. H. H., 1850) some announcements, pomp & circumstance! #2018MMM
If you want JUST the official tournament tweets and not ALL the #FanBanter, follow @2018MMMletsgo #2018MMM
Special shout out Art Director @TheOddAngel & artist @maryccasillas who will be debuting species art tonight! #2018MMM
All March Mammal Madness #2018MMM info here:…
Now... The Singing of the Animal Anthem #2018MMM
And without further ado #2018MMM
WILD CARD: Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) vs Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) #2018MMM
The goldcrest (Photo credit Francis C. Franklin)… #2018MMM
The Praying Mantis (Photo credit Alvesgaspar)… #2018MMM places the last common ancestry of Goldcrest and Praying Mantis at 678 - 916 million years ago #2018MMM
That's the Proterozoic Era - during the time eukaryotes first came on the scene… Era #2018MMM
We are in the Cenozoic era (65 million years ago to the present ) or the "age of mammals". #2018MMM
But as @SUEtheTrex can tell you "BIRDS = DINOSAURS" #2018MMM
And there are many more species of birds (approx 10,000) than there are species of mammals (5,488 according to the IUCN) #2018MMM
So maybe the age of dinosaurs never ended? #2018MMM
Insects (at 5.5 MILLION species) have this to say about the diversity of birds #2018MMM
The goldcrest is the smallest European bird, 8.5 - 9.5 cm in length #2018MMM
The Praying Mantis is large for an insect, but slightly smaller than the Goldcrest (male mantis' 6-7 cm, females 7-9 cm) #2018MMM
Mantis's begin their life cycle in an egg mass called an ootheca (Photo credit: Kropsoq)… #2018MMM
While holed up in an egg mass, Mantises can overwinter and wait for the spring/summer to arrive #2018MMM
Goldcrests, on the other hand, fly year round. How do they survive the winter? They utilize contact roosting - they huddle together for warmth! #2018MMM
Despite their small size, Goldcrests are migratory across Europe #2018MMM
In fact, a folklore in the UK is that Goldcrests would hitch a ride with larger bird migratory species, like the woodcock or short-eared owl. This gave them the nickname "the woodcock's pilot" #2018MMM
Obligatory The Neverending Story -Falkor and Atreyu youtube clip: #2018MMM
Goldcrest don't really hitch rides to migrate, but I just wanted to show Falkor #2018MMM
In the other corner is the Praying Mantis!! Mantises are ambush predators #2018MMM
Praying mantises eat live insects, including moths, mosquitoes, roaches, flies and aphids, as well as small rodents, frogs, snakes and....birds??? #2018MMM
Yes, birds! Maxwell and Remsen (2016) review 147 cases of Praying Mantises capturing small birds… #2018MMM
Remsen told the New York Times about mantises capturing birds "They bite in and eat the brains"… #2018MMM
The battle begins with the goldcrest flying to approach a fly, little aware that the mantis lies in wait... #2018MMM
AMBUSH! The golden crest on the head of the bird turns crimson...BRAINS BRAINS FOR THE PRAYING (&PREYING) MANTIS!!! #2018MMM
Return Wednesday at 8:30 EST for Round 1: GREAT ADAPTATIONS DIVISION! #2018MMM
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