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Jessica Light @je_light
, 17 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
NEXT UP: 6th seed Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) vs 11th seed Desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) #2018MMM
Wait, a who and a what? You know...jaguarundi...a New World cat that looks sort of like like a big weasel #2018MMM
Jaguarundi great adaptations include: long & slender body w/short legs, variable coat color, diurnal activity, habitat generalist, &, as a member of the Carnivora, #carnassials #2018MMM
The geographic distribution of the jaguarundi is believed to get as far north as the southern United States (Arizona & Texas). However, populations in North & Central America are at risk, with jaguarundis believed to be extinct in the United States #2018MMM
Desmans are aquatic insectivores. Great adaptations are associated with its aquatic nature: elongated head, body, & tail, strong & webbed hindfeet for swimming, waterproof fur, the ability to close both ears & nostrils with valves to keep water out, & snorkel-like nose #2018MMM
Cool fun fact: desmans may use echolocation for orientation & prey detection #2018MMM
Like jaguarundis, desmans also are at risk with populations declining across its European range due to habitat loss #2018MMM
Although jaguarundis & desmans belong to separate orders (Carnivora & Soricomorpha/Eulipotyphla, respectively), both are in the superorder Laurasiatheria & last shared a common ancestor in the Cretaceous ~89 mya #notsodifferent #2018MMM
Our battle tonight takes place this evening in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, where jaguarundis are known to prey upon a variety of vertebrate taxa, including small mammals… #2018MMM
Even though it is in completely the wrong hemisphere, the desman is not too far outside of its comfort zone (although it is a little warm). Our desman easily finds some fastish-moving water & begins to hunt for aquatic insects & crustaceans #2018MMM
Meanwhile, our jaguarundi has woken up & is looking for a midnight snack #2018MMM
Weighing in at 4.5-9 kg (a minimum of ~20 stoats), the jaguarundi far outweighs the desman (35-80 g). And the desman falls nicely within the size range of jaguarundi prey #stoatsasmeasurement #2018MMM
Hearing splashing, our jaguarundi quietly goes to investigate & spies the desman in the water. With its tiny eyes & poor eyesight, the desman is unaware of any potential danger (easy prey, perhaps??) #2018MMM
But, desmans are known to be territorial, defending their territories to the death against intruders #2018MMM
Rather, desmans *WERE* known to be territorial. Recent research does not support territorial behavior in desmans… &… #2018MMM
The jaguarundi pounces. Splashing ensues. Tails flip in & out of the water. A red tint pools to the water's surface #2018MMM
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