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Latest Mammal Stories

arboreal mammals in a Jurassic forest
2014-09-14 05:18:05

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The discovery of three new small squirrel-like species lends evidence to the notion that mammals originated at least 208 million years ago in the late Triassic Period, according to new research appearing in a recent edition of the journal Nature. The research, which was led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, places a poorly understood group of animals that lived in the Mesozoic...

Dimetrodon rendering
2014-09-05 05:17:41

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Originally believed to have occurred around the same time that mammals evolved some 200 million years ago, researchers from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago now report that the transition to nocturnal behavior actually occurred more than 100 million years earlier. Previous theories regarding nocturnal behavior were based on the large brains of mammals, which allow them to better process information from senses such as...

Early Jurassic basal mammals
2014-08-25 04:37:22

John Hopton for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers from several British universities have found that small Jurassic mammals chose very specific diets from among the smorgasbord of insects available to them, with creatures of a similar type having distinct food choices. Using a combination of technologies and comparisons with living animals, the researchers were able to study patterns of wear and tear on the mammals’ teeth in fossils. The observations showed that some...

Running For Life: How Speed Restricts Evolutionary Change Of The Vertebral Column
2014-07-15 03:30:37

Naturalis Biodiversity Center One of the riddles of mammal evolution explained: the strong conservation of the number of trunk vertebrae. Researchers of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the University of Utah show that this conservation is probably due to the essential role of speed and agility in survival of fast running mammals. They measured variation in vertebrae of 774 individual mammal skeletons of both fast and slow running species. The researchers found that a combination of...

Dinosaurs Took A Middle Road Between Warm- And Cold-Blooded
2014-06-13 09:10:26

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online There has been a long-standing debate over dinosaurs: were they cold-blooded like modern day reptiles or warm-blooded like mammals? In the early days of science, and in Hollywood, these prehistoric beasts were depicted as slow, lumbering giants as they were believed to be cold-blooded. But over the past few decades, these animals have been portrayed as swift-moving lizards, more reminiscent of warm-blooded behaviors. New...

Eocasea martini
2014-04-17 08:58:57

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The fossil of a newly-discovered species called Eocasea martini is being described as a sort of missing link in the transition from carnivorous to herbivorous behavior in land animals. According to a report in the open access journal PLOS ONE, the fossil could eventually serve as evidence that caseids, the largest land animals around 300 million years ago, slowly evolved from being carnivores to subsisting on a diet solely of plants....

New Study Shows Differences In Mammal Responses To Climate Change
2014-01-23 11:57:02

University of Colorado Boulder If you were a shrew snuffling around a North American forest, you would be 27 times less likely to respond to climate change than if you were a moose grazing nearby. That is just one of the findings of a new University of Colorado Boulder assessment led by Assistant Professor Christy McCain that looked at more than 1,000 different scientific studies on North American mammal responses to human-caused climate change. The CU-Boulder team eventually selected...

Giants Of Earth's History Still Pose A Wealth Of Riddles
2014-01-14 10:32:20

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz Sauropods, the largest land animals in Earth's history, are still mightily puzzling the scientists. These plant-eating dinosaurs with their long necks and small heads could reach a height of 10 meters or more and dominated all other land vertebrates in terms of size. They could weigh up to 80 tons, more than any other known land vertebrate. One question that has been intensely debated is how these giants of the animal kingdom regulated their own body...

reconstruction of Dormaalcyon latouri
2014-01-07 04:06:08

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Over 250 teeth and ankle bone fossils discovered in Belgium have allowed researchers to gain new insight into some of the best-known and most-loved mammals on Earth, according to a new study appearing in the latest edition of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. According to the study authors, the group of mammals known as carnivoraforms (which includes creatures such as cats, dogs, bears and seals) can trace its roots back to...

2013-12-05 13:57:32

In the remote province of Niassa, Mozambique, a new species and genus of fossil vertebrate was found. The species is a distant relative of living mammals and is approximately 256 million years old. This new species belongs to a group of animals called synapsids. Synapsida includes a number of extinct lineages that dominated the communities on land in the Late Permian (260-252 million years ago), as well as living mammals and their direct ancestors. A team of paleontologists from nine...


Latest Mammal Reference Libraries

Echidna, Tachyglossidae
2014-06-19 07:53:10

Tachyglossidae is a family that holds eight species of echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters, four of which are known only from fossils. The remaining four species, which include the platypus, can only be found in New Guinea and Australia. They prefer to reside in wooded areas and can be found under piles of vegetation, roots, and occasionally inside the burrows of other animals. This family is named after the "Mother of All Monsters" in Greek mythology, although the two do not resemble...

42_e96da6f440fbe9416f53bf5be8b5f8e3
2007-06-25 07:54:33

The Aardvark, Orycteropus afer, sometimes called the "˜antbear', is a medium-sized mammal native to Africa. It lives south of the Sahara desert where there is suitable habitat for them to live. It prefers savannas, grasslands, woodlands and bush. They are not found in deserts but are found in areas where there is a good supply of ants and termites. The most distinctive characteristic of the Aardvark is their teeth. Instead of having a pulp cavity, they have a number of thin tubes of...

42_767deb25d6255da2c5d97b07d1e38516
2007-01-19 11:46:11

The European Mole, Talpa europaea, is a mammal of the order Soricomorpha. This mole lives in an underground tunnel system, which it constantly extends. It uses these tunnels to hunt its prey. Under normal conditions the displaced earth is pushed to the surface, resulting in the characteristic "mole hills". It has a cylindrical body and is around 5 1/4 inches (12 cm) long. Females are typically smaller than males. The eyes are small, and hidden behind fur. Its ear is just a small ridge...

42_f294be1ec1fa65e8319af46dc77bf24b
2006-12-12 11:27:08

The platypus is a semi-aquatic endemic to eastern Australia and Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It is the sole living representative of its family and genus, though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record. The unique appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed mammal baffled naturalists when it was first discovered, with some...

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Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'