Latest Mammal Stories

2010-08-25 08:55:54

A new University of Florida study indicates extinct carnivorous mammals shrank in size during a global warming event that occurred 55 million years ago. The study, scheduled to appear in the December print edition of the Journal of Mammalian Evolution and now available online, describes a new species that evolved to half the size of its ancestors during this period of global warming. The hyena-like animal, Palaeonictis wingi, evolved from the size of a bear to the size of a coyote during a...

2010-08-24 09:30:00

The amount of available living space--not competition, as Darwin believed--may have been the catalyst of evolution, according to a new study published in the August 23 edition of Biology Letters. As part of the study, researchers at the University of Bristol analyzed the fossils of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians dating as far back as 400 million years ago. According to BBC News science reporter Howard Falcon-Lang, "the scientists showed that the amount of biodiversity closely...

2010-07-30 16:10:33

Discovery of an evolutionary trait from our earliest ancestors could provide insight into the early development of human embryos Using the model organism Ciona intestinalis, commonly known as the sea squirt, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have uncovered the origins of the second heart field in vertebrates. Sea squirts are bag-like gelatinous creatures whose full genome has been sequenced--one that shares 80 percent of its genes with humans. Though its body is clearly...

2010-07-16 08:57:02

Mammals with larger brains in relation to body size tend to live longer. This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), affiliated to Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, after having analyzed almost 500 mammal species and obtaining new data on the relation between brain size and lifespan. The brain size of some mammals is larger than expected for their body size. This is the case of large primates, such...

2010-07-01 05:39:34

Changes in the marine ecosystem are effecting reproduction in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) causing them to give birth to their pups much earlier than usual, according to a recent study. The study found that the mammals are birthing their pups 25 days earlier compared to 35 years ago. Scientists believe that removal of large fish species by the fishing industry was allowing populations of smaller species to thrive. These smaller species are favored by the seals. "We report on a continual...

2010-06-25 15:33:37

In a novel mathematical model that reproduces sleep patterns for multiple species, an international team of researchers has demonstrated that the neural circuitry that controls the sleep/wake cycle in humans may also control the sleep patterns of 17 different mammalian species. These findings, reported by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), the University of Sydney, and the Center for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (Camperdown, Australia), suggest that...

2010-06-17 07:31:28

Paleontologists have discovered the oldest mammalian tooth marks yet on the bones of ancient animals, including several large dinosaurs. They report their findings in a paper published online June 16 in the journal Paleontology. Nicholas Longrich of Yale University and Michael J. Ryan of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History came across several of the bones while studying the collections of the University of Alberta Laboratory for Vertebrate Palaeontology and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of...

2010-06-10 12:48:28

Your mother was right: Fish really is "brain food." And it seems that even pre-humans living as far back as 2 million years ago somehow knew it. A team of researchers that included Johns Hopkins University geologist Naomi Levin has found that early hominids living in what is now northern Kenya ate a wider variety of foods than previously thought, including fish and aquatic animals such as turtles and crocodiles. Rich in protein and nutrients, these foods may have played a key role in the...

2010-05-24 15:03:55

Could help scientists track paleoclimate, determine whether dinosaurs and other species were warm- or cold-blooded Was Tyrannosaurus rex cold-blooded? Did birds regulate their body temperatures before or after they began to grow feathers? Why would evolution favor warm-bloodedness when it has such a high energy cost? Questions like these"”about when, why, and how vertebrates stopped relying on external factors to regulate their body temperatures and began heating themselves...

2010-05-18 11:29:38

New fossil material redefines Azendohsaurus as a peculiar early reptile Azendohsaurus just shed its dinosaur affiliation. A careful new analysis of A. madagaskarensis"”this time based on the entire skull rather than on just teeth and jaws"”aligns this 230-million-year-old animal with a different and very early branch on the reptile evolutionary tree. Many aspects of Azendohsaurus are far more primitive than previously assumed, which in turn means that its plant-eating adaptations,...

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...

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...

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...

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
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.