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Latest Mammal Stories

2009-12-17 15:39:29

Mammals may be nearly half way toward mass extinction If the planet is headed for another mass extinction like the previous five, each of which wiped out more than 75 percent of all species on the planet, then North American mammals are one-fifth to one-half the way there, according to a University of California, Berkeley, and Pennsylvania State University analysis. Many scientists warn that the perfect storm of global warming and environmental degradation "“ both the result of human...

2009-12-15 20:52:31

Researchers at Uppsala University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Broad Institute have discovered a previously unknown gene ZBED6 that is unique to placental mammals. The gene originates from a so called jumping gene that integrated in the genome of a primitive mammal at least 150 million years ago and has since then evolved an essential function. The study is published in PLoS Biology today. Domestic pigs develop more muscle and store less fat than their wild ancestor, the...

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2009-12-15 11:47:51

Competition plays a decisive role in climate change adaptation Species distribution models are of only limited use in predicting the future distribution of mammals. This is the finding of a study of the climate niches of 140 indigenous European mammals. The researchers analyzed data on species distribution, climate, land cover and topography, as well as the phylogenetic information of the species. Judging by the large differences in climate niches even for closely related species, mammals...

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2009-12-03 14:00:00

The largest known mass extinction in Earth's history, about 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian Period, may have been caused by global warming. A new fossil species suggests that some land animals may have survived the end-Permian extinction by living in cooler climates in Antarctica. Jörg Fröbisch and Kenneth D. Angielczyk of The Field Museum together with Christian A. Sidor from the University of Washington have identified a distant relative of mammals, Kombuisia...

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2009-11-11 08:07:31

Were dinosaurs "warm-blooded" like present-day mammals and birds, or "cold-blooded" like present day lizards? The implications of this simple-sounding question go beyond deciding whether or not you'd snuggle up to a dinosaur on a cold winter's evening. In a study published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, a team of researchers, including Herman Pontzer, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, has found strong evidence that many dinosaur species were probably...

2009-11-10 18:03:46

The females of the recently discovered Osedax marine worms feast on submerged bones via a complex relationship with symbiotic bacteria, and they are turning out to be far more diverse and widespread than scientists expected. Californian researchers investigating the genetic history of Osedax worms have found that up to twelve further distinct evolutionary lineages exist beyond the five species already described. The new findings about these beautiful sea creatures with unusual sexual and...

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2009-11-02 10:27:46

New insights into the biology of the platypus and echidna have been published, providing a collection of unique research data about the world's only monotremes. University of Adelaide geneticist Dr Frank Grtzner and his team have authored five of 28 papers which appear in two special issues of the Australian Journal of Zoology and Reproduction Fertility and Development. The articles shed new light on the extraordinary complex platypus sex chromosome system. "For the first time we have looked...

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2009-10-09 06:40:00

The fossil of a previously unknown chipmunk-sized mammal was discovered by researchers in north eastern China, who believe it could lead to a better understanding of how human hearing evolved. The team of paleontologists found the 123-million-year-old creature, which is just five inches long, in fossil-rich Liaoning Province, close to where China borders North Korea. "What is most surprising, and thus scientifically interesting, is the animal's inner ear," said Zhe-Xi Luo, a curator at the...

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2009-09-25 09:02:59

When the ancestors of living cetaceans"”whales, dolphins and porpoises"”first dipped their toes into water, a series of evolutionary changes were sparked that ultimately nestled these swimming mammals into the larger hoofed animal group. But what happened first, a change from a plant-based diet to a carnivorous diet, or the loss of their ability to walk? A new paper published this week in PLoS One resolves this debate using a massive data set of the morphology, behavior, and...

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2009-09-04 09:23:53

Prediction about enamelin gene by UC Riverside biologists upheld by evidence Biologists at the University of California, Riverside report new evidence for evolutionary change recorded in both the fossil record and the genomes (or genetic blueprints) of living organisms, providing fresh support for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The researchers were able to correlate the progressive loss of enamel in the fossil record with a simultaneous molecular decay of a gene, called the enamelin...


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...

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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...

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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...

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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
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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