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Latest Mammal Stories

Mammals Flourished During Last 20 Million Years Of Dinosaur Era
2012-03-15 13:49:21

New research suggests that some mammals flourished during the last 20 million years of the dinosaurs' reign. University of Washington paleontologist Gregory P. Wilson suggests the multituberculates, a rodent-like creature, did so well during this time because they developed numerous tubercles on their back teeth that allowed them to feed on flowering plants back then. “These mammals were able to radiate in terms of numbers of species, body size and shapes of their teeth, which...

2012-03-14 13:48:48

Conventional wisdom holds that during the Mesozoic Era, mammals were small creatures that held on at life's edges. But at least one mammal group, rodent-like creatures called multituberculates, actually flourished during the last 20 million years of the dinosaurs' reign and survived their extinction 66 million years ago. New research led by a University of Washington paleontologist suggests that the multituberculates did so well in part because they developed numerous tubercles (bumps, or...

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2012-03-12 10:07:19

These days, only four species of Sirenian, more commonly known as the seacow, manatee or dugong exist in a given world region. Smithsonian scientists, however, have been studying fossil records of the ancient mammals and have discovered evidence that this hasn´t always been the case. According to these fossil records, which date back 50 million years ago, multiple species of seacow once existed together. The research also suggests the environment these seacows resided within, as well as...

Ancient Camels From Panama Canal Excavation Named
2012-03-01 05:03:30

The discovery of two new extinct camel species by University of Florida scientists sheds new light on the history of the tropics, a region containing more than half the world's biodiversity and some of its most important ecosystems. Appearing online this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the study is the first published description of a fossil mammal discovered as part of an international project in Panama. Funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation, UF...

Mammals Evolve From Size Of Mouse To Elephant In 24M Generations
2012-01-31 05:52:40

Mammals can evolve from the size of a mouse to the size of an elephant in as little as 24 million generations, although they shrink more than 10 times as fast as they grow to large sizes, according to new research reported Monday by an international team of biologists and paleontologists. The study is the first of its kind to measure how fast large-scale evolution can occur in mammals. The researchers explored increases and decreases in mammal size following the extinction of dinosaurs...

Mammalian Evolution Mirrors Climate Change
2011-12-27 05:39:51

A recent study by an international group of evolutionary biologists has pointed to six broad yet distinct ℠waves´ of climate-induced mammalian diversity in the last 65 million years of evolution. Researchers say that extended periods of warming and cooling appear to signal the shift from one dominant grouping of mammals to the next. In the online version of the journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Professor Christine Janis of Brown University and a...

Researcher Re-Discover Elephant’s Long-Lost Sixth Toe
2011-12-23 13:02:40

London´s Royal Veterinary College has recently re-corrected a long-standing error in elephant anatomy. According to a study recently published in the science journal Science, elephants have a sixth toe, a previously unknown and underrated digit that is critical in helping the enormous mammals ambulate. Ironically, when the first detailed study of an elephant cadaver was carried out over 300 years ago by the Scottish physician Patrick Blair, he wrote in his notes that the massive...

2011-12-16 14:02:58

Although the temperate climates of central Europe provide plentiful food in summer, finding enough to eat is much more problematic in winter. Many small mammals avoid the problem by hibernating but this survival strategy is generally not practiced by larger animals. With the exception of some bears, large mammals remain fully awake throughout the year, yet they too must reduce their metabolism to cope with the comparative scarcity of food. Red deer, for example, are known to lower their heart...

Ancient Hyper-carnivore Species Survived For 35 Million Years
2011-12-07 06:17:15

An ancient predator species with agile bodies, saw-like teeth and an insatiable appetite for meat survived a major extinction at a time when distant relatives of mammals ruled the Earth, according to new research by scientists at Cape Breton University and the University of Toronto Mississauga. In a study published in Naturwissenschaften — The Science of Nature, Professors Sean Modesto and Robert Reisz provided evidence that varanopids survived for more than 35 million years, and...

Whiskers Were An Important Evolutionary Milestone For Mammals
2011-11-11 12:53:35

Researchers have found that moveable whiskers on rats and mice were an important milestone in the evolution of mammals from reptiles. The team used high-speed digital video recording and automatic tracking to discover how rodents move their whiskers back-and-forth at high speed. This behavior, known as whisking, allows mice or rats to accurately determine the position, shape and texture of objects, make decisions about objects, and use the information to build environmental maps. The...


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
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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