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Latest Mammal Stories

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2011-04-15 05:55:00

A new study by researchers at University of California-Davis finds that velociraptors had night vision that helped them stalk their prey at night. The study reverses conventional wisdom that dinosaurs were active by day while early mammals scurried around at night, said Ryosuke Motani, professor of geology at UC Davis and co-author of the report. "It was a surprise, but it makes sense," he said. Plant-eating dinosaurs also had some limited night vision, likely to satisfy their round the clock...

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2011-04-14 09:12:02

Fossil from China suggests mammalian ear of monotremes evolved separately from that of marsupials and placentals Paleontologists from the American Museum of Natural History and the Chinese Academy of Sciences announce the discovery of Liaoconodon hui, a complete fossil mammal from the Mesozoic found in China that includes the long-sought transitional middle ear. The specimen shows the bones associated with hearing in mammals"” the malleus, incus, and ectotympanic"” decoupled from...

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2011-04-06 13:51:03

A new study louses up a popular theory of animal evolution and opens up the possibility that dinosaurs were early "“ perhaps even the first "“ animal hosts of lice. The study, in Biology Letters, uses fossils and molecular data to track the evolution of lice and their hosts. It offers strong evidence, the researchers said, that the ancestors of lice that today feed on birds and mammals began to diversify before a mass extinction event killed off the dinosaurs about 65 million...

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2011-03-24 13:46:55

Temperature increases resulting from climate change in the Southwest will likely eliminate Joshua trees from 90 percent of their current range in 60 to 90 years, according to a new study led by U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Ken Cole. The research team used models of future climate, an analysis of the climatic tolerances of the species in its current range, and the fossil record to project the future distribution of Joshua trees. The study concludes that the species could be restricted to...

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2011-03-08 09:50:12

By Leeann Bright, University of Florida A University of Florida study demonstrates extinction's ripple effect through the animal kingdom, including how the demise of large mammals 20,000 years ago led to the disappearance of one species of cowbird. The study shows the trickle-down effect the loss of large mammals has on other species, and researchers say it is a lesson from the past that should be remembered when making conservation, game and land-use decisions today. "There's nothing worse...

2011-03-03 23:19:05

Fossil records verify a long-standing theory that horses evolved through natural selection, according to groundbreaking research by two anatomy professors at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) of New York Institute of Technology. Working with colleagues from Massachusetts and Spain, Matthew Mihlbachler, Ph.D., and Nikos Solounias, Ph.D. arrived at the conclusion after examining the teeth of 6,500 fossil horses representing 222 different populations of more than 70 extinct horse...

2011-02-17 12:46:23

New fossil discoveries have provided a glimpse into the biogeographic configuration of Africa over the last seven million years. Modern-day Africa south of the Sahara is home to a unique variety of mammals, a great number of which are not found anywhere else in the world. Biogeographers have long recognized that sub-Saharan Africa constitutes one of the world's six major mammalian biogeographic divisions, termed 'realms'. However, the historical development of these continental regions of...

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2011-01-03 12:00:00

Paleontologists have found two new sabertooth species that use to roam in an ancient lakeside habitat in Africa, along with humankind's oldest known ancestor. A team unearthed the remains of a seven million-year-old human-like creature known as "Toumai" at the central African site. Its discoverers say that Toumai is the oldest hominid species known to exist. The Toumai's skull was found in the Djurab desert by a team led by Michael Brunet of the University of Poitiers, France....

2010-12-27 13:47:39

The phrase "nature versus nurture" was coined in the mid-19th century by the English scientist Francis Galton and symbolizes the debate over the relative importance of inherited factors and the environment (or upbringing) in determining the behaviour of offspring.  The issue has been complicated by the discovery of "epigenetic" effects, by which especially mothers can alter the genetic material they pass on to their young.  A further twist to the story is provided by the finding...

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2010-12-21 11:21:00

Margaret Allen, Southern Methodist University Rodents get a bad rap as vermin and pests because they seem to thrive everywhere. They have been one of the most common mammals in Africa for the past 50 million years. From deserts to rainforests, rodents flourished in prehistoric Africa, making them a stable and plentiful source of food, says paleontologist Alisa J. Winkler, an expert on rodent and rabbit fossils. Now rodent fossils are proving their usefulness to scientists as they help shed...


Latest Mammal Reference Libraries

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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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