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Latest Mammal Stories

2073299f5dfb36499638d3cfe53f6b4d
2011-05-24 14:10:00

By Margaret Allen, Southern Methodist University Birch mouse is now 9 million years older than previously known and migrated from Asia to North America Tiny fossil teeth discovered in Inner Mongolia are a new species of birch mouse, indicating that ancestors of the small rodent are much older than previously reported, according to paleontologist Yuri Kimura, Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Fossils of the new species were discovered in sediments that are 17 million years old, said...

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2011-05-19 14:40:00

Paleontologists have discovered that an improved sense of smell jumpstarted brain evolution in the ancestral cousins of present-day mammals.  The findings help explain why mammals evolved such large and complex brains, which in some cases ballooned 10 times larger than relative body size.  The researchers constructed fossils of two Early Jurassic Period mammals to provide evidence that the mammalian brain evolved in three major stages.  First by improvements in sense of smell...

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2011-05-15 09:43:23

More than 200 million years ago, mammals and reptiles lived in their own separate worlds on the supercontinent Pangaea, despite little geographical incentive to do so. Mammals lived in areas of twice-yearly seasonal rainfall; reptiles stayed in areas where rains came just once a year. Mammals lose more water when they excrete, and thus need water-rich environments to survive. Results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Aggregating nearly the entire landmass of...

2011-05-06 13:52:43

As a rule all mammals have the same number of vertebrae in their necks regardless of whether they are a giraffe, a mouse, or a human. But both sloths and manatees are exceptions to this rule having abnormal numbers of cervical vertebrae. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal EvoDevo shows how such different species have evolved their unusual necks. Birds, reptiles and amphibians have varying number of vertebrae in their necks, swans have 22-25, but mammals, regardless...

a82a15e4cdaee91e25e4ee7d2a3a7a17
2011-05-02 07:50:00

To find out what motivates pigs to frolic around in the mud, a scientist in the Netherlands looked at the wallowing behavior of its wild relatives. Marc Bracke from Wageningen University and Research Centre carried out the study that suggests a pig's love of mud is not just a way to keep cool, but is vital for the animals' well-being. Pigs are known to wallow in order to keep cool because they do not have normal sweat glands to regulate their body temperature. Bracke searched through...

a54fce59252dc27622facdc4be63f4221
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...

9ff72a8be1ec2319c9d5987efff288de
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...

20e93dc82ee35cb0ee33b87b1a91cefe1
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...


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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