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a03fa4c3e87d4709268156bfc0ac756e
2011-07-20 11:52:01

Zoologists of the University of Jena find out how sloths perfected energy saving They live their lives upside down; instead of defying the force of gravity in an upright position, sloths spend most of their lives hanging in trees upside down. If they have to move, they do so only slowly. Very slowly. But why are sloths so "˜lazy"˜? And how has the locomotive system of these outsiders adapted to their unhurried lifestyle in the course of evolution? Zoologists of the...

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2011-06-28 08:12:55

New research from Brown University shows that fish and mammals chew differently. Fish use tongue muscles to thrust food backward, while mammals use tongue muscles to position food for grinding. The evolutionary divergence is believed to have occurred with amphibians, though further research is needed to identify which species and when. Results are published in Integrative and Comparative Biology. Evolution has made its marks "” large and small "” in innumerable patterns of life....

9b51bc241880ef0ba91ab6d18062729c
2011-06-24 11:40:00

Scientists have found a way to take the temperature of dinosaurs that have been extinct for millions of years. But since you cannot take their temperature like you do with humans, the researchers did the next best thing -- study dinosaur teeth, which can reflect body temperature. What they found is surprising. Studying the teeth of the long-necked Brachiosaurus, they discovered it had a temperature of about 100.8 degrees F and the smaller Camarasaurus had a temp of 98.3 degrees. Humans...

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...

c6c99709ac6aad38a3cdda1152b3623e
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...

0dd19548c1288b724f97e5ac94f22798
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...

7720955e55f994dacc20cc75ddeeb1c21
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...


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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Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.