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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...

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2010-12-10 10:25:48

Contrary to the recently established theory that marsupials have excellent color vision, research has shown that the wallaby is a rare exception. The research team, led by Dr Jan Hemmi from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science and The Australian National University, has shown that Tammar wallabies are much weaker in discriminating different colors because they are missing one type of visual pigment cell. "Dr Ebeling has demonstrated that wallabies do not have the complete set of...

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2010-11-26 09:05:00

New research published in the journal Science this week has determined that mammals grew larger following the extinction of dinosaurs, suggesting that they needed more space and better access to food resources in order to reach their full potential. The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by University of New Mexico (UNM) scientists, discovered that after dinosaurs died out some 65 million years ago, mammals began to grow, ultimately reaching sizes up to...

2010-11-06 02:40:58

Evolutionary divergence of humans from chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests. The revised estimate of when the human species parted ways from its closest primate relatives should enable scientists to better interpret the history of human evolution, said Robert D. Martin, curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum, and a co-author of the new study appearing in the...

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2010-11-03 11:57:48

Surprising first ancestor of bizarre marsupial moles The mysterious origins of Australia's bizarre and secretive marsupial moles have been cast in a whole new and unexpected light with the first discovery in the fossil record of one of their ancestors. The find reveals a remarkable journey through time, place and lifestyle: living marsupial moles are blind, earless and live underground in the deserts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia, yet their ancestors lived...


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...

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...

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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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