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Latest Neotominae Stories

packrat
2014-07-22 03:30:57

University of Utah Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found. The new study confirms what biologists long have suspected: bacteria in the gut – and not just liver enzymes – are “crucial in allowing herbivores to feed on toxic plants,” says biologist Kevin Kohl, a...

Scientists Identify Factors Limiting Hybridization Of Closely-related Woodrat Species
2014-03-31 08:41:24

Wildlife Conservation Society A pair of new studies from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Idaho State University, and the University of Nevada Reno look at the surprising variety of factors that prevent two closely related species of woodrats from becoming a single hybrid species despite the existence of hybrid individuals where the two species come into contact. After finding that two closely related species, the desert and Bryant's woodrats, could interbreed and produce hybrid...

Singing Mice Use High-pitched Tunes To Protect Their Turf
2013-09-26 11:05:02

[ Watch the Video: Alston’s Singing Mouse ] University of Texas at Austin Two species of tawny brown singing mice that live deep in the mountain cloud forests of Costa Rica and Panama set their boundaries by emitting high-pitched trills, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. Although males of both the Alston's singing mouse (Scotinomys teguina) and Chiriqui singing mouse (S. xerampelinus) sing to attract mates and repel rivals within their respective...

Genes Found That Tell Mice How To Build Their Burrows
2013-01-18 12:33:47

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online By studying oldfield mice — colloquially known as ℠beach mice´ (Peromyscus polionotus) — as they dug through a mound of dirt in her San Diego garage, biologist Hopi Hoekstra discovered that the diligent rodents construct their burrows in extremely predictable patterns. Working on a hunch that the mice probably inherit this behavior, she and a team of colleagues conducted a genetic analysis of the tiny rodents...

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2011-08-09 07:35:00

How rodents survive arms race with toxic plants they eat Life is tough for woodrats in deserts of the U.S. Southwest. There are few plants for food, and those plants produce poison to deter rodents, insects and other animals. A new University of Utah study shows how certain woodrats put themselves on a diet to avoid poisoning: They sample a smorgasbord of toxic plants, eat smaller meals, increase time between meals and drink more water if it is available. "For decades, we have been trying to...

2011-05-16 19:59:18

River flow fluctuations downstream of dams are often out of sync with natural flow patterns and can have significant negative effects on aquatic species, such as native frogs, according to a team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station, the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Berkeley. The team examined how altered water flows caused by hydroelectric dams impact the life cycle of the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana...

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2011-02-15 10:25:47

Green on satellite images warns of hantavirus outbreaks The risk of deadly hantavirus outbreaks in people can be predicted months ahead of time by using satellite images to monitor surges in vegetation that boost mouse populations, a University of Utah study says. The method also might forecast outbreaks of other rodent-borne illnesses worldwide. "It's a way to remotely track a disease without having to go out and trap animals all the time," says Denise Dearing, professor of biology at the...

2010-01-20 15:13:33

Spermatozoa from the same individual cluster together, improving motility in the race to the egg Some mouse sperm can discriminate between its brethren and competing sperm from other males, clustering with its closest relatives to swim faster in the race to the egg. But this sort of cooperation appears to be present only in certain promiscuous species, where it affords an individual's sperm a competitive advantage over that of other males. The work is described this week in the journal Nature...

2009-04-07 08:38:32

U.S. biologists say they have narrowed their hunt for the genes that allow rodents to eat toxic creosote bushes in the southwestern United States. As that region grew warmer 18,700 to 10,000 years ago, juniper trees vanished from what is now the Mojave Desert, robbing packrats of their favorite food, the scientists said. Instead, the rodents are consuming toxic creosote. University of Utah Professor Denise Dearing and colleagues captured eight packrats -- also known as woodrats -- from each...


Latest Neotominae Reference Libraries

Bushy-tailed Woodrat, Neotoma cinerea
2012-07-27 15:58:15

The bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) is also known as the packrat or the woodrat. It is native to the United States and Canada. Its range extends from arctic Canada south to northern Arizona. It also extends to the far eastern portions of Nebraska and the Dakotas. It is able to live in many types of habitats from deserts to boreal forests, but it prefers to live in rocky areas like cliffs or rocky fields, and it can also be found in abandoned mines or buildings. It will inhabit open...

White-Throated Woodrat, Neotoma albigula
2012-07-23 20:00:26

The white-throated woodrat (Neotoma albigula) can be found in a range that extends from Central Mexico in the South to Colorado and Utah in the North. Its western range extends from Texas to southeastern California, but it does not occur in the eastern areas of the United States.  Populations of these rats occurring east of the Rio Grande in New Mexico and Trans-Pecos Texas are classified as the white-toothed woodrat. The white-throated woodrat holds fifteen subspecies that occur throughout...

Sumichrast's Vesper Rat, Nyctomys sumichrasti
2012-07-05 10:08:58

Sumichrast's vesper rat (Nyctomys sumichrasti) can be found in a range that extends from southern Mexico into Panama. It is an arboreal rodent, an odd occurrence in nature, preferring to build nests out of leaves and twigs in the trees. It is most active at night, making it a nocturnal rodent. The main diet of this rat consists of plant materials such as figs and avocados. Sumichrast's vesper rat can have an average body length of up to 5.1 inches, and tail length between 3.3 and 6.1...

Peromyscus maniculatus, Deer Mouse
2012-04-26 12:29:36

Commonly known as the Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus is native to North America. It is prevalent in all areas except the far north and southeast United States. They can also be found in parts of South America. Peromyscus is the name used for most deer mice. There are sixty-six subspecies of Peromyscus maniculatus, and they are known for being closely related to the White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus).  It is possible to distinguish between the two by looking at the multi colored...

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2012-04-02 20:35:58

The White-footed Mouse, (Peromyscus leucopus), is a species of rodent native to North America. Its range extends from Ontario, Quebec, Labrador and the Maritime Provinces (excluding Newfoundland) south to the southwestern United States and Mexico. In Texas this creature is known as the Woodmouse. The adult of this species measures 3.5 to 3.9 inches in length, not counting the tail, which can measure an additional 2.5 to 3.8 inches. It weighs typically about an ounce. It has a maximum life...

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Word of the Day
out-herod
  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.
Herod refers to 'Herod the Great,' a Roman client king and 'a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis.' According to the OED, the term is 'chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's use' in Hamlet.
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