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The science of mammals, both now, and in the distant past

Owner: Jamie_Revell

Listed in: Science

Language: English

Tags: zoology, mammals, fossils, nature, taxonomy

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Latest Blog Posts for Synapsida

  • 300th Synapsida
    on Aug 28, 2016 in review synapsida
    Here, have a marsupial. Or four.This is, by my count, the 300th post to appear at Synapsida. Which means that, once again, it's time to look back over the last 100 posts to see what has, and has not, been covered, and where I might be going next. Whi...
  • The Sound of SquirrelsIt is, of course, well known that bats and cetaceans use ultrasound to help them navigate the world using sonar. However, there is no particular reason why animals should always make sounds that happen to be in the range of human hearing (and, arguab...
  • Bovines: The Largest Living Antelopes
    on Aug 7, 2016 in antelopes Bovines eland
    Common eland (male)Over the last few months I have looked at the various species of cow-like bovine, including such creatures as yak, bison, and water buffalo. But we've known, since at least the 1950s, that there are also a number of other animals t...
  • Pliocene (Pt 12): From Rabbits to RhinosToxodonAround three million years ago, as the Pliocene began to draw to a close, North and South America collided, the island chain that had previously stretched between them rising to become the Isthmus of Panama, and much of the rest of southern Ce...
  • The Echidna's Incredible Expanding TesticlesThe echidna is a pretty strange mammal. Most notably, it is the only mammal other than the platypus that lays eggs. I've discussed in an earlier post why that doesn't disqualify it from being a mammal, but it is undeniably unusual. It's not even the...
  • Bovines: Mini-BuffaloesAnoa (probably lowland species)One of the themes that we see played out from time to time in evolution is that of insular dwarfism. Here, a population of some large animal is trapped on an island or (less commonly) some other isolated locale from whi...
  • Fossilised Squirrel Brains
    on Jul 10, 2016 in brain fossils squirrel
    The fossils of mammals, and, indeed, other vertebrates, tend to consist largely of bones. That's not an absolute rule, of course, and occasionally other parts do fossilise, and there are also remains of things like footprints and poo. But, generally...
  • The Importance of Monkey GrandmothersHumans are almost unique among mammals in experiencing menopause a long time before their actual death. That is, they continue living for an extended period after they cease to be able to have children and pass their genes on to the next generation.
  • Bats v. Hawks
    on Jun 26, 2016 in bats Birds nocturnality predators
    Bat hawkThere are not many animals that eat bats. Or, at least, that's often been the received wisdom. Bats only come out at night, fly through the air, where it's difficult to catch them, and many spend the day sheltering in caves that are difficult...
  • Bovines: Will the Real Buffaloes Please Stand Up?African buffaloOutside of North America, the term "buffalo" refers not to the bison, but to two (or more) species of bovine native to Africa and Asia. In the wild, by far the more common of the two is the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), which has...
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