Mammals

Category archives for Mammals

Speaking before a packed lecture theater at MIT yesterday, Neal Stephenson worried that the gloomy outlook prevalent in modern science fiction may be undermining the genre’s ability to inspire engineers and scientists. Describing himself as a “pessimist trying to turn himself into an optimist,” and acknowledging that some of his own work has contributed to…

Lions!

This is a lion: Click the picture for a larger version of the photograph. Photo by Greg Laden. And here are selected blog posts about lions and related beasts: Amboseli Lions May Go Extinct The Evolution of Cats: Sabertooth vs. Regular Tarangire Lions The Lion That Ate the Earthwatcher Biker and Greg get Eaten by…

Why would you want a field guide to all of the carninvores? They live everywhere, so there is no reason to carry around a field identification guide with ALL of them unless you were going everywhere in the whole world on one trip! Yet, there is such a field guide, Carnivores of the World (Princeton…

Bear Attacks

Animals eating1 people has always been an interest of mine, and bear attacks are among my favorite. As you know, I’ve got a few of my own stories, though I don ‘t know if I ever told this one. There were two of us canoe-camping in a state park in the Adirondacks. You had to…

Cats vs. Laser Pointers, Scaled Up

Remove all cats from the room before starting this video. Especially the big ones.

Where the lion sleeps tonight

You have probably heard about the cougar which was just killed in Connecticut but which is thought to have wandered there from the Dakotas. Well, I have a couple of stories to bookend that story. One of them has to do with the lion in this photograph, and the other with something I saw in…

Why shrews are interesting

It has been said that our most distant primate ancestors, the mammal that gave rise to early primates but itself wasn’t quite a primate, was most like the Asian tree shrew, which is neither a shrew nor does it live in trees. This is, of course, untrue. When the average American sees a shrew native…

Behaviors are not caused by genes. There is not a gene that causes you to be good, or to be bad, or to be smart, or good at accounting, or to like bananas. There are, however, drives. “Drives” is a nicely vague term that we can all understand the meaning of. Thirst and hunger are…

We three had somehow wound our way down into the canyon without experiencing any really steep slopes, but having walked for several miles in the sandy dry riverbed, Trusted Companion, Young One, and I were now looking rather hopelessly at unsafe-to-climb cliffs on both sides, covered with imposing vegetation of the kind that sports a…

On the Move

On the Move: How and Why Animals Travel in Groups, edited by Sue Boinski and Paul Garber is a compendium of academic research on … well, on how and why animals travel in groups. Notice of this book is a fitting start to a series of reviews of migration-related books that is part of Migration…