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Image via Discovery Press Web. In his monumental 1945 monograph on mammal classification, paleontologist G.G. Simpson appraised the living species of elephants to be “relicts of a dying group.” The living African (Loxodonta) and Asian (Elephas) elephants were all that remained of the past diversity of proboscideans, and human activities put even these large mammals…

A pangolin on the run

What kind of social-insect-eating mammal is stranger than a numbat? Well, a pangolin, for one. From The Life of Mammals. For more on the pangolin’s prey, check out one of the newest additions to the ScienceBlogs family, Myrmecos.

The Brazilian pygmy gecko is mind-bogglingly small. As this clip from the recent BBC documentary Life illustrates, it is so minuscule that it is effectively watertight and can rest effortlessly on the surface of the water. It still amazes me that vertebrates can be that tiny. LIFE will air starting Sunday night on the Discovery…

Don’t take my documentaries away

Yesterday may have been Halloween, but today I learned of a real horror story; the BBC is going to cut “a third of its 180 production staff, including 10 out of 35 producers, nine of 17 assistant producers, 23 of 33 researchers and 11 of 37 production manager jobs,” from the Natural History Unit according…