Stranger Fruit

Category archives for Mammals

Darren Naish brings an interesting paper to our attention: a claim that over 400 new mammal species have been discovered since 1993. While 60% of these were formerly classified within another species (i.e. were cryptic species), the remainder are apparently brand-spanking-new. Wander on over to Darren’s post for further details and discussion. The paper in…

I think I know how he’s feeling …

Source and story here.

A party animal

This is a pen-tailed tree shrew, Ptilocercus lowii, a Malaysian critter that weighs only 47g but can drink the pound-for-pound equivalent of nine glasses of wine without any ill-effect when it sups on the alcoholic nectar of the bertam palm. While there are other species that drink the nectar – the slow loris, Nycticebus coucang,…

Cheeta turns 76

Cheeta turns 76 today, continuing his run as the oldest living non-human primate. You can donate to the CHEETA sanctuary (which also cares for other ex-movie primates) here.

A mother Minke whale and her year-old calf are dragged on board a Japanese whaling ship after being harpooned in Antarctic waters. The picture was taken from an Australian customs vessel tracking the whalers to gather evidence for possible legal action to stop the annual slaughter. [Photo: AFP]

More on those cats

Readers who saw my post yesterday about cat domestication may be interested to see that Greg Laden has posted on the paper. Greg’s view is that "[t]he conclusion the authors draw about cat origins is very weak … but the information this study provides about cat breed genetics is excellent and will be of value…

I can haz domesticashun?

A recently published study has used microsatelite markers to discover that domesticated cats originated in the Middle East, a finding that reinforces earlier archeological research. The abstract reads: The diaspora of the modern cat was traced with microsatellite markers from the presumed site of domestication to distant regions of the world. Genetic data were derived…

Grey-faced sengi described

This is a grey-faced sengi, Rhynchocyon udzungwensis, a new species of giant elephant shrew that has been described in the February issue of Journal of Zoology (Lond.) (on whose editorial board I sit). It’s a 700g beastie, so it is hefty for an elephant shrew. Photo by AFP & California Academy of Sciences.

Monday Mustelid #2

African Clawless Otter, Aonyx capensis Schinz 1821 [source] [details]