WoW Taxonomy II: Ailurus

I had to do it. With the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) at the top of my favorite animals list, I had to know exactly how many folks share enough interest in the firefox to name their toon after its genus name.

So how many Ailuruses are there out there? Seven on the North American servers and three on the European; appropriately, six of them are druids (cat/bear forms). The highest level (and she's leveled in the past few days, so is active) is a 68 feral druid who must have just recently snagged her Staff of Beasts from the Ring of Blood quest series in Nagrand.

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If you've kept up with TVG, you'll know that I've written a whole series of posts about the evolution and ecology of the red panda, as well as shared some artwork featuring our furry friend. If you haven't, just click the links and they'll take you to some of the posts. Below is a beautiful photo of the animal, captured by SciBling Brian Switek when he visited the Bronx Zoo.

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Next time, I'm zooming in on the wonderful list I received in the comments of my announcement post, perhaps starting with Brian... You had it coming Switek.

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They sit there, mostly curled up, mostly asleep, high up in tree-tops, sometimes chewing on bits of plants. But little known is that, deep within their furry little heads, they harbour an unknown desire: to take over the world... Pet peeve # 113 concerns pandas: it's the generally held notion that…
In the previous article we looked at the discovery of the Red panda Ailurus fulgens, and also at some aspects of its biology and distribution. There's so much I didn't cover: Red panda physiology is bizarrely interesting, for example. In this article we're going to look at the Red panda's fossil…
Until very recently, no direct ancestors of the red panda (Ailurus) were known. Most paleontologists link Ailurus with previous, raccoon-like (procyonoid) fossil animals - Cynarctis, Phlaocyon, Aletocyon - mainly by the similarities in their molars. A closer relative was described in the 1970's, an…
Brian of Laelaps was kind enough to contribute some beautiful pics of his favorite critter (as if you couldn't tell by his banner), photos he took at the Philly and Bronx Zoo. Thanks Brian! All images courtesy of Brian Switek. Please ask permission before using these images elsewhere.

Oh no! Now everyone will know that I'm a geek! Oh wait...

Almost all of my WoW characters (about 24 spread across 6 servers...stupid real life friends all are on different factions/servers) are named after either fungi or chromalveolates (I'm a grad student in Plant Pathology). Some of the names have been changed slightly, since I don't think the -myces ending generally "works" as a character name, and I'm female and prefer my characters to be also. For example, my current main is Kluyveria, but I also have Tilletia, Achlya, Erysiphe, and Sordaria, to name a few. I just looked at the armory, and two other people have also made Erysiphe's...who knew?