Opossum

Marsupials Among the Dinosaurs

Marsupials among the dinosaurs, according to reports in ScienceDaily 19 February 2019, and Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, published online 14 February 2019, doi: 10.1080/14772019.2018.1560369. Researchers from the University of Colorado and University of Alaska Fairbanks have found over 60 fossils of the world’s northernmost marsupial.  The marsupial has been named Unnuakomys hutchisoni.  The fossils are […]

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Dingoes

Dingo Species Dispute

Dingo species dispute reported in ABC News 7 March 2019 and Zootaxa 5 March 2019, doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4564.1.6. A group of researchers has carried out an extensive study of the Australian wild dog, known as the dingo, and claim it should be classified as a separate species of dog with the name Canis dingo, rather than […]

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Rabbit

Rabbit Evolution in Three Countries

Rabbit evolution in three countries, claim scientists in articles in Science (AAAS) News 14 February 2019, and Science 14 February 2019, doi: 10.1126/science.aau7285. European rabbits were introduced into Australia in the mid 1800s and over the following decades they multiplied and spread, eventually reaching plague proportions, and devastated crops and pasturelands. In 1950 the myxoma […]

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Northern Quolls

Speeding Up Aussie Evolution

Speeding up Aussie evolution, according articles in Nature News 23 July 2018 and Conservation Biology, published online 13 June 2018, doi: 10.1111/cobi.13149. Ecologists are hoping the save the northern quoll from extinction by trying to “speed up evolution”.  The northern quoll is a small carnivorous marsupial, about the size of a squirrel, that lives in […]

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African Moon Moth

Moth Tails Baffle Bats

Moth tails baffle bats, claim scientists in reports in Science (AAAS) News, Science Daily 4 July 2018 and Science Advances 4 July 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7428. Moth wings vary a lot in their shape. Some moths have rounded wings and others have elongated tails on their back wings.  As moths are preyed on by bats a […]

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Snowshoe Hare

Snowshoe Hares Go Brown

Snowshoe hares go brown in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 21 June 2018 and Science, 22 June 2018, doi: 10.1126/science.aar5273. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) that live in regions with snowy winters change the colour of their fur from brown to white at the beginning of winter, and back to brown during the summer.  The change […]

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Birds

“Bird Brain” Revision Needed

“Bird brain” revision needed according to an article in Outside JEB 9 May 2018 doi:10.1242/jeb.170001 and Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.036, 5 March 2018. Birds have small brains without a cerebral cortex, the folded multilayered outer region of mammal brains that supposedly makes mammals smarter than other creatures.  Thus, the epithet “bird-brain” is used to insult someone’s […]

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Dolphin

Why Don’t Whales Get the Bends?

Why don’t whales get the bends, ask scientists in articles in ScienceDaily 25 April 2018 and Proceedings of the Royal Society B 25 April 2018 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0482. Ever since decompression sickness was known about in human divers scientists have been intrigued as to why diving animals such as whales, dolphins and sea turtles seem to […]

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Bat on Tree Trunk

Giant Burrowing Bat Fossil

Giant burrowing bat fossil found, as reported in ScienceDaily 10 January 2018, BBC News 11 January 2018 and Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18403-w. An international team of scientists has found teeth and bones of an extinct burrowing bat in rock layers in Central Otago region in New Zealand. Burrowing bats can fly, but also forage for […]

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Monkey Daylight

Mammals Emerge into Daylight

Mammals emerge into daylight after dinosaur extinction, according to ScienceDaily and New Scientist 6 November 2017 and Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017; doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0366-5, published online 6 November 2017. According to an evolutionary theory, known as the “nocturnal bottleneck hypothesis”, mammals evolved from a small nocturnal common ancestor who hid during the daylight hours to […]

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