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Mammals

Cuscomys comes back from the dead

Cuscomys comes back from the dead



Any new species that is discovered is worth our time and effort to conserve. This mammal has been climbing in the Andean forest since the Incas kept them. We missed a lot of animals up there, as nobody lives in the remote area any more. Now we can make up for any Inca maltreatment, or reconcile with what may have been a cuddly pet!

Tool use and manufacture, but by birds

Tool use and manufacture, but by birds

The mammals and the birds are in competition. How many species will we find that can understand tool-using concepts, and then socially interact with their uses?

Diet in mammals is complex

Diet in mammals is complex

How could you classify the diets of mammals for so long without noting the need many species have for fruit, certain plants, or even a bit of animal material for a so-called herbivore? Carnivores need roughage in the same way the human diet has special requirements and herbivores can cheat by gaining essential minerals they would be unable to extract from plants.

Quoll story will unveil all marsupial ills?

Quoll story will unveil all marsupial ills?

We have problems with rare mammals everywhere, but to lose more of the precious faunal elements of the Australian bush amounts to an almost criminal lack of worldwide responsibility. The marsupials and monotremes do live in the Americas and New Guinea east of the Wallace Line, so their fascinating evolution and divergences can be discovered too.

Spider sociability

Spider sociability

How did social behaviour evolve, and why do we see it in so many animals, no matter what level of taxonomy they are found? Spiders, sticklebacks and insects, birds, mammals and reptiles are all involved in complex social interaction.

Fantastic ancient fauna precedes mammal evolution

Fantastic ancient fauna precedes mammal evolution

Animals of unfamiliar as well as familiar types took up niches in the ancient ecosystems, as birds and mammals developed and, of course, feathered dinosaurs ruled the roost!

Uruguayan fish show how they evolve

Uruguayan fish show how they evolve

Fish diversify into thousands of species, especially cichlids in African lakes. Mammals and birds can show equal diversity sometimes, so it would be intriguing to find more vertebrate classes subjected to investigations such as these, proving some genetic matches for lost and current animals we want to know more about.

To bee or not to bee (again)

To bee or not to bee (again)

When will the bees and other helpful insects be protected in the same way as (some) mammals and birds? It's obvious that the fruit industries will collapse without them, so for the most selfish of reasons, we know we have to try and preserve these species. Unfortunately, there are always those who suffer from short sight, or simply greed for bigger and bigger short-term profits.

The conservation - or extinction, of little-known Asian mammals

The conservation - or extinction, of little-known Asian mammals



Mammals survive only in habitats that we keep safe. In Asia, Africa and South America, the final discoveries are being made of almost extinct species, but they won't last long! We have reached the end of jungle, the loss of true discovery, but there is a possibility we can maintain our wonder at these individuals with adaptations to the forest that belong in our ancestors’ dreams.

Your ancestor was a little therian

Your ancestor was a little therian

We can visualise distant ancestral forms of many organisms by imagining similar species alive today, or complete fossils. Here the scarcity of evidence on early mammalian teeth makes it difficult, but not impossible, to show how incredible events shaped our past into the flower, insect and mammal-dominated Paleocene.

The extinction of mammals

The extinction of mammals



This lake will become a great tourist attraction with its unbeatable karst scenery, but at what cost do we develop for tourists, losing even mammal biodiversity.

Ecuador dumps the Amazon's most biodiverse reserve

Ecuador dumps the Amazon's most biodiverse reserve

The life of the Yasuni Reserve in the Amazon is not as we know it. With 44 times the biodiversity of the whole of one country in one hectare, it exhibits a show of insect, amphibian, bird and even mammalian species that we can’t imagine. Now replace them all with oil rigs.

Pangolin Paradise in Vietnam

Pangolin Paradise in Vietnam



When Chinese people eat scales of pangolins, they are destroying several species of a unique and precious mammal in the forest food web. Vietnam has begun the slow process of re-education and also getting the animals back into a depleted number of habitats.

How mammals got so big

How mammals got so big

1031 large orders of the Mammalia, excluding whales and bats, have been followed during the Coenozoic since dinosaurs disappeared and some small mammals appeared.

An otter's tale

An otter's tale



The meat-eaters are an order of mammals with seven families. Among those, the otters are one of the five groups of the mustelid family.

'Orca-saurs' used to rule the Atlantic as orcas do now

'Orca-saurs' used to rule the Atlantic as orcas do now

Two dolphin-like Jurassic crocodiles ruled the sea like orcas do now. Whale-like reptiles have been recognised by several generations of fossil hunters as parallel to modern mammals.

Archaea live long and slowly

Archaea live long and slowly

T-Rex came and went, then mammals ruled, all the while the single-celled archaeon persisted with its slow growth lifestyle. Distantly related to bacteria, archaea have the slowest growth rate known to date.

Placentals ruled before the Cretaceous

Placentals ruled before the Cretaceous



Theropod dinosaurs ruled the earth then died out in the Cretaceous, leaving the little mammals to diversify. Many genomes are now examinable for signs of diversification in these species' past.

Diversity helps mammals adapt to climate change

Diversity helps mammals adapt to climate change



Mammals with greater diversity adapt better to climate change, an American study suggests. The research looked at how mammals adapted to changes in climate across North America over a 56 million year period known as 'deep time'.

Life not so sweet for meat-eating mammals

Life not so sweet for meat-eating mammals

Some carnivores often lose their taste for sweet foods and mammals that swallow their food whole have little ability to taste, scientists have found.

Eggs from Stem Cells excite the imagination

Eggs from Stem Cells excite the imagination



Some mammals can produce eggs into their adult life, providing hope that stem cells could become a staple of medical ideas. New research explores human female ovary capabilities.

Global warming and mammal body size

Global warming and mammal body size

Horse for Courses! Scientific models to project climate change are continuously being developed. New evidence on how mammals body size corresponds to global warming has just been published.

Mammal Evolution: Mouse to elephant-size in 24 million generations

Mammal Evolution: Mouse to elephant-size in 24 million generations



It takes 24 million generations for a mammal the size of a mouse to become as large as an elephant, but just 100,000 generations to reverse the process and reach extreme dwarfism, say scientists studying mammal evolution.

Invasive Burmese Pythons vs. The Everglades

Invasive Burmese Pythons vs. The Everglades

The Burmese python is an invasive species with established populations in the Everglades National Park in Florida. The pythons are having a devastating effect on native mammal populations.

Andean species threatened

Andean species threatened

Mammals, birds, amphibians and many other groups are exposed to development or climate change threats in isolated parts of the Andes in Amazonian Peru and Bolivia.

87 marine mammal species eaten in 114 countries since 1990

87 marine mammal species eaten in 114 countries since 1990



Dolphins, smaller whales, seals and other marine mammals are among the 87 species eaten in a staggering 114 countries throughout the world, a new study has revealed.

Thankfully, elephants are scared of bees

Thankfully, elephants are scared of bees

Human-Animal conflict research carried out by Dr. Lucy E. King was based on the premise that elephants, like most if us, are scared of being stung by bees. This led to an innovative beehive fence to reduce conflict between the huge mammal and the local people in Kenya.

A quarter of mammals at risk of extinction

A quarter of mammals at risk of extinction



A new edition of the Red List of Threatened Species includes the world's most vulnerable creatures who are in danger of being wiped out.

A whale of a time

A whale of a time



The whale itself is an incredible find, a new species, to be named after its origins as Aegyptocetus tarfa. Both Philip Gingerich of University of Michigan and Giovanni Bianucci of Universita di Pisa believe that 40 million years ago, this amazing link was hauling itself in and out of the sea at a time when these mammals were still semi-aquatic.

Early South American Mammal

Early South American Mammal

Guillermo Rougier of the University of Louisville, Kentucky report two very significant Dryolestoid fossil skulls from the Cretaceous. Rougier, Apesteguia, and Gaetano publish the paper in Nature as an Argentinian/US collaboration.

Mammals' heart disease risk may be a quirk of evolution

Mammals' heart disease risk may be a quirk of evolution



Mammals have developed a uniquely efficient blood clotting mechanism, which probably offered a survival advantage. But that same advantage comes at a price: a higher risk of heart disease. The culprits are important components of mammalian blood known as platelets, which helped protect early mammals from injury.

Elephants can take the heat

Elephants can take the heat

New research shows how elephants have adapted to extreme heat in a manner similar to desert mammals such as camels. Elephants have evolved a novel strategy for regulating body temperature, which allows them to endure soaring temperatures during the day without succumbing to heat stress.

International deal on whale sanctuaries

International deal on whale sanctuaries



Whales range across the oceans paying no heed to international boundaries, so a new deal between American and French Caribbean sancturies is good news for migrating humpback whales. Humpbacks travel more than 3,000 miles between the two safe havens, which will now better coordinate their conservation work and study the threats the majestic mammals face.

Camera traps puts animal conservation in the picture

Camera traps puts animal conservation in the picture

A camera trap study spanning three continents and seven countries has taken some 52,000 images, allowing a rare glimpse into the lives of some of the world's most endangered mammals. The study has made it clear that habitat loss and fragmented forests are detrimental to the survival of many species.

Good news for wildlife in Afghanistan

Good news for wildlife in Afghanistan

Despite a decade of conflict in Afghanistan, the country's wildlife is holding on. A new survey carried out by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists has shown that large mammals are surviving in some areas of Afghanistan after ten years of conflict.

Are rats and bees the solution to Africa's bushmeat problem?

Are rats and bees the solution to Africa's bushmeat problem?



With the bushmeat trade growing annually, experts recognise that innovative solutions are required to halt this illegal activity. Commercial trading in bushmeat - the meat and other parts of wild mammals, birds and reptiles - is a highly lucrative industry, particularly prevalent in central Africa. Bushmeat trading is on the rise within many central African countries

Toxin found in endangered seal could threaten numbers

Toxin found in endangered seal could threaten numbers



A dangerous toxin has been found in an endangered Hawaiian seal, further threatening its survival. Scientists from the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered ciguatoxin in the Hawaiian monk seal and are concerned other marine mammals may have come into contact with the poison which is produced by marine algae.

Climate Change Affects Animal Distribution

Climate Change Affects Animal Distribution

A research group from Brown University have discovered that rainfall distribution affected the chosen habitat of mammals over 200 million years ago. A team of scientists at Brown University have established that early mammals confined themselves to one area of the continent while early reptiles known as procolophonids lived in another section.

Survey of deep-diving beaked whales helps assess sonar risk

 Survey of deep-diving beaked whales helps assess sonar risk



Acoustic surveying is bringing the amazing deep-sea hunts of beaked whales to light, in research published today in PloS One, the open-access science journal. Not only does the study provide a better understanding of an enigmatic group of marine mammals - the information could help avoid the tragedy of sonar-associated whale strandings.

Fussy killers - Weddell seals on the menu for Orca

Fussy killers - Weddell seals on the menu for Orca

A predilection for larger, fatter Weddell seals has been noted by NOAA scientists studying killer whales, in the icy waters off the Antarctic Peninsula. The study in Marine Mammal Science shows they use astounding tactics of cooperation to ensure Weddell stays on the menu - creating waves to wash their prey off of floes, and then sharing the hapless seal once drowned.

Animals help increase diversity of plant life in forested areas of France

Animals help increase diversity of plant life in forested areas of France

Although large animals in French forests are responsible for a certain amount of damage, they also are effective in contributing to plant diversity. They discovered that one plant, the gypsy flower, was not found at the time of the original survey and only began to appear in 1981. It is now widespread, particularly in areas most frequented by large forest mammals.

Zoos being urged to breed endangered species

Zoos being urged to breed endangered species



Zoos around the world are being asked to team up to shelter and breed endangered animals as a form of biodiversity insurance. The research found that between 20 and 25 percent of endangered species of mammals are already kept at the zoos and just a slightly lower figure for birds. However, the concern is that the species that are facing an acute risk of extinction are not so well represented.

A Sad Shark's Tale: The Great White

A Sad Shark's Tale: The Great White



Great white shark population is worryingly low, say scientists. Great white sharks have an unwarranted reputation. In the media, sharks are cast as villains - man-eaters and killing machines. This couldn't be further from the truth. Great white sharks rarely attack humans and they play a vital role in the marine ecosystem. As top predators, sharks help to control many fish and marine mammal populations

How an injured heart heals itself

How an injured heart heals itself

Research shows how newborn mammals have the ability to repair damage to their hearts - an ability that has been lost by adulthood. It might seem like something from science fiction, but researchers at The University of Texas South-Western Medical Centre have discovered that if the heart of a newborn mammal gets damaged it can completely heal itself.

Cocaine production spells doom for Colombia's rainforests

Cocaine production spells doom for Colombia's rainforests



Colombian rainforests under threat due to an increase in production of coca to meet world demand for cocaine. More than 1,821 species of birds, 623 species of amphibians, 467 species of mammals, 518 species of reptiles and 3,200 species of fish are found, mainly in the country's vast tracts of tropical forest.

All is not lost for the polar bear, scientists say

All is not lost for the polar bear, scientists say

Over the past few years, the polar bear has become something of a 'poster animal' for the environmental movement. Rightly or wrongly, campaigners have used the iconic mammal's plight as a wake-up call, warning government, businesses and individual consumers that, if they don't clean up their act, these bears, and many more species besides, will be lost forever.

Dolphins in rehab get hearing tests

Dolphins in rehab get hearing tests



Most years about 4000 marine mammals beach on US coasts and the causes are often hard to determine. New research in Florida tested the hearing of beached or net-entangled animals that survived, and found that almost 60% of stranding bottlenose dolphins were severely or profoundly deaf.