Posted on

Bat Radiations

A new study involving bat skulls, bite force measurements and scat samples collected by an international team of evolutionary biologists is helping to solve a nagging question of evolution: Why some groups of animals develop scores of different species over time while others evolve only a few. Their findings appear in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Continue reading Bat Radiations

Posted on

Tarsiers — Communication in the Ultrasound

It is difficult for humans to imagine that a world of color and sound exists outside of the one that we can perceive, but for some organisms that world is a reality. Usually these animals aren’t ones that we can readily relate to; bats and dolphins are two examples that both possess the ability to hear and emit high-frequency sounds. Continue reading Tarsiers — Communication in the Ultrasound

Posted on

Poisonous Rats!

Large, poisonous rats roam the Earth. It sounds like a post-apocalyptic scene from a B movie, but it’s not. Jonathan Kingdon, who mammalogists will know as the author of the The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammalsand many other books on African mammals, and his colleagues discovered one of the most interesting and unusual behaviors in mammals.

Continue reading Poisonous Rats!

Posted on

The Evolution of River Dolphins

You may have heard of freshwater sharks, but what about freshwater cetaceans? Pods of gregarious white belugas leave the ocean and move up large rivers (e.g. St. Lawrence River) in the summer months to feed on fish and benthic invertebrates. However, these beautiful whales are only temporary visitors to riverine environments. River dolphins are the true freshwater cetaceans.

Continue reading The Evolution of River Dolphins