Dugong: The sleek and utterly charming lady of the sea

February 15, 2018 mammal 0

Some animals defy description. Certain others make you doubt the architecture of evolutionary processes. That is, until you realize there is none. The name Dugong(Dugong dugon) is derived from the the malay word duyung meaning “lady of the sea“.  They are the only strictly herbivorous marine mammal with a rather vast […]

Short-Tailed Bats

New Zealand’s Short-Tailed Bats: They like being grounded!

February 14, 2018 mammal 0

New Zealand is a strange land with some very unusual creatures that occupy ecological spaces occupied by mammals in other places. Kiwis take up the space of ground-dwelling insect-eating mammals. The large parrot Kakapos takes the place of foraging mammals looking for seed and leaves. And these bats, rather than […]

The Dainty Oriental Dormice

February 10, 2018 mammal 0

This dainty creature looks very much like any mouse that you may have seen. However there is a twist in this evolutionary plot as well. The name of the genus is derived from the flattened (platy-) spines (Greek acantha), while mus refers to a mouse. They resemble dormice and were attached to that […]


The diminutive long-nosed Bilby

February 6, 2018 mammal 0

The Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis), usually just called a bilby since the lesser bilby (Macrotis leucura) became extinct in the 1950s. This  is a species of the order Peramelemorphia that is nocturnal and bears a close resemblance to bandicoots. The term bilby is a loan word from the Yuwaalaraay Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales, meaning long-nosed rat.  The bilby looks like a cross […]

feathertail glider

Feathertail Glider: The only mammal with feathers

February 4, 2018 mammal 0

The name is Acrobates pygmaeus. It mean a pygmy acrobat, and they really are incredible acrobats in tall trees. There are three amazing facts about this animals. It’s got a feathery tail. The hair on the tail grow on the side so that they give an appearance of a bird’s feather. This […]