Pacarana: the terrible mouse that isn’t

June 6, 2017 mammal 0

The Pacarana, means “False Paca” among the Tupi people of the Amazon. The animal is the third largest rodent ( only capybaras and beavers are larger) and said to resemble a very large guinea pig. The scientific name, Dinomys branickii, means “terrible mouse” but this is someone’s pipe dream because this […]

Honey Possum

The Honey Possum: the nectar eater

June 5, 2017 mammal 0

This little marsupial no more than 6 cm in length, Tarsipes rostratus, is a remnant of a very old family with no real connection to possums or any other living marsupials today. It is also called tait or noolbenger in it’s native Western Australia. It is the only living member of its […]

Pen-tailed treeshrew : A drunkard who can handle alcohol.

May 31, 2017 mammal 0

The Pen-tailed Tree shrews(Ptilocercus lowii) are the only members of their family. They are also misnamed. They are of the order Scandentia (meaning the climbing ones) and are evolutionarily closer to Colugos than to true shrews. They are slender creatures with a pronounced nose and a long tail with a feather-like plume […]

Book Review: Chasing Kangaroos by Tim Flannery

May 29, 2017 mammal 0

Review: Chasing Kangaroos – A Continent, a Scientist, and a Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Creature by Tim Flannery Publisher: Grove Press, 2004, 292 pages, Hardcover There are few people in the world who do not look at the Kangaroo and marvel at this improbable creature. There are also […]

Red Panda

Red Pandas: cute little sorta bears

May 24, 2017 mammal 0

Red Pandas belong to a unique family called Ailuridae and are not closely related to the Giant Pandas of China. Although this point was hotly debated in scientific circles well into the 20th century. Apart from the similar cuteness factor, they have an opposable thumb (which is really a lengthened wrist bone in […]


Sardinian Pika : Gone extinct

May 17, 2017 mammal 0

The Sardinian Pika (Prolagus sardus), used to live on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. It was bigger than a rabbit and slightly smaller than a Pika. This genus evolved on these islands and like other such species was not very numerous to begin with. However, with the coming of […]

Kitti’s hog-nosed bat: tiny but fiesty!

May 6, 2017 mammal 0

Kitti’s Hog-nosed bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), named in the honor of one of the zoologists who discovered it in the 1970’s, is a very small animal indeed. In fact, it is the smallest bat and the smallest mammal known to us. It also the only remaining species in it’s family of Craseonycteridae. […]

asian river dolphin

South Asian river Dolphin: The Blind and Beautiful!

April 30, 2017 mammal 0

The South Asian River dolphin (Platanista gangetica) also locally called susu, is a freshwater or river dolphin found in the Indian subcontinent. One subspecies is found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers while the other is found in the Indus river. The lovely creature diverged from toothed whales, particularly ancestors […]

Musky Rat Kangaroo

Musky Rat Kangaroo : A hopping seed dispenser

April 28, 2017 mammal 1

The Musky Rat Kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus), meaning  “musky high hindmost teeth” in latin is a primitive marsupial and the last living member of its family. If you are in the north coastal rainforests of Australia and you get a strong whiff of piss, this little possum resembling creature is probably close […]


The Koala : Cute , Cuddly and smelling eucalyptusy

April 22, 2017 mammal 0

The creature was originally called gula by the australian natives but the penchant of Europeans to add oo’s and aa’s, deformed it into koala. The animal resembles a cute little bear and is sometimes mistakenly called a koala bear, although it has no relation to the bear family. The genus name, Phascolarctos, […]