How kangaroos stay cool


This video says about itself:

Amazing Kangaroo Technique To Stay Cool – Planet Earth – BBC Earth

2 April 2017

Australia is the world’s most arid continent, and its blistering daytime heat can be a potential killer. Using thermal imaging, we are given a fascinating glimpse into how the Red Kangaroos cool their body temperatures and avoid the deadly effects of the mid day sun.

Fossil marsupials discovery in Bolivia


This video says about itself:

24 April 2015

The Evolution Of Mammals

Description: The word “mammal” is modern, from the scientific name Mammalia coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, derived from the Latin mamma (“teat, pap”). All female mammals nurse their young with milk, which is secreted from special glands, the mammary glands.

According to Mammal Species of the World, 5,416 species were known in 2006. These were grouped in 1,229 genera, 153 families and 29 orders.[1] In 2008 the IUCN completed a five-year, 1,700-scientist Global Mammal Assessment for its IUCN Red List, which counted 5,488 accepted species at the end of that period.[2] In some classifications, the mammals are divided into two subclasses (not counting fossils): the Prototheria (order of Monotremata) and the Theria, the latter composed of the infraclasses Metatheria and Eutheria. The marsupials constitute the crown group of the Metatheria and therefore include all living metatherians as well as many extinct ones; the placentals likewise constitute the crown group of the Eutheria.

From Case Western Reserve University in the USA:

Three new species of extinct South American marsupials discovered

Findings show the family, Palaeothentidae, was once widespread across the continent but add to extinction doubts

April 11, 2017

The discovery of three extinct species and new insights to a fourth indicates a little-known family of marsupials, the Palaeothentidae, was diverse and existed over a wide range of South America as recent as 13 million years ago. Fossils of the new species were found at Quebrada Honda, a high elevation fossil site in southern Bolivia, and are among the youngest known palaeothentid fossils.

The discovery of three extinct species and new insights to a fourth indicates a little-known family of marsupials, the Palaeothentidae, was diverse and existed over a wide range of South America as recent as 13 million years ago.

The finding, however, complicates the question: why did these animals go extinct?

“It was previously assumed this group slowly went extinct over a long time period, but that’s probably not the case,” said Russell Engelman, a biology MS student at Case Western Reserve and lead author of a new study on the group. “They were doing very well at the time they were supposedly on death’s door.”

Discovering new fossil sites may be the only way to learn the answer, researchers say.

Engelman; along with Federico Anaya, professor of geological engineering at Universidad Autónoma Tomás Frías, in Potosí, Bolivia; and Darin Croft, anatomy professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, describe the animals, where they fit in the family, and their paleoecology and paleobiology in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

Fossils of the new species were found at Quebrada Honda, a high elevation fossil site in southern Bolivia. They are about 13 million years old (from the middle Miocene epoch), placing them among the youngest known palaeothentid fossils.

Fossil remains of other members of the family, and other relatives within the order Paucituberculata, have been found at sites of similar age in southwestern Colombia and possibly southern Argentina, geographically spanning almost the entire continent.

“The only close relatives of palaeothentids alive today are shrew opossums, small, poorly-known, ground-living marsupials that live in and near the Andes,” Croft said. “Palaeothentid marsupials once included a diversity of species that filled a variety of roles in ancient ecosystems. During their heyday in the Miocene, they were abundant.”

The new species, Palaeothentes serratus, Palaeothentes relictus, and Chimeralestes ambiguus, all had long snouts but differed in diet and body size and other features.

The researchers suggest P. serratus — serratus means saw-like — was an insectivore, with well-developed slicing premolars. The researchers estimate the mouse-size marsupial weighed about 3.5 ounces.

P. relictus had large, well-developed grinding molars. The animal probably ate fruits, seeds and insects, and weighed about five ounces.

C. ambiguus, as the name indicates, has attributes of a number of family members, making its evolutionary relationships with the group uncertain. The animal was about the same size as P. serratus and its limited dental remains indicate its diet was likely similar to that of P. relictus.

The most common member of the family found at Quebrada Honda is Acdestis maddeni. The species was named 14 years ago, but the researchers are the first to find and analyze its lower jaw.

These lower jaw fossils, combined with reexamination of other specimens, show that the skull of Acdestis was different from other palaeothentids. A. maddeni’s snout is short and its canines are relatively large, followed by large, shearing middle teeth and molars well developed for grinding.

“All this indicates it was a generalist,” Engelman said. “Although it could eat fruits and insects like its relatives it could also catch small vertebrates and dismember them… It probably ate anything, like a hedgehog or Norway rat does.”

The animal was rat-size and weighed about a pound, the researchers estimate.

The fossil record indicates the Palaeothentidae and much of the order Paucituberculata abruptly went extinct about 12 million years ago, leaving only the lineage leading to modern shrew-opossums.

“Most species threatened with extinction are like giant pandas: highly specialized, live only in a certain area and eat only certain things,” Engelman said. Due to their diversity and wide range, “the Palaeothentidae didn’t fit the pattern of extinction.”

Previous hypotheses that palaeothentids were done in by climate change or competition lack support, the researchers say.

For example, fossils found at high latitudes in Argentina and Bolivia after the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum indicate they withstood the dramatic cooling of the period. The family and opossums, which may have been competitors, appear to have overlapped for nearly 10 million years. Yet opossums didn’t become abundant until 3 million to 4 million years after the family went extinct.

But, the hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out, the researchers said. And, there is a possibility the decline of the family was slow.

The reason for the quandary is that fossils have been well collected in the southern end of South America but the middle and northern parts of the continent remain largely unexplored.

“It’s as if all the fossils in the U.S. came from Florida — you don’t get the full picture,” Engelman said.

If new fossil sites are found in the northern two-thirds of the continent, “it will be interesting to see whether we find younger members of the group,” Croft said. “That will help us understand their extinction.”

Wallaby joey’s first time outside the pouch, video


This 4 April 2017 is about a young (joey) Bennett’s wallaby. After being inside its mother’s pouch for six months, this is the first time that this baby marsupial comes to the outside world.

This recording of these originally Australian animals is from Artis zoo in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

New marsupial species discovery in Brazil


THis video from the USA says about itself:

8 May 2012

My daughter’s grandfather captured this video of a mother [Virginia] opossum transporting 15 baby opossums on her back. Amazing!

From National Geographic:

New Redheaded Opossum Named After Magical Gnome

The rat-size marsupial prowls the tropical rain forests of northern Brazil at night.

By Carrie Arnold

PUBLISHED February 23, 2017

A chance finding at a Brazilian museum has revealed a brand-new species of opossum.

Biologist Silvia Pavan first discovered an unnamed mammal specimen with rich mahogany fur in 2008 at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Belém.

The rat-size marsupial’s reddish head inspired its name: Monodelphis saci.

Brazilian folklore features a gnome called the saci (pronounced sah-SEE), who wears a magical red cap that lets him disappear and reappear at will. (See “Unbelievably Cute Mammal With Teddy Bear Face Rediscovered.”)

Just like the saci, the new species of opossum has a red cap—and had been hiding in plain sight.

“I analyzed the specimen right away when it was brought to the museum, and I noticed it didn’t have a name,” says Pavan, lead author of the new study in the journal American Museum Novitates.

After that, she was able to find other specimens representing the same unnamed species in Brazilian collections.

Playing Possum

Opossums evolved in the South American tropics; several dozen species live in the Americas, but only the Virginia opossum made it as far north as the United States.

All opossum species are nocturnal omnivores, eating a range of fruit, insects, and small mammals—a flexibility that has allowed them to spread far and wide. (Read how opossum blood may help snakebite victims.)

As part of her Ph.D. work at the American Museum of Natural History, Pavan wanted to piece together the opossum family tree. But with so many species sprinkled across so many habitats, Pavan went to museums to supplement her search for opossums in the wild.

After she came across the gnome opossum, her colleagues traveled to the source—Itaituba I National Forest in Pará, Brazil—to see if they could find live animals.

Mysterious Marsupials

Pavan’s colleagues set up a series of humane pitfall traps—basically small buckets that capture opossums as they prowl the tropical rain forest at night.

To her surprise, Pavan discovered several more gnome opossums in her buckets. (Also see “Newly Discovered Carnivore Looks Like Teddy Bear.”)

“They’re not really that rare, but they only appeared in scientific collections relatively recently when people started using the pitfall traps,” she says.

The species doesn’t appear to be threatened with extinction, though more people have been collecting the animal in the wild in the weeks since her discovery was announced, she says.

Guillermo D’Elia, a biologist at the Austral University of Chile in Valdivia, says there are likely more marsupials to be identified.

“I am pretty sure there are several new species of opossum to come in the future,” D’Elia says, “now that researchers are collecting in new areas, rechecking museum specimens, and using DNA.”

Virginia opossum video


This video from the USA says about itself:

22 October 2016

Over 30 minutes of a very large “Possum” or opossum visiting in the early evening over several nights. They are the most voracious of Backyard scavengers and being omnivorous will eat just about anything. With cast iron stomachs they are like bad dinner guests who arrive early – stay late – eat all the food and make terrible conversation! But seriously they are fascinating and unique and beneficial animals and North America’s only marsupials.

There are more than 60 different species of opossum, which are often called possums. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.

Will koala predict Germany-Ukraine football correctly?


This 11 June 2016 video is about koalas.

Talking about koalas; from the Times of Malta today:

Sunday, June 12, 2016, 09:49

Animal ‘oracles’ predict Euro 2016

The late “octopus oracle” Paul shot to fame when he predicted Germany to win the 2010 World Cup.

And now, a koala in Germany is predicting the outcome of Euro 2016.

Director of Leipzig Zoo, Joerg Junhold, says he is the perfect animal to do so.

“Well, we believe he is neutral and sees the events here in Europe very relaxed. Therefore, as an impartial arbitrator he is very well suited to make a prediction.”

Refusing to choose between two Eucalyptus branches, Oobi-Ooobi predicted Germany will draw with Ukraine.

But Astrid says Ukraine will triumph.

The German sea lion has competition from France’s Watson.

Watson picked his own country as the clear winner of Friday evening’s match.

But will any of these animals reach the notoriety of Octopus Paul?

Koala predicts European football championship results


This 10 May 2016 video shows koala Oobi-Ooobi in Leipzig zoo in Germany.

Tomorrow, the European football championship will start in France with the France-Romania match.

What will the results be? I don’t know. But some animals may know 🙂

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

Koala to serve as ‘animal oracle’ at Euro 2016

Animals purported to have psychic powers have become tradition at major sporting events in recent years. Now a koala at a zoo in eastern Germany is being put forward as an “oracle” for the European Football Championship.

The Australian marsupial, named Oobi-Ooobi, joins a long list of animals from elephants to octopi who have been recruited to predict the outcome of soccer games.

Leipzig Zoo offered up Oobi-Ooobi as a possible oracle candidate on Wednesday for Germany’s national football team during the Euro 2016 in France.

However, the zoo acknowledged it had not consulted the German Football Association about its initiative, but backed Oobi-Ooobi as a viable, clairvoyant contender.

“As an Australian, he’ll have an impartial view of the football matches,” a zoo spokeswoman told DPA news agency.

Oobi-Ooobi arrived at Leipzig Zoo in April [from Belgium], where he’s already proven a hit with the public. But as far as clairvoyant creatures go, he’s got some big shoes to fill. Four years ago, Paul the Octopus from the German city of Oberhausen became a worldwide phenomenon after accurately predicting the winners of all of Germany’s matches at the 2010 World Cup.

Paul, who has since passed away, communicated his supposed insights by choosing between two glass boxes of mussels – one with the German flag and the other bearing that of the opposing team. The case he opened first was deemed to be his predicted winner.

A number of different animals have since been conscripted into the prediction business in Germany. Nelly the Elephant from Lüneburg Heath, for example, made predictions by shooting a soccer ball into two different goals. Hitting the goalpost assigned to the opposing team apparently meant Germany would win their next match.

This music video is called Nellie The Elephant (Toy Dolls).

Then there was Momario, a tortoise from Schleswig-Holstein, who had to choose between national flags made of green leafy veggies. Armadillo Taka from Erfurt chose winners by eating boiled chicken skin.

Leipzig Zoo says Oobi-Ooobi will be called on to make his first prediction on June 12, when Germany takes on Ukraine. But zoo officials are yet to reveal how their marsupial will channel his psychic talents.

Koalas, known for their round fluffy ears and large black noses, often sleep up to 20 hours a day and feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. The zoo is currently cultivating 23 different eucalyptus varieties at a special plantation north of Leipzig in order to cater to its oracle’s needs.

Oobi-Ooobi isn’t the zoo’s first animal oracle. In 2013, a Malayan tapir named Baru was made to predict the outcome of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Dortmund. In that case, Baru’s bite into a kohlrabi representing Dortmund’s black and yellow colors, unfortunately, proved incorrect.

Another Leipzig Zoo resident, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum, gained international fame with her role as oracle in the 2011 Academy Awards. The animal became an internet sensation with hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook. She also made an appearance on American TV’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she predicted the winners of three Oscar categories.

25 May 2016

As for me, I won’t predict. I hope some small country, like Iceland, Albania, Wales, six counties Ireland or twenty-six counties Ireland, will win. But I can never be sure about that.