Tara Chestnut, PhD Profile picture
Mar 20, 2018 17 tweets 15 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Coyote and Virginia opossum last shared a common ancestor 160 million years ago timetree.org kumarlab.net/downloads/pape… #2018MMM
Coyotes are wild dogs (canids) native to North America, closely related to gray, eastern, red and coy wolves. Hybridization and genetic admixture may be facilitated by the fact that they diverged relatively recently. pdfs.semanticscholar.org/845b/c03eca324… @WildCanid #WhyNotWoyote #2018MMM
Weighing in at 32 to 95 stoats (7-21 kg, 18-44 lb) male coyotes are slightly larger than females, which scientists call sexual size dimorphism. Coyotes from the NE are larger than in the west easterncoyoteresearch.com/downloads/Body… #NoWay #YesWay #StoatsAsMeasurements #2018MMM
Coyotes are highly adaptable & live in very diverse ecological settings including towns and cities. They are omnivorous, eating plants, animals & carrion. *including 20 of my 21 chickens in the last year #TrueFact #WorstFarmer #RIP #AltMammals eol.org/pages/328608/d… #2018MMM
Prior to 1700, coyotes were restricted to the prairies & desert areas of Mexico & central North America. Since colonization, coyotes have dramatically expanded their range north to n. Alaska and south to Costa Rica. #2018MMM urbancoyoteresearch.com/coyote-info/no…
The opossum is the only North American marsupial, arriving from South America in the Pliocene, when a land bridge joined the two continents (Gardner 1973) #PocketsAreHandy #2018MMM Credit: @smithsonian #TropicalResearchInstitute researchgate.net/publication/27…
Since 1900, Virginia opossum has expanded its range to western North America. Opossums are poorly adapted for northern winters; their pelage is sparse and their naked tail and ears are frequently frost-bitten. #2018MMM researchgate.net/publication/26…
In northern climes, females seldom live through more than one reproductive season or produce more than one litter per year so survival of juveniles is important for lifetime reproductive success in opossums. Repro occurs in winter/early spring. #2018MMM bit.ly/2DDT7w3
This #UrbanJungle battle is along Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State, USA. Built 100+ years ago I-90 is a transportation lifeline btwn east-west parts of the state. It’s also a vital north-south wildlife corridor Photos: @wsdot i90wildlifebridges.org #2018MMM
For nearly 15 years, @ConservationNW has coordinated the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, bringing diverse stakeholders together to advocate for safety improvements that will provide for landscape permeability for wildlife @WSDOT will complete the project by 2029 #2018MMM
Later, watch this documentary about the monumental project combining conservation, collaboration & innovation that led to the construction of NA’s largest wildlife crossings project combined with major improvements for motorists. @ConservationNW #2018MMM i90wildlifebridges.org/cascade-crossr…
Coyote is out searching for roadkill, a pretty reliable food source along most major highways. Virginia opossum is out doing the same and hears coyote approaching. Opossums are known for playing dead when surprised but she hears coyote coming. #2018MMM
Virginia is on extra alert since she has young with her and doesn’t pause. She briefly engages and runs toward a nearby under-crossing #ThoseAreYoungOnesInHerPouch #2018MMM esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.10…
Coyote pursues then decides it’s not worth the effort. Virginia flees the playing field with perhaps the only litter she will ever produce #2018MMM jstor.org/stable/pdf/138…
Also, give opossums a brake. They can help reduce the spread of Lyme disease #RIP #2018MMM @CaryInstitute caryinstitute.org/discover-ecolo…

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More from @TCastanea

Mar 23, 2018
Next Up: #4 Coyote (Canis latrans) vs. #12 Sewer Rat (Rattus norvegicus) #2018MMM
Our combatants advanced entirely unscathed from round 1: Coyote gave up on pursuing a possum while Sewer Rat was very fortunate to have encountered a Moscow Dog that prefers human handouts to hunting #2018MMM
Coyotes have been particularly adept at adapting to human landscapes, and are important at controlling deer, geese, and RODENTS in suburban & urban areas urbancoyoteinitiative.com/10-fascinating… #2018MMM
Read 19 tweets
Mar 22, 2018
NEXT UP: #3 seed Komodo Dragon versus #14 seed Hellbender #2018MMM
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a bohemith of a lizard, the largest extant species can be up to 3m (10ft) in length and weighs in at up to 70 kg (150lb) It is listed as Vulnerable by @IUCNRedList en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dr… (Ciofi 2004) #2018MMM
Varanus komodoensis occurs on a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore (Hocknull 2009). Photo: @NatGeo #2018MMM journals.plos.org/plosone/articl…
Read 18 tweets

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