Patrice K. Connors Profile picture
Mar 20, 2018 22 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
NEXT UP: 5th seeded Moscow Dog vs. 12th seeded Sewer Rat!! #2018MMM
Our top seed in this battle is the Moscow Dog (Canis familiaris), domesticated strays that have roamed the Russian city's streets for decades… (photo from Sputnik news, credit Mikhail Fomichev) #2018MMM
News stories have highlighted this canine's ability to live side-by-side Moscovites coercing handouts & some learning to ride the subway (the Conservation,…; the New Yorker,…; the Financial Times,…) #2018MMM
#actualliving scientist Andrei Poyarkov has noted that the behavior of these dogs is somewhere between wolves & domesticated dogs, suggesting a potential "re-wilding" of the population… #2018MMM
Most of Dr. Poyarkov's has focused on the evolutionary relationships between dogs & wolves (Wang et al. 2013… & 2016…) #2018MMM
Here's a 2011 ABC News story summarizing the metro-savvy moscow dogs Bookmark it for another time... #2018MMM
... because we still need to meet tonight's underdog, 12th seeded sewer rat (Rattus norvegicus), A.K.A. the brown rat, common rat, street rat, or Norway rat… #2018MMM
Call the rat what you want, but this rodent's picture is in the dictionary next to ubiquitous because it is found in cities world-wide (map from @inaturalist, an AMAZING #cititizenscience project you should sign up for today!) #2018MMM
Ranging in size form 150-500g (0.75 - 2.2 stoats), the urban dictionary says sewer rats are "very ferocious beasts which can chew metal like bubble gum"… #stoatsasmeasurement #2018MMM
This sewer rat is from the upper east side of Manhattan #uptowngirl #UptownRat #2018MMM
(I'll give you a few seconds to sing along here....) #2018MMM
In fact, uptown sewer rat is so adapted to life underground (hold its breath underwater, swim for hours, etc.) that @NatGeo investigated how brown rats CAN (but not always) end up in your toilet #saywhat… #2018MMM
Tonight, uptown sewer rat finds itself above ground in the city streets of Moscow, scavenging for some scraps in an open dumpster #NBD #UptownRat #2018MMM
A lone moscow dog is trotting through the alley... #2018MMM
But what behavioral phenotype is the Moscow Dog... guard, scavenger, beggar, OR HUNTER?!… #2018MMM
The rat jumps from the dumpster to the ground, and suddenly dog & rat are face-to-face! #2018MMM
Sewer rat and moscow dog both freeze! #2018MMM
The moscow dog moves forward to sniff this new being #WhatHaveYouBeenEatingEh? #2018MMM
The sewer rat dives for safety under the dumpster, as prey species are want to do in the face of a much larger potential predator moscow dogs are medium-sized, ~50lbs or 100+ stoats) #stoatsasmeasurement #2018MMM (Blanchard et al 1986,…)
Domesticated dogs have shifted their diet more toward starches (Axelsson et al 2013…), & the urban bounty of human handouts makes the moscow dog more inquisitive than predatory in this well-fed state! #2018MMM
As the moscow dog sniffs about the dumpster, he hears humans bustling about & trots off to beg for an easy treat #BeggarBehavioralPhenotype #2018MMM

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More from @PKurnath

Mar 29, 2018
Next up from the Great Adaptations division, #1 seed Pygmy Hippo vs #4 seed Tasmanian Devil! #2018MMM
This battle brought to you by @c_n_anderson, I'm just sharing the story tonight! #2018MM
The pygmy hippo is herbivorous, feeding on fruits, grasses and ferns - it's large canines are used for aggresive displays, not hunting #2018MMM…
Read 20 tweets
Mar 27, 2018
NEXT UP we have #8 seeded Thalassocnus catans vs. #1 seeded Doedicurus clavicaudatus! #2018MMM
In round 1, Thalassocnus #MarineSloth munched on some sea grasses while Cynognathus #DinoDog got washed away with the #RIP tide #TeamMarineSloth… #2018MMM
And Doedicurus #TankMammal barely noticed the Jugulator hop-on and then hop-off its mighty armor that is characteristic of glyptodons… #EasyWin #ReadyToRumble #2018MMM
Read 19 tweets
Mar 23, 2018
FIRST UP: #1 seed Pygmy Hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis) vs. #9 seed Maned Rat (Lophiomys imhausi)!! #2018MMM
In round 1, the pygmy hippo inadvently stabbed a wandering star-nosed mole with its tusk in a swamp #oops #mybad #2018MMM
While the maned rat dared the platypus to fight over a burrow #ComeAtMeBro but the monotreme, lacking his venom, wisely passed on the encounter #2018MMM
Read 18 tweets
Mar 15, 2018
NEXT UP: #4 Tasmanian Devil vs. #13 Ghost Bast #2018MMM
The ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) gets its name from the Greek "macros"=large and "derma"=skin #2018MMM
Hopefully you didn't confuse our competitor with the south american bats of a similar name (genus Diclidurus, way more fuzzy) #2018MMM
Read 15 tweets

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