Mauna Dasari Profile picture
Mar 29, 2018 18 tweets 11 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
FIRST UP: 1st-seed Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) vs. 5th-seed Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)! #2018MMM secretary bird glamour shotOrinoco croc showing off it's jaws
Our competitors in this first battle have so far only faced off with much smaller Arthropod foes, so the Sweet 16 Round will be their first tournament tumble with large vertebrate competitors. #2018MMM
The Secretary Bird has used its lengthy gams to crush the carapace of a horseshoe crab and given the mantis shrimp the ol' one-two kick right out of the tournament (and this life). #2018MMM
The Orinoco Crocodile geysered the wild card winning praying mantis and made an appetizer out of the venomous Goliath Tarantula. #2018MMM
While Orinoco Croc and Secretary Bird shared a common ancestor about ~245 million years ago (, birds & crocodilians are much more closely related to each other than crocodilians are to other "traditional" reptiles like snakes, lizards, & turtles. #2018MMM
Birds and crocs make up a group called "Archosaurs". #ActualLivingScientist @ed_green_72 and his collaborators sequenced living crocodile genomes to explore this evolutionary history. #2018MMM Press release:… Paper:… Tree showing the relationships between different kingdoms in Animalia, focusing on birds and reptiles.
Our battle tonight once again takes place in the Orinoco basin. This is the last round in which the environment matches that of the higher seeded competitor, as rounds after this will be randomized among Urban Park, Cloud Forest, Tinajas, and Savanna. #2018MMM IUCN Red List for Critically Endangered Orinoco Croc
Secretary Bird flies over the Capanaparo River, seemingly unaware that they're now over 8,000 km from their home in Sub-Saharan Africa. #2018MMM
This non-migratory bird also has no idea that this protected area is one of the release sites for captive born Orinoco crocodiles. But Secretary bird is found in same area (sympatric) as Nile Croc, so they may be wary of crocs around water. #2018MMM Pic:… Crocodile biologist Ricardo Babarro releases an Orinoco crocodile at Capanaparo River.
Secretary Bird swoops down onto the hot sand of the bank and walks toward the water. Because of their long legs, Secretary Bird must stoop to drink water. #2018MMM
Our 17ft long Orinoco male, who was released successfully nearly a decade ago, watches the secretary bird hungrily. Chicken was his most preferred food while in this captive breeding program and he has not forgotten his favorite old food. #2018MMM…
Orinoco croc is just a little too far from the secretary bird to be able to outright grab the bird, but his hunger gets the best of him. #2018MMM
Secretary Bird spies Orinoco Croc just as he's about to strike! #2018MMM
Secretary Bird tries to take flight as Orinoco Croc explodes out of the water, but Orinoco Croc closes his powerful jaws around Secretary bird's ankle! #2018MMM
Secretary bird is jerked back down into the water. Croc's bite force (caniniform, 4283 Newtons) is high enough to break a human femur (~4000 Newtons). This croc is so close to these McNuggets. #2018MMM (Croc citation:…; Human:…) Gregory M. Erickson tested the bite force in 23 extant crocodilians.
In a last ditch effort to free itself, the Secretary Bird puts all 7ft of its wingspan and all its might into taking off. #2018MMM
The bird just manages to escape, but it's flying erratically.

Blood is flowing freely from its severed stub of a leg.

The Orinoco croc tosses his head back and devours the bird's foot with a sickening crunch.
[gif redacted]

#2018MMM #DirectorsCut

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More from @chumblebiome

Mar 29, 2018
NEXT UP: 3rd seeded Dimetrodon limbatus vs 2nd seeded Amebelodon fricki!!! #2018MMM
Hand-claps for @MarcKissel who wrote this amazing BATTLE OF THE DONS!!! #2018MMM (I'm just the messenger tonight)
Dimetrodon has already defeated Aegyptopithecus zeuxis & devoured Pseudaelurus quadridentatus, while Amebelodon has out-competed Deinogalerix koenigswald & scared off Homo floresiensis #2018MMM
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Mar 23, 2018
NEXT UP: #2 seed Cape Town Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) vs #7 seed Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) #2018MMM
It's round 1 all over again: Primate vs Spiky thing! #2018MMM Unlike R1, tonight's battle was a collaboration between @je_light and I!
Baboons are in the same primate group as rhesus macaques (Cercopithecidae). These Old World monkeys last shared a common ancestor with New World porcupines (Erethizontidae) ~90 mya ( #2018MMM
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Mar 22, 2018
NEXT UP: 2nd-seed Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) vs. 15th seed Tardigrade (Milnesium tardigradum) #2018MMM
The tardigrade was discovered by German Pastor J.A.E. Goeze in 1773. He dubbed it a "water bear" based on the way it moves-like of a bear lumbering around. Water bear isn't the only name for the tardigrade, however. It is also known as the "moss piglet". #2018MMM
A moss piglet known by any other name would be just as indestructible. Tardigrades are "extremophiles" that withstand environments up to and including the vacuum of space. The post-apocalyptic world is one of cockroaches and tardigrades. #2018MMM
Read 23 tweets

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