Patrice K. Connors Profile picture
Mar 29, 2018 20 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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…
During the last battle, we heard that hippos are foregut fermenters. Let's look at what happens after fermentation: #2018MMM #gross
Hippo dung can form an important nutrient source for river ecosystems… #2018MMM
Going up against the hippo is the Tasmanian Devil! #2018MMM…
The Tassie Devil is now only found on the island of Tasmania, but used to be found on the Australian mainland #2018MMM
Tassie devils have been extinct on the Australian mainland for just over 400 years. Many researchers attribute competition by the dingo as the cause of the extinction but Johnson & Wroe (2003) suggest that human impact also played a role #2018MMM…
We've discussed islands a few times thus far in MMM, but not yet how islands may influence life history evolution... #ReadyToLearn? #2018MMM
Species living on islands are often subject to lower predation pressure and thus live longer. This can lead to delayed investment in reproduction compared to mainland representatives. …… #2018MMM
Tassie devil's global population has plummetted since 1996 - when the Devil Facial Tumor Disease was first described #2018MMM…
Devil Facial Tumor Disease is a non-viral clonally transmissable cancer - it is spread when Tassie Devils bite each other - which they do often during social interaction and mating #2018MMM
Devil Facial Tumor disease has led to ~85% reduction in the global population of Tasmanian Devil since 1996. Global population estimates now number between 10,000-25,000 mature individuals & they are currently classified by the IUCN as endangered #2018MMM
Tassie devils now reproduce earlier in response to the spread of Devil Facial Tumor Disease. This adheres to life history theory expectations: low mortality=delayed reproduction; high mortality = early reproduction… #2018MMM
For an absolutely delightful long-form #scicomm read on Tassie devils, see this Harper's magazine article by @DavidQuammen… #2018MMM
Our battle begins on the banks of a river, where our pygmy hippo is grazing on a "hippo lawn" #iloveforegutsandicannotlie (that was me, not @c_n_anderson) #2018MMM
Our Tasmanian devil - ever the opportunistic scavenger - has found a rotting carcass of a duiker on the hippo lawn. LUNCH! The Tasmanian devil vocalizes upon the discovery! #2018MMM
Startled by the wail of the Tassie devil, our pygmy hippo yawns and head-shakes at the Tassie Devil #2018MMM…
The timid Tassie devil high-tails it into the bush, fleeing the field of battle #2018MMM

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More from @PKurnath

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 20, 2018
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
Read 22 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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