Jessica Light Profile picture
Apr 3, 2018 36 tweets 24 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
UP FIRST TONIGHT: everyone's favorite river horse, the 1-seeded PYGMY HIPPO Hexaprotodon (formally Choeropsis) liberiensis, vs. the scrappy 4-seeded brush wolf, COYOTE Canis latrans! #2018MMM
Many minds came together to bring you tonight's first battle, so a quick hat-tip to @AnneWHilborn, @PKurnath, @TCastanea, & @tinkeringprim8. Seriously, the #teamwork has been amazing #Monstars #2018MMM
To reach the #FinalRoar, Hippo crushed star-nosed mole, intimidated both maned rat & Tasmanian devil, & STOMPED the cheetah out of competition #hangryhippo #2018MMM
Coyote chased off opossum, chomped on sewer rat, got an unexpected 'vengeful driver' assist to outlast Harar hyena, & made a meal out the bracket-breaking porcupine #winning #2018MMM
Both competitors thus enter the arena well-fed & in fine fighting shape #2018MMM
And what an arena it is! Today's match-up takes place within the 843 acres of land that make up the most visited urban parkland in America: New York City's Central Park #2018MMM
Central Park is no stranger to wildlife. It is home to animals as varied as bats, turtles, owls, raccoons, squirrels, & occasional COYOTES. Over 130 species (though not Hippos) also reside in the Central Park Zoo @centralparkzoo #2018MMM…
In 2002, an entirely new genus of centipede was also discovered in Central Park's leaf litter! @amnh… #AtlMammal #2018MMM
Although Hippos aren't typically found in Central Park, it's an environment with plenty of an important Hippo resource: water. The park has streams, ponds, & a ~20-acre lake, in addition to the billion-gallon reservoir that was built in the 1860s #wholelottawater #2018MMM
Hippos spend most of their days in water to avoid sun damage & to keep cool. Hippos lack sweat glands so have GREAT ADAPTATIONS to thermoregulate besides evaporative water loss #bloodsweat #METAL #2018MMM
After a battle in the dry grasslands vs the cheetah, our Hippo needs water & submerges itself for a bit in the Central Park Lake (#FunFact: this lake was once a swamp but now is a favorite place for humans & wildlife alike;…) #2018MMM
Oooh, that water is...COLD #2018MMM
But that's not a problem for Hippo at the moment. Its sub-cutaneous layer of fat is providing just enough insulation to keep it from entering hypothermia (thermal image from Tattersall & Cadena 2010) #BooYah #2018MMM
Coyote is our last mammal standing from the URBAN JUNGLE Division. Have you all seen @BBCEarth's Blue Planet episode on cities? It's fabulous & features several of our competitors in the #urbanjungle division #blueplanet… #2018MMM
.@GothamCoyote is a consortium of researchers, educators, & students working to study the ecology of the northeastern Coyote in New York City & the region. Check out their website to see how you can get involved #citizenscience #AskACoyote #2018MMM
One way @GothamCoyote studies wildlife is with remote cameras to understand how different species are impacted by different levels of urbanization, the size of the park they live in, & the presence of Coyotes #cameratrap #WhoDat #mammalwatching #2018MMM
#ActualLivingScientist @weispygmyhippos knows how exciting it is when you finally get a Pygmy Hippo on camera! Go ahead and watch, we'll wait @BBCTwo #2018MMM
Coyote is heading towards the zoo (, attracted by the unusal scents. But a large, dark shape in the lake catches its eye ... #2018MMM
Coyotes show varying degrees of fear when presented with something new (scientists call it neophobia). When Coyotes are in familiar environments, visual cues are more likely to elicit neophobic responses… #WhoDat #2018MMM
Dominant (or alpha) Coyotes are less neophobic than subordinates, which is often interpreted as the dominant individuals being more likely to take risks…. Our Coyote is a dominant male #NoFear #2018MMM
The lake isn't completely thawed from the winter, &, with caution, Coyote steps out onto the ice to investigate the unusual shape in the water #RiskyBusiness #2018MMM
Coyote walks to the edge of the ice, but Hippo doesn't like how close Coyote gets & gives him a warning yawn #2018MMM
The ice is thin & Hippo's movement dislodges a chunk of ice, sending Coyote into the water! #Splash #2018MMM
Ooh that cold water stings! Coyote has fur to help keep him warm, but wet fur is a poor insulator. Falling into frozen water can be deadly for foxes...& coyotes??…
pic by Johannes Stehle #Pupsicle #bestcarcass #2018MMM
Before becoming a furry ice cube crunched up in Hippo's jaws, Coyote scrambles out of the water. Its shakes the excess water out of its fur, but Coyote is now cold & disturbed by the aquatic-monster attack. Coyote starts acting erratically... #2018MMM
Meanwhile, several Manhattanites out on an evening stroll through Central Park spot the Coyote shivering and become worried #2018MMM
Coyotes have been considered nuisance animals in Central Park, NYC, & surrounding areas, with rabid animals being of particular concern… #2018MMM
Given its erratic behavior, the Manhattanites call local Urban Park Rangers while keeping a close eye on the Coyote, following it at a safe & recommended distance of 150 ft… #2018MMM
Although rabies is fairly rare in coyotes, it is a fatal disease to mammals (including humans) & people are concerned. Recently, a rabid coyote bit 8 people in Yonkers… #2018MMM
To test an animal for rabies requires collecting brain tissue, & the euthanasia of the animal #Cliffhanger #2018MMM
The Urban Park Rangers arrive with Animal Control & assess the animal's behavior #2018MMM
This animal didn't bite anyone, so there is no rush or reason to treat a human patient. The Rangers & Animal Control assess: it is clear that Coyote is hypothermic. They safely dart & capture the Coyote (avoiding a city-wide chase;…) #2018MMM
Working with several rehabilitators & conservation groups, the Coyote is taken to a facility for treatment & released back into the wild #2018MMM
Meanwhile, the Hippo..... #2018MMM

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More from @je_light

Mar 29, 2018
UP NEXT: #3 seed Berlin Boar (Sus scrofa) vs #7 seed Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) #2018MMM
The top-ranked competitor still has homefield advantage, so this Urban Jungle battle takes place in Berlin, Germany. Berlin Board & Porcupine don't have a lot in common; they last shared a common ancestor ~96 mya ( #2018MMM
Did you know what "Porcupine" is Latin for "Quill Pig"? Follow #ActualLivingScientist @porcupinedoc for some more amazing porcupine facts #2018MMM
Read 18 tweets
Mar 27, 2018
First up in Kat's Away division, Orinoco Crocodile (#1 seed) vs Goliath Tarantula (#9 seed) #2018MMM
This battle was written by the fabulous @c_n_anderson, & it's a doozy. Buckle up folks #2018MMM
The critically endangered Orinoco crocodile defeated the praying mantis in R1 and faces another arthropod tonight.… #2018MMM
Read 17 tweets
Mar 23, 2018
NEXT UP: #3 Crabeater Seal Vs. #6 Jaguarundi!!! #2018MMM
This battle was written by @Drew_Lab. Josh is in the UK right now & he was at Darwin's House today. How cool was that? #2018MMM
The Crabeater Seal skated into R2 after lightly munching on the surprisingly aptly named Edible Dormouse, while the Jaguarundi defeated the Desman #2018MMM
Read 21 tweets
Mar 22, 2018
NEXT UP: 8th seeded Bothrops asper (Terciopelo or Lancehead) vs. 9th seeded Theraphosa blondi (Goliath Tarantula or Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula) #2018MMM
AKA, THE GREAT VENOM BATTLE OF 2018!! We've seen a lot of venom tonight. Who's ready for more?? #2018MMM
First, a brief review of venomous vs poisonous. Both competitors in this match-up are venomous #2018MMM
Read 21 tweets
Mar 20, 2018
NEXT UP: 7th seeded Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) vs 10th seeded Delhi Rhesus (aka, Rhesus Monkey or Rhesus Macaque; Macaca mulatta) #2018MMM
Erethizon dorsatum are the 2nd largest rodents in North America (1st place goes to beavers), weighing anywhere between 5-14 kg (23-64 stoats #stoatsasmeasurement) #2018MMM
When we think porcupines, we think quills, right? Quills & spines have evolved multiple, independent times across the mammal tree of life as a defense strategy & are excellent examples of convergent #evolution (see the hedgehog battle) (…) #2018MMM
Read 22 tweets
Mar 15, 2018
NEXT UP: 6th seed Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) vs 11th seed Desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) #2018MMM
Wait, a who and a what? You know...jaguarundi...a New World cat that looks sort of like like a big weasel #2018MMM
Jaguarundi great adaptations include: long & slender body w/short legs, variable coat color, diurnal activity, habitat generalist, &, as a member of the Carnivora, #carnassials #2018MMM
Read 17 tweets

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