mammals

It was the year when the Serengeti National Park’s music, or at least one section in its chorus-of-the-wild, died. In 1991, the twitters and whines of African wild dogs went strangely silent in Tanzania’s iconic protected area. Scientists began tracking wild dogs, also called painted wolves, here in 1964. Over the next quarter-century, researchers watched…

Wildlife

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Skunk spray is so potent that it can knock you out or even kill you—and now we know why the North American mammals evolved the noxious stuff. Skunks are nocturnal, and their predators rely heavily on scent to navigate in the dark. But skunks evolved a counterattack: Their foul and damaging spray foils would-be attackers, according…

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The best things came in small packages for scientists studying Gabon‘s littlest predators. For the first time, a team surveyed the west African country for its small carnivores, a group traditionally overlooked by scientists. The investigation turned up 12 species, including badgers, mongooses, civets, and genets. For their study, the researchers compiled data from animal…

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By systematically combing through 90 years of breeding records from the San Diego Zoo, scientists discovered mammals can “choose” the sex of their offspring, a new study says. Tracing zoo birth records through three generations, the researchers found evidence for a decades-old theory of evolutionary biology: Mammals rely on some unknown physiological mechanism to manipulate the…

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An injured amphibian and a sleeping cynodont, a mammal-like reptile, shared a home before being trapped by a flash flood 250 million years ago, a new study says. The unlikely cohabitants were found in a fossilized burrow in South Africa‘s Karoo Basin, an international team of scientists reported June 21 in the journal PLOS ONE….

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An injured amphibian and a sleeping cynodont, a mammal-like reptile, shared a home before being trapped by a flash flood 250 million years ago, a new study says. The unlikely cohabitants were found in a fossilized burrow in South Africa‘s Karoo Basin, an international team of scientists reported June 21 in the journal PLOS ONE….

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