Blogs & Videos: Mammals

Naked mole-rats: Not a mole, not a rat, and not an African mole-rat

You may remember him from the Saturday morning cartoon, Kim Possible – Rufus, the naked mole-rat, tenacious pet of Kim’s best friend Ron. With very little hair, some whiskers, wrinkly-pink skin and large teeth, Rufus stole the hearts of all who watched him save the day. In many episodes, Rufus is the hero, and like Kim and Ron, scientists agree that naked mole-rats are pretty cool.

Kilimanjaro's Small Mammals

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has captured the imagination for decades, and climbing it is one of the most common items on the proverbial bucket list.  “Kili” is not only the tallest mountain in Africa, it is the tallest free-standing (isolated and not part of a mountain range) massif in the world.  Thousands of climbers ascend Kilimanjaro every year, trekking through multiple habitat zones to reach the summit which is 5895 m (19571 feet) above sea level. 

An Early Nocturnal Ancestor

A majority of living mammals today are nocturnal—and conventional wisdom tells us that this transition to nocturnality occurred as mammals evolved from their early mammal ancestors, synapsids, about 200 million years ago. It’s largely assumed that those synapsids were diurnal—active mostly during the daytime—but The Field Museum’s Kenneth Angielczyk, Associate Curator of Paleomammalogy and co-author Lars Schmitz, Assistant Professor of Biology, Keck Science Department, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges, wanted to put it to the test.

Heaney receives 2014 Aldo Leopold award

Quoting the American Society of Mammalogists, "The Aldo Leopold Award is awarded to a well-established individual who has made a lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. Aldo Leopold, the 'father' of wildlife ecology and management, is well known for his famous land ethic philosophy and his influence on wildlife conservation, including his active membership on ASM Conservation Committees in the 1930s."

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