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  Rodentia Order
Posted by: Sanju - 03-01-2019, 09:39 PM - Forum: Herbivores Animals - Replies (1)
Starting with my familiar squirrel which I saw in the wild in my experience to Tirumala (read my post in Tigers of eastern Ghats).

The Indian giant squirrel or Malabar giant squirrel, (Ratufa indica) is one of the largest tree squirrel species in the world belonging to genus Ratufa native to India.

It is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and mainly herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia.

Location : Sri vari paadalu, Tirumala (My visit to there, same location i.e.., srivari paadalu, same sighting)

Credits : @binoc_photography .
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  Giant Short Faced Bear (Arctodus simus)
Posted by: epaiva - 02-28-2019, 07:06 AM - Forum: Prehistoric animals - Replies (8)

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The Giant Short Faced Bear was 1,5 to 1,80 m (5 to 6 feet)  tall at the shoulder and rose to an impresive 3 m (10 feet) when standing on its hind legs, it weighted 600 to 800 kgs (1320 -  1760 pounds)  the giant was taller than a Polar Bear . The short muzzle gave it a more lion-like face than other bears, it has a relatively wide skull and very powerful jaws. Its closest living relative is the South American Spectacled Bears. What did they eat? Analysis of the bones of Short Faced Bears shows that they were exclusive meat eaters and they were well adapted to this task, their shortened jaws would have brought their crushing teeth closer to the back of the skulland so have increased their power. This Bear seen to be adapted for cracking large bones to extract the nutritious marrow.
Book Prehistoric America - Miles Barton, Nigel Bean, Stephen Dunleavy, Ian Gray, Adam White
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Posted by: Sanju - 02-26-2019, 10:11 AM - Forum: Carnivorous and Omnivores Animals, Excluding Felids - No Replies

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The Tasmanian devil once thrived on mainland Australia. Shutterstock/mastersky

The Tasmanian devil – despite its name – once roamed the mainland of Australia. Returning the devil to the mainland may not only help its threatened status but could help control invasive predators such as feral cats and foxes.

The idea of returning devils to the mainland has been raised before.

Read more: Tasmanian devils reared in captivity show they can thrive in the wild

But now we’ve explored the idea from a palaeontological view. We looked at the fossil record of mainland devils, in a paper published online and in print soon in the journal Biological Conservation.

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A well preserved devil mandible (lower jaw) recovered from excavations west of Townsville. Gilbert Price, Author provided

The fossil record helps us better understand how the devils co-existed on mainland Australia with other wildlife. It also helps us see how these iconic animals may possibly interact with small and medium-sized animals if reintroduced to the mainland in the future.

Back in the wild
Ecologists have reintroduced several apex predators to environments where they were once driven to localised extinction. This has helped restore past ecosystems by providing a clearer ecological balance.

One of the best-known examples is the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the United States, to check the overgrazing and destruction of habitat by elk.
By reintroducing Tasmanian devils into mainland Australia, can we possibly help restore ecological systems that support devils along with small to medium-sized native mammals?
Native and exotic predators

Tasmanian devils and thylacines (Tasmanian tigers) were displaced across the mainland of Australia sometime after the dingo was introduced from southeast Asia at least 3,500 years ago.
But these iconic Australian predators were still able to survive in Tasmania.

The island was created 10,000 years ago by rising sea levels, well before the arrival of dingoes on mainland Australia.
Dingoes have now been eradicated across much of mainland Australia, particularly within the seclusion zone of the dingo fence in the southeast of the continent. The 5,400km fence stretches eastwards across South Australia into New South Wales and to southeast Queensland.

Exotic predators such as foxes and cats now thrive across many parts of Australia, and have devastating impacts on small to medium-sized Australian mammals.
But until recently they have not been able to gain a foothold in Tasmania. Many ecologists believe the presence of the devil has prevented these other animals making their destructive mark on the ecology of Tasmania.

Sadly the situation is changing as a result of the deadly devil facial tumour disease, an infectious cancer that has destroyed many populations of Tasmanian devils. Estimates range up to 90% of some population groups now wiped out.

As a result, feral cats are now moving into former devil habitats and hunting native species on Tasmania.

A fossil window to the past
So what does the fossil record tell us about the past life of the Tasmanian devil in mainland Australia?

The Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, in southeast Australia, provides an extraordinary archaeological and palaeoecological record of Ice Age Australia.

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Recovery of fossils and devil coprolites from eroding bettong burrows at the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. Michael Westaway, Author provided

In the past, skeletal remains buried within the landscape were commonly fossilised. Evidence of small animals that dug burrows (such as burrowing bettongs) and the predators that pursued them in their burrows, are exceptionally well preserved.

Our excavations reveal how devils and other small-to-medium sized mammals and reptiles interacted over more than 20,000 years in this area. Even during the peak arid phase, known as the Last Glacial Maximum, it seems that devils and their prey successfully co-existed.

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The fossil record (10,000 to 4,000 years ago): This shows the fauna reference condition prior to the arrival of the dingo. (1 Western Quoll, 2 Tasmanian Devil, 3 Thylacine, 4 Bilby, 5 Western Barred Bandicoot, 6 Southern Brown Bandicoot, 7 Burrowing Bettong, 8 Brush Tailed Bettong, 9 Wombat, 10 Nail-Tailed Wallaby, 11 Hare Wallaby, 12 Western and Eastern Grey Kangaroo, 13 Red Kangaroo, 14 Crest Tailed Mulgara, 15 Greater Stick Nest Rat, 16 Hopping Mouse, 17 Fox, 18 Cat, 19 Rabbit) Toot Toot Design, Author provided
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The contemporary record: This shows today’s situation in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. Light grey animals represent those animals that are now locally extinct. Toot Toot Design, Author provided

The fossil record shows that the range of habitats occupied by devils in the past was far more diverse than today, with populations being found across environments from the central arid core to the northern tropics.

This suggests that devils today should, theoretically, be able to reoccupy a similarly extensive range of habitats.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Former devil range across Australia as revealed by the known fossil record. Toot Toot Design, Author provided 

Better the devil you know
Some ecologists suggest dingoes should be reintroduced into Australian habitats in order to reduce the impact of cats and foxes on native mammals.
One problem is that dingoes also prey on livestock. This is the reason the dingo fence was constructed during the 1880s.

But devils are not active predators of cattle and sheep. So reintroducing a predator that has a much longer evolutionary history with other native mammals in this country would likely receive far less opposition from pastoralists.

Read more: Deadly disease can 'hide' from a Tasmanian devil's immune system

A reintroduction of devils back to the mainland may be a new approach to consider for controlling the relentless, destructive march of exotic predators and restore crucial elements of Australia’s biodiversity.

It still needs to be demonstrated that devils can suppress the activities of cats and foxes on the mainland, as they seem to have done in Tasmania. Experiments with devils in a range of different settings would help to establish this.

A new research approach involving palaeontologists, conservation biologists and policy makers may help us understand how we can restore biodiversity function in Australia.

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  Godzilla 2 King of the Monsters
Posted by: Lycaon - 02-26-2019, 12:22 AM - Forum: Miscellaneous - Replies (4)
I am excited to see the second gozilla movie

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  WORST Scientists EVER!
Posted by: smedz - 02-25-2019, 05:52 AM - Forum: Miscellaneous - No Replies
Scientists, they are in general, the most reliable source of information out there (obviously), but of course, there are some that are just unreliable, and some make you wonder how they're even still employed. Here's an example, Jack Horner. I mean seriously, how in the world did he come to the conclusion that the Triceratops was a juvenile Torosaurus? I mean really, like the rest of the paleontological community disagrees with him on his theory on the T-Rex being a scavenger!
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  Extinct Megabeasts of Sundaland
Posted by: smedz - 02-24-2019, 07:53 AM - Forum: Prehistoric animals - Replies (4)
While North America, Europe, Northern Asia, and Australia have had many amazing extinct Megabeasts that many are familiar with, there is at least one place with lots of extinct megabeasts that don't get really any attention from the media, Sundaland. This is the place during the Pleistocene that is now Indonesia, only it was connected to mainland Asia. Post any data on the extinct megafauna of this region, and before anyone asks, yes, this includes the Ngandong Tiger.
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  Tiger, Lion and Fire
Posted by: Sanju - 02-23-2019, 07:21 PM - Forum: Questions - Replies (3)

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We often hear that,

"Tiger fears fire but lions are not afraid of fire that much"

but against that in circuses, trainers force tigers to jump through fire rings.

I said FIRE, don't misunderstand to Loud sounds and fire crackers.

What are your thoughts...

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  Extinct Big Cats Series Announcement!!
Posted by: smedz - 02-22-2019, 05:59 AM - Forum: Pleistocene Big Cats - Replies (10)
Greetings my fellow human beings a.k.a Homo sapiens, as some of you may know, I do have my own YouTube channel. 
This channel is about animals in general, and I've decided to make a series about extinct big cats. The first episode will be on the American Lion (Panthera atrox). I will take any suggestions anybody has for an episode. 

So stay tuned!
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  Ecosia: the search engine that plants trees
Posted by: Rishi - 02-16-2019, 12:10 PM - Forum: Organizations, Volunteering & Jobs - No Replies is a search engine...

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*This image is copyright of its original author

But it's not just another search engine.

Ecosia is the tree-planting organisation run the money made from searches by users, it funds its reforestation programs and empower communities around the world. It claims to use 80% of its profit for that, a single search generates about 0.5 cents.
Ecosia owns and operates its own solar plant, which it claims powers the searches with 100% renewable energy & publish all the monthly financial reports and tree-planting receipts on their website. To learn more visit: &

As part of its vision to counter deforestation, they hope to plant one billion new trees by 2020. They crossed the 50million mark this week...

My Personal Experience: Available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera etc. the search engine is better than Yahoo, Bing but cannot rival Google despite constant improvements. Honestly, i doubt it'll ever catch up! 

But it's new Browser-app for Android has a rating of 4.7 on Google Play! I used it & found it to be at qualitatively at par with Google Chrome, although it may get a bit glitchy on some devices. 

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  Mammoth steppe and Pleystocene parks
Posted by: Wolverine - 02-16-2019, 12:08 PM - Forum: Extinct Animals - Replies (1)

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During the Last Glacial Maximum, the mammoth steppe was the Earth’s most extensive biome. It spanned from Spain eastwards across Eurasia to Canada and from the arctic islands southwards to China. It had a cold, dry climate; the vegetation was dominated by palatable high-productivity grasses, herbs and willow shrubs, and the animal biomass was dominated by the bison, horse, and the woolly mammoth. This ecosystem covered wide areas of the northern part of the globe, thrived for approximately 100,000 years without major changes, and then suddenly became all but extinct about 12,000 years ago.
During glacial periods, there is clear evidence for intense aridity due to water being held in glaciers and their associated effects on climate.The mammoth steppe was like a huge 'inner court' that was surrounded on all sides by moisture-blocking features: massive continental glaciers, high mountains, and frozen seas. These kept rainfall low and created more days with clear skies than are seen today, which increased evaporation in the summer leading to aridity, and radiation of warmth from the ground into the black night sky in the winter leading to cold. 
This is thought to have been caused by seven factors:
-The driving force for the core Asian steppe was an enormous and stable high-pressure system north of the Tibetan Plateau.
-Deflection of the larger portion of the Gulf Stream southward, past southern Spain onto the coast of Africa, reduced temperatures (hence moisture and cloud cover) that the North Atlantic Current brings to Western Europe.

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*This image is copyright of its original author

-Growth of the Scandinavian ice sheet created a barrier to North Atlantic moisture.
-Icing over of the North Atlantic sea surface with reduced flow of moisture from the east.
-The winter (January) storm track seems to have swept across Eurasia on this axis.
-Lowered sea levels exposed a large continental shelf to the north and east producing a vast northern plain which increased the size of the continent to the north.
-North American glaciers shielded interior Alaska and the Yukon Territory from moisture flow. These physical barriers to moisture flow created a vast arid basin or protected 'inner court' spanning parts of three continents.

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Animal biomass and plant productivity of the mammoth steppe were similar to today's African savannah. There is no comparison to it today.

The mammoth steppe was dominated in biomass by bison, horse, and the woolly mammoth, and was the center for the evolution of the Pleistocene woolly fauna. On Wrangel Island, the remains of woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, horse, bison and musk ox have been found. Reindeer and small animal remains do not preserve, but reindeer excrement has been found in sediment. In the most arid regions of the mammoth steppe that were to the south of Central Siberia and Mongolia, woolly rhinoceros were common but woolly mammoths were rare.Reindeer live in the far north of Mongolia today and historically their southern boundary passed through Germany and along the steppes of eastern Europe, indicating they once covered much of the mammoth steppe. Mammoths survived on the Taimyr Peninsula until the Holocene. A small population of mammoth survived on St. Paul Island, Alaska, up until 3750 BC, and the small mammoths of Wrangel Island survived until 1650 BC. Bison in Alaska and the Yukon, and horses and muskox in northern Siberia, have survived the loss of the mammoth steppe.One study has proposed that a change of suitable climate caused a significant drop in the mammoth population size, which made them vulnerable to hunting from expanding human populations. The coincidence of both of these impacts in the Holocene most likely set the place and time for the extinction of the woolly mammoth
The mammoth steppe had a cold, dry climate. During the past interglacial warmings, forests of trees and shrubs expanded northwards into the mammoth steppe, when northern Siberia, Alaska and the Yukon (Beringia) would have formed a mammoth steppe refugium. When the planet grew colder again, the mammoth steppe expanded. This ecosystem covered wide areas of the northern part of the globe, thrived for approximately 100,000 years without major changes, and then suddenly became extinct about 12,000 years ago.

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