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Smile Echidna facts and info!
Posted by: animalfan6 - 06-26-2019, 03:09 AM - Forum: Herbivores Animals - No Replies

"It’s a Fact: Echidna Babies Are Called Puggles!

Echidnas mate during the winter months of July through August. When the female echidna produces an egg, she curls up, causing the leathery egg to drop into the soft folds of her stomach, which make a pouch. After ten days, the egg hatches, and a baby echidna, called a puggle, is born! It has no spines or fur.
The puggle lives in its mother’s pouch, much like a kangaroo with her joey, until is two months old. During this time, the puggle sucks the milk from its mother’s pores that drips onto the hairs in her pouch. The mother then hides the puggle safely in a burrow, visiting once a week to feed her baby. At seven months old, the young echidna has developed enough to live on its own.
How Many Species?
There are four species of echidna: the short-beaked echidna, and three long-beaked echidnas.
Echidna Species
  • Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
  • Western long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijni)
  • Sir David’s long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi)
  • Eastern long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bartoni)
Sir David’s long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi) is named after the famous British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.
Short-Beaked Echidna
The short-beaked echidna lives in both Australia and New Guinea and is the most populous echidna species. You can find it in the lowlands, the desert, and the highland forests.
Although the echidna is a warm-blooded mammal, it cannot tolerate either very cold or very hot temperatures. If you are able to spot one at all, it will likely be early in the morning or at night during the summer, or at noon in the winter.
Long-Beaked Echidnas
There are three species of long-beaked echidna; all live in New Guinea. Little is known about them because they live high up in the mountain forests where observing them is difficult.
The long-beaked echidnas are larger than the short-beaked echidna, and eat worms rather than ants.
Echidna Habitat And Diet

*This image is copyright of its original author
Echidnas are good swimmers!

Echidnas are solitary creatures, and they make their home in various places within their territory. One day, they might live in a burrow (nest in the ground), the next in a hollow log, and at other times in a cave or some underbrush.
Echidnas are good swimmers, but they don’t like the rain and will hide from it for days if necessary. Luckily, echidnas don’t need to eat very often; one huge meal will tide them over for several days. A termite infested log is the perfect feast!
Defence Mechanisms
If it senses danger, the shy echidna has a few ways to protect itself. First, its brown or black color provides camouflage to keep it out of danger in the first place. Second, when it is on hard ground, it may curl up into a ball, exposing only its spines and keeping its spineless stomach and snout protected. But, if it is on soft ground, it does something really cool. With its short muscular front and hind legs and sharp claws, the echidna digs away at the ground and sinks right down into it, leaving only its spines out for protection against a predator. Finally, the echidna is also able to wedge itself in rock crevices with its strong body, making it impossible for predators to pull it out.
Echidna Threats
The only animals fierce enough to tackle an echidna are the dingo (a wild dog), the goanna (a large lizard), wild cats and foxes. Snakes will also sneak in and eat puggles.
Are Echidnas Endangered?
Even with so few predators, three of the four echidna species (the Sir David’s Long-beaked Echidna, Eastern Long-beaked Echidna and Western Long-beaked Echidna) are critically endangered. This is due to excessive hunting and destruction of their forest habitat.
Echidna Facts – Conclusion
The echidna is a fascinating creature: a unique blend of mammal, reptile, and marsupial. If you are lucky enough to find one, remember to respect its privacy and keep your hands away from those sharp spines!
Top 10 Echidna Facts
  1. Echidnas are short, stout creatures. They can average 30-79 cm in length and weigh up from 3.5 to 22 lbs.
  2. The oldest echidna raised by a human lived to 50 years old. In the wild, the oldest recorded echidna lived to 45 years.
  3. The echidna has no teeth. It uses its tongue and the roof of its mouth to mash up the termites and ants it eats.
  4. Echidnas are edible, and have been hunted for food.
  5. The echidna’s mouth is like a long tube with a tongue inside. It opens at the end of the snout, along with the nostrils.
  6. When echidnas are born, they are the size of a jellybean (12mm).
  7. The echidna, which means “snake viper,” is named after a Greek goddess by the same name. She was a terrible monster with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a snake. Legend has it that she was finally destroyed by a young warrior who filled her body with sharp arrows, looking very much like the sharp spines you find on the echidna’s back.
  8. The long-beaked echidna species have shorter tongues than the short-beaked echidnas.
  9. There are albino echidnas, too. They are white with pink eyes.
  10. Mammals that lay eggs are called monotremes. "
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Posted by: P.T.Sondaica - 06-25-2019, 07:49 PM - Forum: Questions - Replies (7)
Can Tiliger grow long mane like lion?
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  Your Wildlife experience in the Pantanal, Brazil.
Posted by: Pckts - 06-25-2019, 01:45 AM - Forum: Vacations and Holidays - Replies (43)
My trip is coming up quickly, I leave in less then 2 weeks.
I'll be updating photos and stories here whenever I get the chance. If anyone has any experiences or questions feel free to post here as well.
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Lightbulb platypus milk will "save lives from superbugs!"
Posted by: animalfan6 - 06-24-2019, 11:53 PM - Forum: Terrestrial Wild Animals - Replies (1)
        The platypus is a monotreme, which along with echidnas, are the only mammals that lay eggs and produce milk to feed their young.
But because they don't have teats, they express their highly-nutritious milk onto their belly - leaving it exposed to the environment.

And that's why researchers from the CSIRO and Deakin University believe it is so potent.
"By taking a closer look at their milk, we've characterized a new protein that has unique antibacterial properties with the potential to save lives," CSIRO scientist Dr Janet Newman said on Thursday.
The scientists, whose work was published in Structural Biology Communications, replicated the protein in a lab, where they found the never-before-seen ringlet-formation.
Dr Newman said the discovery was "pretty special".
They are now on the lookout for collaborators to take the potentially life-saving research to the next stage.
In 2014, the World Health Organization pleaded for urgent action to avoid a "post-antibiotic era" where people would be dying from once-treatable minor injuries and common infections due to antibiotic resistant super bugs. how cool is that?! Cool Lol

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  Brown bears and smilodon comparisons.
Posted by: GreenGrolar - 06-24-2019, 07:25 PM - Forum: Questions - No Replies
According to a credible bear enthusiast named Warsaw: 

Contrary to expectations based on their robust limbs, Smilodon kittens show the typical pattern of growth found in other large felids (such as the Ice Age lion, Panthera atrox, as well as living tigers, cougars, servals, and wildcats) where the limb grows longer and more slender faster than they grow thick. This adaptation is thought to give felids greater running speed. Smilodon kittens do not grow increasingly more robust with age. Instead, they start out robust and follow the ancestral felid growth pattern, while maintaining their robustness compared to other felids. Apparently, the growth of felid forelimbs is highly canalized and their ontogeny is tightly constrained.

I am not sure which book its from but this is what he posted on Carnivora. Yet there are other data which says a smilodon has more robust bones than the brown bear. Could anyone help give me clarity on this? Thanks.
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  Caracal information!
Posted by: animalfan6 - 06-24-2019, 06:17 AM - Forum: Wild Cats - Replies (5)

caracals are Typically 
nocturnal, the caracal is highly secretive and difficult to observe. It is territorial, and lives mainly alone or in pairs. The caracal is a carnivore that typically preys upon small mammals, birds, and rodents. It can leap higher than 12 ft (3.7 m) and catch birds in midair. It stalks its prey until it is within 5 m (16 ft) of it, after which it runs it down, the prey being killed by a bite to the throat or to the back of the neck. Both sexes become sexually mature by the time they are one year old and breed throughout the year. Gestation lasts between two and three months, resulting in a litter of one to six kittens. Juveniles leave their mothers at the age of nine to ten months, though a few females stay back with their mothers. The average lifespan of captive caracals is nearly 16 years".       * image copyright original owner
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Shocked First intact head of a prehistoric wolf!
Posted by: animalfan6 - 06-22-2019, 07:48 AM - Forum: Prehistoric animals - Replies (1)
    "The head of the first full-sized Pleistocene wolf has been discovered in eastern Siberia — and it’s still intact.
Paleontologists believe the wolf, whose head had been preserved in permafrost for about 30,000 years, was fully grown at 2 to 4 years old when it died. A photo of the head shows it measures 15.7 inches long, which is notably bigger than the 9.1-to-11-inch length of the modern gray wolf’s head.
Scientists discovered in recent years that a close relative of modern-day wolves lived in the Northern Hemisphere during the last ice age, said Love Dalén, one of the paleontologists studying the wolf’s head. These Pleistocene steppe wolves come from a different evolutionary lineage than modern-day wolves, Dalén said, and were slightly larger with more robust jaw bones.
“There are numerous samples from them in terms of bones and teeth and so on, but this is the first frozen carcass from an adult wolf that has been found," Dalén, of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, said in an interview.

[This puppy was frozen for 12,400 years, and its body is nearly intact — fur and all]
A man who lives in the Abyisky district of Yakutia discovered the head last year. Dalén said he and other scientists were filming a documentary there when a Russian who had been searching for mammoth tusks brought the wolf’s head to their camp.
Scientists recently announced the find at the opening of a woolly mammoth exhibit in Tokyo.
The Swedish Museum of Natural History plans to study the wolf’s DNA, fur and skull, Dalén said, with help from scientists in Japan, Russia, the United States and other nations. Some of them are creating a digital model of the brain and the skull’s interior, Albert Protopopov, of the Republic of Sakha Academy of Sciences, told CNN.
As global temperatures rise, Dalén said melting permafrost is causing more animal carcasses to surface. In this case, though, he said Siberian locals were excavating mammoth tusks by blasting away the permafrost.

[On a Russian outpost in the Pacific, fear and fantasies of a Japanese future]
A cave lion cub and a mammoth foot, among other fossils, also were found at the site.
Some of those other findings are equally or more exciting than the wolf’s head, Dalén said, but he is particularly looking forward to trying to use the wolf’s DNA to try to sequence the species’s genome. That project will take at least another year and a half, he said.
The Pleistocene Epoch stretched from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago and included the most recent ice age of global cooling. Large land mammals and birds, including mammoths, long-horned bison and saber-toothed cats, were prevalent."

*copyright Washington post*
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  Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46: The Forgotten Skeleton that Defined a Species
Posted by: tigerluver - 06-22-2019, 04:49 AM - Forum: Life on Earth During Prehistoric Time - No Replies
Smilodon "bonaërensis" - 46: The Forgotten Skeleton that Defined a Species

It is often touted that Smilodon populator had a unique body for a cat. Namely, with its relatively short hindlimbs and longer forelimbs, the knife-toothed beast's silhouette has long been described more like a hyena in proportion than a lion. One can see this image often in illustrations of the species, such as those by the legendary artist Mauricio Anton.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Reconstruction of Smilodon populator, from Mauricio Anton's Chasing Sabretooths.

Illustrations are plentiful, but an actual, official record a complete skeleton of Smilodon populator is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to find on the internet. A simple search with the appropriate keywords leads to many illustration and replicas of an ideal skeleton, but nothing of the real thing. In recent literature, only disarticulated bones have been described. Thus, where did the modern image of S. populator stem from? The answer lies in perhaps a long forgotten manuscript from 1933. In his doctoral thesis,  El "Smilodón Bonaërensis", Muñiz : estudio osteológico y osteométrico del gran tigre fósil de la Pampa comparado con otros félidos actuales y fósiles, Rodolfo Mendez Alzola meticulously painted a near complete picture of one of the most iconic predators of the Pleistocene, Smilodon populator. His inspiration? The seemingly forgotten specimen known as Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46:

*This image is copyright of its original author

The only complete skeleton of Smilodon populator on record, originally logged as Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 (Mendez Alzola 1933).

The skull of Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 measures 345.7 mm in greatest length and 221.5 mm in width across the zygomatic arches. From the superior view, the skull is more rectangular like Machairodus rather than ovoid as in pantherines. Its iconic canines measure 242.5 mm in greatest length and 47 mm in greatest width. In comparison to Smilodon fatalis, the skull is a bit wider, with a zygomatic width to greatest length ratio of 0.64 (compared to average of 0.61 +/- 0.02 reported by Merriam and Stock (1932)). The mandible is relatively short and thin with a rather small and short masseteric fossa, a defining feature for Machairodontinae. Overall, the skull may have been more dependent on the canines than its musculature for its lethal function.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The skull of Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 (Mendez Alzola 1933).

Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 stood quite tall at the shoulder by modern standards. The combined length of the scapula, humerus, ulna, and third metacarpal is 125.67 cm. As in vivo these bones sit at an angle, the living shoulder height of the specimen was probably closer to 100 cm. The combined length of the pelvis, femur, tibia, and third metatarsal is 93.68 cm, thus in vivo the height at the hip would be about 80 cm. In terms of body frame, Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 was average in size for its kind, but larger than the average tiger or lion. However, in terms of robustness, the specimen represented the bear-like physique of its species. For instance, the most robust of today's big cats (i.e. the jaguar) have a humeral circumference to humeral length ratio of around 0.32. Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 had a humeral circumference to humeral length ratio of 0.42, about one-third thicker than the stoutest of extant cats. The femur (femoral circumference to length ratio of 0.32) was also more robust than what is found in extant pantherines (femoral circumference to length ratio of 0.27), but not to the same degree as its humerus. The metapodials were also relatively short. All in all, the specimen was the first and perhaps only specimen to portray what the body of Smilodon looked like. Namely, a front heavy cat, with disproportionately thick and tall forelimbs and short hindlimbs that were meant for grappling over running.

Select measurements of Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46: 

*This image is copyright of its original author

Original table of above image
Dimension Measurement (mm)
Skull length 345.7
Skull width(between zygomatic arches) 221.5
Superior canine length 242.5
Superior canine width 47
Scapula length 396.5
Humerus legth 395
Humerus least circumference 164
Ulna length 367.6
Metacarpal III 97.6
Pelvis dorsa-ventral diameter 136.2
Femur length 408
Femur least circumference 131
Tibia length 294.2
Metatarsal III 98.4

Today, Smilodon "bonaërensis" 46 resides in the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales. The type specimen for the species Smilodon populator, it remains one of the most invaluable finds in Pleistocene paleontology. The text inspiring this article can be found in link in the references below. 

Méndez Alzola, Rodolfo. (1933). El Smilodón Bonaërensis, Muñiz : estudio osteológico y osteométrico del gran tigre fósil de la Pampa comparado con otros félidos actuales y fósiles. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Merriam, John Campbell, and Chester Stock. The Felidae of Rancho La Brea. No. 422. Carnegie institution of Washington, 1932.

This article is part of a new series published at WildFact. Comments, questions, and the like regarding this article can be posted here. 
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  Comments thread for Smilodon "bonaërensis" - 46: The Forgotten Skeleton that Defined
Posted by: tigerluver - 06-22-2019, 04:49 AM - Forum: Pleistocene Big Cats - Replies (5)
This is the comment thread for Smilodon "bonaërensis" - 46: The Forgotten Skeleton that Defined a Species. Please post any comments, questions, or the like in this thread.
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Heart The smallest specie of deer, the southern pudu!
Posted by: animalfan6 - 06-20-2019, 07:36 PM - Forum: Captive & Domesticated Animals - No Replies
            These are pictures of the smallest deer in the world! They are very cute don't you think? This little one and his mom are in a zoo.

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