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Facebook Friends: Israel: Buxton’s Jird (Meriones sacramenti)
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0456 In celebration of the fact that more than 100 people like the Daily Mammal on Facebook, I’ve been drawing mammals from the countries where those people live. Today’s is from Israel. This is Buxton’s jird, also known as the Negev jird, for it burrows in the sand of the Negev, a desert region in southern Israel. Some sources say that it’s the only...

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Facebook Friends: Japan: Japanese Weasel (Mustela itatsi)
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Number 0455 Today we continue appreciating the people who have liked the Daily Mammal on Facebook with a look at a mammal of Japan, where three of the Daily Mammal Facebook likers live. In 2011, my daughter Coco and I drew Japanese mammals, including some endemic to the country, and sold our drawings to benefit the American Red Cross and a Japanese animal shelter...

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Facebook Friends: Netherlands: Trio of Voles (Microtus spp.)
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Numbers 0452, 0453, and 0454 I’m continuing my appreciation of everyone who has liked the Daily Mammal on Facebook with a look at mammals from another of their countries. If you’re on Facebook, liking the Daily Mammal is a good way to keep up with when I’m actually drawing mammals since we all know it ain’t daily. This time, we visit the Netherlands and...

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Facebook Friends: Ukraine: Sandy Mole Rat (Spalax arenarius)
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Number 0451 It’s been a while, mammals! But I’m back with more appreciation for the people from the now 17 countries who have liked the Daily Mammal on Facebook. Today’s mammal comes from a country that’s much in the news now: Ukraine, where citizens have been protesting, taking over government buildings, and becoming involved in violent clashes with security forces for more than two...

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Facebook Friends: Canada: Canadian Beaver (Castor canadensis)
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Number 0448 Today let’s continue visiting mammals that live near people who like the Daily Mammal on Facebook. This Canadian beaver represents, of course, Canada. It’s also (and probably more commonly) known as the North American beaver, but we’ll go with the Canadacentric name for our purposes here. The Canadian beaver is the largest rodent in North America, weighing up to 70 pounds. It...

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Facebook Friends: Brazil: Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)
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Number 0447 I’m back from my perfect vacation to San Francisco. Now it’s time to continue our look at mammals from the 20 countries where people who like the Daily Mammal on Facebook live! Next up is Brazil and the Brazilian tapir (also called the South American or lowland tapir). Brazil has the second highest number of mammal species in the world, with 648,...

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Facebook Friends: Turkey: Trio of Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus spp.)
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Numbers 0444, 0445, and 0446 To thank the more than 100 people who have liked the Daily Mammal Facebook page, I’m drawing mammals from each of the 19 (and counting) countries they live in. Today we have three species of ground squirrels who live in Turkey. All three rodents are in the genus Spermophilus, which means seed lover. Left to right, we have S. xanthoprymnus, the...

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Facebook Friends: Ghana: Ghana Mole Rat (Fukomys zechi)
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Number 0443 Let’s continue our look at the mammalian denizens of the countries where people who like the Daily Mammal Facebook page live! Did that sentence make sense? It’s getting tricky to phrase it in a slightly different way each day. We’re up to 19 countries to visit now, and this is the sixth one, as well as the fifth continent we’ve looked at....

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Facebook Friends: Italy: Corsican Hare (Lepus corsicanus)
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Number 0442 I’m delighted that more than 100 people “like” the Daily Mammal Facebook page, so I’m drawing a mammal from each country that one of those people lives in. Don’t let the name of this one fool you. I know that Corsica is French, but this hare (which is also called the Italian hare or the Apennine hare) is native to central and...

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Facebook Friends: Taiwan: Taiwan Tube-nosed Bat (Murina puta)
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Number 0441 Because I’m happy that the Daily Mammal Facebook page reached a double-digit number of likers last week, I’m drawing a mammal from every country one of those likers lives in. Representing Taiwan (and the fourth continent we’ve visited this week), home of one person who likes the Daily Mammal on Facebook, is the Taiwan tube-nosed bat. It lives only in Taiwan; in...

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Facebook Friends: Trinidad and Tobago: Quartet of Trinbagonian Rodents
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Numbers 0437, 0438, 0439, and 0440 In honor of the more than 100 people who like the Daily Mammal Facebook page, I’m drawing a mammal (or a handful) from each of their homelands. So far, we’ve met mammals from the United States and Greece, and today we’re celebrating some mammalian neighbors of the Daily Mammal Facebook liker who lives in Trinidad and Tobago. Do...

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Facebook Friends: Greece: Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus)
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Number 0436 To celebrate the Daily Mammal Facebook page reaching 100 likes last week, I’m drawing a mammal from each country where one of the likers lives. This mammal, the Mediterranean monk seal, represents Greece, and it is one of the world’s most endangered mammals and the most endangered seal. Only about 400 Mediterranean monk seals are left, in fact, and the IUCN lists...

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Geoffroy Week: Geoffroy’s Tailless Bat (Anoura geoffroyi)
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Number 0431 We’ve been getting an unusual amount of rain here in New Mexico where I live, and my open window admits the sound of nocturnal frogs (or toads, maybe) calling from the standing water in the median outside. I’m drinking coffee from a cup hand-painted with an illustration of a bat visiting a flower (from Rainbow Gate in Santa Fe) (this is my...

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Geoffroy Week: Geoffroy’s Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)
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Number 0430 Here is the penultimate representative of Geoffroy Week, of a Friday evening. It’s hailing outside and my house keeps losing power, so let’s keep it brief. Geoffroy’s cat, known as gato montés or gato-do-mato–grande by its bipedal neighbors, lives in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It was once known as the wood-cat, though it lives not only in forests but grasslands...

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Geoffroy Week: Rufous-naped Tamarin (Saguinus geoffroyi)
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Number 0429 In 1798, Napoleon invaded Egypt in a bid to interfere with British trade routes and generally prove his might. (He did everything generally—get it?) Along with tens of thousands of soldiers, he took some 150 scientists and other intellectuals who studied Egyptian culture, history, geology, and wildlife. Napoleon invited both Cuvier and Geoffroy along; only Geoffroy went. He ended up being stranded...

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Geoffroy Week: Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii)
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Number 0428 Geoffroy Week continues at the Daily Mammal. Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire planned to join the clergy as a teenager. He became a canon of the church at 15 and was earnestly studying the world beyond this one when his eyes were opened to the mysteries of the world where we live right now. He was turning away from Catholicism and toward Deism when...

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Geoffroy Week: Geoffroy’s Marmoset (Callithrix geoffroyi)
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Number 0427 I’m unhappy with this marmoset drawing. The eyes are too far apart. But I had already spent a very long time working on a composition that showed the beautiful feathery tortoiseshell fur on the marmoset’s back, and it just didn’t work, and I had to finally just draw something, no matter how unsatisfactory, so here. (I blame the Lefty Frizzell I was...

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Geoffroy Week: Boto (Inia geoffrensis)
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Number 0426 The boto, or Amazon river dolphin, was described and named by a French zoologist called Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville. The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals tells us that de Blainville “was one of Cuvier’s bitterest rivals.” I talked a little about Cuvier’s rivalry with Geoffroy in yesterday’s post about the lesser long-eared bat, and I wonder if de Blainville named this dolphin...

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Geoffroy Week: Lesser Long-Eared Bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi)
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Number 0425 Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire became the Chair of Mammals and Birds at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, when he was only 21 years old. The museum was founded in 1793 by the Convention Nationale, the legislative body during the French Revolution. The Convention combined the Jardin du Roi—renamed the Jardin des Plantes—with a new menagerie...

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Bengal Hanuman Langur (Semnopithecus entellus)
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Number 0424 Meet the Bengal Hanuman langur or northern plains gray langur, a monkey that lives in India and Bangladesh. It’s named after Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. Hanuman is featured in the Indian epic Ramayana, in which he helps Rama rescue his true love Sita and defeat a powerful demon. I haven’t read the Ramayana, but if About.com is to be believed (hmm),...

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Javan Warty Pig (Sus verrucosus)
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Number 0423 The Javan warty pig is an endangered mammal that lives on the Indonesian island of Java. Its population is estimated to have decreased by more than 50 percent over three generations, which is only 18 years. The main threats to its livelihood are probably hunting and habitat loss. A German conservation group, ZGAP (which stands for Zoological Society for the Conservation of...

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Juliana’s Golden Mole (Neamblysomus julianae)
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Number 0422 Juliana’s golden-mole (Neamblysomus julianae) is endemic to South Africa. It is one of 20-some species of golden moles. Like the others, it has no external eyes. Instead, it has vestigial eye-like things under its skin and fur. Golden moles as a group are strange and fascinating. Most of them don’t really need to drink water because their kidneys are so efficient. And...

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Pacarana (Dinomys branickii)
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Number 0421 The pacarana is one of the largest rodents, weighing up to 33 pounds (15 kilograms). It lives in South America, and it’s pretty mysterious. It wasn’t discovered by science until 1872, and according to my pacarana Safari Card, “No more was heard of it for some 25 years.” The IUCN lists it as vulnerable because its numbers appear to be declining. It’s...

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Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus)
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Number 0420 This is the Himalayan tahr or Hemitragus jemlahicus. Hemitragus means half-goat, and jemlahicus means Himalayan, basically. These goats are mountain dwellers, living in high altitudes on rocky outcroppings and in forested places. They’re very shaggy. One of my books, the multi-volume Wonders of Animal Life (which has not date but appears to me to be from the 1920s), includes the Himalayan tahr...

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Random Week: Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica)
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Number 0419 Before our brief Olympic interlude, I was enjoying letting random.org pick the mammals, so let’s get back to that with another random week. Today, the Indian crested porcupine’s number is up. It’s a nocturnal rodent that lives in the region of Asia and the Middle East bordered on one end by Turkey and Syria and on the other by Kyrgyzstan and India....

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