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World Cup: France’s Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota)
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Number 0315 Hello mammals! To celebrate the World Cup, we’re meeting one mammal from each of the 32 countries that are playing. Today we visit France, the last member of the wide-open Group A, who played to a 0–0 draw against Uruguay last and will face Mexico tomorrow. France is one of the top-ranked teams in the tournament, having won the World Cup in...

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World Cup: Uruguay’s Coypu (Myocastor coypus)
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Number 0314 Today we go a little further in our look at the mammals of the countries competing in the World Cup. Meet the coypu—you may also know it as the nutria—who is representing Uruguay. It’s a semi-aquatic rodent native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, but it didn’t stay in those southern South American countries. Because of its warm and pretty...

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World Cup: Mexican Gray Squirrel (Sciurus aureogaster)
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Number 0313 To celebrate the World Cup, I’m drawing one mammal from each of the 32 competing countries. Today’s is the Mexican gray squirrel, also called the Mexican red-bellied squirrel, a busy little guy who is native to the treetops of both Mexico and Guatemala. (Guatemala’s national soccer team has never qualified for the World Cup.) The Mexican gray squirrel, like all other squirrels,...

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Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)
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Number 0310 This pretty red squirrel species lives in Europe and Asia. In Italian, its name is scoiattolo comune, in German it’s Eichhörnchen, in French it’s ecureuil roux, in Swedish it’s ekorre, in Danish it’s egern, and in Spanish it’s ardilla roja. Earlier this week, our friends visited, and one of their kids, nine-year-old Nicola, drew some mammals with Coco and me. Here are...

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Spiny Mice Five Ways (Acomys spp.)
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Numbers 0303, 0304, 0305, 0306 and 0307 The spiny mice are native to the deserts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. They get their name because of their spiky fur, which defends them like a hedgehog’s spines. Clockwise from the top left, we have Acomys russata, the golden spiny mouse; A. spinosissimus, the spiny mouse; A. minous, the Crete spiny mouse; A. cilicicus, the Asia...

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Jirds Four Ways (Meriones spp.)
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Numbers 0294, 0295, 0296 and 0297 These fellows represent four different jird species. Left to right: Meriones crassus or Sundevall’s jird, M. hurrianae or Indian desert jird (on all fours), M. shawi or Shaw’s jird, and M. unguiculatus or Mongolian jird. (You may know that last one, the Mongolian jird, as the domesticated gerbil.) Jirds generally live in burrows in the desert, and most...

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Hutias Four Ways (Capromyidae)
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Numbers 0280, 0281, 0282, and 0283 Hutias are largish rodents that live only in the Caribbean. While 26 hutia species are known to have lived in historic times, we only have seven species left, thanks probably to hunting, habitat changes, and the introduction of predators to the hutias’ island homes. Hutias live mostly in foresty or rocky areas, and they eat mostly plants, along...

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Pocket Gophers Four Ways (Geomys and Thomomys spp.)
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Numbers 0274, 0275, 0276, and 0277 Forty percent of mammals are rodents, but only 25 percent of Daily Mammal drawings are of rodents. So far! Here’s a small step in correcting that imbalance. Top to bottom, please meet Thomomys bottae, Thomomys talpoides, Geomys bursarius, and Thomomys mazama, also known as Botta’s pocket gopher, northern pocket gopher, plains pocket gopher, and western pocket gopher, respectively....

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Norway Lemming (Lemmus lemmus)
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Number 0261 Poor lemmings. We should thank them for how generously, if unwittingly, they have lent us their name as a metaphor for the unthinking hordes, who would indeed jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if their best friend did, who blindly follow the rest of the group, make the same bad decisions everyone else makes, and ultimately self-destruct, allowing the rest of us to...

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Indian Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica)
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Number 0256 While I was researching yesterday’s Indian palm squirrel, I ran across this gorgeous species. I was going to save him to draw later because he’s so colorful with such crazy ears, but then today, it got late and I was going to just go to bed but then I thought, no, I have three days in a row, need to keep it...

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Scientific Names Week: Indian Palm Squirrel (Funambulus palmarum)
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Number 0255 The Indian palm squirrel is a funambulist of the palms! Thinking of the words somnambulist or ambulatory, you can almost come close to figuring out what that means: a fun walker! Sort of. A funambulist is a tightrope walker (funis is Latin for rope; the word fun, on the other hand, comes from the Middle English fon, meaning fool, and this squirrel...

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Rats Three Ways (Neotoma spp.)
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The Daily Mammal Book Club is discussing My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. Join in!   Numbers 0246, 0247, and 0248 Here are three rats for you! They’re in the wood rat or pack rat genus, Neotoma. Clockwise from the top left, we have N. cinerea (bushy-tailed wood rat), N. floridana (eastern wood rat), and N. lepida (desert wood rat). Wood rats...

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Darwin Days: Tuco-Tucos Six Ways (Ctenomys spp.)
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Numbers 0232, 0233, 0234, 0235, 0236, and 0237 The day after tomorrow, February 12, 2009, is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. (It’s also Abraham Lincoln’s.) I’ve recently begun reading Darwin’s The Origin of Species, and I’ve decided to try to do a little something in celebration of Darwin’s immense contribution. I’m going to be highlighting a few mammals that Darwin discusses in The Origin of...

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Hibernators Week: Chipmunks Six Ways (Tamias spp.)
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Numbers 0225, 0226, 0227, 0228, 0229, and 0230 In one sense, I got lazy with this drawing, doing it in sharpie on top of my pencil with no shading, no blending, no colored pencil, and it’s on my tracing paper sketch instead of a nice crisp sheet of vellum. No furry details, no crazy colors. But if you knew how long I researched it...

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Hibernators Week: Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis)
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Number 0220 It’s the middle of winter, and although I can take naps, I can’t do what I’d really enjoy, which is hibernate. The next best thing is to celebrate hibernation, torpor, and estivation of other mammals. And let’s start by clearing those up, in case, like me, you didn’t know the differences between them. Here we go: Hibernation, torpor, and estivation are three...

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Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat (Hypogeomys antimena)
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Number 0203 Ah, Madagascar, an island of the strange and wondrous. The Malagasy giant jumping rat is another EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered) species, which means that it’s irreplaceable…and at risk of disappearing completely. This nocturnal forager lives only in one small part of western Madagascar, where it forages for seeds, leaves, and fruit. It’s the largest rodent in Madagascar. Like a rabbit,...

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Mammals of Iraq: Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus anomalus)
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  Number 0187 Sigh. It was so long ago that I started the Mammals of Iraq series. Then I decided to draw a jerboa…and it was really difficult…and I started putting it off…and forever passed. I decided to skip that particular jerboa species for now and just get on with it already. This squirrel, also known as the Persian squirrel, was the result. I...

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Various Voles (Macrotus spp.)
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Numbers 0180, 0181, 0182 and 0183 Clockwise from the top left, say hello to a California vole (Microtus californicus), a Mediterranean pine vole (Microtus duodecimcostatus), a Japanese grass vole (Microtus montebelli), and a Mexican vole (Microtus mexicanus). Voles are little mouselike rodents that burrow around in many kinds of environments. The four shown here have nothing in common, as far as I know, other...

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Mammalthon 2: Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)
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Number 0165 Mammals, there are only two more drawings after this one and then the “24-hour” mammalthon comes to a close! Ted requested a fox squirrel. (He actually requested a gray squirrel, but since I’d already drawn one, he let me draw a fox squirrel instead.) When Ted and his brother and sister were kids, they had either gray squirrels or fox squirrels in...

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Mammalthon 2: Ord’s Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ordii)
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Number 0161 This kangaroo rat is for Tynan, who recently learned about them when his family visited the sand dunes. I think the Ord in this guy’s name is George Ord, a 19th-century ornithologist. About Ord, the American Philosophical Society says, “George Ord made important contributions as an ornithologist and writer but is also famous for his contempt of fellow ornithologist, John James Audubon.”...

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Mammalthon 2: Least Chipmunk (Tamias minimus)
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Number 0154 This little guy is for my tia Leah. The wee least chipmunk is the smallest of all the chipmunks. They live throughout North America, and they build different summer and winter houses. They hibernate, but not too deeply, and they wake up frequently for midnight...

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Mammalthon 2: Yellow-Bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)
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Number 0152 This is another one for my dad. Yellow-bellied marmots live in rocky, mountainous areas of western North America. They live in burrows where a male marmot has a “harem” of two or three females. In a nice change from the usual, yellow-bellied marmots are common throughout their range and not endangered. Yay yellow-bellied marmots! Yellow-bellied Marmot Alarm Call Fact Sheet —————- Now...

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Mammals of New Mexico Week: Spotted Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus spilosoma)
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Please consider participating in the second 24 Mammals in 24 Hours Marathon! You get to support a great cause that helps animals and get your own custom original drawing. Look in the right-side navigation bar of this page for more information. Number 0146 According to the American Society of Mammalogists, New Mexico has five species of ground squirrels in the Spermophilus genus. In my...

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CONTEST! Five Deer Mice: Aztec Mouse, California Mouse, Canyon Mouse, Gleaning Mouse, Hooper’s Deer Mouse
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Numbers 0137, 0138, 0139, 0140 and 0141 Those of you who have been following the Daily Mammal from the start know how daunting the rodents are. Nearly half of the 5,000 named mammal species are rodents, and as Ivan T. Sanderson says in Living Mammals of the World, “whole slews of these look almost exactly alike.” Not only are there are thousands and thousands...

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Newly Described Mammals Week: Laotian Rock Rat (Laonastes aenigmamus)
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Number 0128 “The coelacanth of rodents,” this Laotian rat is a member of a family scientists thought had been extinct for 11 million years. So those scientists must have been surprised when they found some for sale in a food market in 1996! Actually scientists initially thought the rat was a member of a brand-new family and described it as such. Other scientists who...

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Five Species of Dormouse
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Numbers 0117, 0118, 0119, 0120 and 0121 Hello from Orange, Texas, and the Holiday Inn Express. Here is a drawing of not one, not two, but count ’em, five dormice. And not only are there five dormice, but get this: they’re five dormice of different species. (Yes, this is a strategy to speed up the drawing of the 2,000 or so rodents in the...

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North Carolina Week: Woodland Jumping Mouse (Napaeozapus insignis)
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Number 0115 Hey, little fellow, what are you doing up and about? You should be hibernating with all your friends! Woodland jumping mice hibernate for six months out of the year—roughly October to May—in burrows that they either dig or borrow from other little mammals. They like to eat fruit and seeds and mushrooms and insects. And lots of things like to eat them,...

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North Carolina Week: Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans)
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Number 0110 Today inaugurates a special theme week at The Daily Mammal: the mammals of North Carolina. I was in Raleigh on a business trip this past week, and I had the opportunity to meet not only many mammals of the human persuasion, but one non-human, a male flying squirrel, like this one here. I’d never seen one before, and I have to tell...

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24 Hours: North American Porcupine (and who’s left?)
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Number 0097 Here’s a rather wild-looking porcupine for Bradley. At first, I was very frustrated with how I was drawing it, but it ended up being a crazy color extravaganza. I’m trying to think whether I’ve seen a porcupine in person, and I don’t think I have. Okay, now we have but one mammal left to make 24! But several other people have made...

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