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Random Rodent: Acacia Rat (Thallomys paedulcus)
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Number 0397 I know you’ve heard it before, but the rodents are a problem. They account for some 40 percent of the mammals, and nearly all of them are small beige lumps. Many of them have evaded photographers up to now, so I often have to base my drawing on a related rodent but make changes based on the descriptions I can find. It’s...

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Becoming a Naturalist: Owl Eyes (Athene cunicularia)
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A few years ago, I bought a copy of Mammal Tracks and Sign, which includes a sidebar about the importance of having a basic comfort with and knowledge of the natural world before you can start to track. The book recommended a program called Kamana, an at-your-own-pace naturalist training program. I asked my husband Ted for the program for Christmas and got it, and...

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Short-eared Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus)
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Number 0396 I drew this fellow last week, and just now, sitting down to research him, I ended up tumbling about in my books and online, finding not a lot about the possum—he’s a marsupial who lives in a little-bitty sliver of eastern Australia—but several other bits and pieces somewhat related to the species, which is also known as the bobuck. For instance, as...

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Mexican Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)
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    Number 0395 The kids and I are reading a book called Hanging with Bats, which starts with a chapter about the Mexican free-tailed bats at Carlsbad Caverns here in New Mexico. We decided to draw the bats, and then my son Theo wrote a poem to post on the Daily Mammal. I think I may have mentioned, on this site, Thomas Nagel’s...

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Primorye Week: Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris)
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Before we leave Primorye at the end of our weekish-long visit, we must pay tribute to the tiger, the animal that inspired the book that inspired this week’s theme. Early in The Tiger, John Vaillant says, “If Russia is what we think it is, then tigers should not be possible there. After all, how could a creature so closely associated with stealth and grace...

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Primorye Week: Leopard (Panthera pardus)
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Number 0394 Today, we visit the smallest of the big cats at home in Primorye, a fascinatingly diverse region of far eastern Russia that you can read a bit more about in last Monday’s post on the musk deer. In that post, I quoted John Valliant’s The Tiger in saying that only in Primorye, and nowhere else in the world, “can a wolverine, brown...

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Primorye Week: Long-tailed Goral (Naemorhedus caudatus)
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  Number 0393 Here is a long-tailed goral, another mammal of Primorye, the region in the far east of Russia that we’re visiting this week. If you’d like a brief introduction to the place and why we’re there, check out Monday’s musk deer. The long-tailed goral is a goat that lives in China, Russia, and north and south Korea. It’s rare for a goat...

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Primorye Week: Siberian Flying Squirrel (Pteromys volans)
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Number 0392 This week, we’re looking at a few mammals from Primorye, a region in the far east of Russia that you can learn a bit more about in my post for Monday’s musk deer. For today, Coco and I drew Siberian flying squirrels. They are quite common throughout the forests of northern Europe and Asia, where they glide through the treetops by night,...

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Primorye Week: Sable (Martes zibellina)
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Number 0391 Welcome back to Primorye, an ecologically diverse region in the far east of Russia that we’re visiting this week. (Read Monday’s musk deer post for more about the area.) Today’s mammal is the sable, he of the beautiful coat, prized by rich ladies the world over. Sables are carnivores, related to weasels, skunks, ferrets, and so on, and they live in Finland,...

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Primorye Week: Two Rodents (Myodes rutilus and Apodemus peninsulae)
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Numbers 0389 and 0390 This week, we’re meeting the mammals of Primorye, a region in far eastern Russia. (See yesterday’s musk deer for a little more about that fascinating area of the planet.) Well, it’s late and I’ve had a rough day, so…I don’t have much to say about these two rodents, other than that the one on the left is the northern red-backed...

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Primorye Week: Siberian Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus)
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Number 0388 I’m reading a book called The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, by John Vaillant. It’s about Siberian tigers and tiger trackers in the far east of Russia, a region called Primorsky Krai, the Maritime Province, or Primorye. It’s a fascinating place, closer geographically to Beijing and even to Australia than to Moscow, and amazingly biologically diverse. Vaillant says that...

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Colorado Chipmunk (Tamias quadrivittatus)
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Number 0387 The day after the kids and I drew this chipmunk (I haven’t scanned their drawings—sorry!), we rode the tram to the top of Sandia Peak here in Albuquerque. At the top, we stood on a deck overlooking the mountainside and the city below, and who should we spy skittering on the rocks in front of us but a handful of Colorado chipmunks!...

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Banded Linsang (Prionodon linsang)
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Number 0386 The banded linsang is a viverrid, a carnivore in the style of civets and genets: slender, long, cat-like hunters, graceful of movement and beautiful of coat. Banded linsangs live in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. They make nests out of sticks and leaves between tree roots or in burrows, and they eat small mammals, such as squirrels and spiny rats; birds...

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Coyote (Canis latrans)
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Here’s an idea! Why don’t I point you to two embarrassingly bad old drawings in a row? I drew the coyote as mammal number 65, way back in 2007 (oh God, it’s been four years and I have barely a year’s worth of mammals…). Look how my drawing style has changed: very much for the better, yes? Looking over that post is bittersweet because...

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Pretty-faced Wallaby (Macropus parryi)
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Number 0385 Coco did the write-up for today’s mammal, the pretty-faced or whip-tail wallaby. Take it away, Coco! Pretty-faced wallabies are found in Australia. There are many different kinds of wallabies. They have very strong back legs that are great for traveling long distances. They use their tail for balance as they hop around. Some marsupials have back-opening pouches so the dirt doesn’t get...

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Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)
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  Number 0384 Like many people, some of us Kinyaks are addicted to Angry Birds. The last edition we played, Angry Birds Rio, is a tie-in with the animated movie Rio, which I haven’t seen and don’t plan to, but I assume the characters in the game come from the movie. While the original Angry Birds game has pigs as the birds’ enemies, in...

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Random Week: Gregarious Short-tailed Rat (Brachyuromys ramirohitra)
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Number 0383 This week, I’m drawing mammals selected randomly by random.org. Each day, it’s a surprise to me, and this should be a good way to get through some of the mammals that I would be unlikely to choose on my own…like this one, the gregarious short-tailed rat. Nothing against him, but there’s very little information available about him and very few photographs for...

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Random Week: Inland Forest Bat (Vespadelus baverstocki)
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Number 0382 I had fun with the random rodents I drew the other day, so I’ve decided on a new theme week: Random Week! I put all the mammals I haven’t yet drawn in random.org’s list randomizer and for the next week-ish, I’ll be as surprised as you by what mammal I draw each day. (I only put in their genus and species names,...

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Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana)
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Number 0381 Golden snub-nosed monkeys live in central China, with the majority making their homes in the Sichuan province. They roam through mountain forests where snow covers the ground for half the year, eating lichens and other ploants and the occasional insect. They are endangered, and the IUCN tells us that the major threats to their continued existence are habitat loss and tourism-related activities....

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Five Random Rodents
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Numbers 0376, 0377, 0378, 0379 and 0380 Rodents keep me up at night. I can hear them scritch-scritch-scritching in the attic and the walls. Their whiskers lightly tickle my skin and their buck teeth gnaw on my bones. Their beady little eyes stare at me from every corner, glinting in the dark. Not because my house is infested—it isn’t—but because of the Daily Mammal...

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Tibetan Fox (Vulpes ferrilata)
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Number 0375 By request! A Tibetan sand fox, which is also known as a Tibetan fox or as a sand fox. These foxes live on the Tibetan Plateau in India, China, Nepal, and Tibet. The Tibetan Plateau is both the largest and the highest plateau in the world, and I know from Coco’s school report on Tibet this year that it’s called the roof...

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Thank you for a successful Mammalthon!
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Hi Mammals, The fundraiser for the mammals of Japan is over, and I’m proud to say we raised $465.00. I’ve already donated half of it (in Japanese yen!) to Animal Refuge Kansai, and I’ll donate the rest to the American Red Cross when the transfer clears. Thank you again for supporting our work and the people and animals of Japan. Love, Jennifer and...

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Japan Benefit: タヌキ (Raccoon Dog) (Nyctereutes procyonoides)
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Today is the final day of our fundraising effort to help Japan. These two drawings, along with the few that remain from earlier in the week, are for sale, with their entire purchase price going to help people and animals affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March—half to the American Red Cross, half to Animal Refuge Kansai, an animal shelter in Japan. Please...

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Japan Benefit: イリオモテヤマネコ (Iriomote Cat) (Prionailurus iriomotensis)
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All week, my daughter Coco and I are selling our drawings of Japanese mammals to raise funds for Japan! If you buy one of them, whether matted or unmatted, your entire purchase price will go to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami: half to the American Red Cross, half to Animal Refuge Kansai, a Japanese animal shelter taking in homeless pets. Please...

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Japan Benefit: ニホンザル (Japanese Macaque) (Macaca fuscata)
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This week’s drawings, by me and by Coco, are for sale to benefit animals and people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan! If you buy a drawing, we’ll give half of the purchase price to the American Red Cross and half to Animal Refuge Kansai, an animal shelter in Japan. You can select a matted drawing or leave it unmatted. Unmatted, they’re...

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