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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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Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii)
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Number 0399 Mammals, my mammals, it has been so very long since I have seen you, or at least since you have seen me. Life is hard, and also this website was hacked. Many months (or perhaps more than a year: I don’t dare actually look) have passed, and now I have a new web host (Brownrice Internet, highly recommended), a website that will...

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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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Bushy-tailed Olingo (Bassaricyon gabbii)
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Number 0363 Sadly, my long mammal-posting streak was broken yesterday…because I jumped off a rock and broke my calcaneus, the big bone at the bottom of the heel. It hurts like mad! But while I recuperate, I will try to keep up the mammaling. Today’s mammal is the bushy-tailed olingo, which lives in Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Colombia. It is a procyonid,...

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Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra)
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Number 0361 I do love seeing that mammal counter inching toward 365! Say good afternoon to the blackbuck, an antelope native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, but now extinct everywhere but India—and Argentina, Australia, and Texas, where it has been introduced. I’ll try to tell you what I’ve learned about the blackbuck roughly in the order of my learning about it: 1. According...

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Mating Week: Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)
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Number 0353 There’s so much to say about elephant seals, and yet it’s so distasteful. These guys are rapists and baby-killers. Their necks are discolored by scars incurred during mating or fighting for mates, and one of my books, Wonders of Animal Life from 1928, lists “Sea elephants, frightfulness” in its index. In Living Mammals of the World, Ivan T. Sanderson says that they...

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Hammer-Headed Fruit Bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus)
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Number 0298 Meet the male hammer-headed fruit bat, whose head, says Ivan T. Sanderson in Living Mammals of the World, “is almost beyond belief. That of an adult male looks just like the cartoon of a horse when viewed from the side.” The female hammer-head doesn’t deserve the name at all: her dainty foxlike face is like those of most fruit bats, and very...

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Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
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Number 0293 The aye-aye is the only mammal I can think of that is primarily known for being ugly. Anytime someone writes a think-piece about the primacy of “charismatic megafauna” in conservation efforts, the poor aye-aye comes up as an example of an uncharismatic animal that is nevertheless in need of protection and aid. (People seem to want to donate money to help animals...

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Mammals of Alaska Week: Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus)
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Number 0266 We continue our visit with the mammals of Alaska today, with this guy, the bearded seal. Like the bearded pig, he’s really more mustachioed than bearded, but that’s okay. Bearded seals live throughout the arctic. They eat mostly benthic creatures, which means creatures that live at the bottom of the water. That’s probably what their long, brushy whiskers are for: helping them...

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Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
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Number 0263 Hello, mammals, and thanks for your patience through the long hiatus I seem to have taken from drawing and posting! We’re back in the swing of things now with this black-backed jackal, who lives in two separate parts of Africa, one in the east and one in the south. There is some controversy about who’s a jackal and who isn’t, but my...

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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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Hibernators Week: Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus medius)
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Number 0222 Well, I originally picked this lemur for Hibernators Week because I was under the impression that it was an estivator (see Sunday’s post if you’re wondering what I’m talking about). My beloved but flawed Ivan T. Sanderson told me that, as did Animal Diversity Web. But from what I can tell, that’s not necessarily correct. These Malagasy lemurs go into torpor between...

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Mountain Lion (Felis concolor)
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  Number 0179 I want to tell you about these amazing old books I recently acquired. A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I went to our local “indoor flea market.” I happened across this old hardbound green book called Wonders of Animal Life, volume four. It’s one of those great old 1920s or 1930s books with the copperplate photo captions and tinted...

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Mammalthon 2: Dugong (Dugong dugon)
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Number 0155 These manatee relatives are big, slow-moving, marine vegetarians who swim around, dragging their flippers and munching on sea grass. In Living Mammals of the World, Ivan T. Sanderson tells us, “They are also rather easygoing, sluggish beasts that drift back and forth with the tides to feed; they used to be found in enormous herds and were so trusting in places where...

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Mammals of New Mexico Week: Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)
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The 24-Hour Mammalthon has been rescheduled. It is now on May 3, 2008. There are still several slots available, so look over in the right-hand navigation bar and reserve your mammal today. It’s for a good cause. Number 0145 The pronghorn is often called an antelope, but it’s not really an antelope. Another nickname for it is speed goat, but it’s not a goat,...

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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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Binturong (Arctictis binturong)
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Get ready for the second-ever Daily Mammal 24-Hour Mammal Marathon! Number 0136 Ivan T. Sanderson calls this guy “one of the most astonishing and paradoxical animals known” in Living Mammals. I had never heard of them until Claire e-mailed me to request one, and I’m so glad she did. They’re related to sloths and to civets, and like sloths, they seem to grow algae...

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Striped Mammal Week: Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
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The second 24-Hour Mammalthon is coming soon! Get ready! Number 0131 When I first planned a Striped Mammal Week, I had the idea to pick mammals whose names contained seven different synonyms of the word “striped.” I had a variegated something, a streaked something, a lined something, and this fellow, the nine-banded armadillo. That idea didn’t pan out (and really, who would have noticed?),...

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North Carolina Week: European Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)
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Number 0114 Native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia, the European wild boar came to North Carolina in 1912 when a man working in the Snowbird Mountains had 14 of them shipped over to start a game preserve. By the early 1920s, those 14 had grown into 60–100, and a hunt was held with dogs. Well, the hunters managed to kill only two of...

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Back Orders: Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
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Number 0103 Here is a funny fellow for Joanna. Sea otters, which live in the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, have the thickest fur of any mammal. That’s because unlike other aquatic mammals, sea otters don’t have blubber and rely on their fur to insulate them. They spend most of their time on their backs. As Ivan T. Sanderson says,...

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Back Orders: Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
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About the three-toed sloth, which he insists on calling the three-FINGERED sloth, Sanderson says, “Aggravatingly and quite erroneously, they have been called the two-toed and three-toed, when both have five toes. However, one, the Unau, has only two fingers, and the other, the Ai, has three fingers.” But as far as I can tell, he’s wrong! Animal Diversity Web says all sloths have three...

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Behind the Scenes: Daily Mammal Process Part 1
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I got a request for a post about my drawing process, and I’ve noticed that people are often surprised when they hear how I make my mammals, so I thought I’d give you a look into how I do what I do. This is part one of a two-part series. 1. Book research Every daily mammal starts with research. If I’m drawing a request,...

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Back orders: Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta pigra)
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Number 0099 This female black howler monkey is for Nicole, who let me choose for her. Why did I choose a female black howler monkey? Well, if you knew Nicole, you wouldn’t ask! Just kidding! Howler monkeys live in the South and Central American rain forests. They are the loudest land animal in the world. (Loudest animal, period, is the blue whale.) You can...

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24 Hours: Kinkajou
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24 Hours: Kinkajou

Dec 23, 2007 by

Number 0095 This is another case where the donor asked me to choose a mammal. For my tia Laura, I chose the kinkajou, a panda/raccoon relative. I know I was supposed to cut down on research and commentary, but I remember reading a book when I was a kid about a family that had a pet kinkajou (among other exotic pets). I think it...

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24 Hours: Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius)
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Number 0078 Let’s kick off the mammal extravaganza with a flourish! Kyle requested this eastern spotted skunk. They actually do handstands like this, waving their tails about threateningly, as a warning when they’re about to spray! Ivan T. Sanderson, in How to Know the American Mammals, says that “like all skunks,” the eastern spotted skunks make “delightful, friendly, intelligent pets.” I think I would...

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Red Agouchi (Myoprocta agouchy)
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Number 0077 Here we go, stepping unwittingly into another mammalian taxonomic morass. This guy you see here is an agouchi, that much is certain. His exact variety, as well as its scientific name, is a little less clear, at least to me. My Handbook to the Orders and Families of Living Mammals says there are two agouchi species. A cursory search reveals that these...

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Azara’s Agouti (Dasyprocta azarae)
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Number 0067 Agoutis—there are 13 species—are large rodents that live in South America, Central America, and the West Indies. The Azara’s variety lives in Brazil and neighboring countries. They have long legs and an elegant grace about them. My copy of Living Mammals of the World by Ivan T. Sanderson makes agoutis as a whole sound incredibly unappealing: “Admittedly, there is nothing much about...

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