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Agile Antechinus (Antechinus agilis)
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Number 0403 This fellow is one of a group of species called broad-footed marsupial mice. They’re small, carnivorous marsupials native to Australia. I drew this sometime last year, I think, and I don’t know where I found this guy because the species is not in any of my books or in my mammal species database. It was first described in 1998, having previously been...

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Mating Week: Saddleback Tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis)
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Number 0356 I’ve decided to go ahead and call this an official theme week. This is the fifth and last entry in our Daily Mammal Mating Week. The saddleback tamarin, which lives in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, practices polyandry, which means that a single female mates with more than one male. (Polygamy technically refers to a marriage or partnership with more than...

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Mating Week: Brown Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii)
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Number 0355 Every female wants a good father for her babies. Every male wants a good mother for his babies. That’s what life is all about. The more I study other animals, the more I think the meaning of life is: have sex and have babies, and have sex and babies with a mate or mates of good quality. Is there any other reason...

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Mating Week: Gambian Epauletted Bat (Epomophorus gambianus)
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Number 0354 Last June, I drew the hammer-headed fruit bat, which is known for its lek mating system. The Gambian epauletted bat, today’s mammal, uses a similar lek system. In Courtship in the Animal Kingdom, Mark Jerome Walters explains leks: In some animals, however, males offer neither defense of the females nor any particular resource. There is no trade-off of riches, nor any guarantee...

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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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Mating Week: Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus)
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Number 0352 The klipspringer is a little-bitty antelope that lives in eastern and southern Africa on rocky cliffs. I originally picked it for my planned Mammal Mating theme week because it is a rare example of a monogamous mammal. (Most birds are monogamous; most mammals are not.) And what’s interesting is why it’s monogamous. And I also find it interesting that we humans—just apes,...

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Wrinkle-faced Bat (Centurio senex)
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Number 0351 When I drew this guy, I was working on a Mammal Mating theme week, but that was several months ago, and now I can’t figure out what’s interesting about the wrinkle-faced bat’s mating habits, except that scientists speculate that the wrinkled face may be related to sexual selection. Only the males have big neck flaps, and they emit a musky odor from...

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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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