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Posts Tagged "rodents"

Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Mexican Agouti

Mexican agouti

These large, shy rodents have lost most of their natural habitat to rapid development in their native Mexico. Species name: Mexican agouti (Dasyprocta mexicana). Where found: Southern Mexico, primarily in what’s left of their evergreen and second growth forests. An introduced population also lives in Cuba. Ten other agouti species exist throughout South and Central [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rat eradication program begins in Galapagos Islands

Rattus rattus

The Galápagos National Park Service has launched a project to protect the famous archipelago’s endangered species by wiping out introduced, invasive rats. As has been done in other locations, such as Australia’s Christmas Island, the Galápagos rats will be targeted with poison bait dropped from helicopters, starting on nine of the chain’s small and medium-sized [...]

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Observations

The warm, fuzzy side of climate change: Heftier marmots

marmot that has gotten bigger with climate change, longer summers

While polar bears flounder in the face of shrinking ice floes, another furry creature has gotten a boost from climate change. In the past three decades yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) have been fruitful—and multiplied—thanks to longer summers, according to a new study. In the Rocky Mountains, these marmots usually hibernate for seven to eight months [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A brief history of muskrats

Nice picture of muskrat eating. Photo by Linda Tanner, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Earlier in the year I made a promise that I’d get through more rodents here at Tet Zoo. Rodents, you see, divide people like no other group of tetrapods. Some hate them, others love them, and while they’ve classically been regarded as bread-and-butter staples of discussions about tetrapod evolution and diversity, others bemoan their sameyness [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

North America: land of obscure, freaky voles

Arborimus, based on a photo in Nowak (1999). Image by Darren Naish, colouring by Gareth Monger. CC BY.

As a European person, I find European voles (and, to a degree, Asian voles) pretty familiar, commonplace, homely. Still interesting, mind you. But when it comes to North American voles — oh my god, the weird. I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll just launch right in and hope that the crazy string [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Of vole plagues and hip glands

Bank vole. Image by soebe, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

You’ll already know what voles are. They’re blunt-nosed, comparatively short-tailed rodents with chunky bodies and rounded ears that are mostly concealed by fur. They often have open-rooted (or near open-rooted) teeth and perform well as grass-eaters (as you know, the silica crystals embedded in grass blades make them nasty, abrasive things to eat on a [...]

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