Category Archive: Mammals

Nov 11

Animal Record Holder: Fastest Land Animal

On the grasslands of the world, there is a premium on speed. The lack of dense vegetation or large bodies of water allows animals to run across this landscape without being slowed down. Natural selection favours those predators that are fast enough to catch food, and those prey animals that are fast enough to escape. …

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Sep 21

Girls Will be Boys: Spotted Hyenas

According to Sigmund Freud, penis envy is when a girl, at some point during her psychosexual development, realises and reacts to the fact she does not have a penis. Supposedly, it’s a defining moment in a woman’s sexual identity. But one animal that certainly doesn’t have penis envy is the female spotted hyena – and …

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Sep 19

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Babirusa

If your teeth suddenly started growing out through your face, you would understandably become quite concerned. You’d probably very quickly see a specialist. For the male babirusa, however, this is a perfectly normal stage of growing up. Babirusa puberty, it seems, is a bit more extreme than our own. As you can see, the babirusa …

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Aug 26

Drunken Monkeys (and Other Intoxicated Animals)

The island of Saint Kitts, in the western Caribbean: a tiny speck of land some 18 miles long and 5 miles across. A great holiday destination if you’re into sand, sun, sea – and mischievous monkeys. But these monkeys are different from most: they like to indulge in a bit of hardcore boozing every now …

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Aug 24

The Panda Predicament

It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Tian Tian, the female giant panda currently housed at Edinburgh Zoo, might be pregnant. She was artificially inseminated in April of this year after failed mating attempts with the zoo’s resident male, Yang Guang, and is now apparently showing hormonal and behavioural indications of pregnancy. None …

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Aug 22

The African Unicorn: Mystery of the Okapi

Sir Harry Johnston was the very model of a late nineteenth-century African explorer. During the Scramble for Africa – the invasion, colonisation and annexation of African territory by European powers – Sir Harry became well-known as a linguist, botanist, mountain climber, animal collector and colonial administrator. During his time in Africa, Sir Harry came across …

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