The Long-eared Bats of Australasia

When most people think of Australian mammals, they imagine the fauna as dominated by marsupials and monotremes, representatives of lineages long isolated from those found elsewhere. But Australia is also home to a remarkable diversity of native placentals. Immigrating from the north as Australia drifted closer to Asia, the rodents and bats underwent their own… Continue reading The Long-eared Bats of Australasia

The Cervini: Deer of Temperate Eurasia (and Beyond)

A couple of years back, I presented you with a post giving a quick overview of the classification of deer. For this post, I’m going to look a bit closer at a particular subgroup of deer: the species of the tribe Cervini. Wapiti Cervus canadensis, photographed by Mongo. For most people outside the Americas, a… Continue reading The Cervini: Deer of Temperate Eurasia (and Beyond)


Common dwarf mongoose Helogale parvula, copyright Bernard Dupont. Belongs within: Herpestidae. Helogale, the dwarf mongooses, is a genus of small, diurnal, social mongooses with a grizzled brown pelage found in eastern and southern Africa. Helogale     |–H. brunnula S78     |–H. dybowskii S78     |–H. hirtula S78     |–H. ivori S78     |–H. macmillani S78     |–H. mimetra S78     |–H. parvula… Continue reading Helogale


Black wildebeest Connochaetes gnou, copyright Bernard Dupont. Belongs within: Alcephalinae. Connochaetes, the gnus or wildebeest, is a genus of cattle-like grazing antelopes found in grasslands and open woodland of southern and eastern Africa. Characters (from Murray 1984): Head massive, both sexes horned. Mane present on neck and shoulders, beard under throat. Tail long, reaching nearly… Continue reading Connochaetes


Reconstruction of Chriacus, from Cox (1988). Belongs within: Scrotifera. Contains: Arctocyonidae, Pantodonta, Periptychidae, Pholidotamorpha, Didelphodontinae, Creodonta, Mesonychia, Carnivoramorpha. The Ferae are a clade of mammals supported by molecular data uniting the modern Carnivora with the Pholidota (pangolins). A phylogenetic analysis of Palaeocene mammals by Halliday et al. (2017) identified a number of potential fossil members… Continue reading Ferae


Striped hyaena Hyaena hyaena, copyright Balaji Venkatesh Sivaramakrishnan. Belongs within: Aeluroidea. The Hyaenidae, hyaenas, are cursorial carnivores known from Africa and Eurasia, with fossil representatives in North America. Hyaenas have relatively short bodies with conspicuously down-sloping backs, and are conspicuously marked with stripes or spots. <==Hyaenidae |–Crocuta FS15 |    |–C. crocuta RB84 |    |    |–C. c. crocuta RB84… Continue reading Hyaenidae


Partial lower jaw of Litomylus dissentaneus, copyright Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Belongs within: Euungulata. The Hyopsodontidae are a group of small, generalised mammals known from the Palaeocene and Eocene of Europe and North America. Members of this group have fairly simple incisors and premolars, small canines, and more or less bunodont molars. See… Continue reading Hyopsodontidae


Reconstruction of Arctocyon by Dmitry Bogdanov. Belongs within: Ferae. The Arctocyonidae are a group of probably omnivorous mammals known from the Palaeocene and early Eocene of Europe and North America. They are generalised in morphology, with more or less tritubercular teeth, simple premolars, and moderately long limbs with paraxonic feet and claw-like unguals. <==Arctocyonidae [Arctocyoninae]… Continue reading Arctocyonidae


Mounted skeleton of Hipparion primigenium at the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, copyright Ghedoghedo. Belongs within: Equinae. Hipparion is a diverse genus of three-toed horses known from the Miocene to the Pleistocene of Eurasia, Africa and North America. Characters (from Churcher & Richardson 1978): Facial region relatively short and deep; preorbital fossae present or absent;… Continue reading Hipparion