People often assume cats enthusiastically kill city rats, but that may be just an urban legend.
Feral cats caught on video were keen to watch rats lurking around a trash collection center in Brooklyn, says behavioral ecologist Michael Parsons. But cats rarely killed, or even chased, the rats. Cats aren’t a good choice for rat-population control, Parsons, a visiting researcher at Fordham...
Conservationists are stuck in a catch-22: In trying to save some species, the would-be protectors may be giving the animals an evolutionary disadvantage. A new study describes how efforts to protect the endangered northern quoll, a spotted, kitten-sized marsupial native to Australia, by placing a population on a threat-free island may have actually undermined a key survival instinct.
With no nipples and reptilelike eggs, short-beaked echidnas look like a first draft of a mammal. Yet, as Australia’s other digging mammals decline from invasive predators, the well-defended echidna is getting new love as an ecosystem engineer.
The only mammals today that lay eggs are the four echidna species and the duck-billed platypus. Eggs are probably a holdover from the time before...
Male Northern quolls live fast and die young in a romantic frenzy of long-distance travel. And that’s only part of the reason why animal athletics specialist Robbie Wilson of the University of Queensland in Australia chases quolls with a plastic block.
Boldly polka-dotted marsupials a bit bigger than a squirrel, Northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) are among the very few mammals that...
Of the 84 mammal species that are known to have gone extinct since the 1500s, 35 percent are from Australia, a new study finds. Since the 1840s — less than 60 years after the arrival of Europeans — the continent has lost one or two species every decade. This rate of loss is especially surprising because Australia is not a place you might expect a lot of extinctions: Except for a few spots...