The rise and fall of the predator guild

African savanna. A cheetah is sitting on a mound, gazing keenly at the horizon. Nearby a couple of zebras are nuzzling each other. Far away, and you can’t see it yet, a lion cub is jumping over a female lion trying to sleep in the late afternoon sun. An eagle takes wing, just as an elephant takes liberties with its call. Just another evening with some of the most important animals in the savanna. But there’s more to this landscape than meets the eye. There are tiny things that have important and cascading effects on this ecosystem. Small mammals. Small … Continue reading The rise and fall of the predator guild

The Tree-Mouse

Cute. Now that’s one word we don’t associate with mice. Unless it’s the adorable Jerry. Or the Indo-Malayan Pencil-tailed Tree Mouse. Whew! That’s quite a mouthful. Unlike its lengthy name, the Indo-Malayan Pencil-tailed Tree Mouse is a tiny creature weighing merely 35g. Its unique feature is a tail that is one and a half times its body with a darker hairy tip, hence the name. This delightful tree-mouse is found across southeast Asia, including the hill states of northeast India. It was first described in 1856 from Cherrapunji, Khasi Hills (Meghalaya) by the British zoologist Edward Blyth. The tree-mouse is … Continue reading The Tree-Mouse