Category Fauna

Royal (Feynmann) Antelope

The royal antelope is the smallest member of the deer family. It stands only 25cm tall and weighs a mere 3kg. It is closer in size to a pet rabbit than to other antelopes. Its evolution may have been the result of dietary strategy. Antelopes are herbivores, and each species tends to eat specific types [...]

Red Knot Protein Transition

Reductions in body size in various animals are increasingly being identified as a response to climate warming. As early as the mid 19th century biologists observed that animals in warmer condition often tended to be smaller. The principle was formulated as Bergmann’s Rule. It is an ecogeographic principle that states that within a taxonomic clade, populations and [...]

Shrink Agents

It’s not easy for an individual human being, nor for the human species in general, to embrace the radical change implied in an existence as a smaller being. Growth, it seems, is the rhythm of life. But not for all life. Fortunately there are species of animals and plants that go against the tide and [...]

Sneaky Copulation

In terms of reproduction, size matters. In most species larger dominant males are preferred by the females, and perform better in male to male competition. And as a result they get to spread their ‘king-size’ genes around. But not always. Sometimes smaller is preferred as can be witnessed in the mating behaviour of several dwarfed [...]

Dinosaur-Bird Transition

Wonderful things can happen when a species shrinks. In the case of a particular lineage of theropod dinosaurs that wonderful thing eventually turned out to be flight. Dinosaurs became birds. Before the bulky theropods that roamed the Earth 200+ million years ago turned into the elegant feathered creatures we know today, they had to shed [...]

Nicrophorus Vespilloides

In most species large males have more mating success than small males, either because females find them more attractive or because they can use their strength to intimidate small rivals. They are also more likely to have more sexual partners and be less committed fathers. Unfortunately this tendency exists in humans as well. If we [...]

Micro-Livestock: A Possible Future

Although animal science has traditionally emphasized bigness, the 1991 report Micro-Livestock: Little-Known Animals with a Promising Economic Future shows that smallness has many advantages. If in the future the human species will become smaller, we will benefit from most of the advantages listed below.

Small animals are cheaper and give faster return on investment since they generally [...]

Small Chameleon’s Mighty Tongue

Chameleons employ a power amplification mechanism to ballistically project their tongue as far as two body lengths from their mouth to capture prey. To do so, the tongue is rapidly accelerated off the hyoid with the tongue subsequently traveling to the prey on its momentum alone. Dr Christopher Anderson a postdoctoral research associate at Roberts Lab of [...]

Mandragora

The Incredible shrinking Man desires a more ecological human existence. We’ve outgrown our naturally given space on Earth and are starting to experience the consequences, or even consider exit strategies. But rather than fantasising about a departure from the planet that designed us, we investigate the possibilities to retrofit humanity back into Earth’s future plans. [...]

Non hopping Kangaroo

When asked what defines a kangaroo, most people would probably say it’s the fact that they hop. Christine Janis of Brown University was studying a species of giant kangaroo, the Procoptodon goliah when it occurred to her that its weight of 240 kg, it’s bone structure and the fact that its spine showed signs of [...]