Category: Fauna

Vechur A2 Milk

November 27, 2017 By arne hendriks Off

The Incredible Shrinking Man is not big on dairy because it promotes excess growth in the body. But we’ll make an exception for the milk of the tiny Vechur cow originating from the warm and humid climate of the state of Kerala in southern India. According…

Japanese Miniatures: Cat Maximisation

October 30, 2017 By arne hendriks Off

Our series of Japanese Miniatures investigates the specific Japanese sensitivity for small as expressed in their love for things like bonsai, sushi, netsuke, and capsule hotels. Japan ‘knows’ things about shrinking that may help the human species embrace the desire for, or overcome hurdles to, becoming…

Hyperthermal Shrinking

August 28, 2017 By arne hendriks Off

Global warming has the potential to shrink the human species. As we’ve discussed before mammals, and many species of birds and fish, shrink when the climate heats up. During the last two hyperthermals, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (55 million years ago) and the Eocene Thermal…

Fear of the Vegetarian

April 13, 2017 By arne hendriks 0

Brian Langerhans and Thomas deWitt of the department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University examined the specificity with which freshwater snails use environmental cues to induce defensive phenotypes such as shrinking. In one environment they introduced a species of sunfish that eats snails, In the…

Royal (Feynmann) Antelope

May 16, 2016 By arne hendriks 0

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…

Red Knot Protein Transition

May 13, 2016 By arne hendriks 0

Various animal species are responding to global warming by reducing their body size. In the mid 19th century biologists had already observed the ecogeographic principle that within a broadly distributed taxonomic clade, populations and species of larger size are found in colder environments, while populations…

Shrink Agents

April 30, 2016 By arne hendriks 0

Growth, it often seems, is the rhythm of life. But not for all life. Fortunately there are animals and plants that go against the tide and embody some of the shrink values we should develop within the human species. Through a process of interspecial learning…

Sneaky Copulation

February 17, 2016 By arne hendriks 1

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…

Dinosaur-Bird Transition

February 16, 2016 By arne hendriks 1

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…

Nicrophorus Vespilloides

January 10, 2016 By arne hendriks 1

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.…

Micro-Livestock: A Possible Future

January 8, 2016 By arne hendriks 1

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…

Small Chameleon’s Mighty Tongue

January 7, 2016 By arne hendriks 0

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…

Mandragora

February 6, 2015 By arne hendriks 0

The Incredible shrinking Man desires a more ecological human existence. We’ve outgrown our naturally given space on Earth and experience the consequences, or even consider exit strategies. But rather than fantasizing about a departure from the planet that designed us, we investigate the possibilities to…

Non hopping Kangaroo

November 24, 2014 By arne hendriks 1

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…

Island Dwarf Zoo

May 15, 2012 By arne hendriks 3

The Dwarf Zoo is a growing archive of insularly dwarfed animals. Often when a species gets stuck on an island their size changes. Sometimes they grow larger like the giant turtles on the Galapagos. In Dwarf Zoo however we are interested in insular dwarfs; island…

1/6th Red Deer

April 8, 2012 By arne hendriks 0

Massive global evolutionary shrinkage may only manifest itself when it’s already too late. Even then it’s difficult to predict how much time it will take before man has adjusted to the new circumstances. Our best indication of human evolutionary shrinkage is the case of Homo floresiensis…

The Shrinking Iguana

September 20, 2010 By arne hendriks 4

Much to his surprise, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University has found that in times of famine, marine iguanas in the Galápagos Islands shrink in length and then regrow when food is plentiful again. “For vertebrates, it’s sort of a dogma that they don’t shrink,”…