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Archive for the tag “mammals”

Christmas Bilby

Photo from Ipswich Nature Centre 

A baby bilby boy has been born in time for Christmas at the Ipswich Nature Centre in Queens Park, Queensland.  The Bilby is a symbol of Hope in Australia.

The Bilby and its struggle for survival is symbolic of the plight of many of Australia’s small native animals. It has been suggested that Australia adopt the Bilby as the wildlife symbol of Easter in Australia.  Hence chocolate Bilbies are around at Easter time.  See this link here.

The World Wildlife Fund says:

The bilby is an important ecosystem engineer. It’s an excellent digger and so many other species reap the rewards of its hard work. When bilbies aren’t living in their complex burrows, which can be up to three metres long and two metres deep, other animals like insects, reptiles, birds and small mammals take up residence. The burrows provide vital shelter from predators and high summer temperatures.

Bilbies might be small but they punch well above their weight. They can shift more than 1.5 tonnes of soil per kilogram of body mass in a single year as they construct and maintain their subterranean homes.

https://www.wwf.org.au/what-we-do/species/bilby#gs.0NLKAHI

For more information and photos of this Bilby (who is yet to be named) please go to the Ipswich Nature Centre website.

Bilbies, or rabbit-bandicoots, are desert-dwelling marsupial omnivores; they are members of the order Peramelemorphia. At the time of European colonisation of Australia, there were two species.  Bilbies now occupy only about 15% of Australia’s landmass. There were originally two species but the Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) is now commonly referred to simply as ‘the Bilby’ as the Lesser Bilby (Macrotis leucura) is thought to have become extinct in the early 1950s.

Class: Mammalia

Order: Peramelemorphia

Family: Thylacomyidae; Bensley, 1903

Genus: Macrotis

Species: lagotis

Did you know: Previously more widespread, the bilby is now only found in remote parts of western Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.   savethebilbyfund.com

Good information about Bilbies can be found at the webpage below.

https://www.bushheritage.org.au/species/bilby

For information about the Vulnerable status of this mammal, by the IUCN, click on the link below.

https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12650/21967189

The Age of the Mammals from 65 million years ago (mya)

Mammoths

65 milion years ago (mya) the Cenozoic Era began in the time-scale of geological units.  Each Era is divided into Periods of time, and each Period of the Cenozoic Era is divided into Epochs of time.   Please click on the link below for a diagram of the Periods and Epochs in the Cenozoic Era, and for important information about the rise of the Mammals.  This link below shows that the last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago and the time period (epoch) since then is called the Holocene Epoch.  There has been a series of “ice ages” over billions of years, with the “Great Ice Age” occurring during the Pleistocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era, 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago.

http://www.bobainsworth.com/fossil/cenozoic.htm

The dinosaurs had become extinct and now it was the Age of the Mammals, arising in the Palaeocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era, 65 to 55 mya; with the modern line of human beings (from the genus Homo) developing 1.6 mya to 2 mya.  During the Pleistocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era, there were four completely separate glacial advances in North America.  The advances were separated by long intervals of ice withdrawal, sufficient to permit the previously occupied area covered by ice to be reoccupied by plants and animals.   Glaciation severely affected life on the earth.   Animal and plant life was forced out of vast portions of the land covered by continental ice sheets. Large-scale migrations must have taken place as the ice sheets grew and climatic changes occurred.

Click here to see some wonderful preserved skeletons of some of the “mega-fauna” (large mammals) of the Pleisotcene Epoch (1.8 mya to 10,000 years ago).

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