Get ready to rumble, if you are furry and nurse your offspring.
March 5, 2015 7:18 PM   Subscribe

That's right - it's time for Mammal March Madness! "Battle outcome is a function of the two species' attributes within the battle environment. Attributes considered in calculating battle outcome include temperament, weaponry, armor, body mass, fight style, and other fun facts that are relevant to the outcome. These are one on one- head to head combat situations- um except for the mythical mammals that have multiple heads. Some random error has been introduced into calculating battle outcome & the amount of that error is scaled to the disparity in rankings between combatants. Early rounds, the battle occurs in the better-ranked species' habitat (home court advantage). BUT once we get to the ELITE EIGHT, battle location will be random: forest, semi-arid desert, intertidal zone, or snowy tundra." Action kicks off on March 9 with the wildcard match up between the pygmy jerboa and the bumblebee bat (Kitti's Hognosed Bat). You can follow the action on twitter using the hashtag #2015MMM or on the blog Mammals Suck. In the meantime, start filling out your brackets - common names or binomial nomenclature.
posted by ChuraChura (13 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Clearly the bumblebee bat is the obvious winner in this wildcard battle. As much as I like jerboas, all the bat has to do to get away is to take flight.

I'm surprised that olive baboons are only seeded 12, though--compared to 9 for bighorn sheep? I would WAY rather go up against a sheep than a baboon. Have you seen the teeth on those monsters?
posted by sciatrix at 7:39 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't count out the bighorn sheep. Baboon canines are only going to be so helpful if the sheep rams him in the belly.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:47 PM on March 5, 2015

posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:55 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Where is the wombat? One of Australia's most formidable fighters. If he turns his back on you, run... he'll crush your head under his butt. (And the Numbat is not even close.)
Or the capybara? World's Largest Rodent counts for something.
Otter? That cutie? Well, maybe not the ocean otter but don't mess with a River Otter, as a Google video search for "otter attack" will show.
Honey Badger? (maybe he just don't care that he's excluded)
or even the totally currently trendy Raccoon?
This is why Evolutionary Biologists aren't more popular, they don't tune into the zeitgeist.

Also, a whole bracket of "Mythical Mammals"? That's 16 slots when even most biologists can't name more than 7 or 8... and did you notice that Unicorn and Pegasus are ranked 8th and 9th, thus meeting each other in the first round? Way to alienate the entire MLP fandom, who represent half the current 'mythical mammal' fans out there!
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:18 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Katie Hinde is applying to work for and just gave a talk at my graduate school (in my department!) This just makes me hope she gets it and comes here even more. Mainly so I can have a word with her about the Irish Elk being seeded 7th. The antlers on those things were ridiculous.

Also BIGHORN SHEEP FOREVER (they're practically goats.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:30 PM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Platypus, Wombat, and Capybara were all in the in 2013 bracket. Honey Badger was in the 2014 bracket.

Katie is an old friend from grad school and I have been helping out with this project since last year. Since 2014, the other co-organizers have been Kristi Lewton and Josh Drew (Josh's research was the subject of my first Mefi post, but before I actually knew him personally).

Reading blog posts like this is part of what makes participating in Mammals March Madness so awesome.
posted by cnanderson at 8:36 PM on March 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

That link is a long-eared jerboa. Pigmy jerboas consist of just a head and feet.
posted by eye of newt at 8:47 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

That's why it just is linked to "jerboa" ... The only pygmy jerboa videos I could find were pets and thus made me sad.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:01 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, that makes me feel better (River Otter and Honey Badger were in 2013 too). I was surprised Wombat (seeded #5 in "Hodge Podge") was upset by Armadillo(#12) and Capybara(#6) by Flying Fox(#11), but River Otter(#12 in "Carnivores") beating Leopard(#5) was no surprise to ME... meanwhile Honey Badger made it as far as the 'Sweet Sixteen' (beating the Wolverine - #8 vs. #9 must've been a tight battle - but downing the #1 Tiger - well, anyone who's seen Tigger or Hobbes knows that cat's overrated) to be defeated by the Elephant Seal (#4), the same beast who previously eliminated River Otter and was finally eliminated by the ultimate winner, the non-seal Elephant.

And in 2014, I knew Sea Otter never had a chance in the Marine Mammals bracket facing Orca in the first round (both species can be seen just off the coast near me and the local otters never mess with the migrating orcas, seriously), and the Orca made it to the finals to be downed by the Hyenas (plural, of course).

Come to think of it, there are also Elephant Seals near me. And they're back in 2015 and higher ranked: #2 among "Sexy Beasts".

And seeing the different bracket categories each year, I'm less disappointed in the current "Mythical" bracket.

But still, there is no reason to NOT include the Raccoon, especially this year.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:20 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Pigmy jerboas consist of just a head and feet.

Wow, it's like a GoldenEye cheat code.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:31 AM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sumatran Rhino vs. Silver Pika? I believe I have found the most mismatched pairing.

I see there are some extinct species mixed into the Sexy Beast bracket. Gigantopithecus FTW.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:46 AM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

A story on NPR! Could a quokka beat a numbat?
posted by ChuraChura at 7:24 AM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, I *was* gonna post this to the blue, but I'll just leave it here...

Dr. Katie Hinde knows that mammals suck (may be NSFW). She addresses why and how and what in this short (12:24) lecture on the importance of mother's milk, which she delivered as part of Harvard University's Big Think series.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:31 AM on March 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

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