Thursday, March 25
Round 4, Elite Trait Results: Saber-Toothed Anchovy, Mountain Tapir, Red Kangaroo, and Harpy Eagle ADVANCE!!!!
For Full SCIENTIFIC DETAILS for each battle, visit the Play-by-Play!
Wednesday, March 24
Round 3, Sweet Sixteen Results: Midgardia Seastar, Dugong, Red Kangaroo, Red Hartebeest, Saber-Toothed Anchovy, Mountain Tapir, Sphinx Monkey, and Harpy Eagle ADVANCE!!!!
Monday, March 22
Round 2, Of Myths & Monsters & Sea Beasties Results: Saber-Toothed Anchovy, Devil Frog, Blue-Capped Ifrit, Midgardia Seastar, Ammonite, Vampire Squid, Harpy Eagle, and Sphinx Monkey ADVANCE!!!!
Thursday, March 18
Round 2, Tricksy Taxonomy & Red, in Fur Results: Red Kangaroo, Mountain Tapir, Egyptian Fruit Bat, Red Hartebeest, Red Wolf, Dugong, Bay Cat, and Red Brocket ADVANCE!!!!
Wednesday, March 17
Round 1, OF MYTHS & MONSTERS Results: Harpy Eagle, Picado’s Jumping Pitviper, Devil Frog, Cryptkeeper Wasp, Ghost Bat, Blue-Capped Ifrit, Sphinx Monkey, and Chimpanzee ADVANCE!!!!
Monday, March 15
Round 1, SEA BEASTIES Results: Saber-Toothed Anchovy, Midgardia Seastar, Pink Vent Fish, Yeti Crab, Vampire Squid, Ammonite, Platyzilla, and Black Dragonfish ADVANCE!!!!
Thursday, March 11
Round 1, TRICKSY TAXONOMY Results: Dugong, Mountain Tapir, Tarsier, Red Wolf, Solenodon, Jaguarundi, Egyptian Fruit Bat, and Musk Deer ADVANCE!!!!
Wednesday, March 10
Division Red, in Fur Round 1: Kangaroo, Tree Rat, Brocket, Langur, Fox, Bay Cat, Lemur, Hartebeest ADVANCE!!!
Sports Summaries by Prof Kate Lesciotto, Sam Houston State University
Red Kangaroo (1) v. Southern Red-Backed Vole (16) – Tonight the largest living marsupial faces off against the Wild Card Winner in the Charles Darwin Reserve in Western Australia. This battle features a male Red Kangaroo, as males are reddish in color, while females are bluish-gray, and this male Red Kangaroo is currently enjoying home-court advantage, while Southern Red-Backed Vole isn’t enjoying the dry, dusty environs. In the prime foraging hours of dusk, Southern Red-Backed Vole finds itself smack dab in the middle of a kangaroo mob (official term for a group or 10 or more kangaroos) grazing on the dry, autumn grass. Southern Red-Back Vole settles in to nibble on a seed, when suddenly it’s soaking wet! Could this be a sweet, refreshing rain? Sadly no – it’s spit dribbling from the hungry, slobbering Red Kangaroo! Escaping this unwelcome downpour, Southern Red-Backed Vole scampers off to a nearby Acacia cerastes (a rare, wiry wattle) shrub. RED KANGAROO defeats Southern Red-Backed Vole!!!! Narrated by Dr. Tara Chestnut.
Red Hartebeest (2) v. Red Squirrel (15) – This battle features the hulking specimen of Red Hartebeest versus the dainty adorableness of Red Squirrel (seriously, check out those ear tufts!). This male Red Hartebeest is in its prime, making his presence known on a termite mound under the hot Botswanan sun in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to ensure that other males don’t make a play for his territory while several female hartebeests enjoy a nap under the shade of a nearby thorn tree. Red Squirrel, used to forest life, is alarmed by the lack of cover and unfamiliar predators. Red Squirrel sees the thorn tree as potential cover from raptors and other predators. Assuming that the large, reddish herbivores there are as harmless as the red deer from his home forest, Red Squirrel barrels towards the thorn tree. Red Hartebeest sees the small ball of fur and also decides to run towards his females under the thorn tree. Red Squirrel gets tangled up in Red Hartebeest’s hooves, with an unintentional kick sending Red Squirrel flying (note that this is not a usually a flying squirrel – that was a different battle). Quickly picking himself up, Red Squirrel resumes his track towards the tree, but this time instead of getting kicked, he is trodden and squished by Red Hartebeest. RED HARTEBEEST tramples Red Squirrel!!! Narrated by Dr. Anne Hilborn.
Maroon Langur (4) v. Little Red Flying Fox (13) – Maroon Langur (AKA Red Leaf Monkey) is in the Sebangau Forest of Central Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo, enjoying the evening from the treetops surrounded by the females of his group. Hearing a rustling from the forest, Maroon Langur gives a territorial call, which is heard by the Little Red Flying Fox who is flying nearby while looking for a meal of nectar. (“Little” Red Flying Fox may be small in weight but has a 3-foot wingspan!!) Maroon Langur continues to scan the canopy for interlopers, while Little Red Flying Fox veers towards a more open area … and right into a net set up by local hunters!! These nets are often used to hunt Large Flying Foxes, particularly from February-April which has contributed to the decline of bat populations. As Little Red Flying Fox struggles in vain to free his wings, Maroon Langur decides that there is no further threat and resumes his evening activities. MAROON LANGUR outlasts Little Red Flying Fox!!! Narrated by Dr. Lara Durgavich and Dr. Alyson Brokaw.
Red Brocket (5) v. Siberian Weasel (12) – The Red Brocket is a smaller deer species, weighing in at approximately 136 stoats (#StoatsAsMeasurements) or 30 kg, compared to the 3.7 stoats, or 820 g, for the Siberian Weasel. Despite being a very #MightyMustelid, Siberian Weasel finds itself perhaps slightly overdressed, with a coat designed to survive a Siberian winter, in the unfamiliar Reserva Natural Vale in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Bounding loudly through the leaf litter in search of food, Siberian Weasel startles Red Brocket, who emits a sneeze-like snort in alarm and leaps up and lands … back in the exact same spot. Siberian Weasel is unfazed by Red Brocket but decides that this confrontation is not worth his impressive carnassials or energy. Siberian Weasel bounds past Red Brocket and exits the battlefield to search for a tasty snack elsewhere. RED BROCKET outlasts Siberian Weasel!!! Narrated by Prof Jessica Light.
Red Fox (6) v. Ring-Tailed Vontsira (11) – Among the many species of foxes, Red Fox is the largest at 57 inches long and 14 kilograms. The Ring-Tailed Vontsira is a social creature and is Madagascar’s answer to bloodthirsty, carnivorous squirrels. However, this battle does not occur in Madagascar – instead, Red Fox is enjoying the familiar territory of Walnut Creek, California, outside of Diablo Foothills Park. Red Fox is comfortable in the woodlands, as well as more urban environments. This is a drier environment than Ring-Tailed Vontsira is used to, but no bother – something delicious is in the air, and Ring-Tailed Vontsira slinks its way to a plastic trash can near some park benches. Trotting along the trail, Red Fox stops at the same picnic area, knowing it might be able to pick up some discarded human food scraps or a rat that was attracted to the area by the food scraps … in fact, Red Fox hears a big rat in the trash can right now! Climbing out of the trash can and licking mustard off its nose, Ring-Tailed Vontsira runs into Red Fox – a stare-down ensues. And Red Fox lunges!! Weighed down by its latest trashcan meal of a half-eaten hamburger, Ring-Tailed Vontsira only manages to let out one last squeak as Red Fox bites through its spine. RED FOX kills Ring-Tailed Vontsira!!! Narrated by Dr. Asia Murphy & Kwasi Wrensford, PhC.
Red-Crested Tree Rat (8) v. Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel (9) – Just like the Wild Card round, this battle sees another match-up between #TeamRodent, with the higher-seeded but endangered Red-Crested Tree Rat enjoying the at-home comfort of the Andean cloud forests of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park. Luckily, Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel is also used to a forest habitat and begins to forage on some nearby leaves without feeling too out of place. Suddenly, Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel stills, scanning the scene carefully, and squeaks with alarm! Red-Crested Tree Rat launches itself towards Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel to begin a boxing-style attack! Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel is not adapted for this style of fighting and instead launches itself off the branch, with arms and legs precisely stretched out for gliding through the air. While glorious to watch, this maneuver does take Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel out of the battlefield. RED-CRESTED TREE RAT beatboxes away Red & White Giant Flying Squirrel!!! Written by Prof Patrice Connors.
Red Ruffed Lemur (7) v. Red-Necked Pademelon (10) – While the higher-seeded Red Ruffed Lemur enjoys home-habitat advantage in the deciduous tropical forests of the Masoala Peninsula in Madagascar, the same trees favored by the lemurs are also favored by logging companies. Illegal logging, traps, cyclones, and fires make this a dangerous environment and have resulted in the Red Ruffed Lemur being one of the most endangered of all the lemurs. Much smaller that the Number 1 seeded Red Kangaroo, Red-Necked Pademelon (definitely not a thylacine) is also an Australian marsupial and, although confused by the tropical forest of tonight’s battle, begins to graze in the undergrowth. From the forest canopy above, Red-Necked Pademelon hears multiple screeching, staccato jackhammer “uh-uh-uh-uhs”! Could this possibly be the growling of Tasmanian Devils?? Tasmanian Devils used to be a primary predator of Red-Necked Pademelon but were outcompeted by dingoes on mainland Australia thousands of years ago. Plus … Tasmanian Devils aren’t known for their tree-climbing prowess. No, this is Red Ruffed Lemur performing a “loud call” directly above Red-Necked Pademelon, who quickly hops off through the dense ground cover and flees the battlefield. RED RUFFED LEMUR terrifies Red-Necked Pademelon!!! Narrated by Prof Marc Kissel.
Bay Cat (3) v. Red-Rumped Agouti (14) – Perhaps the rarest species in the Red, in Fur Division, Bay Cat is an endangered species about the size of a domestic cat from the forests of Borneo. While not much is known about the predatory habits of Bay Cat, it’s a good guess that small mammals are part of its diet (hmmm, that certainly doesn’t sound good for Red-Rumped Agouti!). The Red-Rumped Agouti is a rodent species that has been described as having a “pig-like body and a rabbit-like head” and plays a crucial role in seed dispersal for large-seeded tropical plants. In the Wehea Forest in East Kalimantan, Borneo (not terribly unlike the forests that Red-Rumped Agouti is used to in northeast South America), the elusive Bay Cat is on the hunt. Red-Rumped Agouti has been lulled into relaxation by a tasty meal of palm fruits and is unaware as the ghost-like Bay Cat stealthily inches forward and pounces!! Even though Red-Rumped Agouti is almost the same size as Bay Cat, the ambush is quick, and the jaws of Bay Cat are powerful, providing a mercifully quick end to this battle. BAY CAT devours Red-Rumped Agouti!!! Narrated by Prof Kristi Lewton.
Monday, March 8
Wild Card Results: Southern Red-Backed Vole ADVANCES!!!!
Hopi Chipmunk v. Southern Red-Backed Vole – Tonight’s Wild Card round sees two proud ginger members of #TeamRodent squaring off for the right to meet Red Kangaroo on the battlefield in Round 1, Red, in Fur Division. Although Hopi Chipmunk has a slight weight advantage (47-59g versus 20-42g for Southern Red-Backed Vole), Southern Red-Backed Vole wins the coin-flip for home-habitat advantage along the North Inlet trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hopi Chipmunk is used to the forest life though and begins this battle by foraging for seeds on the forest floor. Suddenly, Hopi Chipmunk freezes, eyes scanning the environment, and sees Southern Red-Backed Vole raised in a crouching posture with one paw lifted – a behavior that suggests a potential escalation to aggression. That potential is realized as Southern Red-Backed Vole leaps in for an attack!! This happens to be a male Southern Red-Backed Vole, who is very defensive of his home range during the current breeding season, and who proceeds to use both paws to beat Hopi Chipmunk’s head. Without the advantage of being in its home turf or mates to defend, an unmotivated Hopi Chipmunk quickly retreats to a hidey-hole. SOUTHERN RED-BACKED VOLE repels Hopi Chipmunk!!!!! Narrated by Prof Patrice Conners.