"Australia has a rich diversity of mammals, with around 320 native, land-based
species, 87% of which are found here and nowhere else. Many of these mammals
are secretive, only active at night, and small, weighing less than one
Mammals are “endotherms”, which means they must generate their own heat and
maintain the temperature within a narrow range. This requires a lot of food.
For small mammals, which have a high surface area to volume ratio, the
energetic cost is even higher. This makes them particularly prone to heat gain
and loss, putting them in peril every night."
"In addition to the nightly challenge of finding enough food to maintain a
stable body temperature, keep a complex brain functioning and have enough
energy to move up to several kilometres, Australia’s small mammals face a host
of human-caused threats. These include habitat clearing, climate change and
The combined pressures have too often proven insurmountable. With 34 species
lost forever, Australia has the worst modern-day mammal extinction record of
any country on Earth.
So how can we turn this appalling situation around?
First, we humans must appreciate these unique animals and decide they need to
be saved. That requires knowledge and understanding, so let’s get to know some
of these mysterious mammals a little better."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics