It’s that time of year again! Mammal March Madness has arrived!
This is the annual tournament of simulated combat between mammal species organized by four biologists. 65 species enter … and only one is crowned the champion. Here’s how it works:
Scientific literature is cited to substantiate likely outcomes as a probabilistic function of the two species’ attributes within the battle environment. Attributes considered in calculating battle outcome include temperament, weaponry, armor, body mass, running speed, fight style, physiology, and motivation.
Through the scientific information embedded in the bout descriptions, participants are educated about inter-species interactions, the importance of ecological context, how natural selection has shaped adaptations, and conservation management of endangered species.
The first bout - a wildcard match between the Thor Hero Shrew and the King Midas Bat has already finished (winner: HERO SHREW) - but you still have time to fill out your bracket before the first round of regular match-ups (the “chill mammal” division) begins tonight. Download your bracket here and fill it out!
You can follow the matches on twitter via the #2016MMM hashtag. Tournament schedule:
3/10 Mighty Giants
3/14 MG & C
3/17 Sweet 16
3/21 Elite Trait
3/22 Final Roar
My favorite to win? Ursus maritimus.
Here’s my terrible, punny sports-radio style send-up of last year’s competition:
The illustrations in the poster up top were created by Charon Henning - check out more of her artwork here.