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Welcome to, a blog about mammals and mammalian research. The goal of this site is to help inform mammalogists, students of mammalogy, and others about the fascinating lives of mammals. Entries are generally short summaries of recent research articles in the field or news events about mammals. My goal is to add new posts roughly once per week or so. Remember this is a work in progress.

The Author:

My name is Jim Ryan. I joined the faculty in biology at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in the Finger Lakes region of New York State in 1987. Prior to that I earned my PhD from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters degree from the University of Michigan.

My research focuses on mammalian biodiversity and conservation of African small mammals and on the morphology of rodents and bats (mostly). I worked for several years in the rain forest of Madagascar surveying small mammal communities and primates. I served as Team Leader on the Ghana Coastal Wetlands Management Project which established a series of long-term biodiversity monitoring sites in Ghana, West Africa. I also studied the rare hero shrew in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Southern Uganda on a National Geographic Grant. I’ve also studied mobbing behavior in fruit bats, flight muscle morphology in vampire bats, the neuromuscular control of flight in bats, and most recently the gene controlling UV photoreceptors in insectivorous bats. As you can see, I have diverse interests.

I am a co-author on the most recent edition (5th) of the textbook Mammalogy, along with Terry Vaughan and Nick Czaplewski (published in 2010 by Jones & Bartlett Publishers). I’m also in the process of completing a field manual for Mammalogy, which I hope to publish in 2011.

I teach a variety of courses including Introductory Biology, Comparative Anatomy, Mammalogy, Vertebrate Biology, and occasionally Math Models of Biological Systems and Drawn to Nature (an exploration of the art of natural history).

For more information visit my personal website Here.

If you have comments, corrections, or articles and news you’d like to see featured here, or if you are interested in advertising on this site, please contact me.


First, I and only I am responsible for errors, typos, and other mishaps. I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.
Second, any opinions stated on this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anybody else. That said, this is not really an opinion blog and I’ll try not to rant about things here - there are lots of great blogs for that already.
Third, I have not decided how I want to handle comments. I don't want to moderate comments, so for now the comments are not live. I may allow live comments later. I will post interesting comments or ideas from the emails I receive. I am happy to receive comment, but please use common sense and common courtesy. Keep your comments focused and on-topic (no rants), and please keep the language clean.