Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mara’s Cutest Tuckus

Mara’s Cutest Tuckus

Who will take home the prize?!
The Mara's cutest tuckus contest starts now!

Below you will find each contestant and their descriptive bio. They have chosen to answer at least 1 question within each of the below categories to prove themselves as having the cutest tuckus in the Mara. And you will be the judge!!

The competing categories are as follows:

Color: Arrangement of posterior markings. Is there a flow?
Texture: How rough is my butt? Or is it soft and cuddly to touch?
Sway: How do I work it? How well can I swing it?

Fecal water absorption strategy: Moist, Dry, Pellets, Mush
Environmentally Friendly: Do I make a mess or keep it clean?  Clean=yes, mess=no

Other uses or rear-end difficulties if applicable (species specific): 
Some examples include:
Antelope Flagging - predator deflection
Lion - Sexual signaling and receptivity

The Contestants

Mr. Erina the Eland
 I am the largest antelope in the Mara, but I am also the most skittish. 
I can jump ten feet in the air to avoid predators or just when I like to show off. 
 With all my remarkable characteristics I still believe my rump is my best asset.

My rear is broad and powerful. I tend not to flaunt my posterior. 
 My smooth caramel cappuccino rump 
is always sleek. My long tail helps keep the flies away.
 I do not like to make messes.  It's much better to keep it clean and classy. As one of the eldest antelopes it is my duty to continue our legacy of perfect rear ends.

Species: Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
Color: Caramel Cappuccino
Texture: Soft
Sway:  Classy

Fecal Water Absorption Strategy: Pellets
Environmentally friendly: Of course!
Other Uses: Fat stores

Big Mama Granten
Most people get me confused with my cousin, the Thompson's Gazelle. 
But I actually have much more mature and elegant features then he, which includes my butt. 
"Grants wear pants; tommies wear diapers".
 I do not mean to sound harsh, but it's true. I'm much more 
mature-looking than my close cousins the Thompson's. 
My white coloring starts up past the base of my tail 
and then perfectly falls in the roof of my hooves. 
My black outlining markings can assist in 
deflecting the predators that try to eat me. My tuckus is tight! 

Species: Grant's Gazelle (Nanger granti)
Color: Warrior white
Texture: Soft.

Fecal Water Absorption Strategy: Pellets.
Environmentally friendly: Yes
Other Uses: Predator Deflection!

Timothy Thompson
Timothy Thompson is my name and the cutest butt award I have to claim. Regardless of what you have heard about me from my cousins I still have the confidence to win this competition. We may be small but we have a lot of heart. I can move much faster than a Grant's and I am much more agile. I give predators a run for their money.

Species: Thompson's Gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii)
Color: PikiPiki Pearl
Texture: Soft
Sway: Twitchy

Fecal Water Absorption Strategy: Pellets.
Environmentally friendly: Yes.
Other Uses: Predator deflection

The Felix Family
We are the Fearless Fisi! We have a lot of great characteristics that no other mammals possess. Our vocalization repertoire is incredible. We hunt 90% of our prey. Our matriarchal, hierarchical social organization is impressive and definitely more complex than any other carnivore in the Mara. But the things we can do with our tuckus are what truly makes us special. 

We have special anal gland sacs that we use for scent marking.  We call this pasting. This has similar motor movements to your dog when she wants to wipe her butt all over your nice white carpet, but fortunately we have the entire backyard of the Mara to do so. Our paste is filled with microbes that help us identify who is who and if other clan hyenas have been invading our space.

We believe that we should win this award not because we have the cutest tuckus, 
but because its function actually has an important meaning within our society. 

Species: Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
Color: Polkadot Pleasure
Texture: Fluffy Blotched Behind
Sway: Sassy Sashay
Environmentally friendly: Yes! Nugget Buckets.
Other Uses: Pasting

Mrs. Zirabi and Mr. Mufasa Lion
We are the privileged carnivores. The elite of the Mara. We take pride in everything we do! So it's only obvious that we win this award because we deserve it. Without us being on top of the food chain, the Mara would not be the beautiful place it has become. Vote for us, because our butts deserve it.

Species: African Lion (Panthera leo)
Color: Golden and Grand!
Texture: Perky

Fecal Water Absorption Strategy: Moist/ Mush, Nugget-like
Environmentally friendly:  Heck no!

Other Uses: Sexual signaling and receptivity

Ilza Chester 
We are elegant and sweet, the poised antelope of the Mara. We have a sleek reddish-brown color with smooth soft hair. The coloring of our rump is important for predator deflection and signaling to others in our group. 

Species: Impala (Aepyceros melampus)
Color: Red Rump
Texture: Soft.

Fecal Water Absorption Strategy: Pellets.
Environmentally friendly: Yes
Other Uses: Signaling and Predator Deflection

Oscar's Brigade
Birds rule because we do not have an anus or butts like those weird mammals. We have cloacas. The structure is similar, but we can mate, excrete uric waste, and lay eggs all through our one opening. We did not waste our energy on extra body parts. We are far more advanced than other species, especially those pesky mammals.

Species: Ostrich (Struthio camelus)
Color: Feather Fluff Grey
Texture: Smooth
Environmentally friendly: No, Bird Poop.

I’m famous for my butt. We hippos tend to wallow in our pools minding our own.
 We are not the cleanest bunches of blubber, but we sure use it wisely. 
We need to constantly regulate our body temperatures since we wade most of the day in our water pools. Our fat stores help with our thermoregulation among other functions.

Because we wade in water our poop is rather, how should I state it, runny. We do not need to reabsorb water from our poop to keep us hydrated like Thompson's Gazelles or Giraffes. We are quite alright spreading it wildly. But at least we try to keep it clean by pooing in our pools.

Species: Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)
Color: Gallant Grey
Texture: Blubber Butt
Sway: Juicy Booty
Environmentally friendly: Unfortunately no.
Other Uses: Fat stores.

Tanya Ellie Endovu
We are the kings and queens of Africa. We have an amazing digestive system. We constantly need to be eating to keep us going and traveling long distances.  As elephants we digest 40 percent of what we eat.  We eat approximately 5 percent of our body weight per day and drink about 30 to 50 gallons of water. We eat an extremely varied vegetarian diet, including grass, leaves, twigs, bark, fruit, and seed pods. The fibrous content of our food and the great quantities consumed makes for large volumes of dung. This allows other creatures to survive off the nutrients in our dung.

 Our texture and color speaks for itself. Our wrinkles are unique and flattering! Grey is beautiful. We are so large yet can hide in a brilliant green bush and not be heard or seen.  That’s impressive!!

Species: African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Color: Graceful Grey
Texture: Rough Wrinkle.
Sway:  Classy.
Environmentally friendly: Yes.
Other Uses: Fat stores.
Rear End Difficulties:  TOO DANG BIG!

Sexy legs is our middle name honey! We can’t complain. We embrace our rumpious rear ends. 
We are big and voluptuous animals and we like it that way baby, mmmmhhmm! 
Our gluts are strong and we can gear up and give a big hind kick to any predator that comes our way.

Our accent colors and high hip bones say it all. We are the models of the Mara. Do Not Forget It!

Species: Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Color: Patches of Plenty
Texture: Scratchy Satin
Sway: Sexy

Fecal Water Absorption Strategy: Pellets.
Environmentally friendly: Yes, Dear!
Rear End Difficulties:  Hard to scratch down there!

Jeremy Jackal
I am a sight for sore eyes. Everyone knows that Jackals have the cutest tuckus. It's only obvious from our fluffed tail and our multicolored rump. We are quite similar to your dog at home.  We use our anal glands (which are similar to your dog's) to mark our scent. We may also use our rump to show we are ready to mate.

Species: Black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Color: Calico Fusion
Texture: Fluff ball
Sway: Spunky
Other Uses: Signaling and Identification

William Beasty
I am said to be the mush-pot of the species. “When God created the earth and all the animals in it, I was created by using all the spare parts that were left over from the other creatures.”
Keep that image in mind because that means that I am not the same, or even similar, to any other creature in the Mara.  Therefore my argument for having the most unique and authentic tuckus is warranted by default—I am the Wild Beast!

Species: Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou)
Color: Bold Black
Texture: Soft Velvet
Sway: Trot-about

The Fisi Campers
We wanted to compete in the contest even though our booties may or may not have a chance against the rest. We know how to shake it, rattle and roll it when we need to and move the canopy when we all get together to celebrate. We are the life of the party. Fisi campers know how it goes down!
Species: Human (Homo sapiens)
Color: Brilliant Booty Blast
Texture: Cuddly and cushy
Sway: Jungle Swag
Other Uses: Dancing until the sun comes up!

The Ontogeny of Pasting Behavior in Free-living Spotted Hyenas, Crocuta crocuta

  • Kevin R. Theis
  • Anna L. Heckla
  • Joseph R. Verge
  • Kay E. Holekamp
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