Hydrologists go wild

The watershed hydrology lab and friends are participating in Mammals March Madness, in which different mammals battle for supremacy based on their physiology and behavior and we battle for laughs and bragging rights. Organized by Harvard’s Katie Hinde, Mammals March Madness had hundreds of participants last year, and looks to have even more this year. This year’s divisions include social, marine, fossil, and “who in the what now”, so there’s a vaguely geological bent, but really it’s just for fun. Dr. Hinde promises prizes for the best pictures of entrants with their bracket photos, so here’s our group and their top picks.

Kimm and her longshot top choice of MARMOT.

Kimm and her longshot top choice of MARMOT.

Aly goes for size with her top choice of peracerathium.

Aly goes for size with her top choice of peracerathium.

Darren goes for short-faced bear.

Darren goes for short-faced bear.

Grace is betting on the orca. I hope for her sake that the final battle is in the water.

Grace is betting on the orca. I hope for her sake that the final battle is in the water.

Krista thinks the walrus will be the champion.

Krista thinks the walrus will be the champion.


Eric is another on team Orca.

Eric is another on team Orca.

Mike makes a third for team Orca.

Mike makes a third for team Orca.

Stuart favors a herd of Musk Oxen to take down all comers.

Stuart favors a herd of Musk Oxen to take down all comers.

Sebastian goes for mastodon.

Sebastian goes for mastodon.

Note the number of crossed-off choices on our brackets. That gives the merest hint of the level of seriousness and debate that accompanied our decisions. Persuasive arguments were made, silliness was had, pizza was eaten, animals were stacked. Now it all depends on the mammalogists to school us earth science types.

Short-faced bears are far fiercer than pandas, which wouldn't stand a chance in this competition.

Short-faced bears are far fiercer than pandas, which wouldn’t stand a chance in this competition.

As for me, I’m voting for the short-faced bear, though I’m quite concerned how it will fare against a pack of wild dogs. And I really wouldn’t count anyone out. The face-off between the pangolin and the echidna could be epic in it’s inactivity.

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