In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Jack Ashby about the wonderful mammals of Australia. They talk about the distinctions between monotremes, marsupials, and placentals and where they are located around the world. They mention the ways in which the rest of the world discusses Australian mammals. They describe the features of the platypus, along with their mating and reproduction characteristics. They also talk about the features of the echidna including the males four-headed penis. They talk about the features of marsupials and some of the reproductive features of Tasmanian Devils. They mention the extinct Australian animals and the recent discussion of some trying to "resurrect" the thylacine. They talk about working in tandem with various Indigenous people groups in Australia and how to best understand Australian mammals.
Jack Ashby is a scientist and author. Currently, he is the Assistant Director of the University Museum of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. He has his PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge and was previously the museum manager at the Grant Museum of Zoology at University College London. He is a trustee of the Natural Sciences Collections Association, an Honorary Research Fellow in UCL Science and Technology Studies, and sits on the Council of the Society for the History of Natural History. He is the author of the latest book, Platypus Matters: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Mammals. You can find his work here. Twitter: @jackdashby
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