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Nix, may I please ask how you would distinguish between the Machairodonts and the not-actually-cat sabertooths (like the Nimravids or the Barbourofelids) in you were ever inspired to draw them side by side? (also, may I please ask if you have ever illustrated one of the Amphicyonidae?).

I’d distinguish the “false sabertooth” nimravids and barbourofelids by making them visually less cat-like, since they’re non-felid feliforms.

Differences in nose and ear shape can go a long way in making mammals look distinct from each other, so I’d try to avoid doing the classic triangular cat nose.

Plus they both have those bony flanges on their lower jaws that machairodonts lacked.


Nimravids have slightly longer snouts and smaller nasal cavities, and being very basal feliforms I’d give them more “generic carnivoran” features based on relatives like viverrids and nandiniids.


Barbourofelids have rather deep jaws and a a sort of square-ish head shape. Their taxonomic position is a little uncertain – they’re either the sister group to felids or close relatives of nimravids –  so I could potentially push their appearance even less cat-like, too.


As for bear-dogs… I did actually illustrate a couple of those for a PBS Eons episode a little while back! I’ll be showing them off here along with a few other images very soon.

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“When we think of bats, we think of how fluffy they are, but sometimes they’re not as fluffy as we think. This week’s #baturday features the greater naked bat (Cheiromeles torquatus). Despite its name, the greater naked bat has short hairs around its neck and head, the first toe and tail membrane. It also has a prominent patch of fur on the throat, which produces a strong-smelling oily secretion (likely to attract mates). The greater naked bat also has the unique adaptation of a thumb claw that is very flexible and can rotate easily, which allows for the species to climb up a tree backwards!”

quote and pic from

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I’m in the northern Netherlands and just took a walk in the park. It was maybe 12:30pm, sunny and bright and quite warm. Suddenly I saw a little bat in the corner of my eye as if it was coming at me wings spread wide open. It was a reflex to dodge and when I stood up I saw it go in the man-made bat nest/“house” in the tree next to the path. So it was a bat for sure, small and furry, I saw it again going in to the nest. Didn’t have time to spot any specific details though.

Why would it be out in the bright light?

I have no idea whether it tried to scare/attack me (maybe not) or if it was just trying to fly back to its nest and we (me, husband and toddler) happened to be so close quite in front of that nest in the tree. Anyway it flew into the nest so we didn’t have any more time to observe it. It wasn’t on the ground and it flew on its own and seemed to know where to go (that nest).

It didn’t touch me or any of us as far as I know but I’m still terrified if it was rabid or something. Could you please reassure me that I would have noticed if it had touched my hair or anything?! It doesn’t help that in my head under my hair I have my skin in a bad condition now and I’m just irrationally terrified it somehow got some saliva in the wounds there or something…

I think in the Netherlands serotine bat is the one associated with most rabies found. And a few rabid pond bats but that’s it? Serotine bat is bigger I guess. Once I observed bats in the other park and saw these small ones and then 2 noticably bigger ones. Those bigger ones would probably not fit in the nest this today’s one went into…

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