Friday, March 7, 2014

Mammal March Madness!

I have just learned of this awesome animal based March Madness bracket event occurring called Mammal March Madness 2014 and it looks amazing. They have set up 4 divisions of, mostly, mammals to simulate battles between in a NCAA bracket-esque event. The four divisions are:
  1. Social Mammals (they get to fight in their groups!), 
  2. The Who in the What Now? (mammals most of us do not know, learn something new!), 
  3. Fossil Mammals (back from the past!),
  4. Marine Mammals (my favorite group!).
Each division features one non-mammal: army ants, cassowary, megalania and oceanic white tip, respectively. In addition to this being one of the most awesome brackets I have ever seen, it is turning out to be a fantastic learning experience. Boo and I are both doing our own brackets and we have NOT picked the same, cannot wait to see who is right.

Tonight, we sat down and made our picks for Social Mammals and Marine Mammals. We got out his Smithsonian The Animal Book and my laptop for anything not covered in his book. First things first, I taught him how to do research. Look at the name of the animal on the bracket (we are using the common name bracket, not the Latin names.. this year) and then look it up in the Index at the back of his book. If it was there, we would flip to the page and read about it. If it was not there, I would get out Google and find it. Then we would talk about what factors might be important to the individual battle, such as animal size, speed, strength, social group size, etc. Then he would write down his prediction and move to the next set.
Research, research, research!
By this process he learned how to research, how to compare, and now he has predictions that during the actual 2014MMM will be tested. After each round we can talk about why each animal won and, for the ones he got wrong, what factor he might not have considered. This is kid friendly science at its finest! We have already learned about a few new animals and new facts about animals we already knew and loved. I HIGHLY encourage everyone to try this!

His Social Mammal prediction:
Bracket courtesy of:

Social Mammal Winner:


His Marine Mammal Prediction:
Bracket courtesy of

Marine Mammal Winner:



Some of the better quotes that came out of our research tonight (pictures provided in case you are not familiar with that animal):

"HAHAHAHAH Musk ox will just pound that little tail-less squirrel"

"Wolf, cause it can run faster and the ox is low and slow so the wolf will run it down and jump on it and eat it"

"Mandrill will beat the wolf because it can bite and break wolves bones."

"Narwhal will go ::tosses his head into my stomach:: with its tusk! Easy."

"Walrus tusks into heart Orca dead."

We will do the other two brackets over the weekend. This is going to be fun!! Play along with us! Post your picks or pictures of your picks in the comment section!


  1. This makes me happier than I could possibly express.

    1. this is ALL because of you! You did the hard work of creating such an amazing experience! Thank you :)


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