March Mammal Madness

The 2020 tournament was a real nail-biter. I’m a Mighty Ducks kind of sports fan and put my money behind the diminutive short-tailed shrew. Small, but ooh boy, what a bite! Well, like 2019 when I went all in on Beaver FTW, I was once more disappointed. There was some small satisfaction that the gopher tortoise made it all the way to the final roar. Angry at the silverback’s domination of the shellback, I rooted for the brown hyena to take the trophy. Alas, my high hopes were quickly dashed in the championship round as gorilla was victorious, claiming the crown for Mammal of the Year. If you have no idea what any of this means, then you’re in for a treat. So sit down, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. It’s March Mammal Madness time!

Brackets for the 2021 March Mammal Madness Tournament

The 2021 Crow’s Path MMM Contest

Welcome to the 3rd annual Crow’s Path March Mammal Madness Contest. Rules are simple: Pick the top bracket and win a shirt and sticker. Bonus prize: if you’re the winner and a patron, you’ll get a beautiful, hand-carved spoon. Details on the tournament and the contest can be found below.

Contest Details

The Crow’s Path contest is open to anyone and everyone, so tell your friends, family, neighbors, students, and any other mammal you know who has opposable thumbs (though you can only submit one bracket). Anyone who submits a bracket by 11:59pm on March 9 will be eligible for the contest. After the championship match on March 31, we’ll score all the brackets and announce the winner by April 5. You can learn more about the tournament at Katie Hinde’s blog and follow along #2021MMM on Twitter

  • February 28 : Brackets are released
  • Midnight, March 8: Deadline to submit your bracket to be officially entered in the Crow’s Path contest. You can enter a bracket by filling out and email a bracket to me or using the online form
  • March 9: Tournament begins with the wildcard match
  • March 9 – April 1: Follow the tournament on Twitter #2021MMM and cheer on your favorite contestants
  • March 30: Last chance to sign up as a patron for a chance to win a hand-carved spoon
  • March 31: Championship match
  • April 5: Winners announced

How to submit a bracket

There are 3 ways to fill out the bracket. Before you do, check out the brackets (available as a spreadsheet or PNG image) and choose which animals you think are going all the way (come on, Red Squirrel!). Then, you’ll need to submit your bracket in one of the following ways:

  1. Spreadsheet: If you have a google account, this is the easiest way to submit a bracket. Make a copy of the brackets spreadsheet, fill it out, and then email us a link to your completed bracket (be sure to include your name up at the top of the spreadsheet). You can also open the file and then save it as an Excel file.
  2. Email: Fill out the bracket, take a photo, and then email it to:
  3. Mail: Print and fill out the bracket and mail it to
    Crow’s Path
    56 Latham Ct
    Burlington, VT 05401

About the MMM Tournament

From the official MMM website: “Inspired by (but in no way affiliated with or representing) the NCAA College Basketball March Madness Championship Tournament, March Mammal Madness is an annual tournament of *simulated* combat competition among mammals. Scientific literature is cited to substantiate likely outcomes as a probabilistic function of the two species’ attributes within the battle environment. Attributes considered in calculating battle outcome include temperament, weaponry, armor, body mass, running speed, fight style, physiology, and motivation.

“Through the scientific information embedded in the bout descriptions, participants are educated about inter-species interactions, the importance of ecological context, how natural selection has shaped adaptations, and conservation management of endangered species.”


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