Monday, February 28, 2011
Two of the fleet-footed native Australian marsupials escaped from their owner's residence in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Amager on Monday.
One found its own way home today but the second remains on the loose, police said.
University of Florida researchers George Austin and Andrew Warren discovered the new species of owl butterfly earlier this year. The discovery is significant because the species is large and colorful, and is the first butterfly from this group to be named in more than 100 years.
Rather than naming the butterfly themselves, the customary practice when new species are discovered, Austin and Warren decided to auction the naming rights of the new species to raise money to support continued research on Mexican butterflies at the McGuire Center.
Arctic foxes create "nest eggs" each year to prepare for leaner times, according to a new study.
Like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter, the small foxes hoard bird eggs in case there's not enough of their favorite prey—the collard lemming—to go around in the spring.
The stored eggs can last for up to a year after being buried, thanks to the Arctic permafrost and natural preservatives inside the eggs.
Fup, the resident cat at Powell's Technical Books, passed away on October 25. She was 19 years old. She continued to greet her admiring public to the end, when her health failed and there was no choice but to put her to sleep. Her lifelong veterinarian made the trip out to the store to perform the task and Fup died peacefully at home with several of her longtime co-workers present.
About 7 percent of dog owners say they have purchased a Halloween costume for their pet, up from 4 percent in 2004, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
If you're part of that trend, beware of the hazards of costumes for our furry friends.
• Be sure that straps aren't buckled too tightly, because they might constrict air passages and cause choking.
• Make sure the costume lets the animal move comfortably and does not restrict vision or hearing.
• Don't let your pet chew on the costume; it may contain dangerous dyes and other chemicals.
• Make sure no part of the costume is flammable.
• A reflective costume adds to safety after dark.
If you do dress up your dog on Halloween night, don't have him wear the costume for too long. And always keep dogs on a leash, as there are lots of distractions around.
One final warning: Don't let dogs or other animals get close to a candlelit jack-o-lantern.
It could be dangerous for the animal and become a fire hazard.
A clam dredged up off the coast of Iceland is thought to have been the longest-lived creature discovered.
Scientists said the mollusc, an ocean quahog clam, was aged between 405 and 410 years and could offer insights into the secrets of longevity.
Researchers from Bangor University in north Wales said they calculated its age by counting rings on its shell.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest-lived animal was an Arctica clam found in 1982 aged 220.
Do you wonder how the scenes involving owls were created and shot for the Harry Potter movies?
This article has some interesting "behind the scenes" information. Animals received royal treatment during filming. In many cases, the animals received better treatment than the human actors – such as the scenes with the cats Mrs. Norris and Professor McGonagall. Many of the scenes take place in a real castle, which was actually quite drafty and cold. For the cats' comfort, they were provided heated floors to keep their paws and their bodies warm. The human actors had no such comforts.
Which salamanders have four legs, a flat head, a paddle-like tail, beady little eyes and are called names like "snot otter" and "devil dog"?
Also known as Allegheny alligator, mollyhugger, and mud cat, the hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is North America’s largest salamander, reaching lengths of nearly 30 inches.
These strange, but interesting creatures once thrived in thousands of pristine streams throughout the eastern United States. Populations have drastically declined, mainly because of declining stream quality. Not only has the hellbender population dwindled by 80 per cent in the last 30 years, but those remaining have severe deformities – missing toes, limbs and open sores. There is a 95 per cent chance of extinction of this animal over the next 75 years.
The average age of Cryptobranchus in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, they have lived as long as twenty-nine years.
Hellbenders are not venomous, though their skin secretions are somewhat toxic. They will bite, but only if they are really provoked. A common myth is that hellbenders will 'ruin' good fishing streams by eating all the fish. This couldn't be farther from the truth! In fact, if you see hellbenders in a stream, this is an excellent indication that the water quality is still good -- and this is good for both hellbenders and game fish. The hellbender's voracious appetite for crayfish also means that they are very important for keeping a stream's food chain balanced, and this is good for fish and the entire ecosystem.
Photo #1: Kurt Buhlmann
Photo #2: Jeff Humphries
The world's most endangered cat species may be slightly less endangered than previously thought.
A new population of Iberian lynx has been discovered in a remote area of Spain—raising the number of known populations from two to three—a conservation group reports.
The newfound population appears to roam private estates in the Castile la Mancha Province of central Spain, according to the international conservation group WWF.
The two other known populations occupy isolated portions of Andalusia in southern Spain
Biologists from The University of Manchester have teamed up with experts at Chester Zoo in the hope that their findings will not only help save the splendid leaf frog Cruziohyla calcarifer from extinction in the wild but provide clues as to how it can be better catered for in zoos and aquariums.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Although these animals may have disabilities, they do not consider themselves handicapped. They just want to get on with life and enjoy themselves. Thanks to the support of the sanctuary's friends, that's what they get to do there.
A captive Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA. This critically endangered subspecies of the Gray Wolf once ranged from central Mexico to the Southwestern United States. In 1980, the last five known surviving members were captured to save the species. Now, over 300 wolves are taking part in a wolf reintroduction program, with at least fifty individuals in the wild.
Photo credit: Jim Clark, USFWS
But Patty Cooper's service animal is a horse of a different color: a black and white miniature horse, to be exact.
The nonprofit housing group is trying to figure out whether it can accommodate the disabled woman's new companion amid concerns about the horse's need for grazing space and whether it will be adequately housebroken.
A blue lobster, so rare that only one in two million have the color, has been trapped off the Massachusetts coast.
The lobster, nicknamed Betty Blue, was found in a trap off Minot's Light, one mile offshore of Scituate, Mass.
The lobster is so blue that "she glowed in the trap," said Eddie Figueiredo, who trapped the pound-and-a-quarter lobster.
The Latin name of Panthera leo krugeri is not limited to white lions. It applies to all South African lion subspecies; the prides of which are mostly located in Kruger National Park and nearby game reserves.
White lions are not albino as they have pigmentation which shows particularly in eye, paw pad and lip colour. The correct term for their condition is leucism, a state where there is near-normal eye colour, but loss of pigment in the skin and fur.
The cause of the unusual colouration is the same as for the white tiger. A recessive gene which results in the white appearance is found in a very small number of captive lions.
White specimens usually have a yellowish-brown or golden eye color which is very similar to their tawny cousins, though some have bluish coloring like the white tiger
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Give your cat "the outdoor experience" within the safety of your home.
If you have a cat and a window you will enjoy The Feline Solarium. Cats naturally enjoy the outdoors and love to sleep in warm sunlight. You will make your best friend so happy!
After 79 days of close watch by the South Walton Turtle Watch Group, Walton County’s sea turtle nest No. 12, located in Seagrove just west of Seagrove Villas, came to life Oct. 6 following the day’s heavy rain.
At 9:15 p.m., Turtle Watch Volunteer Joe Burton checked on the nest and found a tiny flipper coming out of the sand. After making several phone calls, Burton, fellow volunteer Sharon Maxwell, and 23 other spectators crowded around the nest as the baby sea turtles slowly emerged and crawled into the water.
“A truly awesome sight,” Maxwell said.
Mary Nacey, of San Carlos Peninsula Humane Society, is the "squirrel whisperer."
Nancey is the one the shelter's Wildlife Care Center entrusts with its most fragile rescues: baby squirrels. She gives them the mothering they need to survive and then knows when to pull away so they can be the wild creatures they were meant to be.
"Unfortunately, orphaned, sick and injured wild animals don't always make it," said Scott Delucchi, spokesman for the humane society.
"Mary's very caring and is good about giving the animals TLC, but she is also good about setting boundaries and understanding when and how to let go.
The skinny-pig has no hair on its body except for tufts on its face and feet - so needs strong suncream in the summer and a jumper in winter.
What do you think,
The New York Daily News is reporting that Nadege Brunacci was washing her hands when she glanced at the toilet and saw a 7-foot python staring back at her
Scientists have discovered that the mangrove killifish spends several months of every year out of the water and living inside trees.
Hidden away inside rotten branches and trunks, the remarkable creatures temporarily alter their biological makeup so they can breathe air.
Biologists studying the killifish say they astonished it can cope for so long out of its natural habitat.
The discovery, along with its ability to breed without a mate, must make the mangrove killifish, Rivulus marmoratus Poey, one of the oddest fish known to man.
Around two inches long, they normally live in muddy pools and the flooded burrows of crabs in the mangrove swamps of Florida, Latin American and Caribbean
For turtles, lying belly-up is a helpless, life-threatening situation.
Now it appears many turtles evolved shells with unique shapes to easily help them flip back onto their bellies if they find themselves on their backs.
"Before starting this project, I always thought animals such as turtles worked hard to right themselves, and what this showed was this need not be the case—they can just have a good shape for their shell that does most of the work," applied mathematician Peter Varkonyi at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary told LiveScience
Monday, February 21, 2011
Bird experts say sightings of the green-breasted mango inside the United States are rare, making the one in Joan Salzberg's yard on a recent warm October morning that much more unusual.
"Birds from the Yucatan aren't supposed to be in southwestern Wisconsin," said Donnie Dann, a bird conservation expert from Highland Park who recently made the approximately 90-mile trek to see the iridescent green animal. "But that's one of the wonderful things about birds. They fly, and sometimes they act in a bizarre and unexpected way."
Wow! I didn't know this:
Diapering your duck, goose or chicken is the first step to enjoying the rewarding experience of living with one of these amazing creatures. It not only keeps your house clean, it gives your little feathered kid the freedom to go where you go and do what you do!
Ramses was awarded a Medal of Courage by the Governor of Texas for scaring off a wandering tiger which was heading toward 65-year-old Emma Betts, Ramses' owner.
During a coffee break from filming a commercial, an animal handler led Sasha, a trained Siberian tiger, into her makeshift holding pen. But the handler forgot to fasten the gate and Sasha sneaked out of the cage — and out of the room — undetected.
The 400-pound tiger made her way down a stairwell and dashed out the front doors of the office building as a Fed-Ex man was coming in. The unexpected noise and commotion of downtown Austin caught the cat off guard, and she quickly became spooked and defensive.
Emma Betts was walking down the sidewalk with her cat Ramses when without regard for his own safety, Ramses leaped from his owner’s arms and ran straight for the tiger.
The two felines squared off amid shocked onlookers, and for some time just stared at one another.
Then the tiger roared at the tiny cat and took a swipe with its paw, just missing the quick-moving Ramses. It was a moment when most cats in their right minds would have turned tail and ran. But not Ramses … not on this day.
The 10-pound hairless cat drew himself up and “roared” back with all he was worth, baring his teeth while hissing and growling.
Much to the dismay of everyone present, Sasha the 400-pound Siberian tiger turned and ran in the other direction — back into the building she had just escaped.
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In Greek mythology, Cerberus is the three-headed watchdog who guards the entrance to the lower world, Hades.
Originally, the dog was portrayed having fifty or hundred heads but was later pictured with only three heads.
Cerberus permitted new spirits to enter the realm of dead, but allowed none of them to leave. Only a few ever managed to sneak past the creature, among which Orpheus, who lulled it to sleep by playing his lyre, and Heracles, who brought it to the land of the living for a while (being the last of his Twelve Labors).
Great news for mythology aficionados: Cerberus lives!
A rare, red-capped mangabey monkey has been born at the Denver Zoo, one of only 27 living in North American zoos.
The birth of the monkey, named Kanzu, on Sept. 30, brings Denver's mangabey troop to six. Zookeepers haven't yet determined the monkey's gender.
They named it Kanzu, a Swahili word for treasure.
Roland Cote said his wife and their 7-year-old grandson were away when the blaze started early Sunday in a converted two-story garage. He said Thumper grabbed him by the arm to wake him, leaving just enough time for him to dial 911 before fleeing the fast-moving fire.
While the dog is the hero, a cat is the bad guy in this story.
Cote said the fire marshal investigator believes the blaze was started when Princess, the family cat, tipped over a kerosene lantern. Cote says he and his pets escaped safely, but he says Princess did get her tail singed by the flames
The swamp remains one of the oldest and most well preserved freshwater areas in America and extends 38 miles north to south and 25 miles east to west.
Okefenokee is a vast bog inside a huge, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. The swamp now lies 103 to 128 feet above mean sea level. Native Americans named the area "Okefenokee" meaning "Land of the Trembling Earth". Peat deposits, up to 15 feet thick, cover much of the swamp floor. These deposits are so unstable in spots that trees and surrounding bushes tremble by stomping the surface
Afarensis defends the much maligned naked mole rats.
It's about time someone protests their continuously being labeled as ugly!
Not only are naked mole rats cute, but they are also quite amazing:
* They are not naked, they are not moles, and they are not rats - the naked mole rat is the only cold blooded mammal.
* Naked mole rats have the highest incest rate of all animals. A colony shows 80% genetic resemblance (in comparison: human siblings only show 50% resemblance).
* Unlike humans and most other mammals, nursing naked mole rats often have many more pups than mammary glands. Breeding female mole rats have an average of 12 mammae but can have as many as 28 pups at a time. Brookfield Zoo's original queen came to the zoo 1989, bore 45 litters in the course of her life, and produced more than 580 naked mole-rat pups!
* Naked mole rats are the only known mammals that operate a hive system, in the way that insects do, with one queen who does all the breeding and lots of workers who have no children of their own.
* Vicious fights-to-the-death periodically occur among mole rat females that are vying to become the colony's only breeding female, or "queen."
* Naked mole rats in the lab have reached up to 28 years of age.
* A mole rat's teeth grow from above and outside of its lips, allowing it to use its teeth for tunneling without getting its mouth full of soil. The animal can move its front teeth independently, spreading them apart and moving them together, like a pair of chopsticks.
* The teeth will grow 10 inches in one year, but by gnawing on hard things, they keep their teeth from getting too long. When naked mole rats are kept in captivity they are usually given a block of concrete to chew on.
* Naked mole rats in nature kidnap pups from other colonies and bring them back to serve as workers in their own tunnels; naked mole rats will invade neighboring colonies and fight for hostile takeover; and when naked mole rats disperse, or leave the colony to found a new one, they have often been found up to a mile away.
* Naked mole rats can run just as fast backwards as forwards.
* Naked mole rats produce at least 18 vocalizations — more than any other rodent.
Here's a video from the Oregon Zoo.
Photo #1: "Eatin Celery" uploaded by knittingskwerlgurl
Photo #2: National Geographic
On a late October day on the Canadian tundra next to a gray, cold, but unfrozen Hudson Bay near tiny Churchill, Manitoba, a pack of large Husky dogs, the pride of hunter-trapper Brian LaDoon were comfortably lounging on a fresh bed of snow, each tethered by a long chain. Norbert Rosing, a naturalist and photographer was setting up his equipment to capture the scene.
A wild polar bear is approaching the Husky who is signaling an invitation to play.
In a ceremony that was sometimes touching and often comical, Rev. Pierre Valkering led his congregation in songs and prayers - frequently interrupted by meowing and yapping from the pews - before the blessing took place.
St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals on whose feast day World Animal Day is held, was the inspiration for the Oct. 4 service - a seven-year-old tradition in Amsterdam
It is one of the rarest and most magical sights in the natural world.
A bottlenose dolphin goes into labor . . . then a calf emerges, tail first. Mother guides baby gently to the surface, where they swim together for the first time.
Very few dolphin births have been captured on film in such astonishing detail
6 silly egg-shaped cat toys your cat will love to bat and swat.
Lightweight foam bodies sail erratically when batted. Feature glued-on, amusing faces in assorted colors. Roly-poly bat and swat toys in amusing Halloween characters. Lightweight foam bodies have glued-on silly facial details.
Friday, February 18, 2011
The Denver Zoos is one of only seven zoos in North America with this species and now zookeepers have successfully had raised a pair of pups named Potter and Weasley.
The brothers were born on Aug. 28. When they are fully grown each will weigh a little more than a pound and be a bit more than eight inches long with an eight inch tail.
Unfortunately, this fellow's a little confused about who his competitors are.
Ron, a peacock, has begun attacking any bright blue cars which drive into his territory at a stately home.
In his latest assault, on a blue Lexus, he scratched and dented every panel - causing £4,000 worth of damage.
Ron's owner, Sir Benjamin Slade, said: "He doesn't seem to be bothered by other birds, but the peacock-blue cars just drive him wild.
"He suddenly becomes aggressive and can't control himself."
Ron lives with 12 other peacocks on the baronet's 13th century Maunsel House estate in North Newton, Somerset.
The $3,000 first prize in Nikon's 2007 Small World competition goes to Gloria Kwon of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York. Kwon's composite image of a mouse embryo, captured in both visible and ultraviolet light, reveals the inherent biochemical differences between the embryo (fluorescent red) and its yolk sac (highlighter green)
Humans, employing animals in their warfare ...
The earliest examples of cats being used in warfare dates back to the Ancient Egypt during a war against Persia. The Persians, fully aware of the reverence that Egyptians paid to their felines, rounded up as many cats as they could find and set them loose on the battlefield. When the Egyptians were faced with either harming the cats or surrendering, they chose the latter.
Every year, in Lopburi province, Thailand, all of the province's approximately 600 monkeys are invited to eat fruits and vegetables during an annual feast held in honor of Rama, a hero of the Ramayana, who, it is said, rewarded his friend and ally, Hanuman the Monkey King, with the fiefdom of what is now Lopburi.