Monday, February 28, 2011

kangaroos hopping away

Danish police have appealed for public help to track down a kangaroo that escaped from its owner's home in Copenhagen.

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.

Auction for the Naming Rights for A New Butterfly Species

In an apparent first for butterflies, the Florida Museum of Natural History is auctioning the naming rights for a newly discovered species online to raise money for butterfly research.

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 save for lean times

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.


A Tribute to Fup. Store Cat.

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.

Dressing up a doggie? Put pooch's safety first

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.

Some tips:

• 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.

Dogs in costume

Photo: AP/Lisa Poole

Cats in Costume

Photo: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno

Ming the clam is 'oldest animal'

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.

Meet Harry Potter's Animals

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.

The hellbender

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

World's Rarest Cat Species Boosted by Newfound Lynx

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

Understanding Endangered Frog's Diet And Environment May Save It

A brightly colored tropical frog under threat of extinction is the focus of a new research project hoping to better understand how environment and diet influence its development and behavior.

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

Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary

The Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Montana rescues and shelters disabled animals. Every animal who arrives at the sanctuary gets another chance to have a safe and loving home. Residents include blind dogs, blind horses, deaf dogs, blind cats, and others with medical issues like muscular dystrophy.

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.

Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

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

Woman Wants Service Horse As Roommate

The Central Vermont Community Land Trust usually has no objection to a service animal moving into its apartments.

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.

Rare Blue Lobster Caught Off Mass. Coast

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.

Beautiful White Lion

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

The Feline Solarium

Great for small dogs, pet birds, and free roaming lizards!
Makes a great addition as an inside garden spot for plants and seedlings.

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!

Rare leatherback sea turtles hatch in Walton, FL

Walton County’s fi rst-ever documented leatherback sea turtle nest has hatched, and 23 babies have made their way safely to the Gulf of Mexico.

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.

Squirrel Foster Mom

Photo: Karen T. Borchers / Mercury News

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.

A bizarre breed of guinea pig

A bizarre breed of guinea pig that was created for laboratory testing more than 30 years ago has become the latest designer pet.

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,

On second thought, I'll hold it.. snake story

A 38-year-old Brooklyn woman got quite a surprise when she used her bathroom Monday morning.

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

Fish in trees, unbelieveble

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

Turtle Tipping Tricks Revealed, its amazing

With a flat shell, the Argentine snake-necked turtle (Hydromedusa tectifera) often rights itself by pressing its head against the ground with its muscular neck, levering itself onto its belly. Credit: Gaabor Domokos.

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

The sweetest monkey you will ever see

Knut Learns to Stand On Hind Legs Without Falling Over

Berlin's most famous resident, Knut the polar bear cub, has finally taught himself to stand on his two hind legs after practicing hard for months.

"He started standing up this month. It's a sign that he's getting increasing control of his body," said Heiner Klös,the zoo's expert on bears.

Cute Mini Pigs

The mini pigs weigh less than a fifth of an ordinary pig when fully grown.

Photo: © Pennywell Farm

Possum breaks record with year-long snooze

A possum has set an enviable record for doing absolutely nothing. After stuffing itself full of food in a laboratory, one curled up and hibernated for a record 367 days.

There ARE some days when I think I could beat this!

South American hummingbird visits Wisconsin home

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."

Duck Diapers

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!

Hero Cat!

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.

Windy City Dog Walkers

Serving Chicagoland's pet community for over five years. Windy City Dog Walkers, Inc. offers daily dog walks, cat care, and pet sitting with the highest level of customer service and personal attention in the industry. They are available 365 days a year, any time of day, and offer a variety of services to meet your pet care needs.

This is one of the Chicago area's most trusted dog walking and cat care service. They are licensed, bonded and insured. You get the same walker everyday.

Cerberus in real live

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!

Cute Baby Mangabey Monkey

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.

Oh sure, blame it on the cat!

In Greenville, Maine, Thumper, black Labrador retriever, is getting credit for saving a Greenville man when a fire swept through his home.

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

Why did 3,000 chickens cross the road?

Because a transport truck crashed on a busy road near Glasgow.

The A80 heading towards Glasgow was shut for more than eight hours as the birds were rounded up by a specialist team drafted in by police.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1936 to preserve the 438,000 acre Okefenokee Swamp. Presently, the refuge encompasses approximately 402,000 acres. In 1974, to further ensure the protection of this unique ecosystem, the interior 353,981 acres of the refuge were designated a National Wilderness Area.

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

the only cold blooded mammal

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

The dog and the polar bear amazing photo

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.

Amazing photos:

mouse Playing with food

Frog Cufflinks

Frog Cufflinks

Rhodium plated metal cufflinks accented with green Swarovski crystal eyes. One piece fixed backing with a green fiber optic glass ball. Approximately 3/4in w x 5/8in h. Made in England. By Tattossian

Pets marry on World Animal Day

A canary, a goldfish, a guinea pig, a handful of cats and more than two dozen dogs received blessings from a Catholic priest in church to mark World Animal Day.

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

The water baby: pictures that capture the birth of a dolphin

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

Cat Nip Toys for Scaredy Cats

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

Cute Baby black-and-rufous giant elephant shrew

A pair of rather unusual siblings has just gone display at the Denver Zoo; they are black-and-rufous giant elephant shrews.

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.

Jealous peacock attacks blue cars

Like any male defending his patch, Ron does his best to banish potential love rivals.

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.

A Gallery of Beautiful Tiny Things

Since 1974, Nikon has sponsored a yearly photo competition for images that delve into the worlds beyond the reach of the unaided human eye. The camera maker feted the photographers who made the top 20 "photomicrographs" in Nikon's annual Small World competition at New York's Explorer's Club. The winners were drawn from a pool of 1,709 submissions.

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)

7 Unusual Military Animals

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.

The Monkey Buffet

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.


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