Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tasmanian Devil


The Tasmanian devil is NOT just a Looney Tunes cartoon character! It is a most unusual mammal, found only on the island state of Tasmania, a part of Australia. It is also a marsupial, related to koalas and kangaroos. Why the “fiery” name and reputation for an animal the size of a small dog? Devils are black in color and are said to have fierce tempers! Their oversize head, neck, and jaws are well suited to crushing bones. They make eerie growls while searching for food at night. And when a group of devils feeds together at a carcass, harsh screeching and spine-chilling screams can be heard. Tasmanian devils have behaviors that may seem odd or scary to us, but they have a different meaning in devil society:
A mouth that opens quite wide - While the famous gape, or yawn, of the Tasmanian devil looks threatening, it is more likely to express fear and uncertainty than aggression.

A foul odor - There is the foul odor that a devil releases, but this is produced under stress, not when the devil is calm and relaxed.

Fierce snarls and high-pitched screams -These are used to establish dominance at feeding time around a carcass.

A strong sneeze - No, they aren’t catching a cold! Instead, the sneeze may come before a fight between devils. These are mostly spectacular bluff behaviors, all part of a ritual to lessen any real fighting that may lead to serious injuries. After a nose-to-nose confrontation during which their ears flush red! one or both animals usually back down.
The Tasmanian devil is NOT just a Looney Tunes cartoon character! It is a most unusual mammal, found only on the island state of Tasmania, a part of Australia. It is also a marsupial, related to koalas and kangaroos. Why the “fiery” name and reputation for an animal the size of a small dog? Devils are black in color and are said to have fierce tempers! Their oversize head, neck, and jaws are well suited to crushing bones. They make eerie growls while searching for food at night. And when a group of devils feeds together at a carcass, harsh screeching and spine-chilling screams can be heard. Tasmanian devils have behaviors that may seem odd or scary to us, but they have a different meaning in devil society:
A mouth that opens quite wide— While the famous gape, or yawn, of the Tasmanian devil looks threatening, it is more likely to express fear and uncertainty than aggression.
A foul odor— There is the foul odor that a devil releases, but this is produced under stress, not when the devil is calm and relaxed.
Fierce snarls and high-pitched screams— These are used to establish dominance at feeding time around a carcass.
A strong sneeze— No, they aren’t catching a cold! Instead, the sneeze may come before a fight between devils. These are mostly spectacular bluff behaviors, all part of a ritual to lessen any real fighting that may lead to serious injuries. After a nose-to-nose confrontation—during which their ears flush red!—one or both animals usually back down.
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Watch a rattlesnake plan attack by clearing path for its strike


The snakes checked out the area for signs of prey and then, once they had identified a burrow, forcibly jerked their heads and necks to move surrounding grass (see video, below). The hunters proceeded to wait for their prey in an ambush spot for up to 3 hours.
Perhaps the snakes are modifying their habitat to try and increase their hunting success

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Friday, June 23, 2017

World’s smallest deer: Philippine Mouse Deer


This is the smallest hooved mammal – the Philippine mouse deer, locally known as Pilandok, it’s only about 40 centimeters tall, which makes it also the cutest deer in the history of ever. That said, it’s not technically a member of the deer family, but it’s freaking close enough for me.
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Seagull Falls Into Tikka Masala Curry, Comes Out Looking Orange


A hungry seagull was left bright orange after falling into a vat of waste curry outside a food factory on Monday.
The bird was apparently trying to nab a piece of chicken from the container of tikka masala when it ended up falling in.

The animal was taken from the site in Wales to Vale Wildlife Hospital near Tewkesbury where vets cleaned it up and made sure it wasn’t injured.
“The strong curry aroma actually hit us before we opened the box,” veterinary nurse Lucy Kells told Solent News. “It was absolutely overwhelming and I thought ‘that smells fantastic’.”

“We had to give him a shower and clean him with washing up liquid. Surprisingly, he was actually very well behaved. The gull is doing great now - he still smells a little of curry, but he is now much whiter.”
It’s thought the bird became trapped because the curry was too thick for him to fly away.

The distinctive colouration caused by the turmeric led to people of Facebook dubbing him “Gullfrazie”.

He’ll now be kept in a cage to regain his strength, then transferred to an outdoor aviary to redevelop the waterpoof coating on his feathers.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kitten Sees Itself In The Mirror For The First Time


The world is a strange place for a newborn kitten - everything is huge and confusing, and you learn new things everyday.

This little cutie named Wiske had an absolutely adorable reaction to her first time seeing a mirror, when she clearly couldn’t tell what was going on.

YouTube Simon Newport shared the footage of the feline newborn last week, and later uploaded an ‘Inception’-style follow up of Wiske watching herself watching herself in the mirror. Confusing, but very cute.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Island fox of California


The island fox is a small fox that is native to six of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of California
California. These include Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands.

Its diet in the remote areas consists of mice, crickets, beetles, earwigs and fruits from plants such as cactus. Campers are warned not to feed the cute critters.

The island fox is one-third smaller than its mainland ancestor, the grey fox, at 12 to 13 inches in height and four to five pounds in weight.

It is the only carnivore unique to California. Thanks to conservation efforts, the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species now lists the island fox as near threatened from endangered.
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Tuatara: New Zealand reptiles


It has survived ice ages, volcanic eruptions and the intrusion of humans on its South Pacific island home, but New Zealand's last survivor of the dinosaur age may become extinct due to global warming.
Mounted with spiny scales from head to tail and covered by rough, grey skin that disguises them among the trees, the tuatara is one of the world's oldest living creatures.

But the lizard-like reptile is facing increasing risk of extinction from global warming because of its dependency on the surrounding temperature, which determines the sexes of unborn young while still in their eggs.

So named by New Zealand's indigenous Maori people because of the spines on its back, the tuatara is the only survivor of its species of reptile that flourished during the age of the dinosaurs, some 200 million years ago.

It can grow up to 20 inches and weigh up to 2.2 pounds and like its reptile relative, the turtle, the slow-moving tuatara can live for more than 100 years, feeding mainly on insects.

But scientists say its long life span as well as its four-year breeding cycle - relatively slow for a reptile - will make the adaptation process more difficult.
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Galapagos Penguin - Endangered Species


Galapagos penguins are the rarest and most endangered penguin species in the world and the only one that can be found at the equator.
Galapagos Penguin
Unlike most cold water penguins, they have several adaptations that allow them to tolerate the warmer climate of Galapagos, with their ability to pant like a dog being one them.

They also have less body fat and fewer feathers than cold-weather penguins allowing them to lose body heat more efficiently. Their smaller size also means they don't need to eat as much to survive

One of the reasons for their endangered status is that limited options for nest sites exist in the Islands.

Many nests used 40 years ago either no longer exist, are used by marine iguanas, or now get flooded.

The WWF lists the Galapagos penguin as endangered with only 2,000 thought to exist in the wild.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Amazing footage shows frenzied piranhas devouring a bull's head as it is held in the water


This is the gruesome moment a bull's head was ripped to the bone by a shoal of bloodthirsty piranhas.
 The fish tore into the animal's flesh after it was dipped into the murky waters of the Amazon river by a local man standing on a gondola.

The daredevil raised the head out of the water to reveal the fish gorging on the meat just inches away from his unprotected hands.

Piranhas can attack humans too but thankfully did not decide to take a bite out of him.

The footage of the extraordinary feeding frenzy was posted on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than seven thousand times. 

Every year hundreds of piranha attacks are reported throughout South America.

The most notable piranha incident in recent times came in Argentina in December 2013, when an attack by a school of hungry piranhas saw 70 people injured and several children lose fingers and toes.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Quokka


Most marsupials live in Australia, constraining their range a bit already. But the quokka is only found in the southwest corner of Australia and a few nearby islands, giving it an even smaller area to live than its cousins.
Quokka
Quokkas are fearless and curious of humans, which can lead to some unfortunate interactions with less-than-kind humans who come into contact with these puffy cheeked critters. Even some more altruistic people can mess up a quokkas life by feeding them. The quokka survives on vegetation not just for food, but for water.

Interestingly, the quokka has taken root in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, a reserve initially set up to protect noisy scrub-birds. Since then, the Gilbert's potoroo has taken root. This species is possibly the most endangered marsupial in the world. Thus, one of the most vulnerable marsupials lives among one of the most endangered.
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