16 8 / 2014

sharkhugger:

HUGGERS… meet the Shy Shark!  THIS IS A THING!  THIS IS REALLY A THING….! 

450 millions years of evolution and 'if i can't see it, it can't hurt me' is the best they could come up with!  WAY too adorable!  

You know, there are so many other jawsome sharks out there - shark week shouldn’t just focus on the white shark.  I love a good breach as much as the next shark lover, but these guys are too cute!  <3

(via moreagaara)

15 8 / 2014

explosionsoflife:

When viewed head-on, the southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) looks like a combination of a normal wombat and a pig, leading my friend to dub these creatures “pigbats.”
With even shorter legs than their close relatives, common wombats (Vombatus ursinus), the southern hairy-nosed wombat is the smallest of the three known species of wombats. They graze on grasses and sedges and are efficient at maintaining their weight even with low quality food. They are not solitary animals; as many as ten individuals may occupy a single burrow, but a dominance hierarchy exists among males and they will fight for their own territories. They primarily communicate by spreading their scent, but also grunt and call to one another when necessary.
(Photo source)

explosionsoflife:

When viewed head-on, the southern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus latifrons) looks like a combination of a normal wombat and a pig, leading my friend to dub these creatures “pigbats.”

With even shorter legs than their close relatives, common wombats (Vombatus ursinus), the southern hairy-nosed wombat is the smallest of the three known species of wombats. They graze on grasses and sedges and are efficient at maintaining their weight even with low quality food. They are not solitary animals; as many as ten individuals may occupy a single burrow, but a dominance hierarchy exists among males and they will fight for their own territories. They primarily communicate by spreading their scent, but also grunt and call to one another when necessary.

(Photo source)

(via somuchscience)

10 8 / 2014

hannabalx:

fortheloveoforca:

emptythetanks:

savethewailes:

sharkhugger:

Petition: Hong Kong Government: Legislate a ban on the sale and possession of shark fin in Hong Kong.

From Honduras to New Caledonia, from the Bahamas to the Maldives, the people have spoken. And governments have listened. Now is the time for Hong Kong to wake up! The public is ready. The business sector is behind us. Now is the time for a total sale and possession ban on shark fin in Hong Kong. By doing so, Hong Kong will take a giant step to join the conservation efforts of numerous countries around the world who have enacted shark protection legislation. In Latin America it will join Honduras. In the United States it will join California, New York, Hawaii, Washington, Maryland, Delaware and Oregon. In the Pacific region it will join Palau, Tokelau, Marshall Islands, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and New Caledonia. Even China has agreed to stop serving shark fin soup at official banquets, to take effect in the next year or two.

Banning shark fin from the streets of Hong Kong will be the single most important marine conservation achievement of the year. It will be an important step towards protecting the health of our oceans. It will also remove the stain on Hong Kong’s reputation as a world-class tourism hub.

This petition is endorsed by: Shark Rescue

BALLSIEST. PETITION. EVER.

IF THERE WAS EVER A HEAD TO THIS DRAGON - THERE IT IS.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE THIS WOULD MAKE??? WITHOUT THE ISSUE OF SHARK FIN SOUP WE COULD CONCENTRATE ON THE ISSUE OF BYCATCH AND SOLVE THIS ISSUE PERMANENTLY.

Save sharks! They are so important.

please sign the petition guys

Its a fucking blood bath! Sign this petition you guys!

I’m crying……..SAVE THE SHARKS PLEASE. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

(via moreagaara)

04 8 / 2014

rhamphotheca:

Houston Audubon Beak of the Week:

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Family: (Ciconiidae) Storks

Tall and long-legged, the wood stork is the only member of the stork family native to America. White body with contrasting black edged wings and tail. Has a distinct dark, featherless head (down to the upper neck) and thick, down-curved bill.

A post-breeding disperser from the tropics. They can be seen soaring high above in groups as they migrate across the landscape looking for receding freshwater ponds and stranded fish therein.

Wood storks fly with neck and legs extended, interrupting strong wing beats with brief glides; their wingspan can be up to 5 1/2 feet.

Male and female wood storks usually mate for life, they will build the nest together, and together incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. The chicks fledge in about two months.

The speed at which the wood stork shuts it bill is one of the fastest reflexes known in vertebrate species!

Photographs by Greg Lavaty

(via: Houston Audubon)

30 7 / 2014

astronomy-to-zoology:

Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis)

…a species of hawk (Accipitridae) which breeds from Panama and Trinidad south to Bolivia, Uruguay and central Argentina. True to their names savanna hawks are typically found in open savanna, but can also be seen on swamp edges. Savanna hawks, like most medium sized hawks, feed mainly on small mammals, lizards, snakes, and interestingly crabs and large insects. Savanna hawks will usually feed in typical hawk fashion by swooping on its prey, but they will also hunt on foot as well. It is common to see savanna hawks gathering around grass fires to prey on fleeing animals. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Accipitriformes-Accipitridae-Buteogallus-B. meridonionalis

Images: Dario Sanches and Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes

28 7 / 2014

griseus:

The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.

The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping.  One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.

(via mad-as-a-marine-biologist)

27 7 / 2014

Japanese dwarf flying squirrel, Pteromys momonga
These squirrels are native to the sub-alpine forests of Japan, and are fairly widespread on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, though they aren&#8217;t often spotted as they live at high elevations. They are nocturnal and rest during the day in cavities in trees.  They eat seeds, fruit, tree leaves, buds and bark and feeds while hanging from twigs.  They will also forage on the ground. Like other flying squirrel species, they possess a skin membrane stretched between its front and hind legs&#8212; called a patagium&#8212;which allows them to glide from tree to tree.  Their tails help to stabilize them mid-glide.  
Interestingly, these squirrels are more closely related to the Siberian flying squirrel (they belong to the same genus) than to their neighbor, the Japanese giant flying squirrel; it is in fact suggested that the Siberian squirrels derived from the Japanese dwarf species.(x)(x)(x)

Japanese dwarf flying squirrelPteromys momonga

These squirrels are native to the sub-alpine forests of Japan, and are fairly widespread on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, though they aren’t often spotted as they live at high elevations. They are nocturnal and rest during the day in cavities in trees.  They eat seeds, fruit, tree leaves, buds and bark and feeds while hanging from twigs.  They will also forage on the ground. Like other flying squirrel species, they possess a skin membrane stretched between its front and hind legs— called a patagium—which allows them to glide from tree to tree.  Their tails help to stabilize them mid-glide.  

Interestingly, these squirrels are more closely related to the Siberian flying squirrel (they belong to the same genus) than to their neighbor, the Japanese giant flying squirrel; it is in fact suggested that the Siberian squirrels derived from the Japanese dwarf species.(x)(x)(x)

18 7 / 2014

scienceyoucanlove:

Krill

 

Euphausiacea

The lowly krill averages only about two inches (five centimeters) in length, but it represents a giant-sized link in the global food chain. These small, shrimp-like crustaceans are essentially the fuel that runs the engine of the Earth’s marine ecosystems.

Krill feed on phytoplankton, microscopic, single-celled plants that drift near the ocean’s surface and live off carbon dioxide and the sun’s rays. They in turn are the main staple in the diets of literally hundreds of different animals, from fish, to birds, to baleen whales.

Simply put, without krill, most of the life forms in the Antarctic would disappear.

Alarmingly, there are recent studies that show Antarctic krill stocks may have dropped by 80 percent since the 1970s. Scientists attribute these declines in part to ice cover loss caused by global warming. This ice loss removes a primary source of food for krill: ice-algae.

Pink and opaque, Antarctic krill are among the largest of the 85 known krill species. Their estimated numbers range from 125 million tons to 6 billion tons in the waters around Antarctica. During certain times of year, krill congregate in swarms so dense and widespread that they can be seen from space.

Antarctic krill can live up to 10 years, an amazing longevity for such a heavily hunted creature. They spend their days avoiding predators in the cold depths of the Antarctic Ocean, some 320 feet (100 meters) below the surface. During the night, they drift up the water column toward the surface in search of phytoplankton.

from Nat Geo

16 7 / 2014

lady-borg:

scalestails:

fighting-for-animals:

How dog breeders have “improved” breeds over the past 100 years. 

  1. The basset hound never used to sit so low. The dog has suffered changes to his rear leg structure, has excessive skin, vertebrae problems, droopy eyes that are prone to ectropion and entropion, and excessively large ears. 
  2. The bull terrier used to be an athletic dog, but over the years his snout was mutated to be oversized and bending downwards, leading to respiratory issues. Many bull terriers have supernumerary teeth and are compulsive tail chasers and air biters owing to brain deformities. 
  3. The boxer now has a much shorter face with an extremely short snout. The hindquarters are also lower. Like all brachycephalic dogs, the boxer has difficulty controlling his temperature in hot weather, meaning they are prone to overheating and collapsing in the summer. The boxer also has one of the highest cancer rates among dog breeds and many modern day boxers suffer from seizures. 
  4. The english bulldog has evolved into a creature that suffers from almost every known disease. A kennel club survey conducted in 2004 found that they die on average at only 6 years and 4 months old. They cannot mate without human intervention, and cannot give birth naturally due to their giant heads. There is no such thing as a truly healthy bulldog. 
  5. The dachshund, at one time, used to have functional legs and necks for their size. Their backs and legs have gotten longer, chest jutted forward, and legs have shrunk to such proportions that there is barely any clearance between their chest and the floor. Obese dachshunds usually have to actually drag their bellies across the ground. Their risk for intervertebral disc disease - which can result in paralysis - is extremely high. They are also prone to achrondoplastic related pathologies, progressive retinal apathy, and problems with their legs and joints. 
  6. Pugs are the most inbred breed of dog in existence - an investigation carried out found that amongst the 10,000 pugs found in the UK are so inbred, the gene pool consists of the equivalent of only 50 individuals.  They are extremely brachycephalic, and suffer severely from all the associated problems - the folds in their face frequently get infected, they struggle to breathe (making snoring/snorting/huffing noises even without moving), they have high blood pressure, low oxygenation, often collapse and die in the summer or if allowed to overheat, dentition problems due to their skulls being so curled in, and perhaps most shocking - their double curled tail is actually a genetic defect, and in its most serious forms leads to paralysis and many dogs needed a wheelchair or being euthanised if this progresses. These dogs are usually culled if they fail to produce this ‘attractive’ trait. 

Healthy puppies that do not succumb to these ridiculous modern day breed standards are usually culled. One very heartbreaking example is the rhodesian ridgeback. The ridge is actually a genetic deformity - a mild form of spinal bifida - and puppies born without this ridge are healthy - but since the ridge is their namesake, healthy puppies are normally culled at birth and only those with noticeable ridges are bred from, thus passing the disability down to future dogs. Below is a ridgeback alongside a healthy, ridgeless dog.

3 to 4 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full…. people are choosing to buy from breeders or shops instead of offering them a home. 

Homeless animals outnumber homeless people by 5:1. 

Only 1 in 10 dogs will ever find a permanent home. 

25 PER CENT OF DOGS THAT ENTER SHELTERS ARE PUREBREEDS. 

Please consider adopting a homeless dog. Please don’t encourage breeding these animals when there are so many being killed every year. Breeding is a profit, not “just” a hobby, and even if you think your breeder is reputable, they are still churning out puppies into a world where pets are seen as disposable. 

This post is EXTREMELY important and I want all of you to read it.

NEVER buy a dog. Adoption should be your only option.

Yes all of this fucking terrible but I jsut wanted to point out one thing, It was actually dog shows that encoruaged this. Breeders are supposed to fall in line with that the shows want because some consider show animals the perfect model of the breeds. If you actually read what they reqire in shows you would see it is incorrect of the breed’s traits. These changes in breeds in both cat and dog only started once shows started gaining popularity. More and more breeders acre actually going AGAINST the requirements of the shows because they seeing the problems being caused. 

I don’t usually post domestic animals, but this is important. Please DO NOT buy dogs from a breeder. Adopt!

(Source: fightingforanimals, via legendofliz)

11 7 / 2014

afro-dominicano:


Chilean Devil Rays Found to Be Among the Deepest-Diving Animals in the Ocean

Divers exploring warm waters around the world often encounter Chilean devil rays, gentle marine creatures that can grow up to ten feet long. The rays bask just below the surface, gliding through sunlight-dappled water, oftentimes in groups. Little is known about the striking creatures, however, and marine biologists have always presumed that they live only near the warm, bright surface.
Scientists have just discovered that the rays harbor an impressive secret, however: they regularly undertake epic dives more than a mile deep.
These remarkable dives came as a surprise to researchers who reported the finding today in Nature Communications. In retrospect, they note, the rays’ physiology did hint at this ability.
Chilean devil rays possess a special organ called the retia mirabilia, which is also found in deep-diving species such as great white sharks. In those animals, the veined structure fills with warm blood that exchanges heat between vessel walls. This helps to keep the marine creatures’ brain warm when they descend to freezing depths. But Chilean devil rays, researchers assumed, spent all of their time at the surface. Why would they need such a structure?
To solve the puzzle, an international team of marine biologists attached satellite tags to 15 Chilean devil rays captured off the northwest coast of Africa, near the Azores archipelago. The team monitored the rays’ movements for nine months and found that the animals were tremendously active. They sometimes traversed up to 30 miles of ocean per day, with each covering a distance of up to 2,300 miles over the nine-month period.
Even more impressive, however, was the rays’ diving abilities. They regularly dove below 1,000 feet, with a maximum-recorded depth of 6,062 feet. This means that Chilean devil rays undertake some of the deepest dives ever recorded for marine animals, the team reports.
The journeys into the deep seem to be no sweat for the animals. One individual, for example, dove nearly 4,600 feet six days in a row, and overall, the rays spent more than five percent of their time in deep water.
The deep dives explain the presence of the previously enigmatic retia mirabilia, the team writes. At the depths recorded by the trackers, rays would encounter temperatures as chilly as 37˚F, so the extra flush of warm blood provided by that organ likely makes those dives possible. Additionally, the researchers found that the rays spend more time basking near the water’s warm surface both one hour before and one hour after a deep dive, implying that the animals are preparing for and recovering from encounters with the cold.
The rays aren’t undertaking these dives just for fun, of course. Based on the animals’ movement patterns—oftentimes a quick bee-line descent followed by a slower step-wise ascent—the researchers think they are probably foraging on fish or squid that live well below the surface.
The unexpected findings, the authors write, demonstrate “how little we know” about Chilean devil rays and the role they play in ocean ecosystems. Given that these animals were recently listed as endangered (largely due to a growing demand for their gills by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine), “this ignorance has significant conservation implications,” the team continues. As with any species, the more we know about them, the better equipped we will be for protecting them—and for knowing what we stand to lose should they disappear.

afro-dominicano:

Chilean Devil Rays Found to Be Among the Deepest-Diving Animals in the Ocean

Divers exploring warm waters around the world often encounter Chilean devil rays, gentle marine creatures that can grow up to ten feet long. The rays bask just below the surface, gliding through sunlight-dappled water, oftentimes in groups. Little is known about the striking creatures, however, and marine biologists have always presumed that they live only near the warm, bright surface.

Scientists have just discovered that the rays harbor an impressive secret, however: they regularly undertake epic dives more than a mile deep.

These remarkable dives came as a surprise to researchers who reported the finding today in Nature Communications. In retrospect, they note, the rays’ physiology did hint at this ability.

Chilean devil rays possess a special organ called the retia mirabilia, which is also found in deep-diving species such as great white sharks. In those animals, the veined structure fills with warm blood that exchanges heat between vessel walls. This helps to keep the marine creatures’ brain warm when they descend to freezing depths. But Chilean devil rays, researchers assumed, spent all of their time at the surface. Why would they need such a structure?

To solve the puzzle, an international team of marine biologists attached satellite tags to 15 Chilean devil rays captured off the northwest coast of Africa, near the Azores archipelago. The team monitored the rays’ movements for nine months and found that the animals were tremendously active. They sometimes traversed up to 30 miles of ocean per day, with each covering a distance of up to 2,300 miles over the nine-month period.

Even more impressive, however, was the rays’ diving abilities. They regularly dove below 1,000 feet, with a maximum-recorded depth of 6,062 feet. This means that Chilean devil rays undertake some of the deepest dives ever recorded for marine animals, the team reports.

The journeys into the deep seem to be no sweat for the animals. One individual, for example, dove nearly 4,600 feet six days in a row, and overall, the rays spent more than five percent of their time in deep water.

The deep dives explain the presence of the previously enigmatic retia mirabilia, the team writes. At the depths recorded by the trackers, rays would encounter temperatures as chilly as 37˚F, so the extra flush of warm blood provided by that organ likely makes those dives possible. Additionally, the researchers found that the rays spend more time basking near the water’s warm surface both one hour before and one hour after a deep dive, implying that the animals are preparing for and recovering from encounters with the cold.

The rays aren’t undertaking these dives just for fun, of course. Based on the animals’ movement patterns—oftentimes a quick bee-line descent followed by a slower step-wise ascent—the researchers think they are probably foraging on fish or squid that live well below the surface.

The unexpected findings, the authors write, demonstrate “how little we know” about Chilean devil rays and the role they play in ocean ecosystems. Given that these animals were recently listed as endangered (largely due to a growing demand for their gills by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine), “this ignorance has significant conservation implications,” the team continues. As with any species, the more we know about them, the better equipped we will be for protecting them—and for knowing what we stand to lose should they disappear.

(via ichthyologist)