12 10 / 2014

nubbsgalore:

for a typical forty ton humpback to breach the ocean’s surface — and breach is taken to mean at least 40 percent of its body is out of the water — it needs to reach speeds of 29 km/h. on rare occasions, the whale will completely launch out of the water; rarer still is the photographer who manages to capture it. 

reasons for the behaviour are debated and varied, and range from mere pleasure, to courtship, to shedding the skin of parasites. calves (like in the sixth photo) can often be seen breaching for long periods of time, and it’s not uncommon for an adult to make multiple breaches; the most recorded is 130 jumps in 90 minutes. 

photos by (click pic) steven benjamin off the coast of port st. johns, south africa; flip nicklen in alaska and british columbia; tom soucek in fredrick sound, alaska; jon cornforth in alaska; jean waite off hawaii’s na pali coast; masa ushioda in hawaii; matthew thorton in tofino, bc; and christine callaghan in newfoundland’s bay of fundy (see also: previous breaching post)

11 10 / 2014

protectmarinelife:

Maui’s dolphins live only off of the coast of New Zealand. They are the world’s smallest species of dolphin. With only 50 left in the wild, this species is very very near extinction. The threat to their survival stems from human and environmental  problems such as getting stuck in nets, pollution, getting hit by boats and boat propellors, and acoustic pollution from construction.
Sign this petition to help save Maui Dolphins!
http://www.change.org/p/save-maui-s-dolphins-from-extinction

protectmarinelife:

Maui’s dolphins live only off of the coast of New Zealand. They are the world’s smallest species of dolphin. With only 50 left in the wild, this species is very very near extinction. The threat to their survival stems from human and environmental  problems such as getting stuck in nets, pollution, getting hit by boats and boat propellors, and acoustic pollution from construction.

Sign this petition to help save Maui Dolphins!

http://www.change.org/p/save-maui-s-dolphins-from-extinction

10 10 / 2014

dynamicoceans:

Manta ray glittering in the sunlight. 
Despite its enormous size, the giant manta ray feeds on tiny planktonic organisms by filtering large volumes of water through its mouth. Food is strained out of the water using plates of pinkish-brown, sponge-like tissue between the gills, known as ‘gill rakers’. When feeding, the giant manta ray unfurls the fleshy cephalic lobes on either side of its head and uses them to direct water into the mouth. It often swims in slow somersaults as it gathers food, or sometimes scoops plankton up along the sea bed. 
Source Video

dynamicoceans:

Manta ray glittering in the sunlight. 

Despite its enormous size, the giant manta ray feeds on tiny planktonic organisms by filtering large volumes of water through its mouth. Food is strained out of the water using plates of pinkish-brown, sponge-like tissue between the gills, known as ‘gill rakers’. When feeding, the giant manta ray unfurls the fleshy cephalic lobes on either side of its head and uses them to direct water into the mouth. It often swims in slow somersaults as it gathers food, or sometimes scoops plankton up along the sea bed. 

Source Video

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)