Friday, February 29, 2008
A paternal dog has adopted an abandoned baby goat as his surrogate child.
Billy the boxer has become the constant companion of the 12-day old kid called Lilly. He sleeps with the goat, licks her clean, and protects her from any dangers at Pennywell Farm wildlife centre at Buckfastleigh, near Totnes, Devon.
The kid was abandoned by her mother when she was only a few hours old and adopted by paternal Billy when his owner Elizabeth Tozer began hand rearing the goat.
The unusual bond has developed over the last month and the pair are now inseparable.
Elizabeth said: "Lilly follows Billy around which is really quite amusing to watch and Billy sleeps with the goat and cleans her mouth after she feeds."
Thursday, February 28, 2008
But the turtle persevered, thanks to injections of antibiotics and a forced diet of squid. Somehow, she swam with just one flipper, even though she can only move in counterclockwise circles and has to push her now 10-pound body off the bottom with her head to breathe.
"The wounds have healed very nicely. The problem is she doesn't swim very well," said Jeff George, curator at the nonprofit Sea Turtle Inc., a 31-year-old turtle conservation facility that treats and returns injured sea turtles to the wild.
Now, her caregivers hope to make her what's believed to be the first sea turtle fitted with a prosthetic flipper.
Three-flipper turtles can return to the sea and two-flipper turtles can survive in captivity. But those left with only one after predator attacks or run-ins with boat propellers are usually killed.
And no, dogs don't do the same trick.
The study, by researchers at the University of Minnesota, found that feline-less people were 30 to 40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those with cats.
Yet dog owners had the same rate as non-owners. "No protective effect of dogs as domestic pets was observed," said the study, which was presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans.
Dr. Adnan Qureshi, a stroke expert at the university, said he decided to raise the question because other studies have suggested pets can help reduce stress. He and his team analyzed a group of 4,435 people who had answered questionnaires about pet ownership and other risk factors.
But the cat-dog differential came as a surprise. "We don't understand this completely," he said, but "it's probably not a coincidence."
Asked if he owns a cat, Qureshi replied: "No. Maybe I should get one, though. With this new research, I think the time has come to change."
On June 11, 1948, a V-2 Blossom launched into space from White Sands, New Mexico carrying Albert I, a rhesus monkey. Lack of fanfare and documentation made Albert an unsung hero of animal astronauts. On June 14, 1948, a second V-2 flight carrying a live Air Force Aeromedical Laboratory monkey, Albert II, attained an altitude of 83 miles. The monkey died on impact. On August 31, 1948, another V-2 was launched and carried an unanaesthetized mouse that was photographed in flight and survived impact. On December 12, 1949, the last V-2 monkey flight was launched at White Sands. Albert IV, a rhesus monkey attached to monitoring instruments, was the payload. It was a successful flight, with no ill effects on the monkey until impact, when it died. In May 1950, the last of the five Aeromedical Laboratory V-2 launches (known as the Albert Series) carried a mouse that was photographed in flight and survived impact.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Previously it was known that fish could tell big shoals from small ones, but researchers have now found that they have a limited ability to count how many other fish are nearby.
This means that they have similar counting abilities to those observed in apes, monkeys and dolphins and humans with very limited mathematical ability.
Christian Agrillo, an experimental psychologist at the university of Padua in Italy said: "We have provided the first evidence that fish exhibit rudimentary mathematical abilities."
Last year, he and his colleagues showed that if a female mosquito fish is harassed by a male, she will try to avoid his attentions by seeking solace in the largest nearby shoal; demonstrating that the fish can tell bigger shoals from smaller ones.
The team first conducted a series of experiments to see whether a lone mosquito fish would prefer to join a shoal of between two and four others.
Admittedly New York certainly has its rats. We have rats at City Hall. We have rats in our fast-food restaurants. We have rats frying in our car engines. We even take pride in sharing legends of roaches as big as kiwi fruit and rats as large as dogs.
But this is something New Yorkers see as our own business, our own perverse pride. It’s a little out of form for another city to needle another about our rats.
Also, we certainly don’t have rats as large as house cats, as our urban rodentologist can attest to, given the species or rats (unless they are very small house cats). Government agencies should not be spreading false rumors.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
With inspiration obviously rooted in Barcelona's running of the bulls comes Anchorage's take on the beloved sport. Hundreds of Alaskans filled in Fourth Avenue yesterday to watch 1,000 costumed runners scream and sprint alongside seven "bewildered" reindeer. Alaska's largest city's first-ever reindeer run went off without a hitch: no reindeer, runners or bystanders were harmed in the race.
Recently, however, the South African government decided that the population in their country was sufficiently large to reinstate elephant culls.
The country banned elephant killing in 1995. Since then the population has grown from 8,000 to almost 20,000. Environment ministers say that this number of elephants is bad for both the exotic animals themselves and the South African environment as a whole. The country’s most famous game reserve, Kruger National Park, has 12,500 elephants, more than 5,000 above the sustainable total.
Monday, February 25, 2008
A day of firsts. Not only did I buy my first camera phone (wooo! now only 3 years behind technology!) I let my guard down for 5 seconds on the street and got sucker punched into giving money to Greenpeace.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Greenpeace? The Eco-terrorists?". Trust me, that's what I said.
But when contemplating your charitable donations (and let's face it, if you're going to give money, you better give it to charities that benefit animals/nature, humans are just too far gone) please consider this: While Greenpeace is lobbying in congress (a real political body with real demonstrable power) to pass clean air laws and develop off-shore wind farms, PETA relies purely on the power of celebrities (by either embracing them: Pamela Anderson; or rejecting them: Aretha Franklin) to best further their goals. They use intimidation to propagate an ideology with few tangible benefits (other than creating an army of skinny bitches, I do have my suspicions this could be our real only chance come World War III). That is why (yes, I'm going to do it! I'm going to coin them!) they're the celebro-terrorists. Why? Because anyone can make up words to identify and denigrate certain segments of society, silly. "Terrorist", "junkie", "yuppie", let's keep 'em coming guys.
Moral of the Story: PETA sucks.
Moral of the Story: Give your money to charity. Or at least your local bartender, let's face it, they can probably use it more than you.
James Watt has made one of the most beautiful little electronic insect-bots that I have ever seen. The dragonfly has several solar cells, and some simple electronics, that allow the wings to flap via a pager motor. His sculptures are incredibly well thought out and put together, amazing!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
After investigating the story printed in the local Manhasset Press newspaper, WowWee's Customer Service Department determined that it has received 45 different calls over the past 2 months about hawks and other birds of prey swooping down and snatching consumers' FlyTech Dragonfly out of the air.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Add another one to the list: the giant snakehead.
The giant snakehead is a carnivorous fish that feasts on pretty much anything in its path, and has caused all manner of destruction in places where it has been introduced. With the recent discovery of the fish in Britain, officials are scrambling to find a possible solution to this dreaded environmental issue.
Maybe you think it’s overstating the problem a bit. After all it’s just a fish, right? Wrong. This is not your everyday fish. For one thing, the giant snakehead can kill you. Female snakeheads have been known to attack and sometimes actually kill human beings who get too close to juvenile fish.
The giant snakehead will eat absolutely everything in a body of water then crawl over land to the next pond or lake. If there’s an infestation near any other bodies of water, those other areas are almost sure to be infested soon because the snakehead can survive four days out of water while it looks for a new home.
The fish is the pinnacle in dangerous and effective invasive species. Officials in the U.S. had to fight an invasion of the fish with the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Snipers were placed around invaded bodies of water with shoot on sight orders. Whole lakes were poisoned, wiping out hundreds of other fish in the process, to stop the snakefish from spreading. Even these measures weren’t 100% effective.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Aretha Your Boobs Are Huge!! They're Making Alan Greenspan Uncomfortable! (Robert Conquest, Pretty Much Diggin' It)
PETA strikes again! And this time their target, the illustrious Queen of Soul. No, not the Queen of Soul, Tina Turner, Beyonce announced prior to their recent Grammy's duet, but rather that other, bustier, Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Now, Aretha was pissed when Beyonce gave her moniker to another at the Grammy awards, but not as pissed as PETA. In a statement, PETA denounced Franklin for wearing one of her many furs to the recent Grammy awards, branding her a "court jester".
Music lovers may think of you as a 'queen,' but to animal lovers, you are a court jester... Why not shed the old-fashioned look that adds pounds to your frame and detracts from your beautiful voice? Please consider donating your furs to the homeless as 'queen of compassion,' Mariah Carey, did. You'll get a tax credit for the donation, and we at PETA will all sing your praises.
That's right Aretha, you shouldn't wear fur, you know why, because you're fat and it just makes you fatter. Come on, don't you want the PETA endorsement? Don't you want to be more like Mariah Carey? Come on, admit it, Aretha you've always been jealous of Mariah. Give your furs to the homeless, they're so beyond political notice it doesn't even matter if they wear fur, it's not even an ethical issue anymore. Ethics only apply when you're in the spotlight. And obviously that's where you love to be. Come on, join the skinny bitches.
Monday, February 18, 2008
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) warned that if trends continue many shark species could be extinct within a few short decades. Julia Baum, Scripps Institute of Oceanography researcher and IUCN shark specialist, said: “Sharks are definitely at the top of the list for marine fishes that could go extinct in our lifetimes. If we carry on the way that we are, we’re looking at a really high risk of extinction for some of these shark species within the next few decades.”
One of the new additions to the list of endangered species is the scalloped hammerhead shark. The IUCN will classify the animal as “globally endangered”. Within the last 30 years the shark’s population has shrunk by 99% in many parts of the world. This shark, and eight others, will be added to the list of more than 125 sharks already classified as threatened or endangered by the IUCN. The other new additions to the list are the smooth hammerhead, shortfin mako, common thresher, big-eye thresher, silky, tiger, bull and dusky sharks.
Friday, February 15, 2008
A woman from the United States wants her dead pitbull terrier - called Booger - re-created.
RNL Bio is charging the woman, from California, $150,000 (£76,000) to clone the pitbull using tissue extracted from its ear before it died.
The work will be carried out by a team from Seoul National University, where the first dog was cloned in 2005.
RNL Bio says this is the first time a dog will have been cloned commercially.
"There are many people who want to clone their pet dogs in Western countries even at this high price," company chief executive, Ra Jeong-chan, told the Korea Times.
he firm is expecting hundreds more orders for pets over the next few years and also plans to clone dogs trained to sniff out bombs or drugs.
One out of every four surrogate mother dogs produces puppies, according to RNL Bio's marketing director, Cho Seong-ryul.
"The cost of cloning a dog may come down to less than $50,000 as cloning is becoming an industry," he said.
VIDEO via Jezebel
Playskool says that Kota has sensors in eleven parts of his body that react to the touch and trigger different motions—including some cute horny action—and sounds. They say that the thing will even munch on special leafs, Cookie Monster style. Seriously, this is one of those toys which makes me want to have a three-year-old body rather than just a three-year-old brain. Expect a full butts-on and horny tickling this weekend, live from New York's Toy Fair 2008.
Video Via: Gizmodo
Face-to-face in a new fossil discovery, two newfound dinosaur species were revealed today. Both roamed Africa's Sahara desert some 110 million years ago and were found in present-day Niger.
Eocarcharia dinops, or ''fierce-eyed dawn shark,'' (left) was armed with three-inch (7.6-centimeter), blade-like teeth, likely for disabling and dismembering prey. Some experts speculate that its menacing brow was used in head-butting contests with rival males.
Kryptops palaois, or ''old hidden face,'' boasted a horny face that may have had a special role.
"From the texture of the [skull] bone, it seems like they almost have a bill on the front of their face for sticking their head in and gnawing away at carcasses," said Paul Sereno.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Pet Valentine Ideas
Over two years, tiny cameras placed deep underground recorded the comings and goings of a wild badger family.
While the animals have been well studied outside of their setts, until now, little has been known about their behaviour while underground.
Never-before-seen behaviour was filmed, including the badgers diligently making their beds each evening before leaving the setts for a night of foraging.
The crew also captured newborn cubs on camera, as well as grooming and fighting between the older animals.
The footage was recorded for a BBC Natural World wildlife programme.
About 300,000 badgers live across Britain, their tracks and trails criss-cross the countryside, yet they are rarely seen.
Andrew Cooper, producer of Badgers - Secrets of the Sett, said: "Before we began filming, I knew that there was a gap in our knowledge about badgers.
"When I spoke to one badger expert, I said to him: 'How much do we know about their life underground?', and he simply held up a blank piece of paper.
"This is the first time we have had the opportunity to see real detail down there."
Thong Dee is an Asian elephant at Sydney’s Taronga zoo. The exotic animal is nine years old, still a juvenile in elephant terms. So while the zoo celebrates, animal rights groups are up in arms.
Erica Martin, Asia-Pacific Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “It is completely irresponsible.” She described the zoo permitting the young elephant to conceive as “the equivalent of allowing your 12-year-old daughter to become pregnant.” Martin said that 11 is the minimum age at which captive elephants should begin to breed.
Despite the negative publicity from animal rights organizations, the zoo is ecstatic over the elephant’s pregnancy. Taronga Zoo director Guy Cooper said: “The zoo is proud to announce this historic event.” The birth will be the first by a captive elephant in Australia.
Thong Dee was one of eight Asian elephants sent from Thailand to the zoo in 2006. She’s been surrounded by controversy from the beginning, as animal rights groups protested against the animals being kept in captivity. Thong Dee and her fellow imports joined the zoo’s captive breeding program for the endangered species.
Four Great Crested Newts, an endangered species, were found on the grounds of Fallibroome High School in the city of Macclesfield. Under EU and UK laws the newts had to be given a new habitat in order for work on the school’s buildings to proceed.
The expense enraged both local taxpayers and government officials. Councillor Barrie Hardern announced plans to challenge the legislation protecting the newts in the area, saying the animals were not particularly rare in that part of England.
Hardern said: “Around £15,000 per newt seems a ludicrous sum of money to me. They are a legally protected species under EU regulations because there are parts of Europe where they are quite rare. However in Cheshire we have in the order of 16,000 ponds and newts are widespread and locally abundant.”
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Released to the public on February 12, 2008, the 2005 pictures originally accompanied a report in a spring 2007 issue of the Gorilla Gazette, a newsletter for gorilla scientists.
"Leah was lying on the ground and George was looking into Leah's eyes," researchers wrote in the report.
German conservation biologist Thomas Breuer, who took the photos, told National Geographic News, "It leads me to think about how similar gorillas can be to humans, [and yet] we humans are destroying them."
Video Clip via Jezebel
After peering into our star player's cage this AM, it occurred to me the site's founder could use a lesson on bird+bees as pertains to hamsters:
"Hamsters become fertile at different ages dependent on their species, but this can be from one month to three months of age."
"If the mother is housed with the father and no more pups are desired, remove the father NOW! The female hamster is capable of getting pregnant immediately after giving birth! If you don’t want any more pups within the next month then you must separate the parents."
"Unfortunately, it’s not at all uncommon to have a mother hamster eat some or all of her litter."
Pregnancy lasts only 15 1/2-16 days. Litters usually range from 5 to 10 pups.
Female hamsters with young must be provided with abundant nesting and bedding materials, and plenty of food and water. They must not be disturbed in any way. The young should not be touched or handled until they are at least 7 days old, the nest should not be disturbed, and the cage should not be cleaned during this period. Failure to heed these cautions (especially with females nursing their first litters) most often results in cannibalism of the young. Observant owners may note an interesting maternal rearing activity, especially if the female with young is excited or disturbed. She will stuff pups into her cheek pouches and deposit them into the nest a short time later when she believes the danger has passed. Occasionally, pups suffocate as a result of this activity, especially during lengthy periods of disturbance.
It sounds twisted in theory, but there's something unexpectedly charming about artists Jonathan Grubb's and Kent Rogowski's inside-out toy stuffed animals.
I found these looking for a female artist's version - please comment if you know how I can find her work!
Uno, a 15-inch-long beagle, proved his puppy prowess by taking home the top honors at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last night. Despite the breeds' overwhelming popularity, this is the first time a beagle has taken the competition. "With fans calling out his name and clapping, he soaked in the cheers as he walked around the ring. And when he made his final stop in front of Jones, Uno went to town, baying over and over," CNN says of Uno's triumph.
It's starting to feel awkward how frequently I happen upon big-animal-junk stories. My Size Queen crown fits pretty comfortably, but I'm not ready to embrace animal sex as.. well.. SEXy. Despite this hesitation, I admit I'm fascinated by the following, and based on the broad availability of related videos, I'm not the only one.
Giant Whale Schlong
Somewhat-less-giant-but-still-impressive Whale Penis
More of the Same
Note: I can't help but think that if Wally Lamb had been better informed on this topic before writing She's Come Undone, it would have been a FAR better read.
It is a skill set that the water shrew really needs. About half the size of a mouse, water shrews have such a high metabolism that they must eat more than their weight daily and can starve to death in half a day if they can't find anything to eat. As a result, water shrews are formidable predators ounce for ounce.
"Water shrews do much of their hunting at night so I began wondering how they can identify their prey in nearly total darkness," says Ken Catania, the associate professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt who headed the study.
Although there are laws in place to protect the tigers, a lack of enforcement has led to the widespread sale of the tigers’ body parts in gold and souvenir shops and as ingredients in traditional medicine. The study, conducted by wildlife trade monitoring organization Traffic, estimated that about 23 tigers were killed to provide the products they found for sale. There are thought to be less than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.
The rare and exotic animal is on the World Conservation Union’s “red list” of the most endangered species in the world. The Sumatran tiger is the last wild tiger found in Indonesia after Javan and Bali tigers were driven extinct from habitat loss and hunting for parts.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Madison Square Garden
Seventh to Eighth Avenues and 31st to 33rd Streets
New York, New York
America's First and Only Champions Only Dog Show Entry limited to 2,500 dogs
The Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting, and Herding group competition will be televised live Monday on USA Network from 8-9PM ET and continuing on CNBC from 9-11PM ET. The Sporting, Working, Toy, and Best In Show competition will be televised live Tuesday on USA Network from 8-11PM ET.
Westminster Kennel Club
Mike Libby uses the carapaces of real insects to create tiny, mechanical works of art. They look like they could be part of a new insect-driven A.I. Not only does Libby's work adorn a new anthology of speculative writing from Tachyon Press called The New Weird, but he has upcoming shows you can check out in Boston and Philly.
Proud son of Totally Wide Open and Casper, Deep-N-Wide is a "massive, heavy boned, stout made, powerful boar!" Billed as an "extra sound and flexible" specimen with world-class feet (?!!!), he is one of a fine stable of aptly-named and apparently virile young stud boars whose copious goods* are hocked* by Shaffer's Gold Rush and Showtime Sires. These and other purveyors of fine boar semen strive to provide the industry with genetically-superior seed* in the name of Pig Improvement.
At first glance, their online stores appear to function much like a mail-order bride catalog, but a quick browse through the photo gallery, and I'd liken it more to a cheap porn site in desperate need of a video tech.
And before your deeply-repressed feminist side thrills at the reverse sexism of it, let's revisit bird-and-bees, a la The Pork Industry.
The closest their receptacle sows in Iowa will come to the sturdy War Admiral or cheeky Wild Irish Joe is a brief sniff at whichever of their nameless locals is robotically wheeled along the pig factory floor (apparently sniffing any old male scrotum will do to rev Mrs. Pig's reproductive engine), before being artificially inseminated courtesy by farm hands via a plastic tube. So really, the names and sexy profile shots are for the benefit of Mr. Size Queen the pig farmer.
So, ummm, have at it, farmboy*