Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Corgis, Almost as Powerful as Gays

Corgi's dominated the 1st annual Fido awards, held in conjunction with the London International Film Festival on Sunday night. They won two out of five categories, including Best Historical Hound and Best Comedy Canine. One breed hasn't dominated the theatre industry like this in... oh wait...

Dog iPhone

For halloween this year, i am dressing up as an iPhone.
It looks like this dog had the same idea!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Love, Or Something Like It

You know when your trying to do research on the internet -- say, hypothetically, on the sexual escapades of Blue Footed Boobies -- and all you can find is the same limited details, and everywhere you find them they're worded in such a strikingly similar manner that you can't help but think that the internet is more incestuous than the Hapsburgs and that eventually all recorded human knowledge will have originated one night out of the keyboard imaginings of a geeky eight-year-old whose parents still have him sheltered from porn? It'll all just be writ from above like the days of Moses.
And in this grand tradition, we bring you the mating habits of the Blue Footed Booby!
Blue-footed boobies have an elaborate courtship ritual that entertains onlookers. Once a male booby has chosen a mating spot, he repeatedly raises his beak into the air in a motion called "skypointing," to signal his readiness to females. The attracted female joins him, mirroring the skypointing, and he begins to circle her with high steps, flexing and extending his wings. During this dramatic dance one of the birds will place a stick or stone onto the ground, indicating the spot designated for nesting. Nests are located close to shore and are often seen by passing tour boats.
Skypointing. Yeah, I guess we kind of do that too.

Best dog costume ever!!

Ming the clam is 'oldest animal'

A clam dredged up off the coast of Iceland is thought to have been the longest-lived animal 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 a clam found in 1982 aged 220.

Unofficially, another clam - found in an Icelandic museum - was discovered to be 374-years-old, Bangor University said, making their clam at least 31 years older.

The clam, nicknamed Ming after the Chinese dynasty in power when it was born, was in its infancy when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne and Shakespeare was writing plays such as Othello and Hamlet.

Professor Chris Richardson, from Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences, told the BBC: "The growth-increments themselves provide a record of how the animal has varied in its growth-rate from year to year, and that varies according to climate, sea-water temperature and food supply.

"And so by looking at these molluscs we can reconstruct the environment the animals grew in. They are like tiny tape-recorders, in effect, sitting on the sea-bed and integrating signals about water temperature and food over time."

Full Story

Dog-walker trampled by a herd of killer cows

A police inspector walking his dog through a field suffered life-threatening injuries after he was trampled by a herd of cows.

Chris Poole, 50, had to be airlifted to hospital with broken ribs and a collapsed lung following the attack by the usually-docile animals.

"I worked on a farm when I was a youngster and always told people not to worry about cows and said they never attacked," he said yesterday. "Little did I know."

Mr Poole, who is married with a 16-year-old daughter, said he was with his golden retriever Zak on a designated footpath near his home in Brighton when the cattle became agitated.

"I had Zak on a lead but I think they were still bothered by his presence. Suddenly, one cow started mooing and then others began running towards me. There were about 50 of them.

Some were cows with calves but all were fully grown.

"We were surrounded but I wasn't scared at that point. I waved and shooed them away as they came close.

"They were focused on Zak and became more agitated as they got nearer and nearer.

"Then I felt this cow butt me hard in the back. I fell to the ground and let go of Zak's lead.

Full Story

New Pug...

Parasites Take Toll on Forest Primates

Pesky parasites that thrive in fragmented forests are taking a toll on already stressed primates in Ugandan forests, suggests a new study.

The findings, detailed in a recent issue of the American Journal of Primatology, could explain why populations of black-and-white colobus monkeys are stable, while their cousins, the red colobus monkeys, are in decline.

The forests of Uganda, where the monkeys live, currently represent less than 5 percent of the original forest cover. As tropical forests are logged and converted into agricultural land at a fast rate, according to the World Resources Institute, the remaining forest comprises just small tracts hemmed in by pastures and croplands.

Thomas Gillespie of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his colleagues followed the monkeys for four years, finding the red colobus populations in forest fragments declined 20 percent, while the black-and-white colobus remained relatively stable. Both species maintained stable populations in the undisturbed forest.

The fragmented regions also supported much higher densities of parasites than did undisturbed regions. While feeding on leaves, the monkeys ingest the larval forms of these parasitic worms, which mature in the monkey's intestines. The adult worms migrate through blood vessels, causing inflammation, organ damage and, sometimes, death for the infected monkeys.

Differences between the two monkey species affect their vulnerability to parasitic infection. Compared with the black-and-white monkeys, the red colobus monkeys eat a much more varied diet, and so they must travel farther to meet their dietary needs. The lengthy journeys would bring them into contact with more parasites.

“The red colobus typically eat 40 to 50 species of plants, but in these forest fragments we might only have 12 tree species," Gillespie said. "So there’s a dramatic reduction in what we typically would see them feed on." He added that their compromised nutritional status also weakens them, giving parasites the edge.

The black-and-white colobus munch on whatever's around at the time, allowing them to eat well under a variety of circumstances. That enhances their ability to withstand parasitic infections, Gillespie said.

What the heck is this?!

What is it you ask, well i took the liberty of translating from Russian the story of this large creature!

"The inhabitants of small town with the specific name "Bobruysk" are not at all shamed their participation to the beavers, and what is more by many of them in my opinion so positive a name of its city even pleases itself. This to you not Minsk, Arkhangelsk with Kaliningrad, but entire Bobruysk!!! In the honor of Bobruysk city, the inhabitants elevated the enormous monument of satisfied beaver from the straw and the tree. Initiative belonged to no one manager of kolkhoz; To silent Anatoliy grigor'evich, who itself gathered the young people in the person of pomoshnikov, and THE MEDIA in face of the journalists of television channel NTV."

Original Post

New Site: LOLsaur

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chatty Catty...

I can has Cheetoh!

Primates in Trouble, Says Report on 25 Rarest

Almost a third of all apes, monkeys, and other primates are in danger of extinction because of rampant habitat destruction, the commercial sale of their meat and the trade in illegal wildlife, a report released Friday said.

Of the world's 394 primate species, 114 are classified as threatened with extinction by the World Conservation Union. (IUCN)

The report by Conservation International and the International Primatological Society in Hainan, China, focuses on the plight of the 25 most endangered primates, including China's Hainan gibbon, of which only 17 remain.

"You could fit all the surviving members of the 25 species in a single football stadium—that's how few of them remain on Earth today," said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International.

"The situation is worst in Asia, where tropical forest destruction and the hunting and trading of monkeys puts many species at terrible risk," said Mittermeier, who is also chairman of the IUCN's Primate Specialist Group.

The 25 most endangered primates include 11 from Asia, 11 from Africa and 3 from South and Central America. The list includes well-known primates like the Sumatran orangutan of Indonesia and the Cross River gorilla of Cameroon and Nigeria, as well as lesser known species, such as the greater bamboo lemur from Madagascar.

Six species are in the report for the first time, including a recently discovered Indonesian tarsier that has yet to be formally named and the kipunji from Tanzania, which was discovered in 2003.

Full Story

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bee Dogs!

Gina Zycher is on a mission. A mission of beauty and miscegenation. A mission to produce the "premier online repository for pictures of dogs in bee costumes". Gina Zycher, you are a hero, thank you for making the internet and our world a better place.

And furthermore, I will give all the money in my bank account (roughly $10) to whoever can actually genetically create a beedog. It'll fly, it'll fetch, it'll be the best thing in the world.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pit Bulls Kill Miniature Horse Donated To Cancer-Stricken Child

AMARILLO -- A miniature horse given to a boy with brain cancer by the Make-A-Wish Foundation was killed by a pair of pit bulls who were found roaming in his yard, authorities said.

The 31-inch tall horse, Anniversary, was donated by the foundation to 3-year-old Christian Vasquez in late August.

Christian, who was diagnosed in January with a malignant form of brain cancer, received a pull cart, a blanket, a halter and a bridle set from the foundation on Saturday, said Jelaine Workman, executive director for the foundation's Amarillo chapter.

Two days later, Anniversary was found dead on his property in Pampa by Christian's father, Raul Vasquez.

The father was nearly attacked by the dogs but managed to climb a tree and call 911 on his cell phone.

One of the dogs was captured by authorities and remains in custody at the Pampa animal pound, while the other escaped and remained on the loose, Gray County Sheriff Don Copeland said.

"I was scared to death," said Raul Vasquez, 41. "They killed Anniversary, and I thought they would kill me too."

It was unclear how the dogs entered the property, which is surrounded by a 4 1/2-foot-high fence.

Workman said the foundation won't be able to supply a second horse but was getting calls from residents who wanted to donate money for a new one.

Anniversary cost $1,300, and the foundation included free feed, training and veterinary care for a year in its gift.

"This horse was beautiful," Workman said. "It just makes me angry that people allow their dogs to run on the loose."

Fat squirrel trapped behind bars

A grey squirrel had to be rescued from a bird feeder as it had gorged on so many nuts it could not squeeze back out through the bars.

A resident in Christchurch, Dorset alerted the RSPCA after finding it stuck in the peanut-filled feeder.

Insp Graham Hammond said that the squirrel had "eyes bigger than its stomach" and had lost its figure while feasting in the wire-frame last week.

He said it was "quite an unusual rescue".

"I think this squirrel had eyes bigger than its stomach but after it had stuffed itself with nuts, it had a stomach too large to escape the feeder - one which ironically, was designed to be squirrel-proof," he said.

Insp Hammond said he managed to widen the gaps between two of the bars with the aid of a crow-bar and a grasper - to release the squirrel, which was not hurt.

"As soon as the gap increased he shot off. I was slightly insulted," he added.

Chick walks through town in a meat bikini, Dogs go crazy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Fires Force Animal Evacuation

Horses stand in a pasture in Bonita, California as wildfires loom in the distance on October 23, 2007.

For the fourth day, wind-stoked wildfires raged from the Mexican border to Los Angeles burning more than 400,000 acres (161,874 hectares) and forcing evacuations of an estimated 950,000 people.

In San Diego County, officials raced to beat oncoming flames and save pets and livestock left behind by evacuees.

More than 2,000 horses were taken to the county fairgrounds in Del Mar, which became a makeshift shelter for the rescued animals.

She loves me, she loves me not!

"Vibrating Mice" Develop Less Fat, Study Shows

A new study in mice could shake up the fight against fat.

Laboratory mice that spent 15 minutes a day on a vibrating platform developed 28 percent less fat than control mice during a recent experiment.

But forget the ads for waistband-jiggling vibration belts guaranteed to "burn away fat." These mice experienced very subtle, almost undetectable, tremors.

Scientists theorize that as the mice developed, the vibrations mimicked muscle activity and induced their stem cells to develop into bone or muscle cells rather than fat cells.

"We're not burning fat or taking fat mice and making them skinny," said lead author Clinton Rubin, a biomedical engineer at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

"We're taking mice who are growing and ... influencing the decision of stem cells [so that they don't] become fat cells."

(Related news: "Modified Mice Stay Super-Fit -- Without Exercise" [August 25, 2004].)

The finding came in part from research in human spaceflight. Rubin and colleagues are trying to induce stem cells to become bone cells in order to offset the bone loss that results in zero-gravity space environments.

Full Story

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Screw Stephen Colbert, Let's Elect the K-9 Corp

Today the deepest powers of the CIA were revealed to lie with Zoltan, an adorable Belgian Malinois (which is a dog, btw).

"The Belgian Malinois is “officially” a member of the CIA’s K-9 Corps, but secretly has all major Washington pols in his pocket."

My faith in the CIA is eternally renewed.

CIA's Call of the Wild -

In Study of Human Patterns, Scientists Look to Bird Brains

Last month, a bird known as a bar-tailed godwit took flight from Alaska and headed south. A day later, it was still flapping its way over the Pacific. An airplane pilot would have a hard time staying awake after 24 hours of flight (the Federal Aviation Administration allows pilots to fly just eight hours in a row). But the godwit kept flying for an additional week. After eight days and 7,200 miles, it landed in New Zealand, setting a record for nonstop flight.

“If they spend so many hours flying,” said Ruth M. Benca of the University of Wisconsin, “where do they find the time to sleep?”

Bird sleep is so mysterious that scientists are considering several answers, all intriguing. The godwit may have managed to stay awake for the entire journey. Or it may have been able to sleep while flying. Or, as Dr. Benca and other scientists suspect, its brain may have been in a bizarre state of semilimbo that they do not understand.

Bird brains produce patterns of electrical activity that look strikingly like human brains during sleep, a remarkable similarity considering that birds and their brains have been on a separate evolutionary course from mammals for 300 million years. But similarities reach just so far.

Full Story

Monday, October 22, 2007

Halloween Safety Tips for Animals...

1. Most importantly, keep animals inside. For cats-especially black cats, who have unfairly been associated with "evil forces"-the days leading up to Halloween can be dark, indeed, as pranksters often go on the prowl for roaming kitties. In fact, many animal shelters refuse to adopt out black cats during the entire month of October. Dogs should be kept indoors, too. Some kids think that letting dogs out of their yards on Halloween is a great trick, but it's a terrifying experience for dogs, who run from the noise and strangely dressed people and become lost. Dogs can also be injured when kids poke at them through fences or pelt them with eggs.

2. Put animals in a secure room during trick-or-treat time. Cats can quickly slip out the front door, and dogs sometimes try to bite unsuspecting kids, thinking that they're intruders. For everyone's safety, it's best to keep animals inside a bedroom or family room, away from all the commotion.

3. Don't take dogs on trick-or-treating trips. When most kids are more interested in collecting candy than watching the dog. Dogs can easily become frightened by the endless stream of laughing and screaming children and run off or bite someone.

4. Keep bowls of candy out of animals' reach, and make sure that kids know not to share their goodies with four-legged friends. All candy (and wrappers!) can cause animals to become sick, and chocolate, which contains an ingredient poisonous to dogs, can kill. A simple cat or dog treat will make animals' Halloween great without making them sick.

5. Keep curious noses and paws away from candles and party favors. Jack-o-lanterns lit up by candles are appropriately spooky, but they can burn animals (and children) or start fires if tipped over. The ink used in some brightly colored decorations, like orange streamers and paper pumpkins, is toxic to animals, and swallowed balloons or party favors can block an animal's digestive tract.

6. Remember that animals aren't party props. Fido may look cute wearing a witch's hat, but many animals become upset if forced into clothing. Costumes that are kept in place with tight rubber bands can cut off circulation. And while some party-planners think that it's frightful fun to have a black cat jump out of a closet at guests, the frightened kitty (and guest) probably won't agree.


Brooklyn Bunny: Live Bunny Cam

Brooklyn Bunny was inspired by our former pet
rabbit "Bun." He lived with us for many years in our
Greenpoint, Brooklyn apartment. After his passing in
February of 2005, we thought that we may never get
another pet. Several months later, we thought it may
be a good idea to start a rabbit sitting service. In the
middle of setting up our website, we received an email
from a friend with a photo of the cutest white bunny
who needed a home. We were offered a weekend
bunny test-drive. Our door bell rang and the rest is

Steve Wozniak, kitten-saver

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak introduces a trailer for a DVD from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley.
He talks about the plight of homeless cats and encourages you to help.
Full Story care of: Valleywag

Costumes are part of the Halloween fun for some pets

Never seen a dog in a thong? Then you’ve never seen Carol Wells’ dogs dressed up for Halloween.

This year her therapy-trained Dalmatians, Carmen and Jonah, are going to be Victoria’s Secret and Joe Boxer, respectively.

But not necessarily respectably.

After previous Halloweens dressed as Carmen Miranda, Howdy Doody, Dorothy and the Tin Man, “it’s down to underwear,” said Wells, a Kansas City artist.

When she takes the dogs on their Halloween rounds of hospitals this year, Carmen will wear a thrift-store Victoria’s Secret bra, size 32A, and black lace panties with a hole cut out for her tail.

Jonah will be a Chippendale dancer in a pinstripe vest, white collar, black bow tie and black Joe Boxer underwear with fake money tucked into the waistband.

“It’s kind of tricky trying to put a pair of panties on a boy dog,” Wells said.

One can only imagine.

Yes, it’s kind of scary when Dalmatians do tricks as exotic dancers. But Halloween has clearly gone to the dogs. One in 10 Americans celebrating Halloween this year plans to make their pet wear some type of costume, according to the National Retail Federation.

No surprise, really, in this, the Epoch of the Pampered Pooch. Dog owners dress their canines year-round in rain slickers and boots, ruffled puppy panties and matching PJs and robes.

Then comes Halloween with its growing number of pet parties, parades and costume contests — read: ways to show off your dog — and owners can’t help but salivate.

Full Story

Pigeons: Freedom Fighters in Terrorland

The homing pigeon is doing its part to bring democracy to eastern Cuba by carrying electoral results from polling stations in the remote areas of Las Tunas province. In addition to the 150 pigeons being used, 470 cyclists and 146 horse riders will also be used to transmit accurate election results.

Democracy in action! Eat it Diebold!

The early frog gets the worm...

Video care of: Chippa

What you missed: Times Square Dog Day Masquerade

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Who's Sophia Monk

The fiance of Good Charlotte member Benji Madden somehow makes herself relevant with this new campaign for PETA.

"There's no doubt in my mind that going vegetarian has made me feel better – not only physically but also because I learned about the suffering of animals who are raised and killed for food, and I feel good knowing that I'm not contributing to that.”

I think PETA needs to come up with a new advertising campaign. Well, maybe not.
Monk Bares All to Save the Animals - Livenews

Monkeys assassinate Delhi deputy mayor!!

The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi died on Sunday after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys.

SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home on Saturday morning trying to fight off the monkeys.

The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by.

The High Court demanded the city find an answer to the problem last year.

Solution elusive

One approach has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.

The city has also employed monkey catchers to round them up so they can be moved to forests.

But the problem has persisted.

Culling is seen as unacceptable to devout Hindus, who revere the monkeys as a manifestation of the monkey god Hanuman, and often feed them bananas and peanuts.

Urban development around the city has also been blamed for destroying the monkeys' natural habitat.

Mr Bajwa, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is survived by his wife and a son, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Full Story

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Love, or Something Like It

On a purely practical level, there is no issue of greater relevance to a species than the sexing and the baby-making. And always aimed towards responsible dissemination of information and, well, sensationalism -- next week: blue footed boobies! -- we bring you our new weekly feature on animals, afterdark (or well, sometimes in the middle of the day). This week: the crane fly!
Welp, I think the picture speaks for itself. But mating itself is very important to the life cycle of the crane fly.
"Neither adult species will eat more than a little nectar or pollen during their
lifetime. They exist simply to mate and produce the next generation. .....
Something they are very good at."
After consumation, the female will plump and eventually lay her eggs (several hundred of them, Wilt Chamberlain wishes he were this potent) on moist soil or mud near open water. The whole process takes little over 24 hours and larvae develop over winter.
Crane Fly - A Nature Observer's Notebook
Crane Fly -


Anorexia Watch: Carebears!

Remember when you were a kid and those lovable Care Bears were plump like they ought to be! Well not anymore!
The Care Bears have now followed in the footsteps of pop icons like Mary Kate Olson, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie!

James Brown Doggie Humping

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ugandan Cranes Declining Due to "Witch Doctors"

Uganda's national bird, the gray crowned crane, is threatened by "witch doctors" and commercial poachers, a new report says.

Commonly known as the crested crane, the bird's image adorns memorabilia, clothing, and souvenirs in the East African country. It's also the mascot for the national soccer team.

In the past decade, though, the crane population in Uganda has fallen from 50,000 to 20,000, primarily due to witch doctors—also known as traditional healers—who use the animals in folk medicine and poachers who take the birds from their natural habitat.

Development has also encroached onto the cranes' wetland habitat.

"The gray crowned crane is getting in more and more trouble," said Achilles Byaruhanga, director of the Kampala-based nonprofit organization Nature Uganda, which co-authored the report with the Wildlife Conservation Trust and the International Crane Foundation.

Giant Snails, Once a Delicacy, Overrun Brazil

"Thats what you get for eating us all these years" the snails PR manager told sources.

The giant African snail, originally brought to Brazil as a delicacy for gourmet restaurants, has instead become a major nuisance in the country.

The invasive mollusk—which can measure nearly 8 inches (about 20 centimeters) long and weigh more than 1 pound (500 grams)—is widespread in Brazil, thriving in nearly every state.

The snail is currently at the height of its invasion, experts say, and the its success makes eradication near-impossible.

Silvana Thiengo is a mollusk expert from Brazil's national health organization, the Oswaldo Cruz Institute.

"Raining season starts in November, and that's when they like to [lay] eggs," she said. "The snails will show up more, so we do expect the situation to get worse."

Full Story

LOL Sloth

funny pictures & lolcats - oh hai i just straiten this line k
more funny pictures

Squirrel Sneaking Nuts Away From a Cat

Elephants Know Good People from Bad

Elephants can apparently smell and see which humans might be out to get them, research now suggests.

As elephants roam Amboseli National Park in Kenya within sight of famed Mt. Kilimanjaro, they may run afoul of members of the Maasai or Kamba tribes. While the Kamba nowadays threaten only elephants that invade their farmland, Maasai warriors occasionally show off their virility by spearing elephants.

Since elephants face different levels of peril from people depending on their tribe, scientists reasoned elephants might use their senses to distinguish who might be dangerous. For instance, the pachyderms might rely on their eyesight—Maasai traditionally wear red shawls.

The scientists also deduced that elephants might employ their keen sense of smell to distinguish Maasai from Kamba. Their body odors likely differ because Maasai eat substantial amounts of milk and occasionally cattle blood and beef while the Kamba diet consists of vegetables and maize, along with some meat. Also, unlike the Kamba, the Maasai use ochre and sheep fat in body decorations.

The researchers had heard of several instances of elephants reacting "to even faint signals of Maasai, with elephants running away from Maasai men that were several kilometers away," said cognitive psychologist Lucy Bates at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The pachyderms even stayed away from a vehicle "for several days after Maasai men had been carried in it."

Full Story

PetCo Sells Dog Food That Expired 3 Years Ago

Marc's puppy is ill and he suspects the culprit is some expired dog food he bought at PetCo.

This past Tuesday my Yorkie Mason began throwing up, and not having the best appetite in the world. After throwing up 6 times in one day, we figured something was wrong with him, so of course we took him to the Doggie ER. They evaluated him, and said he may be dehydrated, and did some type of procedure on him. The next day, he was somewhat ok, but still not his normal playful self. He has now been under the vets care, and has spent two nights there under the vet's watch. I called the vet last night and told him what I discovered: Expiration dates from 2004 on the Eukanuba canned dog food I purchased. Now, I purchased 5 cans of this dog food, and 2 of them have the 2004 expiration date. I don't know if the other cans he has finished may have had this expiration date on it since I have thrown those away already.

Now, I really want to go to PETCO and punch someones face for this, but I'm really not the violent type, so I would love for you to give me some heads up on what to do!
Yikes. We're obviously not experts on the health effects of expired pet food, but let's assume that the food went bad and made your puppy ill. You'll probably want to document everything and then contact PetCo to see what compensation they'll offer you. It's likely that they'll just offer to replace the food, but you may be able to get a gift card or other compensation from them if you make a good case that the food injured your pet.

This story reminds us that people should still keep an eye out for both expired pet food and recalled pet food. Stores are much less vigilant about pet products than they are about food meant for people. Give a hug to the puppy for us, he's adorable.

Has this happened to you or your pet? What did you do?
Original Post

New Canine Walk of Fame in London

LONDON (AP) — Bow wow, and take a bow: The furry and famous of the silver screen are being honored with their own walk of fame in London.

The first inductees will be six dogs chosen by public vote from a shortlist that includes Lassie, Toto of "The Wizard of Oz," cartoon superdog Gromit and Tintin's trusty companion, Snowy, organizers said Thursday.

The winners, announced Nov. 5, will receive a permanent plaque in Battersea Park, south London. The nearby Battersea Dogs Home is Britain's largest and best-known home for abandoned dogs.

The walk of fame is sponsored by the Kennel Club and television channel Sky Movies.

"To immortalize these dogs within Battersea Park, a place intrinsically linked to dogs itself, is very important to the Kennel Club and promotes the importance of dogs within our lives," said Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko.

Later this month, doggie stars will be honored at the first-ever Fido awards, billed as the canine equivalent of the Academy Awards. Among the leading contenders are five corgis who starred alongside Oscar winner Helen Mirren in "The Queen."

Designer Pet - A Hairless 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.

They eat three times the amount of a normal hairy pig and their dry skin requires moisturising. But animal lovers are willing to pay up to $300 for a Hairless Guinea Pig.

Researchers studying how singing bats communicate

Bats are the most vocal mammals other than humans, and understanding how they communicate during their nocturnal outings could lead to better therapys for human speech disorders, say scientists at Texas A&M University.

Thousands of bats native to Central Texas fly overhead each night singing songs of complex syllables but at frequencies too high for humans to hear.

Texas A&M researcher Michael Smotherman is trying to understand how Mexican Freetail bats organize syllables into songs and how their communication is associated with the brain. If we can identify those areas in a bat brain [responsible for communication], we can learn more about how a normal [human] brain generates and orchestrates complex communication sequences, Smotherman says. And by understanding how that works, we can then come up with testable hypotheses about what might be going on in speech disorders.

The scientists in Smothermans lab are studying two aspects of bat communication. In behavioral studies, they examine sex differences and seasonal variations in communication, and in physiology studies they try to locate the parts of the bat brain active during communication.

Mexican Freetail bats sing mostly in ultrasonic frequencies that are right above the upper limit of human hearing. Humans can sometimes hear little bits of bat songs, however, when parts of syllables drop low enough.

Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo!

Whenever they play the Backstreet Boys 1997 song "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," the white-feathered bird lifts his legs and bobs his head, flashing his bright yellow crest to the beat.

The cockatoo's owners, Irena and Chuck Schulz, are waiting to hear back from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," which called last week. Other TV programs already have featured Snowball's moves.

Snowball joined the family a couple of months ago. The man who dropped him off brought a CD and said to watch Snowball's reaction.

Irena Schulz said she almost fainted at the sight of the bird dancing to the beat.

Satan's Doggie!

Seen on the Street!


Manigua, Nicaragua - Animal rights blogs have latched onto the story of Guillermo Habacuc Vargas, a Costa Nican artist whose recent exhibition saw a dog chained in an art gallery, only to have him die a day later.

The dog -- which had been sick, starving, and tied up on the streets -- was part of an exhibition that included "a legend spelled out in dog food reading 'You are what you read,' photos and an incense burner that burned an ounce of marijauna and 175 'rock' of crack cocaine".

Quoth Habacuc to La Nacion, "The importance to me is the hypocracy of the people where an animal is the focus of attention where people come to see art but not when it’s in the street starving to death."

Yes, quite.

A Dead Dog As Art? - For the Love of the Dog

Thursday, October 18, 2007

we presume judy dench will win quite a few of these as well

The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival this year will host the Fido Awards, recognizing the film achievements of dogs. Organized by Toby Rose, who awards Cannes' annual Palme Dog award, the first annual Fidos features five categories: Historical Hound, Blockbuster Bowser, Comedy Canine, Cupcake Cinema, and BEST IN WORLD. Toby Rose, where would this world be without you.
"There will be dogs: some will pad home chewing on their trophies, others
will leave empty pawed. Don’t miss the drama."

Fido Awards - BFI 51st London Film Festival

DC Still Sucks

As if the douchebags and overt segregation weren't enough of a reason to avoid our country's capital, consider this: the camel cricket.

In a sign that god is not in fact on our (read: Bush's) side, these critters have recently been infesting the homes of DC-area residents.

This inch-long, wingless, noiseless, spider-like cricket can jump up to three feet in any direction and have been described as "freaky".

I'm actually pretty sure they're why the Turkish ambassador left.

A Bunch of Ugly Little Trespassers - Washington Post
HR 106 Fallout: Turkey Recalls American Ambassador -

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

big duck steals bag of chips

Following the example of the seagull a couple of posts below. Slightly larger birds have taken to using segways (perhaps succombing to their own weight) to aid in their nefarious theivery.

Ellen DeGeneres pooch drama update!

Access Hollywood spoke with Keith A. Fink, the attorney for Mutts and Moms owner Maria Batkis, Wednesday morning and the attorney said that another home has been found for the dog although he was not able to say for certain that the dog has been physically given to the new owner yet.

He added that Batkis is distraught, under medication at her home, and that she cannot come out of her house. He says that both he and Batkis are getting numerous e-mail and phone threats, as well as death threats.

“If Ellen’s object was to destroy my client to get her way she has done that,” Fink told Access. “My client is destroyed.”

Under the Mutts and Moms contract agreement (section 3H discusses the “NO RIGHT TO TRANSFER”), which Access obtained a copy of, anyone accepting a dog agrees to “NOT give or sell ADOPTEE to another person, company, organization, medical research, pound or animal shelter,” or, “If ADOPTER fails to abide by the terms of this clause, ADOPTER will pay all costs, including any legal fees incurred, required to secure the return of ADOPTEE to RESCUE and will, in addition, be required to pay liquidated damages in the amount of $500.”

DeGeneres made a tearful plea on her talk show that aired Tuesday for the owners of the Mutts and Moms agency to give Iggy, a Brussels Griffon mix terrier, back to her hairstylist's family.

The dog was removed from the hairstylist's home on Sunday. The owners of Mutts and Moms claimed that DeGeneres violated the adoption agreement by not informing them that she was giving the dog away.

"She (Marina) is not going to give them the dog," said Fink, who is not legally representing the owners but is authorized to speak on their behalf.

"She doesn't think this is the type of family that should have the dog. She is adamant that she is not going to be bullied around by the Ellen DeGenereses of the world ... They are using their power, position and wealth to try to get what it is they want."

City Is An Old Growth Forest For Big Owls

It may be news to its bankers, but Charlotte, the biggest city in North Carolina and a major center of the American financial industry, is actually an old growth forest.

At least thats the way the barred owls see it.

Charlotte is famous for having two kinds of green. It is home to two of the nations largest banks and its downtown residential neighborhoods and near-suburbs are also known for their lush yards and green streets, lined with large trees. Less well-known is the fact that the city is almost as well populated with large owls especially barred owls as it is with bankers. Harry Potter would feel very much at home.

In fact, the barred owl population in Charlotte is so strong that the city was chosen to be the site for the most extensive barred owl research study that has ever been attempted, with fieldwork going on in the manicured front lawns and gardened back yards of urban and suburban neighborhoods.

Urban wildlife numbers have been increasing in recent decades, notably in populations of squirrels, Canada geese, raccoons and deer, but the appearance of significant urban populations of barred owls, the third largest owl species in the US, is a surprise to a number of biologists.

Full Story

Black Market Raid

This made me cry. Except the part with the bunnies dressed in tutus. Who doesn't love that?

Thai police raid animal market -

Elephant R + R

It's a charming idea, although somehow I suspect they'd prefer to be left alone.

Elephant "Spa Month" Rewards Hard Labor -