Monday, 18 October 2010
Saturday, 5 June 2010
- Harm them in any way, intentionally or unintentionally.
- Keep live or dead specimens.
- Destroy or obstruct access to sites they use for breeding or living in.
- Or disturb them whilst they are occupying a structure.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Thursday, 1 April 2010
In the spirit of April fools day I thought I do a post about animals that you’d think were made up but are 100% real!!
The first and most obvious is the duckbill platypus!! They are one of the 5 monotremes species, which means they are a mammal that leys eggs instead of giving birth to live young! They are also venomous; males have a spur on their hind leg, which injects venom that causes immense pain to humans!! Their appearance is described as being duck-billed, beaver tailed and otter footed. When they were first discovered they completely confused scientists. It is the only animal of the family ornithorhynchidae but there have been some fossils found that belong to the family, so in other words they’re not related to any other living animal!! The platypus can be found on the Australian 20 cent coil and they are the emblem of New South Wales!
The next one you might have heard of: the cookie cutter shark. No I’m not joking that’s really its name although it can also be called the cigar shark. They are related to dogfish shark and are found worldwide in warm ocean waters. It’s named the “cookie cutter” shark because of their strange feeding habits where they will gouge a circular hole out of large animals like a cookie cutter does out of dough. They’ve been known to take chunks out of squid, marine mammals, humans and even submarines. Their dark colouring appears to mimic the outline of a smaller fish while the rest of the body blends into the surroundings, so when a predator approaches they attach themselves to the side of the animal using their suction cup like lips and uses their ban-saw like teeth to take a bite out of them. Although they are no particularly dangerous to humans there are cases of human attacks, imagine looking down and finding a hole in your leg!!!
The next animal I have mentioned before as I’ve seen them in the wid. I’m talking about the proboscis monkey, indigenous to the island of Borneo. I’m mainly mentioning these because of their very funny noses. The males have a large droopy nose while the females have a small upturned nose.
The final animal on my list I thought they were fake when someone first told me about them. Marine iguanas, they sound very fake don’t they? They are one of the unique animals found on the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin described them beautifully:“The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3 ft), disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them 'imps of darkness'. They assuredly well become the land they inhabit.”
Saturday, 27 March 2010
I thought I should write something moral, so today I’m writing about the horrible statistics of tigers. As we all know they are on the endangered species list due to habitat destruction and poaching!!
But did you know in the last survey in India in 2007 there were only 1,400 animal remaining (that’s less than pandas!!).
Did you also know that there were at one point 8 different sub-species of tigers but now there are only 5? 3 species have become extinct in the 20th century thanks to humans.
Did you also know that there are more tigers in private captivity (as in people own them and not including zoos) than there are tigers in the wild? It’s estimated there are around 12,000 in the USA and 4,000 in Texas alone. Is that not disgusting? People keep these majestic animals in their back gardens while there are hardly any left in the wild!!! I think it’s truly sick that people feel the need to have such a beautiful animal just to make a statement about their own income and status!!
Just a little bit about tigers!!
Tigers are solitary creatures that live throughout Asia. They like to live in areas with good cover, a water source and lots of prey, so this tends to be around the edge of forests. They can grow to over 6 feet in length, 2-3 feet of which is their tail. They give birth to 2-3 cubs after a gestation period of about 16 weeks. The female then rears the cubs alone. The female can then mate again within 5 months, they are able to mate all year round but tend to between November and April. They can live up to 10 years in the wild and females are sexually mature at about 3 years old.
Another statistic for you; a genuine tiger skin coat will cost around about $10,000!! That’s also disgusting!!! I’m very fond of the quote (I’m not sure who said it):“fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people”.
Friday, 26 March 2010
As I was talking about camouflage in my last post, my mother suggested I write something in the same vein! So today I’m talking about chameleons and the first thing I’m going to do is disband a common misconception:
Chameleons do not change colour to blend into their surroundings!!!!
That is a complete rumour, they change colour depending on their emotions. For example I know from personal experience that when they turn very dark green/black it means they’re pissed off and you better stop annoying them!!
Sunday, 21 March 2010
Pandas have sort of become the symbol of animal conservation but they really shouldn’t be. This post is about what we called at college “the panda rant” that one of my teachers (Helen Willmetts-smith) gave to every class she taught. It explains why pandas are responsible for their endangered status; basically it’s about how shit giant pandas are and why they should be left to die out.
- They’re black and white, not exactly camouflage (and before you argue zebras are black and white they use their stripes as a sort of optical illusion that I will explain another day).
- They mark their territory by standing upside down and peeing up a tree, not the best position for a black and white animal!!
- They have a digestive system designed for meat but eat only bamboo, which is the probably one of hardest substance to digest in the world, they have to be eating for around 18 hours a day just to maintain their body weight. This is why they were originally not categorised as a bear because they didn’t appear to be carnivores but they should be.
- Naturally bamboo dies out then regenerates but this takes some time so naturally their food source will run out for a while.
- They don’t know how to have sex; pandas in a zoo in china actually had no idea how to copulate so they basically put on a video of pandas having sex to encourage them.
- They don’t have enough energy to support a foetus properly s they’re born extremely premature (normally at around only 95 days) and for the most part don’t survive. Also if they give birth to twins they WILL abandon one of them because they know they can’t support it!!
- When conservationist tried to release captive bread pandas into the wild the native pandas killed them, so they’re too lazy to hunt but not too lazy to kill their own species??
- They don’t become sexually mature until 20 years of age.
- The female ins only in heat for 2-3 days a year, not helpful when you’re a solitary creatures and need to find each other, impress the female and mate in that tiny space of time!!
So all in all they aren’t doing themselves any favours. Yes we’re not helping with pollution and deforestation but personally I feel our conservation efforts should be concentrated on a species that actually has a chance!!
So next time you feel emotionally manipulated by the WWFs adverts showing pandas just remember this or better yet think of the polar bears and other species that do everything they can to survive but thanks entirely to us they're dying out just as fast!!
Once again I’ve been thinking about all the ways animals are totally different and my favourite is in how they reproduce! That sounds a bit weird but when it comes to things like gestation animals do some totally strange stuff!! Plus we all know that baby animals are the cutest things in the world!
I’m going to start with one I found really fascinating when I first learnt about it. I am talking about the kangaroo. Did you know that kangaroos sort of have 2 uteruses and 2 penises? Yes it’s true. This allows the male to fertilise 2 eggs at one. One egg then begins to develop whilst the other’s development is halted and they remain in the uterus until the first joey is out of the pouch. Now back to the other fertilised egg, this develops into a neonate (also called a foetus) and is born at just 33 days. The offspring is only a few centimetres long, hairless, blind and has only stumps for hind legs. This miniscule creature then has to climb up its mother’s belly and into her pouch. The mother normally helps by licking a pathway through her fur for it to climb up. This takes about five minutes, but it must seem like forever to that tiny creature. The baby then attaches itself to a nipple and stays attached for the next 190 days and develops into a joey. To begin with it’ll only stick it’s head out to have a look around but when it feels safe enough it will get out periodically but return to the pouch. Eventually after about 235 days it leave the pouch all together and the mother can then allow the second embryo to develop. To be honest I thought this was a pretty efficient way of doing things!!
Now I just thought I’d give you some lengths of gestation periods, as you’ll guess the bigger the animal the longer the gestation but some of these will surprise you:
- Domestic mouse is 19 days.
- Rabbit is 30-35 days.
- Guinea pig is 68 days.
- Chinchilla is 110-120 days.
- Puma (a type of big cat) is only 90 days.
- Horse is 330-342 days.
- Giraffe is 420-450 days.
- Polar bear is 240 days.
- Elephant is 645 days (that’s nearing 2 years!!).
- And humans are 254-294 days.
This post is also an excuse to post my favourite picture at the moment, which is of my friend’s 4 month old daughter who is just lovely!!
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Now this is a picture of a gecko licking it’s own eyeball. And you thought it was impressive to be able to lick the end of your nose? Geckos, like snakes and fish, have no eyelids so they lick their eyes to keep them moist and clean.
While I’m on the subject I want to disburse one urban legend; the sight of the colour red enrages bulls in Spanish bull fighting rings. This is bollocks seeing as they’re red-green colour blind!! They’re enrages because they’re being jabbed in the ass with a pointy stick!!