A two-headed turtle captured by a turtle collector is a rare example of a conjoined-twin birth, its owner said. The turtle would have likely died in the wild because it swims awkwardly and would be an easy target for predators, according to Jay Jacoby, manager of Big Al's Aquarium Supercenter in East Norriton. The store bought the tiny turtle from the collector for an undisclosed price and will keep it on display, he said.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
The eglu for rabbits The eglu has a front door which opens using the handle on the top. This handle also locks the door so when your rabbits are in the run you can clean the eglu, without the chance of them escaping! When your rabbits are in the eglu, you can close the door and then pick them up or stroke them using the side hatch. (via)
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
One of the hottest new concepts in critterland is the home pet party, a gathering of animals and the people who are willing to open their wallets for them. The events are ringing up revenues for companies like Shure Pets, based in Chicago. "The pet economy is on fire," says Andrew Shure, president and founder of Shure Pets. "Our society is more affluent, people are marrying later and maybe not having kids, and they tend to treat their pets like their children," says Shure. Shure launched his company in 2003 and has seen revenues increase every year, he says. Shure Pets has 1,600 "independent pet consultants" throughout the country, in all 50 states. "We're growing, though we're still a tiny company," he says. On average, parties ring up about $400 in sales, says Shure, and consultants earn 25 percent commission. Party hosts earn credits toward merchandise. Photo credit: Sacramento Bee/Autumn Cruz
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Insect Lab is an artist operated studio that customizes real insects with antique watch parts and electronic components. Offering a variety of specimens that come in many shapes, sizes and colors; each specimen is individually designed and hand- assembled, each is one of a kind and unique. Borrowing from both science fiction and science fact, Insect Lab's customized insects are a celebration of natural and man-made function. Specimen's are presented in either custom made black shadow boxes or glass bell jars, allowing for display anywhere.
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program is an important tool used to deter terrorism in aviation today. Their teams are the most mobile form of explosive detection and can be utilized in all areas of the airport environment. An explosive detection canine team is used to search narrow and wide-body aircraft, vehicles, terminals, warehouses, and luggage in the airport environment. Dogs are looking for a variety of explosive odors that they have been trained to detect. Once the dog identifies the explosive odor, it responds accordingly. Recent scientific studies have indicated that the dog actually uses a "bouquet" of several different components of the explosive to make this determination. TSA dogs have been utilized to clear sports arenas, schools, office buildings as well as all areas of the airport environment. Once again the bomb dog's mobility and ability to identify the source of an explosive odor are critical elements in its operational use. (via)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Customs agents in Atlanta said nay to a person trying to smuggle a small horse inside a dog crate from Germany to Guatemala. Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport said the passenger who bright the small show horse onto a plane apparently was trying to pass the horse off as a dog, Atlanta television station WGCL reported Wednesday. Customs agents said the owner did not have the proper permits, and the horse's crate was too small. After removing the horse from the crate, officials examined it for diseases and fed it.
Organic Armor creates handmade costume pieces, jewelry and props that look like ancient metal, bone and leather. But unlike the real thing - you'll find the pieces lightweight and comfortable. Wear them for hours through active movement - especially suited to performance. Wear it to clubs, rituals, festivals, on stage, or in the backyard! They also make armor for dogs. (via)
A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a neighborhood shop. The seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos. Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds. (via)
When it was disclosed that Leona Helmsley had made her pet Maltese Trouble her biggest heir, leaving a $12 million trust fund for her pet, Forbes.com researched the spending habits of the very rich and their pets. According to Russ Alan Prince, of Prince & Associates, who tracks the habits of the rich, wealthy people who love to lavish money on their pets spend $328,000 on their pets annually. "Life enrichment" services for pets is the biggest spending category and includes stuff like deep-muscle massage, psychic readings, life coaching and "cosmic sensitivity," a sort of astrology. More than one-third of pet-obsessed owners spend in this category. Special diets and meals prepared by celebrity chefs are also popular. More than one quarter pet-focused owners spend more than $25,000 on their beloved pet's wardrobe. If you thought child birthday parties were getting out of hand, imagine what it would be like to attend a $25,000 party for a pet. Sixteen percent of pet-focused owners in a recent survey are guilty of this. More than 12% of pet-obsessed people send their lovies to a psychologist. Six percent of pets fly around in private aircraft unescorted except for the flight crew, mostly being transported to their owner's vacation spot after their owner missed them too much. 57% of pet-focused owners had formal arrangements in place in the event they died before their pets, and 27% of them had a trust set up for their pet, to the tune of $526,000. Ninety percent of those trust arrangements distribute remaining funds to family once the pet dies. Pet trusts aren't as crazy as they sound. Thirty-nine states, including New York, allow them, but restrict their durations. In N.Y., the term is 21 years.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
An Australian man has completed a three-year journey from Mongolia to Hungary, following in the footsteps of the Mongolian leader Genghis Khan. When Tim Cope began his 10,000 km (6,200 mile) journey in June 2004 he expected it to take 18 months. However, a stint at home when his father died and other delays meant it took more than double that. Throughout the trek he traveled on horseback and relied on the hospitality of local people, including nomads. He traveled with three horses at any time, one to carry him and two to carry feed and supplies and briefly, whilst in Kazakhstan, also used a camel. He needed 13 horses in total to complete the marathon journey, though two of them - Taskonir and Ogonyok - have been with him since October 2004 when he was in Kazakhstan. His other companion was Tigon, meaning "hawk" or "fast wind", a black and white hunting dog given to him as gift in Kazakhstan, whom he now hopes to take home to Australia. Arriving at his final destination, the Hungarian town of Opusztaszer, Mr Cope paid tribute to the animals saying that they, along with the numerous people who had welcomed him into their homes, were the "real heroes" of the journey. Both he and the animals faced much hardship as they endured life on the steppes of Asia and Central Europe, experiencing temperature ranging from minus 52C to plus 54C. (via) UPDATE: Tim Cope has a website : Tim Cope Journeys (via)
A ghostly, mutant ratfish caught off Whidbey Island in Washington state is the only completely albino fish ever seen by both the curator of the University of Washington's 7.2 million-specimen fish collection and a fish and wildlife biologist with more than 20 years of sampling fish in Puget Sound. This fish was almost pure white with a crystalline layer near the surface of its skin that gave it a silvery sheen. The foot-long female may have been 2 or 3 years old, making her a teenager in the ratfish world. She was caught this summer in about 200 feet of water during a UW research project examining the food web in Hood Canal and Puget Sound. (via)
This is a Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar. Isn't he cute? They are bright green with numerous blue spots with thin black outlines. Their eyespots are much bigger, with the black part being kind of shiny. They also have two other secondary fake eye spots that are yellow. The bottom half of their bodies are a sort of pinkish color. Viewed from certain angles they look like a small snake, to help scare off predators. Here's a view of his cute little face. Before they pupate, Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars turn a bright yellow color. This is what the cute little catterpillar grows up to become: Spicebush Swallowtail - Papilio troilus The adults have a wingspan of 2.5 - 3.8 inches. Their range is most of the eastern half of the US, except extreme south Florida and Texas. Source & photos: Butterfly Gardening & Conservation
Monday, September 24, 2007
Joe Staton, formerly of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, spent an unhealthily long time studying whether everything really does taste of chicken. He concluded that taste is, in large part, to do with the evolutionary origin of an animal. So, birds all taste like chicken, and so does crocodile, since dinosaurs were the ancestors of birds too. But why do tarantulas taste like chicken? And is fugu worth the risk? Here are seven of the world’s more exotic delicacies, what they actually taste like – and where you can try, or avoid, them. (via)
Scott D. Clark, a guest at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Paul, was in custody Sunday after police said he ripped the head off a tame duck that lived in a hotel lobby's ornamental pond. Clark cornered the duck early Saturday morning, grabbed the bird and ripped its head from its body while a hotel security guard and others watched, police said. Clark then turned to onlookers and said: "I'm hungry. I'm gonna eat it," St. Paul police Sgt. John Wuorinen said. (via)
This koala is incredibly rare because although he has white fur instead of the usual grey/brown, he has the normal black eyes and nose. The creature, nicknamed Mick, was found blind and suffering from a variety of illnesses by a forest ranger and taken to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, north of Sydney. He was immediately given round-the-clock security protection in case anyone tried to steal him and sell him to a collector for his novelty value. After an operation on his eyes, he was put on antibiotics and gradually returned to full health. Mick has just been released back into the Bush after months of treatment - although his precise location remains a secret. (via)
Honey bees can smother their enemies to death by swarming them, researchers report. The discovery means that bees have three ways of dispatching their enemies: by stinging, which for a bee means suicide; by raising the other creature's body temperature, or thermo-balling; and by asphyxiation. (via)
Artist Steve Manning of topiary art designs makes custom and bespoke feature topiaries and stainless steel topiary frames for gardens designers, landscapers, theme parks, civic amenities, exhibitions, garden shows and event promotions. (via)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
A research team led by professor Masayuki Sumida at Hiroshima University’s Institute for Amphibian Biology has created a type of transparent frog whose internal organs are visible through its skin. The researchers say the see-through frogs can help in the study of diseases and in the development of medical treatments by allowing laboratory scientists to check the status of internal organs and blood vessels while the frogs are alive and without having to dissect them. (via)
Greg Solberg, Firmware Engineer at Tesla Motors, and his girlfriend Lisa built a pair of giant motorized bunny slippers that they could drive. They are 7.5-feet long and can scoot along at a top speed of about 15 mph. Both feet (yes, there is a left and a right) are covered with plush pink Flokati rugs the exact color of cotton candy. (via)
Bush Biskit Dog Treats Maybe it's time to sit your puppy down and have a serious talk about the facts. It's time you found out if your little bundle of unconditional love is a conservative, a liberal or a new fandangled progressive. Maybe you need to think twice about leaving Fido home alone to answer the never-ending stream of political phone surveys during the day!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
This seven-week-old panda cub has become one of San Diego Zoo's most famous babes, though she is yet to be named. In accordance with Chinese tradition, she will have to wait until November, when she is 100 days old, to receive her name. San Diego Zoo's giant panda breeding project has been one of the most successful in the world. The zoo has the largest population of giant pandas outside China. Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species, with only about 2000 living in the wild.
This unusual species of flying fox was recently discovered in the Philippines not long after it was deemed not to exist. Jake Esselstyn, a biologist with the University of Kansas, was among a team of researchers that found the animal, a type of fruit bat, last year while surveying forest life on the island of Mindoro. (via)
Friday, September 21, 2007
A newborn 238 pound female African elephant calf stays close to her mother Umoya just hours after her birth at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park on September 19, 2007 at 12:23 a.m. This is the fourth African elephant calf to be born at the Wild Animal Park since 2003. Another calf is expected by early 2008. UPI Photo/Tammy Spratt/Zoological Society of San Diego
Thursday, September 20, 2007
A lone dolphin is making friends with sailors and lifeboat crews around the south-west of England. The dolphin, named Findol after a children's book character, was pictured playing with the Penlee lifeboat crew this week off the Cornish coast. It is believed to be the same creature that was seen playing among boats in Plymouth Sound earlier this month. Dolphins usually travel in large "pods" but Findol seems to have been rejected and is swimming alone.
A 20-year-old man and 18-year-old woman are accused of stealing a tiny baby marmoset from the Zoo of Acadiana, LA. Neither said why they took the tiny animal, which was still nursing and weighs less than an egg. The monkey has been reunited with its mother.
Toads in an area of northern Germany are being killed off by a mysterious disease - they are exploding. Thousands of the amphibians have died in recent days in a pond in Hamburg's Altona district. Scientists are baffled. Possible explanations include a unknown virus or a fungus in the pond. "You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding," German conservationist Werner Smolnik told AFP news agency. (via)
A man in Oregon nearly died after a pet rattlesnake that he put in his mouth while drinking with some friends bit him inside his throat. Matt Wilkinson said when he put his eastern diamondback rattlesnake down his throat, he immediately noticed a shot-like sensation. Wilkinson, who nearly died from the incident, is still recovering from the bite. "They said I had enough venom in me to kill between 12 and 15 people," Wilkinson said. "I still love snakes but I will take a little more care in handling them," Wilkinson said. "It is kind of my own stupid fault." Really - Duh! (via)
The makers of Greenies, one of the nation's best-selling dog treats, have settled a class-action lawsuit claiming the teeth-cleaning product injured or killed close to a dozen dogs. U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner on Monday agreed with a joint request to dismiss the case. Alan Sash, who represented 10 dog owners against Kansas City-based manufacturer S&M NuTec, said the case was settled but the terms were confidential. In their lawsuit, Sash's clients claimed S&M NuTec, the company that invented the treats, knew of the dangers Greenies posed for dogs but refused to adequately warn consumers or pull the treats from the shelves. The company repeatedly said Greenies were safe when used as directed, which included buying dogs the correct size of treat and making sure the animal adequately chewed it and didn't gulp it down. Still, the company changed the packaging of Greenies to make its warnings more visible and came out with a new formula late last year that it said was more digestible and designed to break down into smaller pieces during chewing.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Oh, Yummy, Yummy! Freda's human companion found real, genuine, USA rawhide treats for her enjoyment! Yup, they bought them from i-pets.com. i-pets.com purchases all of their USA rawhide treats from Pet Factory. Pet Factory, located in Mundelein, Illinois, is one of the very few remaining rawhide manufacturers in the United States. They use all USA raised beef hides to make their treats - without chemicals or additives. Because i-pets.com ships their USA rawhide treats right from the manufacturer, the treats are always absolutely the freshest. Because they're made 100% in the USA with USA materials, the treats are always absolutely the safest. Bone apetit, Freda! You obviously know a good thing when you see - - smell - - taste it!
ACWORTH, Ga. -- Construction workers at a high school were shocked to find a small kitten trapped inside poured concrete on Friday. The small kitten almost became a permanent part of a school under construction when it got trapped beneath concrete that was being poured to secure a set of stairs. Michael Vinson is the construction worker who found the kitten. Vinson said he has decided to take the kitten home and name it 'Stone.'
A female shorebird was recently found to have flown 7,145 miles (11,500 kilometers) nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand—without taking a break for food or drink. It's the longest nonstop bird migration ever measured, according to biologists who tracked the flight using satellite tags. The bird, a wader called a bar-tailed godwit, completed the journey in nine days.