In Auburn, CA, A three-pound Chihuahua mix named Tink helped police put a fugitive in the clink. The dog's Christmas Day adventure began when four suspects who were fleeing police crashed a stolen minivan into a hillside in this Sierra foothill town east of Sacramento, and one of them fled. Tink, a Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix, found him hiding under a neighbor's motor home and chased him into the woods. Source: AP
Friday, December 28, 2007
New York city’s health code and state law forbid animals in places where food or beverages are sold for human consumption. Fines range from $300 for a first offense to $2,000 or higher for subsequent offenses. But many deli and Bodega owners in New York City are defending their right to keep cats in their stores. The cats keep the rat and mice under control - city inspectors contend the cats pose a health hazard. Many store owners keep cats despite the law, mainly because other options have failed and the fine for rodent feces is also $300. “It’s hard for bodega owners because they’re not supposed to have a cat, but they’re also not supposed to have rats,” said José Fernández, the president of the Bodega Association of the United States. Source: New York Times (via)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Had all of the 21 puppies in Great Dane Kenya's litter lived, she would have broken the existing record of 20 surviving puppies in a single litter. Nineteen newborn puppies still make for a lot of feeding and care, so Kenya is receiving some assistance. Half the puppies nurse on Kenya and the rest feed on formula in baby bottles. Then they rotate. Kenya's owner, Julie Nelson, plans to sell all of the pups, probably for $1,000 to $1,200 each, although she said a couple of them may be sold for more because their markings are so good. Source: Mercury News (via)
Quagga mussels, an exotic species native to Ukraine that was first found in the Great Lakes 18 years ago, have been found in a fifth San Diego County reservoir. Quaggas apparently were transported from Europe to Lake Erie in the United States in the ballast water of oceangoing ships, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The mussels grow virtually unmolested because they have no natural predators. They clog pipes and screens at power stations, water treatment plants and agricultural irrigation lines. Photo: New York Sea Grant
Conde Nast Portfolio.com reports that the biggest trend in pets isn’t purebreds, but specially created hybrids. For example, this puppy is a Kimola (American Eskimo dog and Lhasa apso.) Isn't he cute? We used to call these dogs "mutts" and get them at Animal Welfare for a minimal cost. Times are changing.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Most modern-day groups of beetles have been around since the time of the dinosaurs and have been diversifying ever since, says new research. There are approximately 350,000 species of beetles on Earth, and probably millions more yet to be discovered, accounting for about 25% of all known life forms on the planet. The reason for this large number of beetle species has been debated by scientists for many years, but never resolved. Now a team of scientists has shown that large numbers of modern-day beetle lineages evolved very soon after the first beetles originated, and have persisted ever since. Many modern-day lineages first appeared during the Jurassic period, when the major groups of dinosaurs appeared too.
A tiger escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, killing one visitor and mauling two others on Christmas. Zoo officials were still uncertain how long the Siberian tiger, the same one that mauled a zoo keeper almost one year earlier, had been loose before being killed by police. The attack occurred just after the 5 p.m. closing time, on the east end of the 125-acre grounds. The zoo's director of animal care and conservation, Robert Jenkins, could not explain how Tatiana escaped. The tiger's enclosure is surrounded by a 15-foot-wide moat and 20-foot-high walls, and the approximately 300-pound female did not leave through an open door, he said. "There was no way out through the door," Jenkins said. "The animal appears to have climbed or otherwise leaped out of the enclosure."
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
If your dog begs for chocolate, don't give in! Chocolate contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cocoa beans that can cause vomiting, heart problems, seizures, and even death for dogs. How much chocolate is too much? It depends on the type of chocolate and the weight of the dog. Find out how much of each kind of chocolate can harm your pet by consulting the National Geographic Magazine Chocolate Chart. Scroll on the page to change the weight of the dog and the type of chocolate.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Mary Hartman, 91, slipped on a patch of ice as she was attempting to deliver cookies to a nearby neighbor. Hartman called for help, but it was a cry that only neighbor Judy Sawatzki's Jack Russell terrier mix, Taz, could hear. "He would run to the window and come back to me," Sawatzki said. "He would whine and bark, and then go back to the window again." That's when Sawatzki let Taz outside, and the terrier mix shot down the driveway barking for her to follow. Taz led her to Hartman, who was crying for help on the icy driveway.
Dogs possess such an extraordinary sense of smell that they can distinguish among the feces of 18 species at once, making them ideal tracking aids for conservation biologists hoping to cover a lot of ground. Or water. Beyond helping document grizzly and black bear behavior in Alberta’s vast Jasper National Park, the dogs have located floating feces from endangered North Atlantic right whales in Canada’s Bay of Fundy and from the Pacific Northwest’s declining orca population. Remarkably, some of the poop snoopers perched on the bows of research vessels have tracked down whale scat more than one nautical mile away. Among the growing number of scat-detection dogs used to track wildlife by land or by sea, the canines employed by the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology are showing that no technology can yet outdo their know-how for doo-doo. Samuel Wasser, the center’s director, said feces is the easiest part of an animal to collect and a “treasure trove” of vital information. Apart from diet, scat can reveal the species, sex and identity of an individual through DNA, while released hormones can record an animal’s nutritional state, reproductive status and stress levels. (via)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Beginning at 2:00 am MTN on Christmas Eve, you can track Santa Live as he makes his historical journey around the world! This is exciting, as Santa travels fast and NORAD Santa Cams take photos of Santa and his reindeer! NORAD has been tracking Santa and that “nose so bright” for more than 50 years.
Just one night each year, nine tiny magic reindeer pull Santa and his toy-filled sleigh around the world. They are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph, and it’s said that these mythical animals are the only reindeer that can fly. Dr. Perry Barboza is a physiologist at the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who studies reindeer and their closest cousins, caribou. He points to the fact that male reindeer shed their thick antlers at the end of mating season in early December. The females also have antlers, but their thinner version stays with them throughout the winter. This means that Rudolph and Santa's team are all females. What about the non-magical reindeer, the ones which don't fly? At the start of winter, females may be as much as 50% body fat. The fat, which can be a couple of inches thick on their rumps, insulates them from months of cold -- as low as minus 45° F. Males go into winter with much lower fat stores than females, as low as 5%, because they use so much energy during the fall mating season. So, losing the weight of their antlers is probably an energy saver. Reindeer have specially designed coats with hollow hairs that help maintain body heat.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Vacuum cleaners kill fleas just as well as any poison, surprised U.S. researchers found. They said a standard vacuum cleaner abuses the fleas so much it kills 96 percent of adult fleas and 100 percent of younger fleas. Glen Needham, associate professor of entomology at Ohio State University, suggested that the vacuum brushes wear away a waxy outer layer on insects called the cuticle. Without it, the fleas, larvae and pupae probably dry up and die, he said. The findings were so surprising that the researchers ran their experiment several times.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
A mechanical cow that breaks wind on the hour has become Edinburgh's latest tourist attraction. The bovine backside has been attached to the side of the Rowan Tree pub in the city's historic Old Town. It lifts its tail and shoots out a cloud of white smoke at passers-by throughout the day.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Crinkly has been making the journey from the Arctic tundra to Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Gloucestershire, for Christmas, since 2001. Crinkly has become a favorite with staff and visitors, but until today, none of the females at the trust was prepared to mate with him. Now it appears that Crinkly is associating with another Slimbridge Bewick's swan called Taciturn.
A tiny possum and a giant rat were recorded by scientists as probable new species on a recent expedition to Indonesia's remote and virtually unknown "Lost World" in the pristine wilderness of western New Guinea's Foja Mountains. The Foja Wilderness is part of the great Mamberamo Basin, the largest unroaded tropical forest in the Asia Pacific region. During the June expedition, the team* documented two mammals, a Cercartetus pygmy possum, one of the world's smallest marsupials, and a Mallomys giant rat, both currently under study and apparently new to science. They also recorded the mating displays of several rare and little-known birds for the first time.
I found this photo at My House Rabbit's Blog, but ... I'm not so sure that those are rabbits. Don't the ears look kind of bat-ish? And I wonder what the occasion was. Couldn't be Easter, everyone knows there's only ONE Easter Bunny!
Where you get your pet is an important decision — and a big controversy. People who bought their pets from a breeder said they got what they were looking for—but at a hefty price. These pet owners say they have experienced some backlash for getting a haute dog instead of one from a shelter. While these custom canines fetch top dollar, shelter adoptions also are on the rise, according to Chicago-area shelter officials, who credit the attention from the large-scale pet rescue operation after Hurricane Katrina. Pet adoption recently commanded the spotlight when Ellen DeGeneres tearfully recounted on her talk show how a rescue group reclaimed the dog she adopted because DeGeneres gave the dog to her hairdresser. Chicago dog and cat owners who adopt their pets from shelters say they are helping save animals' lives, though some of these owners say that the luck of the draw netted them an animal with undiscovered health or behavioral problems.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Rubber Ducky Earrings Rubber Duckies are not just for the bathtub or Ernie, oh no they are for your ear lobes too. This season bath toys are all the rage in accessories and these miniature plastic yellow duckies are the piece de resistance! (via)
You'll get along swimmingly with your computer once you plug in this floating rubber ducky mouse that has real liquid inside! Watch with delight as the teeny duck and water splish and splash with every move of the mouse. It's smallish size makes it perfect for kids or teens computers, but why should the kids have all the fun? (via)
Otters disappeared from the Chicagoland area a century or so back as population and development surged. But now, they're coming back. The otter has made a comeback, Chris Anchor, chief biologist for the Cook County Forest Preserve District, said. "Almost all the watersheds in Cook County have otters. They're everywhere. They're kind of like the coyotes . . . there's definitely otters downtown." Anchor isn't sure where they're now coming from. They may have migrated from Wisconsin along the Fox and Des Plaines rivers, or traveled up north from the Kankakee River. They also might be traced to Louisiana. The Forest Preserve District plans to trap them and implant transmitters with the help of Brookfield Zoo, Anchor said. The devices will help track range, habits and lifespan. The animals will be checked for parasites, and blood and tissue samples will be taken for genetic studies.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
It's all over the internet and the news - and I wasn't going to say anything, but the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems.
Addwaita, believed to be the world's oldest surviving tortoise, aged about 250 years, died in the zoo of liver failure. Addwaita, which means "the one and only'' in the local Bengali language, was one of four Aldabra tortoises brought to India by British sailors in the 18th century. Long after the other three tortoises died, Addwaita continued to thrive, living in Clive's garden before being moved to the Calcutta zoo in 1875. Credit: AP Photo/Bikas Das
Reuters reports that an Indian villager was taken to hospital after he bit a rabid dog which attacked his duck. A rabid dog, which had been frightening village residents for the past few weeks, stole a duck from Pappan's home. In a fit of anger, the farmer sprang on the animal and the two fell into a muddy ditch fighting. The dog bit the man's hand and the latter sank his teeth into the animal's neck with all his might, so hard that he drew blood. Only after both the man and the animal were exhausted did local residents come to Pappan's rescue clubbing the canine to death. The man is being treated in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram for rabies.
It was small, cute and furry, and 7-year-old Pam Dixon fell in love. So when Pam and her older sister found the limping kitten outside, they brought it home, hoping to nurse it back to health. However, Pam and her siblings would soon need the nursing, WLWT in Cincinnati reported. A week after taking in the kitten, the two girls developed an itchy rash all over their bodies. Eventually, five of the six Dixon children got the rash. A veterinarian informed the Dixons that the cat had microsporum gypsum, a form of ringworm.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
An UPDATE to our September 19, 2007 post about the four-toed jerboa. The Times Online reports that the jerboa has been filmed in its natural habitat for the first time as part of a project to save it from extinction. Watch the video on YouTube A scientific expedition to the Gobi desert in Mongolia has now succeeded in capturing video footage of the nocturnal and little-known animal. “It’s an extraordinary animal that looks as if it’s been designed by committee - kangaroo legs, snowshoe feet, huge ears and a pig’s nose. “It represents millions of years of evolutionary history and while it looks like a small rodent it’s very, very distinct. There’s no other animal of its type.”
Nutria are native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. But they've been showing up in North America. A 20-pound rodent that scientists say is one of the world's worst invasive species has been spotted in New Jersey. Nutria eat vegetation, causing animals and fish to lose their habitats. State wildlife officials are asking people who spot nutrias to report them so they can determine whether they're colonizing in the state. Photo credit: Greg Lasley
The same city that put out the welcome mat for bees and fought to protect goose livers is poised to send a different message to residents: We don't want your clucking chickens. The City Council will vote Wednesday on a proposal to ban chickens, a former barnyard denizen that is pecking its way into cities across the country as part of a growing organic food trend among young professionals and other urban dwellers.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A visitor at Sydney's Taronga Zoo noticed the blood on gorilla Frala's brown coat. Within an hour, a small army of vets and keepers had descended on the gorilla enclosure to discover that Frala had given birth to a baby gorilla boy. Frala's new son, who joins his four-year-old brother Fataki at the zoo, will feed on breast milk alone for around eight months before being introduced to vegetarian solids the rest of his family enjoys. (via)
A young, disoriented sea lion is recovering at a marine mammal sanctuary after surviving an outing on a San Carlos street Tuesday. "We received several phone calls saying, 'Hey, there's a sea lion in the middle of the road,' " police Cmdr. Rich Cinfio said. When officers went out to Old County Road, sure enough, there was a 3 1/2-foot-long sea lion. Officers blocked traffic in both directions and used a large bucket to try to corral the sea lion before herding it into a dog carrier, Cinfio said. "Of course, it was frightened and wanted to get away, but it was getting away in the wrong direction," Cinfio said. "It's near railway tracks and everything else." Police figure the sea lion, which had no visible injuries, made its way onto the street from a nearby slough or drainage creek.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Melissa Kaplan at Herp Care Collection cautions that iguanas are not for everyone. They are, sadly, not for the too many people who get them only to turn around and dump them because they were completely unprepared for what iguana keeping involves. If you aren't up to all the reading that needs to be done to learn to care for iguanas properly, then iguanas aren't for you. If you are not ready to acomodate all the intrusions keeping an iguana will make into your life (and finances), then iguanas aren't for you. Iguanas are difficult, frustrating, complicated, complex--and potentially dangerous.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Africa's Naja ashei snake is not only the world's newest snake species—it's also the largest spitting cobra. Blood and tissue samples helped confirm what some snake experts have long believed: that these massive, aggressive, extremely venomous snakes — which can grow to more than 9 feet long — form a separate species.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
A tiny limestone figure of a lion from ancient Mesopotamia has sold at a Sotheby's auction for $57m, almost double the previous record price for a sculpture. The 3.25in tall Guennol Lioness is thought to have been carved 5,000 years ago in what is now Iraq and Iran. The lion, whose new owner has not been identified, had been on loan to the Brooklyn Museum of Art for 59 years. The previous record for a sculpture was set last month when Pablo Picasso's Tete de Femme was sold for $29m.
Off the Chain is an unprecedented look into the underground world of dog fighting and the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The film will take you through the evolution of the breed and will help you find out how this dog went from Pete in the "Little Rascals," to become public enemy number one. Warning: The movie preview contains some disturbing images. (via)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The Field Marshal, a six-year-old Charolais bull, is now 6ft 3in and weighs 3,000lb. He will not be fully grown until he is eight and is expected to pile on another 650lb in the next year. That will take him past the current British record-holder, his former stablemate The Colonel, who stood 6ft 5in tall and weighed 3,500lb. He died in 2005.
The Old Foodie Blog, in their Vintage Christmas Recipes, lists a yummy sounding dish. How to cook a wild boar's head, also how to prepare a sauce for it. A wild boar's head should be boiled well in water and, when it is done, laid on a grate and basted with wine, then it will be thought to have been cooked in wine. Afterwards make a black or yellow sauce with it. First, when you would make a black sauce, you should heat up a little fat and brown a small spoonful of wheat flour in the fat and after that put good wine into it and good cherry syrup, so that it becomes black, and sugar, ginger, pepper, cloves and cinnamon, grapes, raisins and finely chopped almonds. And taste it, however it seems good to you, make it so. If you would make a yellow sauce. Then make it in the same way as the black sauce, only take saffron instead of the syrup and put no cloves therein, so you will also have a good sauce. Photo Credit: Senor Cafe, read the story that goes with it.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Civet is a fundamental French perfume material, a historic girder of the industry and the quintessential scent of France. It happens to come from the anal gland of the civet cat. The perfume material from the anal gland is found in both males and females. And it smells — quite simply — like anus. Since civet is hugely powerful and long-lasting (cats use the odor to mark their territory,) and since these are qualities valued by perfumers, it’s not surprising that civet is one of the fundamentals of French perfume. Talk to any perfumer, even American ones, and they’ll say that civet, used in tiny quantities, breathes astonishing life into perfumes, giving them weight and depth. Civet is like adding whole cream to soups or sauces: what could make you gag taken straight up and raw becomes, when underpinning the greater mix, golden and sensual. Photo credit: MSNBC, which is also an interesting read, Civets, other wildlife off the Chinese menu.
On Veteran’s Day, November 12, 2007, SPCA International launched Operation Baghdad Pups (www.baghdadpups.com) to help rescue and safely transport unit mascots and companion animals whom soldiers have befriended while serving in the Middle East. Since the launch, a number of news organizations across the United States, including television, radio, and print media, have picked up on the story. SPCA hopes that interest and support of this crucial initiative will continue to grow as more and more people learn about our efforts on behalf of our troops and their four-legged buddies. The dog who started it all, Charlie, is featured on the Web site and visitors can track the progress as SPCA International works to get him from a war zone to a safe home. Currently, Charlie has received all the necessary shots and is about a week into a 30-day waiting period before he can be transported to a safe way station. No Buddy gets left behind. (via)
Infected rams and donkeys were the earliest bioweapons, according to a new study which dates the use of biological warfare back more than 3,300 years. According to a review published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, two ancient populations, the Arzawans and the Hittites, engaged "in mutual use of contaminated animals" during the 1320-1318 B.C. Anatolian war. "The animals were carriers of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia," author Siro Trevisanato, a molecular biologist based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada told Discovery News. Also known as "rabbit fever," tularemia is a devastating disease which even today can be fatal, if not treated with antibiotics. Its symptoms range from skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands to pneumonia, fever, chills, progressive weakness and respiratory failure.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire is looking after hundreds of abandoned hedgehogs born during the exceptionally mild autumn and who are too small or weak to hibernate. They need to heal and gain weight before they can hibernate.