Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
A synthetic "chemical sex smell" could help rid North America's Great Lakes of a devastating pest, scientists say. US researchers deployed a laboratory version of a male sea lamprey pheromone to trick ovulating females into swimming upstream into traps. The sea lamprey, sometimes dubbed the "vampire fish", has parasitised native species of the Great Lakes since its accidental introduction in the 1800s. The sea lamprey's natural life cycle takes it from birth in a stream to adulthood in the ocean, where it gains its vampirical appellation. Circular jaws lock on to another, larger fish, and a sharp tongue carves through its scales. From then on the lamprey feeds on the blood and body fluids of its temporary host, often killing it in the process. Eventually, the satiated lampreys - both males and females - find a suitable stream to swim up, breed and die. Unlike salmon, which seek out the stream they were born in, lampreys appear willing to take any stream indicating a suitable breeding place; and perhaps pheromones play a role in identifying streams worth selecting. Source: BBC
Monday, January 26, 2009
About one-third of all amphibians are listed as threatened species, with habitat loss the biggest factor. But hunting is acknowledged as another important driver for some species, along with climate change, pollution and disease - notably the fungal condition chytridiomycosis which has brought rapid extinctions to some amphibians. "Frogs legs are on the menu at school cafeterias in Europe, market stalls and dinner tables across Asia to high end restaurants throughout the world," said Corey Bradshaw from Adelaide University in Australia. "Amphibians are already the most threatened animal group yet assessed because of disease, habitat loss and climate change - man's massive appetite for their legs is not helping." Frogs are liquidised to make a "health drink" in parts of South America. Frogs of the stream-dwelling Paa genus are among the most popular for hunting in China. But numbers in some areas have fallen 10-fold as a result of over-exploitation. These frogs could be candidates for sustainable harvesting plans, where hunting is allowed but controlled. Image: Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden – KFBG Rana chensinensis is declining steeply in some areas; a study in Heilongjiang found that the annual catch fell by 99% between 1971 and 1986. The main reason is traditional medicine. Oil made from the female frog's oviduct is believed to be a tonic to the kidneys and lungs, and to cure respiratory ailments. Image: KFBG Frogs and toads are also sold as tonics in the markets of Peru. This stallholder in Cuzco sells "Extracto de Rana", a drink made from the extract of two to three frogs, which is blended with honey, malt and other ingredients. Other recipes call for 30 frogs in a single drink. Image: Esteban Lavilla In western Brazil and eastern Peru, frogs of the Phyllomedusa genus are used as a hallucinogen. Chemicals secreted by the frog's skin and introduced into a human's bloodstream are said to lead initially to vomiting and incontinence, then deep sleep, and finally a period of enhanced sensitivity in sight and hearing. Image: E. Lavilla Leptodactylus laticeps is exported from South America to the developed world. It can fetch prices of 600 euros in European pet shops. In some areas where it lives, in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, people earn as little as 1,200 euros in a single year, giving them a real incentive to catch and sell it. Image: E. Lavilla Mantellas are among the most popular frogs as pets. The principal source is Madagascar, from where many amphibians are exported into the pet trade. This species, the black-eared mantella (Mantella milotympanum), is critically endangered. Habitat loss is also a major threat. Image: Franco Andreone/ARKive Source: BBC
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Your pet will look irresistible wearing this charming accessory, let others know that if they get too close, prepare to get a little wet! Elastic loop fits your pet comfortably. Embroidered, machine-washable polyester, 6 x 2". $7.98 at Taylor Gifts
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
This puppy was photographed in 1845, which would make it 164 years old. The photo, "Harriet Farnie and Miss Farnie with a Sleeping Puppy, Brownie" is from the National Galleries of Scotland's photostream, now available on Flickr. Robert Adamson, David Octavius Hill 1920 (original negative around 1845) Accession no. PGP HA 390 Medium Carbon print Size 15.40 x 20.20 cm Credit Elliot Collection, bequeathed 1950
A chicken adopted by schoolchildren stunned the class by producing giant eggs nearly twice the normal size. Little Lil, being cared for by pupils the Raikes Centre, in Kingsholm, Gloucester, lays eggs measuring 4.3in (11cm) rather than the usual 2.4in (6cm). Teacher Kate Farminer said pupils were astonished when the Columbian blacktail cross began producing "supersized" eggs weighing 7oz (200 grams). The average egg is around 2oz (60 grams). Source: BBC
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This tiny, orphaned lamb, who is one of twins, was rescued by volunteers at Manor Farm Country Park, near Southampton, Hampshire. Concerned about the risk of the tiny new born perishing in the cold weather, volunteers at the farm found him a knitted baby sweater to keep him warm. Source: Daily Mail
The story of Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog is a true, inspirational story about a dog whose life started out just like any other dog walking on all four paws until a spinal injury leaves her paralyzed. When Frankie is custom fit for a wheelchair she gradually learns to keep on rolling. Her zest for life will have you cheering her on and give you hope that all things are possible. On Frankie's website, there are more photos of Frankie and some insights into what her life is like.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
January 20 is Penguin Awareness Day. Why is today Penguin Awareness day? No one knows. What's so special about this day? No one knows. So - celebrate in your own way ...Penguins!)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
I found this cute picture at Anamigo.com which is an online community where you can find everything about pets and the people that love them. Aside from the tips and advice on pet care and the latest accessories, you will find adorable photos of member's pets. Anamigo is holding a Pet Photo Contest Is your pet cute enough to win you $300? Enter the Anamigo Pet Photo contest and find out. Entries that get the most votes will win daily and weekly cash prizes. You could win: - Daily prize of $25. (You have 7 days to win!) - Weekly prize of $125 Get your camera out and email your friends. Your furry friend could bring you in cash!
Wendell Cox, at Newgeography, has written an interesting examination of what happens when discretionary spending is jeopardized in a tough economy: In a Financial Crisis What Happens to the Dog Bakeries?. The article makes some good points. In the 1950's through 1970's people did not have money to spend on "extras" like we have today. There were no Starbucks, specialty bath products shops, candle stores, and certainly no dog bakeries. So what will happen to these businesses now when most people are tightening those purse strings? As the owner of a business, Internet Pet Supplies, which some might consider to be one of these "discretionary spending" areas, i.e. rawhide chews and toys for dogs, I'm watching the economy very carefully. ~ Thanks, Alex
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Simone Preuss has posted a wonderful collection of 10 Amazing Moths with Multiple Personalities at Environmental Graffiti. These moths employ an interesting tactic when dealing with predators: frighten the hell out of them by putting on a scary face. I love this one: Image: aegle~busy shifting
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Do you agree that this photo I found at No Ordinary Rollercoaster is cute? I think it's cute, too, but fair warning: the RSPCA (a UK animal rights group) is threatening to have people prosecuted for dressing up their dog. Jo Barr, RSPCA spokeswoman, said that viewing animals as a fashion accessory is "quite humiliating and sends out the wrong message about pet care." On the other hand, the owner of the following pet probably SHOULD be prosecuted: and this poor little thing isn't even wearing clothes. But probably should be. Photo from Reuters Pictures
AFP reports that economic times are so bad in Berlin that a soup kitchen has been opened for pets. Pensioners and those on welfare qualify for the free pet food buffet which opened in the district of Treptow in mid-October, allowing those with no disposable income the chance to hold on to their beloved dogs and cats. The soup kitchen is run by Tiertafel (Animal Dining Table), a pet welfare association. Tiertafel, launched two years ago, now runs 19 soup kitchens across down the country. With the looming prospect of the longest and deepest recession in Germany since World War II, the group is planning on opening 30 more. I wonder, do we have these in the US? I hope we do - what a great service.
We're all familiar with guide dogs for the blind but what about monkeys for quadriplegia and agoraphobia, guide miniature horses, a goat for muscular dystrophy, parrots for psychosis and any number of animals for anxiety, including cats, ferrets, pigs, at least one iguana and a duck? The Americans With Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) requires that service animals be allowed wherever their owners want to go. But now the United States government is considering a proposal that would force people to give up their nontraditional service animals because a growing number of people think the whole thing has gotten out of control. Rebecca Skloot, a freelance writer, has done extensive research on this topic. See her post at Culture Dish, and read the article she wrote for New York Times Magazine. A recent example of this issue is the story of Estelle Stamm, of New York, who claims her 120-pound dog is protection from childhood memories of sex abuse. Stamm won $10,000 from the city after two cops gave her a ticket for bringing the pony-sized dog into a subway station. Now she's going for $10 million in a federal suit that argues Wargas, her service dog, is protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Transit lawyers have recently taken the position that Stamm - who has been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and has partial hearing loss - is not really disabled. Stamm said her stress disorder causes extreme fear of danger, severe depression and confusion. The dog keeps her "in the present," warns her of sirens and horns, and provides a large, furry barrier in crowded places, she said.
"Life on a Leash" is about Stella - she has a new job, a new car, and the perfect apartment. But something's missing - other people. Enter Kong, a giant brown-and-black stray dog who shows up when Stella is changing a flat tire. Suddenly her life is being pulled into the world of dogs and the oddball crowd that lives with four-legged friends. She enjoys the companionship and the community but keeps pulling back as Kong literally drags her out of her shell. (imdb) Jan, at the Poodle and Dog Blog, will give away the copy she received from the producers, and we'll add the one I received for the Pet Blog, so now two lucky people can get a free copy of this DVD. All you have to do is visit : Jan's post, Win a free dog movie, and in the "Comments", state the name and breed(s) of the dog who had the most influence on your life. That’s it.
Winner will be chosen by random drawing.
Contest closes January 17.