Monday, September 28, 2009

Mantis religiosa or European Mantis.


The mantis religiosa or European Mantis also called mantis, tatadiós, dragonfly, Mamboretá, blowgun, use, or dragonflies comepiojos is a medium-sized insect.
Have a large compound eyes on the head which can rotate up to 180 degrees and three simple eyes between the compound eyes. Its front legs, which keeps collected before the head in prayer, are provided with strong spines to hold the prey it feeds on. It is voracious and very common in warm places.
In the mating season the female mantis emitting pheromones to attract the male and at this time that happens the only moment in which males and females together. Females become very aggressive and the male mantis can lose your head for love. Indeed, the female may devour either before, during or after mating. The first bite is the head and, often, the male can continue copulating beheaded.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Short-eared Dog


The Short-eared Dog has short and slender limbs with short and rounded ears. The Short-eared Dog has a distinctive fox-like muzzle and bushy tail. It ranges from dark to reddish-grey, but can also be nearly navy blue, coffee brown, dark grey or chestnut-grey, and the coat is short, with thick and bristly fur.[citation needed] Its paws are partly webbed, owing to its partly aquatic habitat.

It moves with feline lightness unparalleled among the other canids. It has a somewhat narrow chest, with dark colour variation on thorax merging to brighter, more reddish tones on the abdominal side of the body. This species possesses a large elongated head and long canine teeth, protruding even when its muzzle is closed. Its back often has a dark streak, while a brighter stain is on its tail. Like all canids, it has 42 teeth.

Typical height at the shoulder is 25-30 cm. Its head and body length is about 100 cm, with a tail of about 30-35 cm. It weighs about 9–10 kg.

This wild dog is mainly a carnivore, with fish, insects, and small mammals making up the majority of its diet. An investigation led in Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Peru into the proportions of different kinds of food in this animal's diet produced the following results: fish 28%, insects 17%, small mammals 13%, various fruits 10%, crabs 10%, frogs 4%, reptiles 3%, birds 10%.

Wikipedia.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Portuguese Man o' War


The Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together. It has an air bladder that allows it to float on the surface of the ocean. This sail is translucent and tinged blue, purple or mauve. The sail may extend 15 centimetres above the water may be 9 to 30 centimetres long . To escape a surface attack, the sail can be deflated allowing the Man O' War to briefly submerge .
Below the main body dangle long tentacles, which occasionally reach 50 metres (165 ft) in length below the surface. Each tentacle bears stinging venom-filled nematocysts which sting and kill small sea creatures such as small fish and shrimp.
Certain fish are able to live among the tentacles (being nearly immune to the poison from the stinging cells) and have a commensal symbiotic relationship.
The Loggerhead Turtle feeds on the Portuguese Man O' War; indeed it is a common part of its diet. The skin of the turtle is too thick for the Portuguese Man O' War sting to penetrate and launch its venom.

The Loggerhead Turtle feeds on the Portuguese Man O' War; indeed it is a common part of its diet. The skin of the turtle is too thick for the Portuguese Man O' War sting to penetrate and launch its venom.



The sea slug also feeds on the Portuguese Man O' War, as does the violet snail Janthina janthina.

Other predator are: Blanket, octopuses, sea slug Glaucus atlanticus.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Red Panda


The Red Panda is quite long: 79 to 120 cm (31 to 47 in), including the tail length of 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in). Males weigh 4.5 to 6.2 kg (10 to 14 lb); females 3 to 4.5 kg (7 to 10 lb). The Red Panda is specialized as a bamboo feeder, with long and soft reddish-brown fur on upper parts, blackish fur on lower parts, light face with tear markings and robust cranial-dental features. The light face has white badges similar to those of a raccoon, but each individual can have distinctive markings. Its roundish head has medium-sized upright ears, a black nose, and very dark eyes: almost pitch black. Its long bushy tail with six alternating yellowish red transverse ochre rings provides balance and excellent camouflage against its habitat of moss- and lichen-covered trees. The legs are black, short with thick fur on the soles of the paws hiding scent glands and serving as thermal insulation on snow-covered or ice surfaces. The Red Panda is specialized as a bamboo feeder with strong, curved and sharp semi-retractile claws standing inward for grasping of narrow tree branches, leaves and fruit. Like the Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), it has a “false thumb” that is an extension of the wrist bone.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Andean condor



The Andean Condor has measures that ranges from 274 to 310 cm (9 to 10 ft). It is also typically heavier, reaching up to 11 to 15 kg (24 to 33 lb) for males and 7.5 to 11 kg (16 to 24 lb) for females. Overall length can range from 102 to 135 cm (40 to 53 in).


An Andean condor soaring, in silhouette The adult plumage is a uniform black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck and, especially in the male, large patches or bands of white on the wings which do not appear until the completion of the bird's first moulting. The head and neck are red to blackish-red and have few feathers. The head and neck are meticulously kept clean by the bird, and their baldness is an adaptation for hygiene, allowing the skin to be exposed to the sterilizing effects of dehydration and ultraviolet light at high altitudes. The crown of the head is flattened. In the male, the head is crowned with a dark red caruncle or comb, while the skin of his neck lies in folds, forming a wattle. The skin of the head and neck is capable of flushing noticeably in response to emotional state, which serves to communicate between individuals. Juveniles have a grayish-brown general coloration, blackish head and neck skin, and a brown ruff.

The middle toe is greatly elongated, and the hind one is only slightly developed, while the talons of all the toes are comparatively straight and blunt. The feet are thus more adapted to walking, and are of little use as weapons or organs of prehension as in birds of prey and Old World vultures. The beak is hooked, and adapted to tear rotting meat. The irises of the male are brown, while those of the female are deep red. The eyelids lack eyelashes. Contrary to the usual rule among birds of prey, the female is smaller than the male.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The wisent or Eurasian bison.


The wisent (Bison bonasus), also known as the European bison, is a species of Eurasian bison. It is the heaviest surviving land animal in Europe; a typical wisent is about 3 m (10 ft) long and 1.8 to 2.2 m (6 to 7 ft) tall, and weighs 300 to 920 kg (660 to 2,000 lb). It is typically lighter than the related American Bison (Bison bison), and has shorter hair on the neck, head and forequarters, but longer tail and horns. Wisent are now forest-dwelling. They have few predators (besides humans) with only scattered reports from the 1800s of wolf and bear predation. It is not to be confused with the aurochs, the extinct ancestor of domestic cattle.

In 1996 the IUCN classified the wisent as an endangered species. It has since been downgraded to a vulnerable species. In the past it was commonly killed to produce hides and drinking horns, especially during the Middle Ages.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cougar


The Cougar (Puma concolor), also known as puma, mountain lion, catamount, or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the Felidae family, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America.
Cougars are slender and agile cats. Adults stand about 60 to 76 cm (2.0 to 2.5 ft) tall at the shoulders. The length of adult males is around 2.4 m (8 ft) long nose to tail, with overall ranges between 1.5 and 2.75 meters (5 and 9 ft) nose to tail suggested for the species in general. Males typically weigh between 53 to 90 kilograms (115 to 198 pounds), averaging 62 kg (137 lb). In rare cases, some may reach over 120 kg (264 lb). Females typically weigh between 29 and 64 kg (64 and 141 lb), averaging 42 kg (93 lb). Cougar size is smallest close to the equator, and larger towards the poles.

The head of the cat is round and the ears erect. Its powerful forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey. It has five retractable claws on its forepaws (one a dewclaw) and four on its hind paws. The larger front feet and claws are adaptations to clutching prey.

Cougars can be almost as large as jaguars.

The grace and power of the cougar have been widely admired in the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Inca city of Cusco is reported to have been designed in the shape of a cougar, and the animal also gave their name to both Inca regions and people. The Moche people represented the puma often in their ceramics The sky and thunder god of the Inca, Viracocha, has been associated with the animal.


This information and more, it is in wikipedia

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nomura's Jellyfish

Growing up to 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches) in diameter and weighing up to 220 kilograms (ca. 450 pounds), [1] Nomura's Jellyfish reside primarily in the waters between China and Japan, primarily centralized in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea .

Nomura's Jellyfish (, echizen kurage, Nemopilema nomurai) is a very large Japanese jellyfish. It is in the same size class as the lion's mane jellyfish, the largest cnidarian in the world. The width of these jellyfish are slightly larger than the height of most full grown men.

In some places, jellyfish density is reported to be "one hundred times higher" than normal, seemingly without explanation.There was a previous spike in the population recorded in 1958 and in 1995.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Taenia solium

Cysticerci have three morphologically distinct types. The common one is the ordinary "cellulose" cysticercus which has a fluid filled bladder that is 0.5 cm to 1.5 cm in length and an invaginated scolex. The intermediate form has a scolex while the "racemose" has no evident scolex but are believed to be larger and much more dangerous. They are 20 cm in length and have 60 ml of fluid and 13% of patients might have all three types in the brain. Though humans usually serve as a definitive host, eating infected meat, fostering adult tapeworms in the intestine, and passing eggs through feces, sometimes a cysticercus (a larva sometimes called a "bladder worm") develops in the human and the human acts like an intermediate host. This happens if eggs get to the stomach, usually as a result of contaminated hands, but also of vomiting. Cysticerci often occur in the central nervous system, which can cause major neurological problems like epilepsy and even death. The condition of having cysticerci in one's body is called Cysticercosis, and is discussed in its own article.

Eggs can be diagnosed only to the family (biology) level, but if a proglottid's uterus is stained with India ink, the number of visible uterine branches can help identify the species: unlike the Taenia saginata uteri, T. solium uteri have only five to ten uterine branches on each side.

Infection with T. solium adults is treated with niclosamide, which is one of the most popular drugs for adult tapeworm infections, as well as for fluke infections. As cysticercosis is a major risk, it is important to wash one's hands before eating and to suppress vomiting if a patient may be infected with T. solium. If neurocysticercosis occurs the drug of choice is Praziquantel. This drug damages the parasites skin internally causing it to disintegrate and is then removed by the host's immune system.

Infection may be prevented with proper disposal of human feces around pigs, cooking meat thoroughly, and/or freezing the meat at -10oC for 5 days. Most cases occur because infected food handlers contaminate the food.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The cassowary, a fierce bird.


"The inner or second of the three toes is fitted with a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease. There are many records of natives being killed by this bird."

The cassowary (genus Casuarius) is a very large flightless bird native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and nearby islands, and northeastern Australia.

The Southern Cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the Ostrich and Emu.

Cassowaries feed mainly on fruits, though all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds and fungi in addition to invertebrates and small vertebrates.

Cassowaries are very shy, but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting fatal injuries to dogs and children.

The Northern and Dwarf Cassowaries are not well known. All cassowaries are usually shy birds of the deep forest, adept at disappearing long before a human knows they are there. Even the more accessible Southern Cassowary of the far north Queensland rain forests is not well understood.

Females are bigger and more brightly coloured. Adult Southern Cassowaries are 1.5 to 1.8 metres (59–71 in) tall, although some females may reach 2 metres (79 in),[5] and weigh 58.5 kilograms (129 lb).[6]

All cassowaries have feathers that consist of a shaft and loose barbules. They do not have retrices (tail feathers) or a preen gland. Cassowaries have small wings with 5-6 large remeges. These are reduced to stiff, keratinous quills, like porcupine quills, with no barbs.[6] A claw is on each second finger.[7] The furcula and coracoid are degenerate, and their palatal bones and sphenoid bones touch each other.[8] A cassowary's three-toed feet have sharp claws. The second toe, the inner one in the medial position, sports a dagger-like claw that is 125 millimetres (4.9 in) long[6]. This claw is particularly fearsome since cassowaries sometimes kick humans and animals with their enormously powerful legs (see Cassowary Attacks, below). Cassowaries can run up to 50 km/h (31 mph) through the dense forest. They can jump up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft)[citation needed]and they are good swimmers, crossing wide rivers and swimming in the sea as well.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Altruistic chimpanzees


Two years ago, a group of Ugandan chimps provided a blow to the idea that humans are the only animals that truly behave selflessly to one another. These chimps showed clear signs of true selflessness, helping both human handlers and other unrelated chimps with no desire for reward.
The chimps could be helping their relatives in order to advanced the spread of its own genes, which family members are likely to share. Or they could be doing a favour for another individual, in the knowledge that it will be repaid later on. Either way, it's the do-gooder that eventually benefits. Humans, on the other hand, seem to flaunt this rule. We often help others who are not relatives and who are unlikely to repay the favour. We go out of our way to be helpful, and sometimes even risk personal harm to do so.

En 2007, Felix Warneken y colegas se forman el Instituto de Max Planck para la Antropología Evolutiva ha encontrado obligando pruebas que no somos solos. Contrariamente a estudios anteriores, ellos han encontrado que chimps también se comporta altruistically de un modo muy humano. Ellos echan una mano sin relaciones a forasteros sin la expectativa de recompensa, y aún van a grandes longitudes a hacer así.

In the first test, the chimps saw a human unsuccessfully trying to reach a stick that they themselves could reach. Warneken found that chimps were all too happy to pass the stick across, regardless of whether they were rewarded with a banana or not. In fact, the only thing that affected their readiness to lend a hand was whether the human was struggling for the stick or just passively staring at it.

Él encontró la misma cosa cuando él controló una estructuración similar con los 36 niños humanos de dieciocho meses, pero con cubos de juguete en lugar de palos. En aquella edad, las capacidades mentales de un bebé son pensadas a similar a aquellos de chimps, y de verdad la única verdadera diferencia entre los dos era que los bebés eran más rápidos con su ayuda.

Passing a stick across is obviously fairly easy but would altruism persist if there was effort involved? Warneken tested this by changing the experiment so that the chimps had to climb over a raceway and the toddlers had to walk past a series of obstacles. Those that helped in the first test were happy to do so in the second, again without any rewards.

A skeptic might argue that this doesn't show anything. During their stay at the sanctuary, the chimps could have learned that helping any one of their strange two-legged keepers was worth it. The acid test then, was to see if the chimps would help each other.

The first chimp - the subject - could only get into a room with food by lifting the chain attached to its door. But it couldn't reach the chain - only a second chimp, the observer, could do that. And once again, the chimps proved their selflessness, lifting the chain for their fellow chimps the vast majority of the time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bathynomus

A giant isopod may be one of approximately nine species of large isopods (crustaceans related to the shrimp and crabs) in the genus Bathynomus. They are thought to be abundant in cold, deep waters of the Atlantic. Bathynomus giganteus, the species upon which the generitype is based, is the largest known isopod and is the one most often referred to by the common name "giant isopod".



Giant isopods are important scavengers in the deep-sea benthic environment; they are found from the gloomy sublittoral zone at a depth of 170 metres (560 ft) to the pitch darkness of the bathypelagic zone at 2,140 metres (7,000 ft), where pressures are high and temperatures are very low – down to about 4 °C (39 °F).[4] Over 80 percent are found at a depth between 365 and 730 metres (1,200 and 2,400 ft). They are thought to prefer a muddy or clay substrate and lead solitary lives.
The first of these segments is fused to the head; the most posterior segments are often fused as well, forming a "caudal shield" over the shortened abdomen (pleon). The large eyes are compound with nearly 4,000 facets, sessile and spaced far apart on the head . There are two pairs of antennae.

The uniramous thoracic legs or pereiopods are arranged in seven pairs, the first of which are modified into maxillipeds to manipulate and bring food to the four sets of jaws. The abdomen has five segments called pleonites each with a pair of biramous pleopods; these are modified into natatory legs and rami, flat respiratory structures acting as gills. The isopods are a pale lilac in colour.



Although generalist scavengers, these isopods are mostly carnivorous and feed on dead whales, fish, and squid; they may also be active predators of slow-moving prey such as sea cucumbers, sponges, radiolarians, nematodes, and other zoobenthos, and perhaps even live fish. They are known to attack trawl catches.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cymothoa exigua.

Cymothoa exigua is a parasitic crustacean of the family Cymothoidae. It tends to be 3 to 4 cm long. This parasite attaches itself at the base of the spotted rose snapper's (Lutjanus guttatus) tongue, entering the fish's mouth through its gills. It then proceeds to extract blood through the claws on its front three pairs of legs. As the parasite grows, less and less blood reaches the tongue, and eventually the organ atrophies from lack of blood. The parasite then replaces the fish's tongue by attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub. The fish is able to use the parasite just like a normal tongue. It appears that the parasite does not cause any other damage to the host fish. Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host's blood and many others feed on fish mucus. They do not eat scraps of the fish's food. This is the only known case of a parasite functionally replacing a host organ.



In 2005, a fish parasitised by what could be Cymothoa exigua was discovered in the United Kingdom. As the parasite is normally found off the coast of California, this led to speculation that the parasite's range may be expanding.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The White-faced Saki (Pithecia pithecia)



The White-faced Saki (Pithecia pithecia), also known as the Guianan Saki and the Golden-faced Saki, is a species of saki monkey, a type of New World monkey, found in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. This species lives in the understory and lower canopy of the forest, feeding mostly on fruits, but also eating nuts, seeds, and insects. Sakis are omnivores. They eat fruits, leaves, flowers, insects, and small vertebrates, such as rodents and bats.
Sakis are small-sized monkeys with long, bushy tails. Their furry, rough skin is black, grey or reddish-brown in color depending upon the species. The faces of some species are naked, but their head is hooded with fur. Their bodies are adapted to life in the trees, with strong hind legs allowing them to make far jumps. Sakis reach a length of 30 to 50 cm, with a tail just as long, and weigh up to 2 kg.
Sakis live in family federations, which consist of parents and their offspring, with mated pairs usually forming lifelong pair bonds. They are territorial animals, defending their territory in relation to other families. Sakis know a set of communication possibilities: while shrill cries or bird-like twitter serves as a connection among family members, a loud roar serves to warn other animals off their territory.
Whilst not an endangered species, Sakis and other South American primates are vulnerable due to the destruction of their habitat by humans. They are also hunted for food and for the pet trade.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tardígrada or Water bears


Of all environments, space must be the most hostile: It is freezing cold, close to absolute zero, there is a vacuum, so no oxygen, and the amount of lethal radiation from stars is very high. This is why humans need to be carefully protected when they enter this environment.

New research by Ingemar Jönsson and colleagues published in the September 9 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press journal, shows that some animals —the so-called tardigrades or 'water-bears'— are able to do away with space suits and can survive exposure to open-space vacuum, cold and radiation.

This is the first time that any animal has been tested for survival under open-space conditions. The test subjects were chosen with great care: Tardigrades —also known as water-bears— are tiny invertebrate animals from 0.1 to 1.5mm in size that can be easily found on wet lichens and mosses. Because their homes often fall dry, tardigrades are very resistant to drying out and can resurrect after years of dryness. Along with this amazing survival trick comes extreme resistance to heat, cold and radiation —so tardigrades seemed like an ideal animal to test in space.

The dried-up tardigrades were aboard the FOTON-M3 spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in September 2007 and were exposed to open space conditions —i.e. to vacuum, UV radiation from the sun and cosmic radiation— in a low Earth orbit of around 270km altitude. After their safe return to Earth, it turned out that while most of them survived exposure to vacuum and cosmic rays alone, some had even survived the exposure to the deadly levels of solar UV radiation, which are more than 1000 times higher than on the surface of the Earth. Even more so, the survivors could reproduce fine after their space trip.

The tardigrades extreme resistance to UV radiation is perhaps most surprising. UV rays consist of high-energy light particles that cause severe damage to tissue, as is evident when you get a sun-burn. But more so, they can also damage the cell's genetic material, causing for instance skin cancers. For this reason UV is deadly for most organisms —it is even used as a sterilising agent. As Jönsson and colleagues write: "How these animals were capable of reviving their body after receiving a dose of UV radiation of more than 7000 kJm-2 under space vacuum conditions […] remains a mystery." It is conceivable that the same cellular adaptations that let them survive drying out might also account for their overall hardiness.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Estuarine crocodile or Saltwater.


Saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of all living crocodilians and reptiles. It is found in suitable habitats throughout Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and the surrounding waters. The Alligator Rivers are misnamed after the resemblance of the saltwater crocodile to alligators as compared to freshwater crocodiles, which also inhabit the Northern Territory.
The saltwater crocodile has a longer muzzle than the mugger crocodile, and is twice the length of its breadth at the base. The saltwater crocodile has fewer armor plates on its neck than other crocodilians, and its broad body contrasts with that of most other lean crocodiles, leading to early unverified assumptions that the reptile was an alligator.

An adult male saltwater crocodile's weight is 880 to 3,000 pounds (400–1,360 kg) and length is normally 4 to 5.1 metres (13–17 ft), though very old males can be 6 metres (20 ft) or more. This species has the greatest sexual dimorphism of any modern crocodilian, with females being much smaller than males. Typical female body lengths in the range of 2.1 to 3.5 metres (6.9–11 ft).[2][6][7] The largest female on record measured about 4.2 metres (14 ft). The mean weight of the species as a whole is roughly 450 kilograms (990 lb).

The largest size saltwater crocodiles can reach is the subject of considerable controversy. The longest crocodile ever measured snout-to-tail and verified was the skin of a deceased crocodile, which was 20 feet (6.1 m) long. Since skins tend to shrink slightly after removal from the carcass, this crocodile's living length was estimated at 20.7 feet (6.3 m) and it probably weighed well over 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb). Incomplete remains (the skull of a crocodile shot in Orissa[10]) have been claimed to come from a 7.6 metres (25 ft) crocodile, but scholarly examination suggested a length no greater than 7 metres (23 ft).[9] There have been numerous claims of crocodiles in the 9 metres (30 ft) range: the individual shot in the Bay of Bengal in 1840, reported at 10 metres (33 ft); another killed in 1823 at Jala Jala on Luzon reported at 8.2 metres (27 ft); a reported 7.6 metres (25 ft) crocodile killed in the Hooghly River in the Alipore District of Calcutta. However, examinations of these animals' skulls actually indicated animals ranging from 6 to 6.6 metres (20–22 ft).

Saltwater crocodiles are very dangerous animals, but data on attacks is limited outside of Australia, and estimates of human fatalities vary wildly between dozens to thousands annually. It is likely that, given this species' low population within most of its non-Australian/New Guinean range, the number of attacks is probably within the lower range of estimates. Most attacks by adult "salties" are fatal, given the animals' size and strength. In Australia, attacks are rare and usually make headlines when they do occur.

Attacks on humans:



Curiosity :

Dr. Adam Britton, a researcher with Big Gecko, has been studying crocodilian intelligence. In so doing, he has compiled a collection of Australian saltwater crocodile calls, and associated them with behaviors. His position is that while crocodilian brains are much smaller than those of mammals (as low as 0.05% of body weight in the saltwater crocodile), they are capable of learning difficult tasks with very little conditioning. He also infers that the crocodile calls hint at a deeper language ability than currently accepted. He suggests that saltwater crocodiles are clever animals that can possibly learn faster than lab rats. They have also learned to track the migratory route of their prey as the climate changes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Leopard seal eats persons when it is hungry, I am sure.


The Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the Southern Elephant Seal), and is near the top of the Antarctic food chain. It is most common in the southern hemisphere along the coast of Antarctica and on most sub-Antarctic islands. It can live twenty-six years, possibly more.[3] Orcas are the only natural predators of leopard seals.

The leopard seal is large and muscular, with a dark grey back and light grey on its stomach. Its throat is whitish with the black spots that give the seal its common name. Females are generally slightly larger than the males on average.[4] The bulls are generally 2.5 m (8.2 ft) to 3.2 m (10.5 ft) and weigh between 200 kg (441 lb) and 453.5 kg (1,000 lb), while cows are between 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) and 3.4 meters (11.2 feet) in length and weigh between 225 kg (496 lb) and 591 kg (1,303 lb). [5]

Compared to most phocids, the Leopard seal is highly evolved for its role as keystone predator. Although it is a true seal and swims with its hind limbs, it has powerful and highly developed forelimbs similar to sea lions, giving it a similar maneuverability, a classic example of convergent evolution.
In 2003, a leopard seal dragged a snorkeling biologist underwater to her death in what was identified as the first known human fatality from a leopard seal.[7] However, numerous examples of aggressive behavior, stalking, and attacks on humans had been previously documented.[7] The leopard seal has previously shown a particular predilection for attacking the black, torpedo-shaped pontoons of rigid inflatable boats, necessitating that researchers equip their craft with special protective guards to prevent them from being punctured. The leopard seal has also been known to snap at people's feet through holes in the ice.

This seal is dangerous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_Seal

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tasmanian Tiger Extinction Mystery.


The Tasmanian tiger or Thylacine was by far the largest carnivorous marsupial of recent times. Its overall appearance is very canid-like. Total body length is around 1 meter. The tail length is around 50-65 cm. The tail itself is very thick close to the body and quickly tapers to a point. It is around 60 cm in height at the shoulder. The upper body is brownish/grey with a pale underside. There are 13-19 black vertical stripes that run from the mid-back to the base of the tail. The face is grey with white markings around the eyes. The fur is short and thick. Their skull has a length of 22 cm and the dental formula is: i 4/3, c 1/1, pm 3/3, m 4/4. Tasmanian tiger's long canines, shearing premolars, and grinding molars, all of which are quite similar to those of dogs. The feet are padded and leave a five-toed print. The females pouch is located by her tail and has a fold of skin covering the four mammae.
Tasmanian tigers lived only on the island of Tasmania in recent history, but fossil record shows that it was also found in New Guinea and Australia as recently as 3000 years ago. Competition with dogs brought by aborigines eliminated it in Australia and New Guinea. These dogs ran wild, becoming the dingo, which entirely filled its niche. A large population survived on Tasmania, where there are no dingoes. But when the Europeans arrived and settled in Australia and Tasmania the Tasmanian tiger was thought to be a livestock killer, especially when sheep were introduced in 1824. This was never substantiated, but because of this misconception the privet sector and the government hunted the Tasmanian tiger from 1830-1909 for bounty. In 1830, the Van Diemens Land Company, a pastoral company in Northwest Tasmania, introduces the first bounty on the Tasmanian tiger, claiming that the animal attacked sheep.

Extinction may not be forever after all; so hope the Australian scientists behind an ambitious project to clone the extinct Tasmanian tiger.
The project to bring the Tasmanian tiger back from extinction began in 1999 when Australian Museum scientists extracted DNA from an ethanol-preserved female pup in its collection.
We will see in a future if it is possible it to come back to the life, or as it has been said in several mass media, it is possible that the wolf marsupial is living , hidden from the man.Look that beautiful



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Monday, May 18, 2009

The great jaguar



Jaguars are the largest of South America's big cats. They once roamed from the southern tip of that continent north to the region surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border. Today significant numbers of jaguars are found only in remote regions of South and Central America—particularly in the Amazon basin.

These beautiful and powerful beasts were prominent in ancient Native American cultures. In some traditions the Jaguar God of the Night was the formidable lord of the underworld. The name jaguar is derived from the Native American word yaguar, which means "he who kills with one leap."
Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water; in fact, they are quite good swimmers. Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs. They sometimes climb trees to prepare an ambush, killing their prey with one powerful bite.

Most jaguars are tan or orange with distinctive black spots, dubbed "rosettes" because they are shaped like roses. Some jaguars are so dark they appear to be spotless, though their markings can be seen on closer inspection.

Jaguars are still hunted for their attractive fur. Ranchers also kill them because the cats sometimes prey upon their livestock.
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