Monday, December 3, 2012

Pygmy tarsier.

After viewing the Long-eared Jerboa, an animal that awakens in us a tender feeling, I decided to go with another animal just as endearing and tender that the Jerboa: Pygmy tarsier.

This small animal as big eyes, was believed extinct for years, relieving the superstitious inhabitants of Sulawesi. Indonesians in this zone they had no problem getting rid of them, hunt them and kill them because the figure of a tarsier called forth from them prejudices and superstitions of an animal identified with "animal unlucky". Extinct for 80 years, suddenly appeared while a villager a plague of rats exterminated in the village fences. Scientists discovered by surprise that Pygmies had not disappeared, the little animal died, there was a rat amorphous, it the extinct tarsier. This promoted the search for new specimens, which were found and were able to study and help them survive until new born individuals.

Currently this animal is in danger of extinction, but it seems that slowly, and through the efforts of various institutions, their numbers are increasing.

Besides its size (10 cm (4 in) + furry tail and less than 60 g weight (2 ounce)), the Pygmy tarsier has characteristics that make it unique. Here are the most curious:
1 - The pygmy tarsier, has a communication system similar to that of other tarsiers, but its voice is so acute that we can not hear. It communicates with frequencies of 90 khz. We can not hear sounds with frequencies higher than 20 kHz. In fact, experts thought it was dumb until they discovered this.
2 - Another unique feature of this little animal, is its diet. It is the only primate that has a carnivorous diet extricta. Although they look seem to eat little fruit and grass, the tarsier is a fearless hunter, is insectivorous, but some claim it is able to hunt birds and small reptiles clueless.

3 - Is the animal with the largest eyes in relation to its weight and size. And these huge eyes, help you move between the dark because they are nocturnal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Long-eared Jerboa.

Have you ever seen an animal with a face so candid? Surely not. Well, this little rodent is the  Long-eared Jerboa (sesudo name) or Euchoreutes naso.

This small, nocturnal creature with pig nose and ears of Dumbo, lives, and with difficulty, in the inhospitable Gobi Desert in Mongolia. A desert known for sudden changes of temperature extremes. Well, in this poor habitat live Long-eared Jerboa.

Their long ears are the perfect tool to dilute body heat by the fine blood vessels that run through. Jerbo is  higher animal ears worldwide, proportionally speaking, of course. Its body is not larger than 3,5 in (9 cm) in length, minus the tail, then his ears are 2,3 in (6 cm). It is as if we had ears until we reach our ass (what we would hear everything).

Another feature of this small rodent and insect hunter, are its legs. Their legs are long and strong (always speaking in proportion) enable you to "large" jumps to escape their natural depredores.

Now, I feel myself dramatic and serious, but sometimes there is no alternative. This little animal is in real danger of extinction. Nocturnal, it is a strange animal, and by small zoos breeding projects, there is little hope to avoid their disappearance.

I have a video that was made by the Zoological Society of London with the intention to denounce the elimination of this beautiful little animal: The first video eared jerboa.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mantis shrimp or stomatopods

Any boxer would like to have the "direct hit" of this small crustacean. A marine animal, if it were larger, it would be the best superhero who ever lived.

They are called mantis, for its resemblance, but his front legs end with some strong clubs that are able to club with much power to its opponents, dams or larger predators. You can give as strong blows that break shells, and inflict mortal wounds larger fish or octopus insightful.

But do not think that is a simple stroke. It is a blow so powerful that generates as much energy to produce its own light. The speed produces a strong friction with water, generates electricity and heat that boils water and produces light and sound similar to waves of energy that we have seen of young (and not so young) in manga cartoons "Dragon Ball. "

Okay, I have exaggerated. Not so fantastic, but if it is true that produces light by strong friction with the water. It is true that boils the water with a hit and also if the coup fails, is able to bring down his victim with his blast.
The mantis shrimp is known to the submariners for their aggressiveness. If you ever catch them, divers are careful to take them to prevent them breaking a finger with a quick hit.

Experts have calculated that the speed reaches the mantis shrimp´s stick is 23 m / s, the same as a bullet.

The other superpower of our superhero, is vision. The shrimp can move independently of each eye (eg Chameleons) and are able to capture the infrared and ultraviolet. They are also capable of detecting four types of linear polarization and circular polarization two. And also, each eye has a stereoscopic view independently. They are the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. Biologists do not yet know very well the precise role of this system, but felt it had sexual overtones and player. It is speculated to be a secret communication channel.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hairy Frog.Trichobatrachus robustus.

Experts have named this frog with a curious name, "Hairy frog". That's rare to see these two together, hair in an amphibian skin. Possibly the only frog that has hair, but also the only amphibian in the world, so it makes an animal very peculiar.

But this name has trick: the hair is really skin. Apparently, it seems hair are really thin skin that help to breathe. As almost all amphibians, the hairy frog breathes by small lungs and through the skin. Well, thanks to these hairs skin, fine capillaries are able to pick up a needed oxygen.

But the frog's hair is not the only peculiarity of this animal ... has many more, eg see two characteristics that make this a frog amphibian particular:

1 °. It is an active hunter, and its prey can find slugs, millipedes, spiders, beetles and grasshoppers. And it has teeth. Let me repeat, is a frog with teeth, W-I-T-H-T-E-E-T-H ... in fact, tadpoles are born with teeth. You imagine a frog with teeth? Can be? Yes :

2 °. The second characteristic is that it has a secret weapon (now will cease to be secret) as it can draw on both to hunt and to defend. When the hairy frog feels threatened, intentionally breaking the bones of the fingers of his legs, which pierce the skin and overlook looking like claws. Bone is a hairy frog with retractable claws and teeth ... is rare, rare.

Well, the hairy frog is native to central Africa is robust and is about 11 cm, and it is not considered endangered

Monday, October 15, 2012

The most beautiful bird in the world: The Mandarin Duck.

For its small size, you would make an entry beginning with a phrase ironic about the story of "The Ugly Duckling". But hey, the literature is not my specialty. What I like, is to appreciate the wonderful things created nature, and unlike the Marabou bird that is considered the most "ugly" in the world, the Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) the bird is considered "beautiful" in the world.

During the breeding season, the male Mandarin duck loses its brown like the female and looks fascinating and endless color shades in between: The male bird is unmistakable: It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.

The beauty of these ducks was originally its curse and then its jacket. For hundreds of years, this bird was considered as a bird that attracting luck and love. And their presence was much coveted by courtesans of Japan and China and collectors from around the world. Currently, some 65,000 live in the wild, several more in zoos and parks all over the world. Its beauty, its colors, have been since the identity and the argument for its protection and recovery. Now, there is no danger of extinction.

The mandarin duck does not exceed 45 cm (17") in length, is small and sturdy, weighing no more than 1,1 lb (500 grams) and feeds on algae and seeds. In winter they are clustered in small groups and as spring approaches the female chooses the male more attractive and colorful to have their "ugly ducklings".

Friday, September 28, 2012

Scolopendra, venomous animal

We are lucky that the Scolopendra is an animal that does not exceed 45 cm long because it eat all the animals they encountered. Scolopendra is commonly known as centipedes, although unlike these, having two pairs of legs more. One end with sharp nails and poisonous.

The scolopendras are effective predators that hunt small animals, usually arthropods. Prey is caught between the large number of legs. Then, twisting the body, they nail clamps poisonous, paralyzing and killing their prey. It has exaggerated the capacity of its venom, in fact, only one case of death by the bite of the scolopendras.
Most surprising is that the centipede, is able to hunt larger animals and poisonous animals.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cantor's giant softshell turtle

Their taxonomic name is (Pelochelys cantorii) and commonly called Cantor's giant softshell turtle or Asian giant softshell turtle. Is a turtle a little "freak" ... as we all know, the characteristic of all turtle is its shell, which is the union of bony plates covered with hard plates together to give strength and rigidity and simultaneously protects the turtle from possible predators.

But the turtle has a soft shell (I think I'm a bit of creeps), it does not serves as a hard shell to the turtle because there are few predators of a turtle that can measure 2 meters long and weigh 50 kg. Perhaps the man is the worst predator.
Also, this softshell turtle is usually under the sand or mud to protect themselves from predators.

But not only that, we know that this turtle is ferocious (considering how ferocious can be a turtle) and has a strong bite. It is an efficient carnivore, and its prey are fish, molluscs, crustaceans and other smaller amphibians. But due to its size and bite, would be able to pluck one finger.

Another peculiarity of this animal is that the experts considered extinct, but were rediscovered in 2007, and since then has been an ambitious recovery program that has been successful. We can not say that is no longer in danger of extinction, but it is recovering.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Myanmar snub-nosed monkey

Ever since I first saw it, I found it impressive animal. In 2010 it was "discovered" by modern science (in quotes "discovered" because the native inhabitants of the area already knew). And especially its looks and mainly by his nose so that caught my attention.
Its scientific name is Rhinopithecus strykerie. But it is known as "Myanmar snub-nosed monkey ", "Burmese snub-nosed monkey" or "monkey with an upturned face".

In the rain, as it has a "super snub-nosed " (we could say that no nasal septum) and with a thin skin and without any facial hair, causes sneezing frequently. Although covering his face with the hands, but hides his face between its knees, the end always sneezes when it happens stand out among the foliage of trees, difficult to go undetected and become easy prey for predators, mainly for man hunter.

The image you see above is the only monkey that has managed to photograph nearby. It is very difficult to get a picture so beautiful because they are in real danger of extinction. Human stupidity is the cause that is close to its disappearance, just tell the monkey that appears in the image above was eaten the photographer and the guides who accompanied him.

Coat dark except for the skin of the face is not. Only a white locks as a beard. Its tail is about 1.4 times the length of the body: the first sample, an adult male, has a head-body length of 55.5 centimeters (21.9 inches), and a tail of 78 cm (31 inches) long. The species spend the summer months in temperate mixed forests at altitudes greater than its range, and down to lower ground in the winter to escape the snow

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dhole, Cuon Alpinus.

In India there are bears, leopards and tigers. Three big predators that at the same time have a common predator and not humans. The most dangerous animal of South Asia is the Dhole, also called  Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog.

Do not rely on appearance similar to a clever but harmless fox, Dhole is a predator  bold and is able to hunt large and dangerous animals such as water buffalo that easily weigh 1 ton.

It is said that this wonderful animal is the predator king of India, and that are more dangerous than the tigers. In fact, we know that in many cases the Dholes attack and kills  tigers. Those tigers are defending hedging its bets with a tree or a rock are the ones most likely to survive. But the tigers run off are bitten and bled and fall prey depletion of cuones. While it is true that on many occasions some Cuon alpinus falls victim to the claws of the tiger.
But if someone Dhole is hurt when hunting , this individual is protected and cared for the herd. And they are very social animals. And herd are numerous, several individuals, 20 or more individuals.
Dhole herds can also steal a leopard prey, while the leopards can kill them if they are found alone or in pairs.

Unlike herd of wolves, herds of several females have procreative cuon. They are more social and less territorial than wolf packs and unlike these, is said not to live in packs, but form clans. The difference of this technique is hunting.

Well, it's like a medium sized dog, like a coyote, reddish like a fox and a short snout shorter than other species of the family Canidae. Weighs no more than 20 kg. His body is well proportioned, its members are moderately long, and proportional chest. They have great leaping ability and to make great leaps, up to 3.5 m high and 6.5 m long ... quite an athlete.

It is endangered because of the elimination of habitat and prey. Besides competing directly with men.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Cuban solenodon or almiqui of Cuba

The Cuban solenodon or almiqui of Cuba is a very curious, is an animal that was considered extinct since 1970 and was rediscovered a few years later in a remote place of the island of Cuba ... is an animal that is in real danger of extinction and for people who love animals, we were happy to know it was not extinguished.

The animal that we can remember the shrew or a hedgehog, a little larger than a rat (up to 80 cm long). It has an elongated snout and is also an omnivorous predator. It has tiny eyes, long snout with small but sharp teeth and also enters the exclusive group of venomous mammals, along with other mammals as exotic as the Platypus and the Echidna. By the way, so my assessment is an animal that could catalog in the group of the most ugly.

Being omnivorous, this animal can feed on plant, fruits or roots, but also of invertebrates and other animals of considerable size for it, as birds, frogs, reptiles and even rats ... because it is a gallant and brave predator and has an effective poison.
Experts are trying to increase the population of this animal, but it is really difficult for two reasons.

The first reason is that unlike other animals of similar size, only has one litter per year of between 1 and 3 individuals.

Second reason, it has been discovered that these animals when raised in captivity conditions become more aggressive (and which are solitary animals), and are not immune to its own venom, therefore, when fighting often occur including low in one or two individuals.

Finally, humans have great capacity to destroy, but we also have the great ability to help a species recover.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Greenland shark, Somniosus microcephalus.

We know that the white shark can reach up to 6 meters long (18 ft) and, of course, is a large predator. But in terms of dangerous sharks, and murderers of large dams, we must speak of one that surpasses the great white shark, The Greenland shark.

This shark receives other name as the sleeper shark, gurry shark, ground shark, grey shark, or by the Inuit languages name Eqalussuaq.

This large shark of 7 meters (21 ft) long, lives at great depths to 2,500 meters (9.000 ft) , where no sunlight reaches. In the dark, the view is useless and the smell takes over. So when his refined sense of smell perceives the slightest speck of blood of any of its wounded prey, manages to capture it even found over 1 mile away.

It is true that by living most of his time in cold, dark waters, the shark has to reserve its precious energy, so their movements are slow ... as lazy. But make no mistake. The Greenland Shark up to the surface and when it finds its prey, it is less aggressive than any other shark, either the white shark, the bull shark or tiger shark. In many specimens have been caught, have been found walruses, seals and even polar bear parts. I imagine it, a polar bear, thanks to global warming has to swim across large distances between icebergs and boreal shark lurking down, biting, tiring, exhausting to death by drowning of a polar bear, already difficult to survival.

Thought to be one of the few animals that, together with the sperm whale and Pacific sleeper shark, comes to feed on giant and colossal squid.

Finally, much more can be said of this shark, but concluded by good news, we can rejoice in knowing that, for now, this enigmatic shark is not endangered.

Curiosity: The first image shows the eye "something". Now it is a very common parasite of this species.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What are the worst insect bites?

A young man named Justin Schmidt ( his blog) has written a list of what they are, for him, the most annoying insect bites and painful. Classifying a maximum of 4 points. Let's see:



SCHMIDT SAYS: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.



SCHMIDT SAYS: Sharp, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch



SCHMIDT SAYS: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.



SCHMIDT SAYS: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door



 SCHMIDT SAYS: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.



SCHMIDT SAYS: The sensation is like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.



SCHMIDT SAYS: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.


avispa paper

SCHMIDT SAYS: Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.



SCHMIDT SAYS: Blinding, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.



SCHMIDT SAYS: Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.

For me with mosquito bites and satiate my curiosity. If anyone dares to confirm the list of Schmidt, I encourage you .....

Information from

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The lamprey, the vampire ocean.

If we made a list of the strangest animals in the world, the Lamprey would be among the first places. It is known as the vampire from the depths.

It's a prehistoric animal that has not changed for 500 million years. When evolution had not invented the mandible as we know it today. It is a euryhaline organism. This means that animals are able to live in a wide range of salt concentrations without altering its metabolism. And so are found in rivers, lakes and seas. In fact, the Lamprey was born in a river, and return to spawn as salmon do.

But nothing Lamprey resemblance to a salmon. The lamprey is parasitic, not predatory, also thanks to its suction mouth is able to cling to the stone to help up the torrents of the rivers. In fact, they are so different that taxonomically speaking not considered fish, being so peculiar, have their own group, the paraphyletic group of cyclostomes.

But go to the outlandish. The mouth of the Lamprey, mouth-suction cup that reminds an alien movie, devoid of jaw. This has the shape of a funnel trimmed teeth and tongue corneal scraping. Attaches to the skin of its host and once hooked up to suck and suck, there has been the case, to kill her.

When the lamprey is a larva, feeds on a different form, has no teeth that we see in adults, nor have eyes. They feed by hairs (called barbules) that filter food. When adults go to sea, living as deep as 500 meters. They reach weights of 1 kg and 1 meter in length (40 inch), then return to spawn in the river, which left between 50,000 and 200,000 eggs ... Those are a lot of eggs ... Then lampreys die as do salmon.

It is very common in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, where this animal is conceived as a tasty snack and a part as an essential ingredient in recipes in culinary traditions as old as the Roman.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The sperm whale.

The king of seas, oceans a top predator can defeat a group of Orcas (killer whales), descending to great depths and hunt giant squid. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is undoubtedly the animal with greater ability to kill (this sounds a little nerdy) in the world.

But it is true, can weigh almost 50 tons, is the largest toothed mammal, and has very special characteristics. For example:

The sperm whale can be lowered to depths of 3,000 meters, holding their breath for more than 1 hour and resist the high pressure that occurs at these depths. When your heart beats dives 1 time per minute, and lungs contract to handle the pressure. Pressures we are talking about 30 million Pascals ... it is like having to put up at the tip of the little finger, 5 bulls on top of each other, and that in each cm2 of the skin of the whale. In addition, blood has a dense, with many red blood cells and this reduces nitrogen production, something that all divers are afraid and so are decompression.
All these physical adaptations allow the mammal to become deeper dives.
Another thing that stands out is the sonar. Sunlight begins to disappear at a certain depth (about 400m I think), the abyssal darkness prevails and vision, the eyes, is useless in these places. But the sperm whale has devised how to move easily and even hunt prey as elusive as the giant squid. The crack produced by the sperm whale is the loudest sound produced by any animal, but its function is unknown (although it is believed that sonar and used as a weapon to stun their prey).
The sperm whale can get to be more than 20 meters and, as we said, 50 tons and has a serrated jaw 5 meters. It is a mammal, lives in family groups, and has no predators. Still, is in danger of extinction ... for now in a vulnerable state.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aequorea victoria.

If we plunge the water in the ocean and we began to fall and fall until the light disappeared, and the pressure, dead silence and total darkness, we suddenly discover that there is a world of amazing animals, strange and fascinating. An example of these animals, may be the jellyfish Aequorea victoria or crystal jelly.

A bioluminescent jellyfish in the light of day is almost invisible, but in the darkness of the deep produces a beautiful light, a light which hypnotizes and traps prey in his wonderful tentacles filled nematocysts (cells that inject toxins).

Not long ago it was discovered (2009), yet little is known of it. If I am not mistaken is the only animal that produces green light, thanks to a green fluorescent protein (GFP, for its acronym in English, green fluorescent protein), produced only by the jellyfish Aequorea victoria.

It inhabits the west coast of North America, but as often happens lately with many jellyfish, the number of specimens of this species is growing due to the disappearance of predators.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Echidnas or spiny ansteater. Evolutionary experiment.

This animal is called echidna or spiny ansteater, and has a characteristic that is shared only by another animal, the platypus. Like this, the echidna is the only mammal born from an egg ... I find it strange?
I explain briefly:

The earliest forms of childbearing occurred in prehistoric ocean water. The fish gave birth to many small fish of the sea and of those, many were devoured. To avoid this, the evolution devised some different formulations of childbearing: some fish were hidden in the mouth of the mother, others sought shelter in ... for example anemones ... and other small fish were kept in capsules viscous. The last way to protect the lineage separated was evolved over time in typical eggs of reptiles.

The capsules were no longer viscous but tough. Eggs that were getting the fetus evolve and grow into predators, hunters and adults, but with a smaller size. When mammals appeared, how to give birth to offspring changed. The egg was fertilized in the mother and, even without having the capabilities of an adult, was birthed. Of course had to be cared for and fed by the mother, trying to ensure that offspring born (usually) helpless.

Well, in this evolutionary path of procreation, which seems normal that any mammal born from the mother and then her nursing care and to become more, not an egg as birds or reptiles. That is because the echidna evolutionary peculiarity: the echidna is born from an egg, therefore, how they procreate is not like reptiles but not like that of mammals.

But the way to incubate the egg is not such as birds or reptiles. The echidna lays an egg and it's in a cavity of the body to the coat. This allows you to navigate and provide warmth and protection while ... a good idea talking about survival. Then yes, the small born and would do what any mammal: nursing.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Musk deer.

If we see skull of this animal, one can think that belongs to a predator of large tusks. Remember the saber-toothed tiger. But really it isn´t a carnivorous hunter, not a key animal in the trachea fangs of its prey, does not infringe fatal bites. This skull is that of a peaceful vegetarian: musk deer.

  In contrast to other deer, the stags antlers do not grow, but two huge tusks that give it the appearance of deer-vampire (a term invented by me). Well, these tusks grow throughout his life and apparently, its function is the same as that of other deer antlers ... size does matter.

Another feature of the musk deer is that unlike other deer, he lives as a couple.

There are several species and they think they are smarter than other musk deer do not.

Finally, perhaps the most significant trait. We note that the name given to this deer is due to their body scent of musk. A strong sweet smell, which contains pheromones and is used in some perfumes. In fact, there is a very nice story about this feature:

When the deer began to feed himself, he noticed the strong scent of musk. He wondered, perplexed, where he came fresh and enveloping perfume.

Began to investigate its source everywhere, it was impossible to escape him, but so was to know its origin. The animal became more and more curious. No truce, was still looking for the source of the smell so intense. He sought constantly, day and night, the victim of an obsession that did nothing but increase. So the years passed. Hart lived moments of great weakness, of unspeakable anguish, deep grief. did not get your search results.

Fifteenth century engraving

Musk deer aged and died. "I never knew that intoxicating perfume came from himself."

This musk-containing glands in the snout. But there is also another ingredient that it produces and which also becomes a target for hunters. It is through the flesh, not by the need to eat. It is hunted by a glandular substance is used as "drug" for athletes. Is prohibited and is considered doping.

Thanks to its smell, its doping substance, in fewer habitat (if I have not said is just east of Asia), its conservation is threatened.