Friday, October 30, 2009

Dwarf Lemur's Ghostly Features

Because of the Halloween holiday, I decided to write about the lemur. The word lemur actually means ghost. These ghostly creatures are nocturnal, emerging after sunset and returning to their nests at dawn. There are five families of lemurs, but the dwarf lemur is the smallest. They spend most of their time in the trees and are very active.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Find Love and Friendship in the Coy Fish

Coy fish are widely cultivated in China and Japan. Their name comes from the word ‘Koi’, which means ‘carp’ in Japanese. They are found in several colors, including white, black, red, blue and yellow. Their price range depends on their rarity and their particular color pattern, making them sometimes worth thousands of dollars. Both the colorful and dull grey varieties of Coy fish represent love and friendship in Japan.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baltimore Orioles Protect Young

The Baltimore oriole is Maryland's state bird, and also the name of its professional baseball team. Female Baltimore orioles create unique, hanging nests for their eggs. When they hatch, both parents feed and protect their young for up to two weeks.

Pictured: A father oriole is taking care of its young.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Massive Anacondas

The Green Anaconda is the largest snake in the world. Some are longer, but the anaconda's 29-foot-long body, combined with its weight of up to 550 pounds, make it the largest. In fact, when an anaconda is born, it's already 2 feet long.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Giraffes' Height: A Blessing and An Obstacle

Giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world. Their legs alone stand at about 6 feet, making a giraffe anywhere from 14 to 19 feet tall. Because of these long legs, giraffes can run for up to 35 miles per hour. They also can find food where many other animals can't; however, they still have to travel long distances to feed their diet of hundreds of pounds of leaves each week. Although giraffes get most of their water from the leaves they chew, these animals still need a drink every couple of days. This can be a hard task because they have to bend in an awkward position to reach any watering hole, leaving them as an easy target for predators. Their height also creates an obstacle for a giraffe when it's born. Because they give birth standing up, an infant gets dropped about 5 feet when it is comes out into the world. They're tough, however, because within 30 minutes they can stand.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adopt a Crittercam Animal

Did you know that you can adopt a crittercam animal? Scientists learn how to protect endangered animals by studying their behaviors and the habitats they live in. And the only way to do that is by following them with a camera. Donate and watch a Humpback Whale, Elephant, Gray Seal, Loggerhead Turtle or White Shark in their environment. You can learn new animal behaviors and support scientific research with your donations. Check it out at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Unique Zebra Stripes

The zebra has the most distinctive coat out of any animal. Their stripes are unique to each animal — just like fingerprints to humans — no two are alike. Scientists believe that these stripes are used as a form of camouflage, maybe so that these stripes can make it hard for predators to identify a single zebra in a herd. Or the stripes may discourage insects that only see large areas of single-colored fur.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bears Have Fun Too

Last Thursday, a black bear walked into a Hayward, Wis. grocery store and headed straight to the liquor department. The 125-pound bear walked into the beer cooler and climbed a 12-foot shelf. After about an hour on the shelf, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources removed it from the store. Luckily, there was no one in the liquor department at the time, and even better, not a single beer bottle was broken! Watch the footage from the surveillance cameras here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Michael Vick Upsets Animal Rights Activists

As Michael Vick suits back up in his Philadelphia Eagles gear after spending 18 months in prison for his association with dog fighting, many animal rights activists are upset. And I’m one of them.

While I understand that there are legality issues involved that deter the NFL from banning him from the league, I’m more angry at the fans. As a pit bull owner (read Pit Bull Terriers Can Be Your Best Friend Too), I’m appalled that football fans are still wearing his jersey and forgiving him for what he did to all of those innocent dogs. The actual dog fights seemed like the least harmful crime he committed. The worst was the way he treated these animals to prepare them for fights. Confining dogs to small dark places, not feeding them, and allowing them to be raped by other dogs were among many things Vick and his entourage did to “toughen” up these dogs. Thankfully, the dogs have been put in animal shelters, and many pit bull lovers have adopted them in the past year and a half.

If you’re interested in adopting a pit bull, visit the Pit Bull Rescue Central website. These dogs are just as loving as any other breed; it’s the misuse of them that give them a bad reputation. And because of that, I could never respect Michael Vick or those who support him.

Pictured above are two photos of my loving dog, Sahara.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prized Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the world's largest, fastest and most colorful fish. It has a torpedo-shaped body built for speed. Humans have been eating this fish for hundreds of years, but in the 1970s, demand for them went up. Since then, they have been a prize among sport fishers. In fact, in January 2001, a 444-pound bluefin tuna sold in Japan for $173,600 (a world record).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bald Eagles Steal Food

Eagles are famous birds of prey; however, they actually get a lot of their meals by scavenging or stealing the kill of other animals. In fact, this thievery is a big reason why Ben Franklin argued against the bird being used as the United State's national symbol.

Bonus fact: The largest bald eagle nest was 9.5 feet wide and 20 feet high, weighing more than two tons!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tasmanian Devils Strictly Carnivorous

The tasmanian devil, just like in the Looney Tunes cartoons, is known for going into a crazy rage when threatened by a predator. It is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world, reaching 30 inches in length and up to 26 pounds. It is strictly carnivorous, eating snakes, birds, fish and insects. Because it’s a marsupial, when a tasmanian devil is well fed, its tail swells up to store fat. Unfortunately, a horrible illness (a rare contagious cancer) discovered in the mid-1990s has killed thousands of Tasmanian devils.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Male Boars Keep to Themselves

Wild boars live in family herds of up to 50 females and youngsters. The young male always forms a bachelor group; however, the older male remains solitary except for during mating season. At age four, a male will usually join a female herd fighting off whoever challenges his position. Boars fight using their tusks to cut at each other’s shoulders.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pikas Live High

Pikas live at extremely high elevations, collecting leaves and grasses each summer. They lay the vegetation outside to dry and then make separate hay piles to sustain themselves through winter. Unfortunately, pikas are being driven to higher elevations because of global warming. At these levels, there is less vegetation, which means less food for these feisty little mammals.

Source: Clif Ashley, Yosemite Park Park Ranger

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chinchillas by the Bay

Chinchillas poop up to 200 times a day, according to the San Francisco Aquarium by the Bay. When I was there, the chinchilla on display was not pooping; however, I don't understand how they have time to do much else!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Old Jellyfish and Sharks

Jellyfish and sharks both existed way before the dinosaurs. Jellyfish date back 500 million years and sharks, 400 million years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Black Bear?

It is estimated that there are 500 black bears in Yosemite National Park; however, less than two percent of them are actually black!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Protecting the Armadillos

Armadillos have an armor of plates on their back, head, legs and tail. This shell serves as protection, but only the 3-banded armadillo can actually curl up into it. The common 9-banded one (found in the United States) cannot. They live in warm climates because they have an extremely slow metabolism. In fact, unexpected cold weather can wipe out entire populations.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Jungle Store Gives Monkeys

In case you didn't get to see last night's Extreme Home Makeover, you can watch it again on the ABC website. The stuffed animal monkeys that were used to decorate the room built for the 8-year-old girl, Hannah, were donated from The Jungle Store. You can find some of the exact stuffed animals here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Chameleons Show Emotion

Chameleons change colors; however, it's not to match the colors in their surroundings, as many may think. Each species displays certain color patterns that indicate specific reactions or emotions towards something.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads Show Their True Colors

The oriental fire-bellied toad secretes toxins from its skin when it feels threatened. It also rises up to reveal its red and black underside, to warn others of its poisonous ways. In addition, the toads pupils are a rare triangular shape.