Category Archives: News

costumed animals

Yesterday Science Magazine put out a fun little article titled 10 Animals That Don’t Need Halloween Costumes featuring animals that have great camouflage and mimicry! This means that they can blend in amazingly well with their environment and often are trying to look like something (or someone) else! But what I noticed is aside from a picture and the name of the species, there wasn’t much information on the animals! So lets fill in those gaps!
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blackfish

Blackfish is a documentary following the life of Tilikum the orca, also known as the ‘killer’ whale, that has killed three people while in captivity. The documentary airs tomorrow on CNN with the tagline Never Capture What you Can’t Control. I encourage those who can to take a look at the documentary tomorrow (thursday) night at 9pm ET/PT. It is also showing in some theaters.

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liar, liar, not extinct

It seems that lately Ecuador has been giving up a lot of its secret species. The fabulous Olinguito was recently discovered roaming the tree tops of Ecuadorean cloud forests, and now a new species has popped up from the mist. The Pinocchio lizard has been suspected extinct since sightings of the little anole stopped some 50 years ago, but once it was spotted again in 2005, then recently on an expedition to Ecuador it was found that these little lizards are alive and well.

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spontaneous classification

A new study suggests that orangutans (and one young gorilla) may be more capable of identifying types of animals than we had previously given them credit for. In the 1700’s Carolus Linneaus gave two names to each species, organizing species for the first time. He classified them in a hierarchical system, starting broad with kingdom, phylum, class, then getting more specific with family, genus, and finally the most specific, species. It took humans an embarrassingly long time to become so organized and look more critically at the animals we share our planet with.
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morbillivirus hits dolphin population hard

There are many natural ways that the population of a species is controlled; natural disasters, wars, and disease outbreak. The human population has had minor disease outbreaks in the last few decades, but nothing on the scale of the bubonic plague in the mid 1300’s. The human population is long overdue for another plague, which is a sad truth. There unfortunately is a disease outbreak in another species that has had a lot of press recently.

Photo from USA today
Photo from USA today

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olinguito

Hiding deep in the Andean Cloud Forests of Columbia and Ecuador was the little, brown, arboreal animal that avoided detection until very recently. The olinguito is the first carnivore discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years. For quite some time it was mislabeled in zoo’s and museums as an olingo, which looks fairly similar but tends to be about double the weight, but with a similar body structure. People simply believed it was just a small olingo.

Photo from National Geographic
Photo from National Geographic

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world orangutan day

Happy World Orangutan Day! A day especially for those fuzzy arboreal apes, orangutans! Orangutans are very special apes, they are the only arboreal ape and they are the only ape in found outside of Africa! The name orangutan is derived from the Malay words ‘orang’ and ‘hutan.’ ‘Orang’ means person and ‘hutan’ means forest, giving the orangutan the name person of the forest. These people of the forest are an incredible look into the evolution of humans, with their intelligent eyes and knack for gentle parenting, but unfortunately we are destroying their habitat at an alarming rate. 300 football fields worth of forest are cut down every single day in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Photo by WWF-Population: about 41,000 (Bornean), about 7,500 (Sumatran)
Photo by WWF-Population: about 41,000 (Bornean), about 7,500 (Sumatran)

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tragedy at yasuni

Yasuni National Park in Ecuador has been dubbed the most diverse place in the world. The nearly 4,000 square miles are home to 150 species of amphibians, 121 species of reptiles, 382 species of fish, 596 species of birds, over 100,000 species of insects, and a number of un-contacted indigenous tribes. It comprises a mere 0.15% of the Amazon Basin but holds almost 1/3 of its amphibian and reptile species. This area is teeming with life, and yesterday, the government of Ecuador approved a plan to begin drilling for oil inside the boundaries of Yasuni National Park.

Photo from yourescapetoecuador.com
Photo from yourescapetoecuador.com

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leaping lemurs

Leaping lemurs! Did you know that lemurs are the most threatened mammals in the world? They are so unique and so important in our evolutionary chain. Lemurs are a type of primate found only on the island country of Madagascar, and no, they are not monkeys. They are prosimians and they need protecting! Luckily researchers are putting their foot down and making firm plans to save these incredible animals.

Photo From WWF
Photo From WWF

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