canine distemper ruins lives

Canine distemper virus, or CDV, is a virus that attacks the digestive system, the respiratory system and degeneration of the nervous system. Though it mostly affects dogs, it can be found in wild animals like raccoons. It is an airborne virus, but is also present in any and every excretion from an infected animal. Recently 22 big cats were diagnosed with CDV at In-Sync Exotics.

Apollo in his tub. He is very sick and lethargic. I saw his two days ago and his eyes we're dull.
Apollo in his tub. He is very sick and lethargic. I saw his two days ago and his eyes we’re dull.

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how the country of mali put me to shame

I recently decided that I should do more anthropologically minded posts, because I am an anthropologist. While I do post quite a bit about primates, I am sorely lacking in posts about cultures that western civilization may not know about. I was thinking that maybe I would do a post about the pygmy people living in the Ituri or maybe the aboriginals in Australia. Little did I know I would be learning, not only about a new culture, but a whole new country. A big country. That country is called Mali, and the main tribe of Mali is called the Bambara tribe.

stand_bambara_woman-3905

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mount kaputar’s cannibal snails

Cannibal snails, hairy snails and even neon slugs all make Mount Kaputar in Australia their home. This unique and fragile mountain habitat has saved these odd gastropods from extinction. Once upon a time New South Wales was covered by rain forests comparable to Papua New Guinea, but today climate shift even just two degrees could destroy the entire habitat.

Photo from National Geographic
Photo from National Geographic

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a ray of hope for captive chimpanzees

Chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA, they have complex relationships, raise their young, wage wars, have friendships, alliances and enemies. They have extensive tool use and even have intricate means of communication. As far as I knew, they were endangered species. I mean, this is what IUCN’s website and even WWF will tell you. But today I learned that that was only applicable to free-living chimpanzees. This means that chimpanzees in captivity are listed as threatened. Maybe this doesn’t seem so bad, until you realize that that is the loophole that allows them to be test subjects and live in labs, in often, sub-par conditions.

Photo from WWF
Photo from WWF

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does the caged sea canary sing?

The Marine Mammal Protection Act was enacted in 1972 to protect any and all marine mammals from U.S. citizens who might want to take them or import them. The Georgia Aquarium, SeaWorld and Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium are working to try to import the 18 Russian beluga whales that they captured between the years of 2005 to 2011.

Photo from WWF
Photo from WWF

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odd animal profile: pondicherry vulture

This post comes from the heart. The tale of the Pondicherry vulture is not a happy one. Once a species that numbered in the hundreds of thousands in less that 20 years the population has dropped to less than 10,000. This isn’t due to the common causing like poaching or nuisance killing, but is actually caused by a medication given to cattle that is toxic to vultures. When the cattle die and the vultures eat the cattle, they die. The Pondicherry vulture’s population has halved every other year.

Photo from Planet of Birds
Photo from Planet of Birds

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