Category Archives: Animals

Remains of Carnivorous Dinosaur Found in Argentina

 

BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences today announced the discovery of the remains of a carnivorous dinosaur that can be considered as a new species and could provide key data on the evolution of the distant ancestors of birds.

The new species, presented today by researchers at the museum, was dubbed “Bicentennial Argentina” and its remains were found in the southern province of Black River.

“It is very likely to find a new lineage within the family of coelurosaurs, those dinosaurs that eventually give rise to birds,” the museum spokesperson said in a statement.

The head of the museum and independent researcher of CONICET, Fernando Novas, said that “While there were known members of the tyrannosaurus rex or velociraptor, not much is known about the earliest forms of the coelurosaurs.”

The adults of the coelurosaurs would measure between 2.5 and 3 meters long and were agile and thin. Basing on the shape of its teeth and the presence of claws, they were probably hunters.

“One can suspect that they could have fed on smaller dinosaurs, herbivores or offspring of dinosaurs,” said Novas.

Researchers believe that this dinosaur may have the body covered with feathers.

 

Asian Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus)

 

Did you know?

That the Asian Wild Dog has some extraordinary vocal cords? They can whistle, scream, meow and even cluck like a chicken and also to urinate while standing on its front legs?

The Asian Wild Dog is a medium sized dog with elegant proportions. The head to body length is 75-110 cm, the tail is 41-50 cm, and the body weight is 10-20 kg. The mouth is smaller compared to most other dogs, with a large pad on the nose. It has 40 teeth, that is two fewer than in the mandible than in the upper third molar is absent. The ears are erect and rounded.

The sexes are very similar. The female breast is 16 instead of the usual 10 of the Canis. The coat is uniform with the back of red or yellow or rust, whitish belly and throat. The back of the ears, neck and shoulders are slightly off, but have the same color. The hair on the back are 25-30 mm long, which is shorter than the animals of the south. The tail is darker than the body and usually with a black tip. The outer parts of the legs are the same color as the body, the inner parts are pale and feet may be white.

The Cuon alpinus are very social animals that live in packs and hunt cooperatively. A pack usually consists of 5 to 12, sometimes up to 20 members and has a dominant monogamous pair. After a gestation period of 60-62 days, the female gives birth to a litter of eight puppies that is usually born in a nest built near river beds or between rocks. The birth season is from November to March. The subordinate pack members help care for the pups of the dominant pair. The young reach sexual maturity at one year.

The Cuon alpinus are opportunistic. They eat berries, fruits, insects, lizards, rodents and small mammals as large as a deer, including hares, wild boars, other ruminants and even monkeys.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

 

Did you know?

That the Tufted Duck and other species of diving ducks could extend its range due to the inadvertent introduction of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Europe and North American waters? Zebra mussels are small clam shells, which are attached to any solid object with tufts of fiber called “byssal threads”.

These species are native to the Caspian Sea region of Asia. Other regions were introduced by transoceanic ships that discharged ballast water and all types of vessels in these regions. A single female zebra mussel can produce over 30,000 eggs and generations mature rapidly, making it difficult to control. In a body of water, zebra mussels can not be detected.

Colonies can have 70,000 to 700,000 zebra mussels per square meter.

The Tufted Duck is a great diver duck with a body weight of 1.1 kg in males and somewhat less in females. The Aythya fuligula has different nesting sites that may be located in colonies of gulls or terns. About 6 to 14 gray-green eggs are incubated by the female for 23-25 ​​days only. During winter, these ducks congregate in huge flocks.

Their diet consists mainly of bivalve mollusks, aquatic insects and plant matter.

Country Cricket (Gryllus campestris)

 

Did you know?

That the fable “The Ant and the Cricket” was written by the Greek poet Aesop over 2,500 years ago? In the fable, the cricket represents lazy, careless people who indulge in fools’ hobbies, and therefore lost.

The Country Cricket (Gryllus campestris) is a very popular and well known bug in the fable “The Ant and the Cricket” but almost never seen by the inhabitants of the modern city.

The Country Cricket has a body size has from 19 to 23 mm in males and from 17 to 22 mm in females. They have a black body and wings that resemble an intricate wrought iron work. The color of the wings is dark black / brown with a yellow base on which you can see black veins. A modified area of ​​veins on the wings of the male, known as the “harp”, allows them to produce the “song” used to attract the female.

The Country Cricket does not fly. They live in short, warm grasslands, with between 10 and 50% of bare soil. Males dig a burrow at the base of a clump of grass with a bare platform at the entrance from which they attract females with their “song”. Females locate singing males crawling along the ground to them. After mating, either within or outside the burrow, the female lays her eggs on the bare soil areas that have a lot of sunlight. The young nymphs hatch in July and August, and grow rapidly. In early fall, they dig a den of hibernation and the nymph overwinters there.

They feed on different seeds, other plant material or insects (dead or alive). They can be even if they are very hungry cannibals.

Rats with Spinal Cord Injuries Were Able to Walk

 

WASHINGTON – Rats with spinal cord injuries and rats that are largely paralyzed were able to walk normally through chemical and electrical stimulation and robotic harness, according to a Swiss study published in the U.S.

This raised hopes for humans.

This work, published in the Science Journal, dated June 1, started five years ago at the University of Zurich. “It reveals a profound change in our understanding of the central nervous system,” according to the authors.

They stress, however, not be certain that similar techniques of rehabilitation can be successfully used in humans. But, the regeneration of nerves observed, points to new methods of treatment of paralysis,” they continued.

“After two weeks of neurorehabilitation with a combination of electro-chemical stimulation and the use of a robotic harness, our rats in this experiment not only showed themselves ready to march, but they also quickly began to run, to up the steps of a staircase and avoid obstacles,” said Dr. Gregory Courtine, president of the International Foundation paraplegic (IRP) and head of department treatment of injuries of the spinal cord at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

“It’s the World Cup neurorehabilitation,” says one who is lead author of the study, noting that “rats experience have become athletes while a few weeks before they were completely paralyzed.”

“It is in these cases that there is a 100% recovery of voluntary movements,” he insists.

 

Arrowhead Frog (Oophaga pumilio)

 

Did you know?

The World Bank is supporting a project on frog breeding for the Arrowhead Frog at the highly threatened sites in Peru to protect the rainforest and alleviate poverty? The objectives are to promote the sustainable cultivation and collection of poison dart frogs for export, so that the locals can make life better forest conservation rather than cutting it and thus protect tropical forests. Estimates indicate that a farmer could easily produce 50 frogs every 4 months and sell for $8 to $20 each. This would increase the annual income of a farmer from $200 per year to between $1,000 and $3,800.

Thus, the potential breeding of the Oophaga pumilio for income generation in poor rural areas is considerable. The project could be replicated in tropical Latin America, where there are over 100 different species of live frogs, and could also be replicated with butterflies, beetles, aquarium fish and other species. Similar projects could be ideally located in buffer zones around conservation areas.

The Oophaga pumilio is a small terrestrial frog that measures at 1.5 to 2.5 cm. It has a color that is very variable, particularly in Panama. The male attracts the female with his call-reaching. The female lays a few eggs (2 – 9) that are first watched and tended by the male. After 7 to 10 days, the larvae are carried by the female one by one in small bodies of water in the bromeliads.

To survive, the tadpoles should receive a meal within 3 days after being placed within the body of water in the bromeliad. The metamorphosis requires 6-8 weeks. Adults eat small arthropods, including ants.

Gaur (Bos gaurus)

Did you know?

That the Gaur has been domesticated in northeastern India and Burma for work and meat?

The Gaur is a larger bovine, with a big head, a big body and robust limbs. On their shoulders, the Gaur has a surprisingly muscular ridge that slopes down to the middle of the back, which ends in a sharp drop.

The head to body length is 260-330 cm, while shoulder height is 160-210. The Gaur weighs 600-1000 kg.

The Bos gaurus has a coat that is short and glossy. In adults, especially males, are almost bare, except on the head, chest, belly and lower legs. The color is dark brown. In old males, they tend to be jet black, while females tend to red, with white socks from wrist to heel.

The curve of the horns is upward and backward. They are creamy yellow with black tips, with a shaggy crest different between the horns. Females are about 10 cm shorter in height, 150 kg lighter and the horns are less strong.

West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus)

Did you know?

That the sailors once thought manatees were mermaids, hence the scientific name of “Sirenia” to unify the zoological order manatees and dugongs. The word “Sirenia” comes from the word “siren”. “The Sirens” are legendary Greek sea beauties that lured sailors to the sea. It is thought that the ancient sightings of the Sirenia is a mythical half woman, half fish.

The West Indian Manatee is a large aquatic mammal, peeled spindle-shaped, with front legs modified into flippers, no hind limbs and the back of the body in the form of a horizontal vane. The length of adults ranges from 2.5 to 4.5 to 6 m, with a body weight of 300 to 500 kg. The West Indian Manatee has a wrinkled face, with whiskers on the snout. The fins are large, and limbs are flat.

The teeth of the manatee is very unusual: vestigial incisors and deciduous premolars are lost before adulthood. Normally, there are 6 molars that are present simultaneously. Manatees are found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, saltwater bays, canals and coastal areas.

Manatees are migratory species. They are diurnal and nocturnal, generally solitary, but sometimes form congregations favorite sites and during the mating season.

Manatees are completely herbivorous, browsing forage on aquatic vegetation. They can consume food up to 10-15% of their body weight per day. They may be submerged at the bottom or just below the surface, leading to breathe every three to five minutes on average. It is believed that the life expectancy of manatees can exceed 60 years. Having no natural enemies, they can afford to have a very slow reproductive rate. Females are sexually mature newborn to five years of age and males are mature at nine years of age. On average, a calf is born every two to five years and twins are rare. The gestation period is approximately one year. Mothers nurse their young for one to two years, so the baby can remain dependent on its mother during that time.

Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica)

Did you know?

That research by the University Museum of Natural History in Oxford, found that the Nicobar Pigeon is the closest relative of the dodo, a giant flightless bird that became extinct in the mid 1600?

The Nicobar Pigeon is a species of a larger pigeon. Its body weight is about 600 g, and the female is slightly smaller. It has a strong body and a relatively small head. It has long legs, almost no tail and has a characteristic purple hair with long feathers. The short tail is white, the iris is brown, the beak is black, and the feet are dark purplish red.

The Caloenas nicobarica sually breeds in dense colonies in extremely small wooded islands or in adjacent continental areas. Like other pigeons, the Nicobar is monogamous. The clutch usually consists of one or two eggs, which are incubated for 30 days. Both parents share the responsibilities of caring for the nest. The chicks hatch after 70-80 days.

The Nicobar Pigeons feed on a variety of seeds, fruits and small invertebrates. They have a very muscular gizzard, which allows them to eat hard shell nuts.

Inca Cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri)

Did you know?

That while raising the chicks, the male Inca Cockatoo usually sits on the nest during the day and the female at night?

The Cacatua leadbeateri is a specie of smaller cockatoo, reaching a total length of 35 cm. It is the only cockatoo with a multi-color crest. The plumage of the crown, upper parts and tail are white. The narrow ridge is scarlet with a yellow center band and a white tip. The face and underparts are pink salmon and the undersides of the wings and underside of tail are deep salmon pink. The beak is rather small and white. Its feet are gray and the iris is dark brown in males, and pale red-brown for females.

The Inca Cockatoo usually travels in pairs or small flocks, often in conjunction with Cockatoos Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) or small blood Cockatoos (Cacatua sanguinea). Most of the day, they spend their time foraging on the ground or in trees.

The breeding season is from August to December. The birds nest in hollow trees, coated with dust and bits of rotten tree bark. The clutch usually consists of 2 to 4 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 30 days. The chicks leave the nest at 6 to 8, weeks but remain with their parents as a family group. They feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries and roots. They drink early in the morning and evening.

Gray Gibbon (Hylobates moloch)

Did you know?

That Gray Gibbons practice “duets”, i.e. males and females in breeding season make vocalizations, which are dominated by the female? The duets are important because they help maintain the union between breeding pairs and also help to establish and maintain the territory.

Taxonomy:

Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Simiae
Family: Hylobatidae
Scientific Name: Hylobates moloch

The Hylobates moloch has a long coat, dense and tangled. The color is silvery gray in both sexes and all ages. The hood and chest are dark gray or black. Both sexes have a pale band in the eyebrow. The face is black and bare, the ears are also black and not hidden in the fur. Gray Gibbons weigh is about 5.9 kg.

Wildcat (Felis silvestris)

Did you know?

That the attempts of domestication of African Wildcat (Felis silvestris libyca) date back to the years 7,500 BC and that the ancient Egyptians worshiped cats as gods? The domestication of the cat may have begun as early as 8,000 BC.

Have been described many subspecies of wild cat, these can be grouped into: European Wildcats or the silvestris group;  Asian Wildcats or the ornata group; and the African wildcats or the libyca group.

The house cat is the domestic Egyptian cat belonging to the group, but domestic cats have blood also undoubtedly respective local subspecies.

The European Wildcats are larger and have a somewhat shorter tail than a house cat.The head-body length 55-80 cm is, is well furnished with a pompous tail of 25-40 cm. Males may have a body weight of 5 kg, while females weigh 3.5 to 4 kgs. The head is somewhat wider than that of a cat with a pink nose pad. There are two different parallel black lines on each cheek and forehead is scratched. The gray coat is thick. The coat is abundant woolly that is striped, yellowish on the upper part and throat, and underparts of whitish cream. The stripe pattern is clearer in kittens than in adults and the tail is tapered at the tip. At 3 months, they weigh 1.3 to 1.7 kg.