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There was an article about a girl who left things out for some crows and they brought things to her in exchange. This though. Wow.

crows gift

Stuart Dahlquist

Mar 23
We've been feeding a small family of four crows (mated pair and their two year old kids) for several years. Last week two days in a row they left these gifts, pull tabs threaded onto pine twigs. This isn't only generous, it's creative, it's art.
Read more... )
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Wallaby Captured in Dallas
By Frank Heinz


Officers with Dallas Animal Control captured a wallaby on a leisurely jaunt in the east Dallas neighborhood of Lakewood Wednesday morning.

According to a report from The Dallas Morning News a couple were out for a walk when they spotted what they first thought was a loose dog near the 5900 block of Vickery Boulevard.

After seeing the animal hop, they realized it was a wallaby.

Dallas Animal Control officers were called and they were able to corner and catch the animal with a net.

The wallaby, a native of Australia and New Guinea, belongs in the same family as a kangaroo but is much smaller by comparison.

It is not clear who owns the animal. According to the DMN, it is not legal to own the animals in Dallas without a permit and no decision has been made about where the animal will end up.

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Nature defeats Technology

Wedge-tailed eagles have found a new but unlikely prey in the Western Australian goldfields: mining company surveying drones.

South African gold mining company Gold Fields, the world's seventh-biggest gold producer, has lost nine drones to the birds, costing the company more than $100,000.

Wedge-tailed eagles are one of the largest birds of prey in the world.

Their wingspan is more than twice that of the one metre-wide drones and they have razor-sharp talons that allow them to grab and destroy the drones in flight.
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A Day With The Fruit Bats

As I mentioned in the craft shop rescue story, I think some people have an unrealistically tame vision of what animal rescue really is. I know I did. We often get inquiries about volunteering for a day or two at Bat World, and while we know these good people mean well, it doesn’t really work. We wish it did, we’d all love a little break once in a while, make no mistake about that. Still, when someone comes in for such a brief time, that someone ends up being an extra task rather than an extra hand. You have to be trained, and by the time you know anything, you’re gone. And that’s assuming that you knew what you were in for and didn’t panic at first contact with bat guano.

This is true even of those with prior experience volunteering at wildlife sanctuaries; with such unusual and unique animals as bats, very little carries over. Many veterinarians are loathe to even attempt work on bats for that very reason: it’s specialized knowledge, takes a long time to learn and is completely useless in any other context. Given that few people are going to be bringing bats in for treatment, they mostly don’t bother, and it’s hard to blame them for not wanting to learn a skill that they’ll likely never use more than once or twice, if at all.

Having said that, here’s what you’d really be in for if you spent a day doing what Amanda, Angela and I do at Bat World Sanctuary:Read more... )

Donate to save Bats
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Unravelling The Mystery Of Ice Ages Using Ancient Molecules

Researchers from Cardiff University have revealed how sea ice has been contributing to the waxing and waning of ice sheets over the last million years.

ice sheetsCredit: Cardiff University Read more... )

Lasting impressions: Ice Age echoes affect present-day sea level

A new NASA study has, for the first time, cut a clear path through a nettlesome problem: accurately measuring a powerful effect on global sea level that lingers from the last ice age.Read more... )
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Deirochelys reticularia miaria

Title: Good vibrations: a novel method for sexing turtles or The Sexing of Turtles
Author: charisstoma
Word count: 822

“What do you think would happen if we..” Tom held up the toy. “Gets a rise outa me.”

“I think this was not a good time to have come into a store like this after the bar,” Sam replied.

“Good time to come,” Tom giggled, “in a store like this? What do you think they do in the booths over there?”

“Nothing I want to do while drunk.”

“Wasn’t offering. Still let’s get one of these and see if it works, you know.”

“Okay but if it does how do we write it up?”

“We’ll think of that if it comes.” Tom took off giggling again.Read more... )
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sleeping sperm whales sleeping

Whales in quantity all sleeping vertically. It's eerie seeing them.

"The animals were inactive and unresponsive, even when the scientists approached them in a boat, but all the whales awakened quickly and swam away when the boat brushed against one of them and woke it up, the study authors reported.

Further observations revealed that the sperm whales entered these sleeping states by first descending head-down to a depth several times that of their bodies, then passively turning head-up and drifting closer to the surface. The findings showed that sperm whales around the world practice this vertical sleeping posture — but infrequently, spending only about 7 percent of their time asleep, ..."

Whales shifters with their pod?
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Bunny Harvestman

Creepy Cute Bunny Harvestman
Posted by Creature Features on July 20, 2017

This bizarre looking “Bunny Harvestman” from the South American rainforest looks like a mad scientist grafted a rabbit's head onto an octet of spindly spider legs.

Metagryne bicolumnata, to give it its official scientific name, was beautifully photographed on July 11th of 2017 by Flickr member Andreas Kay (Ecuador Megadiverso).

Though members of the Arachnid class, harvestmen (also known as “daddy longlegs”) are not spiders though they do have eight legs. We're sure that factoid makes you feel better, assuming you haven't already run off screaming.
Bunny Harvestman 1
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That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis
And other tales from the intersection of science and airport security

Other scientists who responded to a call for stories on Twitter have flown with bottles of monkey pee, chameleon and skate embryos, 5,000 year old human bones, remotely operated vehicles, and, well, a bunch of rocks. (“I’m a geologist. I study rocks.”) Astrophysicist Brian Schimdt was once stopped by airport officials on his way to North Dakota because he was carrying his Nobel Prize—a half-pound gold disk that showed up as completely black on the security scanners.
“Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?” they said. “The King of Sweden,” he replied. “Why did he give this to you?,” they probed. “Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.”....

Several people have stories about more animate luggage. Jonathan Klassen from the University of Connecticut studies leafcutter ants, and the permits that allow him to collect wild colonies stipulate that he must hand-carry them onto planes. “Inevitably, some poor security officer gets a duffle bag full of 10,000 ants and gets really confused,” he says. Indeed, many animals have to be hand-carried onto planes because they don’t fare well in the cold of cargo holds, (and often can’t be shipped for similar reasons). That’s certainly the case for the amblypygids—docile relatives of spiders with utterly nightmarish appearances—that Alexander Vaughan once tried to carry onto a domestic flight. “My strategy was to pretend that everything I was doing was perfectly normal,” he tells me. ....

Others were more upfront about their unorthodox cargo. Ondine Cleaver from UT Southwestern Medical Center once tried carrying tupperware containers full of frogs from New York to Austin. At security, she realized that she couldn’t possibly subject the animals to harmful doses of X-rays, so she explained the contents of her bag to a TSA agent. “She totally freaked out, but had to peek in the container,” says Cleaver. “We opened it just a slit, and there were 12-14 eyes staring at her. She screamed. She did this 3 times. A few other agents came by to see, and none could deal with the container being opened more than a bit. But they had to make sure there was nothing nefarious inside, so we went through cycles of opening the container, screaming, closing it laughing, and again.” They eventually let her through. ....

Many scientists have had tougher experiences because their equipment looks suspicious. The bio-logging collars that Luca Borger uses to track cattle in the Alps look a lot like explosive belts. And the Petterson D500x bat detector, which Daniella Rabaiotti uses to record bat calls, is a “big, black box with blinking lights on the front.” She had one in her backpack on a flight going into Houston. “The security people said, ‘Take your laptop out,” and I did that. But they don’t really say, ‘Take your bat detector out,’ and I forgot about it.”

When the scanner went off, she had to explain her research to a suspicious and stand-offish TSA official, who wasn’t clear how anyone could manage to record bat calls, let alone why anyone would want to do that. So Rabaiotti showed him some sonograms, pulled out her laptop, and played him some calls—all while other passengers were going about their more mundane checks. “By the end of it, he said: Oh, I never knew bats were so interesting,” she says.

Many of the stories I heard had similar endings. The TSA once stopped Michael Polito, an Antarctic researcher from Louisiana State University, because his bag contained 50 vials of white powder. When he explained that the powder was freeze-dried Antarctic fur seal milk, he got a mixed reaction. “Some officers just wanted to just wave me on,” he says. “Others wanted me to stay and answer their questions, like: How do you milk a fur seal? I was almost late for my flight.” ....
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Now, a fourth dead, liverless shark has washed ashore, according to a post today (June 26) on the Marine Dynamics blog, a site hosted by a shark cage diving company. The newly discovered 13-foot-long (4 meters) male shark was missing its liver, testes and stomach, according to the blog post. [See Photos of the Shark Necropsies]

I can see them eating the liver and the stomach, liver is rich in nutrients and seeing as sharks and orca eat pretty much the same things the stomach makes sense, but the testes? What's with that?

orca kills shark
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Two Bald Eagles Have ‘Adopted’ a Young Red-Tailed Hawk

A pair of bald eagles there are raising up a red-tailed hawk—normally a rival species—alongside their own three chicks, the Vancouver Sun reports.

A heartfelt attempt to help out some neighbors? Probably not. The eagles likely kidnapped the baby hawk, intending to feed it to their own children, raptor specialist David Bird told the Sun. When it survived the trip and started peeping, they just started feeding it instead. (This theory is supported by retroactive photo evidence, which indicates that there were once at least two hawk chicks in the nest.)

A video by Christian Sasse shows the brave youngster, which is smaller and scruffier than its adoptive siblings, gleefully taking food from the bloody beak of one of its parents. Observers say the hawk is more than able to fend for itself—and that at times, the eagle chicks even seem to defer to it, the Sun reports.

Long video and the photographers don't see the hawklet yet at half way through. Ah from comments it does show up, 35.30. And it's crop is full per the commentary. It'll fledge in estimate 7 -10 days and eaglets later in July. This was recorded mid June.


Jun. 1st, 2017 07:36 pm
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What the Heck Is a Hellbender—And How Can We Make More of Them?
Why the Saint Louis Zoo decided to invest in this slimy, surprisingly adorable amphibian


Jeff Briggler is leaning face-down in a freezing Missouri stream. Breathing through a snorkel and soaked up to his wetsuit-clad armpits, the Missouri resource scientist peers under rocks and probes into dark, underwater crevices. This is how you look for the rare, elusive survivors of the Carboniferous period, commonly known as hellbenders.

When he emerges, Briggler is holding a wriggling, pebbled and frankly adorable creature the size of a man's forearm. This slimy serpent is actually an endangered Ozark hellbender—though that modifier may be changing. The animal that Briggler drops into a blue mesh bag was born in captivity and has thrived in the wild against all odds, thanks to a series of conservation experiments by the Saint Louis Zoo.


May. 12th, 2017 11:25 am
charisstoma: (Default)
Title: When a Child has been Sick
Author: charisstoma
Word count: 249

“He’s looking better,” Manc commented watching their son outside on the lawn in the growing darkness of dusk. “Good thing none of them are of the fae .”

“Amazing what a good season with rain will do to the insect population, isn’t it?” Allen responded. There was a gasp, “Are Lightning Bugs poisonous?” “Didn’t know he jump that high,” was said with awe.

“Well he is my son.”

“I’m going to get a glass jar. It’ll be interesting for him to see a Lightning Bug up close.”
Manc looked at Allen, “Like eating one isn’t up close….”

“Hush you.”

2 Lightning Bugs were captured. An event ignored by their son who was more intent on his own fun.

“You should really let them go soon. They’re out there to mate and produce the next generation.
You’re impeding next year’s Lightning Bug population.”

“Uhmmm. Too late.” Allen said looking into the jar.

“What?” Manc eyed his husband anxiously doubting his sanity.

“They’re.. um.. already attached.”

“You mean of all the Lightning Bugs in the backyard, you caught two compatible bugs who decided to mate with each other?”



From inside the jar, “Oh baby, yes just like that,” had Manc and Allen look shocked at the jar and then each other.

“Wait a bit but put them outside before our kitten comes back in. I don’t think I’m ready to explain the facts of procreation yet.”

Allen glanced at Manc’s tummy and grinned. “We’re going to have to soon.”

Lightning bugs
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tree lore

In Denmark we come across the old belief that he who stood under an Elder tree on Midsummer Eve would see the King of Fairyland ride by, attended by all his retinue. Folkard, in Plant-Lore, Legends and Lyrics, relates:
'The pith of the branches when cut in round, flat shapes, is dipped in oil, lighted, and then put to float in a glass of water; its light on Christmas Eve is thought to reveal to the owner all the witches and sorcerers in the neighbourhood';
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What happens when you spill your very hot coffee while standing under the wrong kind of tree?


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