Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tropicbird


The tropicbird is a large species of sea bird found nesting on the warmer cliffs and islands that dot our oceans. Despite having been thought to be closely related to other large sea birds such as pelicans, boobies and frigatebirds, the tropicbird has been recently classified in a group of it's own.
Tropicbird
There are three different species of tropicbird found throughout the tropical Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The exact range and location depends on the species of tropicbird, although all three species can be found in parts of all the major oceans.
Tropicbird
Tropicbirds are large-sized birds ans can grow to up to a meter in height. The three different tropicbird species are the red-billed tropicbird, the red-tailed tropicbird and the white-tailed tropicbird, all of which are generally white in colour with long tail feathers, and thin spindly legs.
Tropicbird
Tropicbirds are known to catch their prey by plunging into the surface of the water in order to snap up their dinner. Away from their breeding colonies, tropicbirds are generally solitary animals usually seen hunting on their own or in a pair.

Like other sea birds, tropicbirds are carnivorous animals as they feed primarily on fish. The flying fish is a favourite meal for the tropicbird along with the occasional squid or crustacean. The method of hunting used by tropicbirds is known as plunge-diving, and is common practise for many sea birds.

Due to their large size and airborne lifestyle, the tropicbird has few (if any) natural predators in it's environment. The primary predators of the tropicbird are small carnivores such as dogs, stouts and cats that have been introduced to areas by humans, and generally hunt the smaller tropicbird chicks.

Tropicbirds nest in dips, crevices and holes on the ground in large breeding colonies, usually found on cliff tops or small tropical islands. The female tropicbird lays a single egg, which hatches after being incubated by both parents for about 6 weeks. Both the male and female tropicbirds then feed their chick together until it fledges (flies away from the nest), at around 3 months old.

Today, tropicbird populations still seem to be thriving as they have not come under threat from drastic habitat loss. However, the arrival of non-native species to islands and increasing levels of water pollution, both have an affect on tropicbird populations.
read more "Tropicbird"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quoll


The quoll is a medium-sized marsupial, natively found in parts of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Tasmania. The quoll is often known as the native cat, due to the cat-like appearance of the quoll.
Quolls are found occupying woodland, shrubland and grassy habitats across Australia and New Guinea. Although quolls have been seen climbing trees, the quoll tends to live life on the ground.
The quoll is a nocturnal animal meaning that it spends the nights hunting and the daytimes hours resting. Unlike many other nocturnal mammals, the quoll enjoys to spend the sunlit days basking in the heat rather than hiding in a crevice or underground.
There are six different species of quoll, found across Papua New guinea and Australia. The Bronze quoll and the New Guinean quoll are natively found on the tropical island of Papua New Guinea. The Western quoll, the Northern quoll and the Tiger quoll are all natively found on the Australian mainland. Although the Eastern quoll was originally found on the Australian mainland, they are more commonly found on the island Tasmania.

Although the quoll is an omnivorous animal, the quoll is has a predominantly meat-based diet. Quoll hunt during the darkness of night, searching for small mammals, birds, small reptiles and insects. The quoll also feasts on nuts, grasses and fruits when they are available.

The quoll (particularly the tiger) quoll is an apex predators in it's environment as they are one of the largest species of carnivorous marsupial in the world. The main predators of the quoll are generally human hunters, large snakes and crocodiles.

The quoll is a marsupial, meaning that the female quoll has a pouch on her tummy for her young to develop in. The baby quolls are born after a gestation period of just a few weeks, when they crawl up into the mother's pouch. The baby quolls are nursed in the pouch of the female quoll for about 2 months but are not fully independent until they are nearly 6 months old.
read more "Quoll"

Glass Lizard


The glass lizard (also known as the glass snake and the jointed snake) are a group of reptiles that resemble snakes, but are actually lizards. Although most species of glass lizard have no legs, their head shape and the fact that they have movable eyelids and external ear openings identify them as lizards.
Glass Lizard
Glass lizards are found all around the world although, the greatest number of species in the genus are native to Asia, from India to China and the Indonesian islands. At least one species, the Moroccan glass lizard, comes from North Africa, and several species live in the south-eastern United States including the barrier islands off the Atlantic coast of Florida. The glass lizard is also found in abundance in Eastern North Carolina as far as 40 miles from Atlantic Ocean.
Glass Lizard
Despite being known as leg-less lizards, there are a few species of glass lizard that have very small stub-like legs near the rear vent (these animals are also known as glass snakes). The glass lizard is able to reach lengths of up to 4 feet (1.2 m), but approximately two-thirds of this is the tail.
Glass Lizard
Their common name of glass lizard comes from the fact that they are easily broken: like many lizards, they have the ability to deter predation by dropping off part of the tail which can break into several pieces, like glass. The tail remains mobile, while the lizard becomes motionless, distracting the predator, and allowing eventual escape. This serious loss of body mass requires a considerable effort to replace, and the new tail is usually smaller in size than the original.

Glass lizards are carnivorous predators that feed mainly on insects. Like numerous other lizard species, the glass lizard is a primarily nocturnal hunter as it spends the hot daytime recharging in the sun, giving the glass lizard the energy it needs to hunt under the cover of night. Glass lizards also prey upon small mammals such as rodents, frogs, birds and eggs.

The glass lizard as a wide variety of predators throughout it's habitats around the world including mammals, snakes and birds of prey. The ability of the glass lizard to detach it's tail in a time of panic, gives the glass lizard more time to get away.

Glass lizards tend to breed in early summer, when female glass lizards lay several eggs under a log or in dense forest foliage. The female glass lizard apparently attends the eggs until they hatch, a rare occurrence in lizards as most simply bury their eggs and leave. Some glass lizard species are also able to give birth to live young but most do lay eggs.

Today, the glass lizard is not a species that is considered to be at risk from becoming extinct in the near future, although studies are being done into the current state of the glass lizard populations around the world to determine their current ecological status.
read more "Glass Lizard"

Friday, January 23, 2015

American Bulldog


American Bulldog History and Domestication
Although the exact origins of the American Bulldog are still not quite clear, they are most commonly thought to have derived from English Bulldogs that arrived in North America with European colonists. Despite there being a great variety within the breed today, the American Bulldog is thought to be the most typical example of the original English Bulldogs of the 17th and 18 centuries. Bred and kept primarily for hunting and as a guard Dog, the American Bulldog was also used in Bull baiting - a cruel and bloody sport where the American Bulldog would publicly fight and being down a Bull. The American Bulldog is most commonly found across the ranches of the southern states of the USA, where it has been also known as the Southern White, the Country Bulldog and the White Bulldog.
American Bulldog
American Bulldog Physical Characteristics
The American Bulldog is a large and powerful breed of Dog belonging to the Mastiff family. They share many of their characteristics with other Mastiff breeds including their small, half-pricked, pendant shaped ears and their square, broad head. The American Bulldog is bigger, faster and more agile than the English Bulldog, and has such powerful hind legs that they are able to jump up to 6ft high. The American Bulldog has short, coarse fur that can be found in a variety of colours, but most notably white and brindle. They are an incredibly muscular and powerful breed having been bred as hunters, guarders and to fight (and win) against Bulls.
American Bulldog
American Bulldog Behaviour and Temperament
The American Bulldog is a courageous and fearless breed, known to be incredibly aggressive at times when it feels under threat. They are however friendly and even sociable Dogs, having been known to be kept in a pack that primarily hunts large carnivores, such as Bears. They are also known to be loyal and devoted towards their owner, providing that they assert themselves as the leader of the pack (dominance issues may occur otherwise). Although the American Bulldog is not listed under the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is not uncommon for them to be confused with more aggressive breeds such as Pit Bulls. These Dogs are not related but are indeed banned, so any potential owner of the American Bulldog is encouraged to acquire the adequate paperwork to prove that their Dog is not a dangerous breed.
American Bulldog
American Bulldog Breeding
The colour of the America Bulldog's fur, along with very subtle differences in general appearance and temperament, is said to differ between different areas. In regions where the American Bulldog is most popular, the Dogs are said to be able to differ between these places, which suggests that the American Bulldog is most commonly bred with individuals that live close by. After their near extinction in the 1940s, the American Bulldogs found throughout America today, are nearly all thought to have derived from Dogs bred by just two breeders during the mid 1900s. Females give birth to between 6 and 11 puppies per litter and can often live to be more than 15 years old.

American Bulldog Interesting Facts and Features
Despite being a widely distributed and popular breed today, the American Bulldog was on the verge of becoming extinct towards the mid 1900s. On returning from service in the Second World War, John D. Johnson decided to follow in his father's footsteps and resumed the breeding of the American Bulldog in the United States, and ultimately saved this breed from disappearing forever. The American Bulldog was first recognised as an official breed in 1970, when it was registered as the American Pit Bulldog. However, the name of this domestic breed was soon changed to the American Bulldog to avoid confusion with the American Pit Bull Terrier (to which this breed can look quite similar and the two can often be confused).
read more "American Bulldog"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 Animals that can Survive Extreme Cold and Hot Environments


No matter where you go on earth, there’s usually some sort of animal that lives there, even in places with extreme weather conditions like desserts and ice covered plains. These animals stand through the test of nature as they survive the elements and live to see another season.

Here are 5 of the most weather-hardy animals on earth.

Wood Frogs
In the Alaskan cold, the wood frogs are known to stay as cold as microwave dinners for months and thaw themselves during warmer seasons. Researchers at University of Alaska Fairbanks found that these frogs can stay alive while frozen in temperatures of6°F or -14.6°C and even lower. These one of a kind frogs are the only ones that shows this kind of freeze tolerance. They bodies survive the extreme cold and freezing by packing glucose into their cells.

Red Flat Bark Beetle
This beetle is widely spreader all over North America, ranging from North Carolina up to the Arctic Circle. Because they live in very cold temperatures, these beetles have become more tolerant and developed an ability to avoid becoming frozen in the extreme cold. Antifreeze proteins are found in their bodies to stop them from freezing. Individuals are able to survive in temperature as cold as -72°F or -58°C. What’s even more remarkable is that their larvae are able to stand colder temperatures than adult.

Pompeii Worm
Where these worms live, you can leave an egg and it’ll be hard-boiled in a few minutes. These worms are seen near hydrothermal vents under water. They’re the most heat tolerant multi-celled organism, able to stand temperatures above boiling point. Researchers believe that these worms are able to stand these temperatures because of a mysterious bacterium that covers them. The bacterium insulates the worms and protects them from the temperatures of the seafloor.

Sahara Desert Ant
As one of the hottest and driest places on earth, you’d think that nothing can ever live in the Sahara Desert. However, the Sahara Desert ant is one tough dweller as it forages through the sand while its body temperature reaches above 122°F or 50°C. The ant’s long legs help lifts its body off the desert sand to keep it a little cooler. They spend a majority of their time scavenging dead insects and other ants that died in the heat.

Tardigrade or Water Bear
Also known as moss piglet, they are the kings of surviving extreme temperatures. These tiny invertebrate are able to survive hundreds of degrease below freezing point and hundreds of degrees above boiling point. They stay in damp moss and lichens around hot springs and under solid ice. Scientists have even exposed these organisms to the cosmic rays and vacuum of space and they still survived.




read more "5 Animals that can Survive Extreme Cold and Hot Environments"

Monday, January 19, 2015

6 Sea Creatures that don’t really look much like Animals


The sea is a very different world. Unlike animals on land that we often identify limbs and fur,some of the animals that live here seem to come from a different world. Unlike your usual fish and crustaceans, the animals below don’t have the typical fins or limbs. Some look more like plants than animals while others are just too alien looking to believe.

Sponge
No, not the kind you clean up with. Sea sponges are organisms that don’t have any organs. However they do have a complex internal connection of channels that are lined with cells. Water is pumped though these channels and food is filtered out. A small part of this simple organism can survive even if it breaks off its main mass by forming its own base. Many consider sponges as the first kind of animal that ever existed.

Sea Cucumber
Even their names would make you think that they’re not animals. These creatures live in seafloors and spend most of their time lurking around catching plankton and algae with tentacles in their mouths. One of the strangest features of this animal is that when it feels threatened, it shoots out its own internal organs at its attacker and quickly makes a run for it. What’s even more amazing is that its internal organs grow back after a few weeks and it can use it again when threated.

Coral
Corals are actually alive and are not just colorful rock formations under the water. Millions of coral polyps gather, secrete a hard outer skeleton made from limestone, and die on top of each other to create coral reefs. Live polyps feed on tiny fishes and zoo plankton and catch them with small tentacles that come out of their mouth. Coral reefs play a very important role in the backbone of the ocean’s ecosystem and astounding biodiversity.

Sand Dollars
Many of us remember collecting these as rough, white colored disks when we go to the beach. Live sand dollars have a dark purple color and are covered with little spines. They feed on crab larvae and plankton. They also use them as gills and to burrow themselves into the sand. Certain fish species and sea stars are the sand dollars worst nightmare.

Giant Tube Worms
These strange creatures live in hydrothermal vents or cracks found deep in the ocean floor that let out volcanically heated water. Bacteria that lives inside them processes the water and takes out nutrients that keeps them alive. As larvae, the have stomachs that ingest the bacteria which feeds them for the rest of their lives. They grow exoskeletons once grown and, although alive, they never eat again.

Sea Butterflies
They look absolutely nothing like butterflies, but they do have appendages that look like wings. These animals are as small as a grain of sand and play a huge part in feeding the different species in the water. They’re classified as zooplanktons, which are known to be the base of the ocean’s food chain. Different species of sea animals and even birds are dependent on these tiny creatures.





read more "6 Sea Creatures that don’t really look much like Animals"

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cichlid


The cichlid is a brightly coloured freshwater fish that can range in size from just a couple of centimetres to over a metre in length. All species of cichlid are very similar in appearance with the exception of their size and colour.
Cichlid
There are more than 1,300 known species of cichlid with more being found each year. There is an estimated 3,000 different species in total! Every different species of cichlid is only found in Africa and in very specific places.
Cichlid
The cichlid is native to the Victoria, Malawi, and Edward Lakes of eastern Africa and the Tanganyika lake which is the largest lake in central Africa. The two different types of cichlids are thought to have evolved from different fish. The great diversity of the cichlids in these lakes, is of significant importance to scientists studying evolution within species.
Cichlid
Cichlids are often popular fish to keep as they as can be small and colourful but are easier to keep in an artificial aquarium than marine fish. Other cichlids are bred for meat due to their enormous size and are often caught in the wild by local fishermen.

Oddly enough there are actually a few species of cichlid that are found in the waters of the Amazon basin in South America. The freshwater angelfish, the discus fish and the oscar (also known as the marbled cichlid), are thought to have evolved from African cichlids years ago after crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Although there are many different species of cichlid, a great deal of them are considered to be endangered species as they have been over hunted and the waters in which they life have been subjected to vast amounts of pollution, particularly fuels such as diesel.

The diet of the cichlid is largely dependent on it's species. Some species of cichlid feed mainly on algae and small invertebrates, others primarily feed on small animals such as insects and fish and some species of cichlid will eat just about anything that they can find which has proved to be a destructive trait for those cichlids that have been artificially introduced to areas such as Asia and the United States.

Cichlids are prey to numerous predators including humans, other fish and birds. Oddly enough, the biggest predator of the small cichlid species are the larger species of cichlid that exist in the same area.

All species of cichlid are known to show strong parental bonds during breed. When the female cichlid has laid the eggs on an underwater log or rock, she fans water over them while the male cichlid defends their territory. Cichlids look after the baby cichlids (known as fry) until they are able to swim freely and are a few weeks old.
read more "Cichlid"

Echidna


Echidnas are known better as spiny anteaters, although they are not related to them, besides that fact that both anteaters and echidnas eat ants and termites. The echidna is found in parts of New Guinea and Australia.
Echidna
The echidna has a long tongue around 18cm long that can whip in and out of its mouth at incredible speeds. This helps the echidna to forage for ants an termites.
Echidna
The echidna was named after a monster in Greek mythology! The echidna can dig incredibly well due to its long claws, meaning that echidna are able to escape danger by digging straight down.
Echidna
The echidna is a small mammal and the echidna has a long snout that acts as both the mouth and nose of the echidna. The echidna has no teeth and the echidna feeds by tearing soft logs apart and then using its long, sticky tongue to feed on the ants and termites that inhabit the log.

The echidna is a very special mammal and, along with the platypus, the echidna is the only other egg-laying mammal in the world. The echidna lays eggs that have a soft shell and are kept in the pouch of the female echidna until the eggs hatch in a couple of weeks. The young echidna remains in the pouch of the female echidna for around 50 weeks, when the baby echidna has grown spikes. The mother echidna then transfers the young echidna to a nursery burrow and returns every few days to feed the baby until it is around seven months old.
read more "Echidna"

Asian Palm Civet


The Asian palm civet is a smaller species of civet found throughout the jungles of Asia, and easily recognisable by its dark, coarse hair and large eyes. The Asian palm civet is also known as the common palm civet and the Toddy Cat is areas where the Asian palm civet is natively found.
Asian Palm Civet
The Asian palm civet is found inhabiting the tropical jungles and rainforests throughout much of Asia. The main populations of the Asian palm civet however are found in southern India, Sri Lanka, South-east Asia and southern China. Unfortunately, Asian palm civets have been drastically affected by increasing deforestation (and therefore habitat loss) in their native regions.
Asian Palm Civet
The Asian palm civet is widely spread and fairly commonly found throughout much of Asia and despite their cat-like appearance and behaviours, Asian palm civets are not felines at all but are in fact more closely related to other small carnivores including weasels and mongooses. Unlike other civet species the tail of the Asian palm civet does not have rings, but the face of this species is banded like that of a raccoon.
Asian Palm Civet
The Asian palm civet is solitary animal that only comes out under the cover of night to hunt and catch food. These nocturnal animals are primarily ground-dwelling and highly terrestrial as they mark their ranges by dragging their anal glands along the ground. Despite being predominately ground-dwelling though the Asian palm civet is known to climb up into the trees either in search of food or to hide from approaching predators.

The Asian palm civet is a carnivorous animal, and like other species of civet, it survives on a meat-based diet, supplemented by the odd plant or fruit. Small animals such as rodents, lizards, snakes and frogs make up the majority of the Asian palm civet's diet, along with insects and other small creatures scuttling through the under-growth. Asian palm civets are also known to eat the fruits and flowers of palms, mangos and coffee in their natural habitats.

Despite being a secretive yet relatively ferocious predatory animal, the Asian palm civet is actually preyed upon by a number of predators within their natural environment. Large predatory cats are the most common predators of the Asian palm civet including tigers and leopards along with reptiles such as large snakes and crocodiles.

The female Asian palm civet usually gives birth to up to 4 young after a gestation period that lasts for a couple of months. The babies are weaned by their mother until they are strong enough to fend for themselves. Asian palm civets can live for up to 20 years, although most rarely get to be this old.

Today, the Asian palm civet is under threat from deforestation and therefore drastic loss of much of its natural habitat. The main reason for such extensive deforestation in the area is either for logging or to clear the land to make way for palm oil plantations.
read more "Asian Palm Civet"

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eskimo Dog


Eskimo Dog's temperament reflects its original work and environment. It is loyal, tough, brave, intelligent, and alert. It is affectionate and gentle, and develops a deep bond with its owner and is intensely loyal.
Eskimo Dog
Canadian Eskimo Dogs are best suited as companions for adults, rather than children, as they can be over-excitable. When used as sled dogs, they were often required to forage and hunt for their own food.

Consequently, many Canadian Eskimo Dogs have stronger prey drive than some other breeds. Owing to their original environment, they take pure delight in cold weather, often preferring to sleep outside in cold climates. Like most spitz breeds they can be very vocal.
read more "Eskimo Dog"