Entries from April 2008 ↓

plump pelican

The contrast between the upper and lower beak is great! I’m not sure that a cartoon could really improve on how funny and charming it looks.

Photo via Michael Dawes’ Flickr Photostream!

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Pierre, the sharply dressed penguin

This is kind of impressive!

This NPR story notes how old Pierre is for a penguin:

    In the wild, penguins live about 15 years; in captivity, they live to about 20. Pierre turned 25 in February.

He’s also looking a lot healthier in the video than he did in the story’s photograph:

Thanks Violet Dragon!

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Scrawny Tawny Owls

My grandmother’s favorite animal is the owl! Maybe this will make up for posting bats.

Photo via Nick Lawes’ Flickr Photostream!

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Tapir Day!

It’s World Tapir Day!

Treat your tapir right and give it the appreciation he or she deserves.

Ahhhhhh.

(TapirDay.org)

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Spoonbill

This roseate spoonbill’s bill looks a little more like a flathead screwdriver than a spoon!

I wanted to learn what purpose the spoonbill’s bill has. Wikipedia wasn’t of any use, but this article seemed to hold the answer.

    In uncommonly lyrical prose, [Robert Porter] Allen described how the bill sweeps “from side to side in wide semicircles, the mandibles slightly parted, the tips digging gingerly into the surface film of the soft bottom, beneath waters that are nearly always opaque. Delicate, sensitive to the small wrigglings and the darting, skittish movements of fish or prawn a quarter of an inch in length or of insects of even lesser dimensions, this keen, responsive instrument must serve as both eyes and hands.” He was mostly right.
    But engineer Daniel Wiehs and biologist Gadi Katzir, working in the early 1990s with a captive Eurasian spoonbill and a contraption that could have been invented by Rube Goldberg, discovered there is more to the spoonbill´s rhythmic bill-sweeping. The flattened bill, they found, creates mini-whirlpools that suck submerged prey items into the water column.

There are so many wonderfully clever things in nature. I don’t know what else to say than that!

Photo via Rob Parkin’s Flickr Photostream!
Link to the full article.

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Long-Eared Bat

The animals people are scared of the most are sometimes so cute!

Via Rob Parkin’s Flickr Photostream!

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Re: Pug Tongue

I hope this picture isn’t already on all of the cute/funny pictures of animals blogs. It’s one that I think people would love!

SEE YOU TOMORROW

Via zoomar’s Flickr Photostream!

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Elephant Seal Blob

I wonder if this guy is friends with blobfish?

I love elephant seals, I think I could post dozens of them without it ever getting old!

Via flavor32′s Flickr Photostream!

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Splendid Splendid Toadfish

This splendid toadfish is freaking me out

Via bbialek905′s Flickr Photostream!

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Waldrapp

The waldrapp is a critically endangered species of ibis that was once found over southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East, but now are almost entirely limited to Morocco in the wild. This article published in The Guardian last week highlights the difficulties of conservation efforts:

    If they don’t take flight in the first autumn of their life, they usually settle into a sedentary existence. And even the mobile ones are far from fleet. When they are motivated to take flight, they need almost ideal conditions to get anywhere. A stiff tail wind is best; a headwind is a deal-breaker. Generations of poor self-motivation and even poorer stamina (their top speed is 35 kph, and during migration the young require ample recuperative days off) seem to have robbed the birds of one crucial instinct: an innate sense of direction. They still have a powerful migratory instinct; they just cannot be counted on to find their way. “Early attempts to study their southerly migratory patterns were a disaster,” says Fritz. “We had reports of them showing up in the Netherlands, Poland. One made it as far as St Petersburg.”

You have to admire how hard people work to protect species from going extinct. So often there is so much going against them.

Link to the full article.

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