Posts Tagged ‘animals’

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What am I sappy dinosaur blogging?

September 22, 2017

A perfectly preserved new species of dinosaur discovered by researchers in Canada.

Discovered in a mine in Alberta, the fossilized dinosaur’s skin, its heavily-armoured back and head is clearly visible, that Canadian palaeontologists named the specimen the ‘Mona Lisa’ of dinosaurs.


Above, one of the best preserved dinosaur fossils ever found, complete with skin and scales.  Credit Courtesy of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Canada.

Some 110 million years ago, this armored plant-eater lived in western Canada, until a flooded river swept it into the sea. Its undersea burial preserved it in stunning detail.

The specimen’s stomach contents have been also preserved, giving new clues to its nutrition.

Dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli

An artist’s impression of the Borealopelta markmitchelli.  Courtesy of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Canada.

One the researchers Caleb Brown, from Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada, said:

“Strong predation on a massive, heavily-armoured dinosaur illustrates just how dangerous the dinosaur predators of the Cretaceous must have been.

This nodosaur is truly remarkable in that it is completely covered in preserved scaly skin, yet is also preserved in three dimensions, retaining the original shape of the animal. The result is that the animal looks almost the same today as it did back in the Early Cretaceous. You don’t need to use much imagination to reconstruct it; if you just squint your eyes a bit, you could almost believe it was sleeping … It will go down in science history as one of the most beautiful and best preserved dinosaur specimens – the Mona Lisa of dinosaurs.”

 

From WordlessTech

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What am I sappy hummingbird blogging?

September 15, 2017

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Why am I all aflutter?

September 12, 2017

When a hurricane is headed their way, what do zoos do?

These flamingos from the Miami Zoo were sheltered in the men’s room when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992.  Communications Director, Ron Magill said the most frequent question he is asked is when are they going to evacuate the animals. He explained, “the stress of evacuating alone can be enough to kill an animal. Instead, the birds and small mammals of Zoo Miami will ride out the storm in independent kennels or buildings. The larger residents, particularly the carnivores and great apes, will bunker down in their usual indoor holding areas.”

For more on this NPA story of how zoos in Texas and Florida are coping with the storms, click here.

 

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What am I sappy duck blogging?

September 8, 2017

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What am I bakery blogging?

September 7, 2017

 

Something devious was a foot at the Geauga County Fair in Burton, Ohio earlier this week. In addition to rides, funnel cakes, and animal exhibits, the fair featured close to 1,500 exhibits in the baked goods category.

Footprints in the frosting led investigators to conclude that a raccoon had helped him or herself to samples from the Best in Show exhibit indicating that the critter has good taste.

“Critter or critters unknown, favored yeast bread, miscellaneous bread (actual categories), muffins, scones, strawberry-surprise pie, chocolate cake, and in the men’s category: peach pie.”

From a story by James Ewinger, The Plain Dealer

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What am I sappy Kiwi blogging?

September 1, 2017

Image credits: Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust.

“Kiwi are only found in New Zealand and are part of the group of ratites, which includes ostriches and emus, and are actually the smallest members of the group. For comparison, they are about the same size as a chicken. Though it was expected that the kiwi would be more closely related the moa (extinct), which also lived in New Zealand, they actually are much more closely related to the elephant birds of Madagascar (also extinct). It is hypothesized that the kiwi’s ancestor was able to fly and reached New Zealand separately from moas. Once on the island, it lost its ability to fly and eventually became the kiwi bird known today. Actually, the Latin genus name of kiwi birds, Apteryx, is based on their inability to fly. The “a-” means “without” and “pterux” means “wing”. They do have very tiny, vestigial wings, but you can barely see them and they aren’t any help with levitation.”

Kiwi have feathers that look like hair and very strong, muscular legs. They rule the ground instead of the air. They can smell very well and are the only bird that have nostrils at the end of their beaks, which are quite long. They use their nostrils to sniff out invertebrates and seeds to eat. They can use just smell to detect food.

Kiwi birds are quite shy and usually only come out at night. Kiwi can live a long time, between 25 and 50 years. Once a male and female bond they spend their whole lives as a monogamous couple. During the mating season, they call to each other at night, and meet each other about every three days in the nesting burrow. Kiwi live in forests, scrublands, and grasslands. They sleep in burrows, hollow logs, or in the middle of dense vegetation. They are very territorial and defend their territory against other kiwi. Another weird fact is that, according to the San Diego Zoo, kiwi have the lowest body temperature of any bird, 38 °C (100 Fahrenheit).

The size of an egg inside of a kiwi. Image credits: Matt Chan.

The females carry huge eggs for their body size. A female can carry an egg up to one-quarter of their body weight. As mentioned before, the kiwi is about the same size as a chicken but its egg is actually six times as large as a chicken’s egg. The reason for this is that the kiwi bird doesn’t have to fly so there aren’t any constraints on its weight. It doesn’t need to be aerodynamic. Kiwi also has marrow in their bones, like humans, which also makes them heavier.  The female has to eat three times as much as usual to help the egg develop. Right before the egg is laid she can’t eat anything because the egg presses against her stomach, leaving no room for food. Tthe chicks hatch pretty much developed; they have feathers already and fend for themselves right from the get-go. However, they take between three and five years to grow to their full size.”

Reblogged from Animal Files at ZME Science.

 

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What am I sappy cat blogging?

August 25, 2017

Someday soon at my house.