An amusing headline, but a serious problem for beleaguered beekeepers in England
: "According to committee member David McLarin, nosema is becoming more prevalent in the South West and that is not good news as bees with the problem hardly produce any honey." [Exeter Express via Fortean Times] — Rob
A python bested a crocodile in an epic battle at Lake Moondarra in Queensland, Australia. After the victory, the snake celebrated by eating his foe. More foodie photos by onlooker Marvin Muller at The Age.
A pelican knocked around by a storm near Tanzinia's Mahale Mountains was rescued and taught to fly again. Here's beautiful "beak-cam" footage of the soaring bird. (No, GoPro didn't pay us to post this clip.) (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)
Enjoying the crest of a wave, this crocodile shut down Cable Beach
near Broome, Western Australia, one of the country's most popular tourist hotspots. The animal has been slated for removal to the nearby Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Park. [Perth Now via Abroath
The latest episode of Michael Hearst's Songs for Unusual Creatures series features the Sea Pig and our friends in The Kronos Quartet! For more of Michael's quirky brand of animal education, check out his book Unusual Creatures.
YouTuber ktjaynexd combined "Crybaby Goes For A Swim" with footage of the desert rain frog "because I've been watching them over and over."
The frog is now the seal's brutal, demanding swim coach.
Via Bored Panda, photographs from Rocky Ridge Refuge in Arkansas, a facility that cares for abused and abandoned animals from some 60 domestic and wild species. [Facebook, website].
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Image: Norman Smith releasing a snowy owl in Duxbury, Mass., that had recently been captured at Logan airport in Boston. Photographed by Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times.
John Schwartz at the New York Times has a wonderful story up about a strange trend involving snowy owls: They seem to be showing up a whole lot in places very far from their normal habitat within the Arctic Circle. Places like Washington, DC; Boston; Virginia, and the like. John:
“This year’s been bizarre,” said Dan Haas, a birder in Maryland. “The numbers have been unprecedented. Historic.”
Go read the whole piece
No one is sure why so many snowies are showing up in so many places — whether it can be attributed to more food in their Arctic habitats than usual, or climate change at the top of the world. “Think about the canary in the coal mine,” said Henry Tepper, the president of Mass Audubon, “you think about the snowy owl in the Arctic.”
. Great photos, too.
Mike from Mother Jones writes, "Mother Jones' James West looks into the dark side of the network's turn toward wildlife reality TV, and uncovers some disturbing revelations about a hit show. It boils down to this, West writes: 'The raccoon incident is just one of numerous instances on 'Call of the Wildman' sets of alleged animal mistreatment and possible infringements of state and federal law, the result of what sources describe as cavalier and neglectful production practices. A seven-month Mother Jones investigation -- which drew on internal documents, interviews with eight people involved with the show's production, and government records -- reveals evidence of a culture that tolerated legally and ethically dubious activities, including: using an animal that had been drugged with sedatives in violation of federal rules; directing trappers to procure wild animals, which were then 'caught' again as part of a script; and wrongly filling out legal documents detailing the crew's wildlife activities for Kentucky officials.'"
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"We've been visiting here for the last six years to say hello to the seal pups and we've never had this much interaction before," writes Jason Neilus, of a visit to the Farne Islands. "They were everywhere and all over us!!!! After a nightmare drive there with the worst traffic coupled with the imminent arrival of the St. Jude storm we didn't think this trip was going to be worth the effort but once again the seals made every second worthwhile." [Video Link via Arboath]
You will never believe this. It's just too damn cute. They're porcupettes
, people. Baby porcupines are porcupettes
. — Maggie
It's a nice-looking vest
, but it does make a rather strong point about humans' role in animal extinctions. The Formosan Clouded Leopard was one of the animals declared extinct in 2013. — Maggie
Science suggests that, despite popular belief
, human women's menstrual cycles don't necessarily synch up when they live together
. Banded mongoose females, on the other hand, do synch up their reproductive cycles enough that mongoose babies are all born right around the same time
. — Maggie
In an older post that I hadn't seen before, David Shiffman of the Southern Fried Science explains how the ostensible success of "dolphin-safe tuna" has actually led to tuna fishing methods that are a much bigger threat to ocean wildlife
— from tuna, themselves, to endangered sea turtles and sharks. — Maggie
Prior to the mid-19th century, squirrels were thought of as fantastic woodland creatures, rather than the urbane, city-dwelling vermin they are today. In fact, the available evidence suggests that, up until this point, there really weren't a whole lot of squirrels living in cities in the United States — at least, not with the ubiquity that they now do. What changed? A couple of things, according to a paper published in The Journal of American History. First, human architects and city planners got really into the idea of urban greenspace for the first time, constructing elaborate parks like Central Park in New York. Second, the humans then imported squirrels from the countryside to add to the bucolic ambiance they were hoping these parks would foster. The rest, as they say, is all rodent breeding and natural selection.
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