Month: March 2011

New Pit Viper Found!

“Seen coiled around a branch in an undated picture, a new species of snake called the ruby-eyed green pit viper (Cryptelytrops rubeus) has been discovered in Southeast Asia, according to a recent study. The snake lives in forests near Ho Chi Minh City and across the low hills of southern Vietnam and eastern Cambodia‘s Langbian Plateau.” “We know this species from only a few specimens, and very few people in the world have seen this snake,” said study co-author Anita Malhotra, a molecular ecologist at Bangor University in the U.K.“A large frog proved to be more than a mouthful for a ruby-eyed green pit viper, which abandoned its meal just after this undated picture was taken. Whether the newfound snake was disturbed by the camera flash or simply bit off more than it could chew isn’t known.” “It’s not known how well the snake might adapt to other habitats, so it’s not clear whether the ruby-eyed green pit viper should be considered an endangered species. But Malhotra and colleagues hope the snake doesn’t fall victim to status-seeking collectors of rare animals. Rubies, as the snakes are called, “might be very vulnerable to that,” she said, “because it’s such a beautiful species.” via National...

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Tortoise Beetles Are Totally Awesome

image credit: Rundstedt B. Rovillos image credit: [email protected] image credit: Dio Leung image credit: Rundstedt B. Rovillos image credit: Habitat: IndonesiaStatus: No conservation concerns I love this beetle. Love. Love. Love. This is a type of Tortoise Beetle, specifically Aspidomorpha sanctaecrucis. They get their common name because of the tortoise-like shell which they can pull down very strongly to the surface of a leaf, thereby thwarting the attentions of predators such as ants. The second part of the Latin or scientific name means “holy cross”, because from the top it looks like the beetles are splayed out by being nailed to a cross! (via Richard Seaman) First I loved the Tortoise Beetle solely because I thought it was interesting – I mean it definitely resembles a little turtle doesn’t it? Then I loved it because of its cute face (see pic #1). Finally, I love it because it’s got a cool trick: The Tortoise Beetle can perform optical illusions of color! image credit: winfred the outer cuticle of the beetle’s shell is transparent and reflects light through a layer of liquid over the next layer of cuticle. The beetles change color depending on the availability of the liquid layer. image credit: winfred some species can change color very rapidly when disturbed by adding or removing liquid from immediately under their...

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Baby Porpoise Rescued After Tsunami

Ryo Taira lifts a porpoise out of a flooded rice field after it was swept by a tsunami following an earthquake in Sendai on March 22, 2011. Taira found the porpoise (similar to a dolphin) struggling in the shallow seawater and after failing to net it, waded into the field to cradle the baby animal in his arms. TOKYO – A baby porpoise has been rescued in Japan after being dumped in a rice field by a giant tsunami that hit the coast on March 11. The porpoise was spotted in the flooded field, about 2 km (a mile) from the coast, said Ryo Taira, a pet-shop owner who has been rescuing animals abandoned after the 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami left 23,000 people dead or missing. Ryo Taira, left, and his colleague prepare to release the baby porpoise into the sea. “A man passing by said he had found the porpoise in the rice paddy and that we had to do something to save it,” the 32-year-old Taira told Reuters. Taira found the porpoise struggling in the shallow seawater on Tuesday and after failing to net it, waded in to the field, which had yet to be sown with rice, to cradle the 1.2-meter (four foot) animal in his arms. “It was pretty weak by then, which was probably the only reason we could catch it,” he said....

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Did You Know About the Red-Crested Turaco?

image credit: Pixxl image credit: giles.breton image credit: monti2008 image credit: if-by-whiskey Habitat: Restricted to the African continent, south of the Sahara from Angola to the CongoStatus: Not listed Red-crested Turacos (Tauraco erythrolophus) have some pretty cool characteristics that I’d just love to share with you all: Turacos are the only birds to possess true red and green color. When you look at most birds, the color you are seeing is a reflection produced by the feather structure. The turaco’s red pigment (turacin) and green pigment (turacoverdin) both contain copper. In fact, if you stirred a glass of water with a red turaco feather, the water would turn pink! In museum species, the pigments deepen with age because the copper begins to oxidize. These birds have mobile outer toes, which they are able to rotate forward or backward. The call of a turaco sounds like “g’way”, which is why they are often referred to as go-away birds. On their heads is a beautiful crest, which stands about 5 cm (2 in.) when they are excited. Turacos live in large flocks of up to 30 individuals. They are monogamous in breeding. During courtship, the male turaco will feed the female. Together, they build their nest; mother and father take turns sitting on the eggs. Once the eggs have hatched, other flock members help the new mother care for the chicks....

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Smiling &… Cleaning? I Don’t Get It.

  Copyright holder: Brian Mayes,  © All Rights Reserved   Copyright holder: Brian Mayes,  © All Rights Reserved   Copyright holder: Brian Mayes,  © All Rights Reserved   Copyright holder: Brian Mayes,  © All Rights Reserved Habitat: Eastern Indian Ocean: southern Australia. Status: No conservation concerns These are very cute little fishies (just look at that happy-go-lucky face in the first pic!) called Western Cleaner-clingfish (Cochleoceps bicolor) They’re found among sponges but come out to help the neighbors with their chores… more specifically, their personal hygiene problems. These lovely fish will give their friends a thorough cleaning while simultaneously...

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Stay Strong Spineless Hedgehogs!

I’m sure practically everyone’s seen what a hedgehog looks like. So you’ll see why these two hedgehogs I’m about to present to you are a little bit spineless special. Meet Spud and Spudlina: Spud Spineless Spud: His plight has left the wildlife experts perplexed He looks like a cross between a battered children’s toy and a pink potato. Meet Spud, the spineless hedgehog. Staff at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire, who have been caring for him since August, are baffled by his condition. Founder Les Stocker said: ‘Spud was brought to us last year after someone found him in their garden. He’s had biopsies and skin tests, but we’ve had no answers. image credit: ‘He seems quite happy and does all the things a hedgehog should. We’re now appealing for someone to come forward with ideas about what has caused his problem, and suggestions for treatment, whether it’s homeopathy or some other natural treatment.’ Pampered: Spud has to undergo a daily routine of a warm bath, followed by a baby oil massage Staff believe he is still able to grow spines after one was found under the skin – but had to be removed. Hedgehogs rely on their spines, hollow hairs made stiff with keratin, for insulation and protection as they are the only animals in Britain immune to most predator attacks. When under extreme stress or during...

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About Carly


I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).

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