WWF :: Using Chillies to Protect Maize Fields and Elephants

Using Chillies to Protect Maize Fields and Elephants | Stories | WWF.

Pretty cool story about a simple way to deter elephants! Great to have people who care about the animals around them as well as themselves. WWF is assisting in this country’s production of chillies in the hope that it will help those in need by becoming a cash crop.

 

Alphabet Challenge :: Y :: Yosemite toad

Happy Friday the 13th! Hope you’ve all rolled around in rabbits (I feel like they’re luckier with their feet attached) and done all the lovely superstitious things for good luck. We’re on the second to last installment of the Alphabet Challenge!

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Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

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ARKive – Yosemite toad videos, photos and facts – Anaxyrus canorus.

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Genus: Anaxyrus
  • Species: A. canorus
IUCN Red List : Endangered (EN)
The Yosemite toad is endemic to California in the high sierra. There isn’t a current number for population size, but it has declined by an estimated 50% over ten years.
Leading hypotheses for the declines are disease (chytridiomycosis), airborne contaminants, and livestock grazing.
Yosemite toads breed in freshwater every other year or once every three years. Their breeding sites may dry up before the tadpoles metamorphose. Despite much of the population being in a protected area such as Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, populations are still on the decline.

Alphabet Challenge :: V :: Vaquita

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

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Vaquita calf

Vaquita | Basic Facts About Vaquitas | Defenders of Wildlife.

ARKive – Vaquita videos, photos and facts – Phocoena sinus.

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Cetartiodactyla
  • Family: Phocoenia
  • Genus: Phocoena
  • Species: P. sinus
IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered (CR)

Alphabet Challenge :: Q :: Quoll

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

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ARKive – Spotted-tailed quoll photo – Dasyurus maculatus – G18251.

Who wouldn’t wanna squeeze this angry little face?? It’s probably not a good idea since the Spotted-tailed Quoll is one of the most vicious animals in the Australian bush.

– Scientific Classification –

They are the largest of the six species of quoll. Males can grow to a meter from head to tail. Spotted-tailed Quolls have shorter legs than most other Quoll species which may aid in generating power with a lower center of gravity but leaves them as slower runners. Their teeth are designed to tear flesh from mammalian prey and crushing invertebrates. Communication consists of cries, hisses and screams. They are native to Australia and Tasmania with 2 subspecies: D.m. gracilis, D.m. maculates.
Spotted-tailed quolls favour rainforest, closed canopy Eucalyptus forest, creek and river forest habitats but will also venture into adjoining woodlands and open pastureland in search of food (6). Den sites include caves, crevices and dens (4).
The Spotted-tailed Quoll may be “naturally” rare as they are a specialist mammal requiring certain foods and habitats. They are also threatened by competition with Eastern Quolls, Tasmanian Devils, and other cats, predation by foxes and the like, and deforestation. They are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

Eastern Quoll female with young

ARKive – Eastern quoll videos, photos and facts – Dasyurus viverrinus.

And, since one species of quoll isn’t enough, here’s the Eastern Quoll!

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Dasyuromorphia
  • Family: Dasyuridae
  • Genus: Dasyurus
  • Species: D. viverrinus
The Eastern Quoll is a medium-sized carnivorous marsupial that comes in two distinct color morphs: fawn with whitish underparts and black with brownish underparts. The former is more common but both morphs can occur in the same litter. They have a smaller build than their relatives, the Spotted-tailed Quoll, and lack the spots on the tail. They exist in the wild now only in Tasmania and nearby Bruny Island, to which they may have been introduced. This is after a 50-90% range reduction as they used to occur in southeast Australia as well.
The eastern quoll occurs in a wide variety of habitats, including open forests, heaths, wet scrub, moorlands, woodlands, alpine habitats and grasslands (1)(2)(3)(4)(6), at elevations from sea level to around 1,500 metres (3). It is also found on agricultural land, being particularly common where pastures occur adjacent to forest(2)(3)(4)(5)(6).
They are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

Alphabet Challenge :: J :: Jerboa

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

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Look at how freakin’ cute this thing is. Pictured is a Long-eared Jerboa.

– Scientific Classification –

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Superfamily: Dipodoidea
  • Family: Dipodidae
  • 10 Genera in 5 subfamilies

This nocturnal mammal is listed endangered on the IUCN Red List. They are a desert animal with one of the largest ear-to-body ratios. No doubt this helps them dissipate heat in their environment. Jerboas get around by hopping and feed on insects and plants. Unlike other small mammals, such as those we might keep as pets, they do not store a food cache. Their tail can be longer than their head and body and is used both for balance and propping itself upright. Since not a lot is known about them due to the difficulty of studying them, looking at the species within the family suggests that their reproductive strategy may be polygynous. Jerboas live about 2-3 years, and have 2 or 3 litters a year consisting of 2-6 young.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Mysterious mammal caught on film.

Alphabet Challenge :: C :: Corals

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

Corals, Coral Pictures, Coral Facts – National Geographic.

Most people may not realize that coral reefs are centered around actual organisms. Coral polyps are invertebrates (related to sea anemones and jellyfish) surrounded by a limestone skeleton called a calicle. The polyps attach to rocks, bud and clone, and begin the basis of a coral reef. Once attached to one another, forming a colony, the polyps act as a single organism. The joining of colonies over hundreds and thousands of years is what form coral reefs. A single polyp can live for 2 years to hundreds of years and colonies can survive 5 years to several centuries. Since coral polyps are actually translucent animals, the bright colors come from the association with zooxanthellae algae.

When stressed by such things as temperature change or pollution, corals will evict their boarders, causing coral bleaching that can kill the colony if the stress is not mitigated

The destruction of coral reefs is becoming an issue leaving coral in an endangered status.

Corals are so sensitive to climatic change that scientists study coral reef fossils to construct highly detailed chronologies of prehistoric climate patterns.

Photosynthesis from the algae support the coral for the most part, but they also posses barbed, venomous tentacles that can be used to capture zooplankton and small fish. Though coral covers about 1% of the ocean floor, they support about 25% of all marine creatures. Within 30 years, threats to coral reefs (pollution, sedimentation, global warming, etc.) could kill 30% of the remaining coral reefs.

Pitiful Posting and the Alphabet Challenge

One of the great things about WordPress is the little calendar that shows you the days on which you’ve posted. One of the bad things about it is looking at that same calendar and seeing how sad and empty it looks. -_- To get myself back into the swing of posting, I’ve decided to start an Alphabet challenge. Hopefully I can kick-start myself into a blogging groove again with this. Below I’ll list each day, the letter, and as I pick my topic, I’ll come back here and add it. The one day that I probably won’t post on is June 8th. Blasted GRE. If I absolutely cannot find an animal or drug or something that follows the days letter, I’ll get creative.

June 4 – A – Antibodies

June 5 – B – Belgian Malinois

June 6 – C – Coral

June 7 – D – Dopamine

June 8 – GRE

June 11 – E – Elephant Shrew

June 12 – F – Flatworm Penis Fencing

June 13 – G – Grief

June 14 – Personal day

June 15 – H – Heart

June 18 – I – Indecisiveness

June 19 – J – Jerboa

June 20 – K – Kori Bustard

June 22 – L – Lyme disease

June 22 – M – Myopia and a Manatee

June 25 – N – Nervous System

June 26 – O – Olm

June 27 – P – Penguin Pics

June 28 – Q – Quoll

June 29 – R – Roadrunner

July 2 – S – Surinam Toad

**3 DAY HIATUS**

July 6 – T – Two-toed Sloth

July 9 – U – Ural Owl

July 10 – V – Vaquita

July 11 – W – Wolverine

July 12 – X – Xoloitzcuintli

July 13 – Y – Yosemite Toad

July 16 – Z – Zany Life