Scientists have discovered it’s not just the shark’s razor sharp teeth you need to be worried about…the reason these impressive animals hunt so well is all down to their skin.
Their bodies are covered in tiny flexible scales, invisible to the human eye, which help streamline the fish whilst also providing them with a useful body armour. The scales ‘bristle’, helping to reduce drag against the shark when hunting.
Archive for November, 2010
With Arctic conditions hitting the UK…most of us are finding the conditions a little tricky, but not Mercedes, the polar bear currently enjoying the weather in the Scottish Highlands! She was captured in the wild, so might remember her previous life in the North of Canada. She was even seen exhibiting natural behaviour in her new environment; smashing her paws into the ice.
I’ve got three Winter White dwarf hamsters, but up until now, we’ve only managed to get photos of two of them (Fatso and Minnie – mostly on the Photos page!)
Beryl has remained elusive for two reasons…she’s extremely nippy and moves like a ninja plus she’s quite nervous and suspicious of cameras. However, she’s also very curious and likes to stand on her hind legs (like a meerkat) to see what’s going on, and we managed to catch her in her curious pose today! Unlike the other two, she is a normal dark grey colour and as a Winter White, changes colour to a slightly paler fur to help camouflage herself in snow at Winter. However, as she lives indoors (and we’ve had the heating on) she’s unlikely to change to be as white as our other two furballs!
Photos by Suzie Pipes ©
These beautiful creatures have long been a part of the British countryside…but there is a massive cull due next May unless the Government can be persuaded otherwise.
It’s been called to stop the spread of bovine TB in cattle despite strong evidence that it shows no meaningful contribution to this.
Luckily the Government is currently holding a consultation for what the public want to see happen. They’ve not made it easy to respond, but the Badger Protection League have a handy website with tips on how you can make your voice heard. The Badger Society, the RSPCA, Wildlife Aid, Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham, Simon King and many many more agree that this is a senseless killing of wildlife.
The death of the dinosaurs was the beginning of the age of mammal! Scientists have discovered that mammals, limited to ‘rodent size’ with the presence of dinosaurs, grew to a wide variety of sizes up to 17-tonnes in the space of only 25 million years. Scientists say ‘only’ 25 million years, but in the scheme of evolution from a rodent to something twice the size of an elephant, that’s pretty impressive!
I couldn’t resist this incredible chance-of-a-lifetime photograph. Robert Haas managed to capture the moment a group of Caribbean flamingos formed the shape of…a flamingo.
These birds normally flock together for safety in numbers against predators but this unusual shape was created by chance.
Photo : Robert Haas/National Geographic/Caters
If you’re like me, you’re feeling the pinch of the latest icy weather…so spare a thought for the wildlife facing the winter without the comfort of central heating!
The RSPCA have some brilliant tips for looking after not just your pets but your garden wildlife too.
Scientists have discovered fish ‘shrink’ in particularly cold winters to help conserve energy when food is in short supply. Juvenile brown trout were up to 1cm shorter. This unusual habit has already been found in some small mammals and lizards. While it’s still not known how the fish shrink yet, we know how the shrew manages it; the discs in its spinal cord flatten, creating a shorter spine and therefore body.
The battle between canine and feline has finally been decided! Scientists have discovered that dogs have bigger brains than their feline friends.
It was originally thought that as cats required less attention they might be smarter, but it’s their lack of sociability that means they require smaller brains. A general trend shows that the bigger the social network of an animal…the bigger the brain. The interactivity is good for the brain because of the brain power needed for co-operation and co-ordination within the group.
After yesterday’s news that scientists are concerned not enough is being done for particular conservation…it seems they are going to extreme lengths for one species! Experts in India have developed a technique to monitor tigers that’s almost as good as using cameras : tiger poo and paw mapping.
Tigers are nocturnal so are especially difficult to track but by using this new technique, population numbers can be monitored quicker and so help us understand if/how conservation programmes are working.
Photo : Alamy