This cheeky little white-toothed shrew is one of four potentially new shrew species found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Known for their long noses, these small mouse-sized mammals aren’t actually rodents but related to moles with sharp teeth, sharp eyesight and extremely good sense of smell to hunt out their invertebrate dinner.
Photo : Jake Esselstyn
Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’
Well, I am rather fond of hamsters…so I’m pretty happy with the news that the European Court of Justice has stepped in to ensure the survival of this beautiful critter. The black-bellied hamster is found in Alsace, France and has been a protected species in the country since 1993. But despite efforts, the 1200 burrows found in 2000 decreased dramatically to just 180 in 2007. The French government is now working with agencies to create a more favourable habitat for the hamsters.
Photo : Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images
Scientists have discovered that these beautiful Blainville’s beaked whales enter a ‘stealth mode’ by becoming silent and not communicating with each other when near the surface. Little is known about these animals as they spend most of their time diving deep in the ocean. Below a depth of 450m the whales communicated with a series of clicks, buzzes and whistles. But it’s thought at the shallower depths they are at more risk of being discovered by killer whales and so enter their radio silence.
Lion are more likely to attack you just after a full moon scientists have found. Using the data from 500 lion attacks, they found that most attacks occurred when the moon is waning, just after full moon. As lions use the cover of darkness to hunt, this lack of moonlight aids their chances of attack. Scientists also found attacks were more likely to occur in the rainy season when the clouds obscured the moonlight, also helping the lions.
Scientists have discovered that the arctic polar bear has a rather warmer (and definitely rainier!) history. Fossils found recently in Irish caves have DNA that show modern polar bears have all evolved from a female brown bear in the last ice age. She is thought to have interbred with a polar bear…creating the hybrid offspring which survives today. Interactions between the two species is not unusual and scientists have traced contact over the last 100,000 years when unusually hot or cold weather allowed their paths to cross.
Photo : AP
Photographer David Slater encountered a bit of monkey business in a national park in Indonesia…these photos aren’t his, but some crested black macaques’ masterpieces. Despite not having had much human contact before, the monkeys were very interested in all their equipment. One day after David left his tripod set up…he returned to find a curious monkey playing with it. David thinks the noise of the shutter kept the monkeys interested and in the end they took hundreds of pictures!
Photo : David J Slater/Caters News Agency
Scientists have discovered the world’s loudest animal (relative to its size)…and its something you might have come across yourself, the humble water boatman! Only a few centimetres long, they can produce an ear-splitting 99.2 decibels! The males attract mates by creating the song by rubbing its abdomen.
Photo : Alamy
Congratulations to Bristol Zoo Gardens! Last night, their mouse lemur gave birth to three tiny babies! One of the smallest primates, they normally give birth to twins so this is an extra bonus. They are not endangered, although all lemurs are protected, this is partly because the mouse lemur has such a varied diet; eating pretty much anything that comes its way!
The lemurs are obviously getting a bit of a rest at the moment, but the Zoo have some webcams set up, so you can keep an eye on the gorillas, seals and penguins!
Flights were delayed at New York’s JFK airport on Wednesday for a rather unique problem…150 diamondback terrapins were crossing the runway! The reptiles were on their way to their breeding ground, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge which lies next to the airport. Flights were only delayed for around 15 minutes as the airport staff ran out to the runway to help them on their way.
Good news for the endangered Tasmanian Devil, scientists are hoping that mapping the animal’s genetics will help win the battle against the devastating facial cancer that is wiping out the species. The world’s largest carnivorous marsupial has been battling the disease since the 1990s…but unlike human cancers, it is highly contagious acting like a virus and can be passed by simply two animals touching. The disease kills the animal within 9 weeks and scientists estimate the whole species will be wiped out without human intervention. Scientists are hoping discovering which animals are genetically best to preserve will help the species survive.
Having come face to face with these small but very noisy creatures I hope something can be done to save them. Incredibly, although they are only the size of a dog, weighing around 7kg, they have the strongest bite per unit mass of any living mammal…or as the guide I met says, their teeth can shatter a cow’s skull!
Photo : PA