Wall of Fame Wednesday: Peek-a-Boo!

03/27/2013

Rio

Rio: Submitted by Stephanie P.:  I believe she is unique by her beautiful markings and personality.You can see her white stripe racing down the left side of her face and also she has one white toe on her left paw that seems to follow the same path!

Write your own caption or comment and submit your pet pics to be featured on The Wall of Fame!

Mysteriously Cute Animal Monday: Dog Rescued from Puppy Mill Has Odd Way of Walking

02/25/2013

via blogs.discovery.com

Today's odd animal story is heartbreaking, so I'm warning you in advance.

Zebra, Pony Run Loose on Staten Island

11/29/2012

Today in random animal news: Watch as a pony and zebra run loose after they apparently escaped from a Staten Island Christmas tree seller.

Check out the video below:

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

 

Never-Seen-Before Whale Washes Up on New Zealand Shore

11/10/2012

Spade-toothedwhale
Photo: New Zealand Department of Conservation

A species of beaked whale known previously only from bone fragments has been seen for the first time after a mother and calf recently washed up on a New Zealand shoreline. Called the spade-toothed beaked whale, the species has understandably been hailed as the world's rarest whale.

While it's unfortunate that the first sighting of the animal comes with such a tragic scene, scientists are thrilled at the chance to learn more about this mysterious species. Until this stranding, it was unclear that the species even still existed.

"This is the first time a spade-toothed beaked whale has been seen as a complete specimen, and we were lucky enough to find two of them. It's incredible to think that, until recently, such a large animal was concealed in the South Pacific Ocean and shows how little we know about ocean biodiversity," said lead scientist Dr. Rochelle Constantine.

Beaked whales as a group are among the least understood mammals in the world because of their elusive deep-sea, open ocean lifestyle. None of the 21 recognized species are well known to the public; In fact, only a few of them are well known to biologists. They are characterized by their elongated beaks and their tusks, and are capable of diving to extreme depths: to over 1,000 fathoms.

The spade-toothed beaked whale was first identified in 1872 from bones found on the Chatham Islands off New Zealand. Since then, other skull and jaw fragments have been found around New Zealand and Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile. It took DNA testing to determine that the mysterious whale recently washed ashore was in fact a member of the species.

Because a whole specimen had not been identified until now, it's possible that the animal has actually been spotted before but was confused for a better-known species of beaked whale. Or maybe they really are ghosts of the southern seas, never to have been seen alive. The good news is that now scientists will be able to more clearly recognize them on sight, if such an event ever does occur in the future.

"That's where our work is really helpful, for the first time we have an idea of what the spade-toothed beaked whale looks like," said Constantine to mongabay.com.

By Bryan Nelson

Sources: Mongabay, Wildlife Extra

20 Polar Bears Found Living on Iceberg Out at Sea

11/04/2012

Iceberg
Photo: ilovegreenland/Flickr

Conventional wisdom about polar bears is that they spend most of their time out hunting on the sea ice, except during the warm summer months when the sea ice recedes and the bears are forced to return to land as a final refuge. But a surprising new discovery by a group of filmmakers shooting on location in Greenland could challenge that idea, reports BBC Nature.

[Watch the Top 20 Polar Bear Videos!]

The filmmakers came across at least 20 polar bears living out the summer on a large tabular iceberg, called the Peterman Iceberg, in Baffin Bay, some 50 kilometers off the Canadian coast. This means that not all polar bears return to solid land when much of the ice melts. Large icebergs may therefore act as 'sanctuaries' for the bears, giving them someplace to hunker down and wait for the sea to freeze over again.

"What's there for them is security, and I think they are taking advantage of that," said Chris Packham, one of the filmmakers who made the discovery. "So I think they are living on this iceberg to stay safe, and just wait for the sea ice to come back in."

According to American polar bear expert Steven Amstrup, this is the first time a signifcant group of bears have ever been found eking out an existence on a large iceberg.

There are several explanations that could explain the new behavior, if in fact it is new. One theory is that the iceberg offers them safety from human hunters on land. Polar bears are hunted on both the mainlands of Greenland and Canada. Another possibility is that increased melting in the region is causing more large icebergs to become separated from the land, essentially 'stranding' the bears.

"In recent years we've been seeing a lot more big tabular icebergs come off the Greenland ice sheet and they're now ending up in Baffin Bay," said Dr. Keith Nicholls of the British Antarctic Survey, another member of the expedition.

By Bryan Nelson


Follow fascinating, funny, tragic or otherwise compelling and timely stories about animals, as chosen by our editors and writers, including Daily Treat blogger, Janet McCulley.
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