It’s time for another installment of ALDF’s “30 Second Animal Law,” this time featuring acclaimed professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer! Hi, Levi! Hi, Levi’s rescued chihuahua, Scooter! Aren’t you two just the cutest things? And you’re absolutely right, puppy mills are the worst. Rescue a dog, save a life!
For more videos of Levi and Scooter, visit ALDF.
Welcome to the world, endangered limosa harlequin frog! You are the product of the very first scientific program to breed your species, because we selfish-jerk humans can’t stop wrecking your habitat and making you extinct.
To get the small amphibians to mate, researchers went to great lengths. They built a rock platform to mimic the underground caves in which the frogs breed, and piped in oxygen-rich water between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 24 degrees Celsius), according to a release from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Young frogs only feed on algal mats coating rocks. So scientists with the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, which bred the frogs, also painted the rock platforms with spirulina algae and then let it dry. When placed inside the enclosure, the algae grew and fed the animals.
Gosh they’re tiny, aren’t they? They must lay the tiniest eggs. Ultimately the scientists breeding these itty-bitty amphibians plan to release them into the wild, though if we don’t work on repairing the places they live, the limosa harlequin frog may only survive in captivity.
[photo by Brian Gratwicke, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute via Live Science]
The Brain Scoop
Episode 17: PANGOLINS
I’ve been fascinated by pangolins (Order: Pholidota) ever since I first learned about them, and moreso after I realized they are basically real-life Pokémon. I am asked frequently about my favorite specimen in the museum so when I opened up the option to decide between a few other animals - without any additional context - I was thrilled that the masses chose ‘pangolins’. As a side note, if you’d like to get involved with crowd-inspired shows in the future be sure to stay tuned to my Twitter or our Facebook page!
Speaking of pangolins, let’s learn all about them (a single animal can eat up to 70 million ants every year! their tongues are so long they have muscles in their pelvis!) from science queen Emily Graslie and The Brain Scoop!
Can you get enough Cheesecake? Neither can we! Cheesecake and her passel of scrappy dachshund pups live at Rocky Ridge Refuge in Arkansas, where they take donations in case you want to show your love for this stoic capybara with money. Cheesecake for mother of the year!
[Link via our Laura at Jezebel!]
VetStreet has a slideshow titled “20 Animals You May Not Know Are Going Extinct.” The list includes the hyacinth macaw in the photo above, as well as zebras, chinchillas, and armadillos. Goddamn it, humanity.
[Photo by Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr]
A pangolin is released into the wild by Natural Resources Conservation Agency officials at a forest in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Photograph: Jefri Tarigan
People are killing these little weirdos to make luggage out of their scaly skins. People are gross.
Yes, your dogs is smiling: Humans can recognize emotions in other animals »
“Classifying dogs’ (Canis familiaris) facial expressions from photographs,” a study by Tina Bloom and Harris Friedman published in February in scientific journal Behavioural Processes, has shown that people can correctly identify emotions in dogs’ faces. It used a series of photographs of one dog’s face (meet Mal the Belgian shepherd!) and involved 50 human volunteers of varying degrees of experience with dogs, who were asked to identify the dog’s emotional state in each photo. The results?
Both groups [“people experienced and inexperienced with dogs”] were able to read the dog’s emotions. Paradoxically, experienced people were less accurate reading aggressiveness. Experienced people were better identifying behaviorally defined situations.
With only one dog and 50 volunteers, it wasn’t exactly a rigorous study, but … you totally know when your dog is happy or ashamed or surprised, right? And now science totally supports your claims.
[Photo from Casa-Rodríguez Collection via Flickr]
Help Florida figure out how to protect 61 endangered and threatened species »
Because lord knows Florida needs all the help it can get.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened up a forum that the agency hopes will create an open conservation with the public about how to protect 60 species of imperiled animals.
The FWC invites the general public to visit their site to review their new draft action plans and to comment on them.
“We hope the public and stakeholders will comment on the draft species action plans and share their ideas on common themes or actions among plans,” said Claire Sunquist Blunden, the stakeholder coordination for imperiled species management planning for the FWC.
[Eastern Chipmunk photo by Vicki DeLoach via Flickr]
Say goodbye to the polar bear »
Too bad, polar bears, but a bunch of us humans don’t want to stop selling your pelts on the open market, so you can expect to be hunted to extinction.
This issue is tied up with politics surrounding Canada’s First Nations, specifically the Inuit:
There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Canada is the only country that permits the export of polar bear parts.
Each year around 600 polar bears are killed there, mainly by native hunters. According to Inuit representatives, the pelts from around 300 bears are sold for rugs. Other parts including fangs and paws are also exported.
The Inuit say they get an average of $4,850 per pelt. They argue that this is a critical economic resource for a people that do not have much else.
The trouble with that argument is that in conjunction with global warming destroying their ecosystem, the bears won’t be around to hunt much longer. Say goodbye to polar bears, everyone; the next generations won’t even know what they are.
Twit Twoo… How many owls can you spot? A tiny owlet is almost invisible at first glance as it blends into the feathers of its mother. Even wildlife photographer Marina Scarr only realised she had taken pictures of two owls after she looked at the image on her camera while taking pictures in Desoto Park, Florida. Photograph: Marina Scarr/Caters News Agency
Taken from picture desk live: follow the best news pictures of the day from conflict-stricken regions to the lighter side of life chosen by the Guardian’s award-winning picture team
Amazing! I can’t even tell where that little owlet starts!