July 31st, 2008

my love

Golden retriever adopts tiger cubs at Kansas zoo

Isabella, a golden retriever at the Safari Zoological Park, east of Caney, Kan. nurses Wednesday, July 30, 2008, three white tiger cubs she adopted after they were abandoned by their mother at the park. The cubs were born on Sunday.

CANEY, Kan. - A dog at a southeast Kansas zoo has adopted three tiger cubs abandoned by their mother. Safari Zoological Park owner Tom Harvey said the tiger cubs were born Sunday, but the mother had problems with them.

A day later, the mother stopped caring for them. Harvey said the cubs were wandering around, trying to find their birth mother, who wouldn't pay attention to them. That's when the cubs were put in the care of a golden retriever, Harvey said.

Harvey said it's unusual for dogs to care for tiger cubs, but it does happen. He said he has seen reports of pigs nursing cubs in China, and he actually got the golden retriever after his wife saw television accounts of dogs caring for tiger cubs.

Puppies take about the same amount of time as tiger cubs to develop, and Harvey said the adoptive mother just recently weaned her own puppies.

"The timing couldn't have been any better," he said.

The mother doesn't know the difference, Harvey said. He said the adopted mother licks, cleans and feeds the cubs.

The Safari Zoological Park is a licensed facility open since 1989 and specializes in endangered species.

It has leopards, lions, cougars, baboons, ring-tailed lemurs, bears and other animals. It currently has seven white tigers and two orange tigers.

Because whit tigers are inbred from the first specimen found more than a half-century ago, they are not as genetically stable as orange tigers.

The zoo's previous litter of white tiger cubs was born April 23, although one of the three has since gone to a private zoo near Oklahoma City.



Credit for this find goes to



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Dr Frank

New Species Discovered...AND...Vampire Catfish

"An expedition to the rainforests of Guyana has discovered species new to science.

A team of researchers and wildlife film-makers spent six weeks searching the pristine forest as part of a BBC documentary.

The group believes it has revealed two fish species, one frog species and a number of bat flies that have not been described previously.

The finds are detailed in the BBC series Lost Land of the Jaguar."

Included in the article are two short videos, the first includes the Banana Catfish which happens to be infested with Candiru.

Video #1: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7531840.stm

The second reveals a potential new species of fish.

Video #2: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7531829.stm

What made this WTF for me was the sudden Candiru cameo. I've seen still pictures of them before and read stories, but never seen them in video. The fact that they were abandoning their host after it was captured is pretty creepy. So we've learned once again to not go swimming.
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7531537.stm

Siamese Cat (& some others) Coloration

Just a fun fact!

"In the case of the Siamese, the coloring of the cats actually depends on the temperature in which they live.

When a Siamese kitten is born its fur is all white. As it grows, the plain coloring begins to change. Dark pigments appear on the nose, ears, tail and feet. These areas are known as points. As the Siamese matures, this color spreads and they have their prominent point color.

If the Siamese lives in a cold environment, another scenario will occur. This cat is also born white but will darken dramatically as it grows older. Instead of having a pale body with dark points, it will become dark all over, and sometimes may lack dark points all together.

The explanation of these differences is that in the Siamese cat, a lower temperature causes more dark coloration to be laid down in the growing hairs. This is why newborn kittens, warm from its mother's womb, are white all over. Then as they grow up in normal temperature, the hottest area of their body, around the stomach and back area, remains pale in color while their cooler extremities become gradually darker.

And with the older cat, its general body temperture begins to fall somewhat and that causes its body fur to darken as time goes by."

from http://www.geocities.com/gingercats.geo/siamese.html

This Siamese cat, raised in a cold environment in Moscow in the late 20s, developed a relatively dark coat. An area on his shoulder was shaved, and the cat wore a warm jacket while the fur was growing back. When the shaved hair grew back in, it was white, the same color as the cat's belly, due to the increased temperature under the jacket. This was not due to scarring, as the hair grew in normally colored later.

from http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF8/836.html