Monday, February 28, 2011

The Cuddly Red Panda!

I know it's been a while since my last post, but I was away from the internet, computers, telephones, electric heat, and even running water in a cozy house overlooking the ocean. I went snowshoeing (just like an Arctic Hare) and even saw bunny tracks and bunny poo (probably from Snowshoe Hares).





My next cute animal can also be found around snow, like those snow bunnies. It likes  to live in China (like its relative, the Giant Panda) and around the Himalayas. It also likes to munch on bamboo, like the Giant Panda. If there's no bamboo around or the Red Panda wants a break from eating only bamboo, it will snack on eggs, insects, birds, or little mammals.









Unlike the Giant Panda, Red Pandas are really little, just a tiny bit bigger than a kitty cat! Red Pandas have long fuzzy tails and short little limbs. Their striped tails help them camoflage with their environment.






Sleepy panda




When it's hot outside the Red Panda likes to nap with its short little fuzzy limbs hanging over a tree branch!

Red Pandas are pretty quiet. Sometimes they make cute little whistling noises.







P.S: I almost forgot about this hilarious and cute Red Panda video about a girl living with two Red Pandas!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Leatherback Sea Turtle!

I hope you have not been waiting impatiently for my latest post. I've had a busy week in school! But if you have been waiting, then all that time will definitely be worth it to see this really cute Leatherback sea turtle!


Baby turtle crawling toward the ocean.


Sea turtle eggs are laid on a sandy beach. The mommy comes onto land and digs a deep hole in the sand with her back flippers. Then she lays a bunch of little eggs in the hole and covers it back up with sand.














When the sea turtles hatch they have to dig themselves out of the nest and crawl toward the sea. They usually crawl out of the sand at night, when the brightest light is over the ocean (the sunlight reflected off the moon). The babies just move toward the light and find the ocean!










Leatherback turtles can dive pretty deep underwater, up to 1000 meters!, but have to come to the surface to breathe air.


They are also considered the fastest moving reptile!





Carl Safina with a Leatherback Turtle.



Full grown Leatherback turtles are huge!

These turtles love to eat jellyfish so much that they don't eat anything else.








P.S: I changed my comment settings and now anyone can comment on my posts :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Theme: Mutualistic Relationships!

Clown fish and Sea anemone.



Most animals cannot even touch sea anemone tentacles because they would get a painful sting. But clown fish have a special coating of mucus on their body, so they can happily live right in between the tentacles.The fish is protected by the tentacles and in return the cute fishy scares away butterfly fish, which would eat the sea anemone.





Impala with cute little birdies.



Here is another cute relationship. The birds eat ticks from the body of the impala. The bird gets food and the impala is cleaned of parasites!










Coral polyps and algae (zooxanthellae).
Another underwater example of mutualism involves coral polyps (a bunch of organisms that form corals) and zooxanthellae (a little tiny algae). The zooxanthellae lives inside the coral polyps. The zooxanthellae photosynthesizes (makes sugar from light!) while the coral polyps hunt animals. The zooxanthellae give plant-based energy to the coral, while the coral gives animal-based food to the zooxanthellae!




Bumblebee and flower!




 Fuzzy little bumblebees help flowers pollinate. When they drink nectar from the middle of flowers, they get tiny bits of pollen stuck to their fuzz. When they fly to another flower, some of the pollen falls off and that flower can then have baby flowers!








Lichen on rocks!

Lichen!!




Lichen are actually two organisms: a fungus and photosynthetic creature (like algae).  The fungus can get food from the algae and the algae gets a very special home. Lichen can grow on rocks because of their amazing relationship!





Gregory, Snailia, and our pillow pet!




My favorite mutualistic relationship!

Mola Mola (Ocean Sunfish)!

The Mola mola is a very bizzare and spectacular fish. Some other names for it are "swimming head" because they do not have tails, or ocean sunfish because they like "sun bathing" at the surface of the water.

Strange!







It looks like only half a fish and weighs a lot. Mola molas can be fairly big.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is a Mola mola "sunbathing" at the surface of the water. He's soaking up some rays to warm up before he takes a dive into the chilly water. Mola molas like pretty warm water, at least in the double digits.
 
 
 
 



Ocean sunfish are into jellyfish as their main food source. The sunfish can also act like a plate so other fish and animals can eat little parasites from its body!
 
Mola molas can also jump really high out of the water! As much as three body lengths!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bushbabies!



Bushbabies climbing a tree.
Bushbabies are so cool. They are also called Galagos, but "bushbaby" sounds way cuter. They live in African tropical forests and are primates (like monkeys).


Their long tails help keep them balanced when they are climbing around trees. Bushbabies also have nails so they can grip onto branches so they will not fall off!


Bushbabies like chewing on insects, fruit, and tree gum.


Bushbabies are nocturnal.

Bushbabies are mostly active at night (called nocturnal), which is why their eyes are so big. These huge eyes help them see really well in the dark. They also have fantastic hearing, which helps in the dark forest.


These fuzzy little creatures are spectacular jumpers. They can jump as high as 20 feet in the air!





Baby bushbaby!
Gizmo (from the movie Gremlins)

Baby bushbabies remind me of "Gizmo" from the movie Gremlins! I have always wanted a little Mogwai (the name of Gizmo's species).

Bushbabies often sleep together in groups. They like to cuddle in a nest of leaves or branches, or in a cozy hole in a tree.


Monday, February 7, 2011

A Snowy Winter Animal: the Arctic Hare!

It's a fact: I love bunnies. My favorite animal at the local museum is the Arctic Hare. It's so cute, fuzzy, and cuddly looking! If you live in my area, go check it out for free on Wednesday nights.

Fuzzy pouf balls!

As you probably know, the Arctic is one pretty chilly place. That means that animals have to be super douper fuzzy to keep warm. The Arctic hare squishes its body into a pouf ball to stay cozy.

This cute snow bunny also digs holes in the snow to sleep or hide in. These little burrows keep them warm because they are protected from the icy wind. Arctic wolves are a predator of the hare, so these houses can protect the bunnies from being eaten.





Big back feet and short ears.

Arctic hares have big back feet so they can hop on the snow. The big surface area works like snowshoes, keeping them above the snow and not stuck in it.

They also have short little ears, unlike most bunnies, because they need to conserve heat! If they had long ears they would lose more heat from them.







Its white color is a form of camouflage so its predators can't see them! In the summer when all the snow melts, the Arctic hares change color, from white to a greyish-brown, so it matches the mud and rocks around it.


Arctic hares like chewing on leaves, grasses, berries, and woody plants. They can smell food even if it's buried under the snow!




I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Animal Blogs.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Manatees! Yay!


Manatees are so strange and beautiful. They are big and squishy and have spatula shaped tails. Manatees are considered incapable of aggression!

  


Cute flipper.



They have cute flippers that they can use to cuddle or hold food, like sea grass. Sea grass is their favourite snack.

    
Mommy manatee cuddles baby manatee





Manatees only like swimming, cuddling, and living in warm water, like in the cozy ocean surrounding Florida.







num num num







This is a fantastic picture of a manatee eating
nummy sea grass that I have hanging
in my bedroom.









Photo by Gregory.









Snailia holding a mommy and baby manatee,
which were knit with love by Gregory.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My kitty: Wigglytuff!

My youngest kitty cat, Wigglytuff, is named after a Pokemon, who is the evolved form of Jigglypuff.


Jigglypuff

Wigglytuff



















My cat Wigglytuff is about 1 and a half years old. She likes cuddling in fuzzy blankets, licking yogurt from bowls, and sticking her paws in cups of water.



Wigglytuff (on the left) as a little baby.




Here she is only a few months old, cuddling with her brother. All of the kittens liked to cuddle in a big pile of cuteness.






Wigglytuff (on the left again).




Some nights I would come home from an annoying shift, working in the mall, and find a pile of fluffy kitties on my couch!






Wigglytuff and Muffin, cuddling on a box as I get ready
to move to a new apartment. November 2009




Wiggly is bigger now, but only by a little. She was the runt of her litter and is still pretty small (especially in comparison to my older cat, Muffin).





L to R: Charlie, Wombee, Wiggly, Theodore, Elly





Most recently, Wiggly has taken a liking to cuddling with my stuffed animals, that I still keep on my bed.





This is only an introduction to Wigglytuff. There will be lots more adorableness to come.

The amazingly cute and cool Axolotl!


My favorite kind of axolotl are the leucistic and albino colored. These salamanders are light pink in color with black or pink eyes.

Most salamanders go through metamorphosis, but not axolotls! They keep their gills and stay living in the water.












Axolotls use their sense of smell to find worms, little fishies, and bugs to nibble on.

These cute animals can live to be about 10 to 15 years old.

Sadly they are "critically endangered" due to habitat destruction. :(

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