NaPoWriMo: Poem #2, My Cute Prixs

Here are the new Prixs,

There’s one, two and three.

Asleep by their mummy,

Her name is Primi.

A happy family <3
A happy family ❤

This is Mat Ghani,

Eldest of the Prix.

Indeed he’s happy,

Feeling so jumpy!

Mat Kool Ghani feeling jumpy!
Mat Kool Ghani feeling jumpy!

Here comes little Dates,

Popping from the gates.

To a land so great,

Where the fun awaits.

Dear Dates from the gates.
Dear Dates from the gates.

Lastly is Football,

Or Gotcha Football.

Sitting by the wall,

Waiting for a ball.

Gotcha Football by the wall.
Gotcha Football by the wall.

And such cute kittens they are!

In Pictures: Unusual Animals

A look at the strange creatures that roam our planet.

This image released by the New England Aquarium shows a one-pound female lobster, known as a “split,” that was caught by a Massachusetts fisherman last week and arrived at the aquarium in Boston, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Officials say such rare Halloween coloration is estimated to occur once in every 50 million lobsters. (AP Photo/New England Aquarium, Emily Bauernseind)
This picture taken through a special filter in a dark room shows, a cat, left, possessing a red fluorescent protein that makes the animal glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet rays, appearing next to a normal cloned cat, right, at Gyeongsang National University in Jinju, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. South Korean scientists have cloned cats that glow red when exposed to ultraviolet rays, an achievement that could help develop cures for human genetic diseases, the Science and Technology Ministry said. (AP Photo/ Yonhap, Choi Byung-kil)
The mysterious sea creature that washed ashore on Folly Beach, S.C. is actually a sturgeon. (Facebook)
In this photo taken Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Palestinian zoo owner Mohammed Awaida holds a mummified monkey at the Khan Younis zoo, southern Gaza Strip. There is an afterlife for animals at Gaza’s Khan Younis zoo. Animals who die in the dilapidated park come to life again as stuffed creatures. But because the taxidermy in the impoverished Palestinian territory relies on techniques available on the Internet, the unusual wildlife experience of petting a lion, tiger or crocodile can be a grim one.(AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A bright orange, left, a bright blue, right, and a calico lobster at New Meadows Lobster in Portland, Maine. Scientists are seeing a boom in the number of blue, orange, yellow and calico-colored lobsters in the past two years, leading them to ask why they’re getting more reports of rare-colored lobsters showing up in fishermen’s traps. (AP Photo/Rebecca McAleney, File)
Overseer of small mammals at Bristol Zoo Gardens Caroline Brown with the young aye aye named “Raz”, (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in Bristol Zoo in Bristol, England, Wednesday Jan. 9, 2007. The aye aye is only the second of his species to be born in Britain. The rare species of lemur, hunted to near-extinction and seen as a bad omen in its native Madagascar, has been born at the Zoo. (AP Photo/ Barry Batchelor)
A 35-cm-long (14 inches) 1.3-kg (3.9 pounds) Giant isopod picked up from 800-meter (2625 feet) deep water in the East coast of the United States is displayed at the New Enoshima Aquarium in Fujisawa, southwest of Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Endangered Asian ‘unicorn’ captured, first sighting in decade

This intresting post was taken from CNN by me…

By Brad Lendon, CNN//
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// ]]>September 17, 2010 — Updated 1551 GMT (2351 HKT)

//

The saola is critically endangered: This was the first sighting since remotely triggered cameras took images of one in 1999.

The saola is critically endangered: This was the first sighting since remotely triggered cameras took images of one in 1999.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The saola was captured by villagers in Laos in August
  • It was the first confirmed sighting of a saola since 1999
  • First discovered in 1992, the saola is considered critically endangered
//

RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) — Scientists have confirmed the first sighting in more than a decade of one of the world’s rarest animals — the saola, sometimes called the Asian “unicorn.”

The animal was captured by villagers in Laos in August, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The villagers took the saola back to their village in Bolikhamxay province and Laotian conservation authorities sent a team to check on the animal. The creature, likely weakened from its time in captivity, died shortly after that team arrived.

“The death of this saola is unfortunate,” the Provincial Conservation Unit of Bolikhamxay province said in the IUCN statement. “But at least it confirms an area where it still occurs and the government will immediately move to strengthen conservation efforts there.”

This was the first confirmed sighting of a saola since 1999, when remotely triggered cameras took images of one in Laos.

First discovered in 1992, the saola is considered critically endangered, its numbers so few that biologists have never witnessed one in the wild. Fewer than a few hundred saolas are believed to roam the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. There are none in captivity.

The rarity of the saola, which resembles an African antelope but it more closely related genetically to wild cattle, gives it mythical status in some circles, according to the IUCN.

The saola, although it has two horns, may be the basis of the mythical Chinese unicorn, the qilin, although it is unknown if saolas ever existed in China.

The carcass of the saola recovered in the Laotian village was being preserved for study, officials said.

“Study of the carcass can yield some good from this unfortunate incident. Our lack of knowledge of Saola biology is a major constraint to efforts to conserve it,” says Dr. Pierre Comizzoli, a veterinarian with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and a member of the IUCN Saola Working Group.

“This can be a major step forward in understanding this remarkable and mysterious species.”

Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox or also known as Snow Fox or White Fox is the only native land mammal to Iceland. Click here for a more detailed article. Click here for the map. It came to the isolated     North Atlantic island at the end of the last ice age, walking over the frozen sea. Arctic Fox are found throughout the Arctic, including the outer edges of Greenland, Russia, Canada, Alaska, and Svalbard, as well as in Subarctic and alpine areas, such as Iceland and mainland alpine Scandinavia.  The subspecies of  the Arctic fox are, Bering Islands Arctic Fox, Iceland Arctic Fox, Pribilof Islands Arctic Fox and Greenland Arctic Fox.

The average length in the male is 85.3 cm, with a range of 83 to 110 cm and in the female average length is 82.1 cm, with a range of 71.3 to 85 cm. The tail of the male Arctic Fox is 31 cm long in  and in the female it is, 30 cm long. It is 25–30 cm high at the shoulder. An average male weighs 3.5 kg, with a range of 3.2 to 9.4 kg, while females average 2.9 kg, with a range of 1.4 to 3.2 kg.

Arctic Fox lives in some of the world’s most rigid extremes. Its deep and thick fur helps it to survive in the freezing snow. A system of counter current heat exchange in the circulation of paws to retain core temperature and is a good supply of body fat helps it to survive too. It has a low surface area to volume ratio, as evidenced by its short muzzle and legs, generally rounded body shape and thick ears. Since less surface area is exposed to cold, less heat escapes from its body. Its furry paws helps it to walk on ice. Arctic Fox has such keen hearing that it can precisely locate the position of its prey even if it is under the snow. It pounces and punches through the snow to catch its victim. To camouflage, its fur turns white during winter and turns brown during summer.

Arctic Fox Fur Changes
Arctic Fox Fur Changes

The gestation period of an Arctic Fox lasts for 53 days. The litters tends to average 5 to 8 pups but may be as many as 25. Both the mother and the father help to raise their young. The females leave the family and form their own groups and the males stay with the family. They form monogamous pairs in the breeding season. They’re born in the early summer and are raised in a large den. Dens houses many generation of fox. Young from previous year’s litter may stay with their family to help their younger siblings. Kits are initially brown and when they are older, they turn white. The Arctic Fox will generally eat any meat it can find. The Arctic Fox will generally eat any meat it can find. A family of foxes can eat dozens of lemmings each day. During April and May the Arctic Fox also preys on Ringed Seal pups when the young animals are confined to a snow den and are relatively helpless. Fish beneath the ice are also part of its diet. If there is an overabundance of food hunted, the Arctic Fox will bury what the family cannot eat. When its normal prey is scarce, the Arctic Fox scavenges the leftovers and even feces of larger predators, such as the polar bear, even though the bears’ prey includes the Arctic Fox itself.

Arctic Fox Kit

The Arctic Fox is a wonderful animal. We also need to stop hunting them or one day they will extinct.

A Fox's Den

Asia’s endangered delicacies

As 175 countries meet at Doha this week to discuss the future of the world’s endangered species, we look at the animals prized as food in Asia, and why our diets have to change.

A dead Northern bluefin tuna in Spain. A ban on the export of the Atlantic bluefin will be discussed at the CITES conference later this week.

All eyes are on Doha, Qatar this month as delegates meet at CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to hash over the future of the world’s most endangered species. Here’s a look at what endangered species are served on a plate in Asia, and why we should stop eating them.

Atlantic bluefin tuna

Dished up in: Japan, where slivers of the smooth, palatable fish rank among the most sought after sashimi on the market. The bluefin tuna is also often served fresh in Mediterranean cuisines.

Why it needs to be protected: The enormous appetite for bluefin tuna in Asia and the Mediterranean has seen the species hunted to near extinction. According to CITES, bluefin tuna stock in the Western Atlantic plunged 82 percent over the past 38 years, while the population in the East Atlantic has dwindled to 18 percent of 1970 levels.

“Even if a near-complete ban on all bluefin tuna fishing in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean were implemented and enforced from 2008 to 2022, the population would still probably fall to record lows in the next few years,” CITES points out.

Despite the startling statistics, Japan, which gobbles up three-quarters of the global bluefin catch annually, is not ready to renounce their favorite fish just yet. While the United States and the European Commission look set to outlaw the trade at Qatar this year, Japan recently announced that it won’t comply with any ban.

Porbeagle

Dished up in: The meat of this mackerel shark species is mostly shipped to Europe, where it’s prized for its sword-fish like texture, while its fins are in high demand in East Asia for shark fin soup.

Why it needs to be protected: While there is no consistent data on the global catch of the porbeagle, experts say the shark has recently been experiencing a precipitous decline of more than 50 percent in the North and South Atlantic, due to unsustainable fishing.

Market surveys also suggest the existence of an international market for the catch. The large fins are seen as a high value trading product in Indonesia and Hong Kong, according to CITES. Porbeagle fins are also one of the six species commonly traded on the global fin market.

Wild elephant

Dished up in: Elephants are mostly poached for their ivory tusks and raw hide. But they are also served as bushmeat in many parts of their range, such as north-east India and Thailand, for its alleged aphrodisiac qualities.

Why they need to be protected: There were 3-5 million African elephants in the 1930s and 1940s, but that number has dropped to between 470,000 and 690,000, WWF estimates.

Thanks to a CITES crackdown on the elephant trade in 1989 and increased conservation, African jumbos, which were perilously close to extinction in the 1980s, have maintained more or less secure a population size in well-conserved zones. But these account for less than 20 percent of the elephants’ range.

However, there is still a sizable black market for elephant parts in Africa, and illegal poaching is thought to be on the rise.

Elephant conservation has become a hotbed for debate at this years’ CITES conference, with Tanzania and Zambia arguing that the one-off sale of their stockpile of confiscated ivory, estimated to be worth US$12 million, will help fund conservation efforts. Other African nations, however, stand firm on the trade ban.

Meanwhile, there are likely less than 25,600 Asian elephants in the wild, according to WWF.

Scalloped hammerhead shark

Dished up in: Eyed by shark fin traders for its large fin size and high needle count, hammerhead fins are in great demand in Chinese markets. Hammerhead is also eaten cured in the Phillipines, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka.

Why it needs to be protected: In a study conducted in 2005, the hammerhead shark population in the northwest Atlantic Ocean plunged 85 percent compared to 1981, from 169,000 down to 24,000. Despite this sheer drop there are no international catch limits on the animal, and few countries regulate hammerhead shark hunting.

Asian bears

Dished up in: Bear parts are a highly valued foodstuff in China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Bear gall bladders and bile are used to cure many ailments in traditional Chinese medicine, while the bear paw is a luxurious delicacy in many Asian cultures.

Why it needs to be protected: All five species of Asian bears, including the brown bear and the Asiatic black bear, are in decline due to hunting for medicine and the loss of habitat, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Little is known about the population size of Asian bear species apart from the fact that they are dwindling. The WWF notes that even local conservationists cannot track the Asiatic black bear in Cambodia, which is part of their natural range.

Legislation on banning bear trade is lax and loosely enforced in Taiwan and China, the Humane Society of the United States says. South Korea and Japan do not regulate the trade in bear parts.

Whales

Dished up in: Japan’s appetite for whale meat sashimi is notorious, while Iceland and Norway also hunt the cetacean extensively.

Why it needs to be protected: Despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling since 1986, many species of whales remain at critically endangered levels, notably the North Atlantic right whale. In Japan, whale hunting is often justified as being for scientific research, while Iceland and Norway have openly objected to the ban and continue to hunt comemrcially. The WWF claims that 31,984 whales have been killed due to whaling since the 1986 ban. (A Santa Monica, California-based Japanese restaurant recently made headlines by serving whale meat and now faces U.S. Federal prosecution for “the illegal sale of a marine mammal product for an unauthorized purpose.”)

Read more: Asia’s endangered delicacies | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/none/asias-endangered-delicacies-029047#ixzz0iKwpHFh6

U.S.-born pandas adjust to new China homes

By John Vause, CNN
‘March 16, 2010

Click to see pictures

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tai Shan has no special diet in China as he did in Washington, officials say
  • Tai Shan is one of 90 pandas at the Bifeng Gorge Center
  • Cousin Mei Lan of Zoo Atlanta now at Chengdu panda base, also in Sichuan

Ya’an Bifeng Gorge Breeding Base, China (CNN) — After years of living in the public eye, with hundreds of thousands of adoring fans, the sponsorship deals, the million-dollar home, the dozens of staff to serve his every need — suddenly, Tai Shan, a U.S.-born panda, is finding himself in a much quieter life.

For more than four years, he was a rock star at the National Zoo in Washington. The only giant panda born there to live past infancy, Tai Shan was a huge crowd-pleaser. A video of his sneezing while he was a cub grabbed more than 51 million hits on YouTube.

But now he is away from the spotlight in Ya’an Bifeng Gorge Panda Research Center in central China’s Sichuan province. He was returned to China in February, along with a three-year-old female named Mei Lan who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of a longstanding agreement between China and the U.S.

“We want to ask the people of Washington to rest at ease … we will try our utmost to take good care of Tai Shan, and we guarantee that the giant panda has a very happy and healthy life here in China,” said Tang Chunxiang, the center’s deputy director and chief veterinarian.

When Tai Shan was living the high life in D.C., he was regaled with birthday cakes and pears and cooked sweet potatoes. But now, the party’s over. Officials here say there will be no special diet for Tai Shan — although they insist the bamboo in China is the best.

“He seems to be in very good spirits. And he has a very good appetite. He eats 10 to 20 kilograms (22-44 pounds) of bamboo a day. He also exercises a lot,” said Dong Chao, Tai Shan’s trainer.

At the Bifeng Gorge Center, Tai Shan is one of 90 pandas. While there are still passing tourists, it is pretty clear that he is just another cute and fluffy face in the crowd.

“I’m amazed how laid back he looks,” said Harold Gilmore, a British tourist. “He looks just the same as any of them.”

We have arranged for some other pandas of similar age to live near him, so he’s not lonely
–Tang Chunxiang, Ya’an Bifeng Gorge Breeding Base deputy director
//

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It seems a lot like that scene out of the movie “Madagascar,” when Alex the lion leaves a New York zoo. But Tai Shan won’t go through this experience alone: In the neighboring enclosure is three-year-old Fu Long, who was born in Austria and repatriated last year. Mei Lan was taken to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, also in Sichuan province.

“We have arranged for some other pandas of similar age to live near him, so he’s not lonely,” said Tang. “We want Tai Shan to choose a mate that is to his liking. So upon returning to the motherland, he can contribute to the breeding of the species.”

With only 1,600 giant pandas in the world, the pressure will be on Tai Shan to become a dad. But that won’t happen until he is six or seven years old. And at least he is paying his way: Within hours of arriving, he scored a sponsorship deal with a Chinese carmaker paying out one million RMB ($US150, 000) plus daily costs for food, medical care and other expenses.

All of that will no doubt ensure a trouble-free life back in his natural habitat, away from the pandarazzi of the United States.

Butterflies

There are many species of butterflies. There are Blue Morpho Butterfly, American Snout Butterfly, Peacock Butterfly and a lot more. Each butterfly has two pairs of colourful wings, six legs and a pair of antenna.

The life cycle of a butterfly

The life cycle of a butterfly begins when a butterfly lays a lot of her eggs under a leaf to protect the eggs from danger and to protect their species from extinction.

Caterpillars' Body

When the eggs hatch, caterpillars will come out. Caterpillars are herbivore. They only eat leaves. Some caterpillars have hair on them and most caterpillars have poison on them to protect themselves from danger.

 

 

 

Then, the caterpillar will wrap themselves tightly into a pupa or chrysalis.

After waiting for a few weeks they take out their skin and turns out into a beautiful butterfly with colourful wings. Later, the butterfly lays eggs and the life cycle goes all over and over again.

Click here to find out more about butterflies.