Monday, July 25, 2016

WARNING! When in a Wildlife Sanctuary, ALWAYS Stay in the Car!

In an open wildlife sanctuary, or any place for that matter where we as humans share space (at least how we think about it but the "wild" animals obviously have stronger instincts like territorial preservation to adhere to), you should never ever take your chances at rubbing elbows with any of place's natural inhabitants. Well, unless of course your Deadpool but we all know that chances of that happening.

This raw video footage shows us exactly why we have to stay in our vehicles. Poor soul of a woman but I doubt we can blame the wild animal on this video since this is his territory after all. What do you think?


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Alien Larva Lived Inside Poor Kitten

This has got to be one of the most painful situation any living creature has been subjective to! You can't believe the size of this creature inside the nose of a tiny kitten!


As you may notice on the image above, the image clearly shows the poor kitten's nose is way too enlarged. In fact, it's enlarged to the point of bursting! Needless to say of course, poor kitty is naturally in pain and when you see what alien larva comes out of him, you will realize how lucky the kitten to have survived such an ordeal.


As the removal process starts, you can see the tip of the alien larva trying hard to stay where it wants to feed. Much to the kitten's dismay of course.

But wait... This is seriously too painful for me to write a blow-by-blow account about so by all means, please do check on the video itself for your own sake! :(



Didn't I warn you this is too much to write about?!
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What’s the Difference Between A Gerbil and A Hamster?








Many of us consider giving our kids small pets to teach them about responsibility at a young age. A dog or cat might be a bit too much for them, so we choose the next best thing, hamsters or gerbils. They’re a great choice for small pets that you can keep at home, they’re easy to take care of, and need very little maintenance. But aren’t these two animals the same? Well, not really. Not only are they different, they also have different needs. Below is a short article on the difference between hamsters and gerbils, as well as how you should take care of them.


Social life

One of the main differences between hamsters and gerbils is their need to socialize. Gerbils are very social animals and live in groups in the wild. This means that if you’re planning to keep them as pets, you’re going to need two or more gerbils since being lonely might make them unhappy. They need to be with others, so buy more than one. It’s also advisable to get younger gerbils since it’s easier for them to bond with each other.

If you don't want to deal with a whole army of gerbils (they mature very quickly and can reproduce in a flash), then apt to get two males. Female gerbils have a tendency to become aggressive with each other. Males, however, get along quite well, especially if they’re littermates or have been housed together since they were young.

On the other hand, hamsters are completely fine with living in solitude. This eliminates the fear of worrying about them reproducing. If you’re looking for a small pet that can live alone, a hamster just may be the pet for you. Like gerbils, female hamsters tend to become aggressive with each other, so if you’re planning to get more than one hamsters, avoid placing two females in the same cage.


Sleeping hours

Another difference between these animals is their sleeping pattern. Hamsters are more active during the night. They spend most of the day sleeping and resting. Gerbils on the other hand are diurnal, so they prefer to play and stay active during the day. If you want to get some sleep, or don’t want to get disturbed by the sound of digging and shuffling at night, then get a gerbil. They’ll live to play with you during the day, while hamsters may get a bit grumpy if you wake them up before the sun is down.


What to eat

For diet, these two animals basically eat the same thing. However, gerbils have a tendency to get very gassy and even suffer from diarrhea when given too much fruits or green vegetables. They do enjoy these, in fact you can give it to them as treats, but keep in mind that you should only be feeding them these in small amounts. There are a number of pet food brands that have products specifically made for gerbils and hamsters, but the usual food pellet will work.
Personality

Personality wise, gerbils are more active and tend to be a bit more hyper. They love to run around and play, while hamsters prefer to dig and curl up under the cage beddings. Both animals need exercise, so it's best to keep a wheel inside their cage so they can play and run on it. Avoid getting those wheels made from wires or those that have slots on them. They can catch a foot in the wheel, and the gerbil's tail could also get stuck. These could cause broken bones, so pick a wheel that has a smooth surface.

Looks

Hamsters and gerbils also have different appearances. Gerbils have a soft tail and stand on their hind legs which are longer compared to their front legs. Hamsters have little, stubby tails that are usually too small to be seen under their thick fur. Gerbils are more rat or mouse-like in appearance since they have a longer snout. They're also more closely related to mice compared to hamsters. If you enjoy the look of mice and rats, you might find gerbils to be more visually appealing. Hamsters have a more round body and thicker fur. They hardly stand on their hind legs and prefer to crawl around. Many find hamsters "cuter" than gerbils because they resemble little teddy bears.  


Health risk

One thing to watch out for with gerbils is that they have a higher risk of experiencing heat strokes. If you don't have an air conditioning unit in the room where you keep them, you'll want to place them in a temperature controlled cage that will keep them from overheating. A good solution for this is to keep them in an aquarium type enclosure and control the temperature to stay between 68° to 77° F (20° to 25° C). this minimizes the chance of the gerbils getting dehydrated in hotter temperatures.  Hamsters keep their cool even in warm temperatures. As long as you keep their water bottle filled with fresh water, they can take on any type of weather.
Temperament and lifespan

Both animals are actually very friendly in nature and can be raised to not bite. However, hamsters are known to be a little more prone to bit, but only when they are suddenly started or woken from sleep. As long as they are trained and handled regularly, hamsters and gerbils will love to be pet and played with. Hamsters and gerbils have more or less the same average life span. They can live up to three years, but some do survive even up to five years when well taken care of. Different varieties also vary in lifespan. Some have lived to seven years, but this is not so common.

Whether you're going for hamsters or gerbils, get ready for a super cute addition to your family. Do share this article to other pet lovers. Leave us your comments and suggestions on topics and other interesting animals.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Unicorns - Real Animals Behind The Myth




Magical and mystical, unicorns have been the subject of legends and myths for centuries. This legendary creature is described to be a large beast that looks like a horse, only that it has a pointed, spiral horn growing out of its forehead.  It was mentioned by the ancient Greeks, throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and even in the bible. European folklore believed the animal to posses strong magical powers that could cure any illness and even bring the dead back to life. 

Although many believed in this creature, no one has really capture one. Hunts to capture this animal were even organized, often coming back with nothing. There have been many reports of sightings, but then again these could be other animals that simply resemble the mythical unicorn's appearance. Here are some possible origins of this magical creature.
Fabricated Evidence
Among the number for prehistoric bones discovered at a site called the Unicorn Cave in the Harz Mountains in Germany, some were taken out and reconstructed Otto Von Guericke, the mayor of Magdeburg. He presented the remains as a unicorn in 1663 and everyone believed that this was the real deal. The reconstructed figure was actually composed of the fossils of a woolly mammoth and the rhinoceros. A narwhal horn was added to the forehead of the skull to give it a realistic look. The remains were later declared as fake but the legend continued. 
Aurochs
During an excavation at the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization, small stone seals were found that has elegant depictions of the animals that we seen in the area. Some of the stones had a unicorn-like figure on them, as well as an Indus script that still baffles researchers and scholars till this day. Mind you, these stones were dated back to  2500 B.C, so it's possible that prehistoric man were already believing in unicorns. The closest interpretation of the unicorn seal was that it was a representation of the aurochs, which is a type of wild cattle which once inhabited North Africa, Asia, and Europe. But this still does not explain why the seals only show one horn on its profile.  
Elasmotherium or rhinoceros
Another suggestion for the origins of the unicorn is that it is based on the Elasmotherium, a species of the rhinoceros which is already extinct. This huge Eurasian mammal was a native to the steppers, south of where the woolly rhinoceros of Ice Age Europe lived. The Elasmotherium looked nothing like a horse, but it did have a large single horn growing out of its forehead. This animal were said to have become extinct about the same time as the wooly mammoths and rhinoceros, but some scientist believe that it survived long enough to have been remembered by native European people. 
Single-horned goat
Every now and then, common domesticated animals are born with strange mutations that make them look extraordinary. One of the most common theories about unicorns is that it was actually just a single-horned goat. This theory is supported by the fact that unicorns were also described as goats, not only horses, that had one horn. Some people also produced these single-horned goats by re-modeling the "horn buds" on young goats in a way that their horns would twist and grow together. 
Narwhal
During the Medieval and Renaissance eras in Europe, unicorn horns were often found the cabinets of curiosities. However, many of these were proven to be the straight spiral single tusk of the narwhal, which is an Arctic cetacean. They were hunted and their horns taken and bought to the south as valuable trade objects. Narwhal horns are made out of ivory, so many believed that there were legit unicorn horns. And since these horns were considered to contain magical powers, it would sell for a price worth a fortune. Queen Elizabeth I of England was even reported to have kept one, given to her by Arctic explorer Martin Frobisher. 
Oryx
This animal is an antelope that has two, thin, long horns growing from its forehead. Some suggests that the oryx could have passed as a unicorn, although their horns grew towards the back of their heads, unlike the classic description of a unicorn. However, travelers and explorers who would cross Europe to go to the distant lands of Arabia and Northern Africa would tell stories of this unicorn-like creature. The Peregrinatio in terram sanctam, which is a book that describes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem passing Egypt, describes the many animals that you would see throughout the journey, which includes camels, crocodiles, and unicorns (presumably an oryx which is common in these routes). 
Eland
Southern Africa is known for its many legends and stories of spiritual and mystical creatures, which are often based on real animals. The Eland is a very large antelope that would defend itself against fearsome predators like lions, and even being able to kill them in battle. They're commonly depicted on rock art found in caves and cliffs in the region. People in the area viewed it as a sacred beast, and travelers could have picked up its legend and brought it with them back to Europe. Clan MacLeod in Scotland is reported to have custody of a unicorn horn, which was identified as an eland horn after investigation. 

Whether you believe that somewhere out there, a real unicorn is running free in a field, or that this creature is only the stuff of legends, you should know that it had very deep roots in the history and culture of many places in Europe. Scotland even named the unicorn as their national animal.
Comments? Suggestions? We're open to them. Leave a message and we'll get back to you. Don't forget to spread the magic and share this article.
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Potoo - Adorable Bird of Death


There are a number of magnificent and sometimes strange bird species in the wild. Some come in magnificent colours and a charming, sweet voice, while others are more known for their odd attributes. Take for example the bird known as Potoo. Not only does their name sound strange, they also look strange, and even sound strange. This is a short article about this bird, what it looks like, and the local legends of this majestic bird.
As the moon rises in Central America and Northern South America, this rare bird flies over the wetlands and forests. Potoos belong to the family Nyctibiidae are related closely to frogmouths and nightjars, although they lack the bristles around their mouth are which separates them from true nightjars. There are several species of this bird found in Central and South America. Some of these birds do dwell in the southern most regions of south America, but rarely are they seen there.
Appearance
These birds are known for their eerie and unusual appearance. They’re big, growing to about 21 to 58 cm in length. They resemble nightjars and frogmouths. They have large heads for their body size and long tail feathers and wings. Their large heads are dominated by their massive, brad bill and huge eyes that are bright yellow in color. In fact, the classic book “Handbook of the Birds of the World” describes the potoo as nothing more than a flying mouth with eyes. This actually makes them look adorable, yet creepy at the same time. Their bill, while broad and large, is short and barely projects past their face. It’s delicate and has a unique “tooth” which is used by the bird as a cutting edge to help with foraging. As mentioned, they lack the rictal bristles around the mouth as nightjars have. Their legs and feet are not that strong and are only used for perching.
CallThese birds are also called poor-me-ones, after local legends that say that their cry brings bad luck and even death to those who hear it. Their cry sound similar to someone groaning and moaning for help, which already sounds creepy enough to hear during the night. Potoos make their call when looking for mates and when defending themselves.
Camouflage 
They’re masters of camouflage, blending into the branches of dead trees as naturally as they can. Potoos are known to stay completely still, with their heads facing up, mimicking a dead branch when a potential predator is close by. Their eyes are larger than those of nightjar, and since they’re nocturnal birds, it can reflect light. The potoo often keeps their eyes closed during the day so as not to attract predators and blow their cover. They have unusual slits on their lids, which allows them to sense any movement, even when they have their eyes closed.
HarmlessSince they’re more active at night, this is probably why legends about them tend to be more dark and dreary. However, as haunting and “scary” these animals might look and sound, they’re actually insectivores and are completely harmless. They hunt insects by waiting on a branch perching like a flycatcher or shrike. During the day, they stay on the branch or perched on a stump with their eyes half closed, not moving an inch. They even lay their eggs on the stump and the mother potoo would stay with the egg until it hatches and the chick matures. They only fly away when they feel that their stump is compromised or when their cover has been blown.
Monogamous Potoos are monogamous and both male and female share responsibility for incubating their egg and caring for the chick. They don’t construct nest, instead the female lays her single egg on a depression in the branch or on a stump. Potoo eggs are white with brown and purple spots. Males often incubate the egg during the day then the duties are shared at night. It takes the eggs about a month to hatch and they stay in the nest for about two months. Baby potoos have white feathers, which then turn brown as they age. Their white feathers still provide camouflage as it resembles clumps of fungi on the tree.
MobbingOther than relying on camouflage to keep them hidden and protected from predators, potoos are also known to exhibit mobbing behavior. This is a common behavior amongst birds wherein a group of birds would deliberately confront a predator. They would  crowd around the predator, approaching and retreating, and sometimes even chase and attack the predator. They would make loud noises repeatedly, which intimidates the predator and attract other potoo to join the mobbing.

Keeping them in captivity

Potoos, because of how well they blend into their surrounding, are hardly ever seen. They're definitely mysterious and there's little known about them. Although their population in the wild is of lease concern by conservationists, damage in their environment has cause these bird's population to deplete. You don't get to see these birds often in captivity. There are a few zoos and animal centers that keep them captive to understand their behavior. As for keeping them as pets, people want to keep them as one because their large eyes make them look cute, but do you really want a screeching potoo waking you up in the middle of the night?

Even though these birds are said to bring bad luck, they're actually not that bad. Share this article to fellow animal lovers and don't forget to leave your comments and suggestion.
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