miércoles, 18 de enero de 2017

Are there reliable reports of wild adult animals with cleft palate?

 I know that the probability is extremely low, as all the cases I know in domestic animals with this bird condition have had to be hand reared. Also, I am aware of what is this condition, I'm not requeting for a description of it. I'm just curious about if any wild animal survived against the odds.
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First case I have met. It is not an adult, but at least is a weaned wild animal, which means that the criature was able to be breastfed in spite of her congenital defect. I don't know the physiology of process of breastfeeding in elephant seals so well to know wether the mother can "inject" milk to the puppy is this detail would be very interesting to know.
TVA, a northern elephant seal weaner rescued earlier this year, rests  inside a rubber carrier equipped with a heating pad on a wet Thursday  morning at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. She is suffering from  malnourishment due to not hunting effectively after having been  weaned from her mother. Beachgoers found this skinny pup alone and in a  bad location with humans around, so the Center rescued her. Luckily, at  The Marine Mammal Center she’ll get the nourishment and medical care she  needs to fatten up and become strong enough for release back to the  ocean. In many ways she is like the other thousands of seals and sea  lions that have been rescued by the Center since 1975.

In the articled is also told thet TVA has a "humpack" due to bone malformation.

To read more: Elephant Seals and Birth Defects

martes, 17 de enero de 2017

Blogging blues (II)


Pasa el tiempo y me doy cuenta de que en esto de los blogs soy realmente vieja. Siento un extraño vértigo en el estómago porque la mayor parte de los que leo son posteriores a este, vadebichos; y...es que esto de ver el tiempo que lleva una publicación circulando lo tengo tan asumido que normalmente suelo pensar en los bloggers como más viejos o jóvenes que yo no por la edad que podamos tener cada uno, sino por la fecha en que empezamos a escribir nuestros respectivos mamotretos. Que nadie se ofenda, si quisiéramos imprimir todo lo que escribimos en un blog saldría un mamotreto, posiblemente interesante pero seguramente muy grueso.



Image result for blogging blues
[Resulta que la expresión blogging blues se usa bastante a menudo, pero yo no la había oído nunca la primera vez que la usé, conste. La foto es de https://girlreading.net/2016/11/

Tiene su sentido, desde luego. Quien se ha lanzado a escribir sabe que se encuentra unas dificultades de partida, y otras muchas por el camino. Para mi la primera fue cómo escribir, y es que no tenía la costumbre de hacerlo. No es lo mismo hacer algún informe técnico que ponerse a contar cosas sobre animales, intentar hacerlo ameno y buscar el tono con que hacerlo...¿lo hago más amable?, ¿quiero ser más cortante o irónica, tal vez más perentoria?. Y la calidad de lo escrito, ah maldito intento de hacer un buen uso del lenguaje, yo que pensaba que sería mucho más sencillo...con cuántas piedras habré tropezado. 
Tan difícil es para mi que me ocurre demasiado a menudo que si quiero contar algo lo tengo que hacer en un tono plano, neutro, porque a poco que me deje llevar por la mínima intención de calidad, me pierdo; sí, pierdo el hilo narrativo. Es bastante humillante, lo confieso, escribir es más difícil de lo que me había planteado.
Pero lo peor es la vergüenza. Me da pudor que me lean, no penseis que es porque me importe mucho la calidad de lo que escribo sino porque escribir es mostrar la mente, y temo enseñar demasiado, que se me vea mucho. Esto es algo que me ocurre en todos los niveles de la vida, y no pensaba que me fuera a ser tan limitante para escribir.

Pero no tengo tanto que temer, a mi me leen cuatro gatos y dos suspiros, y os ruego que me disculpeis si soleis leer este blog. Lo cierto es que lectores constantes tengo pocos, es por eso, además, que me permito escribir estas líneas. De ser de otra forma, si todas las entradas tuvieran el mismo nivel de lecturas, yo no iría contando estas cosas. Pero no, generalmente cuando escribo sobre alguna especie animal o algo que suscite cierta polémica (http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/la-verdad-sobre-perros-y-lobos-el-perro.html, inciso, hoy en dia hay muchos más estudios que coinciden en que el animal del que surgió el perro no se pareció tanto a un lobo gris actual como le gustaría a los criadores de perros lobos) la cosa suele tener más repercusión.

 

 Las reflexiones personales, por el contrario, tienen muy pocas lecturas. Y ya no digo cuando me pongo a analizar un tema más en profundidad, como los relativos a la falsa leyenda del gato del farero o los animales que menstrúan. Si fuera por las lecturas que reciben, no merecería la pena hacerlo, así que la mayor sastifacción que me dan este tipo de posts es que me obligan a hacerme mi propia idea sobre estos temas, después de haber hurgado mucho. Bueno, no hubo un gato del farero que extinguiera a una especie de pajarito él solito, y hay unas cuantas especies más aparte de la nuestra que menstrúan (usando el femenino como general), aunque eso no explica el sufrimiento que la menstruación le supone a miles, millones, de mujeres jóvenes o maduras.

Así que esto del lenguaje es un obstáculo importante para escribir un blog, pero conforme pasa el tiempo se hace más importante otro asunto, mantener el interés en seguir escribiéndolo, aparte de buscar el momento para hacerlo. En esto del interés se pasan por distintas fases, o sea no es un proceso lineal. Yo he echado de menos un interlocutor a lo largo de toda la historia de la existencia de este blog, y en determinados momentos esta ausencia me ha apartado totalmente del mismo; mientras que en otros la fuerza de lo que quería escribir, o investigar me mantenía activa por si misma. Pero el tiempo erosiona, sin duda, y exige más para estar aquí. Yo ya no puedo mantener la línea de un blog amable y apto para niños en todos los posts, porque me aburriría mortalmente esta falta de adrenalina en cada página. No quiero decir que no vaya a escribir contenidos para niños, ni que deje de escribir entradas para denunciar la extinción de especies y de las especies en extinción (http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2015/04/el-nuevo-furtivismo-un-negocio.html, http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2015/05/el-furtivismo-es-una-guerra-contra.html, http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2014/01/y-si-tu-abrigo-de-pieles-le-han.html) , las numerosas crueldades contra los animales que se cometen en nombre de la cultura, el beneficio económico o la ignorancia pura y simple, y otras muchas cosas que creo importantes (http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/blogging-blues.html#uds-search-results, http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2013/12/por-que-es-interesante-esta-mariposa-me.html, http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/search/label/Invertebrados) , como muchas que me emocionan profundamente (http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/search/label/Delf%C3%ADn%20Marcos). No voy a dejar de hacer fotos a los animales que están cerca de nosotros y que tan a menudo no vemos porque nadie nos ha enseñado a hacerlo (http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/2012/11/ofiura-ofiura.html), ni a los cadáveres de animales que encuentre para enseñar, aprender y denunciar (http://vadebichos.blogspot.com.es/search/label/Ilustres%20cad%C3%A1veres). No tengo pensado dejar de hacer todo esto si sigo escribiendo el blog.

 

 



Quiero decir que en muchas otras ocasiones me desviaré por otros caminos, o, sencillamente, el blog no será. Además de soltar de tanto en tanto peroratas como esta.

lunes, 16 de enero de 2017

Are there fishes with necks?

here were. In the Devonian period existed a singular species of fish, so singular it has its own genus, the Tiktaalik, a extinct sarcopterygian (lobe-finned fish) with many features that are well observed in four-legged animals, thus tThe Tiktaalik is understood as transition form from fish to amphibians.  Well-preserved fossils were found in on Canada.
Tiktaalik had  internal and external nostrils and  a neck, with the pectoral girdle separate from the skull. This would give the creature more freedom in hunting prey either on land or in the shallows.

And they were so gorgeous...well, no, they weren´t gorgeous at all, but they had necks, so why care about the rest...
There are. Seahorses have a neck the can bend upside down and that lets them feed the the way they do.



and they are so gorgeous, this time for real.
I don´t know how far is the skull of Seahorses form their pectoral girdle, looking to them moving it seems that they are pretty well far to give their necks the right to be considered real necks.

Tiktaalik image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tik...
Seahorse image: http://www.scientificamerican.co...

domingo, 15 de enero de 2017

Which animal/bird/insect best describes such situation?

 - X is looking for Y.
- Z is also looking for Y.

And
- W makes Y available to both X and Z.

I am looking for a name of animal/bird/insect who are facing such situation in their food chain. It would be great if someone provide names of W,X,Y and Z.


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[Note: I will answer expecting that your question isn't a homework, because as I have told I find it very interesting. But in case it is, I wouldn't show your teacher these rambling divagations I'm going to write here, teachers frequently expect that the answers are centered on their local area, so...good luck if you use this material...].
[Note 2: I think that in marine habitats this type of situation is more frequent given that there are many more intermediate predators than in terrestrial habitats].

Such as you have posed it, I don't remember any direct example of two different insectivore birds looking for the same kind of insect, and an aditional element (W, you don't specify wether W is a bird, or even an animal) making those insects avalaible to their predators.

But I can tell of some similar situations:

1)  W accidentally or as the collateral result of its activities makes some preys accessible to some predators. There are a bunch of situations of this kind occurring in many ecosystems everyday, to tell you about some:

  •   W is a maize farmer who uses flood irrigation methods. Y are some   different types of flies (Diptera) that lay their eggs in the flooded fields of W. As a result massive quantities of adult flying insects are avalaible for many insectivore birds, migratory ornot, such as sparrows, swifts, swallows, bee-eaters, etc, etc. They are yor X and Z (and the rest of the alphabet, and more :)).

  • W is a bird that accidentally disperses invertebrates out of their habitats, burrows or even hosts. Thus these inertebrates are made available for some predators that live/chase well far from those habitats and biotopes, and that in other case wouldn't have very few chances of preying on them.

To give them name, W could be piscivorous birds, Y propagulates, and X pelicans.



There is a very interesting paper about the importance of birds as invertebrates dispersers in arid Australia: Page on ebd.csic.es.

2) W voluntarily tells X and Z the location of Y in order to get access to Y or some products of Y.

Honeyguides are named for a remarkable habit seen in one or two species: they guide humans to bee colonies.  Once the hive is open and the honey is taken, the bird feeds on the  remaining wax and larvae. This behavior is well studied in the greater honeyguide; some authorities (following Friedmann, 1955) state that it also occurs in the scaly-throated honeyguide, while others disagree (Short and Horne, 2002). Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that honeyguides guide the honey badger.

I give it up to you to name X, Y, Z, W in those cases.

sábado, 14 de enero de 2017

What is the cephalopod with the longest lifetime?




According to Smithsonian data, Nautilus can live more than 15 years.
Cephalopods - National Zoo



Slowy but with its advantages, here is a Nautilus.

Sill looking for more data, because I love exceptions, when I find anyone, I will put it here.

Edit #1:
Though cephalopods have very short life expectancy, on average from 6 months to 2 years, it has been discovered that Graneledone boreopacifica females can live for more than 53 months. In fact thiese 53 months is what a female spent caring her eggs before they hatch.
Source:
Longest-Living Octopus Found, Guards Eggs for Record 4.5 Years

viernes, 13 de enero de 2017

Are there reports of domestic cats hunting cooperatively?

There are:
Even co-operative hunting does  sometimes occur with closely bonded cats. Littermates Bubble and Squeak  were two such hunting partners. Between them, they quartered the field  in front of my home, flushing out field mice for each other and often  sharing the catch. 12 year old Scrapper regularly teamed up with  unrelated 6 month old Aphrodite to hunt the birds that devastated my  fruit bushes. This was a beneficial partnership as Scrapper, who had no  teeth, flushed birds towards Aphrodite who despatched them, but didn't  eat them! There was no doubt that Scrapper masterminded the operation as  Aphrodite was not very bright!
Discussions with cat-owning friends have provided many more accounts  of cats which flushed prey from flower borders into the waiting paws and  jaws of the cats they lived with.
In 1996, studies of cats in the Galapagos Islands indicated that some  cats will hunt co-operatively to increase the likelihood of successful  hunts. This observation was made when prey was difficult for a single  cat to catch. At the cat shelter where I work, ferals Kim, Jade and Gem  (littermates) did not hunt as a group but they frequently shared their  kills.

Source: Are Cats Really Unsociable?

jueves, 12 de enero de 2017

Which wild animals, if any, teach their young in communities / packs / classes or other groups?

Yes, there are some species that share teaching responsabilities in their communities. Many more that the few examples I'll give here.

              Meerkats teach their juvenile how to handle scorpions to remove the edible parts without being injured with their stingers.
This is a two lessons curriculum (so to speak). First, they provide the young students with dead scorpions with their stingers removed, so that they can handle them safely in order to access to the edible parts.
When the adults think that they have mastered this art, they provide them with dead scorpions with their stingers still attached.

Meerkats are highly social animals that live in organized communities with an alpha couple, which is in normal circumstances the only reproductive one. It is interesting that meerkats can change communities and therefor not all the animals in a given group have to be related to the alpha couple.
 


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me...