martes, 31 de enero de 2017

Why was Oliver the chimpanzee human-like?

I learned about Oliver the chimpanzee after answering another question and I developed a kind of sympathy towards his story.
The abstract of my answer is that Oliver was a common chimpanzee that had retained some juvenile characteristics in his face that made him appear more 'human-like' and a preference for walking upright that he could have developed as a juvenile growing with his first owners, a couple that bought him when he was about two y.o. The most peculiar trait he shoed was how upright he could walk, but this type -although very excepcional- of gait has been found in some other apes like the gorilla of the video I have added. And finally, some years of abuse resulted in muscle atrophy and loss of all teeth wich contributed to making his appeareance more slender and his face more plane.
Oliver was famed as a chimpanzee with many human like traits, but in fact many studies carried out after his death showed clearly that he was a common chimpanzee without chromosomic anomalies.
A geneticist from the University of Chicago examined Oliver's chromosomes in 1996 and revealed that Oliver had forty-eight chromosomes instead of forty-seven. This disproved the earlier claim that he did not have a normal chromosome count for a chimpanzee.
Oliver's cranial morphology, ear shape, freckles and baldness fall within the range of variability exhibited by the Common Chimpanzee.
Scientists performed further studies with Oliver, the results of which were published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
However a full DNA test has never been performed. Although many requests were made for access to Oliver for medical testing during his later years at Primarily Primates and again after his death in 2012, it was the policy of PP to refuse all such requests, calling those inquiries "scientific tourism."

Judging by the pictures I have seen he looked like if he had retained some juvenile characters like a somehow flatter face (aslthough that the effect was stressed by the fact that many of the photographs were taken when he was old and had his teeth removed), bald and without beard. He also had a tendence for walking upright, strinkingly upright,  and rarely was seen knucling. He was a well developed male in spite of the juvenile traits in his appeareance. Also, reading his biography -it is very interesting- it results that Oliver was purchased by a Pensilvannia laboratory when he was about 30 years old, and that he spent nine years in a small cage what resulted in his muscles atrophying, which could give him the slender look he exhibits in the pics, apart from horrible mental and phisycal suffering. Oliver, with all his fame, was an abused chimp, and I congratulate that people of Primarly Primates finally took care of him and decided to maintain scientific analysis far from him for the rest of his life:
Oliver was purchased in 1989 by the Buckshire Corporation, a Pennsylvania laboratory leasing out animals for scientific and cosmetic testing. His entrance examination revealed some previous rough handling. He was never used in experiments, but for the next nine years, his home was a small cage, whose restricted size resulted in muscular atrophy to the point that Oliver's limbs trembled.
In 1996, Sharon Hursh, president of the Buckshire Corporation, after being petitioned by Primarily Primates, allowed his retirement to Buckshire's colony of 13 chimpanzees.
So, accordingly to the studies carried out, and in absence of a genetic study, it seems that Oliver was a common chimpanzee whose 'human-like' traits had been highly hyped by his owners who had exhibited him.
The peculiar -for a chimp- way of walking is also not unheared of in some few other non human apes (very few), like the gorilla of this video:

lunes, 30 de enero de 2017

Melancolía, pesadilla en vainilla.

Is it true that animals see colours?

- Animals see in colors thanks to a type of specialized cells located in the retina, the cones, that are sensible to the colors of the light. Humans have around 6-7 millions of those cones (and now imagine how did they manage to count them). tl; dr different type of cones respond to different wavelengths, we humans have 3 different types of cones, the majority about 64 percent of them respond most strongly to red light, while about  a third are set off the most by green light. Another 2 percent respond  strongest to blue light. (Source: How Do We See Color?). So, basically we see in red, green and blue, 3 primary colors, and the rest of them all is got by mixing these 3.

- The small and grumpy purple spot mantis shrimp, Onodactylus smithii, is the winner of vision in colors.
Remember we have 3 primary colors?. Well, this critter has 11 or 12 primary colors. Also, they have eyes that simultaneously measure four linear and two  circular polarisations, enabling them to determine both the direction of  the oscillation, as well as how polarised the light is. (Source: Page on

Souce of this beautiful image:
- Many birds see ultraviolet.
IN THE EARLY 1970s, A RESEARCHER testing the ability of pigeons to discriminate colors discovered by accident that the birds can see ultraviolet (UV) light.  The finding was deemed curious but not too important. “It was natural  for scientists to assume that bird vision is like human vision,” says Geoffrey Hill, an Auburn University ornithologist and the author of Bird Coloration.  “After all, birds and humans are both active by day, we use bright  colors as cues. ... No one really imagined birds might see the world  differently.”
But during the following decades, systematic testing of bird vision  revealed something unexpected: Many bird species—not just pigeons—can  see UV light. Indeed, with the exception of night-flying birds such as  owls, the eyes of most birds probably are even more sensitive to  ultraviolet light than they are to what we call visible light.  Scientists also have learned that many birds have plumage that reflects UV light. Together, these discoveries “made us realize there could be new answers to old questions,” says Drake University biologist Muir Eaton.  Birds rely on vision to choose mates, find food and scan for predators,  for example. “If you assume birds see exactly what we see, you could  have the wrong framework for understanding bird behavior,” Eaton says.
Souce (True Colors: How Birds See the World - National Wildlife Federation)

Also, many insects are able to see ultraviolet. This time you'll have to trust on me because I'm not adding links here.

domingo, 29 de enero de 2017

What is the cause of the significant decrease in the rhino population?

Historically, Overhunting had a great impact in the declive of the 3 main rhinoceros species. Then it was called 'sport hunting'.
After conservationist laws were inforced, in the xx century, the main menace is poaching for rhino horns. But also there is a significative problem of habitat loss which is more important for island species, although it impacts all the rest.
Rhino horns are used as dagger handles in parts of the Middle East, and it is believed that rhino horns have healing properties in East Asia. Poachers sell rhino horns to criminal enterprises to satisfy growing demand in East Asia. Ivory horns are used as aphrodisiacs and hang-over cures. Rhino horn wine is also popular, and these horns are viewed as highly valued gifts.
In spite that I firmly believe that the oriental demand is the problem, is important to mention that speculation and illegal rhino hornes traffic is carried out in and outside Oriental Asia:
There are 5 different species of rhinoceros in the world: Black and White rhinos living in Africa, Indian or Greater one horned (India), Sumatran rhino and Javan rhino.
In the case of the lesser known species, the causes of its decrease is loss of habitat.
Javan rhino: estimated 35 to 45 individuals left in a single population in Ujung Kulon National Park, in Java. Local conservationists, supported by Save the Rhino, are working hard to increase the habitat for this species since it is believed that the current habitat cannot support any more rhinos, and Rhino Protection Units have been set up to monitor and protect both the remaining Javan and Sumatran rhinos.
Sumatran rhino: There are fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild, and efforts are now being invested in captive breeding in an attempt to boost the population. There is a least one female calf born in captivity, Suci, in the Cincinnati zoo.
By the way, do you notice the long fur in the ears, hind part of the head and shoulders?. It is an extraordinary animal, isn't it?.
Although the hornes of these two magnificent species are used in traditional medicine, and also have suffered of overhunting, the key reason of its decrease is habitat loss.
Indian rhino: There are over 3000 Indian rhinos, but this number pales when it is compared with the poplation in the XIX century. For a long time sport hunting was a common practice, reports from the middle of the 19th century claim that some British officers Assan shot more than 200 rhinos. In the early 1900s, the species had declined to near extinction.
Poaching for rhinoceros horn became the single most important reason for the decline of the Indian rhino after conservation measures were put in place from the beginning of the 20th century, when legal hunting ended. From 1980 to 1993, 692 rhinos were poached in India. In India's Laokhowa, 41 rhinos were killed in 1983, virtually the entire population of the sanctuary.
Black rhino and White rhino: Game hunting before conservationist laws had its share in rhino decrease:
Today the menace comes from poaching for hornes, without any doubt:
Large-scale poaching of the now critically endangered black rhino resulted in a dramatic 96% decline from 65,000 individuals in 1970 to just 2,300 in 1993. Thanks to the persistent efforts of conservation programmes across Africa black rhino numbers have risen since the early 1990s to a current popul

ation of 5,055.
The overwhelming rhino conservation success story is that of the southern white rhino. With numbers as low as 50 left in the wild in the early 1900s, this subspecies of rhino has now increased to over 20,000 and has become the most populous of all the rhino species. The population is continuing to increase every year, however there are concerns that the unprecedented rise in rhino poaching since 2008 may bring this species back into decline if the poaching is not reduced.

viernes, 27 de enero de 2017

What is the theory behind the insect offspring being so aesthetically disgusting as compared to the offspring of other species?.

Animals don't have to follow our rules. They live their own lives.

What is your mental scenario?
I see two possible ways of considering your question:

1) Insect offsprings are that digusting things, I can not understand why insects have those weird youngs, somebody explain me.

The answer, as some others here have told you, is that you should consider insects with an insect eye. Insects in general, and there are...around...950,000 species of insects...are not meant to be cute to our human eyes.
Besides, many of them are not even meant to be in their mom eyes, because they don't recieve parental care once they are born.

In short, consider insects in the context of their own needs and adaptations for survival.

2) Some insect offspring seem to be deliberately disgusting, could this be an adaptation for something?, theories?.

Quite a few:
- For example many catterpillars advice that they can be urticant.

Very urticant, no need to test. I did once, and yes, they are. This is not my arm, by the way:
The truth is that is much more efficent -in terms of survival- to be easily recognized as urticant and hence possible agressors abstain to harm them, than being incredible dangerous but not advicing it, and wait until a agressor learns it.

In short, consider insects in the context of their own needs and adaptations for survival.

martes, 24 de enero de 2017

What aquatic animals hunt in packs?

I have a little problem with the term pack (English is not my first language) because I don't know wether it could be extensive to shoars and schools of fishes. In the case it is, then schools of herrings hunting copepods could match your question (see wikipedia Forage fish, for more information). Please if anybody can clarify this, it would be very helpful, at least for my English.

But in any case, non-mammals hunting cooperatively are very interesting, because this behaviour is less known than that of dolphins and orcas.
There is this nice article Reef alliances: goatfish hunt in packs, while groupers team up with moray eels - Not Exactly Rocket Science giving some interesting examples:

  • Goatfish's packs can hunt in a similar way to lion packs. Goatfish live in the Red Sea, and usually forage alone. They only team up when they hunt among corals. The moment one fish  shoots off towards a target, the others join in the hunt. Once the  chaser drives its prey into coral crevices, the others act as blockers,  swimming around to cut it off.

A colourful goatfish.
  • groupers and giant moray eels provide compelling evidence for interspecific cooperative hunting. They also live in the Red Sea.

Groupers will visit moray eels at their resting places and provide  visual signals (such as a head shake) to engage morays in the hunt.  These associations are non-random and appear to be motivated by the  hunger level of the groupers. Groupers were able to capture prey five  times more quickly with morays present because the eels could sneak  through crevices and corner prey items; additionally, morays that hunted  alone were never successful because they did not have a grouper present  to lead them to the prey. Thus, the hunting success of groupers and  giant moray eels is greater for both species than when hunting alone.

I find interesting to remark that those two types of pack hunting have been studied by the same investigator, Reduan Bsary (

I went on looking for more examples, because I thought that vertebrates don't have the exclusive of all kind of complex behaviors. I found that
  • Humboldt squids hunt schools of fish, showing extraordinary cooperation and  communication in its hunting techniques. This is the first observation  of such behaviour in invertebrates (

But I think that there is many more to be discovered. Some lobster practise pack migration, so could crustaceans give some more surprises?, I don't know.

I'm amazed by the way in which some animals combine very strongly hard-driven fixed behavior with some amazing moments of more complex one.

sábado, 21 de enero de 2017

Mala suerte. Paloma zurita atrapada en alambrada

Pues no, no me atrae el morbo. Pienso que los cadáveres nos dan la mejor oportunidad a conocer de cerca a los animales salvajes que nos rodean, por eso los fotografío. En ocasiones hay una historia muy triste detrás de esa muerte, que no tiene nada que ver con una intención directa de dañar al animal, como ha ocurrido aquí. Esta pobre paloma zurita se quedó enganchada en la zona más estrecha de una alambrada, y murió por estrangulamiento o fractura del cuello, no lo llegué a averiguar. No pudo sacar la cabeza. Cuando la encontré no llevaba mucho tiempo muerta. La alambrada pertenece a un parque en el que encuentran cobijo numerosas especies de aves.  Tal vez se podría pensar en dejar los ojos de la retícula de mayor tamaño, al menos a partir del metro de altura. Pero poco podría remediar. Este pobre animal tuvo muy mala suerte.

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.

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; 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

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 (, 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 (,, , 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 (,, , como muchas que me emocionan profundamente ( 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 (, ni a los cadáveres de animales que encuentre para enseñar, aprender y denunciar ( 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:
Seahorse image:

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.

- 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.


[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

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.
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.

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.
Longest-Living Octopus Found, Guards Eggs for Record 4.5 Years

What are some rare colors of common animals that exist that most people aren't aware of?

The Akhal-Teke, a beautiful russian breed of horses, has a fur with metallic shines: Akhal-Teke.
  • Many cephalopods are actually bioluminiscents (Bioluminescence)
  • albino dolphins are pinkish due to the extreme irrigation of their fat.

    martes, 10 de enero de 2017

    Does laying eggs or not laying eggs have any impact on flying animals?

    What are the chances that an animal which does not lay eggs will one day evolve into a flying animal? Does laying eggs or not laying eggs impact the survival chances of flaying animals?

    Not being particularly amused by our own way or reproduction, and I talk from my own experience, I mean I don't belong to the supermammy supermammal party, I'll try to give an objetive answer to this question, and fisnish it before it comes too long and boring.
    Evolutively speaking eggs came first, before than oviparity and fliying. Powered flight has appeared only 4 times in the history of animals: insects, peterosauros, birds and bats, see Flying and gliding animals for a longer explanation (interestingly enough 3 of them in vertebrate animals).  Vivipary has appeared more than once as well, with different hints it has been reported in some frogs (there are cases of ovoviviparity and hemotrophic viviparity), salamanders and sharks (histotrophic viviparity), and of course in all mammals excepting monotremes. There are also many cases of viviparity in plants.

    • In flying insects the rule is oviparity, although there is an orden of true flies that exhibit a form of viviparity, so we can study gravid flies, for example in the tse-tse fly. (Adenotrophic viviparity).
    • (A gravid tse-tse fly: Adenotrophic viviparity).
    • All pterosaurus described to this date were oviparous.
    • All birds are oviparous.
    • All flying mammals, i.e the almost 1,000 species of bats, are viviparous.

    So this trend clearly points to two conclussions:

    - There is a significant higher chance of flying occurring among oviparous animals than in viviparous ones. And very probably due to that viviparity imposes some restrictions to the development of flight, given that it is (on average) more exigent in natural resources than viviparity. Although there are cases of oviparous animals that have turned viviparous after having acquired flight, like the tse-tse. But exceptions are the rule in nature!.
    - It is possible to acquire power flight for an obliged viviparous animals, and thrieve, there are the bats to prove it. But in general, bat flight is more energy demanding than bird flight and thy are in slight disadvantadge in front of birds.

    domingo, 1 de enero de 2017

    Why are there so many and varied birds of paradise?

    There are 41 species of birds of paradise distributed in 14 genera, accordingly with wikipedia. They are part of the Australasian linneage of corvida, so this gives us a new perspective about the plasticity of these animals.
    There are some reasons to explain the disparity of appeareance of the different species. One of then is taxonomy and age of these species. I mean the more blurry is the taxonomy, and the more antique the species, the more easy they have divergent looks. And those birds that inhabit in island so remote from the standpoint of occidental scientits of past times, who classified them, are more easy to be less carefully classified than our neighboury ones.
    Following the same link of wikipedia it is explained that a 2009 study of  " examining the mitochondrial DNA of all species to examine the relationships within the family and to  its nearest relatives estimated that the family emerged 24 million years  ago, older than previous estimates.". This means they have had a bit of time to differentiate among them.
    " The study identified five clades within the family, and placed the split between the first clade, which contains the monogamous manucodes and paradise-crow, and all the other birds-of-paradise, to be 10 million years ago. "

    Another reason is echological. These animals are spread on a few islands that had a very limited population of mammals and other animals that could really threaten them. Besides many of them live in very forestry areas. These two factor favoured colouring and weird feathers, because visibility is important in these areas and also they don't have to fear many predators.

    And the third reason is sexual selection. For these birds the sense of the sight is essential, as it is well known.

    Finally, among birds there are surprising relationships, not only in birds of paradise. To my it is atonishing that these two are related, and they are: