Giant Octopus Released Back Into the Wild

Velma the Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) was returned back into the wild today. The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR, typically keep their octopuses 6-9 months and release them once they outgrow their tank or show signs of getting ready to reproduce. For their specimens they depend on donations from local crabbers and fishers who accidentally catch them in their pots and nets. They’re currently on the lookout for their next resident octopus.

(via: Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center)

It’s Time Again… Catch the Shorebird Migration!

by Rosemary w/ MassAudubon

The end of summer brings a new kind of beachgoer: waves of shorebirds that stop by Massachusetts (and other Northeastern) beaches as they migrate south for the winter. This spectacle began in early July, and though we’re nearing the end of its peak (mid-August), it will continue through mid-November.

Migratory shorebirds can appear on practically any tidal wetland. Away from the coast, any muddy pond or lake shore will also often host small numbers of shorebirds during migration. While many shorebirds spend time in Massachusetts/the NE, here are five that you may see right about now…

(read more: MassAudubon)

photos: Vitalii Khustochka/Flickr; albertovo/flickr; Jerry Fishbein; and Justin Lawson/Flickr bumpylemon

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

"Freshwater Hydroid" (Cordylophora caspia)
…a ‘unique’ species of Oceaniid hydrozoan which is native to Northern Europe, but has been introduced into the United States and Canada. True to its common name Cordylophora caspia inhabits freshwater and brackish (or sightly salty) habitats, with colonies growing on a myriad of hard surfaces like rocks, pilings, and even mussel shells. Like marine hydroids C. caspia is predatory and will consume a variety of freshwater invertebrates. 
Cordylophora caspia populations may benefit from the expansion of zebra and quagga mussels in North America, as they provide substrate. It is thought that the increase salinity in systems impacted by road salt benefit them as well. 
Classification
Animalia-Cnidaria-Hydrozoa-Hydroida-Anthomedusae-Oceaniidae-Corydlophora-C. caspia
Image: Nadine Rorem

astronomy-to-zoology:

"Freshwater Hydroid" (Cordylophora caspia)

…a ‘unique’ species of Oceaniid hydrozoan which is native to Northern Europe, but has been introduced into the United States and Canada. True to its common name Cordylophora caspia inhabits freshwater and brackish (or sightly salty) habitats, with colonies growing on a myriad of hard surfaces like rocks, pilings, and even mussel shells. Like marine hydroids C. caspia is predatory and will consume a variety of freshwater invertebrates. 

Cordylophora caspia populations may benefit from the expansion of zebra and quagga mussels in North America, as they provide substrate. It is thought that the increase salinity in systems impacted by road salt benefit them as well. 

Classification

Animalia-Cnidaria-Hydrozoa-Hydroida-Anthomedusae-Oceaniidae-Corydlophora-C. caspia

Image: Nadine Rorem

cool-critters

cool-critters:

Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis)

The greater bilby, often referred to simply as the bilby since the lesser bilby became extinct in the 1950s, is an Australian species of nocturnal omnivorous animal in the Peramelemorphia order.

Greater bilbies live in arid areas of central Australia. Their range and population is in decline. It makes its home in a burrow that spirals down, making it hard for its predators to get in.

Greater bilbies are nocturnal omnivores that do not need to drink water, as they get all the moisture they need from their food, which includes insects and their larvae, seeds, spiders, bulbs, fruit, fungi, and very small animals. Most food is found by digging or scratching in the soil, and using their very long tongues.

Greater bilbies are generally solitary marsupials; however, there are some cases in which they travel in pairs. They are considered as “Vulnerable" by the IUCN.

photo credits: wildlifesydney, oddanimals, geeveston

Not a walkingstick… it’s an assassin bug (genus Emesaya). 
These and other members of the subfamily Emisinae are called thread-legged bugs. They are true bugs more closely related to things like stinkbugs and milkweed bugs than to walkingsticks, despite the similar appearance. 
Thread-legged bugs are predators, and their two front legs are modified for grabbing and grasping, much like those in praying mantids. They are small insects, averaging less than 1.3 in (3 cm), though some may reach twice that length. 
Some species have been observed stealing insects caught in spider webs, and even hunting the web’s owner itself. As in other assassin bugs, thread-legged bugs have a sturdy, straw-like proboscis that they puncture their prey with; they inject a lethal saliva that also liquifies the prey’s insides, and then suck it up. 
Thread-legged bugs can be found through much of the year and across most of the continental United States, into parts of southern Canada.photo by Jenn Forman Orth (urtica) on Flickr
(via: Peterson Field Guides)

Not a walkingstick… it’s an assassin bug (genus Emesaya).

These and other members of the subfamily Emisinae are called thread-legged bugs. They are true bugs more closely related to things like stinkbugs and milkweed bugs than to walkingsticks, despite the similar appearance.

Thread-legged bugs are predators, and their two front legs are modified for grabbing and grasping, much like those in praying mantids. They are small insects, averaging less than 1.3 in (3 cm), though some may reach twice that length.

Some species have been observed stealing insects caught in spider webs, and even hunting the web’s owner itself. As in other assassin bugs, thread-legged bugs have a sturdy, straw-like proboscis that they puncture their prey with; they inject a lethal saliva that also liquifies the prey’s insides, and then suck it up.

Thread-legged bugs can be found through much of the year and across most of the continental United States, into parts of southern Canada.

photo by Jenn Forman Orth (urtica) on Flickr

(via: Peterson Field Guides)

Scientists Study “Talking” Turtles in Brazilian Amazon
via: Wildlife Conservation Society
Authors find that Giant South American river turtles have a repertoire of vocalizations for different behavioral situations, including caring for young
Turtles are well known for their longevity and protective shells, but it turns out these reptiles use sound to stick together and care for young, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and other organizations.  Scientists working in the Brazilian Amazon have found that Giant South American river turtles (Podocnemis expansa), or Arraus, actually use several different kinds of vocal communication to coordinate their social behaviors, including one used by female turtles to call to their newly hatched offspring in what is the first instance of recorded parental care in turtles.
“These distinctive sounds made by turtles give us unique insights into their behavior, although we don’t know what the sounds mean,” said Dr. Camila Ferrara, Aquatic Turtle Specialist for the WCS Brazil Program. “The social behaviors of these reptiles are much more complex than previously thought.”…
(read more: Wildlife Conservation Society)
photograph by © C. Ferrara/WCS

Scientists Study “Talking” Turtles in Brazilian Amazon

via: Wildlife Conservation Society

Authors find that Giant South American river turtles have a repertoire of vocalizations for different behavioral situations, including caring for young

Turtles are well known for their longevity and protective shells, but it turns out these reptiles use sound to stick together and care for young, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and other organizations.

Scientists working in the Brazilian Amazon have found that Giant South American river turtles (Podocnemis expansa), or Arraus, actually use several different kinds of vocal communication to coordinate their social behaviors, including one used by female turtles to call to their newly hatched offspring in what is the first instance of recorded parental care in turtles.

“These distinctive sounds made by turtles give us unique insights into their behavior, although we don’t know what the sounds mean,” said Dr. Camila Ferrara, Aquatic Turtle Specialist for the WCS Brazil Program. “The social behaviors of these reptiles are much more complex than previously thought.”…

(read more: Wildlife Conservation Society)

photograph by © C. Ferrara/WCS

Africa’s Parrots Need Your Help!

Many populations of parrots are threatened with extinction. In Africa the problem is particularly urgent - parrots there face an increasing number of threats, from harvesting for the wildlife trade and habitat loss, to disease and persecution as crop pests. The World Parrot Trust is focusing its attention on their plight, and we need your help!

Milkweed Leaf Beetle (Labidomera clivicollis)

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a new visitor to the Milkweeds, in the herb garden at the nature center (where I work, Houston, TX). Living along side various aphids, ladybird beetles, monarch butterfly caterpillars is this gorgeous little yellow phase Milkweed Leaf Beetle (they are more commonly red and black, or even orange and black). This beetle is associated with a few species of milkweed across North America, which they feed on, by first draining some of the poisonous sap at the base of the leaf with a well placed cut.

- Paxon

scienceyoucanlove

lamarghe73:

King Cheetah.

The king cheetah is a rare mutation of the cheetah characterized by a distinct fur pattern. The cause of this alternative coat pattern was found to be a mutation in the gene for transmembrane aminopeptidase Q, the same gene responsible for the striped ‘mackerel’  versus blotchy ‘classic’ patterning seen in tabby cats. The mutation is recessive and must be inherited from both parents for this pattern to appear, which is one reason why it is so rare.

scientificillustration
jehart:

Red-eyed tree frog life cycle
in watercolour and technical pen on Arches hotpress watercolour board. 
Finally posting this piece, which I finished a while ago. This was part of my semi-private lessons on topics in scientific illustration, and was the first time I’d made a descriptive illustration in watercolour (usually, it’s Adobe Illustrator). I’ve discovered that I’m not so skilled in painting backgrounds, but it was an interesting learning experience, and I think that it would be fun to try again some day. I’m not crazy about the illustration board I use, since it curved severely under heavy washes, so next time I’ll probably use stretched or heavy hotpress paper. On the plus side, it holds up remarkably well to multiple layers of liquid masking fluid. 

jehart:

Red-eyed tree frog life cycle

in watercolour and technical pen on Arches hotpress watercolour board. 

Finally posting this piece, which I finished a while ago. This was part of my semi-private lessons on topics in scientific illustration, and was the first time I’d made a descriptive illustration in watercolour (usually, it’s Adobe Illustrator). I’ve discovered that I’m not so skilled in painting backgrounds, but it was an interesting learning experience, and I think that it would be fun to try again some day. I’m not crazy about the illustration board I use, since it curved severely under heavy washes, so next time I’ll probably use stretched or heavy hotpress paper. On the plus side, it holds up remarkably well to multiple layers of liquid masking fluid. 

reptilefacts
libutron:

Red Tailed Racer  (Red-tailed Green Ratsnake, Arboreal Rat Snake)
Gonyosoma oxycephalum (Colubridae), the Red Tailed Racer, is an arboreal species of ratsnake, living in the trees up to 10m above the ground.
This striking green snake with blue tongue is a renowned raider of birds nests, and with up to 2.4 m in total length, is amongst the largest of all the ratsnake species. 
Red Tailed Racers can be found from Myanmar eastward to central Viet Nam, southward through the Malay Peninsula and Southeast Asia as far east as the Philippines and Lombok, Indonesia.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©kkchome | Locality: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

libutron:

Red Tailed Racer  (Red-tailed Green Ratsnake, Arboreal Rat Snake)

Gonyosoma oxycephalum (Colubridae), the Red Tailed Racer, is an arboreal species of ratsnake, living in the trees up to 10m above the ground.

This striking green snake with blue tongue is a renowned raider of birds nests, and with up to 2.4 m in total length, is amongst the largest of all the ratsnake species. 

Red Tailed Racers can be found from Myanmar eastward to central Viet Nam, southward through the Malay Peninsula and Southeast Asia as far east as the Philippines and Lombok, Indonesia.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©kkchomeLocality: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia