Fascinating Animals

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Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Polar Bears – on Thin Ice

polar bear cubs

Photo Link:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/20406121@N04/2222146906/

Polar bears are strong swimmers, but swimming long distances in open water is draining and can be fatal. In 2008 a radio-collared bear with a yearling cub swam an astounding 427 miles to reach the ice off the northern Alaska coast. The cub didn’t make it.

A grim future for polar bears is one of the most tangible and poignant outcomes of global warming.  In 2006, federal researchers reported that two-thirds of the world’s polar bear habitat could vanish by mid-century.   Saving the Polar Bears all hinges on reducing greenhouse gas emissions – carbon dioxide and other pollution from the burning of fossil fuels.   Time is running out.

Humankind needs to make a choice.

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Caring for Hermit Crabs – Crustaceans

Hermit Crab tank
Hermit crabs are decapod crustaceans. Most of the 1100 species possess an asymmetrical abdomen which is concealed in an empty gastropod shell that is carried around by the hermit crab. Typical for the hermit crabs is their soft, unprotected abdomens which they hide inside an empty shell. As they grow, they have to replace the shell with larger ones. Some species have a twisted abdomen, with a shape adapted to fit into a particular kind of shell. Some hermit crabs do not use a shell at all, but use an anemone with stinging threads to protect themselves.   The order Decapoda includes the following:   crab, lobster, or shrimp, characteristically having ten legs, each joined to a segment of the thorax.   It can also be a cephalopod mollusk, such as a squid or cuttlefish, having ten armlike tentacles.

Cheetah and Dog Friend Celebrate Anniversary together

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Dogs and cats are usually considered as enemies.
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Visits to this Site – 467 visits today, & Countries represented to date

At the moment of posting this, my Stats shows a total number of visits today to this site of 467, and I thought it might interest some people where the visitors originate from, so I have put into this post 2 images (screen dumps) showing the Countries of origin of today’s visitors – ordered from most views to least.

There are 45 countries shown, and 26 percent of the views were from the U.S.A.    263 visits or 50 percent of the views were from the top 3 countries visiting – i.e. due to visitors from the U.S.A, the Philippines and the U.K.

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Zeebra Designs & Destinations

How can one be angry with the maracuya-destroying caterpillars when their final installment is one of beauty and wonder?  Like the cycle of metamorphosis, we all evolve, hopefully into more-beautiful creatures.

Enjoy, Z



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Feeding a Fledgling

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk


Walter Kitundu from the “Bird Light Wind” Blog has videoed a young Red-tailed Hawk being fed by its mother.  See the video on Vimeo below, and the original post by Walter on his Blog at the second link.  It is awesome!


Feeding a Fledgling

For great pictures and information (plus bird sounds) of the Red-tailed Hawk & other birds, visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.


June Holiday – Carl-Daniel Steyn and Luke Michaelides enjoying nature at Nelspruit and Kaapschehoop, South Africa !!


In the June school holidays we decided to spend our off time in nature. We organized to spend time in Nelspruit and at Kaapschehoop, as well as taking a day trip into the Kruger National Park. We will write a short post on every day to keep you in the know about all the exciting adventures we had in nature.

Day 1 – Nelspruit



We set off from Pretoria to relatives in Nelspruit. It was a very uneventful and long drive with only the occasional bird or view to brighten it up. We finally arrived with numb bums and were glad to stretch our legs. After settling in, we took a drive to a lookout point at the edge of the farm. This gave us an opportunity to get a look at the Lowveld and we also managed to spot a Jackal Buzzard. We decided to walk back…

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Visits from a Chameleon & other Animals !

Panther Chameleon

Furcifer pardalis


Update about the Photo below – it appears widely on the internet and please note that I never  said it was real and I never lied, and never said the Greeks named it but  that the lion reference was associated with the Greeks.  Apologies to Frank whom we received a Comment from and posted below the photo, and have obviously angered.  Please note everyone, just because I have my own viewpoints on my connections with animals doesn’t mean I am out of touch with reality or am a nut-case.  Look toward yourself first if you want to find fault.

beautiful chameleon

A Comment from a disgruntled reader

( when readers are unhappy they are sure to let you know)

From your July 2012 post. The second picture ‘beautiful chameleon’ is a juvenile Chamaeleo calyptratus, commonly called a veiled chameleon. The coloration is absurdly altered and does not exist in nature. Why would you alter the natural beauty of this being? It is out of touch w/ natural beauty and reality, as I suspect you are. You do the world a dis-service when you lie to make a point. The world is a wonderful and beautiful place w/o having to lie. By the way, it was English speaking scientist using Greek names that called the Chameleon the ‘Lion on the Ground’, not the Greeks themselves. Frank

Did you know that the name of these special lizards is translated as “the lion on the ground” as it seems that Greeks deemed something of a lion in them.  By looking in the dictionary you will see that this word is associated not only with this wonderful lizard but also with humans and their sometimes inconstant behavior.   Last night as I was dropping off to sleep, I could see a very clear and large image of a green and spotted Chameleon, just like the photo of the panther chameleon above.   This image was so bright and clear and unexpected, that I knew it must be a visit from the Chameleon spirit, bestowing the “medicine” or wisdom of the Chameleon upon me.   Linsdomain   says the following about the Chameleon as a totem.
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