Monday, 30 May 2011

World's Only Multi-Talented Mouse Family

World's Only Multi-Talented Mouse Family

multi-talented mouse

multi-talented mouse 01

multi-talented mouse 02

multi-talented mouse 03

multi-talented mouse 04

multi-talented mouse 05

multi-talented mouse 06

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

7 Bizarre Breeds of Guinea Pigs

You can't help but love guinea pigs! With their sweet little eyes and soft squeaking sounds of joy you simply want to give them kisses all day long. But what about these rather odd breeds? Do they deserve never ending kisses too??

Skinny Pig

Skinny Pig

Sunday, 22 May 2011

14 Wacky Animal Sports

When it comes to animals involved in sports, you’re probably familiar with horse racing, polo and the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. You may even be aware of more controversial activities like bull fighting and cockfighting. However, there are plenty of other shocking — and just plain weird — games that require animal athletes. Here’s a look at 14 bizarre sports that involve everything from crickets in your mouth to ferrets in your pants.

Unlikely athletes

Unlikely athletes

When it comes to animals involved in sports, you’re probably familiar with horse racing, polo and the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. You may even be aware of more controversial activities like bull fighting and cockfighting. However, there are plenty of other shocking — and just plain weird — games that require animal athletes. Here’s a look at 14 bizarre sports that involve everything from crickets in your mouth to ferrets in your pants. (Text: Laura Moss)

Ferret legging

Ferret legging

Ferret legging is essentially a contest to see who can keep a ferret in his pants the longest. The sport became popular with coal miners in Yorkshire, England, during the 1970s, and today it’s often seen at Celtic festivals. How do you play? The male-only contestants tie their pants at the ankles before placing a ferret inside and fastening their belts. Participants are not allowed to wear underwear, and the ferrets must have a full set of teeth. The winner is quite simply whoever lasts longest.

Ferrets are natural tunnelers that enjoy confined spaces, and advocates of this bizarre sport say that it’s much more likely the competitor will be injured during the game than the ferret. However, one has to wonder if the ferret truly emerges emotionally unscathed after spending hours in the pants of a man who’s going commando.

Camel wrestling

Camel wrestling

Although camels do fight in the wild, the sport of camel wrestling is often initiated by leading a female camel in heat before two males or by starving camels to make them more aggressive. Camels fight by using their necks as leverage to force their opponent to the ground, and a camel is declared a winner if his competitor falls down or flees. This sport is most commonly practiced in Turkey, but wrestling matches also take place in other parts of the Middle East and South Asia. Due to its violent nature, camel fighting is an extremely controversial sport.

Pig Olympics

Pig Olympics

These little piggies really bring home the bacon. These “sport pigs,” as they’re called, run races, paddle across small pools and even split into teams to chase soccer balls covered in fish oil — all in hopes of winning a gold medal at Russia’s annual Pig Olympics. And these porky athletes never become Sunday dinner, according to the Sport-Pig Federation — they simply go on to produce a new generation of athletic sport pigs.

Cricket spitting

Cricket spitting

Cricket spitting is exactly what it sounds like. Each contestant places a (usually dead) cricket in his mouth and spits it as far as he can. The contestant who spits a cricket the farthest is declared the winner. Entomologist Tim Turpin invented this mouth-watering activity for Purdue University’s annual Bug Bowl. Since then, the sport has been featured at other schools, festivals and events.

Pigeon racing

Pigeon racing

In this sport, trained racing pigeons are released from a distance of about 100 to 1,000 kilometers, measuring the time it takes for the birds to return home. Often, only a few seconds separate the winners from the losers — and the prize money. Pigeon fanciers train their athletes to brave predators, storms and other threats, and the birds’ times are clocked by computer chips attached to ankle rings. There are several theories on how these birds home in on their destinations — they appear to navigate by the sun and may also have a natural compass that allows them to use magnetic north to find their home.

Idi probak

Idi probak

Idi probak is Basque for “oxen tests” and is popular in parts of Spain and France. Two oxen drag a large rectangular rock weighing almost a ton from one side of a square to another. The goal of the competition is to complete as many laps as possible in a set amount of time. Modern competitions typically allow the oxen and their herders 30 minutes to complete their run, but competitions have been known to last up to two riveting hours.

Rabbit show jumping

Rabbit show jumping

In rabbit show jumping — quite possibly the cutest sport ever invented — trained rabbits leap over obstacles of varying heights and lengths. The sport began in the 1970s in Sweden, and today Scandinavia has more than 50 rabbit show jumping clubs. The activity has caught on in the U.K. and America, but there are few international competitions because the rules differ from country to country.

Elephant polo

Elephant polo

This sport is a variant of polo that’s played while riding elephants. Two people ride on each animal: The mahout, or elephant driver, steers the animal and the player tells the mahout where to go and hits the ball. The game is popular in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Snail racing

Snail racing

Ready, set, slow! Snail racing involves racing two or more land snails, typically on a circular track with a radius of 13-14 inches. Racing numbers are either painted on the snails’ shells or small stickers are attached to them to distinguish each competitor. Many snail-racing events take place worldwide each year, but the annual World Snail Racing Championships in the U.K. is the most popular.

Insect fighting

Insect fighting

Insect fighting is a popular activity in many Asian countries, and the practice actually dates back to China’s Tang Dynasty. A variety of insects are used in the fights, but some of the most popular are the stag beetle, rhinoceros beetle, praying mantis, grasshopper and goliath beetle — mostly because their size and jumping ability make them the most formidable opponents. Some bug owners even train their insects to become stronger and more aggressive by feeding them sugarcane and using female mating calls to excite them.

Turkey bowling

Turkey bowling

This game — a popular annual event in some communities — involves using a frozen turkey in place of a bowling ball to knock down bowling pins. The game is usually played on ice rinks and has become fairly common at minor league hockey games in the U.S. and Canada. The frozen birds used in turkey bowling are typically discarded store turkeys not intended for consumption.

Cow fighting

Cow fighting

Cows naturally fight to determine dominance in the herd, and this popular Swiss sport exploits this behavior. Each year, cows in Switzerland compete for the title of La Reine des Reines, which means “the queen of queens,” in an event that draws about 50,000 spectators. The cows fight by shoving against one another head-to-head with blunted horns so each “fight” is essentially a pushing contest.

Camel racing

Camel racing

Like horse racing, camel racing is a spectator sport and a popular event for sports betting. The races are extremely popular in India, the Middle East, North Africa and Australia, and several countries hold annual championship racing events. While the camels were once controlled by child jockeys, bans on underage labor and concerns about the child slave trade have caused many countries to begin using robotic jockeys. Both Qatar and the UAE have banned the use of human jockeys in favor of robots.

Snow polo

Snow polo

Snow polo is a modified version of polo played on a snow-packed arena. The horses are shod with cleated shoes to provide better traction, and the ball is typically larger and bright red to accommodate the snowy conditions.

source

Saturday, 21 May 2011

10 Species Near Extinction

Here is a list of animals that are the rarest in the world, and that should help people if we think that our children want to see.

Javan Rhinoceros

Javan Rhinoceros
Indonesia and Vietnam
Number remaining: fewer than 60
Perhaps the planet's rarest large mammal. Its horn is prized by poachers, and its forests are prized by developers. Both could spell doom for the species.

Vaquita

Vaquita
Gulf of California
Number remaining: 200 to 300
One of the rarest cetaceans in the world, the Vaquita is endangered by both its limited range and the ease with which it gets caught in fishing nets.

Cross River Gorilla

Cross River Gorilla
Nigeria and Cameroon
Number remaining: fewer than 300
Thought to be extinct in the 1980s, the species is holding on, for now. Hunted for bush meat and crowded out by development, it may not last long.

Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran Tiger
Sumatra, in Indonesia
Number remaining: fewer than 600
This small tiger has lived only in Sumatra for a million years, making it hard to escape human expansion. Most survivors dwell in reserves, but about 100 live beyond the borders of the protected areas.

Golden-Headed Langur

Golden-Headed Langur
Vietnam
Number remaining: fewer than 70
All but wiped out, this primate was placed under protection in 2000. It is still in grave danger, but in 2003 its numbers rose for the first time in decades.

Black-Footed Ferret

Black-Footed Ferret
North American Great Plains
Number remaining: about 1,000
The continent's only native ferret is one of its most endangered mammals. In 1986, there were only 18 individuals left, but the species is clawing back.

Borneo Pygmy Elephant

Borneo Pygmy Elephant
Northern Borneo
Number remaining: about 1,500
Shorter than the Asian elephant by about 20 in. (50 cm), the Borneo pygmy elephant is also more docile. Palm plantations have reduced its range, leaving it crowded for space.

Giant Panda

Giant Panda
China, Burma, Vietnam
Number remaining: fewer than 2,000
Loss and fragmentation of habitat are to blame for the panda's perilous state. Captive breeding and species protection are helping the panda hang on—barely.

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
The circumpolar Arctic
Number remaining: fewer than 25,000
Human development and poaching have long threatened the polar bear, but climate change and the loss of sea ice are now pushing it onto the critical list.

Mekong Giant Catfish

giant-mekong-fish-dog-eating-catfish 01
Mekong region of Southeast Asia
Number remaining: hundreds
Prized for its enormous size (the largest ever caught was 646 lb., or 293 kg), it is now protected in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, but fishing goes on.

Mekong Giant Catfish

source

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Six New Breeds at the America’s Kennel Club Dog Show

Leonberger A portfolio of the new faces at this year’s blue-ribbon-canine event. Held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is America’s second oldest sporting event (after the Kentucky Derby). Photographed exclusively for Time by Juliana Sohn, these six debutants take the number of eligible breeds under America Kennel Club rules to 179, all of which were represented at the 135th annual show. 2011′s Best in Show was won by Hickory, a Scottish Deer Hound. Her breed is one of the World’s oldest and has been showing at Westminster since the very first show in 1877.

Bluetick Coonhound

Breed: Bluetick Coonhound; Name: Mike. Male, age 5; Category: hound group

Bluetick Coonhound 01

Sturdy and Athletic
The bluetick coonhound's name derives from the markings on its coat, which is dark blue in color and covered in a ticking, or speckled, pattern.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Breed: Icelandic Sheepdog; Name: Kaffi. Male, age 5; Category: herding group

Icelandic Sheepdog 01

Playful and Inquisitive
Icelandic sheepdogs are so admired in their native country that they have been portrayed on postage stamps.

Cane Corso

Breed: Cane Corso; Name: Chopper. Male, age 3½; Category: working group

Cane Corso 01

Noble and Majestic
The cane corso is a powerfully built dog. The breed's name comes from the Latin cohors, which means "guardian" and "protector."

Boykin Spaniel

Breed: Boykin Spaniel; Name: Jesse. Female, age 2; Category: sporting group

Boykin Spaniel 01

All-Around Hunting Dog
The Boykin spaniel is the official state dog of South Carolina.

Redbone Coonhound

Breed: Redbone Coonhound; Name: Thunder. Male, age; 2 Category: hound group

Redbone Coonhound 01

Fast and Agile
The redbone coonhound is known for its distinctive red coat and is a strong swimmers and an adroit hunter.

Leonberger

Breed: Leonberger ; Name: Gigi. Female, age 3; Category: working group

Leonberger 01

Reliable Family Companion
The Leonberger is a versatile working breed. It also makes an excellent therapy dog.
The dogs were photographed at the New York Hotel Pennsylvania.

source

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Exhibit: The Plastinated Animals of Body Worlds Animals

Reindeer
Anatomist Gunther von Hagens has developed a technique for plastinating anatomical tissue, so that organs, blood vessels, bone and muscle can be observed in extraordinary detail.

Reindeer

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Alaskan Grizzly Bears Fishing for Salmon

grizzlies_salmon

Bear vs Salmon. No prizes for guessing the outcome. The bear's strong, agile jaws clasp the salmon as it frantically swims to spawn. Aesthetically, this predator-prey relationship is quite pleasing: the massive furry bear, its hair tussled by the river water, lunges into the fresh water waves amidst a throng of pink, thwarting the life's journey of an weaker species.

Bear1.preview

However, bear vs salmon may one day be an obsolete pairing. Due to overfishing and climate changes, the salmon population is severely diminishing, and the starving grizzly bears don't know where to turn.

Bear2

Today, the image of this relationship is more appropriately represented by a thin bear pawing at the dirty water, waiting for a fish to swim by. The bear and salmon have a unique predator-prey relationship, in that the salmon has no real defense against the bear.

Bear3.preview

During the annual salmon run, salmon swim in large numbers to the site of their birthplace in order to reproduce. After reproducing, 95% of salmon die, so the salmon run brings them their one opportunity to complete their species' mission. The grizzly bear, however, means to prevent this by catching and consuming the salmon while en route. While the salmon swim along the waters, they appear at the surface often, and the bear merely snatches its food into its very large mouth.

Bear4.preview

The grizzly bear and the salmon are quite unevenly matched. The grizzly weighs 1000lb; the salmon, 4. The grizzly has claws and teeth; the salmon, no inherent weapons. The grizzly makes an ominous roar; the salmon, no noise whatsoever. The grizzly has powerful arms and legs; the salmon, minuscule fins. The grizzly is the most aggressive type of bear and the second largest carnivore in the world; the salmon is a small pink fish. While a salmon may slip by a bear, the bear will most certainly eat the salmon's friends.

Bear5

The bear isn't the salmon's only predator. Man, too, prefers the fish dead. So much reckless salmon hunting has occurred that the salmon population is now greatly diminished. Already, 106 breeds of salmon are extinct, and 40% of Pacific Northwestern rivers that used to hold salmon no longer contain the fish. Canada's Fraser River, for example, used to see 10.6 million salmon during the run; today, it sees a mere 1.6 million.

Bear6.preview

Overfishing of salmon used to sound like an oxymoron. Salmon populations were so numerous that fishermen would joke that they could cross the rivers on the salmon's backs. Today, after years of unregulated fishing, laws are finally being passed. However, scientists propose that 100,000 tons of salmon are still being illegally fished annually.

Bear7.preview

The depletion of the salmon population has imposed a huge stress on bears. In order for the bear to acquire enough fat to survive a winter's hibernation, they must eat 90lbs of salmon a day, or 25 fish. Not only are the bears not meeting their food supply quotas for hibernation, they are actually starving. When a bear is facing severe malnutrition, it will lash out for food. In areas where bears and humans coexist, there have been reports of attacks. In Alaska, bears have been killed after breaking into homes in search of food. In Russia, bears have actually eaten men in desperation. Though a bear can physically overpower a human, the human has the gun, and, if even remotely threatened, will use it.

alaska-bears-fishing

bears-fishing1

Ultimately, the falling salmon population will culminate in the loss of bears. Salmon-rich areas have a 20 times denser population of bears than salmon-poor areas – and more and more rivers are being classified as salmon-poor.

Bear10

Bear vs Salmon can never result in the victory of the fish, but the disappearance of the fish will certainly result in the irreversible fall of the bear.

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