Tuesday, 25 September 2012

12 Creepiest Looking New Species

1. The Yoda Bat

The Yoda Bat

In 2010, a tube-nosed fruit bat with an appearance reminiscent of the Star Wars Jedi Master Yoda was discovered in a remote rainforest. The bat, along with an orange spider and a yellow-spotted frog, is among a host of new species found in a region of Papua, New Guinea. More than 200 animals and plants were revealed for the first time after two months of surveying in the rugged and little-explored Nakanai and Muller mountain ranges that year. (Link | Via)

2. Lesula

Lesula

Scientists are claiming they have discovered a new species of monkey living in the remote forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo -- an animal well-known to local hunters but until now, unknown to the outside world. In a paper published in the open-access journal Plos One, the scientists describe the new species that they call Cercopithecus Lomamiensis, known locally as the Lesula, whose home is deep in central DR Congo's Lomami Forest basin. The scientists say it is only the second discovery of a monkey species in 28 years.
In an age where so much of the earth's surface has been photographed, digitized, and placed on a searchable map on the web discoveries like this one by a group of American scientists seems like a throwback to another time. (Link | Via)

3. Mr. Blobby

Mr. Blobby

Affectionately nicknamed "Mr. Blobby," this fathead sculpin fish was discovered in 2003 in New Zealand during a Census of Marine Life expedition, according to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Fathead sculpins—named for their large, globe-like heads and floppy skin—live in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans at depths of between about 330 feet (100 meters) to 9,200 feet (2,800 meters). (Link)

4. Penis Snake

Penis Snake

A group of engineers building a dam in the Amazon recently discovered an Atretochoana eiseltiis, better known as a caecilian, which some people might know as a limbless amphibian. But let's be honest, the creature pictured above is a penis snake. The strange creature was discovered while the Madeira River was being drained as part of a damn building project in Brazil's Madeira River. Biologist Julian Tupan said that six penis snakes were found at the bottom of the river. (Link)

5. Pinocchio Frog

Pinocchio Frog

This Pinocchio-like tree frog species was discovered by fortunate accident when it ventured into a Foja Mountains camp kitchen and perched on a bag of rice, where herpetologist Paul Oliver of Australia's University of Adelaide spotted it. Oliver was unable to find another of these frogs, and suspects that they stay mostly in the treetops.
The male frog's nose, the scientists were surprised to discover, points upward when the animal's calling and hangs flaccid when it's not. "Exactly what it is for, no one really knows for sure," Oliver said. (Link)

6. Chinchilla tree rat

Chinchilla tree rat

The chinchilla tree rat (Cuscomys ashaninka) was discovered in 1997 during RAP expeditions that targeted Peru's Vilcabamba mountain range, very close to the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. It is pale grey in colour, possesses a stocky build, has large claws, and is characterized by a white stripe along its head. It is related to the chinchilla rats which are known to have been buried alongside the Inca people in their tombs. (Link)

7. Leaf-Nosed Bat

Leaf-Nosed Bat

A new species of bat has been found in Chu Mom Ray National Park. Apparently this bat was mistaken for a known species in 2008, but has since been proven genetically distinct. (Link)

8. Cyclops Shark

Cyclops Shark

An extremely rare cyclops shark, recently confirmed in Mexico, is one of the oddest life-forms found in 2011. The 22-inch-long (56-centimeter-long) fetus has a single, functioning eye at the front of its head, scientists announced. The eye is a hallmark of a congenital condition called cyclopia, which occurs in several animal species, including humans. Scientists have documented cyclops shark embryos a few times before, said Jim Gelsleichter, a shark biologist at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The fact that none have been caught outside the womb suggests that cyclops sharks don't survive long in the wild. (Link)

9. The flamingo tongue snail

The flamingo tongue snail

This flamingo tongue snail, Cyphoma gibbosum, from the British West Indies is one of thousands of new species uncovered as part of the first Census of Marine Life.
(Link)

10. Sea-Angel

Sea-Angel

A 2005 Census of Marine Life expedition to the Arctic Ocean captured a so-called sea angel, Clione limacina, at about 1,148 feet (350 meters) underwater. Despite its nickname, this little angel apparently doesn't mind showing a little skin. It's actually a naked snail without a shell, scientists said in December 2009.
Such marine snails—most of them the size of a lentil—are widely eaten by many species, making them the "potato chip" of the oceans, biologist Gretchen Hofmann, of the University of California, said in a 2008 statement. (Link)

11. Pink Nillipede

Pink Nillipede

Able to shoot cyanide, this millipede is tough enough to wear pink. First documented in 2007, the shocking pink dragon millipede--yes, that's its real name--is among more than a thousand new species found in the Greater Mekong region in the last ten years, WWF announced on December 15, 2008. Far from a fashion statement, the animal's bright color probably warns predators of the millipede's toxicity. (Link)

12. Gunnison Sage-Grouse

Gunnison Sage-Grouse

Restricted to Colorado, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse was only recently realized to be a species separate from the Greater Sage-Grouse. The two species differ in size, display ornaments, and breeding displays. (Link | Via | Photo)

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Monday, 10 September 2012

Who ate all the sausages?

World's fattest Dachshund put on drastic diet after weighing in at five and a half stone

The world's fattest sausage dog weighing a staggering five and a half stone has been put on a drastic diet to try and get him back into shape.

Overweight Obie, who is double the size of an average Dachshund, was nearly fed to death by his doting elderly owners who had to give him up because of their deteriorating health.

Vet Nora Vanetta heard about his condition and has now taken him in determined help him lose weight.

Obie is the world's fattest DachshundBig boy: At five and a half stone - the equivalent of 77 lbs - Obie is the world's fattest Dachshund

Obie, who was overfed by his doting elderly owners, is now too fat to do any exerciseToo many sausages: Obie, who was overfed by his doting elderly owners, is now too fat to do any exercise

Ms Vanetta, from Portland in Oregon, U.S., couldn't believe a sausage dog could reach that size and originally assumed they'd got confused about his breed.

A Dachshund normally has a maximum weight of 32 pounds - a little over two stone - with Obie more than twice the size at the age of just five.

She said: 'Well, he arrived on August 18 and to my astonishment he was a dachshund and he actually weighed 77 lbs.

'He is extremely sweet and loving. He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with. The ageing owners just couldn't say no to those big brown eyes.

Dieting Obie, aged five, has now been taken in by vet Nora Vanetta in Portland, Oregon, who is determined to get him back in shapeDieting: Obie, aged five, has now been taken in by vet Nora Vanetta in Portland, Oregon, who is determined to get him back in shape

Counting calories, As Obie is too big to exercise, he has been put on a special diet and hydrotherapy regimeCounting calories: As Obie is too big to exercise, he has been put on a special diet and hydrotherapy regime

'But we are thrilled to be able to help him, and now moving on with his new life.'

Nora, who has a degree in animal science and is a certified veterinary technician, now has the difficult task of getting Obie into shape.

But because of his staggering weight, she is unable to take him out for exercise and has resorted to a special diet and hydrotherapy in an attempt to shed the pounds.

Obie now has his own Facebook page - 'Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition' - which documents the obese animal's weight loss regime.

It is hoped the sausage dog can lose around 40 lbs to get his weight to between 30 and 40 lbs.

Tipping the scales. Obie is double the size of most Dachshunds that normally have a maximum weight of 32 poundsTipping the scales: Obie is double the size of most Dachshunds that normally have a maximum weight of 32 pounds

Working out, Obie has a Facebook page, Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition, where people can track his progressWorking out: Obie has a Facebook page, Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition, where people can track his progress

Nora wants her two other dogs - a nine-year-old Labrador and five-year-old Dachshund - to be good role models for Obie

She has also set up a Paypal page to encourage people to donate money to pay for his continued care.

Nora added: 'I feel tremendously blessed to be involved in his rehabilitation and I am amazed at the outpouring of love and support that I have received.

'My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.

'It is so important to introduce pups and kids to a healthy lifestyle and food choices as early as possible.'

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