The reintroduction of gray wolves into the Lower 48 has to be considered one of the major conservation success stories of recent times. Something on the order of 6,000 of the amazing predators are thriving in the Northern Rockies and upper Great Lakes, and they've been delisted as a federally protected species in several states as a result. But should federal protections be lifted entirely across the Lower 48 for the gray wolf so the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service can shift its attention to the less successful recovery of the Mexican wolf in the Southwest, as the agency has proposed?
Gray wolves thriving, not endangered - The Denver Post
(n.) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
Rubber Duckie You're the One
Chess is also a 2013 inductee, and the two beat out bubbles, the board game Clue, Nerf toys, and green Army men.
King of all the butterflies; you are a wonder for both my eyes.
Now I'll emphasize that mechanical trauma from predation is not the cause of nationwide decline in the population; for that we have to look at habitat loss ... Monarchs are evolutionarily adapted to feed only on milkweed, the population of which has markedly diminished after the introduction of Roundup-ready crops that grow in weed-free fields.
tywkiwdbi: Monarch butterflies in trouble
It’s only a few weeks until the end of summer, a terrible time to be a moose in the New Hampshire wild.Tens of millions of winter ticks are preparing to hatch next month from eggs hidden in thick brush. They will wait there to hitch a ride on a moose and suck its blood until the end of May.
They can send a moose to its death, with up to 150,000 dining on every calf, cow and bull in certain parts of the Granite State, wildlife biologists estimate. There was a time when eggs laid in this age-old cycle perished on winter snow. But that hasn’t happened lately in New Hampshire, where a warming trend has winters starting later and ending sooner.
The Washington Post: With warmer winters, ticks devastating N.H. moose population
For all of modern history, a small, carnivorous South American mammal in the raccoon family has evaded the scientific community. Untold thousands of these red, furry creatures scampered through the trees of the Andean cloud forests, but they did so at night, hidden by dense fog. Nearly two dozen preserved samples—mostly skulls or furs— were mislabeled in museum collections across the United States. There’s even evidence that one individual lived in several American zoos during the 1960s—its keepers were mystified as to why it refused to breed with its peers. Now, the discovery of the olinguito has solved the mystery.
President Obama turns 52 The President turns 52 on Sunday, and the White House has compiled 52 photos to celebrate
A new study shows that berries, a staple of the grizzly bear diet, are becoming more abundant at Yellowstone National Park. According to the study, over the past three years berry consumption by bears has nearly doubled, something the authors are contributing to the reintroduction of wolves.
Wyoming Public Media: Berries returning to Yellowstone bears’ diets thanks to wolves, study finds
Amigo the Golden Retriever
The water is meltwater from the snow melting in Summer temperatures that are above freezing. The pools of water are called melt ponds, and are observed at both web cam locations. "Rapid Arctic sea ice loss is probably the most visible indicator of global climate change; it leads to shifts in ecosystems and economic access, and potentially impacts weather throughout the northern hemisphere ... Increased physical understanding of rapid Arctic climate shifts and improved models are needed that give a more detailed picture and timing of what to expect so we can better prepare and adapt to such changes. Early loss of Arctic sea ice gives immediacy to the issue of climate change."
The North Pole is a lake, a shallow lake, but a lake none-the-less.
Japan took a break from its obsession with the future this week as a new exhibition sent visitors 39,000 years back into the past. That's the estimated age of Yuka, a mummified woolly mammoth that has just been placed on public display for the first time ever. The show runs until September. Yuka was found three years ago in the Siberian permafrost and was between six to eleven years old when she died. The mammoth takes her name from the Yukaghir coastline; Yuka is also a common girl's name in Japan, paving the way for countless cute cuddly toys
Eagle in Flight
A careful man I want to be –
a little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be –
that little chap who follows me…
He knows that I am big and fine –
And believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see –
that little chap who follows me…
But after all it’s easier,
that brighter road to climb,
With little hands behind me –
to push me all the time.
And I reckon I’m a better man
than what I used to be…
Because I have this lad at home
who thinks the world of me.
Biologists have unravelled why deep diving mammals such as sperm whales can hold their breath for over an hour when diving for food – they have electrically charged proteins in their blood.
Letting a sleeping dog lie
Working out your dog's true age used to be a case of simply multiplying it by seven. But it's more complicated than that, and here's a handy calculator to do it for you.
BBC News presents Dog years: The calculator
Today's Animal Fact
April is National Poetry Month
Chompy the Shark
Isaac Brumaghim was reeling in a tuna Sunday about two miles off Hawaii's Oahu Island when he came as close as anyone wants to get with a tiger shark that weighed 400 to 500 pounds.
April is National Poetry Month
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain...
--T. S. Eliot
April is National Poetry Month
Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head,
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.
The little poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you're in bed.
So, keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.
---Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
"Sarcastic Fringehead?" Oh, right, sure...
Baby Elephant Swimming
Look out men! That rabbit's dynamite!
Superb Owl Time!
Which Came First?
Bowhead whales can live longer than 200 years
Bowhead whales counted from a sea-ice perch north of Barrow are “doing beautifully,” according to Craig George with the North Slope Borough ... George and his colleagues began recording whale numbers 34 years ago, their counts have increased from 1,200 animals in 1978 to 3,400 in 2011. From those numbers of whales seen, George estimates there are now 14,000 to 15,000 animals.
We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...
...a very big thing, but I won't tell you what, not yet.
Robert Krulwich: Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee
He had survived the perilous flight back from Nazi-occupied territory hundreds of miles away.
Exhausted, the British ‘spy’ pigeon swooped down on a chimney in Surrey for a rest..
And there, sadly, he fell off his perch. Perhaps overcome by fumes from the fire below, he died – with a vital coded message in a tiny capsule still strapped to his leg.
A new term as a result of Super Storm Sandy
A baby crocodile, which when fully grown would expect to be top of the food chain, has become lunch for a hungry bird. In the rare example of one top predator eating rival of another species the fish eagle, which usually eats birds and small mammals, grabbed the hapless Nile crocodile in its sharp claws before flying away.
Like a duck to water...
Happy Grandparents Day!
Mimi is one of the most beloved animals in the zoo. We want everyone to understand how precious she is.
The internet came to the rescue yet again last week, when a group of hikers used an online message board to organize the rescue of a wounded dog stranded high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Official rescue teams can't devote limited resources to saving pets, so the freelance mountaineers had to do it all on their own. How did they pull off this harrowing and heartwarming feat?
How the internet saved a dog stranded at 14,000 feet (the man who left the dog behind faces animal cruelty charges)
Buttermilk the Goat
A new video initiative is bringing the famed brown bears of Alaska's Katmai National Park directly to your computer or smartphone. Without having to go there, you can watch as mature bears compete for salmon and cubs tumble over each other as they play. Started Tuesday, a live Web stream allows the public to log on and see the brown bears in their daily activities in their natural habitat.
Whales — particularly humpback whales like the one pictured above — speak. Their language is not an articulate mix of sounds like we humans make, but some, such as the aforementioned humpbacks, have taken to making sounds akin to singing. It is widely believed by the relevant scientific communities that these sounds are how members of these species communicate with one another. Which is why a whale dubbed the 52 Hertz whale is, forever, alone.
Alone in the Ocean: the 52 Hertz whale
All that remains of Denver's once-thriving Japanese-American neighborhood is Sakura Square, a block of aging structures at Larimer and 19th streets that have little connection with Japanese culture.
Our Nation endures and thrives because of the devotion of our men and women in uniform, who, from generation to generation, carry a burden heavier than any we may ever know. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict's greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh, and pray for a just, lasting peace.
Presidential Proclamation -- Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2012
In what is probably the first time such an event has been witnessed and recorded, humpback whales appeared to try to intervene when a pod of killer whales attacked a baby gray whale.
a polar bear doing a hand stand in the water
This is not a caterpillar
They are European Bee-eaters
Today we get a double feature from our storytelling series “Here’s What Happened.” We hear two animal stories... First, a dog story from Kerry Pettis, of Broomfield and then a story about wild animals from Cindy Lainez and her daughter Lauren, of Golden
Colorado Public Radio: Here's What Happened -- Two Animal Tales
Colorado has an official state amphibian
A bill making the western tiger salamander the official amphibian was signed into law Friday. A Denver primary school class suggested the designation. Gov. John Hickenlooper visited with the kids and told them they were a model for others. He jokingly told them that they'd changed "the future of salamanders everywhere." Three of the critters were also on hand for the event.
Face Off with a Lion
The Monkey House Ends a 111-Year Run
The [Bronx] zoo closed the 111-year-old Monkey House on Monday for good ... It was a casualty of evolution, but not the biological kind. “Zoo exhibitry has evolved” since the Monkey House opened, said Jim Breheny, the director of the Bronx Zoo.
The Monkey House Ends a 111-Year Run in the Bronx, a Victim of Zoo Evolution
I'm still here. Don't let me go.
They call it "Ball's Pyramid." It's what's left of an old volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago ... It sits off Australia, in the South Pacific. It is extremely narrow, 1,844 feet high, and it sits alone. What's more, for years this place had a secret.
For a long time scientists thought stripes were an aid to camouflage, but recent studies suggest that the patterning exists to repel horseflies.
The skinnier the stripes were, the less flies liked them, suggesting that the juxtaposition of polarized and unpolarized light scrambles their vision. Biting insects can transmit disease, so striped zebras that repelled bloodsuckers would be more likely to survive then those without stripes.
The largest animals on Earth are singing in ever-deeper voices every year. Among the suggested explanations are ocean noise pollution, changing population dynamics and new mating strategies. But none of them is entirely convincing. “We don’t have the answer. We just have a lot of recordings,” said Mark McDonald, president of Whale Acoustics, a company that specializes in the sonic monitoring of cetaceans.
No longer together...
The twin polar bear cubs were born at the Denver Zoo and eventually sold as a pair to SeaWorld Orlando. Snow (the female) has developed severe allergies and will be sent to a new home in a zoo in Tucson. Klondike will remain in Florida.
Official State Birds
very small array: Official State Birds
iI you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Happy Carl Sagan Day!
A collection of starlings is called a murmuration
Zeus, an 11-year-old Maine Coon cat, had a curious encounter with a young mountain lion in Boulder, with the pair safely seperated by a sliding glass door. The cats checked each other out at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Pine Brook Hills area of Boulder. Gail Loveman, Zeus’s owner, said she was busy in the office her home when she heard a noise and turned to see a young mountain lion on the porch.
As of Sept. 30:
1,777 U.S. military deaths in Operation Enduring Freedom
5,681 Afghan National Security Forces killed
10,000-20,000 Taliban deaths
12,500-14,700 Afghan civilian deaths
$ 557.1 billion cost of the war through 1212
---statistics from Newsweek magazine
It's been a long, lousy week. Here's a cute sloth.
Full HD High Speed Movie -- 1000 fps
Photron Full HD High Speed Camera SA2
Sure and begorra!
What probably happened is that the Ice Age brought polar bears and brown bears back together, as encroaching ice drove both kinds of bears to the very edges of their habitats. And when they overlapped, they were able to breed,
But when the ice receded, the brown bears went back to being brown bears, and the polar bears went back to their icy habitat and bred with each other to produce more polar bears — just with a little extra DNA.
ANGRY BIRDS: Crows Never Forget Your Face
Mess with a crow, and it will remember your face for over five years, research shows.
Several boys from Troop 130 and I were canoeing at this location yesterday! Mountain lion charges girls in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Not Dead Yet!
"He just shuffled up the handrail near where we were sitting and seemed totally unperturbed by all the excitement he was causing. We are absolutely delighted to have rediscovered such a wonderful creature after just a month of volunteering with ProAves. Clearly the El Dorado Reserve has many more exciting discoveries waiting."
The last red-crested tree rat was spotted in 1898. After 113 years the species was assumed to be extinct. Except, this one showed up in the El Dorado Nature Reserve on May 4th.
Happy Friday! Happy Elk!
Experts in Hanoi captured a legendary giant turtle for medical treatment on Sunday, a milestone in a case that has grabbed national attention and cast a spotlight on environmental degradation in Vietnam.
First hatch is imminent. It could occur anytime today.
"Keep a poem in your pocket..."
Great for combating test anxiety...
Monty the therapy dog is now available for check out from the Yale Law Library.
Hickory, a Scottish Deerhound, won best of show at the Westminster Kennel Club. He was the first of his breed to win.
They had to be built really BIG...
Mammoth 'could be reborn in four years'
"Christmas in Yellowstone" | Fox Hunt
Call out the bomb squad!
It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose.
The New York Times/Science: For Cats, a Big Gulp With a Touch of the Tongue
Alex Wypyszinski, a retired professor and amateur photographer, shot this amazing series of photos of a grizzly bear chasing down an injured bison when he stopped to take photos of geysers in Yellowstone National Park in May. We got the story from the man behind the camera, who works at a post office in the park during the summers.
I'm a wanderer...
By scouring a photo-sharing website for tourists’ pictures of whales, a citizen scientist from Maine has helped to document a female humpback’s record-breaking 6,000-mile journey from Brazil to Madagascar.
Happy Binary Day! Here are some fun things to think about and do on this extra-special day.
Oh, and why is it extra special? 101010 = 42.
National Geographic Photos: World's Biggest, Strongest Spider Webs Found
"Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective."
---American poet Mary Oliver (b. 1935)
Today is her birthday
A frog that hasn't been seen at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in more than 40 years has returned ... Researchers have speculated that disease, changing habitat or other frogs could have forced the northern leopard frog from the park. It's unclear why they returned.
A sad but ultimately hopeful story
"You can't really give up on them. They're your partner."
My little Snickers dog had 23 teeth removed yesterday. Since he only had 44 teeth to begin with, this leaves only half a mouthful to chew with.
Apparently dental problems are common in smaller dogs, and I have no idea what kind of care he was receiving (if any) before I adopted him.
He is eating okay with me moistening his food, and the pain meds are helping keep him comfortable. Of course, none of this work was cheap .
Small rodent comes to the White House
It's a mouse...no, it's a rat! Actually, it's a vole.
Crews using lasers are creating a three-dimensional digital scan of the four presidential faces and other features of the Mount Rushmore National Monument for historic documentation and preservation. National Park Service spokesman Nav Singh said the 3-D modeling also will allow virtual tours of the monument.
Did you have a favorite lunchbox?
They've named him Baltic
A cost of war we don't think about.
Military dogs need high-quality food.
The Te Hokioi was described as a huge black-and-white predator with a red crest and yellow-green tinged wingtips, in an account given to Sir George Gray, an early governor of New Zealand.
Scientists now think the stories handed down by word of mouth and depicted in rock drawings refer to Haast's eagle, a raptor that became extinct just 500 years ago.
An historic moment...
Not only foreward, but backward!
Can ants count? Click on the video at this link to see an amusing scientific study.
The creatures are as weird and outlandish as the creations in a Dr. Seuss book.
"Meep" is a swear word?
... the thickly wooded mountains [lie] along what once was the fortified border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia. At the height of the Cold War, a high electric fence, barbed wire and machine-gun-carrying guards cut off Eastern Europe from the Western world. The barriers severed the herds of deer on the two sides as well.
Have you ever found yourself wondering, "Wouldn't it be nice if there were a word for it?" Well, there is a word for almost everything under the sun. Example:
MEANING: The part of the body where one cannot reach to scratch; from the Greek word for spine
In Pictures: a list of species that became extinct or critically endangered during the 2000s.
BBC One: Life
Hundreds of thousands of straw-coloured bats fill the sky as they fly over the forests of Congo ... The biggest gathering of bats in the world (YouTube)
"I've never seen red-tails harassed so much. They all seemed hoarse. I felt kind of sorry for them," Gaines said of the sight of dozens of little birds divebombing the hawks.
A lot of tea...
Boulder's Celestial Seasonings Tea Company turns 40. Here are some interesting tidbits about them:
*Mo Siegel, the founder, originally handpicked the herbs for his teas, and sewed the muslin tea bags in which the tea was packaged.
*Celestial Seasonings uses more hibiscus than any other herb.
*The herbs are imported from 35 different countries as well as from the United States.
*Mint is kept in a separate room in the factory because it is "the bully of the herbs" with a very potent scent.
*More than 120,000 people toured the Celestial Seasonings plant last year.
*"Sleepytime" is the best selling of all the company's teas.
Cute Dog is Cute
Created by Sarah; "moar" funny pictures
Dogs are smarter than toddlers.
And, as a friend pointed out, most puppies are about as house broken as a two-year old!
"Clunker grief" --Saying good-bye to an old (automobile) friend.
Navy engineers aren’t the only ones who can jam sonar. Scientists have discovered a species of tiger moth that thwarts hungry bats by emitting extra-loud clicks to block the bats’ ability to echolocate.
Looking for love?
$2 Million of Sadness
Rats with Wings
Rocky Mountain high!
If you climb Pike's Peak and are too weary to hike back down, you can get a ride. But it may cost you $500.
The Denver Zoo has a new baby giraffe. His name is Pongo.
Statistically, this year is off the charts.
Today is Friday the 13th AND there will another one next month AND another one in November.
The last time there were three Friday the 13ths in one year was 1998, and the triple jinx won't occur again until 2015.
You can teach an old dog...
Stump, a Sussex Spaniel, won this year's Top Dog at the Westminster Kennel Club competition. At age 10, he is the oldest dog to gain that honor.
Be careful with the word "Birdbrain"
Instead of Groundhog's Day, the Denver Zoo is celebrating Prairie Dog Day.
Truly an odd couple
According to some experts, global warming is now irreversible.
Hawk on my back porch!
Check out my early morning visitor! By consulting my bird book, I "think" it's a Rough-legged Hawk, especially because of the feathers all the way to its toes. Second guess is a Prairie Falcon. A neat start to a cold morning. I believe it was looking for mice or rabbits.
The National Western Stock Show opens today. Cowboy poet Baxter Black will be the Grand Marshall of the parade.
There is a Colorado tradition that claims the weather is especially cold during the two weeks of the Show. However Nolan Doesken, a state climatologist says
"Stock Show weather is an urban myth. Analysis of daily temperatures for the past 60 years reveals there weren't that many really cold days during the Show. Only 3 % fall into the bitterly cold category (15 degrees or less)"
According to research done by the National Academy of Sciences Dog have a sense of fairness.
Elephants' life spans are shorter in zoos than in the wild according to a new study. Unfortunately this is not going to stop the Denver Zoo from raising money for a new 10-acre Asian Tropic exhibit that will house elephants.
Ever wonder what foods the Vikings ate when they set off to explore the new world? How Thomas Jefferson made his ice cream? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip...and why?The Food Timeline shows when certain foods were first eaten.
A portmanteau is a blend -- a word formed by combining two (or more) words. Lewis Carroll gave this name to such a word in "Through the Looking-Glass". As Humpty Dumpty explained to Alice, "You see it's like a portmanteau -- there are two meanings packed up into one word." A portmanteau is a travel bag that opens into two hinged compartments.
Carroll himself coined some fine portmanteaux such as chortle (chuckle + snort), and slithy (slimy + lithe). We have been using this fusion technique to coin names for countries: Tanzania (Tanganyika + Zanzibar), celebrities: Brangelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie), products: camcorder (camera + recorder), and beyond.
from Wordsmith Anu Garg
Gas in our neighborhood is now down to $1.99. We broke the two dollar barrier! Hopefully it'll keep dropping this week. How low can it go?
I found out why my Miniature Schnauzer's eyes glow turquoise in reflected light--it's tapetum lucidum.
Is this animal cruelty?
October 24--United Nations Day
"The United Nations must deliver results for a safer, healthier, more prosperous world. On this UN Day, I call on all partners and leaders to do their part and keep the promise." Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General
Belated group of photos in honor of World Animal Day.
Fox on Walks
Cameo has been walking along the Clear Creek Greenbelt with Piper the Dog; lately she's run across a couple foxes as she travels the back trails. Cameo has been trying to photograph the foxes - an example is below and the full set is here on Flickr.
Not what you would expect
Hundreds of baby squirrels have been rescued and sent to animal shelters in Texas after Hurricane Ike.