Category Archives: Animals

Honeybee Reaches 40 mph with Me Today!

Ok, I love convertibles, the faster the better.  This is not a mid-life crisis.  I have always had fast convertibles, preferably bright yellow.  There was that awkward stage where I had to have normal cars because I had kids (most convertibles have only two seats).

So today, there I was at a stop light, when I notice a honeybee land on my car just outside my window.  It was threatening rain, so I had my cloth top up.  This might seem like a peculiar occurrence, but I quite often have bees land on my car, thinking it is the mother lode of all yellow flowers.

My car

My type of car.

With fascination, I watched my insect buddy as he made himself comfortable on my 12 coat paint job with slippery clear coat and wax.  How fast can I in fact go before my friend can no longer cling to such a slick and un-accommodating surface?  I was first in line, so I kick in the old 0-60 in less than 5 seconds quick shift with a roar of the engine.

honey-bee-md

Honey bee, thankfully larger than actual size…

 

One eye on the bee, one eye on my speedometer, the little guy made it to 40 mph before – whisk – off into the great blue yonder for my insect buddy.  How it held on until 40 mph I have no idea…

 

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Cute Dogs for Your Monday Blues

Cute dogs for your Monday blues…

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Monday Dogs – What do Dogs Think?

A different version of cute dogs for your Monday blues.  What do dogs think?

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‘Vicious’ new praying mantis discovered in Rwanda

female-bush-tiger-mantis

The female wingless “bush tiger mantis” (Dystacta tigrifrutex) from Nyungwe National Park in southwestern Rwanda. (Gavin Svenson)

On a cool and rainy night in a dense, mountainous forest in Rwanda, insect-surveying scientists discovered a new species of praying mantis, one whose wingless females are “vicious hunters” that prowl for prey as if they were marauding tigers.

The researchers have named the newfound praying mantis species which was discovered in Nyungwe National Park Dystacta tigrifrutex, or “bush tiger mantis.”

“The new species is amazing, because the fairly small female prowls through the underbrush searching for prey, while the male flies appear to live higher in the vegetation,” stated Riley Tedrow, a Case Western Reserve University evolutionary biology student who led the research.

Researchers found out about the species after a winged male was attracted to a light trap the scientists had set up to study the local insects. After fortuitously trapping a female from the leaf litter, the scientists got another lucky break: She laid an egg case (called an ootheca). This allowed the scientists to study the nymphs and adults in one three-week field session, which is a rarity in insect science for one field trip.

The researchers compared the new specimens with those found in museums and described in scientific papers; the scientists also looked at various measurements of the bush tiger mantis’ bodies, such as color and length. Through these analyses, the researchers concluded the species belongs to the genus Dystacta; until now, this genus had consisted of just one species, D. alticeps, which is spread all over Africa.

One feature could have provided a big help in identifying the species, the male genitalia. This, however, was missing, as ants had gobbled up these vital parts while the male dried up in the Rwandan heat, the researchers noted.

The scientists also tracked down a dozen species that were previously not known to live in Rwanda, and urged that conservation authorities place the park under protection so as not to endanger the new finds. A follow-up expedition is planned in June to gauge the size of the bush tiger’s habitat.

A study based on the research will be published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

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Cute Dogs for Your Monday Blues

Cute dogs to cheer you up for the start of your week.

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Diver gets caught in whale ‘poonado’

Diver gets caught in whale 'poonado'

This Monday, Oct. 6, 2014 photo shows sperm whales swimming in the waters off the the coast of Dana Point, Calif. (AP Photo/Capt. Dave Anderson/ DolphinSafari.com)

As octopuses shoot out ink as a defense mechanism, so sperm whales blast threats with poop. At least that’s the theory explained by a diver to the BBC.

Keri Wilk and three fellow divers were engulfed in what he describes as a “poonado” let loose by one such whale off the coast of Dominica.

Wilk wasn’t using scuba gear, since that can bother whales, the New York Daily News reports. That means he had little protection: “I had poop in my eyes, mouth, wetsuit, everywhere,” he tells the BBC.

“I was soaked in it from head to toe.” He described the cloud of feces as being some “30 or 40 meters in diameter,” or about 100 feet.

The whale was diving, and the animals often poop while diving, Wilk said. But this time, it stopped mid-dive. “And then it started to evacuate its bowels, and didn’t stop for several minutes.” It even seemed to try to wave the feces toward the divers with its tail.

“But, after leaving the cloud, it quickly washed away and didn’t leave a smell on us,” he says. The group got some rather alarming photos of the whole thing.

(Whales, it seems, aren’t so into being watched.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Diver Caught in Whale ‘Poonado’

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Cute Dogs for Your Monday Blues!

Cute dog pictures to cheer up the start of your week…

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