Bird on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin. Please comment if you know what type of bird this is.
Bird on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin. Please comment if you know what type of bird this is.
These photos were taken across the street from my condo in downtown Johor Bahru, Malaysia. From my window I could see Singapore.
It is at least a meter long from head to tail (probably longer, the tail is really long). Still it isn’t huge since it is very narrow (more like a very thick snake with legs than anything else).
A few months before seeing the lizard in the photos I saw a really big lizard 1 block from the Johor Bahru Customs Immigration and Quarantine complex. It was easily 2 meters long (head to end of the tail) and quite large (stout). It was a different species I am pretty sure.
I was standing for awhile looking at a cool patch of wild greenery. All of a sudden I heard a noise and looked down; this large lizard probably got tired of me standing so and moved quickly into the brush. I hadn’t seen it. I would guess it was sunning itself, before I wandered over. Too bad I didn’t have my camera ready.
I took this photo of this mother Raccoon with 3 youngsters in my backyard. Raccoon’s are pretty big; it is somewhat amazing to me they manage to find enough to eat. I have seen individuals around over the years (not very often though) but only saw this family twice.
I continue to have many wildlife sightings in my backyard which is quite nice.
I can’t even see all the numbers before they disappear. But chimpanzees are shown seeing a flash of 9 numbers on a screen and then pointing to where they were on the screen in order from 1 to 9. Human test subjects can’t even do 5 numbers most of the time.
Related: Chimpanzees Use Spears to Hunt Bush Babies – Orangutan Attempts to Hunt Fish with Spear – Crows can Perform as Well as 7 to 10-year-olds on cause-and-effect Water Displacement Tasks – Tropical Lizards Can Solve Novel Problems and Remember the Solutions
Despite significant recovery successes, the black-footed ferret remains one of the most endangered animals in the world.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a plan to use (UAS) to deliver prairie dog sylvatic plague vaccination.
The primary purpose in this proposal is to develop the equipment, protocols and experience in use of UAS (drones) to deliver oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV). It is anticipated that this approach, when fully developed, will offer the most efficient, effective, cost-conscious and environmentally friendly method to apply SPV annually over large areas of prairie dog colonies in support of black-footed ferret recovery.
Plague is a primary obstacle to black-footed ferret recovery. After more than 20 years of intensive reintroduction efforts across 27 reintroduction sites ranging from Mexico to Canada, approximately 300 ferrets were known to exist in the wild at the end of 2015. Ferrets are constantly threatened by plague outbreaks that affect both ferrets, and their primary prey and habitat provider, prairie dogs.
To date, SPV has been applied by hand with people walking pre-defined transects and uniformly dropping single SPV baits every 9-10 meters to achieve a deposition rate of 50 SPV doses per acre. Depending on vegetation and terrain, a single person walking can treat 3-6 acres per hour. All terrain vehicles (ATVs) have been considered but have various problems.
The bait treats are M&Ms smeared in vaccine-laden peanut butter.
Preliminary discussions with people experienced with UAS suggest an aerial vehicle travelling at a modest 9 meters per second could drop a single SPV bait once per second that would result in treating one acre every 50 seconds. If the equipment and expertise can be developed as proposed here, a single UAS operator could treat more than 60 acres per hour.
If the equipment can be developed to deposit 3 SPV doses simultaneously every second, as they envision is possible, some 200 acres per hour could be treated by a single operator. The idea is that the drone would fire the treats in 3 different directions to increase the spread of treats.
The areas to be treated are located in South Phillips County, Montana.
Related: Using Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies in Roadless Areas (2014) – The sub-$1,000 unpiloted aerial vehicles UAV Project (2007) – Autonomous Flying Vehicles (2006) – Cat Allergy Vaccine Created (2011) – AlienFly RC Mosquito Helicopter (2007)
The nearly 100 million year old wing shows a structure that is very similar to modern birds.
The piece in this photo, and others samples, were bought at an amber market in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state in northern Myanmar. The region is politically unstable and most of the amber is sold to Chinese consumers for jewelry and decorative carvings.
Read the related posts for more on the wonderful discoveries saved in amber of hundreds of millions of years. We get to read about these amazing discoveries so often it is easy to lose appreciation for how amazing each one is. This photo shows a wind that was used by a dinosaur almost 100 million years ago.
Related: Marine Plankton From 100 Million Years Ago Found in Amber 2008) – Learning About Life over 200 Million Years Ago From Samples Trapped In Amber (2012) – The evolution of birds from small predatory dinosaurs – Dino-Era Feathers Found Encased in Amber (2008) – Amber Pieces Containing Remains from Dinosaurs and Birds Show Feather Evolution (2011) – Ancient Whale Uncovered in Egyptian Desert
I have seen this (or another fox) several times recently but this was the first time it stayed visible long enough for me to get a photo. It is fun having backyard wildlife to connect us to nature.
A few years ago another fox enjoyed laying out in the sun in my backyard for a few weeks.
I am amazed how many animals I have seen in my backyard in a very urban area. In the last few weeks, in addition to this fox: possum, raccoon (I’ll post photos later), deer, squirrels, and various birds.
Here is an updated photo of deer, since my first few sightings didn’t result in a good photo.
Another cool use of appropriate technology. One of the problems with Elephants in Africa is when they go into farm fields and eat crops and destroy crops. The elephants and bees project is helping farmers deal with that problem.
By doing so they eliminate the need of farmers to protect their crops by killing elephant. The project uses bees natural behavior and elephants natural desire to avoid bees to create a fence that works to keep elephants out.
The beehives are hung on wires stretched between fenceposts around the farm. If an elephant bumps into the wires to try and enter the farm the bees will swarm and the elephants will run away (and the elephants will send an warning to other elephants to stay away). The fences are being used in Africa and India.
And this fence also produces honey. You can donate to the project to help elephants, bees and people.
Related: Insightful Problem Solving in an Asian Elephant – Elephant Underpass in Kenya – Using Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies in Roadless Areas – Fighting Elephant Poaching With Science (2007) – Europe Bans Certain Pesticides, USA Just Keeps Looking, Bees Keep Dying (2013)
Blue Jay in Arlington, Virginia (in my backyard). See more of my photos.
This is a picture I simply could not have taken before I bought my new camera (a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera with 65 times optical zoom). Birds are still hard to photograph but now at least occasionally I get a decent photo of birds. If you want to get photos of wildlife it is a great camera. And it is a wonderful camera in general.
I like just planting things that will feed and shelter birds (and others) rather than filling bird feeders myself. There is information on how to use your backyard to promote wildlife. I see many birds flying around in my backyard, which is quite nice. Blue jays are some of my favorites.
Blue jays diet is composed mostly of insects and nuts. They especially like acorns.
Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do.
The pigment in blue jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
Deer populations have been exploding across the USA in the last century. Before that deer populations had collapsed largely due to hunting. In the last 10 or 20 years populations of deer have been largely stable (though varying quite a bit by area).
The deer populations had increased (many predators were largely wiped out and with a dramatic decline in hunter) so much that more and more complaints were being made to local governments of problems with deer grazing on property and damaging cars when the cars hit deer crossing the road.
My neighborhood is urban and I have never seen deer in the neighborhood. About 5 blocks away there is a bike path with a tree lined strip of nature where I have very occasionally seen deer. The deer in the photos I imagine got here from that strip of habitat. There is a small area (next to a school which has trees that wouldn’t be so bad for a deer for 1 night). I figured the deer would leave.
But a few days later I saw new evidence of a deer eating some small trees in my backyard – though I wasn’t sure if I missed it before. Then a couple nights later I saw a deer grazing after dark in my backyard.
Video replaced with new one because original was removed 🙁
Savanna Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus, Hunt with Tools by Jill D. Pruetz and Paco Bertolani
Tool construction entailed up to five steps, including trimming the tool tip to a point. Tools were used in the manner of a spear, rather than a probe or rousing tool. This new information on chimpanzee tool use has important implications for the evolution of tool use and construction for hunting in the earliest hominids, especially given our observations that females and immature chimpanzees exhibited this behavior more frequently than adult males.
The full paper, from 2007, was available as a pdf when I visited (I don’t really trust these publishers and what articles by professors they will block access to later when they don’t clearly say it is open access – in fact the journal broke the link on the post I made about this in 2007 now that I checked – sigh).
The full paper isn’t filled with overly complex scientific jargon (as scientific papers can be). In that sense it is an easy read; it is a bit graphic for those that are squeamish.
Dr. Jill Pruetz maintains an interesting blog the Chimpanzees she studies: Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project
Related: Chimps Used Stones as Hammers – Orangutan Attempts to Hunt Fish with Spear – Bird Using Bread as Bait to Catch Fish – Crows can Perform as Well as 7 to 10-year-olds on cause-and-effect Water Displacement Tasks