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So, turns out one of the tricks to emperor penguins being able to stay under water so long is that they can metabolize anaerobically-that is, without oxygen. Not so surprising for bacteria (at least we’ve known about that for a while), but for a bird, pretty awesome adaptation. Read about it here, and find out about the technical mechanisms and triggers for the switch here.
The challenges of motherhood are many.
It requires a ton of patience.
You have to carry a lot of extra weight.
You have absolutely NO privacy.
And let’s face it; your young won’t stop until they’ve sucked you dry.
And the worst part is, one day you have your brood all together…
But then you look up and they’ve all gone their separate directions!
But wherever they go, they’re following in your footsteps.
And they’ll always look up to you.
And need you and love you.
Thanks, mom, for handling all of these challenges LIKE A BOSS!!! Happy Mother’s Day!!!
Nocturnal and arboreal, binturongs are difficult to study or observe so there is not much known about this adorable, old-man of an animal. As far as we know, they are the largest member of the civet family. They have a long prehensile tail that they use for steadying themselves as they climb through the trees. They can walk upside down on a tree, hanging from the branches but have never been observed making leaps. Much like opossums, it is doubtful that adults can support their whole weight with their prehensile tail, but the young can.
They are carnivores, consuming birds and small mammals and catching them with surprising speed. They are also capable swimmers and able to dive and hunt for fish. Still, they will also sometimes eat ripe fruit, especially figs and will invade plantations or steal fruit from houses. They eat bananas like they do in cartoons, by squeezing the end and popping the fruit out of its peel.
These animals are usually solitary, although sometimes one or two adults can be seen with young. They defend themselves by biting, with a bite strong enough to sever fingers. They will also growl loudly and spit, with violent movements, scaring off many potential predators.
They are listed as vulnerable due to hunting, trapping for the pet trade and loss of habitat. They have been bred in captivity and the captive animals make a wide variety of calls. You can hear some of these calls here.
This interesting looking fish is a ribbon eel. Those big membranes on its face are its nostrils, which also act as a lure to attract prey to their sharp-toothed jaws. When it snaps its jaw shut, it recoils into its burrow. They will also use their burrows to hide when they are threatened. I can tell that this is a juvenile or a small adult male because of its coloration. Adult males will have a yellow snout and females are yellow, with a little white and black on their fins. Females are comparatively rare and not seen often. None of these fish are born females-all of them are born as males. This is another sex changing fish that changes from male to female.
Two exciting stories of ants for you. The first is how some species of ants have designated food testers to make sure a food supply is not poisonous before the rest of the group gets it. You can read about that one here. The second is about a study suggesting that ants are capable of performing simple arithmetic calculations. Here is the actually publication, if you want the sciency version and here is the link to Discovery’s summery.