May 7, 2012

An increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere preceding the last defrost

London, England – The increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the Earth may be a cause of rising temperatures that led to last thaw. An international team of scientists, led by American, Jeremy Shakun, has reached this conclusion after analyzing the causes of melting, which began 15,000 years ago and ended 12,000 years.

Previously, the data obtained of ice cores from Antarctica had hinted the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature rise, but left no clear involvement of CO2 in the evolution of glacial cycles. Experts differed if carbon dioxide had a role in the last thaw, and if their influence was secondary or even if it was a result of melting rather than its cause.

This latter hypothesis is the fact that the Antarctic thermal growth began two thousand five hundred years before it began to concentrate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According to the study authors, led by scientist at the University of Harvard, Jeremy Shakun, this variation is due to fluctuations in temperature between the two hemispheres and questions the role of carbon dioxide at the end of the last ice age.

An analysis of 80 planktonic microorganisms on the planet who still have thermal data at the time, concluded that although there were other factors that favored regional Earth warming, the only thing that affected the entire land area was the increase in CO2.

Among the causes that helped also included solar radiation warming, rising sea levels or decrease in the ice sheet that covered the Earth. These researchers say that each of the two phases of thermal growth that occurred in the last thaw, the first 17,000 years ago and the second 12 thousand years ago, were preceded by a remarkable growth of carbon dioxide.

May 2, 2012

Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis)

Did you know?

That the size of the lynx population in North America is related to the abundance of their main prey, the hare? It is known that populations of both species fluctuate in cycles associated with periods of about 9.6 years. In these cycles, there is a slight gap between the populations of hare and lynx.

The Canadian lynx is a medium sized cat. It is smaller than its Eurasian cousin. The head-body length varies from 67 to 107 cm, and the tail is short with a length of 5 to 130 cm. These animals weight between 8.5 and 17 kg. On average, males weigh slightly more than females. Like other lynx, the Canadian lynx has a mustache. The ears are triangular at the tip tufts of their long hair black. The legs are very large and hairy, which helps to distribute the their weight when moving on the snow. The body coat is long and thick. Its color varies, but it is usually yellowish-brown. The top may look cold and gray, but the bottom can be brighter. Many individuals have dark spots. The tail often has rings and a black tip. 

The Canadian lynx is a solitary animal. The vast ranges of males and females overlap. The mating season is in February and March. After a gestation period of 9 to 10 weeks, the female gives birth to a litter of 1-5, usually 2-3 kittens, on fallen logs, rocks or similar shelters. Juveniles have a weight of 200 g. They are weaned at 5 months of age but stay with their mother until the mating season next winter. Females reach sexual maturity at 21 months and males at 33 months. The Canadian lynx feeds primarily on snowshoe hares, but opportunistically eat rodents, birds, fowls, young or weakened ungulates, and even fish.

May 1, 2012

Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

Did you know?

That the Clouded Leopard has the largest canine teeth relative to body size of any of the cat family? The jaws of a Clouded Leopard can open more than any other cat and the development of the teeth is more like that of the extinct saber-toothed tiger, with canine teeth up to 5 cm long.

The Clouded Leopard named as such because their fur stains provide camouflage in its forest habitat. It is the most arboreal of all species of big cats and is one of the best climbers in the cat family. The Panthers nebulae are able to climb upside down underneath tree branches and hang from the branches with their hind legs. Several adaptations allow them to achieve tree capabilities: short and stout legs provide excellent momentum and a low center of gravity while climbing. Large feet with sharp claws let them get a good grip on the branches of trees. The long tail is very important to help balance. The hind legs have flexible joints in the ankles that allow the foot to rotate greatly. This adaptation allows clouded leopards to descend, like a squirrel, head of a tree.

Apr 30, 2012

Axolotl Salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Did you know?

That a derivation of the name “axolotl” refers to the Aztec god Xolotl, the god of games that could become an axolotl to escape his enemies?

The Axolotl Salamander is a neotenic, with indistinct dark spots. The head-body length is about 15 cm, and the tail is about 14 cm. The head profile rises more or less evenly and the body is robust. One fold of the relatively low fin rises at the rear to the height of attachment of the arm. It has a laterally compressed tail, which is the height of the body (including the dorsal and ventral). The webbing between the fingers is not distinguishable. The color is dark brown to black top, bottom and sides are clearer and more contrasting dark staining indistinct. In captive populations, the forms have been bred albino black and white.

Apr 29, 2012

Rainbow Parrot (Trichoglossus haematodus)

Did you know?

That these colorful parrots often frequent feeders coastal homes, railings balconies or windows with bread dipped in honey. And you can even scream and bite people when it comes to getting food?

The Rainbow Parrot has a total length of about 26 cm from the tip of the peak at the tip of the tail. The sexes are similar in plumage, but the female is smaller and has a shorter bill. The plumage in general is very colorful, with green, blue, black, red and yellow, but there is much variation between the different sub-species (20 subspecies). The legs are gray. They have a red beak and iris. Immature birds have duller plumage than adults, a black-brown beak and iris brown. 

Apr 28, 2012

Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Did you know?

That the beak of the Hyacinth Macaw is dry, slightly scaly and has an internal bone? This is an excellent tool for breaking and eating nuts and hard-shelled seeds.

The Hyacinth Macaw is the largest species of parrot, reaching a total length of 100 cm. Its plumage is entirely blue-cobalt. The ring peri-ophthalmic and band around the lower jaw are yellow. The bill is very large, broad and black, but no dental type crests as in other species of macaws. This is reflected in the Anodorhynchus scientific name meaning “toothless beak”. The legs are gray-black and the iris is black. The breeding season is from August to December. A clutch typically consists of two eggs, which are incubated for about 28 days. The chicks fledge after three months and depend on their parents for food until six months old. The food consists of seeds, nuts, especially palm trees, palm leaves and fruit. Like other macaws, the Hyacinth uses clay licks.

Apr 27, 2012

Country Cricket (Gryllus campestris)



Did you know?

That the fable “The Ant and the Cricket” was written by the Greek poet Aesop over 2,500 years ago? In the fable, the cricket is representing lazy, careless people who indulge in foolish hobbies, and therefore lost.

The Country Cricket (Gryllus campestris) is a very popular and well known bug in the fable “The Ant and the Cricket” but almost never seen by the inhabitants of the modern city. Body size has a range from 19 to 23 mm in males and from 17 to 22 mm in females. They have a black body and wings that resemble an intricate wrought iron work. The color of the wings is dark black / brown with a yellow base on which you can see black veins. A modified area of ​​veins on the wings of the male, known as the “harp”, allows them to produce a “song” used to attract the female. The Country Crickets are not flying. They live in short grasslands, warm, with between 10 and 50% of bare soil. Males dig a burrow at the base of a clump of grass with a bare platform at the entrance from which they attract females with their “song”. Females locate singing males crawling along the ground to them. After mating, either within or outside the burrow, the female lays her eggs on the bare soil areas that have a lot of sunlight. The young nymphs hatch in July and August, and grow rapidly. In early fall, dig a den of hibernation and the nymph overwinters there. They feed on different seeds, other plant material or insects (dead or alive). They can be even if they are very hungry cannibals.

Apr 26, 2012

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus potato)

Did you know?

That the actual King Vulture is one of the most powerful of all American vultures that can open carcasses with their mouths, compared to other vultures? So often, the eat first and the other vultures feed after their remains.

The King Vulture is colorful, medium sized bird with a length of 80 cm. Its wingspan is about 120 to 200 cm and it weighs at around 2.7-4.5 kg . The head and neck are bare. This helps to prevent bacteria get on the feathers of the head. After eating, the vulture is relaxed in the sun, ensuring that the heat kills bacteria. The iris is white and eyes are surrounded by red. The beak is orange. The wings are wide and has a short tail. The wings and the dorsal aspect of the tail are black. The underside of the wings and chest are white. 

The King Vultures are scavengers. They feed on carrion that could spread disease and are also able to use a food resource that few animals can exploit.


Apr 25, 2012

Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda)

Did you know?

That the fennec fox is the smallest canid in the world?

The fennec fox is a very small animal with extremely large ears and a very pointed snout. The head-body length is 35-40 cm, 15-25 cm tail length, 20 cm tall at the shoulder and weighing 1-1.5 kg. The ears are 10-15 cm long, the eyes are large and black and has a very small black pad on the end of the snout is pointed. The fur is very soft and smooth, cream colored with whitish underparts. The legs are hairy. 

The fennec is nocturnal. To avoid the heat of the desert, they live in burrows during the day. At night, they go out to hunt rodents, such as spiny mice, hamsters or gerbils, insects, spiders, scorpions, snakes, lizards and birds. They also eat bird eggs, fruit and leaves.

Apr 24, 2012

Broad-Snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris)

Did you know?

That the female Caiman latirostris have been observed by opening the nest during incubation and helping newborns in the water, where they are stored for indefinite period of one or both parents?

The Broad-Snouted Caiman has a short snout, nearly as long as wide at the level of the front corners of the eyes. They have a bony ridge between the front corners of the eyes and the base of the head. The color of the upper surface is brown in young animals with dark olive crossbars, head and sides of the lower jaw have dark spots. Old animals of this kind are almost blackish. The bottom surface is uniformly colored, without dark spots. It can grow to a length of 3 m, but usually measured about 2 m.  

Apr 23, 2012

Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis)

Did you know?

That along the coast of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa, humpback dolphins are killed in shark nets, which is considered at an unsustainable rate? Set nets to protect swimmers and surfers kill marine mammals of more than 50 species.

The Chinese White Dolphin has a maximum length of 2.8 m and weighing about 285 kg. It has a sturdy body with a prominent forehead and a long thin snout. The color is very variable, but basically it’s gray. The ventral and lower jaw are often colored. Adults of western Indonesia have a hump in which there is a small triangular dorsal fin. Individuals originating in eastern Indonesia lack this crest.


Apr 22, 2012

Lemur Colianillado (Lemur catta)

Did you know?

That the young lemur colianillados are born with blue eyes, that will gradually change color as they mature?

Lemurs colianillados are easily recognizable by his thick gray hair, gray and white face with black rings around the eyes and a ringed tail. The head-body length is 50 cm and the tail is 50 cm long. The weight varies from 3.5 to 6 kg. There is a marked sexual dimorphism. Lemur colianillados are social animals that live in large groups with an average of 18 members. Like most species of lemurs, females are dominant over males. Mothers give birth once a year and twins are not uncommon. The offspring of females remain in their natal group, and males leave when they reach three to five years of age.