Interesting animal tidbits

Archive for the 'animal news' Category

Golden Ray photos of amazing mass migration

Monday, August 11th, 2008

This is simply amazing!

Amature photographer Sandra Citrelli stumbled upon this mass migration of the golden rays as she was searching for whale sharks off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.

She said: “It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.


groomer reality TV show

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

I just found out about the launch of “Groomer has it” reality TV show on Animal Planet Channel. I suspect it is like “Project Runway” for dog groomers. And guess who’s hosting it? Our fav fab five guy Jay!

I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to put high pressured individuals in high pressure situations to work with animals that are not their own pets. Although these dogs may be mild mannered and are generally calm, you won’t really want to agitate them with frenzied activities and people working on them in that kind of environment. Well, that’s just me. I hope i get to see an episode or 2 of the show some time soon… I have thought of having my own pet grooming store before, so this should be interesting. Most of all, I hope no animals were hurt in the filming of the show. *wink*

See-through frogs

Friday, September 28th, 2007

(Photos from AFP/HO/File - Thu Sep 27, 2:54 PM ET)

“TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese researchers have succeeded in producing see-through frogs, letting them observe organs, blood vessels and eggs under the skin without performing dissections.

“You can see through the skin how organs grow, how cancer starts and develops,” said the lead researcher Masayuki Sumida, professor at the Institute for Amphibian Biology of state-run Hiroshima University.

“You can watch organs of the same frog over its entire life as you don’t have to dissect it. The researcher can also observe how toxins affect bones, livers and other organs at lower costs,” he told AFP.”

The researchers produced the creature from rare mutants of the Japanese brown frog, or Rena japonica, whose backs are usually ochre or brown.

Such frogs could theoretically exist in the wild but it is “virtually impossible” they would naturally inherit so many recessive genes, Sumida said.

From yahoo news.

I hope none of these genetically modified froggies escape the labs. It’s stated in the article that the offspring of these transparent frogs are also transparent but their grandfroglets die soon after birth.

Dead 42-foot whale found at Sorsogon

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Bryde's whale

News and photos from

A 42-foot long Bryde’s whale was found dead at a beach in Barangay Tagdon, Barcelona, Sorsogon.

I tried to find more information about this incident, but only found the same info on a couple of sites. Apparently, the whale died after it beached. The report also mentioned that the locals wanted to eat the meat of the whale, but the authorities buried the mammal according to the provisions of an administrative order of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

I’ve also read an article in a recent issue of Reader’s Digest about a man who found a whale beach on shore and how he managed to maneuver it back to the sea. I don’t quite understand why they do that in the first place.

The Natural History Museum website has the following explanation…

Did you know every year in the UK between 350 and 800 whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) wash up on British shores? Most are already dead, but some are still alive.

Dead on arrival

The majority of whales that come to our shores are washed up, already dead. There are a number of reasons why they may have died.

  • disease – caused by parasites, viruses or a suppressed immune system (pollution, stress and starvation can make an animal’s immune system weaker and more vulnerable to diseases)
  • natural mortality – death from old age, death of mother or calf during birth (calves still dependent on their mother’s milk can become separated and starve)
  • pollution – the deadly effects caused by chemicals from industrial, agricultural or domestic sources (factories, farming and home waste).

Sperm whale stranded on a beach

Alive but not well

You may have seen news stories of live whales stranded on a beach, when efforts have been made to get the animal back into the water, occasionally with some success.

What makes a live whale beach itself?
Most cetaceans use their own form of sonar and are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field – they use both of these to navigate and find their food. Several things can affect these otherwise amazing skills:

  • Navigation error – whales and dolphins sometimes get lost as they use the Earth’s magnetic fields to navigate the seas. There are a number of things (that we don’t yet fully understand) that may cause the animals to become confused, causing them to mis-read these magnetic lines and become lost
  • Noise pollution – anthropogenic (human-made) noise from drilling, dredging, shipping, offshore developments and seismic surveys can cause disorientation and distress
  • Naval sonar – the effects of sound waves from submarines used by the military (for detecting other submarines, ships etc) can disorientate whales and dolphins.

Some species of cetaceans are very social animals and travel in family groups following a dominant leader. Tragically, if the group leader is sick and swims into shallow water, all the others may follow and become stranded together.

Fishes Royal

A law was enacted in 1324 that all whales, dolphins and porpoises found in English waters belonged to the King (or Queen as we have now) and were to be known as ‘Fishes Royal’. The Natural History Museum was given the responsibility for investigating all the strandings since 1913 and runs the UK Whale and Dolphin Stranding Scheme. There have been more than 11,000 strandings so far.

More whale shark sightings!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

I’m so excited to go diving soon! My friends mentioned that they had a very pleasant and unexpected encounter with a whale shark at my favorite and closest diving area; Batangas, just 3 hrs away from Manila. According to her, the current was very strong so she and her friends were drifting with the current when all of a sudden, they sa something huge! They couldn’t believe their eyes! The whale shark (locally known as Butanding) was spotted near the Mainit school in Mabini, Batangas. The curious whale shark stayed with them for a good 20-30 mins and they have the video to prove it!!

video of whale shark in BatangasPrior to this encounter, some members of the camera club I belong to has mentioned seeing a whale shark at the Cathedral dive site as well but they didn’t have video of it. We are not sure if it’s the same whale shark.

It seems like the change in the seasons and climate has affected our marine life tremendously. Whale shark sightings are a major tourist attraction in areas like Donsol and Dumagete in the Visayas region. In fact, a trip to those areas to see the whale shark was in my to-do-list-before-i-die. Areas like Batangas never had sightings of Butandings before.

Recently, there’s been news of more sightings around Puerto Princessa in Palawan of a whale shark as well. BBC Wildlife photographer of the Year (2002) Duncan Murrell was there and was amazed by the 20-foot long whale shark! Have a look at this great picture!

Whale shark in Puerto Princessa

Got the picture from Read the rest of the article about the whale shark in Palawan here.

Here’s another site by Sergey Parinov which features great photos of whale sharks. Photos were taken in Donsol.

Donsol whale shark

Pet Fashion Week 2007- New York

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

It’s been a rainy/stormy few days here and I decided to give Koffee back his old blanket. He’s been sneezing lately and might be getting a bad cold, with the cooler weather and his new shorter fur cut and all. I took it away from him when he was pup because he kept gnawing on it which had small tassle-like ends.

Does’t he look cute with that banket? Made me think about getting him a nicer looking outfit for his walks. That’s when I happened upon this interesting bit - there’s a Pet Fashion Week ‘07 on Aug. 18 - 19, 2007 in New York! Have a look at; the official online sponsor for PFW ‘07. They show a preview of cute outfits for your pets for PFW!

bling sweater pariscoats

I don’t t think any of the outfits on Pupstyle would look good on Koffee because they seem more suitable for winter or colder climates. They also cost a bundle!! The search for the best Koffee outfit continues!

Wanna share your pet?

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

I recently read about a pet-sharing-ownership-rental company in San Francisco called FlexPetz, “a company that contracts out dogs by the day to urbanites without the time or space to care for a pet full-time.” They have a set of 10 socialized and trained dogs who are “rented-out” on a similar “time-sharing” basis as with some hotels and rest houses. Basically, you pay an annual fee ($99.95) , a monthly fee ($49.95) to cover expenses like insurance, training, healthcare of the doggies as well as a per visit fee ($39.95 a day) which should cover the packaged food for the rental period as well as accessories such as bowls, etc.

I don’t frown at the whole pet-shared-ownership idea completely. I understand it would just be cruel to have a pet and neglect them completely. I don’t know how much profit the owner of FlexPetz is actually making from this – perhaps the charges are just enough to cover her fixed costs, but that the pets are well adjusted and bring others joy – you can’t argue with that.

You guys have heard my pet Koffee’s recent or indifference towards me because I haven’t been spending time with him – which was one of my concerns before I got a pet in the first place. However, after a few hours or a day of “bonding” we were back on track. He would be a good candidate for the pet-sharing thing since he’s very friendly and adjusts well to different kinds of people.. I don’t mind sharing him with friends and such… but to rent him out for profit maybe not.