Animal of the day – 4/27/2011 – The Squidworm

The Squidworm

The animal of the day is the Squid Worm. (Did you know:This is a brand new species that was just calssified on November 24th of 2010!It was first discovered back in 2007 in the Celebes Sea.

It’s name, Teuthidodrilus samae, means the ‘squid worm of Sama.

The squidworm, which grows up to nearly four inches (nine centimetres) long, sports ten tentacles that stick out of its head (thus the “squid” in its name), along with six pairs of curved nuchal organs that allow it to taste and smell. It moves by “paddling” through the water with rows of long thin filaments that protrude along both sides of its body.

The squidworm eats sinking microscopic plants, animals and faecal materials.

Advertisements

Animal of the day – 4/26/2011 – The Humpback Whale

The Humpback Whale

The animal of the day is the Humpback Whale. (Did you know: Humpback Whales are the planets LOUDEST creature! Their songs can carry for up to 100 plus miles! That’s like sitting in New York and yelling at your buddy in Washington D.C.!

Checkout the Barnacles!

Humpback whales are also recognizable by the large amount of barnacles they have otheir head and flippers. They carry more barnacles than any other whale, and recently scientists have found that the males use their barnacles as ‘brass knuckles’ when fighting for females during mating season!

Also, Happy Birthday to John James Audobon! A great naturalist, painter and animal lover!

Animal of the day – 4/19/2011 – The Kite

The Red Kite

The animal of the day is the Kite. (Did you know:  This European raptor is very opportunistic! They will mainly feed on carrion, but if that isn’t available they will hunt live prey.

In the spring time, they are well known to eat lots of earthworms!

Unlike many birds, Kites are not well known to be monogomous. The females are known to leave the male with her clutch of eggs, and fly off to find another male to have a whole new clutch with! Sneaky lady…

Animal of the day – 4/15/2011 – The Roadrunner

Roadrunner

The animal of the day is the Roadrunner. (Did you know: Despite what the cartoon would have you believe, roadrunner can fly, and frequently do so to escape predators!

They do however, prefer to stay on the ground, and can run up to 20 mph. However, they mainly run to hunt, not to escape Wil E. Coyotes.

Like many birds, roadrunners mate for life [as long as their mate doesn’t die].

Animal of the day – 4/14/2011 – The Quagga Mussel

Quagga Mussel

The animal of the day is the Quagga Mussel. (Did you know: These fingernail sized mussels, along with their zebra mussel relatives are wreaking havoc in the Great Lakes of Michigan.

These guys are a textbook case of showing how delicate a food web is. These mussels eat algae. Alot of algae. And unlike their zebra mussel friends, these guys can live in deep water [not just shorelines and boat hulls like the zebra mussels are limited to].

The result? Alot less algae for plankton to eat, meaning alot less plankton for small fish to eat, meaning alot less small fish for big fish to eat, meaning alot less fish in general. Makes sense.

The big problem is that, we just started to notice the effects, and their population size is still growing exponentially.

Oh, and they also block up pipes,

boat propellers,

Even this guys hand!

One of the worst parts about the whole mussel scenario is that while they are edible to humans and fish, they also filter alot of the pollution out of the water, and into their bodies…So eating too much of them can fill you [and the fish they eat] up with toxins. Yay.

Animal of the day – 4/13/2011 – The Muskrat

Muskrat

The animal of the day is the Muskrat. (Did you know: These large rodents are the largest member of the family that contains voles and lemmings! They’re not related to mice or rats at all! (Well, besides both being rodents).

Muskrats are always found near still or slowly moving water, and build lodges similar to beavers [though MUCH smaller].

Native Americans have long considered the muskrat to be a very important animal. Some predict winter snowfall levels by observing the size and timing of muskrat lodge construction. [Which seems much more scientific than waiting to see if a stupid groundhog sees it’s shadow.]
Also, in several Native American creation myths it is the muskrat who dives to the bottom of the primordial sea to bring up the mud from which the earth is created, after other animals had failed in the task.

This is not stylish...Unless your trying to attract Davey Crocket or Rubeus Hagrid.

People also can make jackets from muskrat fur…I don’t suggest doing it. It’s not cute.