Post Tagged with: "animals"

Image: André Karwath

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

A new study answers a question people have long asked themselves about the animal kingdom: Why do zebras have stripes?

If you want to try guessing the answer, stop reading now.

Have you guessed? OK, start reading again.

According to a new study, a zebra’s stripes most likely help to keep annoying, biting flies off them.

Scientists have thought that might be the reason.

However, they also had other theories: that the stripes provide camouflage to help them hide from enemies; to confuse their enemies; to help them stay cool; or for a social reason such as to attract a mate.

by · April 9, 2014 · Animals, Science
Image: Joe Robertson

Endangered Animals Making A Comeback In Canada

Seven Canadian species that were once considered endangered or nearly extinct are beginning to flourish again, thanks to efforts by conservationists.

Canadian Geographic magazine reported in its December 2013 issue that populations of endangered whooping cranes, North Pacific humpback whales, eastern wild turkeys, swift foxes, sea otters, wood bison and peregrine falcons have increased in recent years.

Most of them are no longer considered endangered.

Several factors contributed to the disappearance of these species, including loss of habitat, pesticides, disease and over-hunting.

by · January 6, 2014 · Animals, News, Science
This chocolate-colored "cocoa" frog may be a new discovery. Image: Stuart V Nielsen

Scientists Find 60 New Species In Suriname Rainforest

Scientists have discovered 60 species of previously unknown plants and animals living in a remote rainforest in southeastern Suriname.

Suriname is a small country on the northeastern coast of South America, just north of Brazil.

It is located in a geographic area called the Guiana Shield, which contains more than one-quarter of the world’s rainforest.

An expedition of 16 field biologists spent three weeks in Suriname in 2012, exploring the remote, mountainous rainforest region.

Thirty indigenous men helped transport their food and equipment by boat and guided team through the forest.

by · November 25, 2013 · Animals, Environment, News, Science
New Ripleys Aquarium In Toronto

New Ripleys Aquarium In Toronto

Toronto has a new landmark–an aquarium.

Nestled in beside the Rogers Centre at the base of the CN Tower, the new Ripleys Aquarium opened last week.

It’s home to more than 16,000 marine animals and 450 species.

There are lots of interactive displays to let kids see and experience the fish.

In the “dangerous lagoon,” visitors board a moving sidewalk which takes them on a slow ride through a 97-metre see-through tunnel filled with 17 sharks and thousands of marine animals. Sea turtles and saw fish swim overhead as visitors file past.

“Touch pools” feature horseshoe crabs, stingrays and bamboo sharks. The pools are shallow, so people can reach in and gently pet the animals.

An exhibit called Planet Jellies houses many different species of colourful jellyfish.

by · October 31, 2013 · Animals, News
Unlocking The Mysteries Of The Monarch Butterfly’s Incredible Journey

Unlocking The Mysteries Of The Monarch Butterfly’s Incredible Journey

Every year, Monarch butterflies fly more than 4,000 kilometres from Canada to Mexico.

Until recently, no-one was sure how the Monarch butterfly knew the exact path to take that would ensure it would end up at its intended destination after such a long flight.

Now Canadian scientists believe they have discovered the secret to the butterfly’s internal sense of direction.

Scientists wanted to know if the Monarchs used a type of “internal compass” or an “internal map.” Some animals and birds have both.

To find out, researchers tested the butterflies by starting them different locations than they normally would. Ryan Norris, an associate professor of biology at the University of Guelph, started them on their journey from Guelph, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta.

by · April 11, 2013 · Animals, Science
Image: Keven Law

Camel Fossils Found In Canada’s Arctic

Scientists have discovered fossilized bone fragments belonging to a prehistoric camel that lived in Canada’s High Arctic about 3.5 million years ago.

The fossils were found on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, in a site near the Strathcona Fiord.

Scientists have also found the fossilized remains of mammals such as bears, beavers and deerlets (small deerlike animals) in this area.

The site is a polar desert now, but during the Pliocene era – the time when the when the camel was alive – it would have been a forest. The average temperature in the Arctic was 14 to 22 degrees warmer then, so it was warm enough for trees to grow, but still cold, snowy and dark for much of the year.

by · April 8, 2013 · Animals, Science
Er Shun. Image: Toronto Zoo

Giant Pandas Arrive In Toronto

Two giant pandas arrived in Toronto on March 25 to begin a 10-year visit to Canada.

The pandas will spend five years at the Toronto Zoo, and then move to the Calgary Zoo for another five years. They are on loan to Canada from the Chinese government.

The pandas travelled by plane from their native China, along with several kilograms of bamboo shoots, boxes of apples and their favourite toys. The trip took 15 hours.

The pandas were greeted at the airport by a large crowd, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Zhang Junsai, the Chinese ambassador to Canada. A high school band played “O Canada” as the pandas’ crates were unloaded.

by · March 26, 2013 · Animals, News, Science
Image: Calbear22

Underwater Dolphin Rescue Caught On Video

Keller Laros is a professional scuba instructor who lives in Hawaii.

The shores of Kailua-Kona, on The Big Island of Hawaii, host some of the world’s most diverse and interesting aquatic life.

Laros estimates he has made more than 10,000 dives in his career.

On Jan. 11, he led a group of videographers and divers on a “Manta Ray Night Dive.”

However, the tour would be unlike any other trip he had ever been on before.

by · January 24, 2013 · Animals, Science
What’s In A Meme? Ikea Monkey Goes Viral

What’s In A Meme? Ikea Monkey Goes Viral

Who knows why something “catches on” through the Internet?

Somehow it sparks the collective imagination and before you know it, it’s gone “viral.”

That’s what happened last week with the “Ikea monkey.”

Bronwyn Page was in an Ikea (furniture store) parking lot in North York, Ont. on Dec. 9 when she saw something unusual.

A little brown monkey wearing a diaper and a tiny, expensive-looking coat.

by · December 16, 2012 · Lighter
Lonesome George the giant turtle. Image: putneymark.

Lonesome George May Not Have Been The Last Of His Kind

When the giant tortoise known as Lonesome George died last summer, people thought he was the last of his kind.

Lonesome George lived on Pinta Island, one of a group of islands called the Galapagos, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America.

He belonged to a species called Chelonoidis abingdoni, which was native to that island and not found anywhere else in the world.

When he died, scientists believed the species became extinct.

Now a group of researchers has found giant tortoises, who may be related to Lonesome George, living on another Galapagos island.

These scientists studied the DNA of a group of giant tortoises living on Isabella Island, about 60 kilometres away from Lonesome George’s home.

They found 17 tortoises that had some DNA from the same Pinta Island species as Lonesome George.

These tortoises also had DNA from a different species, which means they had ancestors from both species.

by · December 9, 2012 · Animals, News