Animals

Animals News

Non-Venomous Python Found In Winnipeg Dumpster

A Winnipeg resident was surprised on Tuesday to discover a five-foot Ball python in a dumpster behind an apartment building.

The snake is not poisonous.

The resident called police; one of the officers used a small recycling box to corral and hold the snake.

The police then called the city’s animal services department.

They came right away and rescued the animal.

Ball pythons are a bit smaller than most pythons. Ball pythons are about one metre long.

Police said that finding a snake in this way is extremely rare—it almost never happens.

The person who discovered the snake had been putting out their garbage and heard a noise; they saw a snake moving around.

The snake will be held until a good home can be found for it.

Image: Richiebits
Animals Science

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.

Image: Keven Law
Animals Science

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.

Er Shun. Image: Toronto Zoo
Animals News Science

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.

Daisy Morris, discoverer of Vectridraco daisymorrisae
Animals Kids News

Pterosaur Named After Girl Who Discovered It

Like many children, Daisy Morris loves to collect fossils.

Unlike other children, however, Daisy’s hobby has led to a pterosaur being named after her.

A pterosaur is a type of flying reptile closely related to dinosaurs.

The species Daisy discovered is now known as Vectidraco daisymorrisae, or “Dragon from the Isle of Wight.”

Daisy, who lives in England, was five years old in 2008 when she and her mother were taking a walk along the beach. She noticed some black bones—about 40 mm long– sticking out of the mud and she dug them out.

The family took the bones to a fossil expert at Southampton University in England.

Image: Calbear22
Animals Science

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.

Lonesome George
Animals News

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.

Superb Fairy Wrens; Image: Benjamint444
Animals News Science

Baby Superb Fairy-Wren Sings For Its Supper

If a baby Fairy-Wren wants food, he has to give the password first.

He’ll know it off by heart—because he learned it before he was hatched, while he was still inside his egg.

The Superb Fairy-Wren (its scientific name is Malurus cyaneus) is an Australia bird.

It teaches its babies a single note, even before the baby is hatched.

The mother wren sings the note over and over to her unhatched eggs.

The mother teaches the note to the father wren so he can sing it to the eggs, too.

A North Atlantic Right Whale and its calf
Animals Environment News

Endangered Right Whale Population is Growing

North Atlantic Right Whales are one of the most endangered whale species in the world.

But now their numbers are growing again, thanks to a plan to keep large ships away from the whales’ nursery and feeding grounds.

For many years the whales were hunted for their oil. Hunting was banned in 1937, but by the 1990s there were only a few hundred North Atlantic Right Whales left.

The whales live in the Atlantic Ocean, off the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. They spend the winters in warm southern waters, where most calves are born, then migrate north in the spring.

Many Right Whales spend each summer and fall in the Bay of Fundy, a large inlet of the Atlantic Ocean between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The water there has large amounts of plankton – tiny organisms that are an important part of the whales’ diet.

I'll Have Another and Lava Man at the 2012 Preakness Stakes
Animals News Sports

Canadian-Owned “I’ll Have Another” Retires

Canadian-owned I’ll Have Another was a favourite to win the Belmont Stakes horse race this year.

The race was held last Saturday.

If he’d won, he would also have won all three of the major horse races and become the U.S. Triple Crown winner, every horse-owner’s dream.

However, it wasn’t to be.

Just before the big race, his trainer announced that the horse had tendonitis in his left front leg and would not be able to race. The owner decided to retire the colt from racing.

The good news is that I’ll Have Another will recover from his injury and will be fine. It’s likely that the horse will become a stud, which means that he will father other colts which may go on to become excellent race horses themselves. In that way, I’ll Have Another’s legacy will live on.