User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-National
Category: Specific Organisms :: Amphibians
Last updated: Mar 28 2015 20:39 IST RSS 2.0
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These Volunteer Toad Crossing Guards Help Nature Thrive In Philadelphia 28.3.2015 Green on
It's that time of year again, when thousands of toads are migrating across busy roads toward their breeding grounds -- and hundreds of human crossing guards are there to make sure they arrive safely without being squashed by cars. Posted by Toad Detour at the Schuylkill Center on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 The operation is designed to protect the thousands of local American toads that leave the Schuylkill Center's 340 acres of forest, where they've been sleeping through the winter, to head for a nearby reservoir where they'll make a whole lot of babies. That's all good, except for the perilous part of the journey that involves crossing two city streets, points out the Schuylkill Center's Claire Morgan. She has the world's best job title, "toad detour coordinator," and the duty of ensuring that traffic is rerouted on nights when the migration is taking place. To help these critters make it to where they'll be able to make it, volunteers block traffic with plastic barriers for a couple of hours every night, ...
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Absurd Creature of the Week: ‘Punk Rocker Frog’ Has Shape-Shifting Spikes and Teen Angst 27.3.2015 Wired Top Stories
The punk rocker frog changes the texture of its skin to better blend in with its surroundings, which is very weird for a ...
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There Are Teeny Tiny Underpasses for Salamanders in Massachusetts 26.3.2015 Boston Globe: Latest
One rainy night each spring, hundreds of salamanders emerge from their forest burrows to cross Henry Street in ...
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A Chameleon Tongue In Slow-Mo Will Show You Just How Badass These Lizards Are 25.3.2015 Green on
Chameleons may be best known for their amazing color-changing ways, but their tongues may be even more amazing. They shoot out at speeds around 13.4 mph and can reach more than 1.5 times the length of the lizards' bodies. And when they reach out to snare fast-moving prey, they can accelerate five times faster than a fighter jet . If you have trouble imagining what all that looks like, you're in luck. A new video from Earth Unplugged (above) shows the tongue attack of a panther chameleon in glorious slow-motion -- and it's pretty eye-popping. (Story continues below.) "We're looking at one of the fastest tongues on the planet," Sam Hume, an assistant producer at BBC Earth, says in the video. "This is 1500 frames a second, so that's about 60 times slower than real ...
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Monster Salamander Metoposaurus Algarvensis Was A Triassic Terror 25.3.2015 Green on
These days, salamanders are among the least intimidating creatures on the planet -- so harmless, they're commonly used a classroom pets. But that wasn't always the case. Newly uncovered fossils show a relative of the salamander called Metoposaurus algarvensis that lurked in the waters of Portugal some 230 million years ago that was the size of a small car. This monster amphibian was so ferocious that it snacked on some of the first dinosaurs. " This new amphibian looks like something out of a bad monster movie ," Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences said in a news release. "It was as long as a small car and had hundreds of sharp teeth in its big flat head, which kind of looks like a toilet seat when the jaws snap shut." While Metoposaurus lived on a diet of mostly fish, the 6-foot-long, 200-pound Triassic ancestor of today's salamanders and newts could also eat anything else that came over to the water for a drink. "Like people down in Louisiana or Florida today: ' Stay ...
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Life Is Full Of Amazing Things, You Just Have To Look Around 25.3.2015 Green on
Everyday, mundane things can be astounding. We just have to learn to see the world through the eyes of a cat. Below, please find these cats' reaction to seeing a ceiling fan for the first time. Here are other things that surprise cats: 1. The fact that it hurts when they playfully scratch you. 2. That your toes are connected to your body and thus, feel pain when bitten. 3. That it is actually gross to have to hand-feed them because they won't eat their wet food if you don't. Please feel free to include other things that surprise cats in the ...
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Bighorn Sheep Die-Off Prompts End Of Hunting Season In Montana 24.3.2015 Green on
By Laura Zuckerman March 23 (Reuters) - The die-off of bighorn sheep from pneumonia led Montana wildlife managers on Monday to take the unusual step of abruptly closing a hunting season tied to a wild herd near Yellowstone National Park whose seasonal mating rituals attract scores of wildlife watchers. The emergency closure came after state biologists estimated that pneumonia had claimed nearly 40 percent of a herd near Gardiner, Montana, whose numbers fell to 55 this month from 89 last year, state wildlife managers said on Monday. Such pneumonia outbreaks have been linked to contact between wild sheep and domestic ones that graze on public allotments and private lands across the Rocky Mountain West. More than 1 million bighorns once roamed the region but their numbers had fallen to just tens of thousands in the first decades of the 20th century because of unregulated hunting and disease, according to the Wild Sheep Foundation. Wildlife managers in Montana and other Western states have ...
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Texas Cow Has Quadruplets: Eeny, Meeny, Miny And Moo 24.3.2015 Green on
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A cow in Northeast Texas has apparently defied great odds and given birth to four calves that have been named Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moo. Jimmy Barling said Monday that DNA tests will be done on tissue samples from the three bull calves and the one heifer calf to satisfy those who may question the births from one mother. "We knew she was pregnant, but we didn't know she was going to do this," the 76-year-old Barling said. "This was a shock. This blew our minds." Barling's wife, Dora Rumsey-Barling, owns the couple's 20 or so cattle outside of DeKalb, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma borders. Rumsey-Barling's granddaughter named the four black calves Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Moo, Barling said. Local veterinarian Mike Baird called the March 16 births "extremely rare." He said the odds of four live births from one cow are 1 in 11.2 million. Baird knows the couple well and is nearly certain the four came from one mother, rather than a nearby cow perhaps birthing one or two and then moving ...
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Hundreds Of Bees Swarm Baseball Game, Stinging Man Hundreds Of Times In Utah 22.3.2015 Green on
ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- A bee attack during a baseball game in St. George forced players and spectators to flee and sent one man to the hospital.

St. George Fire Capt. Robert Hooper says the man was stung between 200 and 300 times late Friday morning at Elk's Field.

But he told the Deseret News the man didn't exhibit any signs of a severe reaction, and was alert and talking to emergency responders. His name wasn't immediately released.

Several other people were treated for stings at the scene.

Lone Peak High School baseball coach Matt Bezzant told The Spectrum newspaper of St. George that the bees came from a dugout and players were chased by as many as 70 bees at one point.

Fire crews doused the dugout area with a chemical foam to combat the bees.
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Is It Time To Take Green Sea Turtles Off Threatened Species List? 21.3.2015 Green on
HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii's green sea turtles should continue to be classified as threatened because its population is small and nearly all of them nest at the same low-lying atoll, federal wildlife agencies said Friday. The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs petitioned the government in 2012 to study whether Hawaii's green sea turtles might have recovered to the point where they no longer need Endangered Species Act protections. But Patrick Opay, the endangered species branch chief of NOAA's Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office, said Hawaii has fewer than 4,000 nesting green sea turtles, and 96 percent of them nest at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This makes them vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, rising sea levels and other threats, Opay said. "You have all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak," he said. Green sea turtles nest on beaches and feed in the ocean, eating mostly seagrass and algae. Adult females return to the same beaches where they were born every two ...
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Wood Bison, North America's Largest Land Mammal, Will Soon Return To Alaskan Wilderness 20.3.2015 Green on
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska wildlife officials are preparing to release North America's largest land mammal into its native U.S. habitat for the first time in more than a century. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Sunday plans to begin moving wood bison from a conservation center south of Anchorage to the village of Shageluk, the staging area for the animals' release into the Innoko Flats about 350 miles southwest of Fairbanks. A hundred wood bison will be released after they're acclimated in a few weeks. "This has been an incredibly long project — 23 years in the making," biologist Cathie Harms said. "To say we're excited is an understatement." Wood bison are the larger of two subspecies of American bison but did not roam in Lower 48 states. The smaller subspecies are plains bison, which were not native to Alaska but were introduced to the state in 1928, where they have thrived. Bull wood bison weigh 2,000 pounds and stand 6-feet-tall at the shoulder. They feed on grasses, sedges and forbs ...
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Phoenix Zoo Discovers Luka The Bear Is Female, Not Male 20.3.2015 Green on
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Zoo is fessing up to what it calls an "embearassing" mistake regarding one of its animals.

Zoo officials say they were planning to transfer Luka to the Nashville, Tennessee, zoo when they recently discovered that the 2-year-old Andean bear is a female, not a male as thought.

According to the Phoenix Zoo, Andean bear cubs' genitalia are highly undeveloped before age 2, making it very difficult to determine gender.

The zoo said employees there also hadn't handled the bear much because it was doing very well with its mother.

The zoo said Luka still might go to Nashville, but now that they know she's a she, it opens up other options for the bear's participation in a breeding program.
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Cane toad has surprise effect on Australian ecosystem 19.3.2015 New Scientist: Living World
Invasive toads in Australia poison predators that eat them, allowing other prey, like the crimson finch to ...
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Jeremy Dugas Tried To Sell Duct-Taped Iguanas Dangling From Bicycle: Cops 19.3.2015 Green on
A Florida man is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly attempting to sell live iguanas that he had hog-tied with duct tape and wire. Jeremy Dugas, 35, was arrested in Key West on Tuesday after a woman reported that he allegedly tried to sell her the bound iguanas to cook for dinner, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Police found Dugas sitting on his bike in front of a restaurant called the Banana Cafe. Three orange iguanas each about four feet in length were dangling from the handlebars with their front and back legs taped with duct tape and a metal wire running to each set of legs, acting as a handle, according to the Bradenton Herald. Dugas told officers that he intended to eat the iguanas, which he said he caught at a local golf club and only asked the woman if she wanted to purchase the lizards in order to make her leave him alone, reports. However, two restaurant patrons told police they heard Dugas trying to sell the iguanas, according to the website. Iguanas are non-native ...
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Cane toads' kiss of death lets finches live 19.3.2015 New Scientist: Health
Invasive toads in Australia poison predators that eat them, allowing other prey, like the crimson finch to ...
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Dogs, Take Note: This Is How You Make Your Owner Jealous 19.3.2015 Green on
Some dogs are consumed with the thoughts of food, other dogs love long walks or sticking their heads out the window. This dog lives to make his owner wish they had never stopped petting him. As the post on Imgur explains, "If I don't pet my dog immediately, he gets someone else to pet him then stares at me to see if I'm jealous." We all have likely experienced what typically happens when you pet a dog while another canine is present. This usually results in the other dog running up and knocking the first dog out of the petting position, thus securing the affection for the jealous dog. But not this dog. This dog doesn't succumb to jealousy. He uses it to his advantage. Are you jealous? God knows we ...
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Missing South Carolina Tabby Found 2 Years Later In California 18.3.2015 Green on
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A cat that vanished in South Carolina two years ago is going home after ending up nearly 2,000 miles away in Southern California.

Kevin the orange tabby is leaving Palm Springs on Wednesday after disappearing from Anderson, South Carolina, in 2013. John Welsh of Riverside County Animal Services says the cat turned up in early March inside a U-Haul trailer a woman had driven across the country.

During a routine inspection, the inspector heard meowing. The driver says she didn't know Kevin was inside.

The dehydrated cat was taken to a shelter. His microchip helped track down owner Cheryl Walls, who jokes that Kevin has seen more of the country than her.

She says somebody must have cared for Kevin. But who — and how Kevin got into the trailer — are mysteries.
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Nevada Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Sick Pets 18.3.2015 Politics on
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada senator has introduced a bill that would allow pets to use pot.

Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring the bill that was introduced Tuesday. SB372 calls on state officials to issue medical marijuana cards for animals if the animal's owner is a Nevada resident and a veterinarian certifies that the animal has an illness that might be alleviated by marijuana.

Segerblom says the provision is part of a larger bill that cleans up the state's medical marijuana statute.

Sen. Mark Manendo, a fellow Democrat and animal rights advocate, says he's concerned that marijuana might not be a safe treatment for sick animals.

Segerblom says he's also concerned that marijuana might have adverse effects on animals, but he says veterinarians won't know unless they try.
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Zoos Boost Biodiversity Understanding 17.3.2015 Environmental News Network
Zoos and aquariums around the world have a crucial role to play in helping people understand how they can protect animals and their natural habitats, new research from the University of Warwick, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and Chester Zoo has found.
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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Wildlife From New, Toxic Pesticide 16.3.2015 Newswire
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