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Meet the Sloths

Sunday, 26 June 2011


Lucy Cooke filmed this at the Aviaros del Caribe sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica - the world's only sloth orphanage.

Baby two and three toed sloths, whose mother's have either been run over or zapped by power lines are brought to the sanctuary and looked after by legendary sloth whisperer Judy Arroyo.

The Green Lantern of the Animal Kingdom – The Paradise Tanager

Friday, 17 June 2011

It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  So, perhaps when a certain Alan Scott came in to possession of a magic lantern after a rail crash in 1940, which bestowed upon him certain powers, he was at a loss about how he should dress when in action. 

Perhaps he remembered a stunning, exotic bird he had seen in books in his youth.  

When he became the Green Lantern could it be he had the Paradise Tanager in mind?

Very probably not, but it must be said that the mask worn by the brilliantly colored Paradise Tanger is more than a little reminiscent of the entire Green Lantern Corps.  This medium sized songbird is more than just a mask, however.  It has sky blue underparts and its upper body is a glossy black.  As for the tail – it can be either yellow and red or all red, depending on the species.

The bird is found in the Amazon Basin in South America, in over half a dozen countries there.  Such is the brilliance of the bird’s plumage that it is known locally as siete colores, which means seven colors.  There is no sexual dimorphism which means that the female, so often a dowdy color in other species, has the same magnificent plumage as the male.

As such it can be quite difficult to tell the genders apart.  The only thing which differentiates is that the male calls out more often than the female (whether or not you agree that that is extended to other species is entirely a matter of opinion).  Fortunately, the future of this species seems, for the moment, secure.  Although their exact number is not known, they are described as common throughout their extensive range.

The Paradise Tanager is a clean freak.  Each morning when the mist descends they awake before many other species of bird and ruffle and preen their feathers in order to keep them in tip top condition. Once a male has found a mate the pair elopes to the canopy of the rainforest.  This is because the higher they nest it becomes less likely that their eggs will be eaten by predators.  They chose a nesting spot and then the majority of each day is spent searching for nesting material, finding fruit to eat and hunting insects on the wing.

The species rarely lays more than two eggs at a time and another reason they nest in the canopy is because it puts them at a height where the humidity is just right for the eggs to develop.  After about two weeks the eggs will hatch.

A startlingly beautiful species, the Green Lantern may not, after all, have used them as an inspiration for his mask.  The Paradise Tanager is, however, a super bird in its own right.

Elvis Presley and His Animals

Monday, 13 June 2011

Did you know that Elvis Presley was inordinately fond of animals? Apart from one bizarre onstage incident in 1957 he was renowned for his love of our four legged friends. Neatorama has an interesting article by Eddie Deezen which chronicles the menagerie acquired by Elvis both before and after he bought Graceland.

My own personal favorite is the chimpanzee called Scatter. I don’t know how he got that name but judging from his behaviour it was because when the chimp entered a room people would literally scatter (if they had any sense and especially if they were female!). Michael Jackson may well have made Bubbles famous but Scatter, oh boy. They probably had to keep some of his antics very quiet.

For more Elvis and his animals fun, head over to Neatorama!

The Sloth Life, It Can Changes

Saturday, 11 June 2011


When I first saw the title of this (very funny) animated short I thought that perhaps it was a typo made by someone who does not speak English very well. After all, The Sloth Life, It Can Changes is poor English, innit?

I wasn’t far wrong but the words are from the mouth of the hero of this piece, a slow moving (and perhaps even more slow witted) sloth. Perhaps the age of the lolsloth is upon us?

Or perhaps not. This animation allows you to get to know the sloth and get to like him a lot too – and then drops one almighty bomb on you. Perhaps one of the silliest starts to an animation I have ever seen leads to something quite jaw-droppingly sad – and an important environmental message is imparted too. Great work from all involved at Slothvision.

Cats are Evil and Plan World Domination - Photographic Proof

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. They have never forgotten this and they have been plotting their usurpation of humanity for hundreds of years. Here, we present the definitive photographic proof, so there can no longer be any doubt in your mind that cats are evil and plan world domination.

They Have Secretly Organized in to a Secret Criminal Society



Image Credit Flickr User katkamin 
A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.
Mark Twain Notebook, 1895

He sniggers in the way only an evil genius with a plan can.  Yet it is not too late to unmask this feline plot.  Here, We present here definitive proof that cats have a secret plan to take over the planet and form the furred reich. Above we see the mastermind of the CATLIT (Cats Arise – Terrorize Local Impudent Two-Footers – i.e. humans!!) taken by our intrepid undercover agent. He was able to upload the image before being caught and thrown, without mercy, to the kittens. The swine! Well, feline would be more accurate but you get the drift.

They Have a Secret Service
In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats. 
English Proverb

Another secretly taken photographic shows one of the High Commanders of CATLIT being guarded by her group of Secret Service Felines. Do not be fooled by the restive and laid back air of this apparently harmless grouping. This group of blood thirsty murderers had recently viciously (and without provocation) attacked and devoured three mice, two gerbils and a sparrow. The heartless cads. The gangs are beginning to come out in the open now, emerging from their underground HQ as well as from the rooftops. Proof? Here you are.


Their Secret Service Infiltrates All Levels of Society
Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.
Unknown

A rare photo of the Ninja Assassin Sect – last located in down town Tokyo but who have recently disappeared (seemingly without trace), leading Intelligence to believe that a full scale cat attack is imminent. Look at the pitiless eyes, the cold killer stares and admit to yourself there is reason to worry.

If you are unlucky enough to catch a cat in his ninja outfit, run for your life. This will, of course, prove to be a fruitless use of energy as they only reason that you have seen him is because you are the target.

They Have a Secret Pirate Cabal
God made the cat in order that humankind might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger.
Fernand Mery

The dispassionate stare of a seasoned killer. This is one of the leaders of the, until recently, secret cabal of feline pirates. Walter, named after a certain Mr Raleigh of Elizabethan pirating fame, is close to the top of the CATLIT hierarchy and it will be his mission, when the attack comes, to spread confusion and chaos among humanity. If you own a cat and think it may be part of the Pirate Cabal, listen closely when he is sleeping. If, instead of going purrrr your cat instead emits an Arrrrr noise, then your worst fears will be confirmed. Run for your life (but be aware of the pointlessness of this).


They Are Highly Trained and Armed To The Teeth
The youth wing of KITCAT must be taken seriously, perhaps even more than their full grown counterparts because it is among the kitten population that true fanaticism exists. Trained as expert snipers, these kittens regularly take pot shots as dogs as they are walked, showing true disregard for the equality of species as laid down by the Aquaviva Convention. If you own a dog and the poor things yelp suddenly (for no apparent reason) whilst being walked then you can be sure that a member of the youth wing of KITCAT is sniggering on a window ledge nearby.


They Know How to Exploit New Technologies
Dogs come when they're called. Cats take a message and get back to you.
Mary Bly

Cats have no fear of exploiting new technology in their war against us. In fact, they are encouraged from kittenhood to immerse themselves in the internet. In fact, several humans have recently been jailed for researching bomb making on the internet. Erroneously.

Professing their innocence strongly, little did they know that they were the unwitting dupes of the feline super villains they once called Mr Tibbles and Angel Princess. If you think your cat is simply entranced by your fish tank screen saver, think again. While you are in the kitchen opening the latest can of de-luxe Tuna chunks (and beware, cats much prefer dolphin, by their own admission), young Atticus the Catticus is plotting the next outrage.

...and frankly, they don't care if they're a Mac or a PC.

They Have Strange Hypnotic Powers
There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats.
Anonymous

Another member of the youth arm of KITKAT tries to fool its unwitting human “owner” in to thinking it is just a super cute ball of fur. However, every now and again their guard goes down and their true nature can be revealed. Look at the insatiable thirst for power in the eyes of this villain and shudder! This is the true face of evil.


They Have Undergone Highly Intensive Training
In order to effect world domination, KITKAT have been pursuing rigorous physical training, sometimes involving highly elaborate military training grounds, tucked away in the back gardens of their human “owners” and masquerading as harmless garden furniture. Here, members of KIKTAT train secretly, unaware that they have been caught on film by our undercover agents. Note how the first mercilessly uses a small dog in his insane lust for ultimate cat power. This is fanaticism which must be stopped. We must act now to extinguish this feline threat before it is too late! Today, the back garden, tomorrow your rugs, settees and Wedgwood china!

They have a Special Air Service
One reason we admire cats is for their proficiency in one-upmanship. They always seem to come out on top, no matter what they are doing, or pretend they do.
Barbara Webster

As the day of the masterplan draws near, many cats are becoming lackadaisical about whether or not their future slaves see them in their training routines. Notice that these activities are now going on in broad daylight. This offhand attitude only goes to show the dismissive attitude that cats have towards us and what little regard they have for the species once renowned as sapiens.

They Have Secret Powers of Levitation
I have noticed that what cats most appreciate in a human being is not the ability to produce food which they take for granted--but his or her entertainment value. 
Geoffrey Household




Caught in a moment of distraction, this cat is all the proof that is needed to show that the feline species must have been quietly interbreeding with an unknown alien race which can levitate and that skill is being passed down the generations. While this phenomenon is still rare, it seems to be on the increase and can be traced back to around the same point in time as the high speed digital camera.

However, when all cats have this ability they will strike and humanity will be reduced to a subjugated role while the cats live a life of irresponsibility and decadent and degenerate sexual partnering.

They have also perfected the art of levitating other objects besides themselves.

They know how to put on the Mata Hari
Cats spit on their hands and rub it all over their bodies.
Unknown

Cats will stoop to anything in their unquenchable thirst for power and here is all you need to see to realize that they have been purveying kitty smut for decades in the guise of cute pictures which their “owners” then frame and show off to guests and friends. In fact, the cat above is about to perform an unspeakable act on itself which would shock and horrify you were it to be named. So perverse is the act that you would probably have to look it up in a dictionary.

After all of this evidence, do you need any further proof that cats are extending their shadow of evil and plan to take over the world? Run, run I tell you, and don’t look back!

Too late, you've already been captured.

Wildlife of Richmond

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States.  It may not strike you at first hand as a hotspot of wildlife diversity but take a look at this short film by Mark Svoboda.  The place is absolutely teeming with life of all sizes.

The close-ups were committed to digital form with the help of a Canon 50mm 2.5f EF macro lens with its 1:1 life-size adapter. The jazzy music to accompany the piece is Hey-Hee-Hi-Ho by Medeski, Martin & Wood

Jellyfish


Jellyfish – found in every ocean on the planet, from the deep sea to the surface.

Not only that but they have roamed our oceans for over 500 million years.

There is nothing quite like the grace of a jellyfish, as this video taken in Monterey Bay Aquarium by Jojo Lingat shows. Sheer magic.

4 Little Creatures That Pack a Big Scientific Punch

Thursday, 2 June 2011

We don’t seem to have featured any bacterium on Ark in Space before (but hey, we’re a young site!) but if you like your life tiny, tiny, tiny then pop over to Neatorama.

Miss Cellania has penned a loving paean to four little creatures that pack a big punch, including the Shewanella, pictured above.  While you’re there – if you haven’t visited Neatorama before, hang around.  It comes under the we’re not worthy! School of blogs and is packed full of interesting stuff with which to while away your time.

Amung Feedjit