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Sunday 22 February 2015 Island Fox - smallest fox in the United States

Island foxThe Island fox (Urocyon littoralis) is also known as the Coast Fox, Channel Island Fox, Insular Gray Fox and Dwarf Fox. About 18,000 years back, the last ice age occurred and the sea level was lower than it is now so that certain animals could traverse the Santa Barbara Channel. A cousin of the grey fox was among these creatures, and when that Ice Age was through, the ice melted, the sea level went up. These foxes got isolated over time, the mainland no longer accessible to them.

At present, the Island Fox can be found in some of the biggest islands of the Channel Islands. One thing that is impressive, the Insular Gray Foxes are flexible, they could adapt to various habitats. The Channel Islands holds many kinds of environments: valleys, grasslands, sand dunes, scrub areas, coastal forests, name it. Island Foxes are capable of surviving in all of these mentioned habitats.

It is less known than their cousins. Compared to their cousins, they are really smaller. The head/body length is on the average, 50 centimeters, while its tail could reach a maximum of 30 centimeters. Compared to the mainland cousin, the Island Fox's tail holds 2 less vertebrae. Its lips, nose, chin and the eye areas are all set in dark, the neck and some parts of the legs are cinnamon-colored. The young foxes have a lighter and thicker coat.

These foxes attain sexual maturity at around ten months, give or take. They would start breeding when they hit the first year, and can become 4 to 6 years, but there have been records of a few reaching fifteen years in captivity.

This fox is diurnal and solitary, and it hunts mostly in daytime, but they can also be up and about at nighttime. They are capable of subsisting on both animals and plants. Their diet consists of snails, lizards, mice, prickly pear, saltbush, toyon, and manzanitas.

The decrease in their numbers is nothing short of alarming. In 2000, a 95% decrease was recorded in the populace number at 3 Channel Islands, in just a 4-year period.

Interesting fact: The Island fox is the second smallest fox in the world, after the fennec You can help spreading the word about this animal by liking it on facebook

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Monday 19 January 2015 Hairy-eared dwarf lemur

Hairy-eared dwarf lemurThe Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur (Allocebus trichotis) is a nocturnal primate, the only member of the genus Allocebus of the family Cheirogaleidae. This species is endemic to Madagascar. Hairy-eared Dwarf lemur has been found at the nature reserves of Mananara, Zahamena, and Vohidrazana in Madagascar. This species lives originally in the primary lowland rainforests.

The hairy-eared dwarf lemur is one of the smallest primates with a weight of only 80 to 100 g (3 -3.6 oz) and a length of 30 cm. It has a galago-like ear. This could mean that it is, together with other cheirogalieds, more closely related to the galagos and lorises than to the lemurs. This species has a relatively longer tongue than the Microcebus and Cheirogaleus specie. The overall pelage color for Hairy-eared Dwarf lemur is gray. It has a brown tail and a face with a white stripe running from the rostrum or nose to between the eyes as well as dark rings surrounding its eyes. Its ears have tufts of brown while its teeth structure and claws are sharp.

It was observed in captivity that males and females tend to groom each other by removing dead skin and parasites before leaving their nest at night. The hairy-eared dwarf lemur leaps frequently among branches of trees, they have been observed to leap more often than members of the genera Cheirogaleus and Microcebus. Although they typically forage and feed alone at night, these lemurs live in social networks with overlapping ranges, and they have occasional contacts mainly based on vocalizations and scent marking during the night. Due to small body size, most vocalizations are relatively high-pitched small-contact, alarm, threat, and range defense.

Interestingly, the hairy-eared dwarf lemur is one of the world's rarest mammals. This species was assumed to be extinct because no specimen had been seen from 1875 until 1966. It was rediscovered in 1966 on the east coast of Madagascar near Mananara. In 1989, two live members were found in the same vicinity, south of the Mananara River. As of 1997, it was still known only from eastern Madagascar near Mananara. The status has been changed from Critically Endangered to Endangered in 1996 due to the discovery of new subpopulations.

The hairy-eared dwarf lemur is trapped and eaten by local inhabitants. Deforestation of its habitat for agriculture and logging is also another reason why it has decreased in population.

You can help spreading the word about this animal by liking it on facebook

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Monday 12 January 2015 Long-nosed Potoroo -- Marsupial Tiller of the Soil

Long nosed potorooThe long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus) is a small marsupial that performs a big job for the Australian environment. This small, peculiar-looking marsupial constantly digs at the ground looking for food. In this way, it acts as an earthworm to help till the soil. Australia does not have any earthworms but does have termites and the long-nosed potoroo, which is a lot more physically attractive than a termite.

There are four different species of potoroo in Australia. The name is similar to “kangaroo” and the two types of “roos” share many similarities. They both grow their babies or joeys in pouches rather than in a womb. They both hop. But unlike the kangaroo species, potoroos are all in danger of extinction because of habitat loss and falling prey for cats and foxes. These formidable predators were introduced to Australia with the first European colonists. Long-nosed potoroos need areas of thick undergrowth to grow the food they need. These areas are rapidly disappearing.

Physical Description

The long-nosed potoroo looks like a cross between an elephant shrew and a kangaroo. It has wide forehead that tapers to a long, pointed nose. The tip of the nose is hairless and pink. The body is covered in short fur colored in shades of brown and gray. The forelegs are much shorter than the hind legs but are muscular enough for digging. The long, slim tail is mostly furred. Males and females are hard to tell apart.

Males and females grow to a similar size and weight. Adults weigh up to 2.86 pounds (1.3 kilograms.) From nose to rump, adult long-nosed potoroos grow to a length of 14.17 inches (36 centimeters.) This is about as large as a rabbit. The long tail can grow up to 9.05 inches (23 centimeters.) Long-nosed potoroos can use the tail to help balance when they sit up to use their forelegs for eating, digging or hopping.

Life Cycle and Behavior

Long-nosed potoroos are mostly active at night, although sometimes they come out from their burrows during the day. They prefer to move under cover of long grasses or plants. They create escape routes to underground burrows in these grasses, meticulously removing any debris from these paths that may trip them up as they race away from predators. They feed mostly on fungus, but also on bulbs, roots, seeds and occasionally insects.

Males become sexually mature when they about 11 months old. Females need to be between one and 2 years old. They breed year round. After a 38 day gestation, the female gives birth to one or two embryos, which crawl into her pouch, find a teat and remain there for the next four months. Mom turns them out of the pouch when they are 6 months old. In captivity, long-nosed potoroos live up to 7 years.

Picture of the long-nosed potoroo by Peripitus, licensed under GFDL and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported You can help spreading the word about this animal by liking it on facebook

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Two Talking Cats - and What They Are Saying

Cats talkingVery adorable video of two talking cats, they really seem to have a conversation. After you have watched it, watch also the next video, where you hear what they say in English, very funny...

Cats talking EnglishIn this video, you hear what they were saying in English, good video.

In: Funny pictures and video's of animals
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Ninja cat

Ninja cat This video has more than 11 million views, i cannot believe it.

This cat has mastered the old ninja skill of moving without moving...

In: Funny pictures and video's of animals
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Dog escaping from prison

Prison break dog Amazing footage of a dog escaping from its prison. Michael Scofield eat your heart out! Very clever, at the beginning of the video you wouldn't figure out how the dog would escape, right?

In: Funny pictures and video's of animals
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Wolfish pair

Wolfish pairImagine relaxing in the sea, together, resting in the coral, would you see this picture in your mind? Click the picture of this wolfish pair to watch the video.

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Funniest animal videos

Funny animals This is one of the funniest animal videos featuring funny cats and dog videos, Tyson the skateboarding dog, penguins and even a polar bear. I really like the funny cats in the beginning, I am curious what you think? Half of the clip is of Tyson the skateboarding dog, so if you get tired of him, you can stop watching... Have fun!

In: Funny pictures and video's of animals
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Monkey pulls dog tail

Monkey pulls dog tailThis is a funny video about a monkey pulling the tail of a dog. The dog doesn't know what hit him!

Click here to view the video

In: Funny pictures and video's of animals
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Lion hugs rescuer

Lion hugs rescuerAbsolutely amazing story and movieclip about a lion that was rescued. Seems the king of the jungle has a softer side after all! Click here to view the movie where the lion hugs his rescuer

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