That's right, folks. Even though Hans never leaves, he's BACK! My leiderhosen'd friend has a permanent post as my BFF.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The Madagascar Spider Tortoise is a small reptile, with an oblong shell that is highly curved and widens towards the rear. The shell is decorated with five to eight yellow lines radiating out from a yellow centre, against a dark brown or black background. The shell on the underside of the tortoise, known as the plastron, is yellow. This species are estimated to live for up to 70 years.
The spider tortoise is endemic to the arid regions of the coastal areas of south-western Madagascar. The spider tortoise is most active during the wet season, between November and April, when the vegetation is relatively lush, and the tortoise can feed on grasses, young leaves, the roots of succulents, and insects attracted to the flourishing plants.
Many spider tortoises bury themselves deep into the sand and aestivate for the duration of the colder and drier weather, understood to be an energy and moisture-saving tactic for when vegetation is sparse.
NOTE: 26 April 2010: The Madagascar spider tortoise, one of southern Madagascar’s endemic and iconic species was recently upgraded to ‘Critically Endangered’ status on the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Red List for Threatened Species. This small and intricately patterned tortoise has faced risks to its long term survival as a result of habitat destruction and poaching for local consumption as food, in addition to being illegally exported to support the exotic pet trade.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
The Turtle Islands is part of the Sulu Archipelago which is composed of approximately 400 islands of varying shapes and sizes. It is located at the southwestern tip of the Philippines.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
First thought: what the heck is that? I'd say one of the more mysterious and bizarre species.
The Mata Mata Turtle is a fresh water turtle found in South America, primarily in the Amazon and Orinoco basins. These are large, sedentary, brown or black turtles that sport a large triangular flattened head characterized with many tubercles and flaps of skin and a "horn" on its long and tubular snout. There are three barbels on the chin and four additional barbels at the upper jaw, which is neither hooked nor notched. These features may be meant to allow the turtle to resemble a piece of bark, with the head resembling fallen leaves, camouflaging it from possible predators.
|LOOK at this creature!!!|
This species grow quite large, is slow-moving and prefers shallow water. They have wide mouths that occupy the entire front of the face, often appear smiling, and extraordinarily long necks. Since they can grow to 18 inches long, their size doubles when the neck is extended.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
You Like Turtles? Urine for a Surprise
Learning from tricky turtles may help humans with kidney failure.
By Brendan Borrell|Thursday, March 07, 2013
Yuen K. Ip knew something funky was going on inside the mouths of Chinese soft-shelled turtles. When they were on dry land, they dunked their heads in puddles and gargled. “Why would they do that?” asks Ip, a physiologist at the National University of Singapore. It turns out they were simply peeing. From their mouths.
Mouth-peeing is more than just a neat trick—it’s essential for maintaining these turtles’ deviant lifestyles. Unlike other freshwater turtles, these guys venture into brackish water for days at a time. In this challenging environment, their bodies break down protein and produce toxic ammonia, packaging it as urea.
The load is so great that they cannot just drink water and flush it out because their kidneys would be overwhelmed by the salts. Instead, these turtles have molecular pumps in their mouths that help move the urea out.
Ip thinks his research could help humans with kidney failure, either by creating a more efficient dialysis machine or through gene therapy to enable humans to mimic the turtle and eliminate urea via the mouth. It may just work. “What we are doing is learning from nature,” he says.