Tag Archives: animals

creature comfort.

Standard

one of the many beautiful and curious creatures at the belle isle aquarium

The Belle Isle Aquarium was designed by famed Detroit architect, Albert Kahn, and opened in August, 1904. It is the oldest aquarium in the country and has served the Detroit community as a beloved attraction for generations. In 2005, the city of Detroit announced that the Aquarium was to be closed due to lean economic times for the city. The building remained closed to the public until the Belle Isle Conservancy reopened it on September 15, 2012. Since its reopening, the aquarium has exploded in popularity, evident by the attendance numbers that have soared over the course of the last decade. “Momentum” is truly the best term for what is happening in this historic building. A work-in-progress, the aquarium continues to grow and flourish as new exhibits and fish are added, tanks are restored, and history is preserved for generations to come.

“the universe is full of the lives of perfect creatures.”

-konstantin tsiokovsky 

just be the best penguin you can be.

Standard

Penguins Accidentally Took Selfie After They Found a Cam In Antarctica

(Everyone has the one friend who LOVES to take selfies)

Expeditions to Antarctica are constantly filled with surprises. Australian Eddie Gault went on an expedition there along with his cam to take photos of penguin colonies. Out of the fascinating photos he took, he also ended up having a photo of penguins taking a selfie.

While there, Gault visited Auster Rookery to record a group of Emperor penguins, leaving his camera near them to record their daily lives. After he left it, the penguins came close to the cam, one knocked it over and accidentally took a selfie along with other penguins.

 Emperor penguins are the biggest penguin types on the planet, have an average height of 45 inches and can live to be 20 years old.  Emperor penguins live in colonies and their breeding period is in Winter, when female penguins lay their eggs and leave them in the care of the male penguins.

 

“a penguin cannot become a giraffe, so just be the best penguin you can be.”

– gary vaynerchuk

 

 

credits: Australian Antarctic Program, Auster Rookery, The Guardian

owls.

Standard
 

 Meet the owls that lived in the Smithsonian Castle

These barn owls used to live in the Smithsonian Institution Building, AKA the Castle, in the 1970s.

The Smithsonian Secretary in the 70s, S. Dillon Ripley, was an ornithologist and thought the owls could hunt the rats attracted to the new garbage cans on the National Mall. He named them Increase and Diffusion—a nod to the Smithsonian’s mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”—and they lived in the building’s west tower.

The pair hatched three owlets in the spring of 1977. One of those new owlets fell out of the tower, but was recaptured and brought safely inside by a staff member. After raising their family, the owls departed and never returned.

This Smithsonian Institution Archives photo shows one of the pair refusing to take a message.

(Not to be confused with the previous Castle owl residents, who were known to crash into windows and swoop down on guards on the National Mall at night, and whose extensive droppings caused the collapse of the floor of a tower. They remain nameless.)

In honor of International Owl Awareness Day

The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders at our quaint spirits.
-William Shakespeare

Read the full history of Smithsonian Castle owls from Smithsonian Institution Archives

Credits: Hannah S. Ostroff, Smithosonian

sweet.

Standard

sweet delivery

people helping in the community just because

 

From the Humane Society:

The sweet and thoughtful Washtenaw Dairy drove up to HSHV today with pup cups for all the dogs!! They’d heard that we have a FULL shelter and brought enough for all the dogs to enjoy a cold treat on this hot day. Not to mention bringing donuts for the humans at HSHV! What a wonderful surprise, thank you Washtenaw Dairy 

Response from the Dairy:

Every day is a fun day working at Washtenaw Dairy but today was extra cool! Thanks so much to HSHV for allowing us to pop in today and treat all the dogs at the shelter with pup cups. We are excited to see these sweet dogs find their Forever homes! Their shelters are full right now. A lot of Covid puppies coming back.We wanted to do some thing to showcase their Empty the Shelter event and spoil all the pups that were there.

Thank you for all you do for all the animals in our community!

“no single act of generosity remains in isolation. the ripples are many.” 

―sarah winman, author

 credits: huron valley humane society, washtenaw dairy

rainbow trout.

Standard

not my trout, but an artist who creates in my style

 a few or five decades back

in my elementary school years

i undertook a project that i loved

an end-of-the-year

comprehensive non-fiction report

covering a wide swath of the animal kingdom

involving research, factual write-ups, and illustrations.

i worked on this tirelessly

gleaning material

from the only source i used for everything 

our set of encyclopedias

(no google to be found)

all was going well

until i came to the rainbow trout

with no illustration provided

 i used my imagination

creating my own vision

of what a rainbow trout might look like

a beautiful striped fish

with every color of the rainbow

spanning across its shiny and scaly skin

at last

the final piece in my big report complete

rechecked everything

put it all in my new yellow folder

decorated the cover

proudly turning it in

waiting for my teacher’s response

 she perused our reports

while we had silent reading time

 then called me up to her desk

with the hugest of smiles on her face

my report open to the rainbow trout page

telling me that she was going to give me an a+

she said she could see

 i was truly a creative

even more than a scientist

that both were good things to be

and she was right.

“the fish was a twelve inch rainbow trout with a huge hump on its back – a hunchback trout.”

-richard brautigan

something to crow about.

Standard

Crows help rid city streets of cigarette butts

A startup in the Swedish city of Södertälje, has recruited local crows to pick up discarded cigarette butts from the city’s streets and public spaces. In fact, there’s a movement afoot in places as varied as California and the Netherlands to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes to help tamp down on their prevalence in our environment.

According to the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, more than one billion cigarette butts are left on Sweden’s streets each year, which represents 62 percent of all litter. To clear the streets, Södertälje spends around 20m Swedish kronor (over $2,200,000), so the hope is that the birds can help cut these costs.

“They are wild birds taking part on a voluntary basis,” the founder of the Corvid Cleaning startup Christian Günther-Hanssen reveals. Each time the wild birds deposit a cigarette butt into a bespoke machine specially designed by Corvid Cleaning, they receive a little snack.

Günther-Hanssen estimates that, with the crows’ help, the city could save at least 75 percent of the costs associated with picking up cigarette butts in the city. For now, Södertälje is trialing the project before setting the operation in motion across the city, paying close attention to the health of the birds, considering the kind of waste they’re being rewarded to pick up.

Research suggests that New Caledonian crows, a member of the corvid family of birds, have the reasoning ability of a human seven-year-old, making them the best bird for the job. “They are easier to teach and there is also a higher chance of them learning from each other,” says Günther-Hanssen. “At the same time, there’s a lower risk of them mistakenly eating any rubbish.” Unfortunately, they have not yet been able to train humans not to throw their butts on the ground. 

“if men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”

-henry ward beecher

moved.

Standard

today a ladybug stopped by our classroom veterinary clinic

the kinder docs looked at it closely with a magnifying glass

 decided it might be having trouble flying

after much discussion, more close looks, a few notes on a paper, a phone call,

and a blood pressure check of one of the other docs

 their good care and magic worked

and the ladybug flew away home.

“true compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.”

-daniel goleman

the 3 wise guys.

Standard

you never know quite when and where these sages will appear, but they always have something to say.

yeti the yeti- “when no one else does, believe in yourself.”

geoffrey the giraffe – “giraffes are awesome, i am awesome, therefore i am giraffe.”

marty the zebra – “life is not all black and white.”

 

 

cat tracks.

Standard

new research shows that cats track their owner’s movements

Cats are special and intelligent creatures, and a new study led by Dr. Saho Takagi at the University of Kyoto in Japan confirms this.

Takagi’s research reveals cats’ ability to track their owners as they move about the house, and show signs of a genuine surprise if their owners pop up where they don’t expect them.

These findings support the idea that cats retain a mental representation of their owners, even if they’re out of sight, which is a sign of higher cognitive processes that can include planning ahead and using imagination.

There have been studies in the past that suggested that cats search in the correct places if they see food disappearing and that they expect to see their owner’s face if they first hear their voice, but how these abilities were practiced in real life still evaded researchers. “It is [also] said that cats are not as interested in their owners as dogs are, but we had doubts about this point,” Takagi explained.

To explore cats’ cognitive capacities, Takagi and his team studied what happened when 50 domestic cats were individually shut inside a room while repeatedly hearing their owner calling their name from outside the room. Then, the cats were exposed to either a stranger’s voice or that of their owner coming from a speaker that was positioned inside the room they were in.

Human observers watched recordings of the cats’ reactions during the experiment and ranked the cats’ level of surprise based on their ear and head movements. It appeared that the cats only showed confusion and surprise when their owners’ voices were suddenly coming from the speaker inside the closed room, implying to the cats that their owners had somehow managed to teleport to get inside the room with them.

“This study shows that cats can mentally map their location based on their owner’s voice,” Takagi explained. “Cats have the ability to picture the invisible in their minds. Cats may have a more profound mind than is thought.”

That said, it’s not too much of a shock that cats possess these abilities. “That awareness of movement—tracking things they cannot see—is critical to a cat’s survival,” said Roger Tabor, a biologist, author, and presenter of the TV series Cats on BBC.

“A lot of what a cat has to interpret in its territory is an awareness of where other cats are. It is also important for hunting: how could a cat catch a field vole moving around beneath the grass if it couldn’t use clues, such as the occasional rustle, to see in its mind’s eye, where they are? A cat’s owner is extremely significant in its life as a source of food and security, so where we are is very important.”

 

“the moment I walk into a room,

i have kind of like the terminator’s tracking system for where the food is,

and i can get there immediately.

-mike birbiglia

 

 

 

Source study: Plos One- Socio-spacial cognition in cats: Mentally mapping owner’s location from voice

baby talk.

Standard

i hear it over and over again

even coming out of my own mouth

and wonder how and why

we ever began the tradition

of talking to our pets in baby talk.

they must consider us to be quite simple people

ever working on our vocabulary and articulation

always hoping that some day

we might master our own language.

 

“i’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes,

a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,

and i am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

-john steinbeck

 

 

 

 

image credit: zazzle.com