Animals of the Week: Cute, informative and distracting
Fri, 27 Jan 2012 10:44a.m.
By Hannah Sarney
Welcome to the second edition of the 3 News Animals of the Week collection.
This is an artist's impression of my room this morning (source). It captures the moment I realised what the sudden buzzing and bleeping meant - it's time to fetch a coffee and wake up.
Awake or not, I have the attention span of a goldfish on the internet at all times. How am I supposed to concentrate for longer than a few seconds when there is almost everything on offer?
I often find the key to holding me on a page is an amusing soundtrack. I suspect you might be the same, so this week's post will require headphones or speakers (coupled with obliging workmates).
Let's get off to a shaky start with an outrageously adorable newborn. Oh, dear. Oh, deer. Aw, little newborn deer!
A lot of noise has been made about the stranded pilot whales at Farewell Spit in Golden Bay this week. Despite the tireless efforts of Project Jonah and many volunteers, 33 of the 99 whales restranded and were put down.
"It's disappointing for the volunteers who put their heart and soul into it," said Department of Conservation spokesman Nigel Mountford.
In France, dolphins have been recorded mimicking whale songs. It's not as neat as it first sounds. The dolphins were born in captivity, so they've never encountered whales nor heard them. However, whale songs are part of the soundtrack blasted over speakers during their daily performances. They haven't been heard trying out the new vocals before or after the shows, but researchers have identified the sounds being made during their rest periods. Are they sleep-talking dolphins who are huge fans of Free Willy?
West Indian Manatees haven't been singing karaoke, but they've been gliding through the water on the shores of Florida. If you turn this up nice and loud and expand it to full-screen, you'll get the feeling that you're going for a swim rather than sitting in your office chair "working".
Meanwhile, an almost unbelievably happy dog has been unleashed and teamed up with Louis Prima for a grin'n'jive inducing good time!
An almost unbelievably patient dog called Murkin has become one of my new internet favourites. In 2003 he was adopted from a shelter into a home that fosters kittens. He's grown up to be the best pal/pillow/toy that tiny feline fuzzballs could hope for - and a lot of it is caught on film.
Maddie the coonhound takes out one of the top awards for most obliging dog. She stands on all sorts of things while her owner takes pretty pictures to post on tumblr. I recommend using Perfect Hair Forever's track "Me & You" as the soundtrack for scrolling.
There are rising concerns that dogs native to Britain are heading towards extinction because of the growing fascination people have with more exotic breeds. But don't worry! Or do worry? Six new breeds have been introduced to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. They are (get ready for a mouthful)...
The Entlebucher mountain dog, the Norwegian Lundehund, the American English coonhound, the Finnish Lapphund, the Cesky terrier and the Xoloitzcuintli, previously known as the Mexican Hairless.
Now, I insist you listen to this (trust me) while I tell you about another creatively named creature. The Miller's Grizzled Langur was widely assumed to be extinct in the jungles of Indonesia. However, a research team set up camera traps in the Wehea Forest and wha-hey! There they are! Read to the end for the point of the musical reference.
Professor Snape was right?! (source)
Seemingly forgotten behind a fence of litigation, the 36 big cats at the Zion Wildlife Gardens continue to face an uncertain future.
In the wild, the breakneck pace of deforestation is threatening Sumatran elephants with extinction within the next 30 years.
In the oceans, up to 32 percent of the world's fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or recovering, according to UN marine experts. Along with fish habitats being destroyed by pollution and climate change, rising wealth in Asia and fishing subsidies have been identified as driving forces behind the overexploitation.
Thankfully numbers are rising in some areas of the natural world. Scientists, indigenous people and students in Suriname have recently recorded 1,300 species the tropical forests - 46 species are believed to be new discoveries. Amazing!
Finally, a dolphin in China managed to swallow a volleyball while playing in the Nanjing Ocean Aquarium. Doctors were able to anesthetise the animal and remove the ball – earning an overwhelming applause from the incredibly large media contingent in the surgery.
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