'/> Amazing Animals: January 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cute Kittens in a Shoe

12 cute pictures of kittens in a shoe.

Awww! What do these cute kittens doing in a shoe. Sniffing, sleeping, exploring – whatever their reasons are, they’re just simply adorable!

photo link

Scottie: How did you managed to move yours a couple of inches?
Cotton: Just grasp the lace with your left paw, move your face forward and make a big push using your hind paws.

photo link

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is stuck.

This is the worst part of having a white fur, you can’t be invisible.

photo link

My, Oh, My…. My master thought I’m a sock.

photo link

Someday, I will be a fashion model.

photo link

Here I go again, about to do some mountain climbing.

photo link

What a way to maintain my sexy figure, spending some minutes in a thread mill.

photo link

My friends envy my Caterpillar shoes.

photo link

See, I told you… we are the Perfect Two. Those pair up there is just copycat.

photo link

After a hard work, it’s time for my regular catnap.

photo link

It’s better to sleep here, than spending the night at the garage.

photo link

No camera please… I’m allergic to flashes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dog Breeds for Dummies: A Short Guide on Picking the Right Dog For You

Choosing the right dog for you and your family can be a challenge. While no dog's personality is set entirely by their breed, dog breeds do have a lot to do with their disposition and tendency toward certain behaviors. With many dogs, there is a very difficult balance of nature and nurture, and it's important to recognize that balance when choosing your own pet.

The first thing to understand is that dog breeds are not accidental products of evolution like so many other species and sub-species of animal. In most cases, dogs were bred in certain ways for a purpose, one that was determined by the needs and desires of the people doing the breeding at the time. That is not to say that every appearance related trait was chosen by somebody at one point, but rather that by picking dogs that exhibited certain desirable traits, many of the dog breeds that we know today were engineered to move and act in certain ways by primitive human beings thousands of years ago.

That means that if you're looking for a dog that is going to play with young children, you don't want a breed that is known for being calm and unflappable. Similarly, if you're looking for a work dog to help out around a family farm as well as be a pet, then it's important to choose a breed that has a tendency toward directed activity. Here are a few breeds you might want to consider for various purposes.

1. American Pit Bull Terrier - Many people hear the words "pit bull" and immediately get frightened. And that's not unreasonable since many of them look very scary. That being said, the American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the most loyal and friendly dogs you're likely to encounter. They can be fiercely protective of their owners and extremely affectionate to the people they are familiar with, and they usually love to play, even well into their age.

2. Beagle - There was a time when the Beagle was the most popular dog in the US. While this probably had very little to do with Snoopy, it could certainly be attributed to their calm disposition. These are dogs that like to relax and generally aren't the kind to run around and jump all day. They are part of the Hound category and were originally bred to be hunting dogs, which is one of the reasons why they have such highly developed senses of smell and tracking ability.

3. Labrador Retriever - Originally bred in Canada, these are currently among the most popular dogs in the United States. They are not only very loyal and affectionate, they are known to be also remarkably intelligent. The Lab is one of the better family dogs for that exact reason, since it will not only be great with kids at play, but has the mental facilities to know how to stay safe with them.

4. Dachshund - This was originally a German breed and designed to be a scent hound. That's one of the reasons why Dachshunds have short legs that bring them closer to the ground and long, highly developed noses. This particular breed was developed to dig in badger holes and find game, so they tend to be very energetic and love to find and chase. Often you'll find them with their nose to the ground, sniffing their way through life.

5. English Bulldog - Among the noblest of dog breeds, the English Bulldog makes up for their strange, disproportionate look with stature and gumption. The Bulldog is often considered lazy because they sleep quite a lot, but one thing that can be said about this dog is that they are also stalwart protectors of their families, with an intimidating, stocky frame that supports an oversized head and undersized arms. If you plan to go swimming, though, don't bring your Bulldog since their body proportions make it difficult or impossible to keep their heads above water.

There are only some of the dog breeds you may want to check out. If you're interested in breeding yourself, take a look at the American Kennel Club's Dog Breeding Guide and their guide to buying a purebred dog.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The World’s 10 Rarest Animals!

An updated list of the world’s 10 most rarest animals. Read to know more about Lonesome George and his company.

Helpless to human cruelties, natural calamities, competitions for food with other animals and modernization, these animals could only whisper and cried… HELP! Studies done in 2010, revealed that about 35 species of animals have global populations of less 1000. Below is a compilation of the 10 rarest animals in the world. Read and learn! Who knows, this may be your last time to see them, before they totally disappear forever.

10. Red Wolf

photo link

The Red Wolf (Canis lupus rufus), is one of two species of wolves still roaming the marsh areas of the southeastern USA. Much smaller than gray wolves, fully-grown adults can reach 26 inches at shoulder length and weigh from 50-80 lbs. The red wolf coat is normally brown with some shade of black and gray. An excellent night hunter, red wolf feeds on small mammals like rodents, rabbits, raccoon, muskrats and occasionally deer.

Due to rampant hunting, habitat disruption, and interbreeding with coyotes, red wolf population almost made it to the brink of extinction. In 1973, concern authorities initiated a breeding program and all remaining red wolves were captured. By 1980, this species of canid became extinct in the wild. The breeding program was successful, and by 1987, animals born in captivity were re-introduced into North Carolina. Currently, the Red Wolf population stands at 300 captive wolves, scattered in over 30 captive breeding facilities. A hundred more is freely roaming the wild.

9. Iberian Lynx

photo link

Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus),is the world’s most endangered species of cat. Formerly widespread in Spain and Portugal, the Iberian lynx is now confined in Andalusia; inhabiting woodlands and open pasture feeding primarily on rabbits. Smaller than other lynxs, adults measure around 85 to 110 cm long, stand 60 -70 cm tall and weigh 12.9 kilograms. The Iberian lynx carries a light grey or brownish yellow coat mark with leopard-like spots. Also, it has a short tail.

Slowly losing its habitat, victims of rampant hunting, and declining numbers of its prey (rabbits), this cat species is on the brink of extinction. Studied done in 2005 revealed that fewer than 200 Iberian lynx, way below from the 4000 individuals recorded in 1960. The government still roams freely in the wild.

In 2005, full-blown conservation projects were initiated by the Spanish government, and gained positive results. Three cubs were raised in captivity in 2005 and three more cubs in 2009. Though the breeding populations are confined only in Spain, decent progress has been achieved. In 2008, 150 Iberian Lynx are recorded in the Sierra Morena area. Authorities are hoping to breed 20 to 40 individuals each year that would be re-introduced to other breeding areas.

8. Tamaraw

photo link

The Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) also known as Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo is endemic to Mindoro. When fully grown, this water buffalo grows to about 100 to 105 cm at shoulder length, 220 cm long and weighs between 200 to 300 kilograms. Adults sport gray to brown coat with short legs. Tamaraws are found in upland forested areas, grazing on grasses.

Due to hunting, habitat loss and other illegal forest activities, its numbers have dwindled down considerably. On the onset of the 19th century, estimated individuals were around 10,000, 120 in 1975 and go up to 370 in 1987. In 2004, the IUCN declared the Tamaraw as Critically Endangered. The current population is estimated to be around 30-200 individuals.

7. Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat

photo link

The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii), is Australia’ rarest marsupial. A century ago, they were widespread Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. Today, their population is restricted in the Queensland Epping Forest. These marsupials are found in woodlands and grasslands feeding primarily on grasses. Adults average one meter long and 40 kg in weight.

The Northern hairy-nosed Wombat population declined is caused by hunting, habitat loss, drought and competition for foods with other animals. Programs initiated by the Queensland and Commonwealth authorities yielded good results. From an estimated 90 individuals in 2002, the population rose to about 115 wombats. Recovery actions are still ongoing.

6. Hispid Hare

photo link

The Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus),was once widespread across the Himalayan mountain chain, stretching from India, Nepal to Pakistan. Today, its numbers have declined due mostly to habitat loss, hunting, diseases and natural calamities. It has rough, dark brown hair and short ears. It is about 38 – 50 cm long and weighs 2 – 2.5 kg. Hispid Hare feeds on bark, grass roots, shoots and occasionally crops.

In 1964, Hispid Hare was believed extinct until one individual was seen in 1966. Census made in 2001 put the population at around 110 individuals, but due to the animals weird behavior during captivity, Hispid Hare’s numbers are continuing to decline.

5. Javan Rhino

photo link

The Javan Rhinoceros (Sunda Rhinoceros), was once widespread across Southeast Asia, China and India. But due to rampant hunting for its prized-horn, and deforestation; Javan rhino is now a critically endangered species. The Javan Rhino primarily lives in dense valleys and train forests, Its diet consists primarily of tall grasses. Adults grow to about 1.4–1.7 m tall, 3.1–3.2 m long and weigh between 900-2,300 kg. Javan Rhino is famous for its saddle-like skin over the neck.

Although protected by law, Javan Rhino’s survival rate is too small, since poaching for horns still strive. In Currently, the Javan rhino population occurs in only two places; Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia (around 50 – 60) individuals are recorded in 2005); and Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam (around 2-7 individuals recorded in 2005).

4. Seychelles sheath-tailed bat

photo link

The Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat (Coleura seychellensis), is one of two bat species found Seychelles Islands, Madagascar, From the 1800s and throughout the 1900s, this sac winged bat was very abundant in the island, but its population started to decline in the latter part of the 1900s. Just like other bats, Seychelles Sheath-tailed bat is found hanging in caves, palm trees and houses. A known insectivorous, it is about 5.5–6.5 cm in height and 10 – 11 g in weight.

In 2004, IUCN listed the Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat as Critically Endangered. Two reasons are considered to the decline in population, namely; Introduction of new plant varieties and pesticides resulting in habitat loss, and introduction of barn owl to the bat’s environment. Scientists are doing more researches on how to save the Sheath-tailed Bat from extinction. Figures released in 2004, showed that there are about 50 -100 individuals still alive in the world.

3. The Vancouver Island Marmot

photo link

The Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensi), is considered the rarest mammal in Canada. This alpine-dwelling rodent is found on Vancouver Island living in underground burrows. It is a small marmot that averages 70 cm in length and weighs about 3-7 kg. It sports a thick, glossy chocolate-brown coat. It has small-rounded ears, small eyes, flattened nose, and short legs with sharp claws.

Since this marmot was discovered in 1910, its population is dwindling in such a fast pace. At the end of 2005, there were 29 animals confirmed alive in the wild. Breeding programs which started in 1997 has produced decent results – In 2007 alone, 60 pups were born and 162 individuals raised in captivity.

2. Baiji (Yangtze River Dolphin)

photo link

Baiji (Lipotes vexillifer),more commonly known as the Yangtze River Dolphin, is a freshwater dolphin that is currently endemic only to Yangtze River, China. A streamlined dolphin, it has a flexible neck, long and narrow beak. Baiji has a bluish-gray upper body and white to grayish-white belly. Adults average from 153 to 230 kg in weight and is about 2.5 m long.

In the 1950s, Baiji numbered about 6000 individuals, but its numbers rapidly declines in the next 50 years. By 1970, the Baiji’s population was estimated at less than a thousand. In the 1980s, about 400 individuals were recorded and by 1997, only 13 individuals remain! The drastic declined in Baiji population is attributed to China’s modernization. Its habitat, the Yangtze River becomes a prime conduit for industrialization where it uses for hydroelectricity, fishing and transportation.

Listed as Critically Endangered since 1996, and by 2006, the species was declared “functionally extinct”. However, in 1997, new sightings of Baiji were reported in the local news. Let’s just crossed our fingers that this gentle animal is not yet on the list of Museum animals!

1. Pinta Island Tortoise

photo link

Lonesome George occupies the top spot in our list. But who is Lonesome George? He is the world’s rarest creature and the only surviving member of the Pinta Island Tortoise (Geochelone nigra abingdoni). These species of giant tortoise is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. First spotted in 1971, Lonesome George is about a hundred years old. For several years, attempts were initiated at mating him with females of other species but were all unsuccessful. Perhaps, all Lonesome George needs a female of the same subspecies.

Good news greeted Lonesome George early January 2011, scientist are bringing in to the island two Hood Island Giant Tortoise(Geochelone hoodensis) females. They believe that this subspecies having near genetic similarities with George will produce positive results.

On 24 June 2012, at 8:00 am local time, Edwin Naula, Director of the Galápagos National Park, announced that Lonesome George had been found dead by his caretaker of 40 years,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The World’s Endangered Sea Turtles

Sea turtles are the only living remnants of the dinosaur age. Today, these gentle creatures are yet facing another test for survival, but the question is … can they make it this time or might follow dinosaurs into extinction.

Kemp’s Ridley

photo link

Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is the smallest and rarest species of sea turtle. Its major habitat is the warm waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. especially Louisiana waters. Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle prefer salt marsh habitats. The nesting season occurs from April to August where they appear to nest on beaches off Tamaulipas and Veracruz coasts of Mexico. Females lay eggs in clutches that averages 110 eggs.

Kemp’s Ridley hatchlings average 4-5 cm in length. Adults grow to about 61–91 cm long and weigh around 45 kilograms. Mature adults have olive-gray, oval carapace measuring around 65 cm and is nearly as wide. Kemp’s Ridley possesses a triangular-shaped head and a horny beak. These sea turtles change color as they mature; hatchlings are black while mature ones carry lighter grey-olive carapace.

The Kemp’s Ridley turtle feeds mainly on crabs but other food include jellyfish, seaweed, and sea urchins. It is the most endangered of all marine turtles with an estimated female nesting population at just 1,000 individuals. The decline in its population is no longer the egg hunters drowning in shrimp nets. Other threats include loss of their nesting habitat as well as pollution.

Flatback Sea Turtle

photo link

The Flatback turtle (Natator depressus) is a medium-sized sea turtle native to Australian waters. They inhabit inshore waters, coral reefs, bays, lagoon, and grassy waters. This species only breeds on beaches and islands of northern Australia. Breeding season is between November and December, where female lays around 50 eggs at a time. Flatback hatchlings are the largest of any turtle.

As its name suggests, flatback shell (carapace) is flattened on top. The olive-grey carapace with upturned edges, averages 90 centimeters long. Adult flatback sea turtles weigh from 100 to 125 kilograms. The Flatback turtle feeds on a variety of prey that includes shrimp, crabs, squid, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, mollusks, seaweed, soft corals, and fishes.

The species is listed as Vulnerable under the Australian Commonwealth’s Endangered Species Protection Act. With an annual nesting population of up to 10,000, This sea turtle is perhaps the least threatened species. Threats to this species include dwindling of feeding habitat, pollution, and preyed upon by both human and some animals direct for their meat and eggs.

Green Sea Turtle

photo link

The Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), is a large sea turtle found in tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world. There are two major subpopulations of green sea turtles, the Eastern Pacific and the Atlantic subpopulations. Major nesting sites are found along U.S. eastern shores and several Caribbean islands. Green sea turtles are known to nest in the Turtle Islands in the Philippines.

The Green sea turtle has flattened body extending from back to front, covered by a large, heart-shaped carapace measuring up to 1.5 meters. It has greenish-colored skin, small head, and a pair of large flippers that resemble paddles. Adults are herbivores feeding mostly on sea grass, however, juveniles may feed on crabs, jellyfish, and sponges.

The IUCN (World Conservation Union) and CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) list this sea turtle species as endangered. The decline in population is due to various threats such as; hunting, effects of some fisheries, marine debris, coastal development and habitat degradation, and pollution.


photo link

The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), is a small to medium-sized sea turtle widely distributed throughout species found in tropical reefs Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are normally found in healthy tropical reefs. The largest nesting population of hawksbills are found in Australia. Several nesting sites are also found in the Philippines.

Just like other marine turtles, the hawksbill turtle has a flattened body shape, a tortoiseshell-colored carapace, and flipper that resembles flippers. It has elongated head and a curving beak. Adults average around 1 meter long and weigh around 45 to 68 kg. Adults’ carapace average from 63 to 90 cm in length easily distinguished by the pattern of thick scutes. Hawkbill turtles are primarily omnivores feeding mostly on sea sponges. Aside from sponges, they also eat jellyfish, comb jellies and sea anemones.

In 1996, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species listed this sea turtle species as critically endangered. The threat to their survival include habitat loss, slow reproductive rates, hunting, marine debris and habitat pollution.


photo link

The Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), is a marine reptile widespread in Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Loggerhead turtles inhabit coral reefs, shallow coastal waters, bays and estuarine habitats. It is the most endangered turtle that nests in Australia.

Named for its large head, the loggerhead holds the world’s record for largest hard-shelled turtle. Its reddish-brown, heart-shaped carapace (shell) averages 92 cm in length when fully grown. Adults measure around 3 feet in length and can weigh up to turtle 135 kilograms. Loggerheads eat bottom dwelling invertebrates like shellfish, crabs, sea urchins and jellyfish.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature listed loggerheads as “vulnerable” sea turtle species, while the U.S. Federal government has listed it as endangered worldwide. The major threat to the survival of this species is human activities such as killed for meat, egg, and leather, trapped and killed in fishing trawls and hit by boats. Also, loss of nesting beaches has also trigger the decline on loggerhead populations.

Olive Ridley

photo link

Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific Ridley, is the smallest living species of sea turtle widespread in tropical waters, including Pacific, Indian and the southern Atlantic Oceans. They inhabit bays, coastal waters, and estuaries. It is named for the greenish color of its carapace and skin.

The Olive Ridley distinguishable feature is its two visible claws on each of their flippers resembling paddles. It is about 62 to 70 cm long and weighs up to 45 kg. It has a medium–sized, broad head and sport white line borders on its carapace. The Olive Ridley feeds primarily on crabs, shrimp, snails, jellyfish, sea urchins. rock lobsters, and tunicates.

The Olive Ridley is listed as Vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature And Natural Resources (IUCN). The principal threat to its survival is rampant collection of eggs and mass killing of adults on nesting beaches. Other major threats include: habitat loss, climate change and death from human fishing activities associated with trawling and boat collisions.


photo link

The Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the world’s largest turtle found in the open ocean including Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. It prefers deep water breeding beaches. Leatherback turtles are the fastest-moving reptiles and one of the deepest diving marine animals. It feeds mainly on jellyfish.

Adults leatherback can reach 270 cm long and weigh 250 to 700 kilograms. A leatherback’s shell is about 4 cm thick It has some remarkable characteristics that differentiate it from other sea turtles such as:

* It lacks a hard, bony shell.
* Its front flippers are proportionally than in the other marine turtles.
* It has ridged carapace.
* Claws are absent from both pairs of flippers.

Leatherback sea turtle is listed as Endangered throughout its range. Threat to their survival include long-term harvest and incidental capture in fishing gear, human encroachment, loss of nesting beaches, and marine debris.

These helpless sea turtles are crying out for HELP. Are we going to SAVE them or will simply IGNORE their call?