Posts Tagged ‘Animals

08
Apr
10

The Susu Dolphin

This one has long been on my list of prospective posts, fortunately, I stumbled upon this topic again today. India’s National Animal – Tiger, India’s National Bird – Peacock. Making an animal a National mascot is a way to prevent them from extinction. India’s National Aquatic Animal is the Susu Dolphin.

The Susu is found exclusively to the river systems of northeastern India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. There are five different populations, but each are separated from each other due to dam construction along the Indus River. It cannot be determined exactly how many live in each of these “groups” as the murky, dark waters camouflage these dolphins.

When looking at the Susu, most would say, “This animal doesn’t look like a dolphin,” and this statement is correct. The Susu has not only a different appearance, but also a different way of life.

The Susu has a thin, long snout, which allows for the rows of sharp teeth to easily be viewed. The head of the Susu is much shorter and fuller than other dolphin species, and there is no apparent dorsal fin. The flippers, both lateral and tail, vary in ways of their own. The lateral flippers look more like “paddles” then like actual flippers and the tail fin of the Susu is longer and wider when compared to species such as the bottlenose or common dolphins.

The most distinctive feature of the Susu is the eyes. Due to its habitat, the Susu is nearly blind. The eyes are used only to determine direction and intensity of light rather then actual site. So how do the Susu hunt, feed, and reproduce? It appears that with the loss of sight the Susu has intensified their echolocation capabilities. The Susu is capable of swimming on its side and scanning the water horizontally by moving their heads up and down while communicating, and searching, by emitting “clicks”.

The IUCN Red List of Endangered Species lists the Ganges and Indus River Dolphins as “Endangered”.

This is a nice read on Susu Dolphins.

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06
Mar
10

Amphibious fish

Amphibious fish are fish that are able to leave water for extended periods of time. About 11 distantly related genera of fish are considered amphibious. This suggests that many fish genera independently evolved amphibious traits. These fish use a range of terrestrial locomotory modes, such as lateral undulation, tripod-like walking (using paired fins and tail), and jumping. Many of these locomotory modes incorporate multiple combinations of pectoral, pelvic and tail fin movement.

Some kinds of amphibious fish based on how they breathe:

Lung breathers:

  • Various “lunged” fish: These are now extinct. A few of this group were ancestors of the basal tetrapods that led to all tetrapods: amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
  • Lungfish (Dipnoi): Six species, have limb like fins, and can breathe air. Some are obligate air breathers. Some species will bury in the mud when the body of water they live in dries up, surviving up to two years until water returns.

Gill or skin breathers:

  • Rockskippers: These blennies are found in Panama and elsewhere on the western coastline of the Americas. These fish come onto land to catch prey and escape aquatic predators. They often come out of water for up to 20 minutes.
  • Wooly sculpin: Found in tide pools along the Pacific coast, these sculpins will leave water if the oxygen levels get low and can breathe air for 24 hours.
  • Mudskippers (Oxudercinae): This subfamily of gobies is probably the most land adapted of fish. Mudskippers are found in mangrove swamps in Africa and the Indo-Pacific, they frequently come onto land and can survive in air for up to three and a half days.
  • Eels: Some eels, such as the European eel and the American eel, can live for an extended time out of water and can crawl on land if the soil is moist.
01
Mar
10

Living fossil

Living fossil is an informal term for any living species (or clade) of organism which appears to be the same as a species otherwise only known from fossils and which has no close living relatives. These species have all survived major extinction events, and generally retain low taxonomic diversities. A species which successfully radiates (forming many new species after a possible genetic bottleneck) has become too successful to be considered a “living fossil”. However, the term is frequently misinterpreted.

Example: members of the Sciurini group of squirrels, which includes the eastern gray squirrel.

27
Feb
10

Animals Without Bones

So there was this little argument whether ants have bones or not. Then it was noted that even snakes don’t have bones… Was just trying to figure out animals who don’t have bones.

Wiki Answers says

Insects and spiders don’t have bones. Worms, snails and slugs don’t have bones.

And cool quiz says that snakes do have bones.

Snakes are full of bones, from their sectioned backbones, to which are attached from one to 145 pairs or ribs, to the ball and joint sockets, which attach the many sections of backbone together, and allow them to contort themselves like pretzels.

An invertebrate is an animal without backbones. and 95% of species in the world are invertebrates.

19
Oct
09

IUCN Red List

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1948, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species.

Species are classified in nine groups, set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.

  • Extinct (EX) – No individuals remaining
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range
  • Critically Endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
  • Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild
  • Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild
  • Near Threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future
  • Least Concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category
  • Data Deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction
  • Not Evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria

When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term “threatened” is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.

Visit the IUCN Red List official website or Wiki for more information.

02
Jun
09

What do Tigers eat?

Ok. All this while, I was thinking that Tigers eat grass too and was making some basic calorie calculations… But they are hard-core carnivores.

A look at Tigers Diet and Eating Habits reveals that

a. Tigers can consume 20 to 35 kg (44-77 lb.) of food at one sitting (that’s a LOT); but they usually eat about 15 to 18 kg (33-40 lb.) of food a day, over several days. They don’t seem to mind eating decaying flesh.

b. After meals, tigers cover the remains of the kill with vegetation or debris. This conceals the carcass from scavengers such as vultures and jackals.

c. Tigers mainly rest and drink between meals, but may kill other prey if the opportunity arises.

d. Tigers usually gorge themselves at a kill, and they may not need to eat again for several days. If their food requirements are averaged per day over a year, female tigers need about 5 to 6 kg (11-13 lb.) of food per day and males need about 6 to 7 kg (13-15 lb.) of food per day.




So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
December 2017
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