animals: November 2009 Archives

275x250.jpgBeing transported to a new zoo looks like it was a right pain in the neck for this five-year-old giraffe.

It's understood the 11ft female giraffe suffered the injury as she was being moved from The Wilds park in Ohio to Tulsa Zoo in Arizona.

When Amali arrived at her new home in Oklahoma, keepers instantly noticed her normally long, slender neck had an odd crick in it.

Though she is not thought to be in any pain, vets say she will be kept in medical quarantine until X-rays are done next week to see if her neck is broken. Staff say they hope the crick will correct itself naturally but fear it could stay like that forever.

Dog owners exercise more than gym members

275x250.jpgThe average dog owner gets more exercise from walking their pooch than a gym-goer, it has been claimed.

Researchers found animal lovers exercise their pet twice a day for 24 minutes each time - a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week.

On top of that, the average dog owner also takes their pet out on three long walks each week adding another two hours and 33 minutes to the total.

But in comparison, a study of 5,000 people found those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes per week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog.

And almost half (47 per cent) of non-pet owners admit they do absolutely no exercise whatsoever -- though those with a tortoise didn't fare much better.

275x250.jpgPresident Obama has continued the Thanksgiving tradition of sparing the life of a turkey... which will now live at Disneyland.

Yesterday he pardoned Courage the turkey on the White House lawn after it was picked by his daughters Sasha and Malia.

The lucky 45lb bird, donated by the National Turkey Board, will now go to Disneyland where it will stay on at an exhibit on the settlers' early days in the US.

Speaking at the pardoning Barack Obama said: "Courage will also be spared this terrible and delicious fate."

"There are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office… and then there are moments like this, where I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland," he added.

275x250.jpgBizarre sea creatures including an octopod dubbed Dumbo because of his giant ear-like fins, have been found as part of a deep sea census.

The previously unseen creatures live more than a mile beneath the ocean in pitch black conditions.

A total of 5,722 odd species were discovered as part of the Census of Marine Life - which used deep-towed cameras to give us a better picture of what lives in our oceans.

One such critter was the elephant-eared octopod (pictured) which was dubbed Dumbo of the deep - it is a six-foot-long cirrate octopod which was found on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Another was the sea cucumber (below) whcih was found at 2,750 metres in the Northern Gulf of Mexico - I think looking at them we can see why they live in pitch black conditions.

275x250.jpgBosses at a water company think something fishy is going on - after finding dozens of fish in a tank at their sewage works.

Staff at the plant near Pontefract, Yorkshire, say it is not unusual to discover odd items at the sewage works - recent finds include a TV, jewellery and false teeth.

But recently they were left scratching their heads after the fish - including chubb, bream, trout and roach - were discovered in a 35m settlement tank.

The tank is used in the final stages of the sewage treatment process to remove any remaining particles before the water is discharged back into the local river - and there shouldn't be anything else in there.

As a result no-one is quite sure how they got in - though one punning worker suggested it could be an act of Cod.

SuperCroc was 12m long and ate dinosaurs

275x250.jpgAn ancient species of crocodile which weighed eight tonnes and snacked on dinosaurs has been discovered in the Sahara.

The 'SuperCroc' lived over 100 million years ago and was uncovered by a team from University of Chicago who have led a series of fossil croc hunting expeditions around the world.

But explorer-in-Residence (what a great job title) Prof Paul Sereno says Supercroc was, amazingly, not the oddest remains they found.

The also found a croc with dagger-like fangs, one which fed on plants or grubs - and one with a dog-like soft nose.

The crocs were (very scientifically) given the names, BoarCroc, RatCroc, PancakeCroc, DuckCroc and DogCroc. Click through to find out all about them.

Admin error could lead to fish extinction

275x250.jpgAn 80-year-old admin error could lead to the extinction of a fish species it has been claimed.

Experts say the mistake occurred in the 1920s when common skate were being classified by academics.

In an important piece of paperwork they were logged as a single species 'D. batis' - even though it was known that two existed, 'D. batis' and 'D. flossada'.

This has meant that for the past 80 years they have been fished as one species - resulting in the unmonitored depletion of the flapper skate (D. flossada) the more endangered species of the two.

As a result the risk of extinction is now far higher than previously expected. And you thought your mistake at the office was bad, at least you never wiped out an entire species.

Police have released a video of an over affectionate cat climbing all over an officer as he tries to issue a driver a ticket.

As officer Keith Urban, from Taylor Police Department in Texas, stood next to the car a cat can be seen approaching him in footage shot on a camera in his patrol car.

While he goes about his job the black cat climbs up his leg and onto his notepad - before reaching the top of his head.

Officer Urban repeatedly shakes the cat and somehow manages to keep a straight face, though we can't see the face of the driver he was ticketing.

Given the gung-ho attitude to weapons normally associated with American cops, we are surprised he didn't taser the little kitty.

275x250.jpgA turkey farm has installed a live webcam to let customers watch their Christmas dinner running around the field.

Shoppers will be able to check their Christmas turkey is plumping up nicely before making it to their table, by tuning in online.

Farm, Park & Wild say their 'Turkey Cam' gives a unique insight into the (albeit short) lives of their 450 Norfolk Black and Norfolk Bronze turkeys.

The camera is live 24 hours a day and shows them running around the field and feeding and at night they are secured in a large barn.

Obviously the camera will get turned off shortly before Christmas - though your turkey could be the only one in the street to come with its own showreel DVD.

275x250.jpgA pregnant shark gave birth by a surprise 'caesarean' -- when another shark attacked it releasing four babies.

The shark had been swimming in a tank at Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in New Zealand when it was bitten by a tank-mate.

Visitors were shocked when they saw the bite rip the flesh of the pregnant shark and the babies emerged from the gaping wound.

Staff at the aquarium removed the babies from the tank - before they became food for stingrays and other sharks - along with the mother, who had another four babies still inside her.

The wound on the mother has now been stitched by a vet… a very brave vet. Mother and  all eight baby sharks survived.

Dads end up looking after children's pets

275x250.jpgA dog really is a man’s best friend - because dads end up having to care for the family pet, a study has revealed.

Despite being the most reluctant to get a dog researchers found it is dads who are left to feed, clean and exercise the dog.

The study of 2,500 pet owners revealed children are most instrumental in bringing a dog into the family with 28 per cent saying it was to appease a youngster.

It emerged 14 per cent of children were supposed to be solely responsible for making sure their new pet was fed regularly, cleaned and taken out for plenty of walks.

And they are, for the first couple of days. Then it's unenthusiastic dads who are left to take care of the animal.

275x250.jpg A publisher has come up with a novel way of advertising their books… by attaching adverts to flies.

The bizarre advertising campaign was launched (quite literally) by Eichborn at the recent 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair and involved somehow tying tiny ads to the flies legs.

This meant that as the fly took to the air, little banner adverts - which were light enough not to weigh the flies down - appeared to float around the halls.

While the final result certainly looks impressive (check the video after the link) please spare a thought for the poor German work experience kid who probably spent hours the night before tying the adverts to the flies.

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