December 2011

Amphibians Facts and Myths

I remember growing up in the country and looking out my window and seeing seven or right tree frogs hanging from the window pane. I loved how green they were how cools their suckers were. The fact is amphibians are very cool creatures there are so many different types with many different abilities as well as myths.

Frogs don't chew their food, they swallow it completely whole. The size of the frog's meal is only limited by the size of his stomach.

Frogs are often seen near water, but they need to breath air through their lungs just like mammals. They are also only found near freshwater and can't survive in salt water. Also, because frogs tend to spent most of their time at least partially submerged, the eyes and nose are near the very top of the head so they can be mostly submerged and still be able to see and smell above the water.

Judge uses Jessica's Law to hand Down 10 Year Sentence for Animal Sexual Abuse

What possible reason could there have been?

Just when I thought I had heard of every imaginable type of animal cruelty one another horrible crime came to life.  This isn’t your typical hoarding, dog fight or starvation case. This particular case takes on an unexplained evil, thankfully the hands of justice came spiraling down.

Bufo Toad

The Bufo toad or the cane toad is most commonly seen in the northern areas of South America as well as Mexico. If you were to look at it, you wouldn't think much except for, “Wow, that's a big toad.”

The toad is exceptionally large with the females growing much larger than the males. They can reach the size of frisbees, but other than that they are rather physically uninteresting. While most toads create vibrant colors or melt into the background, the bufo has a unique defense mechanism.

It secretes a powerful poison that generally keep predators away, but if attacked the poison can kill. Because of this, natives have used the poison of the toads to tip their arrows for centuries. In lighter doses, the toxin is a powerful psychoactive drug similar to LSD, causing hallucinations and confusion.

Heritage Sheep Breeds

Sheep have played an important role in civilization for thousands of years.  Their thick, versatile wool has been keeping man warm and dry, while their meat and milk has been keeping us well fed.  Mutton is a luxury in the United States, but in many areas of the world, meat from sheep is a staple.  Recently, a resurgence in self-sufficiency has created a renewed interest in knitting, spinning and other fiber arts, so some heritage sheep breeds have seen remarkable recovery.  There are still many breeds that are critically endangered, and deserve a second look if you are considering adding sheep to your farm.

Chimpanzee Studies Halted

National Institutes of Health to stop funding chimp test subjects
Good news for chimpanzees and chimp lovers everywhere: scientific studies using our closest evolutionary relatives as test subjects will be phased out in the near future. The National Institutes of Health has halted all new funding for studies that use chimps as guinea pigs, as it were. While the move isn't an outright ban on chimp research, we'll soon be seeing fewer and fewer scientific experiments done on these intelligent creatures. It's a great step forward for animal rights.

The Amphibian Mystery

What do you think about when you hear the word amphibian? Frogs and toads? While they are indeed amphibians, there are many other types as well. In all, there are more than 6,500 species in the world and all are an important part of the ecosystem.

Amphibians are some of the oldest animals on the planet and their lineage can be traced back to the Devonian period and are direct off shoots of the first animals to travel from the sea to land. They are an important link between the original sea faring creatures and the reptiles.

They are also fragile creatures easily affected by changing climate and pollution. It is because of this that they are considered ecological indicators. When amphibian populations begin to decline or if the young have serious birth defects, then it's an example of pollution in the area.

Winter Animal fashion Show

An Outfit for every animal

Animals like to be pretty too. So everyone go grab your pets so they can get a quick glimpse of the hottest winter animal fashions. I can’t guarantee that’ll you’ll get to see Armani, though I can promise that you’ll be amazed at the stylish fashions that these top animal models have turned into utter cuteness.

Heritage Rabbit Breeds

It is impossible not to like rabbits, unless of course you have had a crazy one like my first rabbit, Tibbits, who was clinically insane and ate kindling for breakfast.  For the most part, however, rabbits are cute, cuddly and luxuriously soft.  Ages ago, European gardens were built to house pet rabbits, and still today we love keeping rabbits for pets and other purposes.

The Best and Worst Gift

pets may seem like a perfect gift but they in fact are not

This Holiday season like many Holiday season’s people are out shopping picking out their perfect gifts for everyone on their list. One gift that seems perfect that people are often tempted to purchase for Christmas morning is a cute little puppy or kitten. Believe me when I was little I would have done anything to get that gift, sadly it’s the worst gift you can ever give someone.

Heritage Pork Breeds

As part of our series on heritage breeds, pigs definitely deserve a big mention.  Our family had the opportunity this year to try locally raised heritage pork and it tasted amazing.  The seller told us it was more of a red meat than white, and sure enough, when we pulled those first pork chops out of the package, they had a nice red color to them.  The taste was rich and delicious, and I have never in my life eaten a better ham.

Animal Farm a Death Trap for Livestock

 

Animal Control seized 58 farm animals on an animal farm in rural San Diego County that is being coined as a “death trap” by officers. On November 9th nine dead goats and a dead llama were found on the property, investigations found that the cause of death was due to starvation. Of the 58 animals that were seized, many were also on the verge of starvation.