January 2012

My Annoying Cat

I Swear He's Going to Drive us all Crazy
My Crazy cat, Rusty spends every moment annoying me. I’m sharing this here because I’m certain he neither cares or understands. Plus I thought just maybe someone else might know exactly what I’m going through.

Scientists Identify Airborne Amphibian Pheromones

We've all heard about pheromones, the airborne odors that make some animals attractive to others, Scientists have discovered that frogs can also communicate using these pheromones as well. Scientists have known that amphibians can communicate vocally and via chemicals in water.

Scientists have guessed that they communicated through the air using chemicals, but it was never proven. That is until scientists visited Madagascar and examined Mantellidae frogs that have a sack on their thigh called the femoral gland. They were able to identify two separate chemicals excreted by the gland that are likely used by the frogs for communication.

They are not 100 percent sure what the frogs are saying with the chemicals, but it may be a type of species recognition. There are many different frog species in the area, more than 100, and while each has a distinctive sound, with so many in the area it could be hard to determine.

11 Animals Removed from Collins Zoo in Mississippi

Animals will be transported to other facilities that can provide a safe environment


Eleven animals have been seized from the Collins Zoo in Mississippi. They are set to be transported to other facilities that can provide them with the care that they need and deserve. The Humane society had originally recorded material 2 years ago and submitted it to officials for removal of these animals, the order for removal has finally come through.

Animals and Their Sounds

Have you ever thought about how the sounds some animals make match its level of threat to others? For instance, think about a tiger. When it makes noises, they sound beastly -- from the ferocious growl to the guttural sounds it makes. Now, think about a domestic cat. It's meow is not intimidating at all. If it becomes upset, it can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, but it doesn't sound particularly threatening -- at least not to humans. Think about the different kinds of bears or the lion. They all sound threatening. They all emit deep sounds.

Strange Bedfellows

You have probably heard the phrase, “fighting like cats and dogs.”  The funny thing about that phrase is that, in many cases, cats and dogs get along just fine.  In fact, they are often best of friends if raised together.  There are many species of animals that get along, even when nature seems set against such a friendship. 

Scientists trying to save dying amphibian population

It's long been known that amphibian populations throughout the globe have been rapid decline for years. A dangerous fungus, environmental, territorial and predatory issues have left more than 3000 of the 7000 amphibian species on the verge of extinction.

The Amphibian Survival Alliance, a coalition of organizations supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, along with other concerned scientists have developed a plan to help save the amphibians of the world. The plan would cost about $400 million and requires some type of investor such as philanthropists or government agencies.

Sasha Found a New Home

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about deciding when to let go.  It is always so difficult to make that decision and send an animal you thought would be a beloved family member to another home, but I think if the decision is made with the animal’s best interests in mind, it is a good decision.  We made that decision with Sasha, and she went to live with her new family a few days ago.

The Elk's Eerie Call

The first time I heard an elk bugle, I was in Colorado with my family . The sound started with deep tones that became higher -- almost like a high-pitched horn. We were in Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes, Colorado. It was foggy out and the sound floated across the brisk morning air. I remember gasping and asking my dad, "What was that sound?" He told me that it was a bull (male) elk.

Homemade Mange Treatment

The first time I noticed a horse with a big patch of hair missing, I was baffled.  Fortunately, my farrier happened by that day and told me not only what mange was, but also how to quickly and inexpensively treat it.  Mange afflicts all types of animals, so knowing how to fix it yourself without a lot of harmful chemicals or expensive treatments is essential.

Chinese Giant Salamander

There are few amphibians in the world that will garner more strange looks than that of the Chinese Giant Salamander. It's the largest salamander existing and grows to a whopping six feet long if allowed to grow to maturity.

It's native to the mountain streams and lakes in China and is an endangered species because of a drastic loss of habitat and hunting. China has undergone a massive industrialization of the past two decades and much of the salamander's habitat has been destroyed to make room for progress.

It doesn't help that it's used in traditional Chinese medicine and considered a delicacy. A Chinese Giant Salamander can earn a hunter major profit. On the surface, the amphibian doesn't look that much different than is smaller counterparts. It has a large bulbous head, but small eyes.

It's the tiny eyes that give it poor eyesight and instead uses sensory nodes located along its body to find and eat insects, frogs and fish. The nodes help the animals sense vibrations around them and then focusing and attacking its prey.

When Do You Let Go?

Over the years, we have had a few animals I would consider to be duds.  Whether it is the horse that never accepted the fact that a bridle was standard wear for riding, or the cat that looked at me with disdain when I dared tell him the counter was off limits, there are just some animals that do not go well with my personality.  Though moving to a new home can be traumatic, sometimes it is the best solution when an owner and their pet do not get along well.  Learning when to let go can sometimes be in the best interest of your animal, even if the decision is hard to make.