Tag Archives: nature

Mushrooms in Space!

http://www.velutipes.com/ offers the ultimate in fungus photography against a starry night sky, and it does it all in 4 languages. You're probably most interested in the "English page":http://www.velutipes.com/english.htm but maybe you might like to see what a Black Morel, pictured above, is called in "Swedish":http://www.velutipes.com/swedish.htm to impress your favorite "Indie-pop Band":http://duenos.net/article/26/billie-the-vision-and-the-dancers. It's called 'Toppmurkla' by the way. Previously featured on Duenos: "Nutrition Data at Your Fingertips":http://duenos.net/article/65/nutrition-data-at-your-finger-tips, an easy way to find out what you're eating, even what's inside mushrooms.

An aquatic canary

Coal miners used to carry canaries with them down into the mines as a sort of warning device of bad air quality. Because canaries are so much smaller than humans, they would die from breathing the toxic air way before the miners were in any danger. That served as inspiration for artist “Marei Wollesrsberger”:http://marei.co.uk/ whose “BioSafe Habitat”:http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/009608.php concept involves aquatic plants or fish serving the canaries sacrificial function. In reading about the project, I discovered a fascinating (and patented) species of fish called “GloFish”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GloFish. These modified zebrafish literally glow when exposed to water contaminants. They’re also the only genetically modified organism to be legally sold as a pet.

Pictures courtesy of “the artist”:http://marei.co.uk/biosafety/page4.html and “Wesley Tyler’s”:http://flickr.com/photos/wesleytyler/ “Flickr stream”:http://flickr.com/photos/wesleytyler/539704323/

Evidence of super-penguin found

According to the Discovery Channel “website”:http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/06/25/giantpenguin_ani.html?category=animals&guid=20070625120000&dcitc=w19-502-ak-0000, there has been new evidence found in Peru that 5 ft tall “super-penguins” lived there over 32 million years ago. These human-sized aquatic birds apparently had very large beaks and less paddle-like flippers than modern species of penguin. The above picture shows these newly discovered penguins next to today’s Emperor and Magellanic penguins.

Gay flamingos raise chick of their own

After years of stealing eggs from the neighbors Carlos and Fernando, the only gay flamingo couple at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire, England, have a chick of the their own. The newly-hatched flamingling was abandoned by its biological parents and so was a logical choice for the gay flamingo couple who have been together for 6 years. I know this sounds like anthropomorphizing, but homosexuality has been observed in a number of species, including penguins, humans, sheep, dolphins, orangutans, beetles, bats and humans. Here’s a picture of the new family, for a larger version and the full story you can read “The Daily Mail”:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=456716&in_page_id=1770.

Albino Hedgehog

Only one in ten-thousand hedgehogs are born truly albino, with red eyes and completely white skin. Because of the rarity of it, and because it’s so darn cute in a creepy “I could steal your soul” kind of way, here it is.

This particular hedgehog is 11-weeks old from “Bank Mill Nurseries”:http://www.bankmillnurseries.co.uk and was recently “profiled”:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=452760&in_page_id=1770 in the Daily Mail.

Life from the deep

This short French documentary on life in the abyss of deep ocean waters starts by saying “these are not aliens.” The disclaimer is a helpful one as you go on to watch translucent squid, writhing luminescent worms, and a a flan-like creature the narrators call a dumbo octopus. The animals shown in this video are no less than incredible, and it’s amazing that they live on the same planet that we do.

I found this video through one of my favorite blogs, “collision detection”:http://www.collisiondetection.net/ by Clive Thompson. His stories and writing style are wonderful, and I recommend reading in full his “introduction”:http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2007/05/is_this_sea_cre.html to this video and adding it to your daily read.

Our President looks like a monkey

So it’s no secret. He does. Not only does he look like a monkey, but sometimes he probably smells like one too, although I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been that close to him. To celebrate his looking a bit more simian than the rest of us, I’m glad that the internet has produced “bushorchimp.com”:http://www.bushorchimp.com/ in which pictures of President Bush are put right next to pictures of chimpanzees. Almost 5 million people have visited since the site went up in 2000, join them. Here are some of my favorites:

New York City seen hosting a new kind of migrant

The unending urban sprawl emanating from New York City has caused a different kind of migration. According to this “article”:http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/006225.html from “Word Changing blog”:http://www.worldchanging.com/ wildlife has been leaving the ecological desert of suburbia for the next best thing. That turns out to be the parks and waterways of New York City. Recent urban jungle sightings include hawks, falcons, coyotes, and beavers. Yes, there are beavers in Brooklyn.

Chimps seen hunting with spears

Evolution happens. Whether it’s a dog breed artificially selected to be long and hot dog-like or a group of people adapting an economic system that seemed to have worked for their more prosperous neighbors, things evolve. As yet another example of primate intelligence and social evolution happening right out in nature, Senegalese chimps have been seen using spears to hunt bushbabies. This report comes as complete hearsay with absolutely no evidence but it’s still so damned exciting I just had to share it. Apparently the full story will be published in the next issue of “Current Biology”:http://www.current-biology.com/ but here’s a “synopsis”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6387611.stm from our friends at the BBC.