Photo credit: http://www.felineconservation.org Please check out the link to donate
Shut the front door.
Seriously this cat is incredible and adorable. The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a bit like a mini ocelot. They are native to the Americas and there is even a record of one found in Texas over 100 years ago!
These cats are nocturnal and live primary in the rainforests from Argentina all the way to Mexico. They are absolutely striking and unfortunately this has made the margay a target for fur poachers resulting in their IUCN status as near threatened.
Most amazingly, the margay can rotate its ankle 180 degrees to climb trees upside down. The picture to the right cannot do the ankle rotation move justice (watch the video 1:23!). They can climb down trees head first and may even nap upside down. Margays can hang from a branch upside down by a single paw. The video below is absolutely gorgeous and worth the time to watch (full screen).
Video Credit: Phil Slosberg, a talented wildlife photographer in Costa Rica
While totally sounding like a sci-fi planet, Solenodons are actually just insectivores. In the family Solenodontidae, there is only one genus-Solenodon and just two species. Yes, solenodons come in just two flavors the Hispaniolan (Solenodon paradoxus) and the Cuban (Solenodon cubanus). These shrew-like looking creatures have a venomous bite that emanates from a groove in their second incisors. Solenodons are reported to eat plants, insects, small invertebrates, but also reptile, amphibians, and rodents. They kill prey larger than themselves most likely after inflicting a fatal bite. The toxin blarina produces a peptide called bradykinin and this bite then leads to paralysis and convulsions.
These amazing creatures are usually solitary and are only thought to come together for mating. Reproduction is slow and females have only 1-2 litters per year each time only giving birth to a few offspring. This weirdo mammal just gets weirder as her elongated teats are positioned near her groin. Her maternal care knows no bounds as she drags along her one or two young on her rear.
Check out the video below to see a solenodon in action:
Both species of Solenodons are considered endangered according the the IUCN Redlist. The Hispaniolan solenodon faces extinction primarily because of habitat destruction, while the Cuban solenodon is endangered mostly as a result of introduced predators including feral cats and dogs.
Read more about the Cuban Solenodon here at the EDGE site
Read more about the Hispaniolan Solenodon here at the EDGE site
If you are interested in the conservation status of the Hispaniolan Solenodon check out this website http://www.thelastsurvivors.org/ where researchers raise awareness and update the research progress.
The mammal family Erinaceidae includes hedgehogs (subfamily Erinaceinae) of which there are 5 genera and 14-17 species depending on which classification you use. Hedgehogs are native to Europe, Asia, Africa but have been introduced to New Zealand and several islands off Scotland.
Their “hog” name comes from the noises they make while searching for food. Hedgehogs communicate by huffing, grunting and squealing. They are insectivores, nocturnal, and depending on the species, can live from 2-7 years.
Photo Credit: Liz and Tony Bomford
Gestation is around 35-60 days. It goes without saying that giving birth to something with quills would be traumatic, so young are born covered with a protective membrane (seen in the photo).
The quills are made from keratin. It is commonly— but incorrectly—assumed that hedgehogs are related to echidnas and porcupines. In fact, hedgehogs are most commonly related to an obscure group of mammals knows as moonrats (subfamily Galericinae of Erinaceidae).
Photo credit: Konstans Wells from Arkive
The domesticated hedgehogs commonly kept as pets are a hybrid of Atelerix albiventris and Atelerix algirus and this hybrid is known as the African pygmy hedgehog. And here is a video of an African pygmy hedgehog, at about 12 weeks old, eating.
Click here to check out this National Geographic link to learn more and hear an audio sample!
These swarthy little mammals hang out in Africa and the Middle East and have been blowing up in the news recently. They are in the family Procaviidae which is the only living family in Hydrocoidea. Interestingly, they have multi-chambered stomach, but they are definitely not ruminants. Even more remarkable, is their song which is a mammal freestyle like you’ve never seen. Check out the video below from Arik Kershenbaum from the University of Haifa.
Posted in Mammals
The 17 species of hedgehog live in Europe, Asia, Africa and they were even introduced in New Zealand. Mating can be precarious when you are prickly so the male needs to be certain the female is interested. The male circles the female huffing and snorting and can even make bird-like calls. Very few courting advances actually result in a bout of mating.
The video shows a male hedgehog courting a female who is clearing NOT feeling it.
Here is a link to an older BBC4 radio program to learn more click here