"Truly, he was one of the sickest dogs I’ve ever seen," L.A. dog rescuer Annie Hart of the Bill Foundation says of Gideon, a pit bull who was abandoned near the Coachella desert. Reporter Anh Do tells the story of Gideon’s rescue, rehabilitation and subsequent brush with Internet fame (the video above has been viewed more than 830,000 times so far) in The Times today:
The pit bull’s road to recovery has been long and involved after suffering from a highly resistant bacterial infection, as well as ringworm — a skin infection caused by a fungus, affecting his face, paws and nails, according to Dr. Annie Harvilicz, owner of Animal Wellness Centers in Marina del Rey, who’s been treating the pit bull.
She believes the dog contracted the illness living in a junkyard, where Hart found him, sporting deep lacerations around his neck, typical of dogs tied up over a long period.
“Some dogs who are hurt or fearful would bite or show aggression. But from the start, Gideon was the opposite. He would actually be very loving, wanting to cuddle up with you,” said Harvilicz, whose clinic has a nonprofit, the Animal Wellness Foundation, funding the dog’s medical care.
Of note about Gideon’s story: His rescuer had him scanned for a microchip (an important thing to remember if you find a lost pet!) and learned that he did indeed have one. But when the owner listed in the microchip registry was notified that he’d been found, “[t]hey told me, ‘We don’t want him anymore,’ and hung up,” Hart recalls.
While Gideon has thousands of fans, he doesn’t yet have a permanent home. He’s currently in foster care and will be ready to be adopted once he’s fully recovered.
Meet Semirostrum ceruttii, the owner of the largest underbite ever found on a mammal. These now-extinct porpoises lived off the coast of California, and fossils have been found dating from 1.5 million to 5.3 million years ago.
Images: Artists’ reconstructions of the Semirostrum ceruttii. Top image: Pat Lynch / Yale. Bottom image: Bobby Boessenecker
This is the true story of 14 tiger sharks, six Galapagos sharks, five sandbar sharks, five bluntnose sixgill sharks and a prickly shark, picked to swim in the ocean and have their lives taped to find out what happens when sharks stop being polite and start getting real.
Video: American Geophysical Union
Happy International Polar Bear Day!
Science reporter Deborah Netburn talked to the chief scientist for Polar Bears International, the conservation group that founded International Polar Bear Day, about ways people can help polar bears. Number one on the group’s list: turn your thermostat down a few degrees.
Video: A polar bear cub experiences snow for the first time. Credit: Toronto Zoo
You’re nearly through Monday. Don’t you deserve a zebra foal?
This is Davu, a six-week-old mountain zebra who lives at the zoo in Hanover, Germany.
Photo: Holger Hollemann / European Pressphoto Agency
Meet Roo, a two-legged Chihuahua, and Penny, a silky chicken who was relinquished by a veterinary school where she had been used in experiments. They’re best friends who spend their days at an animal hospital in Duluth, Georgia.
And don’t worry about Roo: “He hops around really well,” clinic staffer Barbara Jennings told The Times, and he also uses the special wheelchair you see here.
Photos: Duluth Animal Hospital
How many snakes can you fit into one house?
Maybe one if you’re a little squeamish about them? A few dozen if you don’t particularly care about seeing a bunch peek out from your laundry hamper or pantry?
Now try and imagine having as many as 400 snakes in your house. That’s just what police found at a home in Santa Ana earlier today while serving a police warrant. Officers reportedly could smell the stench of the snakes, many of which were in terrible condition, if not dead, from up to 300 feet away.
Read the full, sad story over at L.A. Now.
Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
The Science of Animal Locomotion by Eadweard Muybridge, in GIF form.
test reblogged from wnycradiolab
Seriously. There was some weird stuff going on this year.
Photos: Tatan Syuflana / Associated Press, Andy Rain, Tatyana Zenkovich, Robert Ghement / EPA, Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP/Getty Images
Cougar takes the Hollywood limelight
Hats off to National Geographic photographer Steve Winter, for this fantastic photo of a cougar perfectly placed in front of the Hollywood sign.
NatGeo has the full story, including 14 months of waiting for a perfect shot, here.
Photo: Steve Winter / National Geographic
'A last testament' to Africa's wildlife
Times photographer Barbara Davidson sat down recently with renowned photographer Nick Brandt, whose current focus is on the dwindling wildlife of Africa.
Brandt said of his focused choice of subjects:
There is something profoundly iconic, mythological even, about the animals and landscapes of East Africa. There is also something deeply, emotionally stirring and affecting about those vast green rolling plains under the huge skies.
It just affects me, as I think it almost inevitably does many people, in a very fundamental, possibly primordial way.
Photos: Nick Brandt
- by Rowan Hooper
“According to Dante, the Styx is not just a river but a vast, deathly swamp filling the entire fifth circle of hell. Perhaps the staff of New Scientist will see it when our time comes but, until then, Lake Natron in northern Tanzania does a pretty good job of illustrating Dante’s vision.
Unless you are an alkaline tilapia (Alcolapia alcalica) – an extremophile fish adapted to the harsh conditions – it is not the best place to live. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5.
The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.
Photographer Nick Brandt, who has a long association with east Africa – he directed the video for Michael Jackson’s Earth Song there in 1995 – took a detour from his usual work when he discovered perfectly preserved birds and bats on the shoreline. “I could not help but photograph them,” he says. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.”
When salt islands form in the lake, lesser flamingos take the opportunity to nest – but it is a risky business, as this calcified bird (top) illustrates. The animals are all arranged in poses by the photographer. Above, on the right we have a sea eagle and on the left a dove, in what is surely the most horrific depiction of the “bird of peace” since Picasso’s Guernica.
Brandt’s new collection of photos featuring animals in east Africa, Across the Ravaged Land, is published by Abrams Books.”
(Source: New Scientist)
And kinda terrifying.
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Meet your three new favorite sea sponges.
The “Cookie Monster of the sea,” who’s about three feet tall and squishy, may be our favorite undersea creature (well, creatures) since this piglet squid who was found a few years ago in California’s San Pedro Channel.