I R in the litterbox, bein a detritivore

18 05 2007

What’s better than regular lolcats? Science-based lolcats! I may have to jump on this meme before it screeches to a halt, so expect some evo-eco lolcat pictures featuring Chase and Charlotte in the near future. Here kitty kitty kitty….

I Can Has Cheezburger?

30 04 2007

I stumbled onto the photoblog I Can Has Cheezburger? the other day and I have no choice but to add it to my blogroll; I’m a sucker for stupid animal photos. Maybe it’s not the most intelligent brand of humor out there, but I just can’t help but laugh at many of the pictures that go up daily.

Deer, cats, and scat; Friday Photoblogging

13 04 2007

It’s Friday, so why not have some fun to round out the week? I haven’t gone to any zoos or museums since February, so I don’t have much in the way of neat animals to show you (but just you wait; I’m visiting the National Zoo tomorrow) but I have a few more “common” specimens to share.

This is my little cat Charlotte; she was the runt of her little but she’s a little ball of affection (and trouble) that likes to sleep upside-down and doing an impression of Superman, at least she was when I woke her up by taking this picture.


Charlotte also likes to sit in the windowsill and yip and yowl at the birds in the tree outside, and when she gets angry she attacks the blinds (there are lots of little holes from needle canines in the bottom ones).


Chase is the other cat around here, adopted from friends of ours, and he likes to remind me that it’s my duty to share my ice cream with him whenever I’m enjoying some.

chase share

While petsitting a few weeks ago, I walked along a deer path through some brush and came across these bones. I assume they’re leg bones from a small deer, but I couldn’t find anything else except these partially buried pieces.


Associated with the bones I also found what appeared to be scat at first, but upon pulling the lumps apart I found them to be made up entirely of hair, all that was left of what I assume to be shrews and small rodents. It’s likely that whatever buried the bones also left these, possibly a coyote.


What led me out into the woods in the first place was a small group of deer (with at least one fawn) moving through the backyard. I was able to get reasonably close, although my camera didn’t have enough zoom as I would like and the thick brush made it hard to get a clear shot. Anyway, here’s one of the deer that’s awfully wary of the biped moving awkwardly through the bushes.


That’s all for today, but check back on Sunday or Mondy; I’ll likely have a slew of photos from my trip to Washington, D.C. tomorrow.

Photo of the Day: Fishing Cat

27 03 2007

The first two times I visited the Philadelphia Zoo I couldn’t seem to spy a Fishing Cat, but during my last trip I was lucky enough to see the stout little cat traversing its enclosure;

Fishing Cat


17 03 2007

I saw parts of this documentary a long time ago (the segement with servals jumping after birds was absolutely amazing), this part featuring a Caracal going after some Springhares.

Watching the caracal stalk through the grass, a thought struck me. If you look closely you’ll see a little pronged tuft on the top of each of the caracals ears. Looking at the grass, I wonder if the tufts were selected for because of the habitat the cat hunts in; grass with small tufts at the tops. Being a noctural predator that hunts rodents, the cat would need big ears, but those same ears might be more likely to be visible above the grass, giving it away. Thus, the tufts would help disguise the tips of its ears, cats with the feature being more effective at catching prey and then the feature becoming a ubiquitous feature of the species. This is all conjecture of course, but I do wonder…

And of course, a cat is a cat is a cat, generally speaking, and here’s a photo of myself with my two lovely little carnivores, Chase (the white 6 year old with a tabby tail) and Charlotte (the black 6 month old with “secret stripes”).


Extra parts on another animal

23 02 2007

Earlier this week we met Stumpy, a duckling that most likely experienced an anomaly during development and ended up with an extra set of hind limbs. Now, (with a hat tip to Grrlscientist for the head’s up) we meet Extra, a cat with 26 toes (polydactylism).


According to the article, and anecdotes, it seems that extra digits are an advantage to the cats, giving them a little extra dexterity. Indeed, it seems that purebred cats and cats in certain areas are more likely to have the trait than others, but even though it seems to be a beneficial mutation to some degree I don’t know if it really would give the cat any advantage in catching prey, climbing, running, or anything else they normally do. Even if there was some advantage, we’d have to look at stray communities to figure it out, spayed or neutered house cats not exactly having to deal with pressures according to natural selection.


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