coelasquid:

ferrousfellow:

walkingfoxiest:

a post where I explain with images how foxes are the best thing ever, and how if you disagree you are obviously wrong

i’ve been told it only takes one generation to domesticate a fox and that they go from feral to adorable cat-dog without a hitch.  

i’ve also been told they’re stinky.

Ah, I’m pretty sure you were lied to, because the only truly tame pet foxes developed for human companionship you can get are from a half-century old Russian institute developed to run a long-term experiment in animal domestication. They were bred by professionals selecting the tamest and most non-agressive fur farm (so already partially domesticated) foxes in an ongoing effort that started in the late 50’s.

The authorized resellers of these foxes worldwide also urge people not to expect them to just be like owning a cat or dog, because they are their own animal and expecting them to just be like a mashup of two popular housepets that were domesticated thousands of years ago just leads to a lot of frustration and mistreated foxes.

I think I remember a guy on Plus 4 who had a pet fox, I don’t know if it was a Domestic Fox Project one or if it was one of the less-tame socialized fur farm rescues (I know he got it as a baby and carried it around in his hoodie to get it used to being handled), but I think he compared it to owning a ferret.

10 months ago
199,962 notes
paleopedia:

The Middle horse, Mesohippus (1875)
Phylum : ChordataClass : MammaliaOrder : PerissodactylaFamily : EquidaeSubfamily : AnchitherinaeGenus : MesohippusSpecies : M. bairdi, M. barbouri, M. braquistylus, M. equiceps, M. hypostylus, M. intermedius, M. latidens, M. longiceps, M. metulophus, M. montanensis, M. obliquidens, M. proteulophus, M. westoni
Middle Eocene/early Oligocene (40 - 30 Ma)
60 cm high and 30 kg
North America
Mesohippus had longer legs than its predecessor Eohippus and stood about 60 cm {6 hands} tall. It had also lost a toe and stood predominantly on its middle toe, although the other two were also used. The face of Mesohippus was longer and larger than earlier equids. It had a slight facial fossa, or depression, in the skull. The eyes were rounder, and were set wider apart and farther back than in Hyracotherium.
Unlike earlier horses, its teeth were low crowned and contained a single gap behind the front teeth, where the bit now rests in the modern horse. In addition, it had another grinding tooth, making a total of six. Mesohippus was a browser that fed on tender twigs and fruit. The cerebral hemisphere, or cranial cavity, was notably larger than that of its predecessors; its brain was similar to that of modern horses.

paleopedia:

The Middle horse, Mesohippus (1875)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Perissodactyla
Family : Equidae
Subfamily : Anchitherinae
Genus : Mesohippus
Species : M. bairdi, M. barbouri, M. braquistylus, M. equiceps, M. hypostylus, M. intermedius, M. latidens, M. longiceps, M. metulophus, M. montanensis, M. obliquidens, M. proteulophus, M. westoni

  • Middle Eocene/early Oligocene (40 - 30 Ma)
  • 60 cm high and 30 kg
  • North America

Mesohippus had longer legs than its predecessor Eohippus and stood about 60 cm {6 hands} tall. It had also lost a toe and stood predominantly on its middle toe, although the other two were also used. The face of Mesohippus was longer and larger than earlier equids. It had a slight facial fossa, or depression, in the skull. The eyes were rounder, and were set wider apart and farther back than in Hyracotherium.

Unlike earlier horses, its teeth were low crowned and contained a single gap behind the front teeth, where the bit now rests in the modern horse. In addition, it had another grinding tooth, making a total of six. Mesohippus was a browser that fed on tender twigs and fruit. The cerebral hemisphere, or cranial cavity, was notably larger than that of its predecessors; its brain was similar to that of modern horses.

(Source: palaeopedia, via rhamphotheca)

10 months ago
126 notes
Ammonites
Ammonoidea
More closely related to coleoids (octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish) than nautiloids.
Name derived from Pliny the Elder’s ammonis comua (Horns of Ammon/Amun) an egyptian god depicted with ram horns.
Ammonite septa are convex as opposed to the slight concave nature of nautiloid septa; results in more defined sutures on the outer portions of the shell.
Ammonite siphuncles are much narrower and run along the outer rim of the phragmocone.
First appeared in the devonian period (c. 400 mya) and went extinct with the dinosaurs at the end of the cretaceous (65.5 mya).
Divided into three orders and eight known suborders by virtue of their sutures, septa, and shell shapes.
Little is known about their life, virtually no soft tissue preserved in fossils
There might have been a range of ammonites which were good and bad swimmers.
Ammonites and modern nautiloids are sexually dimorphic in size with females (macroconch) being larger and thinner than their male counterparts (microconch).
Ammonite shell shapes are super diverse, man! Majority are the typical planispiral shape, but there are some that are nearly straight, coiled helically, superficially like a gastropod, some that are partially coild and partially straigh. This diversification occurs mainly during the early cretaceous and are called heteromorphs.
Nipponites are crazy!
During the middle jurassic they reached a size of 23 cm up to 2 meters during the cretaceous.
Distributed worldwide.

Ammonites

Ammonoidea

  • More closely related to coleoids (octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish) than nautiloids.
  • Name derived from Pliny the Elder’s ammonis comua (Horns of Ammon/Amun) an egyptian god depicted with ram horns.
  • Ammonite septa are convex as opposed to the slight concave nature of nautiloid septa; results in more defined sutures on the outer portions of the shell.
  • Ammonite siphuncles are much narrower and run along the outer rim of the phragmocone.
  • First appeared in the devonian period (c. 400 mya) and went extinct with the dinosaurs at the end of the cretaceous (65.5 mya).
  • Divided into three orders and eight known suborders by virtue of their sutures, septa, and shell shapes.
  • Little is known about their life, virtually no soft tissue preserved in fossils
  • There might have been a range of ammonites which were good and bad swimmers.
  • Ammonites and modern nautiloids are sexually dimorphic in size with females (macroconch) being larger and thinner than their male counterparts (microconch).
  • Ammonite shell shapes are super diverse, man! Majority are the typical planispiral shape, but there are some that are nearly straight, coiled helically, superficially like a gastropod, some that are partially coild and partially straigh. This diversification occurs mainly during the early cretaceous and are called heteromorphs.
  • Nipponites are crazy!
  • During the middle jurassic they reached a size of 23 cm up to 2 meters during the cretaceous.
  • Distributed worldwide.
1 year ago
34 notes
Belemnite
Belemnitida
Superficalliy squid-like
Ten arms of equal length with small inward curving hooks, no specialized arms like modern squids
Possessed a hard inner calcite or aragonite skeleton
Possessed an ink sack

Belemnite

Belemnitida

  • Superficalliy squid-like
  • Ten arms of equal length with small inward curving hooks, no specialized arms like modern squids
  • Possessed a hard inner calcite or aragonite skeleton
  • Possessed an ink sack
1 year ago
0 notes

astronomy-to-zoology:

Wasp Mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea)

…a species of wasp-mimicking mantidfly that is native to most of North America. Although it may look similar to a mantis C.burnnea is not a mantis and is more closely related to lacewings and other neuropterans. Like other mantidflies this species is a predator and will feed on other insects. Although they are also known to feed on nectar and sap as well.

Mantidflies presumably breed in spring and are often found fields with flowers. Their larvae are parasitoids of spiders.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Hemerobiiformia-Mantispidae-Climaciella-C.brunnea

Images: Bill Johnson and Tom Murray

(via rhamphotheca)

10 months ago
488 notes

archiemcphee:

From the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders come these mysterious patterns on the ocean floor off the southern coast of Japan. Japanese scuba diver and photographer Yoji Ookata, who has spent the last 50 years exploring and documenting his underwater discoveries off the coast of Japan, spotted these beautiful and puzzling patterns in the sand, nearly six feet in diameter and 80 feet below sea level, during a dive near Amami Oshima at the southern tip of the country.

So what happened next? Are these rippling geometric patterns the equivalent of crop circles on the seafloor? Not quite, but the answer is still a good one. Colossal explains:

“He soon returned with colleagues and a television crew from the nature program NHK to document the origins what he dubbed the “mystery circle.”

Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing. To learn more about the circles check out the full scoop over on Spoon and Tamago, and you can see two high resolution desktop photos courtesy of NHK here.”

Busy little pufferfish boys wooing potential mates by sculpting the sand with their bodies. As far as we’re concerned, that’s pretty awesome!

[via Colossal]

1 year ago
41,862 notes
Some nautiloid shell vocab
Phragmocone basically the shell in general I think? The larger and heavier it is the more disadvantageous it is to catching prey.
Septa the walls that divide the shells into camerae. As the nautiloid grows it moves forward in the shell to a new living chamber. Where the septa meets the shell it forms a suture that reinforces structure without compromising weight.
Camerae the spaces in between septa, they help regulate buoyancy with gas delivered through the siphuncle.
Siphuncle a long strand of threadlike tissue, passes through all the camera chambers. It can change the salinity in its blood and absorb more dilute water into the siphuncle. Then gas is diffused from the blood. It cannot rapidly expel water from the chambers. The openings for the siphuncle cn be clearly seen in the above photo.
Living Chamber outermost or last chamber in a nautiloid shell.

Some nautiloid shell vocab

  • Phragmocone basically the shell in general I think? The larger and heavier it is the more disadvantageous it is to catching prey.
  • Septa the walls that divide the shells into camerae. As the nautiloid grows it moves forward in the shell to a new living chamber. Where the septa meets the shell it forms a suture that reinforces structure without compromising weight.
  • Camerae the spaces in between septa, they help regulate buoyancy with gas delivered through the siphuncle.
  • Siphuncle a long strand of threadlike tissue, passes through all the camera chambers. It can change the salinity in its blood and absorb more dilute water into the siphuncle. Then gas is diffused from the blood. It cannot rapidly expel water from the chambers. The openings for the siphuncle cn be clearly seen in the above photo.
  • Living Chamber outermost or last chamber in a nautiloid shell.
1 year ago
2 notes