It’s Alive in Sydney: My own private taxonomy fail

2 05 2009

Just so that we are clear I’m not afraid of kickin’ my own moronic ass sometimes.

I thought I was all clever adding this picture to an Agamid group in Flickr as a bearded dragon:
Physignathus lesueurii lesueuri (Eastern Waterdragon)

Turns out it is Physignathus lesueurii lesueuri, an Eastern Waterdragon. If I’d paid any attention, I should have noticed the complete absence of beard.

I saw this little fella, and a few more (and a massive goanna, coming up) along Lane Cove River, in the Lane Cove National Park in North Ryde/Macquarie Park.

Thank you Jen 64 for pointing out my error. More on identifying subspecies of waterdragon over at Australian National Botanic Gardens website – note the face stripe goes eye-to-ear in this critter, distinguishing it from the Gippsland sub-species, you can also see some of the red underbelly if you look hard  (plus it was taken in Sydney, not Gippsland)


It’s Alive in Sydney: Mystery Bug

26 04 2009

White Crawly Bug

A crawly bug I spotted on a sign in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.

It was so white, I wasn’t sure if it had been accidentally covered in paint (under the outer plates still looked dark).

It’s Alive in Sydney: Sexy legs, sees

22 04 2009

Bandangi Millipede 001

A millipede on a rock – in Badangi Reserve on the Lower North Shore of Sydney.

Taking this photo with a flash prompted me to ask Alex Wild (currently featured at SciBorg’s Photo Synthesis) if flash photography can harm or distress insects and other invertebrates. His answer – not that he knows*.

This critter did not curl up and die afterwards, at least not that I saw, so my conscience feels fine.

More millipede shots below the fold as I tested my camera out in the field.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ice ice kitty

18 12 2008

All right. Stop. Collaborate and listen,
Ice is back with my brand new invention

via iO9

The Cryotranz™ concept (which will capture market share over the Kold Kitty Karrier) would allow safe, stress-free, and easy travel for pets. Or small children. Same diff.

Cryogenics rests on the border between impossibly crazy and almost plausible. While tissue and cellular integrity tend not to fare up well during the freezing and unfreezing processes – natural cryptobiosis adaptions allow some animals to survive prolonged cold-induced torpor.

The minds at work behind the thought experiment have considered some possibilities – using a chemicals (proprietary knowledge of course) to slow down kitty metabolism and prevent cellular damage. Perhaps derived from sub-antarctic marine life and cryptobiosis frogs?

The vacuum though? Possibly not the best environment. A fluid would definitely be preferred. While an inert gas (apparently oxygen is “corrosive”) sounds sensible – like a light globe. I think a goop (with a low melting point) of some kind that keeps the animal hydrated (along with important membranes) – but might remove some of the, “no mess, no fuss”, aspects.

more cold kittehs

Cute and cuddly animal babies!

29 10 2008

Cute overload not enough cute to actual “overload” you?

Well, go to ZOOBORNS then. Showcasing the “newest and cutest exotic animal babies from zoos and aquariums around the world”

Everything is adorable.

I won’t eat meat for the next … 6 hours (time for bed).

I love the picture of the baby orang-utan. It looks so much like a human baby. It is amazing. No wonder the name for these apes derives from “man of the forest”. If a human had all-over long shaggy red body hair, I don’t think you would be able to tell them much apart.

Ethics of pet trade

7 10 2008

Story on audio at HACK.

Animal activists are concerned that too many pets are bought from pet shops on impulse. They’re also allege many of the pets are supplied to the stores from illegal puppy breeding farms.

Hence the bill in New South Wales parliament which if passed will ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. Pet store owners are up in arms saying they have animal welfare as a primary concern. They believe they are the victims of cheap political point scoring.

The original bill was to apply to all pet sales from pet stores. That bill was scrapped, and at the time of this radio story it was being redrafted just to apply to cats and dogs. Abandoned hamsters and other furries (and non-furries, like fish) are obviously not an issue…

The argument for this law does make some sense. Puppy mills are an issue, and so are abandoned animals. It’s easy to see how making everyone get new pets from a shelter could make the world a better place.

However, in reply the pet industry also makes a good point – many sales are not made through pet stores, and that is the source of puppy mill trading. Banning sales through regulated pet stores might exacerbate the problem by creating further demand for privately (and unregulatedly) bred puppies and kittens.

More sensible approaches might be further regulation of private sales, and subsidies for pet desexing and registration.

More squishy cuteness

30 09 2008

Helping my friend study English…

and then I’m away for the long weekend.

So live with some more cute cute squishy things

(I’d rather Linda Marigliano… *sigh*)