Monthly Archives: March 2010

Red-Letter Day for Captive Dolphins

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

 

It is a red-letter day, dear readers. For it was reported today that Chris Porter, infamous dolphin trader working out of the Solomon Islands, plans to release his last 17 captive bottlenose  dolphins to the wild. In a recent interview, Porter admitted that 

“I have a bad name. I have been deemed the Darth Vader of dolphins. But I have decided to release the remaining animals back to the wild. It’s driven by the incident with Tillikum and I’m disillusioned with the industry.” 

From the start, says Porter, he had the best interests of these animals at heart, believing that the animals he captured and trained would act as “embassadors” an aid in educational efforts. But according to an article in the Times ColonistPorter  “is beginning to doubt the value of shows, where animals are forced to perform tricks”…’Are we really educating and providing the best representation of wild animals in an aquarium,'” where the environment is artificial and they are forced to perform tricks? He asked in an interview. 

His own answer is now “no,” and the author of BV thinks it’s about damned time. Should you place the author in a tiny pool and force her to dance for her supper, you can bet this blogger would be dragging you into the depths as well. 

Porter’s former opponents are reserving judgement about his decision– not because they disagree with his sentiment, but because they would like to inspect the animals to ascertain their health and readiness to return to the wild. Porter promises, moreover, to continue to feed any of released dolphins who continue to return for feeding times. 

the trick now, dear readers, is to pray (in whatever form you prefer– the author of BV prefers interpretive dance, usually in the shower, accompanied by current guilty-pleasure pop music) That the locals will embrace the idea of eco-tourism over the practice of hunting dolphins for their teeth… and that Porter’s landmark change of heart will trigger a ripple effect– so to speak– in the hearts and minds of the ocean-going world at large. 

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Darth%20Vader%20dolphins%20release%20bottlenose/2741326/story.html#ixzz0jm54wcyw

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Filed under human behavior, marine life

Bejeweled Insects

Every so often, dear readers, the author of BV is struck positively speechless (shocking, I know) by an image from the animal world. In this case, these  include the  images of Miroslaw Swietek , Martin Amm, and Jens Kolk (see a sample of Swietek’s work, above, and photographs by Amm and Kolk, respectively, below)  and they are so exceedingly beautiful that for once, the author has nothing snarky or otherwise sideways to say about them. These photographers used a macro lens and flash in the wee hours of morning to catch “sleeping” insects wet with dew.  Follow the links above, and at the bottom of this page, and enjoy.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1260946/The-stunning-pictures-sleeping-insects-covered-early-morning-dew.html

http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/insects-in-morning-dew.html

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Filed under backyard fauna, the strange and the beautiful

Newsflash: Flashier Tits produce more active sperm.

No kidding?

Dear Readers, the author of BV was initially stymied by the headline of a recent National Geographic Article: what, exactly, was new—or newsworthy—about this little gem? But lest you think that I am concerned with nothing but (ahem) titillation, let me clarify;

Male Great Tit birds with brighter breast plumage seem to produce sperm with greater motility, even when under stress. And how, you might ask, did the scientific world come up with this information? Scientific bird fluffers. That’s right: “At 7 and 15 days after the broods hatched… scientists trapped…males and massaged their cloacas—all-purpose openings found in many animals—to make the males ejaculate.”

Now there’s a job for all of you recent college graduates. Happy ending bird masseuse. Mind the cloaca.

In a stunning reflection of human reality show melodrama, moreover, it was discovered that because female great tits “cannot always get the [colorful] males they want… [they] will often settle for a less flashy mate.” But those females, yearning, so to speak, for the bad boys they crushed on in highschool, will sometimes stray, sneaking off for a lunchtime quickie with the flashy bird the bet at the local seed bar.

Dirty little birds.

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Sometimes you just have one of those days…

…And if you, dear readers, are having one of those days today, I have found a video able to execute, if you will, a kind of Primal scream therapy— you remember primal scream therapy, don’t you? You know, 1970’s  pop psych phenom? Indeed, you remember the one.

So if you have repressed childhood trauma or just can. not. stand. one more inconsiderate yuppie jostling you in the salad line before you start SCREAMING YOUR HEAD OFF,  This one, dear readers*, is for you.

(the author of BV fears that her humor is irrevocably warped: this video made her laugh aloud **in public** when it was shared by K. this morning)

If, on the other hand, you prefer to stay on the other pop-cultural extreme and take more ZEN approach to relaxation, take a note from  Zen Cat:

(I know, “zen cat” is actually slightly *more* terrifying than “cat from hell”,  isn’t it? still.)

Happy humpday, BVers.

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Filed under cute/creepy kitty videos

Sea krait: love machine of the underwater world

If you are like the author, dear readers, you were inordinately excited by the release of the first installment of the “Life” series, a follow-up to “Planet Earth,” which aired on the  Discovery channel and its affiliates this sunday. And if you know the author at all (at all, I say), the three of you who read with any regularity (ahem) would immediately have recognized that the sea krait was destined to be the newest addition to the annals of BV.

Because it is impossible to ignore the single most prominent feature of these Hydrophiidae  : sea kraits Do. It. All. Day. Long. In more scientific terms, they “copulate. prodigiously. diurnally.” During which time the much smaller male is unable to disengage.

You read it right, dear readers. “Unable to disengage.”

No female sea kraits were available for comment (or their native reticence prevented them from kissing and telling), but we might imagine that this unique (ahem) situation has its benefits and its drawbacks:

 *First: the male is unable to claim fatigue and roll over before he gets the job done.  BUT:

*this leaves the female no option of… shall we say creative vocalization and a speedy retreat. NEVERTHELESS:

*there is no need for the female to long for just a bit more post-coital cuddling, AND

* she has no need to wonder if he’s going to call again. After all, dear readers, she  knew he was a snake when she picked him up.

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Filed under folklore, marine life, Phobia-inducing, rated NC17, the strange and the beautiful

skinnileg piglet nervosia

This one, dear readers, comes to you from a beloved site, Cakewrecks, whose writer is a woman after the author of BV’s own heart– particularly in this entry, which promises to look at “Life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

The animals (?) in this entry maight as well have been dreamt up by the fevered dreams of your own BV author, and she’s, frakly, a little jealous that she didn’t think of the ” skinnileg piglet nervosia” first.

Starlog, signing out, and reminding you that there is *no*life without cake.

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Filed under links to love, Uncategorized

Link to love

Some folks have asked where the author finds all of the kooky madcap animals that she posts on this site. Well, without giving away all her secrets she is agreeable to letting you, dear readers, in on one of her favorite sites: the BBC   Science and Nature column online. Enjoy, little BVites, and never say I never did anything for you.

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