Hurdia v. looks like ancient shrimp or insect larva with a hood

Hurdia v. largest predators of the Cambrian seas

Hurdia v. largest predators of the Cambrian seas

This is a hooded ancient relative of the modern arthropods – the insects, crustaceans, spiders, millipedes and centipedes. Based on several hundred specimens of Hurdia . (Pictured at the above.) have been found in the Burgess Shale in Canada. This is an artist’s rendition of a Hurdia. The Hurdia is an ancient pre-arthropod possesses a general body architecture similar to other ancient cousins.It differs from some anomalocaridids, because it has a prominent anterior carapace structure. Anomalocaris is an ancient relative of the modern arthropods These features show clearly the diversity of known anomalocaridid structures and give us clues into the Anomalocaris is an ancient relative of the modern arthropods Trilobites the Anomalocaris (Pictured  above.) and Laggania (Depicted below.).  The presence of exceptionally well-preserved gills origins of important arthropod features, such as the head shield and respiratory structures. An Anomalocarida was between 60 cm  to 1 meter plus in length. For tens of millions of years this slow-moving swimmer dominated Cambrian seas.  It had a pineapple-ring mouth that could be used for slicing its prey and sporting a pair of long spiky grasping appendages. It used its fin-like appendages along the side of the body structure to swim with undulations motion. Laggania ancient relative of modern arthropods Another species of Anomalocarid that lived in the Cambrian period was the Laggania cambria (Pictured at left.) were filter feeder rather than but not an active predator. Its two mouth appendages had long bristle-like spines. Laggania also had short stalked eyes were behind its mouth appendages.  Laggania was probably the whale of its time. Resources Excerpts courtesy of Excerpts courtesy of Excerpts courtesy of Excerpts courtesy of Excerpts courtesy of Image 1. courtesy of Image 2. courtesy of Image 3. courtesy of courtesy of

“First cheetah conceived with help of a ‘sound’ doctor”

One of a kind this baby cheetahS

A first-time cheetah mom, gave birth to the healthy female cub on February 18, 2009 at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, park officials announced earlier this month.

The cub is a direct result of sound research reported earlier this year describing a male vocalization called a stutter-bark.

A first time mother named Kenya responded to the recording of the stutter bark and this cute little girl cub (seen at the left) is the result.

For two reasons this could be a big help to increasing the numbers of captive cheetahs:

1. Cheetahs can be difficult to breed in captivity

2. Female cheetah do not have regular ovulation cycles.

The challenge with this method rests in the fact that in captivity, certain females need to mate with particular males to maintain genetic diversity among the big cats. There is vocal competition for mates so often arranged pairing are not agreed to with the “chosen” pair and the fact that this stutter-bark is only of the dominate male which would not be attractive to all females.

Sounds like the love doctor still has more work to do in this area of match making.

For more on cheetahs from Nature’s Crusaders’ library click.

Help protect the cheetah’s African homelands. Support the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Will you run or walk for the Cheetah? Please sign up today!
Time is running away from them. Run for the cheetah 2010


Excerpts and Image of cheetah cub courtesy of

Audio “Aphrodisiac” Spurs Rare Cheetah Birth–A First – Matt Kaplan

National Geographic News March 24, 2009

50 new animal species and people living in harmony Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea New Species A large tree frog, Nyctimystes sp. (seen at the right) brilliant greenin color with huge black eyes, jumping spiders and a striped gecko are among more than 50 new animal species scientists have discovered in a remote, mountainous region of Papua New Guinea.

The discoveries were announced Wednesday by Conservation International, which spent the past several months analyzing more than 600 animal species the group found during its expedition to the South Pacific island nation in July and August 2008.

From the 2008 expedition, 50 new spider species, three never seen before frogs and a new gecko have now been detailed in scientific journals for the first time.. The new frogs include a tiny brown animal with a sharp chirp, a bug-eyed bright green tree frog and another frog with a loud ringing call. One of the jumping spiders is shiny and pale green, while another is furry and brown.

A Litoria frog“If you’re finding things that are that big and that spectacular that are new, that’s really an indication that there’s a lot out there that we don’t know about,” said expedition leader Steve Richards. “It never ceases to amaze me the spectacular things that are turning up from that island.”

New healthy frog species, said Craig Franklin, a zoology professor at The University of Queensland in Australia who studies frogs.

glassy green jumping spider

glassy green jumping spider

“They’re often regarded as a great can tell us that if one takes care of the environment our bioindicator species will thrive.

Researchers from Conservation International explored the region with scientists from the University of British Columbia in Canada and Montclair State University in New Jersey, as well as local scientists from Papua New Guinea.

The area the researchers explored provides a critical source of clean drinking water to tens of thousands of people living in surrounding communities and local clans rely on the region for hunting.

Man and nature live in harmony.

Anthropologist William Thomas  State University who worked with the local Hewa clan of native people reminds us that by working with local communities,  you learn a lot more because they already know so much.

Conservation International plans to conduct three more expeditions to Papua New Guinea this year, in the hopes of turning up even more new animals.

At Conservation International, our approach to preserving Earth’s biological riches is based on the premise that no organization can get the job done alone. Our steadfast belief is that together we can make a difference.


Excerpts and Images courtesy of
Scientists find new species in Papua New GuineaAP.
Photos released by  Conservation International

“Help the cheetahs to work out and stay buff”

Run cheetah run

Run cheetah run

Cheetah exercise machine not Bowflex but is great cardio workout

At the Cheetah Conservation Fund Nambia center the resident cheetahs need to exercise to keep their bodies strong and healthy. The system being used is similar to the system that greyhounds use on the race track. It is a bait and chase method.

The cheetahs are being tempted to chase a lure. The lure is made of soft weave t -shirt material that will tear if hooked with the cheetah’s dew claw. This minimizes the risk of damaging wrists or dew claws. The LURE system at Cheetah Conservation Fund Namibia, Africa is set up in very large enclosures. The course laid out in a big square roughly 260 meters long, but could be laid out any way to suit a particular enclosure. As many as five cheetah can exercise together successfully, in their pen.

The resident cheetahs are wild caught but are somewhat used to people. Some have been trained to take meat treats off a spoon on the end of a stick so we can retrieve the lure once they have caught it. They will chase the rag without the treat as an incentive, catching the rag being the main motivation for running! Changing the color of the rag and sometimes the layout of the course can revive flagging interest. The lure system also allows for a direction change by flipping the string.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund uses a lure system to exercise cheetahs. The purpose is to keep the cats fit and serves as a great education tool as visitors to the Research Center are able to see cheetahs in full flight, doing what they are designed for!

Can you help purchase all or part of the exercise equipment to keep the cheetahs running ?

Help the cheetahs stay fit ?

Thank you for your generosity.

Do not forget to Runforthecheetah 2010

For more information from Nature’s Crusaders’ library on cheetahs click.

Help the cheetahs today Thank you.

Excerpts and Image of cheetahs courtesy of
How the Lure Exercise System Works at CCF

Leave the tigers in their forests – pen the poachers the best way to save the tiger

Leave the tigers in their foresttiger2

The idea of confining endangered wild tigers in enclosures in the name of eco-tourism should be seen as just another wanton exploitation of wildlife.

Unlike conservation forest reserves where free roaming animals are kept after being captured for their protection, tiger parks, like the one being planned in Penang, are grossly inappropriate for a species whose natural habitat covers a huge range.

Animal activists slam plans for Malaysian tiger park

Feeding and housing the tigers alone can be costly. Food alone could costs up to 30,000 ringgit (8,230 dollars) per animal per year. A coalition of wildlife groups in Malaysia have criticised plans by northern Penang to set up a 40 hectare (100 acre) tiger park, saying it could hurt the state’s tourist industry. The park would also go against the central government’s commitment to protect and increase tiger populations in the wild, the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MyCat) said in a letter over the weekend to the state’s chief minister.

The department of wildlife and national parks wants to double the country’s remaining 500-strong wild tiger population through building zoos and wildlife parks.
Simply penning tigers always sound simple and exciting but, in reality it has far more negative consequences.

Some zoos or animal parks in the past have simply been a cover for illegal animal traders.
If this happened in Penang its’ tourism industry could suffer. Malaysia does not want any of their parks to gain the reputation like the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park and the Guilin Tiger Park in China. They have been implicated in the killing and sale of their animals. “There have been cases where a country’s tourism-driven income has been severely affected because of the response to an ill-thought of action,” the group said. Malaysia has more than 40 zoos and according to MyCat monitoring these for illegal wildlife trading was already a major task.

It said a number of zoos here have already been linked to the illegal wildlife trade and the Taiping Zoo in northern Perak state and the Saleng Zoo in southern Johor have been prosecuted for violations. The group also pointed out that feeding and housing the tigers would be financially draining as food alone could cost up to 30,000 ringgit (8,230 dollars) per animal per year. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told AFP his government would study the matter further before making a decision.

Let the Malaysian government know you want their tigers to stay free.

The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat) said the news was disappointing as the state government had clearly gone against the Government’s commitment of protecting and doubling the 500 tiger population in the wild following the recently released National Tiger Action Plan.


Excerpts courtesy of – Staff Writers Kuala Lumpur (AFP) March 22, 2009

Excerpts courtesy of

Image: tiger courtesy of

Recovering the riperian brush rabbit will have a hoppy life


Dr. Patrick Kelly, California State University, Stanislaus is a US Fish and Wildlife Recovery Champion 2008 for his work conserving riparian brush rabbits.

Under his leadership and in spite of the Central Valley floods of 1997,  the riparian brush rabbits were considered extinct. Dr. Kelly’s  passionate commitment, total focus and expert leadership has saved this beautiful rabbit. His work entailed capturing animals for a propagation program, releasing them, health-checking the young, radio-collaring and tagging them, releasing them into the wild, and then monitoring them for survival, healthy reproduction, and habitat use.

Dr. Kelly has introduced riparian brush rabbits on the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge and adjacent private land. He has saved the riparian brush rabbit from the brink of extinction and transported it to the road to recovery.

The Recovery Champion award  recognizes the exceptional conservation accomplishments of its honorees and highlights the importance of strong and diverse partnerships in species conservation, Recovery Champions are helping imperiled species regain their place in the natural resources fabric of our country while focusing attention on the importance of conserving our nation’s biological heritage for future generations.

Working together to make the earth a better place for all of life.

Congratulations Dr. Kelly.

It will be a hoppier world for the riparian brush bunny to thrive in


Excerpts courtesy of

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Endangered Species Recovery Champion Awards in California.  March 23, 2009.
Image: Riparian brush bunny courtesy of

“Green sea turtles of San Diego Bay”

Green sea turtles,one of six threatened or endangered species of sea turtles protected under the turtle-to-seaEndangered Species Act.

Within California one area where green sea turtles can be seen is the San Diego Bay. The National Wildlife Refuge in the South San Diego Bay provides a protected zone for the green turtles to forage for food and rest. This protected area is critical for the turtles safety and survival. There are about 60 turtles that call this area home base. Frequently, they may be seen surfacing out in the bay. This is a prime study site for turtle biologists.

Caution: All boaters cut down your speed in the bay so the turtles will be safer.

The turtles’ greatest threat in San Diego Bay is being hit by boats traveling over the 5-mile/hour speed limit present throughout the southern portion of the bay.

The endangered Green sea turtles of San Diego Bay are often found from July through September off the coast of California. The southern portion of San Diego Bay supports a year-round population of approximately 60 turtles, who can often be seen foraging in eelgrass beds throughout South Bay

Local researchers have used genetics and satellite telemetry like the device seen on the back of the turtle in the photo to determine their migration patterns. These green turtles are part of the Indonesian nesting populations that migrate thousands of miles to lay their eggs on beaches off the coast of Mexico.

While traveling on there ancient migration route toward the North America coast, the turtles face many possible perils like entrapment in fishing gear, swallowing plastic bags in the garbage can area of the Pacific, speed boats on the bay areas and illegal harvest in coastal lagoons of Baja California. International conservation efforts are focused on reducing this mortality to enhance population recovery.

For more turtle news click.


Excerpts courtesy of

Image turtle returning to sea courtesy of

North Atlantic Right whales birthing record number of calves

North Atlantic Right whale mother and calf

North Atlantic Right whale mother and calf

Very Good New!

Congratulation to us all especially the North Atlantic Right whales. There is a bumper crop of new calves-35 so far this season.

Between the Race Point and Wood End lighthouses  are the closest land viewing points to one of the world’s most endangered species  the North Atlantic right whale. No matter which beach you walk around in the coastal town of Provincetown, over the course of the next few weeks these critically endangered animals can be seen. The annual February migration is underway in Cape Cod Bay, with record numbers observed this year.

Currently, more than 60 right whales are believed to be feeding in local waters and the current number of whale calves born this year is already over 35, the highest figure ever confirmed. There is a very high  concentrations in the bays this year of the calanoid copepod, a type of zooplankton about one millimeter in length that is a key nutrition source for the whales.

History of this population

At the end of the nineteenth century, the North Atlantic right whale had been hunted to extinction in European waters, and only about 100 were estimated to remain in the world. Since hunting them was outlawed by the League of Nations in 1935, their numbers have — very slowly — increased; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now estimates the worldwide population to be around 325, now the actual figure may be higher.

Conservation measures are working-thanks for everyone help.

Recent federal changes to shipping lanes, lowing legal boating speeds and imposing fishing gear regulations can be helping right whale conservation efforts by reducing the number of whales killed each year by ship strikes and entanglement.

The Northern Right whale remains critically endangered.


Excerpts courtesy of

Right whales return in droves

Early spring brings scores of endangered mammals to Cape shores 3/19/2009.

Image right whale and calf courtesy of

A date with horseshoe crabs -Fl. biologists need your help

WANTED: People helping people to count and make observations about horseshoe crab life Contact: Carli Segelson (727) 896-8626

Biologists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish andhorseshoecrab1 Wildlife Research Institute need help from the public in identifying horseshoe crabs spawning on beaches throughout the state. The best time to find horseshoe crabs spawning is around high tide, right before or just after a full or new moon. The next full moon will occur on April 10, 2009.

Beachgoers can report the time, date and location of horseshoe crab sightings through one of several convenient options.

Go to and fill out an online survey; e-mail findings to; or call the FWC at 866-252-9326.

Biologists also want to know the number of horseshoe crabs seen by observers and whether the horseshoe crabs are mating. They also want to know the date, time, location and habitat conditions. If possible, specify roughly how many are coupled and how many are juveniles (4 inches wide or smaller).

Horseshoe crabs ( Limulus p. family Limudidae)benefit humans in several ways. For instance, research on the compound eyes of horseshoe crabs led to better understanding of the human vision system, and horseshoe crab blood is useful in the biomedical industry. An extract of the horseshoe crab’s blood is used by the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to ensure that their products, e.g., intravenous drugs, vaccines, and medical devices, are free of bacterial contamination. No other test works as easily or reliably for this purpose.

In addition, manufacturers use the material of a horseshoe crab’s shell (chitin) to make contact lenses, skin creams and hair sprays.


Excerpts courtesy of FWC Biologists seek public’s help for horseshoe crab research

Excerpts courtesy of and medical uses.

Image horseshoecrab courtesy of


Armed Brazilian wandering spider on the attack in store’s bananas

The Brazilian wandering spiders (Phoneutria spp.), armed spiders are a genus of aggressive and highly venomous spiders found in tropical South and Central America. These spiders are members of the Ctenidae family of wandering spiders. Sometimes they wander far from home.250px-wandering_spider

In Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 19, 2009 an alert produce man found a spider in the bananas he was un-crating. The spider saw him and gave chase trying to bite him. Quickly he found an empty plastic container and trapped it. Then went to the internet to identify this hostile beauty.

He found that this spider is venomous and possibly deadly if seriously injected with venom. Although some experts dispute these findings. No one wants to volunteer to be the research guinea pigs for a study of the amount of venom or the duration of bite needed to kill a man. It is known that all bites are not deadly. Recent studies suggest that these spiders only inject venom in approximately one-third of their bites and may only inject a small amount in another third. However, research in this area is hindered by the difficulty of identifying particular species.

Bites from these spiders may result in only a couple of painful pinpricks, or may involve full-blown envenomation.,P. nigriventer venom contains a potent neurotoxin, ( PhTx3), It acts as a broad-spectrum calcium channel blocker that inhibits glutamate release, calcium uptake and also glutamate uptake in neural synapses. At deadly concentrations, this neurotoxin causes loss of muscle control, and breathing problems, resulting in paralysis and eventual asphyxiation. In addition, the venom causes intense pain and inflammation following an attack due to an excitatory effect the venom has on the serotonin 5-HT4 receptors of sensory nerves. This sensory nerve stimulation causes a release of neuropeptides such as Substance P which triggers inflammation and pain.

Aside from causing intense pain, the venom of the spider can also cause uncomfortable erections that can last for many hours and lead to impotence.


People bitten by a Phoneutria, or any Ctenid, should seek immediate emergency treatment, as the venom can be life threatening.

P. fera and P. nigriventer are the two most commonly implicated as the most virulent of the Phoneutria spiders.


Image and Excerpts: courtesy of Brazilian wandering spider

Killer Spider In Aisle 5
Play Video courtesy of AP – Killer Spider In Aisle

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