The Red-headed poison frog, Ranitomeya fantastica (Dendrobatidae), is one of the most beautiful frogs.
It is a rare frog and often difficult to find in nature. The species is known from varied habitats throughout northern San Martin and southern Loreto departments in north-central Peru [source].
February on this blog is going to be Daily Paleo Art Month! Because doing dinosaurs all last July was so much fun I want to do this thing again.
Every weekday for the rest of the month I’ll be posting a new image of something strange, obscure, or just plain interesting from the fossil record — only this time we’re staying firmly outside of the Avemetatarsalia (pterosaurs and dinosaurs/birds) to give some less famous critters the spotlight.
A cartilaginous fish from off the southwest coast of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana (and later Pangaea), Helicoprion first appeared in the late Carboniferous (310 million years ago) and survived up until just past the massive Permian-Triassic extinction (250mya). Despite looking rather shark-like and possibly reaching sizes of around 6m (20ft) long, it was actually closer related to the chimaeras.
For a long time, the only parts of this animal known were bizarre buzzsaw-like spiral whorls of teeth, since cartilage skeletons very rarely fossilize. The ideas for just where in the body this structure was positioned were ridiculously varied.
The most recent reconstruction is based on CT scans of a well-preserved fossil with jaw and skull elements, which showed the whorl taking up the whole lower jaw. It also turns out Helicoprion had no upper teeth at all. It’s thought to have used this arrangement to shred and crush up squid and other soft-bodied marine prey, but there’s still very little known about how such a unique type of teeth evolved in the first place.
Meet North America’s smallest turtle
… the threatened bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii). This juvenile was found on Wallkill River Refuge in NJ and NY. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Susi von Oettingen recently talked about it and other species at risk on Fox News Connecticut (see here). Saving these species matters, she said, because they’re part of our conservation heritage. They also could have medical or commercial value.
Credit: Rosie Walunas/USFWS
Sea Turtle Rescue in Florida
A boater saw a loggerhead turtle floating abnormally with the left side substantially more buoyant than the right, preventing it from staying submerged for extended periods. The concerned boater called us and remained with the turtle until our officers could arrive. FWC sea turtle biologists rescued the loggerhead from the Intracoastal Waterway in southern Martin County with substantial assistance from the officers. Loggerheads are among the larger sea turtles; adults weigh an average of 275 pounds and have a shell length of about 3 feet. We hope the rescued reptile will be released after successful rehabilitation!
Please report stranded, injured or dead sea turtles to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.
Florida residents can help support sea turtle research and response efforts by purchasing a sea turtle license plate at BuyaPlate.com or through a local tax collector.
For more in sea turtles visit: http://myfwc.com/research/wildlife/sea-turtles/fl-sea-turtles/
Pop-up gaming: ‘Tengami’ mixes art and play on your iPad
Three people have spent the past three years building a video game that works like a pop-up book.
Team USA: Sochi 2014
Congratulations to Julie Chu and Team USA women’s hockey on an outstanding silver medal game. You’ve made us very proud. -Ralph Lauren