as per request here are more hideous members of the blattodea.
We cannot grow crops without destroying habitat. We cannot destroy habitat without killing millions of animals and displacing millions of other animals. Maybe you think that’s compassionate, but I don’t.
On the other hand, we can raise ruminant livestock in ways that improve habitat.
#in some areas of the uk livestock grazing has been vital to restoring rare habitats!
YESThis is something we need to talk about so I’m gonna explain you all a thing.
Chalk grassland. In the South East of England, mainly Kent, we have lots and lots of it. Or rather, we used to. Why’s it important? Bugs. There are literally hundreds, probably thousands of insect species, including several types of bee, that rely heavily on the wildflowers that usually grow in chalk grasslands. Insects feed pretty much everything bigger than them. Bats, birds, frogs, fish, small ground mammals - you name it, it eats insects. And some of those animals in turn feed bigger species like birds of prey, snakes, and us!
Chalk grasslands are quite a harsh environment for plants. It’s hot and dry in the summer, and we often have droughts. It freezes over in the winter, and there’s not a great deal available in the soil. Because of this, you don’t get blanket coverage of a single species. You can end up with a ridiculous amount of different plant species, and I think the record at the moment is 40 different plant species per square meter.
But if it’s left unmanaged, scrub takes over and essentially kills off all the plant life, which sucks for the insects and everything that eats them. How do you stop that while still maintaining the flowers the insects need to survive?
SHEEP.People have been grazing sheep in the North and South Downs probably for millennia. Sheep aren’t really interested in eating the flowers, so they just happily munch on any grasses or shrubs growing in the field. This leaves the insects their food, and also takes care of any potentially damaging shrubs in a simple way. As a bonus, sheep poop is good for the soil!
So we need sheep to graze the chalk grassland to keep the ecosystem happy and thriving. Some of the rarest plants in the United Kingdom literally rely on hungry sheep to survive. Not to mention the iconic wildflower loving insect (and one of my personal favourite species), the Six Spot Burnet Moth. So yeah, no sheep, no bugs, no good for the ecosystem.
because a lot of people seem to be confused by this concept.
How to adopt a dog through breed-specific rescue groups
Do you have your heart set on bringing home a specific breed of dog? Here’s how to get matched up with the perfect dog for you, and help out rescued pets in need of forever homes at the same time.
Seriously, it kills me when I see people hold scientists up as pinnacles of logic and reason.
Because one time the professor I was interning for got punched in the face by another professor, because mine got the funding, and told the other professor his theory was stupid.
This same professor told me to throw rocks to scare the “stupid fucking crabs” into moving so we could count them properly.
this is one of the best comments this post has recieved
#AttenboroughWeek starts April 21st!
The BBC is celebrating the life and work of Sir David Attenborough all next week with commemorative video releases and encouraging dialogue about his extensive life’s work. I participated in a video retelling my favorite Attenborough moment that was uploaded to EarthUnplugged today.
Sir David’s documentary legacy has been incredibly influential to me. Watching the Planet Earth series was the first time I ever felt a personal connection to and responsibility for this planet we share. I believe strongly in the power of community, shared knowledge, and the desire to work towards better environmental health, and we can do that if we choose to embody the respect for our world that David speaks to regularly.
What is your favorite David Attenborough moment!?
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Rabbits that remain indoors may suffer from a lack of vitamin D, researchers report in a new study. In rabbits kept as pets or used in laboratory studies, the deficiency could lead to dental problems, undermine their cardiovascular health, weaken their immune systems and skew scientific findings.
The study found that regular exposure to artificial ultraviolet B light for two weeks doubled rabbits’ serum vitamin D levels – an increase not seen in animals raised in artificial light lacking UVB radiation. Future studies will seek to determine optimal levels of UVB exposure and vitamin D levels in rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and other animals.
A report of the study appears in the American Journal of Veterinary Research.
“We know that vitamin D is important to vertebrates in that it helps with calcium absorption, but it also has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health and immune function,” said Mark Mitchell, a University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor, who led the research. “We know of several types of diseases that can develop with vitamin D deficiency. Some of the chronic problems we see are tooth-related.”
Other researchers have proposed that low vitamin D plays a role in dental disease in pet rabbits, Mitchell said.
“We are doing tooth trims and managing dental disease in rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs on a regular basis,” Mitchell said. “Weekly, we see those types of cases in our zoo medicine clinical service. It’s something that also is seen across the country and internationally. It’s a common problem.”
Most laboratory animals and many pet rabbits are not allowed outdoors because of the risks of exposure to predators and disease, Mitchell said. Windows block most UVB radiation. If the animals don’t get sufficient vitamin D from their diet and are never exposed to ultraviolet light, they may become deficient, he said.
“As a clinician, I want to better manage these animals, give them a longer, higher quality of life,” Mitchell said.
Vitamin D deficiency also could undermine the validity of studies using rabbits in research to improve animal and human health, he said.
“In human medicine, they’re starting to measure vitamin D levels as part of our routine medical exams,” he said. “But if we’re not doing this with animals that we’re using in research, we might be missing a step.”
Interesting, shame I didn’t find this in time to include it in my dissertation!
Some more birding pictures from today. Look at these dorks.
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa), Double Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla), Least Tern (Sternula antillarum), Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), Royal Terns (Thalasseus maximus)
A fox that managed to survive with horrific injuries after being hit by a car. Despite it’s injuries the fox was still able to run about like normal. A hunter eventually managed to track down the animal and put it out of it’s misery.
Here’s another example of a wild animal surviving with horrific injuries. Incredibly foxes have even been known to heal and live normal lives after similar injuries;
“One feeder of wild foxes has told us that one of her regular visitors arrived one evening with her head covered in blood. The fox had a large hole on one side of its skull and a smaller one exactly opposite, almost certainly the result of a bullet passing right through. It was even possible to see daylight from one hole through to the other. A few weeks later, without the help of a vet and despite the difficulties of continuing to survive in the wild, the wound had healed completely and could barely be seen.”
There are many accounts of foxes surviving after being shot or hit by a car. I’ve seen foxes recover from very nasty injuries myself, including a fox cub that got caught in the blades of a lawn mower and had both her flanks sliced open in multiple places. Despite being covered in very deep wounds she healed up perfectly within a short period and survived into adulthood. Wild animals are incredible!
These stunning portraits of Siamese fighting fish seemingly floating in mid air are reel-y some-fin special. With their long flowing fins and brilliant colors, this striking series of photographs show the elegant animal in all of its beauty. Photographer, Visarute Angkatavanich, 43, created the dramatic pictures by using a range of lighting techniques in his studio and used crystal clear water to capture the unique creatures vivid array of colors. Despite being a commercial photographer by trade, Visarute decided to turn his hand to photographing fish after recalling fond memories of keeping them as a child. (CATERS)