A simple add to trawling nets called the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) could save thousands of large marine animals from bycatch a year. It allows the sea turtles that would normally drown in shrimp nets a way out. Bycatch has been reduced overall by 91% and sea turtles numbers are rebounding in Florida. Next step: global adoption of TEDs. 🌊 | Photos: Richard Bomemann @wwf | #seaturtle #bycatch #net #nets #shrimpnet #invention #hope #wildlife #wildlifeconservation #wildlifebiologist #wildlifewin #endangered #endextinction #criticallyendangered #trawling #ocean #oceanconservation #sea #marineconservation #KeyConservation

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The Chinese giant salamander is the largest amphibian in the world today, reaching lengths of up to 1.8 metres, or almost six feet, and weighing up to 110 pounds.  It is also one of the longest living animals in the world, with a recently discovered specimen estimated to be around 200 years old.

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The purple frog is also known as the Indian purple frog or the pignose frog, for obvious reasons.  It is found only in the Western Ghats mountain range in India.  Though the tadpoles had been known to western scientists since 1918, the adult frog was only officially described in 2003.

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Cu Rua, the world’s most important turtle, has died

Cu Rua, a rare Yangtze giant softshell turtle living in Vietnam, was found dead Tuesday after its body floated up to the surface of Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem lake. Thought to be over 100, its death brings the worldwide population of the rare turtle to three. For locals, the turtle’s demise hit hard.

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Revealed: hunting strategy of the endangered African wild dog

A new study led by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College has revealed that African wild dogs may be more robust than previously thought.

The researchers used custom-built GPS collars to collect position and speed data to reconstruct the hunt behaviour of an entire pack of African wild dogs in northern Botswana.

The researchers found that given the the opportunity, African wild dogs hunt with frequent short chases. In addition, the pack showed no evidence of coopertive hunting, apart from travelling together and sharing the kills made by an individual dog. 

Understanding the hunting strategies of a species helps conservationists to identify which areas should be protected, or where new populations can be reintroduced most successfully. 

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Image credit: Neil Jordan, Megan Classe,  Tambako The Jaguar

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The platypus was officlally classified as a mammal when it was discovered that it has mammary glands and it suckles its young.   However, much like the echidna, the platypus does not have nipples.  Instead, the milk flows from pores into grooves in the female’s abdomen, where the young can lap it up.

Another oddity about young platypodes is that they are born with teeth.  Aside from the egg tooth, used to help the hatchlings pierce the shell of their eggs, the baby platypus has three teeth in each of its upper jaws, a premolar and two molars.  It is unknown why these teeth are present, as they drop out before the babies leave the breeding burrow and never grow back; the adult platypus has horny plates in its mouth to grind food, and also swallows gravel to aid with digestion.

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Drunk dudes may have killed the world’s rarest fish

On April 30, three men shot through the locks and motion sensors of a security gate to enter Death Valley National Park’s Devils Hole, a 40-acre detached unit of the national park that’s a part of the Nevada’s Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Not only did they leave beer cans and vomit around the site, but one man swam in pool, leaving his boxers behind — and one of the world’s rarest fish, the Devils Hole pupfish, dead. There are so few of these pupfish left.

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The maleo is a megapode, which is a large, chicken-like bird known for using alternative means to incubate its eggs rather than body heat.  Most megapodes construct massive mounds of rotting vegetation with the eggs buried within, warmed by the heat given off by decay.  Maleos are endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and are found nowhere else in the world.