go insects

Jfc I hate the “well that’s how it is in the wild” defense to shitty animal care. 

Newsflash: CAPTIVITY IS NOT THE WILD. THAT’S KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT.

There’s a big thing about all of the negatives of captivity & how animals are so much more restricted and it’s so unnatural, etc. etc. And hey, guess what. Captivity actually has benefits too, if you actually do it right! Benefits like keeping predators away from the animals and treating diseases & injuries and providing plentiful appropriate food to avoid starvation & malnutrition. These are generally agreed to be improvements over the wild.

Yes, providing a more natural environment is ideal for allowing natural behaviors. It’s a good idea to look at the animal’s natural environment to emulate things such as temperature, humidity, landscape features, and challenges that stimulate the animal safely. That does NOT include things like live feeding “because it’s natural”, cohabitating animals that are aggressive or solitary “because it’s natural”, or feeding an incomplete diet “because it’s natural”. 

Natural is not automatically better. The wild is not automatically better. If you’re going to keep animals in captivity, you have a responsibility to provide a balance between a stimulating environment that allows natural behaviors and a SAFE environment that provides freedom from hunger, malnutrition, injury, and illness to the best of your ability. Your goal is not to be the wild because captivity is NOT the wild and it shouldn’t be. 

Quote from E. O. Wilson, an American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity, island biogeography), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author.

anonymous asked:

Helloooo. 1. Do you run the ScientificPokedex blog? and 2. Do you think there could be an actual scientific explanation for Zoroark's illusion ability?

 Hellooo! Number 1, No I do not run the @scientificpokedex blog but they do an amazing job, big props to them!

Number 2. Hmm that’s tricky, so we want a real life example of an animal convincing another animal that it is something it’s not, so not clever camouflage and accurate visual mimicry, as with a stick insect for example, but rather where one animal has been tricked, it is under the illusion that another animal is something it is blatantly not. Well then, we need to talk about

  p h e r o m o n e s 

alrighty, so pheromones are defined as a chemical secreted by an organism that triggers a social/behavioural response in another organism, usually of the same species. They are used everywhere in nature, from tiny single celled prokaryotes up to big lumbering mammals such as ourselves. Uses of pheromones include territory marking, avoidance of inbreeding with close relatives, alarm signals, and advertising sexual availability and fertility. Specialised pheromones called ‘necromones’, released by the decomposing bodies of certain animals, repel living animals of the same species so that they don’t go near the bodies and potentially catch the disease that killed the dead dude. 

Those are just a few of the uses nifty chemicals, but as usual insects one up other animal groups in the diversity of ways in which they use them. The highly sophisticated and complex societies of eusocial hymenoptera (bees, ants, and wasps) are only possible through the use of pheromones, for example from coordinating colony activities e.g. defending the colony from predators, to exchanging information,  allocating tasks to different castes, social policing, regulating reproduction, and the use of trail pheromones, e.g. when ants lay a path of pheromones towards a food source, and then lay over a repellant pheromone over that trail, cancelling the message once the food source is gone. 

Because these social insects are so reliant on pheromones, they are ripe for abuse from other animals who can exploit their chemical society, and this is how I am going to lead it back to Zoroark. 

Meet Phengaris alcon, or the Alcon Large Blue butterfly

 Yes a very pretty looking butterfly, but don’t let appearances fool you. It’s caterpillars hatch on leaves like regular caterpillars, and stay there for a few weeks, munching away and growing, but after a certain point, they just drop off the leaves and onto the ground. There they release a pheromone which smells exactly like the pheromone released by the larvae of certain ant species. When these ants come across the caterpillars, they are fooled into thinking that these caterpillars are indeed their own larvae, despite being a different colour and much bigger than the ant larvae, i.e. they look completely different. 

The ants bring the caterpillars back to their nest, where they clean, feed, look after and protect the caterpillars, sometimes even at the expense of their own larvae when food is short. The caterpillars feed and grow in a safe environment, eventually metamorphosing into a chrysalis, then into an adult butterfly, where they then crawl out of the nest scot-free and begin life in the skies, having had a great start in life all down to some smelly trickery and illusion. 

(see below, Phenagris chrysalises next to ant larvae, with the ants none the wiser!)

Other Phenagris species will mimic the Queen ant rather than the larvae, and thus get a more royal treatment (though the true queen is never convinced so this is a more risky strategy), or some instead of just getting fed by the ants like a cuckoo will ravage and eat all the ant larvae when it gets in the nest, without retribution by the ants. 

(this video is fantastic and shows the whole lifecycle, plus a bonus pheromone related plot twist near the end!)

Basically using pheromones in this manner is a way of mimicking something you’re not despite looking nothing like your subject. The ants are under the complete illusion that these huge caterpillars are their own tiny young, despite input from other senses. So… what I am saying is that perhaps Zorua and Zoruark are very proficient chemical mimics and can emit strong pheromones that convince you that you are seeing a different pokémon than what’s standing in front of you. Maybe that, mixed with a hallucinogenic compound, neurotoxin, or other mind altering druggy substance (heck even laughing gas lol) to make you more suggestive. I dunno, it’s a huge stretch, but it’s an excuse to talk about Phenagris lol

Originally posted by axew

Watch on the-earth-story.com

Pangolin going after insects on a tree

jozten  asked:

hi guys! i'm curious about what you think of animals becoming ghosts? because if animal ghosts/ghosts in general are real, i wanna summon my cat sébastien and ask him where he put my good pen that one day when he knocked it off my desk. thanks!

S: I don’t think animals become ghosts on account of I don’t think ghosts are real to begin with. But don’t let my stubborn close-mindedness prevent you from asking questions, in English, to your deceased cat. Whoa hell yeah check out THIS gif.

Originally posted by xesoteric-extraterrestrialx

R: Don’t listen to that buffoon above me. I think it’s possible for animals to become ghosts. Plenty of locations we’ve visited have had reports of them. Though, admitedly, it does get to be a shaky proposition when you start going down to insects and whatnot. 

Originally posted by jeantheterrible

Dealing with species dysphoria

Hello!

I wanted to make a nice post for all you lovely kin dealing with some species dysphoria.

First:

-Try making your room, or at least an area in your room, look like your habitat!

Forest dwellers could try painting trees on their walls or making hangable paper trees, get lots of potted plants, lots of leaf decorations, forest themed stuff, etc! You could also paint your walls brown, green, or grey to make it appear like a den. I suggest brown or green sheets and blankets!

Ocean dwellers could try painting their room blue, adding ocean themed decorations and things like that. Blue, purple, brown,  green, and sheets should work nicely!

For all you space dwellers i suggest painting your room a dark shade of purple or blue, and getting a space projector! Black, blue, purple, pink, orange, and grey sheets are good, and lucky for you, there’s also plenty of galaxy themed bed sets!

Cave dwellers can paint their walls grey or brown, and grey, brown, green,  or black sheets should work well! You could also try sewing pillows to look like big rocks! Potted mushrooms are a nice touch!

If you can’t paint or get new sheets, you should try making a den! Basically making a pillow fort in your room and decorating it appropriately helps a lot!

Nesting is also fantastic i sleep in a blanket nest and it’s very comfy.

-Now that you have a comfortable area:

-Try doing makeup that resembles your kintype (there are loads of tutorials on youtube)

-Try wearing clothes that resemble your kintype (orange shirts and black boots for foxes, big sweaters for bears, eye masks for raccoons, etc.)

-Collars!!

-You can try not talking, or if you’re alone, making noises your kintype makes

-Make your kintype’s favorite food! (Meat and berries is fantastic coming from a bear therian, and most animal treats are edible to humans- things like birdseed, homemade dog treats, catnip, rodent yogurt drops, etc.)

-If your kintype eats insects go for it, just make sure they’re safe- i recommend store bought

-Watching videos of your kintype helps a bunch

okay, that’s about all i can think of, hope this helps!

PSA for pet parents in the North East US

I’m sure you’ve noticed an increase in the tick population. The population of Lyme-carrying mice is a prime indicator of how large the tick population will be the following year. And in 2016, there was basically a mice plague in the Northeast. I pulled twenty (20) off of Barkley today, mostly before they bit. But it’s just awful out here.

Steps you can take to keep you and your baby healthy:

Protect your yard:

  • Keep grass short. Mowing sucks, but it helps.
  • Consider chickens if you can. They love ticks. Good riddance.
  • Ticks also don’t care for mulch barriers or gravel paths, things like that. If you were thinking of installing anything like that, think no more.
  • There are also environmentally friendly sprays.

Protect your pet:

  • Comb your pet with a flea comb, and don’t forget to check places like the armpits, belly, and under those floppy ears. (I found one in his ear, poor thing.)
  • Seresto collars are my personal recommendation, but Frontline, etc, will work, too.
  • Citrus juice is said to repel ticks, but don’t use citrus oils because it has the chemicals in the rind which are toxic to critters.
  • Do not feed your dog garlic as a preventative measure. Garlic is toxic to dogs.
  • Don’t rub oils on your cat, because they’ll ingest them. And avoid all products with permethrin for kitty, too.
  • Vaccinate your pets. You can get them a Lyme vaccine.

Protect yourself:

  • Wear long pants and shirts, weather or activity permitting.
  • Shower very soon after being anywhere ticks may live, such as grassy fields or especially the woods. Perform a self check for ticks along your hair line, around your ears, in your armpits, behind your knees, along the panty lines, etc. Use it as an excuse to get intimate. Ask your partner to check you for ticks.
  • Use bug repelling spray.
  • Wear light clothes so you can see hem crawling up your pants.

Help! I’ve been bitten by a tick!

  • Don’t panic. It’s not a big deal. It’s gross, okay, yeah, but it’s not urgent. You need to be careful when you remove it, so take it slow. You’re going to live.
  • Don’t burn it. Accidents happen.
  • Using your fingers, but preferably a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick gently but firmly, as close to your skin as you can. You don’t want to squish the tick. Tug with steady pressure, so the tick remains intact AND you get it’s head. If the head detaches from the body, you might still get sick because it’s still embedded in your skin. Have someone help you get it out if this happens.
  • Now that you have the tick, kill it in a bath of alcohol and put it in a zip lock. This way, if you do feel yourself getting ill or develop any odd rashes, you can take the tick to your doctor and have it tested for Lyme.
  • The tick needs to be embedded for 24 hours or more to actually have any chance of passing on a disease, but it never hurts to be careful if you aren’t sure.

Just be careful out there, guys. Know your pet’s penchants out there in the wild back yard, and pay attention if they go in woods or grasses, or even if they play in water fixtures. Ticks like still water, like mosquitoes. Hikers especially beware. Have a safe summer!

Actual Southern Gothic

-You live thirty minutes away from anything interesting. The only things within walking distance are a gas station and a Bojangles.

-You love looking at pictures of snowy winter scenes. In the winter you wish for snow, but everything remains brown and dead. When you go outside it seems like the world is holding its breath.

-A neighbor puts up a large wooden cross in their yard. No one asks why. No one says anything. You wonder if you’re imagining it.

-You hear distant gunshots coming from the woods at night. You hear a distant scream coming from the woods at night. You hear music coming from the woods at night. You are tempted to follow it.

-The deer are growing bolder by the day. Driving home late at night you see an entire herd on the side of the road. Watching you pass by. Conspiratorial.

-A bat gets in the house. It flutters around desperately before crashing to the floor in defeat. You are afraid to touch it, so afraid, though it is smaller than your fist. There’s been talk of another outbreak of rabies in the area. You eventually scoop it onto a broom and place it on the back porch and wash your hands until your skin is raw.

-You wave and smile at your neighbors when you see them. They wave and smile in return. You never speak to them. You do not know their names. They have lived next door to you for ten years. You hate them. Their smiles look hasty, their eyes glassy. You continue to smile and wave.

-Summer is worse than winter by far. It’s not the heat. It’s not the oppressive humidity. It’s the way insects find their way into your home, no matter what you do. You spray for roaches every summer. Every summer they return. Moths fly in when the door opens, great huge lunar moths beat themselves against the window. Spiders make their homes in the high corners of your bedroom, centipedes skitter up your walls. You wake in a panic one morning; a roach has fallen from the ceiling onto your chest. You have nightmares of roaches crawling into your mouth, crawling under your skin, bursting from your eyes. You find the glue traps full of glossy brown insects almost daily.

Part 2

Ever heard of a Click Beetle? There are many different species of these little dudes but they all have a unique defense against potential predators.

They draw their legs and antenna tight against their body and then they snap a specialized hinge in the middle of their bodies which causes an audible “click” noise and propels the insect several inches away from the threat. I’m not hurting the insect in the video at all, just very gently and carefully trying to pick it up which causes it to hop away. I didn’t harass it for long and let it go right after this video.

I love these little dudes!

flickr

2017 Papillons en Liberté Blue Morpho by Sharon
Via Flickr:
Blue plate (okay, maybe turquoise if you wanna be technical) but I am not sharing… not one slice.  Le sigh… so frayed, still pretty.