mammal posts

if you’ve never seen one before

deer are smaller than you think

raccoons are bigger than you think

bears are smaller than you think but you were pretty close

otters are bigger than you think no even bigger than that

wolves are bigger than you think

wild cats are smaller than you think but hopefully you’ll never see one

chipmunks are smaller than you think

so are mice but you’ve seen a mouse right

you were right about the size of moose, mostly

pigs are bigger than you think

coyotes are that size

so are foxes

woops bears are bigger than you think but only that one type

this is an informational post about mammals if you know more please do tell

Often when I take Rex with me places, folks seem to think this is for their benefit, that I take her with for them to see and touch. They’re offended when I say “please do not touch her” and walk away when they insist, how dare I not let them touch her- “she’s friendly! You’re touching her! How unfair! Rude!”

Although on one occasion when Rex came with me to therapy, while I was waiting an elderly woman approached me. She said how beautiful Rex was, she even recognized her to be a fancy pigeon. The woman told me about a cockatiel she used to have when she was just a girl, she had heard him singing in a house that had recently been vacated, the owners just left him behind after they moved. So she broke in and took him home, tamed him, and they became inseparable. She brought him everywhere, she marveled at Rex’s diaper and said she wish she’d have one because she was always covered in bird poop (oh do I know the feeling). She became known in her small town as the “bird girl” and all the local stores started keeping bird seed at the counters to give her bird.

The woman told me that she brought her bird to college and that she had to keep him secret. She taught him to fly into the trees while she was at class (this is dangerous, I know) and he would fly back to her when she came out. After she graduated she worked as a bank teller and was allowed to keep him with her, customers that were usuals would bring him gifts and loved when he’d sing at his reflection in the glass.

I got called in before I could hear what happened to him, she wished me luck and commented on how beautiful Rex was again, said how seeing Rex just made her day. Her story was so sweet, and it made me really happy to meet another soul in person who understood the connection we can form with birds…they’re not just dumb animals that are afraid of people, they’re not something mysterious and untouchable. They can be friends, like any dog or cat, and it really makes me think about that post on mammal bias. People who haven’t kept birds don’t seem to realize that they’re anything more than something pretty to look at…

hetaliafandomhubepsilon  asked:

Hello! To start off your Ambassador work, can you tell us about some of the wildlife in your country? Thank you! (If you would like a different question, let me know)!

As a former Zoology student, I don’t think you could have started me off with a better question than this one! 

So to start off, Irish wildlife could generally be considered to be pretty similar with what one might expect to find on the European continent. With a few differences of course. Ireland is located on an island and although it has known an insular existence for a very long time, Ireland was originally connected to Great Britain and the European mainland by a land bridge. However it is thought that this land bridge disappeared around 14,000 BCE due to rising sea levels. As a consequence, not all fauna that is native to continental Europe managed to cross into Ireland. 

For example, out of 60 mammal species recorded in Ireland, only 26 of them are actually native to the country. All others were recently introduced, either accidentally (brown rat, bank vole) or purposefully (rabbit, fallow deer).        

Extinction

Extinctions are never nice to talk about, but I felt it’s still an interesting subject to discuss. Due to Ireland’s location during the Ice Age, it was home to a plethora of animal species that are today either regionally extinct from Ireland or have become completely extinct. Wooly mammoths used to be present in Ireland (and were apparently still around when Newgrange was built) along with the Irish elk, reindeer, lynx, Arctic fox, lemming, and the spotted hyena. Brown bear also used to exist in Ireland before becoming extinct 12,000 years ago and interestingly enough, genetic testing seems to indicate that at least some polar bears today are descended from a female brown bear that was from Ireland. (it appears that polar bears and brown bears in Ireland frequently interbred with each other)

More recent extinctions include the great auk (1834), grey whale (1600s) and wildcat (1800s). The grey wolf, one of the few native species of Ireland, was fairly widespread in the country up to the 1700s. (apparently wolves were so abundant that a few shocked Englishmen gave the nickname “Wolfland” to Ireland) Regarding it as a pest, English lords decided that it needed to be exterminated and put in place a policy where monetary reward was offered for killing wolves. It wasn’t very long until the last wolf was killed in 1786 by the farmer John Watson in Ballydarton, Co. Carlow.

Mammals

Some of the native mammal species that can be found in Ireland are the following: red fox, hedgehog, badger, hare, otter, stoat, red squirrel, and the pygmy shrew. Many more mammal species were introduced to Ireland over the centuries, such as the rabbit which was introduced by the Normans in the 12th century and the grey squirrel which was introduced in 1911. Unfortunately some of the introduced mammal species have a negative impact on the native fauna, such as the grey squirrel which could potentially push the red squirrel to extinction by outcompeting it and by being a carrier of a disease that is fatal to their smaller red cousin. 

Among the marine mammals, Ireland has seals and whales that are either permanent residents or migratory. Of the seals, the two most common species are the common seal and the grey seal. Other seal species and the walrus can be spotted along the Irish coasts but it is only very occasionally that this occurs. Ireland also has various species of dolphins and whales, the most famous example being Fungie the Dingle Dolphin, a bottlenose dolphin who has been around since 1983. Fungie is best known for his friendliness towards humans and is often seen in the Dingle harbour.      

A tidbit that I find to be highly interesting is that despite the fact that the red deer is a native species of Ireland due to the attested presence of the it during the Ice Age, the red deer of today isn’t actually descended of that original population. Genetic testing showed that the original red deer population became extinct after the end of the Ice Age but the red deer was subsequently reintroduced 5,000 years ago after Neolithic people brought it with them when they migrated to Ireland. The boar is another example of a species dying out and being reintroduced to Ireland centuries later.

Reptiles

The only native land reptile present in Ireland is the viviparous lizard (or common lizard), the term “viviparous” meaning that it gives birth to live young rather than laying eggs like the majority of reptiles. Another land reptile that has been seen in Ireland is the slow-worm, though it is believed to have been illegally introduced in the 1970s. Other than that, Ireland has five marine turtles species that are often sighted off the west coast of Ireland though they don’t tend to come ashore.  

There are no snakes in Ireland. A popular myth claims that this was due to the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, chasing all snakes out of Ireland and into the sea. Of course the story has never been believed to be true because Saint Patrick’s predecessor, Saint Palladius, had noted decades earlier that there were no snakes in Ireland. This is most likely due to Ireland losing its land bridge long before snakes migrated to the north of Europe after the end of Ice Age. 

Amphibians

Only three amphibian species are native to Ireland: the European brown frog, the smooth newt, and the natterjack toad. What is curious about the frog is that it is often questioned if it is native to Ireland at all. No mention of frogs in Ireland was made until the 12th century, leading some to speculate that the Normans introduced the frog to Ireland (as they did with the rabbit). Others speculate that the frog could have been introduced as late as the 18th century thanks to an English naturalist who participated in a survey on Irish flora and fauna and allegedly placed imported frog spawn in a ditch after failing to find any native frogs.  

Birds

There are approximately 400 bird species in Ireland, many of which are migratory such as the swallow. The most widespread of bird species in Ireland are the European robin, wren, blackbird, starling, blue tit, great tit, and the common chaffinch. 

Many conservation projects have been attempting to reintroduce certain bird species that used to be in Ireland but became regionally extinct. Some cases have known success, like the white-tailed eagle which was reintroduced to Ireland in 2007 after being absent for 200 years. The golden eagle was reintroduced to Ireland in 2001 after being extinct for 90 years. It wouldn’t be until 2007 that the first golden eagle chick would be born in Ireland. It is planned to attempt to reintroduce the common crane to Ireland in the future. However some bird species such as the osprey and marsh harrier have been returning to Ireland of their own accord.

Fish

About 375 fish species are present in Ireland’s coastal waters and a further 40 freshwater species live in Ireland’s lakes and rivers. Fishing is a fairly popular activity in Ireland and attracts many tourists. Some popular fishes to catch are the red sea bream, cod, mackerel, rainbow trout, roach, pollock, and the Atlantic salmon. (although you need a licence to fish Atlantic salmon) Other notable fish species found near Ireland are: basking shark, hagfish, cuckoo wrasse, ocean sunfish, boarfish, conger eel, and thresher shark.          

Invertebrates

It is estimated that there are 11,500 species of insects in Ireland, though there is a likelihood that there are far more than that. Among these, some notable invertebrates are: freshwater pearl mussel, freshwater crayfish, Kerry slug, marsh fritillary butterfly, white prominent, and diving bell spider.     

Photo used is public domain, here is the link to the original photo. 

Only part of the reason we need to be more proactive about recycling, reducing post consumer waste, and adapting more sustainable, responsible, and ethical business practices. This impacts not just the whales and marine life, but entire ecosystems and our world too. There is only one earth.

Australian Reptiles you didn’t know existed

Following the popularity of my mammals post I’m going to do a reptiles one and a birds one.
Again will have cool facts that even if you did know the animale existed you might not have known about it.
Again, sadly, these are all on the endangered species list!

Interior Blind Snake

Blind snakes are really cool, they just look like massive worms but they have scales! max 40cm long. Tiny little danger noodles. Release a foul smelling odour if distrubed. Eats mainly ants and termites.

Stimson’s Python

One of Australia’s smallest pythons. Very Attractive. aka large-blotched python. Higher number of teeth than almost any other python species.

Leatherback Turtle

The world’s largest turtle up to 2.5m in shell length and 9000kg. May be extinct in the next few dacades due to current global fishing practices.
Can swim at up to 35km/hr. World’s most widespread reptile as it is an open water turtle (pelagic). Shell is leathery (hence the name). can dive over 1100m
THEY EAT BLUEBOTTLES IN LARGE NUMBERS! Anyone who has been stung by a blue bottle (aka portuguese man of war) knows this is awesome. Sadly they confuse floating bits of plastic and eat them and die.
There are 7 species of marine turtle in the world and 6 of them swim in Aussie waters and nest on Aussie beachs. All are vulnerable to extinction. As they range outside of aussie waters it is difficult to put conservation measures in place for their protection as they can be considered international species.
Been around for more than 150 million years, then we turn up and it’s all downhill.

Woma

aka Ramsay’s pythong or sand python
Is a python, which means it is NON-VENOMOUS, uses constriction.
Does not have heat-sensing pits and eats other reptiles, including venomous snakes. (hardcore danger noodles).
Can be up to 2.6m long but usually around 1.5m

Marbled Velvet Gecko

This guy is a juvenile, the adults are spotted and banded.
As geckoes run their feet pads are engaged and disengaged about 15 times per second. Geckoes also use their tongues like windscreen wipers as they have a fixed transparent scale across their eyes.
Aust. has 112 gecko species currently.
Geckoes mostly ea insects and arthropods (spiders and scorpions!

Legless Lizards

This guy is a Southern Scaly-foot. He likes to feast on juicy spiders.
Yes there are a group of reptiles called Legless lizards, they are often mistaken for snakes which is sad as they are then needlessly killed.
The largest of these guys is only 50cm long.

Grassland Earless Dragon

Dragons are cool. They aren’t usually vocal, instead they use signals including: nodding, waving and push-ups. Male and Femalse are usually vastly different in appreances (sexually dimorphic)
The Thorny Devil is one of my fav dragons. Many people on the east coast of Aust. are familiar with Water dragons; the male’s stomach becomes dark red when he is looking for a girlfriend.
Bearded dragons are popular as pets.
The frilled-neck lizard of frilled dragon was the inspiration for a dinosaur in jurassic park.
Some dragons are very colourful

Others to look into:
White crowned snake
Leopard ctenotus
Bardick
Rosenberg’s Goanna

Sea Mammals Tho

So…here I am. I’m sitting in my pajamas at 3pm eating Taco Bell having just spent 9 hours (starting at 3am) thawing fish, weighing out diets, cleaning ALL THE THINGS, chatting with happy guests, diving with gotdam dolphins and squishing beluga whale fat rolls. I am the lady who grew up to be what she wanted to be when she was a little girl. 

I’m damn near 30 and I just got my DREAM JOB working with marine mammals this past July. It’s also my first paid marine mammal position. I’m posting this tidbit about myself for the benefit of anyone out there who currently feels the way I used to. You’re probably early-to-mid-20s, feeling stuck, getting far more job rejection letters than you care to think about, you feel like it’s “too late”, you’re getting “too old”, and you’ll never be a trainer. I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE FINE AND IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. Please keep trying. Keep applying. Don’t give up, because what you want IS ABSOLUTELY ATTAINABLE. It wasn’t long ago that I was feeling those negative feels. Your dreams matter and they aren’t stupid.