new guinea

3

Aside from being accomplished architects and artists, many bowerbirds are also skilled mimics.  Male satin bowerbirds will imitate the calls of other local birds during their courtship displays.  Even more startling, MacGregror’s bowerbirds have been heard imitating human speech, pigs grunting, and even the sound of nearby waterfalls.

2

Fifty years ago, it was thought that the New Guniea Highland Wild Dog went extinct in the wild. These two images were recently taken using a scent lure; they show a pregnant female and her two pups.  After an expedition, scientists were able to determine over 100 photographs of “at least 15 wild individuals, including males, females, and pups, thriving in isolation and far from human contact” in only two days of the cameras being up. The only photos taken before this expedition were 2 unconfirmed ones that were taken in 2005 and 2012. 

After confirming via DNA tests, the New Guniea Highland Wild Dog Foundation declared that the canine breed is no longer on the list of extinct species.

3

The male bowerbird’s obsession with the arrangement of objects in his bower might seem ludicrous, but it actually has a very distinct purpose.  Many male bowerbirds have been observed using the arrangement of objects to create optical illusions, particularly forced perspective, by arranging similar objects from smallest to largest.  It’s been determined that females find these illusions intriguing, and will spend more time at bowers containing them and give the males a better chance of mating.  This behaviour makes many researchers count bowerbirds among the most behaviourally complex of all birds.

5

After mating, the female cassowary will lay three to six large, green eggs.  Once these eggs are laid, the female’s job is done, and she will wander off to find another male to mate with.  It is the father who constructs a nest of waterproof vegetation and incubates the eggs for the next fifty days.  A devoted parent, the male will not leave his eggs until they have hatched.  A broody male cassowary does not need to eat, drink, or even defecate for the entire period of incubation.

Cassowary chicks are small, beige in colour, with dark brown stripes.  The father will protect his new family with devotion, showing them what foods to eat and ferociously protecting them from predators.  The chicks will stay with their father for the next nine months.

It has also been noted in zoos that cassowary chicks will imprint readily on anyone who is present when they hatch, including humans.  These chicks are then extremely tame and will follow their adopted parent anywhere.  In some native villages in New Guinea, cassowary chicks are even kept as pets and left to wander loose through the village, like chickens.  However, even the tamest chick will turn savage and dangerous upon reaching adulthood.