Tag Archives: Predator

A look at raptors – the biology of birds of prey

Raptors are hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and vultures. They are hunters who prefer to capture their prey alive – swooping out of the sky with fierce claws “made to rip flesh off the bones.” And can come in all sizes, fitting into the palm of your hand or displaying a 9-foot wingspan.

These are a few of the facts pulled from NPR’s – The Biology of Birds of Prey. An interview with raptor specialists and researchers studying the birds in Idaho and saving many from extinction (audio 25-minutes, transcript available). The recovery has been a huge success going from just 22 condors in 1982, to over 400 now.

These condors are not the prettiest animal – looking like remnants of the Dinosaur age – with bald pink faces, black eyes, and a surrounding black mane of hair, like a lion (photo below).

See them in this video:

 

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West Coast Great White Sharks are endangered – population around 340

A group of environmentalists have petitioned the federal government to put West Coast Great White Sharks as an endangered species. From an L.A. Times article:

The northeastern Pacific Ocean population of great whites is genetically distinct and in danger of extinction, according to the petition. Researchers have estimated that there are about 340 individuals in the group that are mature or nearly so.

“There could be fewer than 100 breeding females left,” said Geoff Shester, the California program director of Oceana, an international group focused on protecting the world’s oceans.

 

Wow, just a few hundred of these guys out there. Even though the ocean is a huge place, that small number would probably still inspire enormous fear in people, despite the extreme rarity of shark attacks.

 

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Amazing Species: Sea Slug – swallows bubbles, eats stinging cells

 

Sea Slugs of Hawaii

This little guy is called Glaucus Atlanticus. It is a species of sea slug that grows to around 35 mm. They float partially by means of an air bubble, which they swallow and store in their gastric cavity. They also have a rather unique defence mechanism – they store the nematocysts produced by jellyfish (their prey) in their own tissues to protect against predators.

 

Find more awesome creatures on the Facebook page – I F***ing Love Science - and see the last amazing species, the carnivorous plant.

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U.S. adds more Predator drones to search for drugs in the Caribbean

After quietly testing Predator drones over the Bahamas for more than 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security plans to expand the unmanned surveillance flights into the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico to fight drug smuggling, according to U.S. officials.

The move would dramatically increase U.S. drone flights in the Western Hemisphere, more than doubling the number of square miles now covered by the department’s fleet of nine surveillance drones, which are used primarily on the northern and southwestern U.S. borders.

But the high-tech aircraft have had limited success spotting drug runners in the open ocean. The drones have largely failed to impress veteran military, Coast Guard and Drug Enforcement Agency officers charged with finding and boarding speedboats, fishing vessels and makeshift submarines ferrying tons of cocaine and marijuana to America’s coasts.

 

Keep readingU.S. plans more drone flights over Caribbean

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