The Vaquita, the world's smallest cetacean, dives toward extinction The Vaquita, the world's smallest cetacean, dives toward extinction The culprit of the littlest porpoise's fate: accidental mortality as "bycatch" Rhett Butler, mongabay.com December 10, 2006 Accidental death in fishing nets is driving the world's smallest cetacean, the Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), towards extinction, according to a new study published in the current issue of Mammal Review, the official scientific periodical of the Mammal Society. The population of the Vaquita, a species of porpoise that measures less than 1.5 m (five feet) long and is endemic to the northwestern corner of the Gulf of California, is believed to be around 400 individuals, making it one of the two most critically endangered small cetaceans in the world. However, unlike whales and some other cetaceans that have been diminished by hunting or habitat degradation, the decline of the Vaquita is purely accidental. Citations: ROJAS-BRACHO, LORENZO, REEVES, RANDALL R. & JARAMILLO-LEGORRETA, ARMANDO (2006).
Orangutan Facts – Sumatran Orangutan Society Where do orangutans live? Orangutans live in Indonesia and Malaysia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. These are the only places where they live in the wild. How many types of orangutan are there? This is How Super Smart Octopuses Are The cephalopod’s genome reveals how the creatures evolved intelligence to rival the brightest vertebrates. We humans think we’re so fancy with our opposable thumbs and capacity for complex thought. But imagine life as an octopus … camera-like eyes, camouflage tricks worthy of Harry Potter, and not two but eight arms – that happen to be decked out with suckers that possess the sense of taste. And not only that, but those arms?
Weird Deep Sea Creatures (60 images) Weird Creature Fanfin Seadevil Angler Octopus shows unique hunting, social and sexual behavior Unlike most octopuses, which tackle their prey with all eight arms, a rediscovered tropical octopus subtly taps its prey on the shoulder and startles it into its arms. "I've never seen anything like it," said marine biologist Roy Caldwell, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of integrative biology. "Octopuses typically pounce on their prey or poke around in holes until they find something. When this octopus sees a shrimp at a distance, it compresses itself and creeps up, extends an arm up and over the shrimp, touches it on the far side and either catches it or scares it into its other arms." The creature, known as the larger Pacific striped octopus, also turns out to be among the most gregarious of known octopuses.
Now Sea This: The 10 Most Amazing Bizarre Sharks Strange, scary and sharp of tooth, sharks are the oceans’ most efficient predators. They’re much more than “mindless killing machines”, however, as these ten bizarre sharks so graphically illustrate. Hammerhead Sharks (images via: ABC.net, Discovery and Just Seeds) Hammerhead Sharks are relative newcomers to the world of sharks, having first evolved their bizarre hammer-like heads a mere 50 million years ago (give or take a few million). Harbour porpoise The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of six species of porpoise. It is one of the smallest marine mammals. As its name implies, it stays close to coastal areas or river estuaries, and as such, is the most familiar porpoise to whale watchers.
The tardigrade genome has been sequenced, and it has the most foreign DNA of ... Scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the tardigrade, AKA the water bear, for the first time. And their results suggest that this weird little creature has the most foreign genes of any animal studied so far – or to put it another way, roughly one-sixth of the tardigrade's genome was stolen from other species. We have to admit, we're kinda not surprised.