Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ring-Tailed Lemurs Have Powerful Scent Glands

Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighboring islands. Because of its geographic isolation, Madagascar is home to many amazing animals found nowhere else on Earth. Lemurs may have floated there eons ago on "rafts" of vegetation and evolved in isolation over countless centuries.
All lemur species today are endangered due to the rapid destruction of their forest habitat for agricultural development, cattle grazing, and human settlement.
Ring-tailed Lemur
They, like their primate cousinsize="3"s the monkeys and apes, have binocular forward vision, but must turn their heads to see ahead because their eyes have limited movement in the socket. This gives them a wide-eyed, staring aspect that sometimes startles viewers.
The word Lemur comes from old Latin, and refers to ghosts or spirits. The staring eyes, haunting sounds, and nocturnal ways of the lemur inspired early observers to think of them as ghosts or forest spirits.
The Ring-tailed lemur's coat is black gray, the limbs and belly lighter, and the extremities white. Their are rings about the eyes, the muzzle is black, the tail is banded black and white.
The only place where members of the Superfamily Lemuroidea, including ring-tailed lemurs, can be found in the wild is Madagascar. Situated to the southeast of Africa and separated from the continent by the 800 km-wide (497 mi) Mozambique Channel, the island of Madagascar is in the Indian Ocean and is the fourth largest island in the world (Swindler 2002). Ring-tailed lemurs are restricted to the south and southwestern portion of the island, reaching a northern limit near the town of Morondava on the west coast and the town of Ambalavao in the east. The southeastern limit is the town of Tolagnaro on the southern coast (Mittermeier et al. 1994; Jolly 2003). Ring-tailed lemurs are found in the vicinity of nine forests: Andohahela, Andringitra, Ankilitelo, Berenty, Beza Mahafaly, Isalo, Tsimanampetsotsa, Tsirave, and Zombitse (Godfrey et al. 1998).
Ring-tailed lemurs have also been introduced to the United States on St. Catherine's Island, Georgia as part of a project to establish a free-ranging, breeding population that could be studied and in the future could potentially serve as a source to restock parks in Madagascar (Iaderosa & Lessnau 1995).
Most field studies of ring-tailed lemurs have been conducted at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve and Berenty Private Reserve, a family-owned forest set aside in the 1940s (Sauther et al. 1999). They have also been studied at Andringitra National Park, Isalo National Park, and Andohahela Nature Reserve (Mittermeier et al. 1994). One particularly notable field researcher, Alison Jolly, has been conducting long-term ecological and behavioral research on ring-tailed lemurs at Berenty since the early 1960s and has contributed greatly to the knowledge of wild ring-tailed lemurs.

Long-term studies have also been ongoing at Beza Mahafaly most notably conducted by Robert Sussman, Lisa Gould, and Michelle Sauther. Captive research has been conducted at the Duke University Primate Center in North Carolina since the mid-1980s and also has provided invaluable information about the species (Sauther et al. 1999).
Research on competition for resources between Verreaux's sifaka and ring-tailed lemurs reveals that there is little direct competition for food, even during the dry season when resources are limited. Though they naturally have overlapping ranges in other parts of Madagascar, at Berenty Private Reserve, brown lemurs were introduced in 1975 and they now compete with ring-tailed lemurs for access to food. The two species have high dietary overlap at Berenty and likely compete for similar foods during times of scarcity.
  They communicate with short grunting sounds as a contact call within the troop, sometimes followed with a quick bark.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hamsters Are Often A Child’s First Pets

Cute Funny hamsters
Hamsters are generally nocturnal animals, although in the wild they often become active shortly before dusk. They usually sleep during the daytime, and in the wild construct deep, dark, underground burrows for this purpose. They are extremely good diggers and for such a small and fairly rotund animal, can be very active. There are several different breeds and varieties of hamster, varying in size and temperament. Typically, hamsters live for up to 2 years, although some may live for longer.

Hamsters are often a child’s first pet, principally because they are small, charming animals with a great deal of character. However, their needs are actually very complex and they can be easily injured by incautious handling.

Each hamster has their own personality and preferences, but the general principles of care are common to most species. They need a warm, safe environment and should be kept indoors rather than outdoors.

There are many commercial hamster foods available. Purchase a good quality fortified diet which does not have too many fatty sunflower seeds. Hamsters tend to gobble these down and leave the healthier foods. They also will also sometimes move the seeds around to “caches” within the cage, so don’t always assume that everything was eaten. Supplement your hamster’s diet with small quantities of nutritious fresh foods daily like broccoli, carrots, apple and other fruits and vegetables. Wash the foods well but don’t peel them. Be careful not to feed too much fresh food or your pet can get a stomach ache or diarrhea.

Provide fresh water daily. Wash the water bottle right out, don’t just fill it.

Provide something for your hamster to gnaw on, like a clean twig from an apple tree or commercial wood gnaws for rodents.

Hamsters are solitary animals and only come together for mating. Golden hamsters have to be separated after mating, otherwise the female may kill the male. The gestation period of the common hamster is 19-20 days and is 15 days for the Golden. They will have 4-12 babies at a time. Hamster babies are called hamster pups. A mother hamster is very maternal, and, if danger threatens, she will carry her babies away, either by putting them into her cheek pouches or laying them across the toothless area of her jaws. Hamster pups should not be touched for the first two weeks as the scent it leaves on the babies can confuse the mother causing her to abandon or even eat them as she mistakes them for someone elses babies. The babies are so tiny that you can also accidently hurt them. By the time they are two weeks old their eyes are open and they have a thick coat of fur. Mother hamsters wean their babies at about 3-4 weeks of age and the babies should be separated from the mother shortly after that. A female hamster is capable of having 2-3 litters a year.

There is a wide variety of cages and housing used for hamsters. Common caging used are 10-gallon tanks, Habitrails, stainless steel, and wire cages (some having multiple levels, with a plastic cat litter pan bottom for easy cleaning). Habitrail are fun for the hamsters. You can attach plastic see through tubes and tunnels making a great home for the hamster to roam. However keep in mind the more attachments you use the more you will have to clean. Cages should at least be 20 square inches of floor area per hamster, and a cage height of at least 6 inches. Since hamsters like to sleep during the day and are up all night you may want to keep the hamster cage in a livingroom or den rather than a bedroom so the night time noise is not bothersome.

A wood or plastic house should be provided for the hamster to burrow in. The cage should have solid floors and relatively deep bedding. Plenty of nesting material should always be provided. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes are great things to put into the cage for them to chew on and make their nest. Small cardboard boxes are also great. Common beddings used are toilet paper, shredded paper, processed corn cob, CareFRESH, Sani-chips, Gentle Touch and wood chips. Cotton or shredded tissue paper (Kleenex) is suitable nesting material. Some use cedar or pine chips, however it is said that neither of these should be used as they contain oils called phenols that can slowly cause liver and kidney failure. Some also say you should avoid any cotton or fiber type beddings sold as nesting material. The fibers do not break down in the hamster抯 system and can get caught in their pouches or ingest them while eating. Be sure your hamsters cage is escape free. Hamsters are great escape artists! Once free, you may have a very hard time getting them back. They will chew on your wires, furniture, etc..... Hamsters rarely return to their cages on their own.

Syrian hamsters, also known as Goldens or Teddy Bear hamsters, are the most popular hamsters kept as pets. They are very easy to handle and make wonderful pets for children. They are not social with other hamsters however, and should be kept alone after 10 weeks of age. If caged together, Syrian hamsters can actually fight until they kill each other. Syrian hamsters are nocturnal, and are rarely active during the day.

Syrian hamsters come in a variety of colors, and they are one of the largest hamsters at a length of 4" - 7" when full grown, depending on the sex. Females can grow larger than the males, which reach only about 6" long. They have a very short tail, large cheek pouches, and small eyes. The average life span of a Syrian hamster is approximately 2 to 2-1/2 years, though they have been known to live as long as 4 years.

Dwarf Winter White Russian hamsters are similar in behavior to Dwarf Campbell Russians in that they are active during the day and can be kept in same sex pairs or groups. However, they do not have the reputation for biting when nervous, and they are generally very sweet and personable. They are very small and quick though, so they can be a challenge for young children to handle safely.

Dwarf Winter White Russians come in three colors: Sapphire, Pearl, and a combination of the two called Sapphire-Pearl. Pearl is a white pattern where white hairs are sprinkled throughout the coat, and Sapphire is a purple-gray color. Sapphire Winter White Russians have a gray undercoat, a thick gray stripe along their spines, and an ivory colored stomach.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teddy Bear Dog Has Earned Its Place As One Of The Cutest Companion Dogs

Teddy bear dog
Teddy Bear Dogs vary in size but are normally quite small, weighing no more than 7-9 pounds. Because they are hybrids, it is difficult to determine what health/temperament issues may arise. If the dog comes from purebred parents, they will be susceptible to health problems from both breeds. If the dog is more than a mix of two purebreds, it becomes more difficult to pinpoint potential health issues. There are, however, ailments that are common to smaller dogs, for example eye and ear problems, sensitivity to the cold, and bloat if overfed. Teddy Bear dogs tend to be quite yappy and difficult to housetrain, but this can be alleviated through proper training. Beware when you buy theTeddy Bear for sale or Teddy Bear puppies for sale as they can become startled easily and may nip children, so they should be monitored when in the presence of others.
Teddy bear dogs are also raised for their temperament as they are very affectionate. They make great companion dogs and most are easy to train, though some do need firm handling. They are usually good with children. Grooming needs will vary depending on the breed mix. These dogs can weigh from seven to seventy seven pounds and stand nine to twenty one inches. Teddy Bear dogs are small, cute looking doll like dogs who bark less and are apt for all dog shows and apartment life.
Teddy bears were originally bred for handicapped children, so they could hug and squeeze them with out getting a nip and struggle and instead get licks and love in return. Their hairs are smooth, silky and straight. Thus many beautiful hair styles can be tried on them specially for dog shows. Teddy Bear dogs also like wearing beautiful cute looking dresses and do not mind them. They are very good with all types of games like swimming, catching games etc. and they learn all sorts of tricks easily. They adore their owners very much and love to play with them. They are quite sturdy, quite comfortable and happy to play with young children. Teddy bear puppies can be further designed to form more cute looking dogs with the use of Euro linage. Euro linage is the genetic coding in dog breeds with preferred features, such as size in our case the imperial bloodlines, hair coloring in our case selected standard bloodline, and structure in our case the Mediterranean bloodline. The lineages are carefully selected for this purpose and there is no need of altering its breed. The shichon is not high strung like most small dogs and has a rag doll feel to it, when picked up or cuddled.
Teddy bear puppies are small in stature, and remain small even into adulthood, growing to a height of approximately 12 inches. They weight a light 12 to 14 pounds as adult dogs.
The breed sports a soft, fluffy coat that doesn't shed like most dog breeds. It can be clipped short into a "puppy cut" or left long.
These dogs have round faces with squashed muzzles and large, endearing eyes, earning them their namesake. They also have medium length droopy ears and short, fluffy tails.
Their coat can come in virtually any colour, giving each dog its own uniqueness that isn't usually seen in other companion breeds such as theBichon Frise.
It is said that a dog is a man's best friend. We are familiar with different types of dogs, some of them have been with us for hundreds of years. Every breed of dog is admired for its characteristics or traits. Dogs of collie breed are famous for their magnificent coat, the greyhound for their speed and the German shepherds as police dogs. The latest trend, which for some time remained restricted to Hollywood celebrities is now sweeping the United States off its feet. Many individuals are paying big money to acquire a teddy bear dog for their family. This small and cute dog has managed to win many hearts. On the other hand, American Kennel Club, which is a registry of purebred dogs such as, Chihuahua dogs, Bichon Frise, greyhound dogs, bulldogs in the United States, counts this breed as a designer breed. Some people refer to them as 'mutts' to emphasize their mix breeding; however at present, dog lovers are not interested in this kind of branding. What is the reason behind this sudden popularity of teddy bear dog breed?