A news site about animals

Playing Otter

This video was just published on YouTube yesterday from the Chester Zoo in England.  Otters love to play, especially with rocks; and this one is no exception.  He’s so cute!


Happy Ottersday ^_^

Geladas Show Striking Similarities with Human Speech

Friendly lip-smacking, made by a large African monkey called a gelada show striking similarities with human speech, say scientists from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, US, published today in the journal Current Biology.

Geladas, close cousins of the baboon that only live in the remote mountains of Ethiopia, produce ‘unnerving’ sounds that can easily be mistaken for human voices.

The gelada is also known as the "bleeding heart baboon"

They believe the evidence points to lip-smacking- a friendly behavior displayed by many primates- being an evolutionary step towards speech.

“Our finding provides support for the lip-smacking origins of speech because it shows that this evolutionary pathway is plausible,” said lead scientist Prof Thore Bergman, “it demonstrates that non-human primates can vocalize while lip-smacking to produce speech-like sounds.”

Prof Bergman became fascinated by the geladas’ sounds while observing the monkeys in 2006.

“I would find myself frequently looking over my shoulder to see who was talking to me, but it was just the geladas.  It was unnerving to have primate vocalizations sound so much like human voices,” he said.

The new research showed that the rhythm of gelada lip-smacking closely mirrored the gaps between syllables in many human languages.  Some other primates such as apes and monkeys produce complex sounds, but Bergman says they don’t have the speech-like rhythm that geladas have.

I had never even heard of a gelada until today.  How fascinating.

Our New Pet Chicken

Two of my roommates went to buy a dryer off of Craigslist, and it came with a free chicken!  We’re going to keep her as a pet, and hopefully she’ll lay eggs.  We have named her “Inky” because nobody expects the Spanish Ink-qui-chicken!

First Otter Spotted in Boulder in 100 Years

A motion-activated wildlife surveillance camera has captured the first documented sighting of a North American river otter in Boulder, Colorado, in about a hundred years.

“I was extremely surprised,” said Christian Nunes, a wildlife ecology technician for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. “It’s a species that is quite rare in Colorado.”


The North American river otter  is classified as “endangered” by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, but that could soon change in the otters’ favor.   They’re planning the first state survey of river otters since 2002 on the Western Slope later this year.  Depending on the results, Odell said, the state could further upgrade the animals’ status to only “threatened”.
















Nunes said the camera was set up Feb. 1 along Boulder Creek, east of the city’s developed core, near a beaver lodge.  The camera was equipped with an infrared flash, which emits a blinking red light, rather than a conventional flash effect.

“It actually sat in front of the camera for several more minutes, sitting there munching on the fishtail,” Nunes said. “Kinda cute.”




Happy Ottersday ^_^