Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hummingbird Season!

In many parts of North America this time of year we begin to see the arrival of the hummingbird. These little overachievers are rarely more than a few inches long and are easily recognized by their buzzing wings, which may beat up to 90 times per second!

As small as they are, these tiny birds are quite the travelers. Most North American varieties migrate up to 2000 miles south every winter, only to make the trip back every spring. At the 27mph speed most hummingbirds fly, it would take more than 3 days of nonstop flight to make that journey without stopping to rest, which the birds frequently do.

So, next time you see one of these little birds taking a rest on a branch, keep in mind just how far he has flown!

Photo: National Geographic

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hundreds of Whale Sharks Near Mexico

Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet. As long as a city bus and weighing nearly 80,000lbs, these ocean giants were once thought to be solitary creatures, preferring the open sea. However, recently a group of 420 whale sharks was spotted off the coast of Mexico, according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Photo: Discovery News

Despite their size and the fact that they are indeed sharks, whale sharks usually feed on very small creatures such as shrimp and plankton. According to biologists, these whale sharks were feeding on a dense patch of fish eggs. It marks the largest documented gathering of whale sharks in history.

Photo: Discovery News

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Penguin Gets New Shoes

A Santa Barbara Zoo-based penguin named Lucky finally got some relief recently after being fitted with a special protective boot made by adventure footwear company Teva, according to Noozehawk.

The one-year-old Humboldt penguin was born with an impaired foot, which is not uncommon according to zookeepers. As young penguins spend much of their time huddled beneath their parents, they can often develop splayed feet. However, when Lucky did not respond to treatment the zoo took action, enlisting Teva to create a specialized boot to allow him to get around more easily.

Lucky has responded well to the new footwear, and is now able to swim and socialize with no issues. 

Lucky the penguin (photo: Chuck Graham)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mexican Gray Wolves Come to Seneca Park Zoo

A trio of Mexican Grey Wolves were introduced at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York today, according to local news. The three wolves, all four-year-old brothers, are slated to become a permanent fixture at the zoo.

The Mexican Grey Wolf is the smallest wolf in North America. Only 50 of them are known to still exist in the wild.

Mexican Gray Wolf