New marsupial species discovery in Brazil


THis video from the USA says about itself:

8 May 2012

My daughter’s grandfather captured this video of a mother [Virginia] opossum transporting 15 baby opossums on her back. Amazing!

From National Geographic:

New Redheaded Opossum Named After Magical Gnome

The rat-size marsupial prowls the tropical rain forests of northern Brazil at night.

By Carrie Arnold

PUBLISHED February 23, 2017

A chance finding at a Brazilian museum has revealed a brand-new species of opossum.

Biologist Silvia Pavan first discovered an unnamed mammal specimen with rich mahogany fur in 2008 at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Belém.

The rat-size marsupial’s reddish head inspired its name: Monodelphis saci.

Brazilian folklore features a gnome called the saci (pronounced sah-SEE), who wears a magical red cap that lets him disappear and reappear at will. (See “Unbelievably Cute Mammal With Teddy Bear Face Rediscovered.”)

Just like the saci, the new species of opossum has a red cap—and had been hiding in plain sight.

“I analyzed the specimen right away when it was brought to the museum, and I noticed it didn’t have a name,” says Pavan, lead author of the new study in the journal American Museum Novitates.

After that, she was able to find other specimens representing the same unnamed species in Brazilian collections.

Playing Possum

Opossums evolved in the South American tropics; several dozen species live in the Americas, but only the Virginia opossum made it as far north as the United States.

All opossum species are nocturnal omnivores, eating a range of fruit, insects, and small mammals—a flexibility that has allowed them to spread far and wide. (Read how opossum blood may help snakebite victims.)

As part of her Ph.D. work at the American Museum of Natural History, Pavan wanted to piece together the opossum family tree. But with so many species sprinkled across so many habitats, Pavan went to museums to supplement her search for opossums in the wild.

After she came across the gnome opossum, her colleagues traveled to the source—Itaituba I National Forest in Pará, Brazil—to see if they could find live animals.

Mysterious Marsupials

Pavan’s colleagues set up a series of humane pitfall traps—basically small buckets that capture opossums as they prowl the tropical rain forest at night.

To her surprise, Pavan discovered several more gnome opossums in her buckets. (Also see “Newly Discovered Carnivore Looks Like Teddy Bear.”)

“They’re not really that rare, but they only appeared in scientific collections relatively recently when people started using the pitfall traps,” she says.

The species doesn’t appear to be threatened with extinction, though more people have been collecting the animal in the wild in the weeks since her discovery was announced, she says.

Guillermo D’Elia, a biologist at the Austral University of Chile in Valdivia, says there are likely more marsupials to be identified.

“I am pretty sure there are several new species of opossum to come in the future,” D’Elia says, “now that researchers are collecting in new areas, rechecking museum specimens, and using DNA.”

Virginia opossum video


This video from the USA says about itself:

22 October 2016

Over 30 minutes of a very large “Possum” or opossum visiting in the early evening over several nights. They are the most voracious of Backyard scavengers and being omnivorous will eat just about anything. With cast iron stomachs they are like bad dinner guests who arrive early – stay late – eat all the food and make terrible conversation! But seriously they are fascinating and unique and beneficial animals and North America’s only marsupials.

There are more than 60 different species of opossum, which are often called possums. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.

Will koala predict Germany-Ukraine football correctly?


This 11 June 2016 video is about koalas.

Talking about koalas; from the Times of Malta today:

Sunday, June 12, 2016, 09:49

Animal ‘oracles’ predict Euro 2016

The late “octopus oracle” Paul shot to fame when he predicted Germany to win the 2010 World Cup.

And now, a koala in Germany is predicting the outcome of Euro 2016.

Director of Leipzig Zoo, Joerg Junhold, says he is the perfect animal to do so.

“Well, we believe he is neutral and sees the events here in Europe very relaxed. Therefore, as an impartial arbitrator he is very well suited to make a prediction.”

Refusing to choose between two Eucalyptus branches, Oobi-Ooobi predicted Germany will draw with Ukraine.

But Astrid says Ukraine will triumph.

The German sea lion has competition from France’s Watson.

Watson picked his own country as the clear winner of Friday evening’s match.

But will any of these animals reach the notoriety of Octopus Paul?

Koala predicts European football championship results


This 10 May 2016 video shows koala Oobi-Ooobi in Leipzig zoo in Germany.

Tomorrow, the European football championship will start in France with the France-Romania match.

What will the results be? I don’t know. But some animals may know 🙂

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

Koala to serve as ‘animal oracle’ at Euro 2016

Animals purported to have psychic powers have become tradition at major sporting events in recent years. Now a koala at a zoo in eastern Germany is being put forward as an “oracle” for the European Football Championship.

The Australian marsupial, named Oobi-Ooobi, joins a long list of animals from elephants to octopi who have been recruited to predict the outcome of soccer games.

Leipzig Zoo offered up Oobi-Ooobi as a possible oracle candidate on Wednesday for Germany’s national football team during the Euro 2016 in France.

However, the zoo acknowledged it had not consulted the German Football Association about its initiative, but backed Oobi-Ooobi as a viable, clairvoyant contender.

“As an Australian, he’ll have an impartial view of the football matches,” a zoo spokeswoman told DPA news agency.

Oobi-Ooobi arrived at Leipzig Zoo in April [from Belgium], where he’s already proven a hit with the public. But as far as clairvoyant creatures go, he’s got some big shoes to fill. Four years ago, Paul the Octopus from the German city of Oberhausen became a worldwide phenomenon after accurately predicting the winners of all of Germany’s matches at the 2010 World Cup.

Paul, who has since passed away, communicated his supposed insights by choosing between two glass boxes of mussels – one with the German flag and the other bearing that of the opposing team. The case he opened first was deemed to be his predicted winner.

A number of different animals have since been conscripted into the prediction business in Germany. Nelly the Elephant from Lüneburg Heath, for example, made predictions by shooting a soccer ball into two different goals. Hitting the goalpost assigned to the opposing team apparently meant Germany would win their next match.

This music video is called Nellie The Elephant (Toy Dolls).

Then there was Momario, a tortoise from Schleswig-Holstein, who had to choose between national flags made of green leafy veggies. Armadillo Taka from Erfurt chose winners by eating boiled chicken skin.

Leipzig Zoo says Oobi-Ooobi will be called on to make his first prediction on June 12, when Germany takes on Ukraine. But zoo officials are yet to reveal how their marsupial will channel his psychic talents.

Koalas, known for their round fluffy ears and large black noses, often sleep up to 20 hours a day and feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. The zoo is currently cultivating 23 different eucalyptus varieties at a special plantation north of Leipzig in order to cater to its oracle’s needs.

Oobi-Ooobi isn’t the zoo’s first animal oracle. In 2013, a Malayan tapir named Baru was made to predict the outcome of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Dortmund. In that case, Baru’s bite into a kohlrabi representing Dortmund’s black and yellow colors, unfortunately, proved incorrect.

Another Leipzig Zoo resident, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum, gained international fame with her role as oracle in the 2011 Academy Awards. The animal became an internet sensation with hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook. She also made an appearance on American TV’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she predicted the winners of three Oscar categories.

25 May 2016

As for me, I won’t predict. I hope some small country, like Iceland, Albania, Wales, six counties Ireland or twenty-six counties Ireland, will win. But I can never be sure about that.

Kangaroos on video


This 4 June 2016 video shows kangaroos in Australia.

Feathertail glider babies born, video


This 10 March 2016 video is about two feathertail glider babies born recently in the nocturnal animals building of Amersfoort zoo in the Netherlands. Their parents had arrived in October 2015.

A griffon vulture couple in that zoo is on eggs. See webcam here.

Koala survives car collision


Koala Bear Grylls

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation today:

Bear Grylls‘ survives 100kph impact with car, gets wedged above vehicle’s bumper

By Malcolm Sutton and Brett Williamson

A koala has been affectionately dubbed “Bear Grylls” after it became wedged in the grille of a vehicle travelling 100 kilometres per hour in the Adelaide Hills.

The koala was hit on the South Eastern Freeway and remained stuck until the driver arrived home some ten kilometres down the road.

Driver Loren Davis said she hit the koala just after the Bridgewater exit heading to Mount Barker, where it was dark “with no street lights”.

“I didn’t see the koala until my headlights found it but I couldn’t change lanes because another car was there [on the inside lane].

“I slammed my brakes on but another car was behind me, so there was no choice but to hit the koala.”

Ms Davis said she pulled over after both cars had passed but could not see the koala in the dark.

“I drove home, feeling upset that I’d killed a koala.

“Once I got home and pulled into the garage I turned on the light to see the damage.

“I turned around, saw a koala and just screamed.”

Ms Davis said she thought the koala was dead and ran inside to tell her fiance and his son.

“When they called out and said, ‘he’s alive’, I was teary, thinking of this poor koala in the front of the car.”

Ms Davis said the koala seemed quite “with it” and growled every time they drew close.

They were able to push a blanket underneath its arm and the koala used it to pull himself out of the grille.

“We backed my car out and closed the garage door to let him rest in there. We didn’t want him to wander off until we’d seen he was okay.

“We’re calling him Bear Grylls.”

Michael ‘Bear’ Grylls is a British adventurer and television presenter with a knack for getting himself into dangerous situations and surviving unscathed.

CFS considered to remove the koala

Fauna Rescue of South Australia volunteer and koala hotline operator Don Bigham said the owners of the car talked about calling the Country Fire Service to remove the koala.

Because it would take him 40 minutes to get to the house, Mr Bigham suggested they call the Royal Automobile Association.

“But fairly quickly, the koala got out,” Mr Bigham said.

“They had closed the [car] garage when they got home, so they had it [contained].

“When I got there it was sitting on gym equipment with some obvious minor abrasions.”

The koala was taken to a vet where x-rays and a further examination was undertaken.

Despite the ordeal, the koala was mostly uninjured, suffering only abrasions.

“The koala has come home with us and probably in the next day or so it will be going back home,” Mr Bigham said.

Koalas are a regular occurrence on Adelaide Hills’ roads and often display a casual disregard for traffic conditions.

“They don’t behave in an extremely bright manner sometimes,” Mr Bigham said.

“They walk down the middle of the road, [even] sit on roads.”

This koala reminds me of this snowy owl.

More than 40,000 hectares of koala habitat in Queensland has disappeared since the state’s land-clearing controls were weakened, a conservation group says: here.