Update on Arizona Jaguars

Last year I cover the story of “Macho B”, the sixteen year old male jaguar that was tagged, re-captured and eventually euthanized here in Arizona. A report by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General has appeared which states there is evidence that the capture of the cat was probably intentional and violated the Endangered Species Act. Throughout, the Arizona Game & Fish has claimed that the capture was accidental.


Nyctereutes lockwoodi

nearly100new.jpgFrom the California Academy of Sciences:

This year, [Zeray] Alemseged and his colleagues report the only new mammal species on the Academy’s list: a raccoon dog (Nyctereutes lockwoodi) from 3.3 million years ago. Described from a nearly complete skull and fragments of others, this small, omnivorous mammal is a member of the canid family, which includes dogs, wolves, and foxes. Fossil raccoon dogs have been uncovered throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa, but only one species remains today (N. procyonoides, native to East Asia). This extant species gets its common name from its raccoon-like coloring but is not closely related to raccoons—its closest living relatives are thought to be foxes. It forms monogamous pair bonds and is the only member of the dog family to hibernate in the winter.

(HT to Afarensis who notes that the species is probably named after my late buddy and collaborator, Charlie Lockwood. As I haven’t seen the paper – apparently in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology – I cannot confirm that).

Who knew leopard seals were friendly

After seeing these photos, I ran into the video above. As the YouTube blurb explains:

National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen shares the incredible story of his personal encounter with a predatory leopard seal in the frigid waters of the Antarctic. These photographs–and many more–appear in his book, Polar Obsession. Available at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/books.

Amazing stuff. I guess I never realized how big Leopard Seals actually are.

(HT to Zooillogix)

Let’s hear it for Honey and hope for the best


I post this story just because African Hunting Dogs are my favorite animal … and also that of my daughter who in summer 2008 helped make enrichment feeders for the three males here at the Phoenix Zoo. Mother gives birth to nine pups and unfortunately dies – a surrogate named “Honey” takes over. Here’s hoping the pups – who normally have a 50% mortality in captivity – can make it through.

The Final Friday Felid (#38)


Lion, Panthera leo L.


And with that we bring our Friday Felid feature to an end. In a few weeks I will unveil a new series. Feel free to make suggestions about taxa you’d like to see being featured.