Home Archive by category Animals

Animals

Scientists have found evidence of the existence of a giant cloud rat.

Modern-day cloud rats can be found in forests in the Philippines. They live in treetops which is where they get their name from.

However, this new cloud rat is twice the size of grey squirrels. Researchers discovered fossil remains of the creatures in Callao Cave in the town of Penablanca in Cagayan, Philippines.

They examined their bones and teeth to find out more about their size and shape. They believe they were large, fluffy and with big bushy tails.

Some of the remains of the rat were found in the same layer where the human fossils was discovered, making them nearly 70,000 years old!

Researchers say it means the ancient giant cloud rats could have been around for at least 60,000 years.

A 350kg turtle, which was found dead on a Canterbury beach last year, has been returned to its hapū.

Last year, the leatherback turtle was returned to Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata and last week a burial ceremony was held on Horomaka Island.

The critically endangered leatherback turtle, or honu, washed up dead in Banks Peninsula in March 2019.

It was initially transported to Te Papa in Wellington. But after consultations with DOC and Koukourārata rūnanga it was returned.

Documents show more than $12,000 was spent by DOC and Te Papa on transportation and a burial ceremony.

Te Papa wanted it for research purposes. the plan had been to keep its skeleton to help identify fossil bones. It would also potentially display it.

Spider alert!

A new type of large spider has been discovered in Florida, USA.

Staff from Zoo Miami in Florida have made the discovery. However, it took years for experts to realise that it’s a brand new type of spider.

The new spider is called a Pine Rockland Trapdoor spider.

It has only been spotted a handful of times since the 1920s and only recently did the clever spider get its name for the habitat it lives in.

The spider was first found by a zookeeper back in 2012. However, it hasn’t been until very recently, that they realised it was a new species of spiders.

Spiders like this are some of the longest living spiders around and can live for decades in the same burrow.

Scientists have confirmed that the number of pizzly bears is on the increase.

In case you don’t know what a Pizzly Bear is, it is a cross between a grizzly bear and a polar bear. Sometimes they are even known as grolar bears.

Scientists have known about pizzly bears for quite some time, but they are becoming more common with ongoing Arctic warming.

A first pizzly was discovered in the wild in 2006. A hunter in Canada killed a bear with white fur and brown patches as well as the humped back and long claws characteristic of a grizzly bear.

DNA testing confirmed the bear was a hybrid.

A 2017 study published in the journal Arctic documented eight pizzlies. But this number has increased significantly.

Expert believe the increase has come about through global warming. Grizzly bears are moving further north as temperatures rise. Meanwhile, polar bears are having to search for other food sources.

The 2021 duck-shooting season has started with a bang.

The season officially started on Saturday the 1st May.

It is believed around 45,000 hunters took the opportunity to go out and make the most of the first weekend.

However, early reports say that the first weekend was better for the ducks. Colder weather and patchy rain across the country has made things a little easier for the ducks.

So far there haven’t been any reports of accidents involving duck hunters and hunters were being reminded to put safety first.

Mountain Safety Council say that about 45 percent of reported incidents happened in the first two days of the season.

You might have heard about flying pigs but have you seen a flying horse?

Well, flying horses have been seen in Switzerland. In this case the horses were being flown from helicopters as part of a training exercise with the Swiss army.

Sometimes a horse can get injured and need emergency treatment. The army was testing the fastest way of transporting them.

Don’t worry none of these horses were injured and they were all carefully looked after during the training.

A total of 12 horses were put in specially made harnesses.

The harnesses were fitted around the horses and special handlers made sure they were comfortable. They also wore protective boots and blindfolds.

The pilots flew at 140 kilometres per hour and special training was given to ensure a smooth journey.

What do you think of these flying horses? Let us know in the comments.