Wednesday

Brachycephalic Critters

I love cats, they are my favorite animal to be around, I have four of them that make my life amazing. There are a lot of people in this world that like cats, and some that don't. But, even if you are of the cat-disliking mind set you can still understand that we have done some pretty horrible things to them in terms of anatomy. The one that comes to mind is making them brachycephalic, meaning their rostrum (nose) is shortened and squashed into their face. This makes for some cute kittens, but for some not very healthy animals. Brachycephaly makes it difficult for the animal to breathe and can lead to problems such as colds or pneumonia. Cats such as Persians and Himalayans are not the only animals we have bred for this trait; we have done this to pugs and American bulldogs as well. And while this makes them look cute, it is cruel and not something that should be desired if people truly love their animals.
Please compare this normal cat skull to these four Persian skulls.

Friday

The Most Beautiful Family

Meet the Jewel Caterpillars, a members of the moth family Dalceridae. They are native to North America with a few reaching as far south as the Arctic Circle. The caterpillars are not toxic, though it has been found that they deter predators simply by being too sticky to eat. They have been in the news recently because they are beautiful as larvae, but we should not forget about the amazing adults they turn into. There are 84 known species within Dalceridae. But, enough talking; it's time for pictures.