Open thread

In pictures: Baby animal love story: “A pair of Sumatran tiger cubs and a set of young orangutans, all abandoned at birth, have become inseparable after sharing a room at an Indonesian zoo.”  See the pictures and read the short captions.  It’s just so damn cute!

Kitty vs. Kat.  Look at the larger version for the full effect.  That was a good laugh I really needed.

This is neat and worth watching.  It’s an alert regarding the “live feeds forthcoming from the Secrets of the Gulf Expedition March 3-9 with the US Navy NR1 nuclear submarine (pictured above) and Bob Ballard’s Argos tow sled as they survey the Flower Garden Banks region for paleo-shorelines and deep octocoral habitats at 100m depth.”  There are links to the various sites and feeds, as well as a copy of the news release itself.  I can’t wait to see it.

Pygmy Owl Declining in Mexico: “A university study shows the population of a tiny endangered owl in northern Mexico has declined by an estimated 26 percent over the last seven years, a finding that environmentalists said bolsters their arguments for greater protection for the bird in Arizona. [. . .] The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the owl on the endangered species list in 1997 because of population declines in Arizona. But the agency withdrew it from the list last year after determining it was not a distinct subspecies and thus not worthy of protection.”  Since then, of course, developers have decimated its environment, but climate change is also wreaking havoc on the poor tiny bird because “…the number of eggs that the owls lay annually, or so-called clutch size, declines as winter rainfall dips, as does productivity and nest success.”

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