It Does Not Do To Dwell On Dreams And Forget To Live..
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Snail Consumes Worm With Frightening Efficiency

by Lisa Winter

Powelliphanta is a genus of carnivorous land snails from New Zealand, who are also known as amber snails. They can grow to be 91 mm (3.6 in) long, about the size of a fist. Earthworms are a staple of amber snail’s diets though it doesn’t seem like it should be much of a match-up. Worms are really slippery and wiggly and snails are pretty slow, right? So how do the snails capture their prey? …

(read more: I Fucking Love Science)

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I heard that hedgehogs should be fed hard cat food in their diet, is that true? If so, do you know what kind/brand should be fed?


Back before there were specially made diets for them we did feed them high quality cat food. Now that hedgehog diets are manufactured that is what I recommend you feed.

An adult hedgehog should get 1-2 TEASPOONS of hedgehog diet a day. You should also give about 1 Tsp. of veggies a day. Insects can be given as treats and are really good if you can hide them in the substrate so the hog has to go searching for them. You can give crickets, Dubia roaches, mealworms, and earthworms just don’t over feed these items. Hedgehogs put on weight very easily so it is important to monitor how much they are getting because they will become obese.

Another tip I give owners is that they can place a small amount of cat toothpaste on a bit of hedgehog kibble and give it daily to help keep their teeth a little healthier as they are predisposed to dental disease.

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coloured scanning electron microscopy by steve gschmeissner (and sixth photo by nicole ottawa). an electron microscope uses a particle beam of electrons, which have much shorter wavelenghts than photons (visible light) and produce a greatly magnified image of the illuminated specimen (up to 10 million times).

dyk: the tardigrade, or water bear, seen in the last photo, can survive in temperatures of one degree kelvin and tolerate pressures six times that of the deepest oceans. despite preferring simple ground dirt, these creatures (which aren’t technically extremophiles) were shown in one experiment to have survived ten days in the vacuum of space. they can also endure heavy doses of radiation and hibernate for a decade. 

dy-also-k: the maggots of the bluebottle fly (the goofy looking dude in the first photo), are used medicinally to clean wounds. once sterilized, they are placed in a wound where they feed on dead tissue and leave healthy tissue untouched. their saliva contains anti bacterial chemicals which maintain sterility in the area.  

click pic for a description of other photos. see also: previous microscopy posts

OK, I’m just gonna say what I’m thinking here: TINY CONFUSED WALRUS.

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Do you have any tips for trimming a bird's nails? I do grooming on occasion at an avian shelter and I'm not very experienced yet. I cut to the quick sometimes. (Qwikstop is my friend.) Do you have any tips for trimming nails? It's especially hard with dark nails. I never know how far to cut and sometimes the nails still look too long when I'm done.


Because most birds have dark nails it can be difficult to know how far to cut. Birds that are very nervous or stressed will raise their blood pressure and can bleed even if you just barely take anything off. My advice is to just take the very tips off and generally you will be ok. If the nails are super long and causing the bird problems you just have to cut them and use qwikstop unfortunately. I tend to like to use the dremel because it is super fast and grinds them down smoothly, if you do get a bleeder you can just touch the dremel tip to it for a second and it will cauterize it and stop the bleeding.

Providing birds with natural perches in various sizes and lots of toys can help keep nails shorter as will frequent trimming.