Animals in the News: From Talking to the Wildlife, to Genetically Engineering It

We love animals and we’re writing about them with every occasion that comes up, as knowing better our nonspeaking buddies from the wild is a great opportunity to understand life itself and to come up with better, more efficient ways of protecting nature and help it thrive. While we never miss the chance to show you the newest discovered species or the latest fun pictures on the Internet, we are also very connected to the animals in the news and the research conducted by brave scientists and wildlife lovers. Therefore, recent news speak about a dolphin – human translator, a new IMAX 3D movie lulling us into the mysterious world of lemurs and a genetically engineered salmon meant for human consumption which is still facing hot debates. So without wasting too much time, let’s see today’s animals in the news and take a walk on the serious side of exploring animal life.

2. The Dolphin – to – Human translator seems to work

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We were stunned to hear that dolphins call each other by names and we are even more stunned now to hear that incredible progress was made in the field of translating dolphin “language” into human. The director of the Wild Dolphin Project and creator of the Cetacean Hearing Telemetry device (CHAT), Denise Herzing stated that her team of researchers managed to narrow down and identify so far eight sounds common to dolphins’ communication system. This is just a drop in the ocean, as the dolphins have a tremendous range of sounds, some not even audible to the human ear, but the researchers hope that, based on the eight fundamental translations they could narrow down, in the future they will expand their understanding over larger areas of dolphin communication. The first identified “word” was “seaweed” and we all hope that one day we can eavesdrop on dolphins while they talk about us.

2. Welcome to the world of dancing (and soon to be extinct) lemurs

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You all loved King Julian and the world entirely became suddenly curious about the mysterious lemurs after seeing “Madagascar”, so hearing that there is a new 40 minutes movie / documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman that explores the world of lemurs, the extinction they face and the efforts of incredible people (like primatologist Patricia Wright) to save what is left in the Madagascar forests, can only bring us joy and restore our hope in humanity. “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” from Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros studios is the title you may look for in IMAX theaters on Friday.

3. The genetically engineered salmon won’t hit the shelves any time soon

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If you are interested in animals in the news, scientific research, bio-medicine and genetic engineering, you may remember that back in 2010, there were some debates regarding the FDA approving of an engineered salmon to enter mass – consumption. The “Frankenfish”, as it was called by the idea’s opponents, was considered safe to eat even in 2012, but the FDA isn’t hurrying up to bless the fish with its approval. Two sides are fighting against each other, one being represented by the company engineering the fish, and the other by all animal and human rights advocates, together with two big U.S. grocers, Safeway and Kroger – who sworn not to sell the modified fish not even if it gets approved for development and selling. Besides the ethical and practical dilemmas that revolve around the engineered salmon, the time problem is also delicate: even if the engineered salmon gets approved, it will take another two years until it will actually reach the shelves.

For now, these are our animals in the news of the day. While we aren’t very eager to eat the engineered salmon, we will definitely keep an eye on the developments regarding the dolphin language translator and will surely check out the documentary on the lemurs.

Russian Photographer Katerina Plotnikova Repaints the World in Mystical Colors

Here, on ThisBlogRules, we are very passionate about all types of artwork, but it is surreal photography that has somehow gotten under our skin. We love everything that manages to blur the fine line between reality and fantasy. A few weeks ago we shared the Impossible Photography Defying the Rules of Gravity of Michael Rhode, and today we would like to present the work of a very talented Russian photographer by the name of Katerina Plotnikova. She is not the first surreal, Russian photographer to have been featured here. We have already admired the work of young Elena Vizerskaya, another talented artists.

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Katerina Plotnikova was born in 1987, in Mowscow, and has been exploring the art of photography since she was a little girl (more specifically, five years old). Her artwork is indeed one-of-a-kind. She has described it as being an enchanting wonderland. And it truly is. Although she uses simple elements and settings, there is something mystical about the end results. Wild places, forests, jaw-dropping women, and animals are usually present. She seems to have taken a liking to ginger girls. Either way, she has shown us that true beauty can be achieved with the simplest of things, by paying attention to light, color, and environment. Nothing is left at chance, and every component plays a part in the ensemble.

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There is no need to suspend your disbelief when viewing her photography. Everything that she has done is real, no Photoshop (except for minor tweaking of the settings). The interaction between human and animal is real, the settings are real, everything is real. Katerina Plotnikova has managed to recreate these images with the help of two professional animal trainers, and a couple of beautiful women. She has managed to evoke a mythical, fairy-tale world, and when you look at her art you get the sense that you are transported to another time and place. In the end, it was the artist who said that her work is just another tale about Wonderland. The expressions on the models’ faces are extremely powerful and the majestic animals which are featured (bears, stags, camels) are exquisite. Nevertheless, it is the bond created between human and animal that makes Katerina’s work so powerful.

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In one photo, an autumn-haired girl extends her arm to a bear as if asking him to dance, while in the other, a ginger beauty caresses a snake. Don’t ask any more questions and simply enjoy the beauty that Katerina Plotnikova has captured in her photography. Her artwork will give you a break from reality and transport you to the land where nymphs, princesses and queens still exists. Where prince charming might still appear, riding his white horse, to whisk you away.

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At first glance, the shots might seem dangerous, but they were created with the help of professional trainers, and docile animals. The bear in these photograph, which symbolizes strength contrasts extremely well with the delicate and elegant princes that he embraces. But it is not only the animal photography that is filled with mysticism. Even the other poses are rich in magic and dream-like qualities which makes them absolutely beguiling. She is only 27 which means that she has barely begun her adventure with photography, and we are eager to see more. Plotnikova’s human models exude a quiet regal air that is only made all the more arresting by their animal companions.

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5 Newly Discovered Earth and Sea Creatures

You all know we love animals around here and we’ve been talking about them for quite some time, especially when news about new species or bizarre animal happenings reach our news feed. Not a long time ago, we presented you with some wild beasts that you wouldn’t want as pets, and as time goes by, scientists and researchers discover that we are still not completely aware of the full fauna that surrounds us. According to recent reports emitted by Live Science researchers,

Science has identified some 2 million species of plants, animals and microbes on Earth, but scientists estimated there are millions more left to discover, and new species are constantly discovered and described

And it seems to be true, as even if we are talking about cryptic species or animals that are rare and dwell in some parts of the world we still don’t know much about yet (although you might think that by 2014 we reached the farthest and the most obscures corners of the planet), countless data shows that Earth (and especially Earth’s mysterious oceans) still have some secrets to reveal. Today we will look at five newly discovered Earth and sea creatures and ponder once again on the futility of looking for life in outer space, when here, back home, we are still not sure who are our co – inhabitants.

5. The Leaf Patterned Toad

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There’s no wonder this cute little toad was discovered so late, as it is one with nature, so to speak. It was so well camouflaged and looks so well with a handful of leaves that it took scientists quite some time to find it in Peru’s forest floors. The Peruvian Andes might still have some mysteries left to be discovered and while the entire country is a cradle of ancient culture and history begging for further exploring, here we have this new toad to amaze us with its looks.

4. The Chocolate Frog

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Or the Cocoa Frog, as now mentioned in recent reports, this tiny fella belongs to the newly discovered Earth and sea creatures list, with the adagio that it wasn’t found alone, but among another 60 species of animals which might be quite new for the eyes of science. Researchers took a trip to South American country of Suriname and came back with mind blowing data involving potentially new snakes, fish and frogs that are yet to be studies closer.

3. The cave dwelling skeleton shrimp

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The aquatic life of California is amazing enough as it is, let alone getting richer with a new inhabitant. This skeleton shrimp actually looks like a skeleton and is a translucent underwater cave creature that travels like an inchworm. In all truth, they are not actually shrimp, but crustaceans nonetheless and even you can see them exhibited in museums, who knows what else is there in the Californian waters?

2. Newly discovered humpback dolphins

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Australia is an amazing place to study wildlife and even if it hosts some of the most dangerous animals on the planet, scientists seem to have moved there entirely, as new species are found on a yearly basis. These humpback dolphins are a completely new breed of sea dwellers found on the northern coasts of Australia and if you read the news, you will find out that the Lost World has still some creatures to reveal to us, both on land and deep in the sea.

1. The walking shark

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Now don;t thing this is some of Cthulhu’s offspring or some sort of Jaws mutated enough to walk casually down the beach and eat you alive. This sea creature was found in Indonesian waters and all the walking it does is represented by the fact that is actually is able to walk on the water floor by

wriggling its body and pushing with its pelvic and pectoral fins

…so there is no need to panic

Newly discovered Earth and sea creatures are amazing not only because they exist, but because they managed to stay away from our inquisitive and studious nature. And imagine, if these ones could actually be found and analyzed, what and where are the others, as they have to be around somewhere… Alien life? That’s a big joke compared to Earth’s wild inhabitants…

10 Furniture Ideas for Pets and Their Loving Masters

Even if you are a pet owner, chances are that you nave never considered how you’re pet will like improvements that you will bring to the home, or how it will fit in there. On the other hand, investing in furniture exclusively for your cat, dog, guinea pig, rabbit, tiny monkey or whatever you have running around the house might be a bit too much.

This is exactly why we have decided to compile a great list with Furniture ideas for pets and their loving masters. Most of them serve dual purposes, and create a perfect environment for the pet and owner to bond, or simply a comfortable retread for the furry friend to chill in. Most of the following examples of furniture work with the help of simple enhancements and functions. Let’s have a look, shall we?

1. Pet and Person Rocking Chair

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Number one on our furniture ideas for pets list is the rocking chair. This rocking chair is ideal for both owner and animal. There is a neat place tucked away beneath it, where your pet can relax, without disturbing you. You can both rock in it together!

2. Cat Tunnel Sofa

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This is definitely one of the most inventive furniture pieces that we have found. The “tunnel” supports the back, and also creates an interesting toy for your cat. And we all know how much kitties like to explore.

Designed by Seungji Mun

3. Coffee Table Hammoch

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The coffee Table Hammock looks great, which makes it an excellent choice for the living room, and it can comfortably fit a kitty, without having to deal with the annoying hair that falls off.

4. Planter/Animal Home

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Have you ever wished to take care of plants? Now you can do it, while also tending to your pet’s needs. The Planter/Animal home is basically a typical flower pot which is also a home for your animal. Its sleek and elegant design will make it a great fit for any interior.

Designed by Jardin Chic

5. Kitchen Dog Bowls

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If there is one thing I hate about dogs, it is the fact that they always spill their bowls, and make a mess in the house. The Kitchen Dog bowls design will not only save you from this trouble, but also incorporate a much needed function, with the help of an inventive solution.

6. Cat-Friendly Modular Bookshelf

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This cat-friendly Modular Bookshelf looks amazing, it is fully functional, and it can also help entertain your kitty, without having to make many concessions. Don’t these kitties look absolutely adorable?

Designed by Corentin Dombrecht

7. Dog House Sofa

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Out of furniture ideas for pets? Here’s a good one: If you own a dog, you probably already know that wherever you go, he/she goes. So instead of having them dirty your sofa, why not prepare a spot for them, at your right side? The dog house Sofa looks great, and it is extremely useful.

8. Cat Transit System

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If you are into steam-punk design, you will definitely love this Cat Transit System. The entire room was designed by Because we Can and it is basically a Mad Scientist’s Home Workshop, that also incorporates a transit system for your cat.

Designed by becausewecan.org

9. Pipeline Fish Tank

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You didn’t think we would forget about fish, did you? The Pipeline Fish Tank is definitely te coolest fish tank you will ever see. You can install it over a home-bar, in the living room, or at the entrance of the kitchen, for example.

Image credits: The Contaminated

10. Bedside Table/Dog House

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The last furniture idea for pets on our list is the Bedside Table/Dog House. Cats will probably not like it very much, as they prefer to sleep on weird surfaces rather than soft ones, but dogs will definitely love to not only sleep on a soft bed, but also to be as close to his master as possible.

We hope you liked these ideas, and if there are any other furniture ideas for pets that you have found, feel free to share them with us.

5 Sea Creatures Weirder Than The Florida Mermaid

The media was ravished earlier this year by the video / footage of the “thing” that became known as “The Florida Mermaid”, a creature so legendary and so looked everywhere, some people thought it would be wise to turn it into a viral hoax. That it is a hoax, nobody doubted for a second (oh well, maybe for a few days, until the truth became obvious to everybody), but the point is: why elaborating on such a prank, when this world’s waters are still full of sea creatures weirder than the Floria Mermaid and, above all, real?

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Humans’ imagination was always stirred by the supernatural, the unknown and the mysterious, especially when myths can become so palpable, we can see them with our own eyes, but until we can get our hands on a real manticore, a cockatrice or take live footage of the Kraken (not to mention an interview with Chtulhu), let’s take a look at what nature, in its generosity, offered us to our full amazement. Today we will remember five sea creatures weirder than the Floria Mermaid and stranger than fiction itself.

5. The Blobfish

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Also called in a few instances “The Fish from Hell”, this poor bastard is not only incredibly ugly, but now on the verge of extinction. While nobody cares to actually catch it, as it isn’t edible, it has the misfortune of living in the same waters and depths with other interesting sea creatures which are edible. Since it can’t swim normally, as it represents merely a gelatinous mass which floats, it is quite often caught together with its delicious buddies, the lobster and the crab.

4. The Firefly Squid

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Instead of hunting for Ariel in the oceans at night, imagine seeing this little fellow glowing more spectacularly than your own Christmas Tree. It glows beautifully and when mating season comes, these sea beings put on a light show that would make Las Vegas look like a child playing with a flashlight. Among the most fascinating sea creatures weirder than the Florida Mermaid, the firefly squid, as tiny as it is, is a delight for everybody who has the chance of seeing it.

3. The Tassled Scorpionfish

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Well, it is still far away from being categorized as a Stephen King nightmare lobstrosity, but if you look at this guy, you will realize all mermaids pale in comparison. It is venomous, carnivorous and that face alone can give you the chills. A lady-fish with hair is twice less interesting than this killer in the sea.

2. The Japanese Giant Spider Crab

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This is the Godzilla of crabs, you know, those little creatures with many legs you order in your favorite sea-food restaurant, but try imagining how it would be to bump into one of these mutant – like sea dwellers. It has the body the size of a basketball and eight legs with a leg-span of up to 13 feet. One of the scariest sea creatures weirder than the Florida mermaid, this badass looking crab would inspire H.P. Lovecraft if he were alive today. Fortunately for everybody, it is less dangerous than it looks.

1. The Box Fish

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Think about it for a second and admit frankly: when you are talking about fishes, generally, their elongated, dynamic shape is the first one that comes to your mind. Of course, some of them are rounder and puffer, but try imagining walking down the beach and seeing a cubic fish. Yes, one that is shaped like a cardboard box. This little oddity can be seen in Indonesia, and the Florida Mermaid has nothing on them, as when younger, the box fish come in colored shades, while the adult versions start displaying a blue – gray nuance that looks spectacular.

Do you want more sea creatures weirder than the Florida Mermaid? Check out specialized magazines and journals, deep – sea explorations’ results, documentaries and testimonials. You will realize that it is more amazing and entertaining to discover true nature than building up hoaxes.