Friday, February 21, 2014

Operation Free TV #2

109 days into Operation Free TV via NCP:

32 inch television:290,000 Pts
Progress:  8,200 Pts (2.8%)

At this rate earning the TV will take approximately 10.6 years.

Hmmm.

This is discouraging.

The "Jelly Bean" Frog

Pets stores are pretty notorious for giving inaccurate names to the livestock they are selling, but their latest fad product is not just confusingly names--it is cruel.

The so called "jelly bean" frog is an albino frog from one of many common pet frog species, that has been injected with a colorful dye to make it a brighter color.  They also go by names like "tutti frutti" and come in colors like red and bright green.

Even moderately respectable wholesalers seems to have fallen onto this band wagon selling albino frog with clearly modified color.  Segrest has dyed African clawed frogs (Pipidae Xenopus laevis)--shown right.

The reason you should not buy there frog include:
1) Injecting the dye is an unecessary and often painful procedure
2) The dye may negatively effect their health and life span
3) The color fades over time anyway
4) If you are really interested in frog shouldn't you get "frog"-colored frog pets?

I have not been able to discover exactly how the dye injection is performed but it appears to be similar to the "dyed fish" craze.  And that type of dying is done by injecting the dye into the fish with a hypodermic needle. This process causes direct toxic effects to the animal and makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases.

This kind extreme cosmetic modification tend to lead to impulse buys, which is why the aquatics forums are now being bombarded with questions from people who do not know what species they have, how to care for it, or why it is sick.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lykoi Cats -- Why?!

Why did you do this to me?
Boing Boing recently covered someone who is trying to breed cats that look like wolves.  My response can be easily condensed to:

1) That's a dumb thing to try and do
2) They don't look even a little bit like wolves
3) They do look completely messed up and unhealthy

In my opinion breeders should focus on breeding cats to look like... [drum roll] [wait for it] cats.

Healthy, vigorous cats with all of the usual cat pieces, like a nice coat of insulating fur.

Cat breeders are normally pretty good about this sort of thing, but there are always a few trying to "invent" a new breed of flat-faced, mangy, dwarf, flopsy cats.  And apparently always people lining up to buy these pathetic creatures.

For more diseased looking Lykoi cats see their Facebook Page.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wolf Dogs

cheetah100 / Foter / CC BY
When I wrote this Dogster post about wolf x dog hybrids I completely accepted the fact that wolves and dogs are, taxonomically speaking, the same species.

However, this article makes quite a compelling case for wolves and dogs to actually be considered different species--and even argues that we cannot be sure that gray wolves are the ultimate ancestors of domestic dogs.

Food for thought!