Monday, September 14, 2009

Most Expensive Dog in the World

There is no doubt that dog is a man's best friend. But how much you will pay for a dog? According to a news, a Tibetan mastiff with the catchy name of Yangtze River Number Two has reportedly been sold to a woman in the Chinese province of Shaanxi for around £350,000 (or $582,000). Can you believe it? £350,000 for a dog! This sum makes the Tibetan mastiff the most expensive dog ever. The previous record of £90,000 was paid out by a family in Florida for Lancelot Encore - a cloned version of Lancelot, a much-loved but deceased Labrador.


The Times reports that Yangtze River Number Two's new owner, identified only as Mrs Wang, is rumored to have spent years searching China for the perfect Tibetan Mastiff. When she located her dream dog in Qinghai province, she was determined to do whatever was necessary to make it hers.

The canine's newfound celebrity status was confirmed when a motorcade of 30 luxury cars turned up at Xi'an airport to collect it. Mrs Wang's wealthy friends sent their Mercedes limousines to the airport, and also organized a welcoming committee of local dog-lovers, complete with banners.

Dog-ownership is becoming increasingly popular in China, and is already causing problems in some of the country's over-crowded cities. A ban on pets in many public areas is being considered in Shanghai, while the city of Guangzhou has introduced a limit of one dog per family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Development Stages of a Baby Panda

The Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a mammal classified in the bear family (Ursidae), native to central-western and southwestern China. The Giant Panda is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though belonging to the order Carnivora, the Giant Panda has a diet which is 99% bamboo. The Giant Panda may eat other foods such as honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, and bananas when available.

The Giant Panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, in Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. It once lived in lowland areas, but farming, forest clearing, and other development now restrict the Giant Panda to the mountains. Now, the Giant Panda is an endangered species.

Even seen a baby Panda? It is so cute! Take a look at these pictures of different development stages of a baby Panda under human supervision. After all it is an endangered creature and we all must handle it with care!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Arctic Fox

The Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus), also known as the White Fox or Snow Fox, is a small fox native to cold Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is common in throughout the Arctic tundra biome. Although it is often assigned to its own genus Alopex, the definitive mammal taxonomy list, as well as genetic evidence places it in Vulpes with the majority of the other foxes.

The Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) has evolved to live in some of the most frigid extremes on the planet. The Arctic Fox is the only native land mammal to Iceland. It came to the isolated North Atlantic island at the end of the last ice age, walking over the frozen sea. Among its adaptations for cold survival are its deep, thick fur (the warmest of any mammal). The Arctic Fox tends to be active in early September to early May. The gestation period is 52 days. Litters tend to average 6-7 pups but may be as many as 11.  Both the mother and the father help to raise their young. The females leave the family and form their own groups and the males stay with the family. Arctic foxes tend to form monogamous pairs in the breeding season. Litters of between 4 and 11 kits are born in the early summer.

The Arctic Fox will generally eat any meat it can find, including lemmings, Arctic Hare, reptiles and amphibians, eggs, and carrion. Lemmings are the most common prey. A family of foxes can eat dozens of lemmings each day. During April and May the Arctic Fox also preys on Ringed Seal pups when the young animals are confined to a snow den and are relatively helpless. Fish beneath the ice are also part of its diet. When its normal prey is scarce, the Arctic Fox scavenges the leftovers of larger predators, such as the polar bear, even though the bears' prey includes the Arctic Fox itself.

The length of the head and body is 55 cm (21.7 in) in the male and 53 cm (20.9 in) in the female. The tail is 31 cm (12.2 in) long in the male and 30 cm (11.8 in) long in the female. It is 25–30 cm (9.8–11.8 in) high at the shoulder. Males weigh 9 lb (4.1 kg) while females can weigh 6 to 12 lb (2.7 to 5.4 kg)


The Arctic Fox has a circumpolar range, meaning that it is found throughout the entire Arctic, including the outer edges of Greenland, Russia, Canada, Alaska, and Svalbard, as well as in Subarctic and alpine areas, such as Iceland and mainland alpine Scandinavia. The conservation status of the species is good, except for the Scandinavian mainland population. It is acutely endangered there, despite decades of legal protection from hunting and persecution. The total population estimate in all of Norway, Sweden and Finland is a mere 120 adult individuals.