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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Zoo photos

This has truly become the zoo blog rather than much complex interplay. It's pretty much just me and the other invisible contributor - aka my husband Rafe - sharing our adventures at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA. But there is a lot to explore there, and we are happy to support research and preservation of habitats for all animals.

For example, Rafe's birthday adventure? What else - taking our family and friends to the zoo to see their primate brethren.

Baby gorilla wants to play with or eat the stick, I can't tell.

Golden lion tamarin (aka marmoset) doin' her thing.

Gage and Orangutan
My nephew Gage is not impressed with the orangutan (and the orangutan doesn't look all that impressed either).

I am always fascinated to see these guys in action. They all have their own movement and behavioral patterns, yet these patterns are also so recognizable as being shared by us humans.

See all the photos from that day on my Flickr.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love really is blind

Turns out that when someone is in love, they tend to subconsciously divert their gaze from other cuties. They truly have eyes only for their true love (yes, I realize that's not how the song goes, but I can't stand bad grammar).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hyenas ate humans

Paleobiologists recently found a coprolite from a Hyena from 20,000 years ago. And what was in the fossilized poop? Human remains!

Was this just one poor sap who got on the menu, or was this a trend among the hyenas of old? Were we scavenged? Hunted for our delicious organs?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Siamang Part II

We went to the Woodland Park zoo this weekend on a sunny, relatively warmer day, and once again visited the Siamang enclosure (see blog on 1/8/09). When we got there, the female was busy nibbling on a carrot and not very interested in people. Rafe waited for the loud screamy kids to pass by, then crouched down again at the glass.

At first the female didn't seem to notice him. So Rafe hopped a little to get her attention. She stopped mid-bite to look at him. Rafe hopped again. She shook. He shook back. She dropped her carrot and carefully bipeded her way across the branches to the glass towards Rafe. They looked at each other. Then she turned her back. He groomed. It was deja vu all over again.

Unfortunately this time when Rafe turned around and presented his back to her she didn't groom him, but the fact that we could repeat the same event as before is pretty cool. We were able to ask some volunteers if they'd ever seen any behavior like that before, and they said they had seen a little girl play a mirror-type game with the male (she'd jump, he'd jump; she'd wave her arms, he'd wave his arms), but never anything like that with the female.

Still pretty amazing proof in both the male and the female siamang that they can pretend/play/imagine.