First blog post has to be poop!

First post just had to be this fabulous shot of a Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) at Edinburgh Zoo, which I managed to somehow get in mid-poop.DSC_0031

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Indian Red Scorpion (Hottentotta tamulus)

These photographs feature two pictures of our guide/teacher Dr.Relton in India, January of 2015 picking up and handling a red scorpion or is scientific name Hottentotta tamulus. The following photograph is of two individuals on the ground which were both found under rocks (this species is nocturnal and shields from the sunlight and heat under rocks during the daytime) . At the time I wasn’t aware we were going off path into the scrub and grassland and was wearing sandals! I really did not know at the time but more recently I found that this particular species is one of the most lethal species of scorpion….lucky I didn’t accidentally put my foot on one! These are very unlikely to attack though, unless seriously provoked and we were told at the time that there was a much lager ‘black’ scorpion in the area, which was in fact apparently much more aggressive and likely to sting. Perhaps it was a species of fat tailed scorpion as I know these are a very aggressive species and these exist in India howeve, I’m unsure and again it’s very difficult to find out as the internet lacks information on scorpions.

I did not find it easy to find additional information on this particular species as apparently not much is known about it’s ecology. They are widespread in their native habitat across most of India, Eastern Pakistan, the Eastern lowlands of Nepal and more recently in Sri Lanka.

Gentoo Penguin Chicks

 

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Photographs of Gentoo Penguins nesting with their chicks at Edinburgh Zoo May, 2015.

This is by far in my opinion the best penguin enclosure I have seen and I have read that it in fact the largest outdoor pool in Europe.  Prior to this in March the zoo provides the nesting platforms (sheltered to keep chicks out of direct sunlight) and put an array of pebbles within the enclosure. The males of the breeding females select the best pebbles and present them to the females and then a pebbled nest is built on the provided platforms the female to lay her eggs on and then nurse her chicks.

I cannot remember how many chicks there was at the time but there were several nesting females and I read an article from 2016 saying that they had 22 chicks which is amazing (http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/corstorphine/gentoo-penguin-chicks-weighed-at-edinburgh-zoo-1-4159223).