High Up with the Snow Monkeys.

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Jigokudani is located in the valley of the Yokoyu River, in Nagano Prefecture, in Japan, at an elevation of 850 meters.
Literally “hell’s valley”, the area took its name from the steam and boiling water that bubble out of small crevices from geothermal hot springs in the ground below.
Jigokudani is surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold forests.
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The ground remains frozen in winter and heavy snowfalls cover the area for at least four months each year.
In this hostile environment, lives a small population of Japanese Macaques, also known as Snow Monkeys, who manage to keep themselves warm by bathing in the natural hot water pools.
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These monkeys blissfully soaking in the hot pool with their fluffy, snow-powdered heads sticking out of the water is fascinating to watch.
Despite being relatively well-known, however, few people are willing to undertake the two-kilometre trek through the frozen forest in the peak of winter to observe the monkeys.
Jigokudani Monkey Park, hence, remains largely uncrowded.
See more Images via The Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani | Amusing Planet.

‘The Brothers’ by Marko Urso.

Millions of salmon spawn each year at Kuril Lake in the southern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, attracting large numbers of brown bears.
Marco noticed how curious these two brown bears were and was able to capture the moment when they both stood up on their hind legs to watch what he was doing. The rain falling onto the lake added an extra atmosphere to the scene.
Image Credit: Photograph by Marco Urso/Natural History Museum.
via Wildlife photographer of the year people’s choice award – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Dusty Tycoon is Ready to Fly.

Jude Marks writes,
Hi Legends.
It’s a pity we can’t catch up on 27 November.
I understand that our dear Alex Riley is trying to organise a normal Legends Luncheon sometime in March, 2021. Let’s hope it’s third time lucky.
Our beautiful Dusty Tycoon is getting ready for her next challenge on 5 December at Doomben.
She is a stunner and has come a long way from her days at the breaking in Farm. She always had spirit.
Dusty Tycoon has enjoyed her week out and has returned into the stable in great order.
Keep Safe over Christmas, Jude xxxx

Lone Cheetah versus Wild Dogs: Photo by Peter Haygarth.

A lone male cheetah is set upon by a pack of African wild dogs.
Peter Haygarth had been following the dogs as they hunted in Zimanga Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
On first encountering the cheetah, the dogs were wary, but as the rest of the pack arrived, their confidence grew and they began to encircle the cat.
Peter kept his focus on the cat’s face.
In a few minutes the spat was over as the cheetah fled. (Behaviour: mammals category)
Photograph by Peter Haygarth – Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Source: Wildlife photographer of the year – highly commended images | World news | The Guardian

‘The Male Gaze’ Serengetti National Park.

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Your Shot photographer Tim Bryan made eye contact with this male lion in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
“I will never forget his piercing gaze,” he says. With more than 2,500 lions living in its borders, the park is one of the largest lion refuges in the world.
Image Credit:Photograph by Tim Bryan, National Geographic Your Shot.
Source: Photo of the Day: Best of June 2018

Coco, a baby Anteater, ZSL London Zoo.

A baby tamandua, or anteater, named Poco sticks out its tongue at the ZoologicaL Society of London Zoo.
The Zoo is celebrating the creature’s surprise birth after they found a male to be the companion of its mother Ria last October.
Image Credit: Photograph by ZSL London Zoo/PA
Source: The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

The Pygmy Marmoset.

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The pygmy marmoset is a tiny primate that is native to rainforests of the western Amazon Basin in South America.
At just 100 grams, the pygmy marmoset is known to be the smallest known species of monkey in the world.
It averages at about 15cm in height with a 20cm long tail behind it.
The pygmy marmoset has sharp claws which make it excellent at climbing trees and the long tail of the pygmy marmoset gives this little monkey fantastic balance when jumping between tree branches.
The low weight of the pygmy marmoset allows the pygmy it to reach the canopy of tree tops, a place where many of the larger species of monkey cannot reach.
They are also able to turn their heads 180 degrees, an adaptation which allows them to scan the environment for predators while vertically clinging to a tree.
Read on via Amusing Planet – Amazing Places, Wonderful People, Weird Stuff.

‘Back from Extinction’ Gilbert’s Potoroo 216.

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Gilbert’s potoroo was only rediscovered in 1994. (Credit: Bill Hatcher)

She’s known simply as 216. But she’s unquestionably special, and as the small, black bag is peeled back to reveal her long snout and large dark eyes she’s greeted with a hushed ripple of reverential “oohs” and “aahs”.
This is the 216th Gilbert’s potoroo to be counted since the species was rediscovered in 1994 after a century on our list of extinct mammals.
One of just 100 that remain, this is arguably the world’s rarest marsupial: a rabbit-sized, wallaby-like, ball of soft fur that lives almost exclusively on native truffles.
We’re in a bush enclosure near Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, on the south coast of Western Australia.
And the small audience being given this rare viewing includes volunteers who’ve been labouring to maintain the 8.2km predator-proof fence surrounding a new 380ha reserve, where 216 will eventually be released.
“It’s such a privilege,” whispers Jonica Foss, of Perth, here to pull plants from around the fence to stop cats clambering over. “To think there are so few left and we’ve just seen one.”
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The man who’s headed the recovery program since it began in 1999 is Dr Tony Friend, a scientist with Western Australia’s Department of Environment and Conservation. When we last spoke to him about the potoroo’s plight (AG 88) there was little good news.
The only natural population, at Two Peoples Bay, had been secured but was at maximum capacity of about 30.
The species still hung on a knife edge with the real threat that one fire could wipe it out for good.
via Back from the dead: Gilbert’s potoroo – Australian Geographic.

Does Australia’s Kelpie have a dash of Dingo?

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Australian kelpies hard at work. Photo: The Australian kelpie is famed as a working dog. (ABC News)
by Tim Lee
The Australian kelpie is acclaimed as the best all-round stock dog in the world, but the breed’s origins have long been shrouded in mystery — now a new book claims to have found some vital answers to its ancestry, including proof of a dash of dingo in its DNA.
Key points: The New book points to dingo DNA from Fraser Island and the mainland in the Australian kelpie Author Bill Robertson said dingo genes came about in late 1870s, when one mated with a collie, the association is more than coincidental.
Renowned for its boundless energy, speed, tenacity and supreme ability to herd and move stock, Australia’s most famed working dog owes some of its qualities to Australia’s native dog.
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The kelpie, proclaimed an official dog breed in 1905, is widely acknowledged to derive from Scottish collies bred at Warrock Station near Casterton in western Victoria in the late 1870s.
Today the breed is found everywhere — from sheep country in the dusty outback to the frozen wastes of the Arctic where it is used to herd reindeer.
Some historians go as far as to say that without the kelpie, sheep flocks could never have inhabited vast tracts of Australia’s harsh inland and the nation’s ride to prosperity through wool might never have happened.
Former champion shearer Bill Robertson claims to have uncovered the real story behind the origins of the working dog.
It has long been rumoured that the original kelpies were developed by interbreeding Scottish collies with the dingo.
Now read on via The Australian kelpie: New book looks at mysterious origins of world-famous working dog – ABC News

Three Aussie Native Bubs.

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A baby Australian Wallaby.
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 The tiniest and strangest little baby you’ll ever see. The Platypus.
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Look of the size of this baby Koala.
Simply amazing.
via Buzzfeed Australia.