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  1. see, you're getting the hang of being funny now hahah
  2. Ok fine, but...oh nevermind. i'll be nyyythe
  3. Nah. they probably have a website for that. just go there.
  4. Bigmouth


    OH, i will. Just admit. You were wrecked.
  5. Bigmouth


    wow, look what websites smart has been looking at.'the homo depot'?
  6. Bigmouth


    Vlad faggot Registered: Jan 2002 Location: 9200 Posts: 1573
  8. Bigmouth


    http://www.nwf.org/internationalwildlife/iwimages/kangsm.gif'> Who's Who in The Macropod World When the Australian continental plate separated from Antarctica and began drifting north 64 to 136 million years ago, only its higher elevations protruded above the ocean, comprising a patchwork of isolated tropical islands. As their climate cooled and dried, and ocean levels fell, they formed a continent blanketed by large patches of grasslands. Marsupials--mammals with external pouches in which their young develop--exploited the new gastronomic bonanza. The colonization began inauspiciously about 30 million years ago, after rat-sized animals hopped down from the relative safety of trees. They, in turn, gave rise to kangaroos and their various relatives--all called macropods. Many developed extraordinary speed and water-conserving physiology. The animals eventually occupied niches ranging from rocky hills, to forests, to open country--varying in size from the musky rat-kangaroo, which can weigh less than half a kilogram (1 lb.), to red kangaroos, which can weigh more than 80 kilograms (175 lbs.). Here are some of the current highlights of who's who among macropods: * The Big Guys: The most well-known macropods are the three widespread species of large kangaroos. The red kangaroo most often inhabits the open plains of inland Australia and can live on little water. Eastern and western grey kangaroos, which need more drinking water than reds, usually inhabit woodlands, although they graze pastures at night. All three are closely related to 11 smaller wallabies and wallaroos that thrive in habitats ranging from wet forests to arid and semi-arid grasslands--and all look fairly similar except for differences in size. * Up a Tree: Tree-kangaroos, which once descended to the ground along with other macropods, returned to the trees, perhaps simply because they found food there. The macropod blueprint for large back legs and small forearms is reversed in tree-kangaroos, and their tails are flexible. Two species survive in Australia, seven in New Guinea. * On Dry Ground: The somewhat rabbitlike hare-wallabies once prospered in their arid habitat, but their water-conserving metabolisms were no help when it came to coping with non-native predators and habitat destruction. Now, only one species is still fairly common, and the one other surviving species is rare. * Organ-Grinder: Nailtail wallabies have tails tipped with a horny spur that has long puzzled scientists. The animals' outstretched forearms make circles as they hop, which is why they have been called "organ-grinders." Only two species survive. * Rocky Roads: Australia's famous craggy outcroppings are havens for more than a dozen species of rock-wallabies. To maneuver over their rocky byways, the agile animals have evolved tough pads on their hindfeet and a fourth-toe claw proportionately shorter than that of other macropods. * Forest Dwellers: Three living species of pademelons, distinguished by their short tails, live on the floors of subtropical forests of eastern and southeastern continental Australia and Tasmania. * An Early Line: The cat-sized quokka has a proportionately shorter tail than most other macropods, as well as slightly different teeth, blood proteins and other features--all of which indicate the quokka may have arisen from an early macropod line. WHAT MAKES A KANGAROO A KANGAROO? -- Strong back limbs -- Long back feet -- Ability to hop (most species) -- Inability to walk backwards -- Lack of thumb -- Powerful and long, clawed fourth toe, which does much of the work in completing the push of a hop -- Tail that helps with balance during fast hopping--and can function as a fifth leg during the animal's slow-speed gait, helping to stabilize the back end of the body while back limbs are in the air (most species) -- Mostly vegetarian diet -- Marsupial pouch for young -- Ability in adult females to be constantly pregnant and constantly lactating from first pregnancy until death (most species) The Incredible Shrinking Kangaroo Scientists studying the bones of long-dead kangaroos and other marsupials in Australia have discovered an astonishing fact: Nearly all of the larger animals have shrunk. Over the past 40,000 years, kangaroo teeth have gradually shortened. The teeth--and presumably the body sizes--of kangaroos now hopping through the bush are 30 percent smaller than those of their ancestors. It's as if for thousands of years, something has been removing the biggest animals of each species and leaving ever-smaller ones to reproduce. One of Australia's best-known paleontologists, Tim Flannery of the Australian Museum in Sydney, contends he knows what is causing the phenomenon. "I think it's due to human hunting pressure," Flannery says. "There's no doubt that the shrinkage has occurred. The larger they were, the more they have shrunk." Some time after aborigines first arrived in Australia--at least 40,000 and perhaps as long as 140,000 years ago--some 50 species of large mammals disappeared. Meanwhile, kangaroos and other surviving marsupials began shrinking. To get the most meat for their hunting efforts, aboriginal hunters likely took the biggest animals. Flannery has dubbed Australia's surviving marsupials "time dwarfs," and he thinks modern hunters might even now be perpetuating the ancient trend. TRADEMARK DIPLOMACY If trademark trends in the United States are any measure, the kangaroo is a potent international corporate symbol. About 280 companies, including some businesses based in Australia, have registered U.S. trademarks, or have applied to use trademarks, that picture kangaroos. The marks represent everything from baby blankets to the Australian Rugby Football Union. THUMP IF YOU NEED ME Most macropods make few noises--even when they are hungry, excited or distressed. They do sometimes emit low grunts, and coughs can be signals of submission between males. Red kangaroos "click," while female grey kangaroos "cluck" to summon their young. When a kangaroo senses danger, it alerts its cohorts by thumping its feet on the ground. Hold Your Nose One kangaroo species, the western grey, has been nicknamed the "stinker" because of the "curry-like smell" of the large males. Mascot Suitable They are improbable American icons: Zippy, Kasey, Moe and Katy. No, those are not the stage names of the infamous stooges of movie and TV fame. They are kangaroo mascots at the University of Akron, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Virginia Military Institute and Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Maybe it was inevitable that a university in the rubber-manufacturing hub of Akron, Ohio, would embrace an animal with bounce. The University of Akron athletic teams have long been called the "Zips," after rubber boots with zippers. In the 1950s, students voted to create a kangaroo mascot and named it Zippy. In a nod to the region's heritage, Zippy has a rubber pad sewn to the underside of its tail for longer tail life. The popular mascot makes 150 local appearances a year. All the mascots parade as hermaphrodites--males, often sporting boxing gloves, but with the pouches of females. The confusion can be comic: "A lot of times kids would come up and ask, 'Where's your baby?'" says towering Virginia Military Institute cadet Justin Lewis, who suited up as "Moe" for two years. "They see boxing gloves and it is an open invitation for a fistfight." Mascot loyalists can be pugnacious as well. University of Missouri-Kansas City officials learned that when they tried to retire "Kasey" a few years ago after the school's athletic teams were upgraded to NCAA Division I status. "The students rose up in rebellion," says university archivist Marilyn Burlingame. "The administration backed down." STORY OF THE POUCH, 101 A newborn kangaroo is even more helpless than a human infant. Blind and the size of a honeybee, the newborn joey is essentially a fetus, still enclosed in a baglike amnion. The tiny creature bursts out of the amnion and immediately "swims" through its mother's fur to reach the pouch. In just three minutes, it disappears over the lip of the pouch. To find its way, the joey uses its sense of smell and built-in gravity receptors (located in the middle ear)--the only two senses that are functional at this point. When it finds a nipple, the joey latches on and stays physically fused for four to five weeks. Usually the newborn is alone; twins are extremely rare in most macropods. But while a newborn is attached, an older sibling that has left the pouch and is not yet weaned may poke its head in to feed. Each of the offspring feeds only from its own individual teat, and the two teats each supply different mixes of nutrients depending on the age of the young. Politically Incorrect How could the fun go wrong? At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, inflated plastic kangaroos pedaled bicycles (with human performers helping) during the games' closing ceremonies. The cycling kangaroos were intended to promote the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. But Consul General Ian Wing of Australia, who watched the ceremony from the stands, commented that the pedaling roos, while adding to the spirit of the event, looked "cheap and nasty." Sydney's civic leaders, eager to draw attention to their city's historic and cultural sophistication, were aghast. So, too, were farmers in the nation's outback, most of whom regard kangaroos as sheep-fodder-munching, fence-wrecking pests. Still, the official put this question to his critical fellow citizens: "What do you suggest would have been more recognizable as a symbol of our country than a kangaroo?" And how did the Australians respond? "I didn't get any answers from anyone," says Wing. COOLING DOWN? NO SWEAT Unlike many mammals (including humans), kangaroos do not rely on perspiration alone to carry away most of their excess body heat. Instead, they stop sweating as soon as they stop hopping and start panting--a lot. While other animals, such as canines, both sweat and pant, kangaroos are the only mammals to switch from sweating to panting as soon as exercise stops. Kangaroos also are the only animals with a dense network of fine blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin of their forearms, which they lick for cooling. The moisture allows the wind to blow heat away from the warm blood. "Kangaroos lose precious water from drooling, which is what happens when they pant," says kangaroo biologist Terry Dawson of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The creatures breathe 300 times a minute to pass air over their windpipes and lungs, which helps dissipate heat. "We think that the drooling and the licking of forearms evolved together to make use of this wasted water," says Dawson. The Older, The Bigger They are great boxers, and they get bulkier with age: Male red kangaroos are the George Foremans of the animal world. Five-year-old red kangaroo males average about 50 kilograms (110 lbs.) in weight. But 15-year-old males average about 75 kilograms (143 lbs.), and some weigh more than 80 kilograms (175 lbs.). Male kangaroos grow steadily bigger and stronger throughout their lives, although at a decelerating rate as they age. Even their forearms grow longer and more muscular. The big, older males can sport such broad chests, wide shoulders and long brawny forearms that although younger, smaller males may adopt challenging displays, they quickly back down from actual fights. Older males' increasing size is thought to act as a kind of sexual attractant: It signals to females that the males are long-lived and, therefore, desirable mates. Red kangaroo males are not alone in growing bigger with age. Male eastern and western grey kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and swamp wallabies do the same, as do American bison, giraffes, African and Indian elephants, mule deer and white-tailed deer. But the disparity in weight between red kangaroo genders at puberty--the males can weigh five times more than the females--is unrivaled among hoofed herbivores. FACES IN THE MOB Australians credit the 1992 documentary film Faces in the Mob for awakening them to the individuality of kangaroos. The true story of eastern grey kangaroos living in a remote valley showed the animals grooming, communicating and relating to each other. The filming spanned two years. "When it was first released, it caused quite a stir even in the scientific world," says pathologist Richard Speare of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. "Kangaroos were individuals and could be recognized as such! The previous concept had been that of the anonymous roo in the mob." Mysterious Blindness The scenes were so pathetic that even hardened men-of-the-land went to their aid: blind, disoriented kangaroos hopping into trees, stumbling into fences, bumping into each other, starving. The first reports came from central New South Wales in 1994. The next year, blind animals turned up in the southern states of Victoria and South Australia. And at the beginning of 1996, the blindness had spread across the desert to western Australia. By then, news of kangaroo blindness had traveled around the world. In Australia, the concern broadened. Was the phenomenon simply a nasty eye disease or something worse? Could the disease be passed on to livestock--or to humans? Was it new, or had it existed before? Was a carrier involved? These and other questions stimulated a collaboration between agricultural, veterinary, health and wildlife agencies on a scale rarely seen before in Australia. Finally, at Australian Animal Health Laboratories (AAHL) in Geelong, near Melbourne, researchers identified two viruses, using genetic-typing techniques developed by molecular biologist Allan Gould and colleagues. Gould also was able to test a slide of tissue taken about 20 years previously from a kangaroo with similar symptoms. Kangaroo blindness, it turned out, was not a new disease. And when the AAHL research team tested insects taken from areas where the disease was rife, the viruses turned up particularly in two species of small biting midges (sandflies). That gave the researchers a candidate carrier for the disease. Meanwhile, veterinarians screening kangaroo populations found that although most kangaroos in areas of disease outbreak showed signs of exposure to the virus, less than three percent went on to develop blindness. And although sheep showed signs of exposure to the virus, they did not become blind. No effect of the virus has ever been detected in humans. In 1995, heavy rains created ideal conditions for the spread of midges. The disease spread as far south as Victoria and southeastern South Australia, and it swept across the central Australian deserts to Western Australia. There have been few reports of the disease from those parts in the past year, but blind kangaroos are still being found in western New South Wales. As the outbreak has died down, many animal-health scientists have been left pondering the impact of climate change on diseases carried by insects. ENERGY EQUALS HOPS SQUARED It's one of the mysteries of mammalian locomotion. Like some kind of perpetual motion machine, a hopping kangaroo is able to keep moving while hardly expending any additional energy. In fact, kangaroos actually burn less energy the faster they hop--at least up to their cruising speed of 20 miles an hour. The mystery surfaced in the early 1975s when kangaroo biologist Terry Dawson of the University of New South Wales in Sydney imported four of the animals to Harvard University so he and Harvard comparative physiologist Dick Taylor could use treadmills to study the animals' energy output. "Once they get started hopping, they just keep it up," says Dawson. "They must be storing energy like a spring of a pogo stick or the rubber of a bouncing ball." In addition to their powerful calf muscles, kangaroos have a huge packet of tendons in the tail, attached to their hip bones. A combination of these muscles and tendons helps give the kangaroo a large part of its energy-storing resilience. The mystery is still not fully solved. "Our first studies used treadmills that humans use, but kangaroos can only hop so fast on these treadmills," says Dawson. "In the wild, their stride can be much longer; the longest one I've measured was 20 feet! So we need to find a bigger treadmill." The biggest question about kangaroo locomotion is not likely to be solved any time soon: Why did hopping evolve at all? Macropods are the only large mammals that hop. "The evidence is that hopping only evolved once," says Dawson. "But when it did, it gave rise to a huge mass of kangaroos; there are hundreds of species of hoppers in the fossil record, and at least 50 are alive today." Overpopulation Dilemma The kangaroo shooter at work is one of the less palatable images of Australia. Using the door of his four-wheel-drive to steady his arms and his aim, he calmly cuts down the graceful, hopping creatures caught in his lights. He and his colleagues fill an annual quota set by the government at about three million red and grey kangaroos a year, for an industry that uses them mainly for leather and pet food. The international response to this killing--campaigns in North America and Europe to place kangaroos on various lists of endangered species--never ceases to puzzle Australians. They know that a combination of the provision of well water for livestock in Australia's arid outback and the removal of dingos has increased kangaroo numbers. Although roo numbers vary greatly depending on rainfall, the long-term average population of reds and greys is about 20 million. And most marsupial biologists agree that figure is as high as it has ever been. Perhaps some confusion over the status of the large kangaroos comes from the existence of the many other species of macropods inhabiting Australia and New Guinea--nearly half of which are considered vulnerable. At least six species are extinct. But none of the five large species open to roo shooters are in trouble. The bigger kangaroos are little affected by predators. Relatively numerous, they are viewed by farmers and ranchers as pests that bash down fences, cause erosion and compete with stock for food. The extent and management of this kangaroo "problem" varies according to habitat and farming practice. In the arid rangelands of western Queensland and New South Wales, and in central and western Australia, for example, kangaroos tend to form a continuous population. The breeding of the dominant red kangaroo is aseasonal, with numbers geared to unpredictable rainfall. The traditional control method is to call in the shooters, who must be licensed and are allowed access only to five "commercial" species, for which quotas are set. In national parks and the higher rainfall areas, the problem tends to be an abundance of grey kangaroos, which live in islands of woodland or bush interspersed with farmland, where they feed. Overpopulation impacts not only farm production but also the kangaroos themselves, causing increased starvation and disease. "Shooting tends to remove adults, but the population quickly compensates," says zoologist Graeme Coulson at Melbourne University. "So you're looking at an ongoing process." The alternative is to control fertility with options including sterilization by surgery, use of hormones to interrupt the breeding cycle, use of drugs to interfere with lactation--or even immunization of females against their own reproductive hormones, their own eggs or sperm from their own species. So far in Australia, there has been only a single, high-profile case of broad-scale fertility control. Four years ago, 163 kangaroos were damaging the vegetation and soiling the lawns of Yarralumla in Canberra, the residence of the head of state. All the animals were captured, and 14 males were given vasectomies. The other males and many of the females and young were removed, leaving 45 members of the present, stable, nonbreeding population. Researchers are hoping soon to begin a field trial of hormonal contraceptive implants in adult female grey kangaroos in the buffer zone parkland surrounding an aluminum smelter at Portland in western Victoria. MOB OF MOMS In a fully mature kangaroo population, females outnumber males five to one. The dominant male pushes other males out of the mob. BELIEVE IT OR NOT This is a typical resting pose for the adult red kangaroo, accompanied here by a bird commonly known as a willy wagtail. WELL DIGGERS Thirsty kangaroos sometimes dig into the ground to find water, excavating as deep as 4 feet. Once they have created a water-filled pit, other animals also benefit. Lights! Camera! Hop! Despite popular myth, kangaroos do not hop down the main streets of Australian cities. But the country does boast a children's television series with a kangaroo as hero. "Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo" is a show about a girl and a boy whose father runs a wildlife reserve. They are constantly rescued from danger by the alertness of their faithful pet, Skippy. The show first aired in the 1960s, and although kangaroos hardly compete with Lassie and Rin Tin Tin in cleverness and versatility, it was a runaway success. Eventually "Skippy" was sold to dozens of countries around the globe and even had a second incarnation in the late 1980s. "Skippy" is still being shown around the world. LEECH AVOIDANCE Many of New Guinea's macropods have special adaptations for life in the rain forest. When the Dorcopsis wallaby, for example, squats in typical kangaroo style, it keeps most of its tail above ground, resting only the curled tip on the ground. Why? Perhaps to present less of a target for leeches. TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN, SPORT That is the title of a 1963 pop song that became a top-10 hit in the United States. The singer, Australian Rolf Harris, was on just about every U.S. TV talk and variety show. Symbol for Forests One afternoon in 1978, two government workers in the southeastern state of Victoria put out 40 or 50 cage traps in a patch of rain forest by a creek. Because they had started late, there was no time to go far out into the forest. They were looking for a mysterious creature they knew about from dead specimens; they thought it might be a type of potoroo--a small, ground-dwelling macropod that inhabits dense undergrowth. The next morning, they found in their trap a male and a female of a completely new species, the long-footed potoroo. Their find turned out to be restricted to the wetter forests of eastern Victoria and southeastern New South Wales, where it feeds almost exclusively on underground fungi, helping to spread the fungi's spores. Recent studies have found the fungi provide nutrients that stimulate the growth and establishment of forest trees. That has made the long-footed potoroo into a symbol for conservationists in their battle against the logging industry in southeastern Australia. The activists even call their newsletter Potoroo Review. BODY LANGUAGE Think of a roo's swift, double-footed kick as a phrase in kangaroo body language. Behavioral scientists who study the creatures say the kick is one element in a vocabulary of visual glances, avoidance hops, hisses, jabs, punches, gentle touches and grooming. That much has been long known. But one study published just four years ago has brought new appreciation for the complexities of kangaroo communication. Researcher Udo Ganslosser, of Zoologisches Institut der Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany, found that pairs of unfamiliar tree-kangaroos in German zoos got to know each other in six steps, or "stages." Surprisingly, the steps mirror the development of friendship among baboons. Two unfamiliar tree-kangaroos first avoid each other in a way that suggests they are playing it cool. That stage is followed by tenuous contact, including various approaches and sniffing. The aggressive stage, which includes kicks and punches, is next. Young males sometimes linger at this stage or advance to a higher stage only to regress later to fighting. Females, on the contrary, often skip the fighting stage altogether. A hallmark of friendship appears next--unilateral grooming. Finally, mutual grooming is the height of kangaroo social harmony and etiquette. Lost and Found The long-footed potoroo is only one of a string of "new" macropods. As recently as 1994, Gilbert's potoroo was rediscovered in southwestern Western Australia after an absence of more than a century. Only a handful had ever been seen. Perhaps the most celebrated story of rediscovery is that of the parma wallaby, a small animal with a white throat and chest. The creature had not been seen in eastern New South Wales since the early 1930s and was thought to be extinct. In the early 1960s, a scientist recognized the skin of an animal taken from the small island of Kawau near Auckland in New Zealand as that of a parma wallaby. Sure enough, the species was found on Kawau in 1975. Parma wallabies had been released on the island in the 1830s by a former colonial governor of New Zealand and explorer of Australia, Sir George Grey. By the 1960s, there were so many wallabies on Kawau, they were regarded as pests, and efforts were being made to exterminate them. Soon after a breeding population had been reestablished in captivity in Australia from New Zealand stock, biologist Gerry Maynes, now with Australia's environment ministry, found wild parma wallabies again in rain forest north of Sydney. In 1977, Maynes also was associated with the discovery of another macropod, the Proserpine rock-wallaby. He had heard news reports of "some sort of tree-kangaroo" which had been seen near the town of Proserpine on Queensland's central coast. Then there is the bridled nailtail-wallaby, known in only one location in central Queensland. Thought to be extinct, it was found again by a kangaroo shooter in the mid-1975s on a property near the town of Dingo. The property has since been purchased with government money and is managed as the Taunton Scientific Reserve to ensure the conservation of the species. SMALL SPELLS DANGER The two great enemies of macropods are predators and habitat alteration, both of which became greater threats with the arrival of Europeans. The most significant nonhuman predators are feral cats and foxes. The most at-risk macropods tend to be the smaller creatures in arid climates, such as the hare-wallabies and the nailtail-wallabies. LIFE IMITATES TV Last December, a wallaby saved an Australian farmer in the outback from a house fire. The day before, the farmer, himself a volunteer firefighter, had taken the wallaby into his house and cared for the animal after it was struck by a car. In the middle of the night, after fire broke out in the house, the creature thumped on the farmer's bedroom door and woke him up. Referring to a TV kangaroo hero (see "Lights! Camera! Hop!" below), news reports called the wallaby "a real-life Skippy." Firefighters are calling the wallaby's action "the Skippy alarm." Citizens of the World This past January, news reports kept the world informed of the trials and tribulations of a frostbitten feral "kangaroo" caught in a hard winter in Belgium. The oddity of a wild kangaroo--actually a Bennett's wallaby--on the loose in Europe captured media attention. In fact, there are several populations of feral macropods around the world. For more than 50 years, a wild breeding population of Bennett's wallabies has been inhabiting the Peak District of Wiltshire, England. (The Bennett's wallaby is the Tasmanian subspecies of the widespread mainland red-necked wallaby.) Originally imported to England for a landowner's menagerie, the wallabies were released during World War II, which marked the end of many such private zoos. The area where the wallabies were set free is now a public park, but at last report, a group of about 15 wallabies still lived there, an English anomaly. Similar populations exist on the European mainland. Perhaps the oddest group of exotic macropods is the population of brush-tailed rock-wallabies that since 1916 has inhabited Hawaii's Kalihi Valley on the island of Oahu. The group of about 100 wallabies is descended from a single pair bought by businessman Richard H. Trent for his private zoo. They escaped after harassment by neighborhood dogs. ROBO-ROO Engineers from Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors, estimate about 20,000 collisions between motor vehicles and kangaroos take place every year--which is why Australian drivers, particularly country drivers, are increasingly likely to fit roo-bars (bull-bars) to their cars. But roo-bars can interfere with the sensors that activate airbags and with the behavior of the "crumple zone" at the front of the car, which is designed to buckle in a controlled manner in collisions. And kangaroos are a very different shape, size and density from deer or elk--or any other wildlife typical of the northern hemisphere, where bull-bar designs originated. So Holden developed a kangaroo crash-dummy to provide information about how its cars performed in altercations with the macropods. Enter Robo-Roo, designed to emulate a male western grey kangaroo, the most likely species to be hit. The hind quarters--the most solid segment--are made of steel tubing and plate. Most other segments are constructed from combinations of steel tubing, plastic and rubber simulating the size, mass, center of gravity and the location and motion of joints. The head is a small "Aussie Rules" football, and a skin of cowhide covers the dummy. The result was so striking that Robo-Roo has become something of a national celebrity. He was recently put on display in the Post Office Museum in Melbourne.
  9. if only you know, you ill-informed piece of shit. i've been here a lot longer than you AND NOUM
  10. fuck off with your stupid pmovie threads dumbcunt
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