Readers’ wildlife videos

We have a treat today! From the rain forests of tropical Ecuador, reader/biologist/photographer/evolutionist/naturalist Lou Jost sent us some Big Cat videos. Lou’s notes:


  1. ladyatheist
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    pssst typos!

    • Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Could you be more specific, please?

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Grocer’s apostrophe: “smell’s”

    • Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Ladyatheist, is “typos” a typo for “typo”?

      • Dominic
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        A typist types his typos as he poses in a tie.

  2. darrelle
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Fantastic Lou. Remember, if you’re ever looking for a do-boy to help out with your field work let me know. I’d probably have to fight with my daughter though.

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Totally cool! I did not know that females would flehmen. I thought that was a male thing to assess the reproductive cycle of females.

  4. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    But we got these two puma (Felis concolor) as well [JAC: they’re called “cougars” or “mountain lions” in the U.S.]

    Can they interbreed? Many generations of relatively isolated populations in refugia is practically a recipe for allopatric speciation, hence the recurring (and perfectly valid) effort to link refugia of (eg) rain forest by “corridors”.

    • Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      The puma has a vast and mostly continuous range, because it is such a generalist. Pumas occupy everything from deserts to rainforests, ant every elevation from sea level to >4000m, and can cross minor water barriers. Individuals also like to wander long distances. So there are essentially no barriers for this species. A possible exception today is the Florida cougar or panther, an endangered highly inbred population which was once considered a valid subspecies. DNA tests have now shown it is not sufficiently distinct from other North American cougars, and that all the former subspecies of North America should be considered a single subspecies. Probably the Florida population was only recently isolated by human colonization of that state.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Well, Trump’s wall will split the species, at the very least. No?
        Actually, that’s not a very funny joke, is it. Trump’s wall is going to mess up a lot of non-flying species.

        • Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Yes, for example it will probably eliminate jaguars from the US fauna, as the US population of that species has not been sustainable.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Oh look – I haven’t fallen out of my chair in astonishment!

        • Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          I hope whoever does the environmental impact statement for the wall will mention those kinds of impacts.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

            Didn’t Trump just sack the Environmental Protection Agency? So as soon as someone suggests one of these useless restrictions on business freedom, they’ll be swept away with a Presidential Decree (or whatever they’re called).
            Naturally, it would be unfair to the rest of business to free ONLY the Gigantic Presidential Penis Extension Vanity Project from this regulatory burden, so they’ll be lifted for all businesses.
            It’s a big byoootiful wall too, so there’s no need at all for worksite safety regulations – or recording – so they’ll be going pretty soon too.

  5. Liz
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Interesting information about olfaction.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Great videos and info. Thanks!

  7. Heather Hastie
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Wow Lou! You might have puma kittens! I hope you get the reserve.

    As for hoping the impact on wildlife gets mentioned in relation to Trump’s wall, I doubt he would care. If asked, he’d make some joke about mules that his base will love, and forget about it.

  8. Posted March 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes laws get followed even when they are unpopular with leaders. One can always hope.

    When I lived in Texas, endangered species shut down development in western Austin for several years, while George Bush was governor.

    • Posted March 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Oops, this was addressed to Heather, #7.

  9. Posted March 3, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink


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