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Showing posts from February, 2009

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Amami Rabbit (ENDANGERED)

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Amami Rabbit (ENDANGERED) Classified as endangered, the Amami rabbit is protected as a Japanese 'natural monument'. But this ancient mammalian lineage and the natural forests that it inhabits are not merely unique Japanese legacies, symbolic of the significant biodiversity of the central Ryukyu Islands - they are of global significance. First described by American scientists WH Furness and HM Miller in 1896, the Amami black rabbit was named and reported as Pentelagus furnessi in 1900 by W Stone. It measures 40-50cm in length, weighs up to 2kg and has a thick, woolly coat that is dark brown or blackish. It is so different from other rabbits and hares of the family Leporidae that it is considered to belong to an early branch off the main rabbit-hare evolutionary tree. Its small ears and eyes have generally been viewed as ancient characteristics, and though placed in its own endemic genus, it has often been lumped for convenience in the same group or subfamily as that ot

Scientists cloning endangered Amami rabbit

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Scientists cloning endangered Amami rabbit The Amami rabbit — a threatened species found only in the Ryūkyū Islands — may become Japan's first endangered animal clone. Scientists at Osaka's Kinki University have cloned an embryo of the endangered rabbit and are awaiting its birth next month, it was announced earlier this week. The Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi) is a nocturnal, forest-dwelling "primitive" rabbit with dark fur, short legs, large curved claws and small ears. Found only on the islands of Amami-Ōshima and Toku-no-Shima, it is sometimes called a "living fossil" for its resemblance to ancient rabbits that once inhabited the Asian mainland. The Amami rabbit's dwindling population — now estimated at between 2,000 and 5,000 — has earned it a spot on Japan's endangered species list. To produce the clone, researchers took a cell from the ear of a dead Amami rabbit and injected it into the unfertilized egg of an ordinary lab rabbit. After the

Yakushima deer

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Yakushima deer www.Japan-Domains.com