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Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

Every Bird Species in North America in a Single Poster

Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

The infographic whiz kids at Pop Chart Lab love to shove as much visual information as humanly possible into a single image, so it’s only natural they chose to map out an entire class of animals for their latest graphic. Following up on last month’s butterfly compendium, they’ve gone even deeper into naturalist illustrations with their Birds of North America poster. 

In what the prolific designers describe as their “most ambitious taxonomical undertaking yet,” the poster is an exhaustive field guide to every bird species found on the North American continent—all 730 of them, some indigenous to the continent and some introduced,* drawn to scale. The poster is largely of birds that currently live in North America, but also includes one extinct species, the Carolina parakeet, which was exterminated by the 1920s.

Click to enlarge

The grand ornithological undertaking took 400 hours of illustration time. The birds are sorted by species and family, grouping together starlings with starlings, owls with owls, and sparrows with sparrows. Learn to identify every diurnal bird of prey in North America, or admire how many different types of gulls the continent is home to. 

If you’ve got a bird lover in your life, copies of the poster are $38.

All images courtesy of Pop Chart Lab

*Pop Chart Lab originally listed this poster as depicting birds native to North America, but as some readers have pointed out, a few of the birds shown are not indigenous, but introduced to the continent. We have reached out to the company about the issue. Thanks to Martha Harbison for the tip. 

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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Animals
If You Want Your Cat to Poop Out More Hairballs, Try Feeding It Beets
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iStock

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to get your cat to poop out its hairballs instead of hacking them up? If so, you’re likely a seasoned cat owner whose tolerance for gross stuff has reached the point of no return. Luckily, there may be an easy way to get your cat to dispose of hairballs in the litter box instead of on your carpet, according to one study.

The paper, published in the Journal of Physiology and Animal Nutrition, followed the diets of 18 mixed-breed short-haired cats over a month. Some cats were fed straight kibble, while others were given helpings of beet pulp along with their regular meals. The researchers suspected that beets, a good source of fiber, would help move any ingested hair through the cats’ digestive systems, thus preventing it from coming back up the way it went in. Following the experiment, they found that the cats with the beet diet did indeed poop more.

The scientists didn’t measure how many hairballs the cats were coughing up during this period, so it's possible that pooping out more of them didn’t stop cats from puking them up at the same rate. But considering hairballs are a matter of digestive health, more regular bowel movements likely reduced the chance that cats would barf them up. The cat body is equipped to process large amounts of hair: According to experts, healthy cats should only be hacking hairballs once or twice a year.

If you find them around your home more frequently than that, it's a good idea to up your cat's fiber intake. Raw beet pulp is just one way to introduce fiber into your pet's diet; certain supplements for cats work just as well and actually contain beet pulp as a fiber source. Stephanie Liff, a veterinarian at Pure Paws Veterinary Care in New York, recommends psyllium powder to her patients. Another option for dealing with hairballs is the vegetable-oil based digestive lubricant Laxatone: According to Dr. Liff, this can "help to move hairballs in the correct direction."

[h/t Discover]

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