IDEAS

01/31/2015

Baby Seal Sleeps on Couch
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/baby-seal-house-couch_n_1146980.html

Bear Rides Truck
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/14/bear-hitches-a-lift-rubbish-truck-vancouver-canada-video_n_1147859.html?ref=animals

Cyclops Pig
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/two-snouted-cyclops-pig-china_n_1146448.html

Talking Porcupine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_dnB3IapeAA

Pomeranian Wolf
http://youtu.be/2Tgwrkk-B3k

Red Haired Seal
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2037734/The-lonely-seal-wanted-Pup-abandoned-having-rare-brown-fur.html

Giant Crabs Invade Antarctic Abyss
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/giant-red-crab-invasion-climate-change_n_956090.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-08-meter-long-king-crabs-invade-antarctic-waters-eat-everything

Hummingbird Tail Feather Communication
http://earthsky.org/biodiversity/video-shows-how-hummingbirds-sing-with-their-tailfeathers

Strangest Animals on Earth
http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/43159

Poisonous Rat
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/toxic-rat.html#cr

Hidden Octopus
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2011/science-friday-08-05-2011.html

10 Ways Animals Get High
http://io9.com/5834480/10-ways-animals-get-high

Dog Covers Himself in Blanket
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpQjI6nJ8Uo&feature=player_embedded

Animals Taking Pictures of Themselves
Gorilla: http://nwf.visibli.com/share/yS4nsz
Monkey: http://nwf.visibli.com/share/jgsNlA
also Lion steals camera post AND chicken cinematographers

He/She Butterfly
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/14108204

Snails Migrate in Poop
http://io9.com/5820028/snails-survive-being-eaten-by-birds-so-that-they-be-pooped-out-somewhere-else

Tool Using Rodents
http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=1540

Jumping Shark
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2007978/Amazing-video-Jacob-Langston-captures-moment-shark-jumps-surfer-Florida-beach.html

Famous Sheep Shrek Dies
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110607/ap_on_re_as/as_new_zealand_famous_sheep_dies

Fire Ant Flotilla
http://www.washingtonpost.com/the-incredible-floating-fire-ant/2011/04/22/AFd3EbjE_story.html?hpid=z2

Satanic Leaf Gecko
http://www.livescience.com/1-image-day.html

Animal Penises
http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2011/02/04/friday-weird-science-penises-are-funny-looking/
http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Largest-Penis-in-the-World-43756.shtml
http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2011/01/21/friday-weird-science-the-magnificent-mammal-menage-a-trois/

Hawk in Congress
http://www.google.com/search?q=hawk+in+congress&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2011/01/watching-our-researchers-like-a-hawk/

http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2011/02/this-bird-has-flown/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Boxing Birds
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104193047.htm

Flying squid
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1338220/Jet-propelled-calamari-Squid-species-leap-air-dodge-predators.html

Glow in the Dark hornets
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/12/oriental-hornets-literally-solar-powered.php?campaign=daily_nl

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9254000/9254445.stm

Why are these bee hives turning red?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/nyregion/30bigcity.html?_r=1&WT.mc_id=NY-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-TMO-113010-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

Genetically Engineered Animals
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/bizarre-genetically-engin_n_789435.html#s193652

Mutant Gazelle
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/mutant-gazelle.html#cr

Odd Fishes
http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs/6a00d8341bf67c53ef01156f79025f970c/posts

Rat Control in Chicago - Call in the Coyotes!
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/chicago-using-gps-collared-coyotes-to-control-pests.php?campaign=daily_nl

Whales Get Sunburn Too
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/whales-sunburn.html#cr

World's Oldest Animal
http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2010/Worlds-oldest-animal-species.aspx

Strange New Frog Species
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/toads-with-big-noses-fiery-eyes-and-more-discovered-in-colombia-photos.php?campaign=daily_nl

Koko and Kittens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqTUG8MPmGg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZgJ3TzB38E

Lions & Tigers & Bears
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvKUCQ4RQw0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzJue2AkO_Q

Tiger Raises Pigs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm40EBfwJPQ

Hippo and Tortoise
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4754996
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/02/baby_hippo_mother_tortoise.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Kc2y-geiU

 

Animal Cliches, Debunked
http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2010/Part-1-The-Truth-about-Animal-Cliches.aspx

Giraffe Struck by Lightening
http://www.pawnation.com/2010/11/10/wild-at-heart-giraffe-dies-from-lightning-strike/

World's largest snake dies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMWoX56uwAU&feature=player_embedded

Mountain Lion captured on trail camera in Kansas.
http://www.kansas.com/2010/10/27/1559444/camera-catches-possible-mountain.html

Mimic Octopus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygh1-ul6E94&feature=player_embedded 

Naked Chimp
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1322472/Missing-link-Guru-chimp-suffering-alopecia-looks-human--hes-prone-monkey-business.html

Pelicans Eating Other Birds
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320429/Pelican-swallows-pigeon-London-park.html

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/11/dwindling-fish-stocks-lead-pelicans-to-eat-gannet-chicks.php

Man Want to Talk About Bees but Shoots People Instead
http://www.indystar.com/article/20101006/NEWS02/10060343/1282/NEWS02/3-shot-1-fatally-by-man-talking-about-bees

Cockroach Brains Might Save Your Life,
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/09/how-cockroach-brains-may-one-day-save-your-life.php?campaign=daily_nl

Two-legged lamb saved from becoming a chop.
http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/836829-two-legged-lamb-saved-from-the-chop

Flying manta ray
http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/836438-flying-manta-ray-soars-high-to-find-mate

Bear "kidnapping"
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/07/29/2010-07-29_nh_bear_nibbles_montana_bruin_kills.html

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/07/real-bear-breaks-into-home-to-rescue-stuffed-bear.php

Alligator mob
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CQ1N1mAi9s

Foxy Goes for a Swim
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/fox-rescue.html

Voice Activated Corgi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUdUmHKVdyU

Bionic Kitty
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10404251.stm

Some bizarre creatures

http://listverse.com/2010/04/07/top-10-fantastic-and-surreal-creatures/

Owl that's afraid of heights.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1264148/The-owl-afraid-HEIGHTS--refuses-soar-feet-ground.html

The Connection betwween Tigers, Monkeys and Aids
http://www.avert.org/origin-aids-hiv.htm
http://allafrica.com/stories/200806060641.html
http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=633741

Is an African Lion Roaming the City Streets?

08/04/2014

Is an African lion roaming the streets of Norwalk, CA?  Security cameras captured footage of what seems to be a large cat. The footage is of course grainy, so it's hard to tell exactly what it is.  

In my experience as a Naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, I can say that most people are just not that good at identifying wildlife, so I'm never too quick to believe the media hype over this kind of thing without further investigation or commentary from an actual wildlife expert. When you're looking at such grainy footage, it's even easy for experts to be stumped or even make misidentifications. So take what you're hearing and reading in the media with a grain of salt. 

So with that said, check out this report from Good Morning America.  Get my take on what I think the video shows below.


ABC News | More ABC News Videos

 

In my opinion, the animal in the video definitely moves like a large cat rather than a dog, including wild dogs such as coyotes and foxes. Often, domestic cats are mistaken for big cats in grainy or dark videos like this one, but this animal definitely looks more massive than a domestic cat to me. Bobcats and mountain lions are native to the area, but the head is much larger and thicker than that of a mountain lion and the animal's long, thin tail rules out a bobcat. I don't see spots or stripes, which would rule out leopard, jaguar or tiger, cheetah or other big cat species.

Here's my appearance on Inside Edition about this odd animal sighting:

 

So, based on this limited video, it does seem to me like the animal is an African lion, probably a female or a young male due to lack of a visible mane.

12392451385_bd31b53049_z

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar from Flickr Creative Commons. 

If that is indeed the case, the questions of where it came from and where it currently is need to be answered. It can be surprisingly easy for unqualified individuals to obtain a big cat as a pet--which is an exceedingly stupid thing to do. It's possible this animal was in the care of a private exotic animal collector and escaped.

If it is an African lion, let's hope that it is safely re-captured and brought to live in facility where it will be kept in a secure enclosure and given the proper care.

Symbolically Adopt a Lion with the National Wildlife Federation.  

Is Sundance Creature Real?

07/29/2014

I came across this video recently shot in Sundance, Utah. It's footage of dark woods along a roadside taken by some people who claim they saw something standing in the trees as they drove by, so they turned around to see if they could catch whatever it was on camera.

This is what they saw:

 

Looks like just about every other "Bigfoot" video you've seen, right? (Except the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, of course.) It's blurry, quick, non-conclusive. Clearly this video is a hoax, right?  It's got better than average actors, but the rest seems all-too-convenient: it's dark and spooky out, and the creature is still just standing on the side of the road even though if it was real it would clearly have seen their car coming. Why would such a purportedly elusive creature just stand on the side of a road?

Then I watched this analysis done by a guy who goes by the name ThinkerThunker on Youtube:

Pretty interesting, right? The probablity of some undescribed giant primate existing in North America is pretty slim, but the ThinkerThunker video does a good job at showing the significant difference in mass and size of the creature in the video when compared to a human. That's pretty hard to fake using a costume, at least one that moves. CGI is a possiblity, but these kinds of things tend to be pounced on by people with better video analysis skills than me, and I haven't seen anything online saying that this is clearly CGI (which doesn't mean it isn't).

Perhaps the monster geek in me is getting the better of the naturalist part of me, but I think the questions this kind of thing raises are fascinating. What do you think?   

Sundance Creature

Learn more about sightings on Finding Bigfoot

 

Heron Swallows Gopher Whole

07/17/2014

Great blue herons are beautiful, large birds that typically hunt along the edges of wetlands like lakes, ponds and marshes. Their long legs help them wade through the shallows on the hunt for fish, frogs, snakes and other aquatic or semi-aquatic prey.

14147775894_9339cc476f_zPhoto by Theodore Scott via Flickr Creative Commons.

But that's not all they eat. Check out this video of a heron stalking, killing and eating a gopher that it plucked out of the rodent's underground burrow. I have actually witnessed this exact same behavior while I was in Arizona last year to keynote the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival. Each morning as I headed over to the festival, I saw a heron positioned like a statue right next to a gopher colony just waiting to snatch up a furry little mouthful.

Warning, the video shows a graphic act of predation, so if you're squeamish, don't watch.

 

 

This Moth Looks Like Bird Poop

07/07/2014

Mother Nature is pretty awesome, especially when she has the sense of humor of a ten year old boy. 

You might be aware that the caterpillars of the giant swallowtail butterfly have evolved to look like bird droppings as way to avoid being eaten by predators. Most predators don't enjoy eating bird poop, so this strategy ensures that many giant swallowtail caterpillars will survive long enough to pupate and emerge as winged adults, which will in turn mate and lay eggs and keep the species going.

Well, giant swallowtails aren't alone in using this strategy. My National Wildlife Federation colleague Dani Tinker took some pics of an awesome moth in Great Falls, Virginia last weekend that also looks just like a pile of fresh bird poop.  

Meet the pearly wood nymph:

Pearly Wood Nymph 2

 

Doesn't look very appetizing, does it?

Pearly wood nymphs are found across eastern North America and lay their eggs on wild grapes, hibiscus, and evening primrose, so if you plant these in your garden, you might just be able to attract this cool moth to you own backyard. 

Submit your own photos to National Wildlife Photo Contest! 

Pearly Wood Nymph

Photos by Dani Tinker.

Protect Wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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