Bites at Animal Planet

27 May

Super Cool Bear, Just Hanging Out, Walking Around Like a Human (VIDEO)

Oh hi, bear. What's happenin'? Going for an afternoon stroll, you say? ...

Check out this too cool for you Asiatic black bear who struts his stuff on his two hind legs, like a human:  

Although this video may appear to be too cute, the bear's backstory isn't so adorable -- he was rescued from a bile farm where he was malnourished as a cub. Because he was so underfed, his upper body developed much smaller than your typical Asiatic black bear, allowing him to be able to support himself on his hind legs.  He learned to stand up on his hind legs at his rescue as a means of receiving food from visitors.

Bear-walks
Photo: YouTube image

*HUGS* ... We heart you, Bear. <3

 

Learn more about bears in our video archives: 

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27 May

Super Buff Kangaroo Intimidates with Manly Toned Pecs and Major Guns (VIDEO)

A kangaroo in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia, is frightening local residents with some MAJOR GUNS -- as in: "Got your tickets to the gun show"?  Check out this marsupial's super buff bod:

Buff-kangaroo

He has been spotted hanging about golf courses in the North Lakes, Queensland, area, according to Seven News

Kangaroos are a rather common sight in this locale -- but not as large as this sweet-faced, buff, bad boy. He is reportedly estimated to be about 210 pounds and 6' 5" tall.  He is quite recognizable with his toned pecs and a droopy, torn ear -- which quite frankly, we here at Animal Planet HQ believe adds to his already charming self:

 

You can learn more about these impressive marsupials from videos in our archives:

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26 May

Sneaky Seal Steps Into Market, Makes Off With Fruit (VIDEO)

In this surveillance footage, you can see a brazen seal hop out of the water, cross a dock and make its way into a market, where it then stole a package of fruit left on the floor, according to Oregon Live.

We appreciate the seal's tenacity, even though it probably would have preferred some fish.

Check out this video of some more playful seals:

25 May

The Last Alaskans: Hear What the Critics Are Saying

Around the office at Animal Planet, we're proud of all our shows, but The Last Alaskans holds a special place in our hearts. We're glad the critics are recognizing what we see, and we hope you will too tonight at 10/9c.

‘The Last Alaskans’: A reality show with a heart as big as its subject

"... a superb, eight-part docu-series premiering Monday night."

"Unlike other reality shows, there’s little sense that a producer is nudging a particular narrative this way or that; the subjects are entirely themselves and, given their loner instincts, remarkably willing to explain why they live here and how they manage it."

- The Washington Post


Review: ‘The Last Alaskans,’ a New Animal Planet Series

"... an affecting series."

"... [H]ere the quests for sustenance are presented merely as facts of life. The compelling part of the series is the why: Why live like this?"

- The New York Times

Preview the show here: 

24 May

Gulf of Mexico Diver Stumbles Upon Great White Shark (VIDEO)

A charter captain diving in the Gulf of Mexico got quite the surprise when a great white shark snuck up on him, Discovery News reports.

Grayson Shepard was coming up from 90 feet down during a hunt for lionfish when he spotted the shark about 22 feet underwater.

“He was docile, not aggressive at all,” Shepard told the Tallahassee Democrat. “But it’s like your worst nightmare. I felt totally helpless. It was like it saw me before I saw it. That spooked me.”

Learn more about Great White Sharks in the video below:

Watch the full episode of Swimming With Monsters: Shark as part of Monster Week.

This post is part of our special MONSTER NEWS coverage for MONSTER WEEK! Check out related articles here and watch video highlights -- and tune in all week through May 25 for Monster Week, only on Animal Planet.

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23 May

Ever Wonder What Whales Hear?

Whales use sound to navigate the world — in fact, you might even say that their worlds are entirely woven of sound. But...

Posted by NPR on Friday, May 22, 2015

Our jaws dropped when we first listened to this NPR report that seeks to capture the noises that whales hear, and how the loudness of humans could be bad news for the species.

In the "Look at This: Drowned Out" report, Christopher Clark, a senior scientist in bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, gives insight as to what the noises we make are doing to the underwater creatures. Along with the audio report is a visualization of ocean currents provided by NASA.

It's no secret that whales rely on sound to navigate and live in the ocean, as evidenced by the video below.

For even more on the report, head over to NPR.

 

22 May

Meanwhile in Australia, It's Raining Spiders

Spider-webs
Reuters/Daniel Munoz

In case you missed the story this week, it's raining spiders in Australia -- millions and millions of spiders. And not only are the residents of Goulburn, New South Wales, dealing with these critters falling on them from the sky, they have a sticky situation with all the webbing left behind.

So what's happening? LiveScience called on Rick Vetter, a retired arachnologist at the University of California at Riverside, who said residents were most likely witnessing a very common form of spider transportation. Called ballooning, it entails a spider intent on migrating to new digs climbing up high, releasing its silk, and then jumping.

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22 May

The Helicoprion: 'It Doesn’t Get More Badass Than a Big Buzzsaw for a Lower Jaw'

RIVER MONSTERS PREHISTORIC TERROR: JURASSIC SIZED premieres Monday, May 25, at 8/7c.   Find out more about the BADASS Helicoprion in an exclusive feature with the leading experts on the species, below.

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Illustration Credit: Ray Troll 2013

Five years ago in the invertebrate paleontology collection in the basement of the Idaho Museum of Natural History, a student of Idaho University Professor Leif Tapanila, Jesse Pruitt, was searching for an undergraduate research project when he stumbled upon the Helicoprion fossil. 

The spiral rock had been an anomaly for over a century, with scientists trying to figure out what was buried beneath its surface. Without the technology of today, however, most fell short, only being able to interpret the fossil for face value. 

But with the help of CT scans and a lot of manual labor, Tapanila and Pruitt along with four other scientists and Alaskan artist Ray Troll, who Tapanila calls "the world expert on Helicroprions," uncovered the age-old mystery.

Together they solved how its jaw works, what its function was and where exactly the whorl, spiral of teeth, were placed in the mouths of these 275 million-year-old sharks. 

So ladies and gents, I give you, the Helicoprion.

Helicoprion

The ancient shark lived nearly 275 million years ago, with a body of up to 25 feet long and a jaw stretching two to two and a half feet. And, inside of that jaw, sat a deadly set of teeth.

But its 130 to 150 teeth didn't go from left to right like those of a normal jaw, no, these teeth spiraled outward from the inside.

A human, like many other animals, sheds its teeth, but the Helicoprion keeps every tooth its ever grown. In the center of the diagram are its baby teeth and on the outside are the newer teeth it has created, holding a lifetime of teeth! Tapanila says Helicoprions are "married to these teeth forever." 

Helicoprion jaw

But the shark has a "storage problem," said Leif Tapanila, leader of the Helicoprion research team, because it can't shed its teeth. So instead, it "wraps its bigger newer formed teeth around the smaller teeth," hence the spiral.

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22 May

Photographer Makes Amusing Supermodels Out of Backyard Squirrels

Sure, they can be a nuisance sometimes (especially when they get into your garage and chew through your heavy-duty buckets of bird seed), but squirrels can also be fun to watch. 

It's especially interesting to witness a squirrel exploring its environment, and photographer Max Ellis has captured those moments creatively and brilliantly in his photos. Says Max, "The squirrels in these images live in the big trees behind my garden. They come every day to see whats new and investigate it." He uses props, food and occasionally fishing line to create his squirrel scenarios, and the squirrels do the rest.

Genius. Enjoy, follow @junkyardmax on Instagram, and see more at maxphotographic.com.

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Credit: Max Ellis/@junkyardmax 

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21 May

Burned in House Fire, Cat Recovers at Clinic and Offers Snuggles to Other Animal Patients

Darla and Russell would like everyone to know that they're going to be on the evening news! Special thanks to ABC11...

Posted by Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Now it's time for a cute break.

We want to introduce you to a cat named Russell. Russell has been living and recovering at North Carolina's Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care after he was burned in a house fire a year and a half ago, according to the Huffington Post. The fire destroyed his family's home and left him without the tips of his ears.

While Russell has been recovering, he's also been making friends with other animals at the clinic who are also recovering from various ailments. Most recently Russell has taken a shine to a fawn named Darla, who was discovered on someone's lawn after she most likely lost her own mother.

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