Bites at Animal Planet

Animals

18 Dec

Shedd Aquarium Otter Pup Has a Brand New Name: Meet Luna!

Luna
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Last week, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium - with the help of Good Morning America and over 10,000 voters - announced the new name for Otter 681, who was taken in by the aquarium through a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium last month.

Voters had the opportunity to choose from five names (Cali, Ellie, Poppy, Ana and Luna). Which was the winning name? Luna! We think it's a perfect fit.

Welcome-home
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

During the special event held at the aquarium last Thursday, Luna was introduced to the otter exhibit at the Regenstein Sea Otter habitat in the Abbott Oceanarium at Shedd - where she'll become a fixture in the spring of 2015.

When she was first brought in, she weighed in at just six pounds. She's 11 pounds now and learning new things every day - from diving, to foraging for food, to grooming on her own.

For the latest updates on Luna, visit Shedd’s website at sheddaquarium.org/sheddpup, or follow the pup’s progress on Shedd's Facebook page and Twitter account.

To learn more about otters, check out this article. To see a sea otter learn how to forage for fish, watch the video below:

16 Dec

Endangered Northern White Rhino Dies, Only FIVE Left on the Planet

Remember how there were only SIX northern white rhinos left in October, per our report here?? Well, now there are only five. SIGH. Read the full report from The Dodo and find out about our latest loss.

Northern-white-rhino-the-dodo

Photo: Wikimedia via The Dodo

 

By Stephen Messenger

One of the last remaining survivors of one of the world’s rarest animals has died, inching yet another species closer to extinction. Angalifu, a 44-year-old male northern white rhino kept at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, passed away on Sunday, zoo officials say — leaving only five members of the species.

“Angalifu’s death is a tremendous loss to all of us,” Rancy Reiches, curator of mammals at the zoo’s Safari Park, told the Los Angeles Times.

 

Continue to the Full Report at The Dodo >>

 
 

Continue reading >

9 Dec

Sea Turtle Evades Shark

8911642903_ef722ee805_b
Photo by Teddy Fotiou via Flickr Creative Commons.

You might think that once they reach their adult size sea turtles are safe from predators. What could bite through those thick shells?

Turns out that even adult sea turtles are still on the menu for certain shark species, namely tiger sharks. Large, blunt headed tiger sharks are immensely powerful, and they love to dine on sea turtles. Often, they grab on to a flipper and tear it off, and indeed, sea turtles with missing limbs are not an uncommon sight. Tiger shark jaws are even powerful enough to crush through the shell of a sea turtle.

But don't feel too bad for the sea turtles. The video above shows just how smart these marine reptiles really are, and how well adapted they are to evade tiger sharks. The turtle anticipates the shark's attack and twists its body in the water. This does two things. First, it protects the turtle's vulnerable head and limbs from the shark's mouth. Even more fascinating, it puts its shell at just the right angle so that flat top is facing the shark. If the shark could grab the turtle shell from the side, it could shake the turtle to death and crush through the shell.  But not even a tiger shark can open its mouth wide enough to engulf the entire shell.

Amazing stuff! 

Protect Sea Turtles with the National Wildlife Federation.  

 

5 Dec

Have You Ever Seen an Owl Swim?

This great horned owl was attacked by a pair of peregrine falcons. Though much larger than the falcons, the owl knew better than to fight back against the smaller birds, which kill other birds by dive-bombing into them at speeds of over 200 mph.

Instead, it plunged in to waters of Lake Michigan to escape. Owls and other large birds don't enter the water willingly, but their light bodies float and they can use their wings to do a breaststroke and swim, as this owl shows.

Fortunately for the owl, it survived the attack and flew away after it reached the shore.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

3799465777_035548f0ea_b
Photo by Chris via Flickr Creative Commons.

 

25 Nov

First Footage of a Monster from the Deep

What's believed to be first ever footage of a live, female anglerfish swimming at extreme depths has been recorded by researchers with the Monterey Bay Research Institute.  

AnglerfishThis species of anglersfish is known as the black seadevil. These terrifying-looking fish live in the deep ocean where no light reaches. The females have an appendage on their head with a bioluminescent tip. The glowing tip lures in potential prey just like lure on the end of a fishing pole, hence the name "anglerfish."

No one knows why so many creatures from the deep look like horror movie monsters. Perhaps our image of monsters is influenced by the human species' deep instinctual fear of the dark, cold depths of the ocean where we could never survive. Luckily, anglerfish are harmless to people. 

Regardless of human impressions of them, anglerfish are a fascintating species, as this video proves.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation.  

25 Nov

Be Thankful for These Tiny Hamsters, Having a Tiny Thanksgiving

Thank you, tiny hamster trainer people for giving us a little more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. You know, like this tiny hamster Thanksgiving celebration:

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Animal Planet! May your dinner table and mouths be as full and bountiful as these little guys'!

Hamster-thanksgiving
Photo: YouTube image

Continue reading >

24 Nov

Stray Dog Treks 430-Mile Adventure Race, Makes New Human Friends for Life

When a team of four endurance athletes from Sweden set off on the most grueling journey of their lives, they didn't expect to pick up a fifth — FURRY — teammate along the way.

Stray-dog-follows-endurance-racers-facebook
Photo: Krister Göransson / Peak Performance | Peak Perfomance on Facebook

The Swedish team embarked on a 430-mile trek to compete in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador.  As they began the rainforest portion of the race, team member Mikael Lindnord noticed a hungry, stray dog and gave him a meatball ... And, it was LOVE at first bite.

The dog who they soon dubbed "Arthur" continued to follow them the rest of the epic journey, which usually takes a team of four, about 10 days. The rigorous race includes biking, hiking, trekking and kayaking — Arthur kept up every step of the way! 

By the end of the race, they certainly couldn't leave their new friend behind — he's headed back to Sweden to his new forever home with Lindnord. Awwww.  *TEAR*

You can get even more details on the story from our friends at The Dodo >>

Congratulations, Arthur and Team Sweden!

See More Race Photos with Team Sweden & Arthur >>

Continue reading >

22 Nov

Dolphin Laughs at Cartwheeling Girl

There's no way that there's not some form of interspecies communication going on in this video. A member of FunDipped Productions, an Orlando based circus theatre company, decided to do bit of a routine in front of the viewing window of a dolphin enclosure. She definitely got the dolphins' attention.

What do you think, is the dolphin in the video experiencing joy at her acrobatics?

 

 

 

Dolphin acrobat
An acrobat performs for a dolphin.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

21 Nov

Over 22,000 Species Are Now Facing Extinction, Conservationists Say

Over 22,000 plants and animals are facing extinction — 33 species have been declared extinct just in the past year. Read the full report from The Dodo and find out which surprising animals are topping the list.

Dodo-animals-extinction

Photo: Danilo Cedrone/FAO via The Dodo

 

By Melissa Cronin

Conservationists named 22,413 out of 76,199 species of plants and animals surveyed as at risk for extinction, according to the annual update to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, released this week. In the past year alone, 33 species have been declared extinct. The update points to pressures from activities like fishing, logging, mining and agriculture as the main drivers for species loss.

Continue to the Full Report at The Dodo >>

 

 

Continue reading >

20 Nov

Watch a Lion "Sleep Roar"

You've heard of sleep walking, but what about sleep roaring?

If you have a pet dog, you know that canines dream. You've probably seen your dog flipping his or her paws, breathing heavily and maybe even barking--all while sound asleep.

This video is the cat version of that:

The lion's name is Hercules and he lives in Colorado at a facility called Wild Animal Sanctuary which specializes in rescuing large carnivores. Large carnivores such as big cats, bears and wolves face euthanization more than any other group of captive wild animal due to the high cost of feeding them and the extreme danger associated with caring for them.  

(Sidenote: please don't try to get a big cat, bear, wolf--or any other kind of wild animal--as a pet. It's not cool and usually end badly for the animal. Getting to live in a wildlife sactuary like Hercules did is the rare exception.)

They had this to say about the video:

"...he sometimes dreams of roaring while he is sleeping. Much like dogs do (where they dream of barking or running in their sleep), lions also have vivid dreams, and Hercules is having one heck of a wild dream!"

What do you think lions dream about?

Lion sleeproar

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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