Bites at Animal Planet


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


Credit: Max Ellis/@junkyardmax 

Continue reading >

12 May

This Owl Doesn't Need Enemies With a Friend Like This (VIDEO)


With a friend who projectile poops on him, this owl doesn't need enemies!

As funny as this video is, it's actually a normal part of being a young bird. The only job baby birds have is to eat and grow and, yes, poop. Getting pooped on by your sibling is just part of growing up for most birds.

These two owls are no doubt siblings who have recently fledged and left the nest. Their parents are nearby still feeding them and watching out for them while they learn to fly and eventually to hunt on their own.

It's a dangerous time for young birds, but also a totally normal part of growing up. Never try to "rescue" fledgling birds like this that have left the nest on their own. They have a greater chance of survival under the care of their parents compared to a human trying to finish raising them. Here's a good guide for what to do if you find a baby bird out of the nest.

Even if their siblings sometimes poop and them and then flee the scene.

Photo by Andrew C via Flickr Creative Commons.

 Adopt an Owl with the National Wildlife Federation.

22 Apr

New Species of Frog Discovered in Costa Rica Looks Like Kermit the Frog


Kermit has a very real, translucent doppelganger! 

This muppet-colored amphibian with similar bulging white, black pupiled eyes and lanky limbs of Jim Henson's famous puppet, is a new species of glass frog: Hyalinobatrachium dianae. But even Miss Piggy herself is probably confusing the two. 

Scientist Brian Kubicki, founder of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center, and his team, discovered the frog in February in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. 

Instead of naming this look-alike after our beloved Kermit, however, this species' scientific name means "Diane's bare-hearted glass frog," after Brian's mother. Sorry, Kermie. 

The underbelly of the one-inch long amphibian (only 2.5 centimeters big!) is see-through. You can peer right on in to its insides! I'm talking organs, people. From its stomach to its tiny, beating heart. 

But even though it wears its heart on its belly, the bare-hearted glass frog is far from pleasant. According to Andrew Crawford, a batrachologist at the University of Los Andes in Colombia, this new species is quite territorial, fighting any males who trespass their territory. 

The team found six specimens so far, but we can be rest assure 

And to quote the green muppet to top it all off: "always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament."  

Alright, Animals!

Meet another potential interesting frog find:

6 Apr

This Cat Gets Its Teeth Brushed and Contemplates Life (VIDEO)

Have you ever gone a day without brushing your teeth and once you do, it's like the skies open up and you picture Neil Diamond and Seal taking form of mythical creatures singing a tooth-brushing duet, and everything is right again? 

Well, this cat. Having not had its teeth brushed, presumably, ever, experiences what brushing your teeth feels like. 

I present "The Toothbrush Revelation." 

Check out this cat with GOLD teeth!

3 Apr

11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Llamas

Photo: Thinkstock

Llamas are adorably weird creatures. And although you've seen them all over the Internet, here are 11 facts you probably didn't know about them.

1. Llamas are actually a close relative of the camel. But without the hump, the hump, the lovely little lump.

2. Llamas ears are shaped like bananas.

3. They don't only spit at humans. Llamas spit at each other to resolve misunderstandings in their own groups. If only that would solve all group dilemmas. 

Photo: Veer

4. Llamas don't have hooves. They only have two toes on each foot with a leathery pad underneath. 

5. Baby llamas are called "crias." Mama llamas "dams," and papa llamas "sires." Yes. mhm, quite, sire. 

6. They weigh between 280 and 450 pounds. Oh my.

7. When llamas get pregnant, their pregnancy lasts 11 months to a year! And they have their babies standing up. The birth only lasts 30 minutes. 

8. Besides looking like a silly, short, hairy giraffe. Llamas are actually intelligent and incredibly easy to train.

9. People bring llamas to nursing homes as a form of therapy.  

Photo: Veer

10. The fibres of llamas are fireproof.

11. And finally, llama dung is almost odorless. Holy crap.

25 Mar

D.C. Recruiting Border Collies to Scare Away Geese

Photo: Thinkstock

Like a scarecrow protecting its crops from crows, that's what Washington D.C. has in store for border collies and its Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool.  

The National Park Service is recruiting collies under its goose harassment service, hoping to rid the area of an exceeding amount of goose poop, from our neighboring goose: the Canada goose. 

Photo: Thinkstock

The Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool is especially in danger as the defecation "is leading to the degradation of the pool water... in and on [the] walkway near the pool," said the National Park Service in their note to Implement Environmentally Friendly Canada Goose Control.

Continue reading >

18 Mar

Bison Gets a Meal on the Go (VIDEO)

What is it about drive-thru safari adventures that have weirded out? First it was the carjacking lion, and now it’s the hungry bison that takes the term “meals on wheels” to another level.

Thanks in large part to some bread, Caroline Walker Evans had the encounter of a lifetime with a bison at Olympic Game Farm:

Have you ever had a unique animal encounter, like Caroline’s? Let us know in the comments below!

17 Mar

Squirrel Takes Leap of Faith


Not every day do you see a flying squirrel. Not every day do you see a grey squirrel do a flying squirrel impression. It just goes to show, when you really want something, you get it. Take this squirrel for instance...

 Watch Animal Planet LIVE's Wild Birds Cam (where squirrels often make cameo appearances)!

Continue reading >

13 Mar

No Birdies, Just Alligators on This Florida Golf Course

Golfers at Florida's Myakka Pines Golf Club not only have to deal with the challenges of the 27-hole golf course, but also with alligators who tend to lounge on greens.

The club shared photos snapped by a member on their Facebook account last week and the photos have since gone viral, according to a story in The Guardian. Apparently, alligator sightings on the golf course are so common, the club has instituted a rule if a gator is spotted: don't go to the green, instead take two putts.

“It’s impossible to play 18 holes and not see at least one alligator,” Mickie Zada, Myakka's general manager, told The Guardian. “When you’re in Florida, you’re going to see alligators.”

The club, located in Englewood, Fla., is housed on open land near the Everglades, thus making it a great location for the gators to trek through on the way to swamps - or on the hunt for food, new territory or a mate now that winter is ending and the temperatures are warming up.

Check out how the Gator Boys handled a gator on another Florida golf course:

12 Mar

A Bird with a Mustache: The Inca Tern


Mustache bird

 I mustache you if you've ever seen a bird this regal? 

This is the Inca Tern, sporting a mix between Hulk Hogan's handlebar and Yosemite Sam's droopy 'stache, that grows out from the fleshy yellow gape at the corners of its beak.   

"The length of an Inca tern's moustache is a reliable signal of its body condition," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Inca Tern can be found from Northern Peru to central Chile, part of the same habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire, which is how it acquired its name.

There are only 150,000 of these awesomely stached ladies and gents left, due to the rapid decrease of suitable nesting areas, declining fish stocks, human over-fishing and mercury pollution.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed them as "near threatened." 

And if you were wondering if both males and females had mustaches, the answer is yes.

Where's Ripley's Believe It or Not for these thousands of bearded ladies? 

The Inca Tern isn't the only animal with a mustache. Check out this cat's mustache!

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