Bites at Animal Planet

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22 Apr

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

OH MY GONZO.  

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

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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. 

Llama2-500w
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.  

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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

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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. 

DC-geese-FB-500
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

Squirrel

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!

9 Mar

Mammal March Madness, for the Science Sports-Lover in You

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Did you know that March Madness was first applied to mammals? It didn't have its humble beginnings in basketball, like most may think. 

Male-to-male competition of European hares over females in breeding season gave way to that coined title: March Madness. Hares aiming for females, athletes aiming for baskets, it seems to fit. 

Today's March Madness is an NCAA college basketball competition with its well-known bracketing system, separating teams into four divisions. So, according to Discovery News, in honor of the tournament, Harvard professor of evolutionary biology, Katie Hinde, and three of her colleagues, organized a competition of mammal proportions! 

Instead of the NCAA Tournament, Hinde and friends give you "Mammal March Madness!" And instead of regional divisions, the team separates 64 animals in these categories: "Sexy Beasts," "Mythical Mammals," "Mighty Mini Mammals" and "Critically Endangered."

Continue reading >

5 Mar

10 Polar Bears Who Totally Understand How Sucky This Weather is

The East Coast has been pummeled by an intense amount of snow this winter season - with more on the way today. These 10 polar bears know exactly how we're feeling.

1) Wait. HOW many inches are coming?

   FOOTT.00239

2) Please tell me why this is happening!

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Continue reading >

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