Bites at Animal Planet

Oceans

30 Jul

300-Pound Grouper Caught Off the Coast of Florida

"I was able to swim along side this beautiful animal and even touch its huge scales. After a few minutes of this close...

Posted by The Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's a week of giants for Florida! First the 18-foot python, now this: a gargantuan grouper. On Monday, Florida doctor Sam Gerson went out on Cape Canaveral, Florida with a fishing charter. Little did he know he was going to make the catch of a lifetime. After dropping his line over a shipwreck site, he felt a nibble almost instantly.

"I dropped my line in and within seconds of hitting bottom, I felt a strong jerk. As I started reeling in, the rod bent until the tip was almost in the water. Soon I wasn’t reeling, but instead holding on for dear life as line was running out of the spool at an alarming speed," he told The Huffington Post.

After an hour of reeling, the massive grouper, nicknamed "The Dinosaur," breached the surface. According to their fishing guide, the fish weighed at least 300 pounds and could be more than 50 years old.

After snapping a pic next to his catch, Gerson let "The Dinosaur" back into his watery domain. 

Watch Jeremy Wade catch his own gigantic grouper here!

30 Jul

Seal Frolics With Friendly Dog, Boops His Nose

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from thedodo.com)

Seals and dogs are both notoriously friendly, so it's little surprise that they'd become friends upon meeting.

A recent video shows a curious seal and playful dog bonding over some shared beach playtime. The little seal glides through the breaking waves while the dog bounces in and out of the surf. At one point, the seal appears to "boop" the dog on the nose repeatedly with his flipper.

YouTube/JukinVideo

Dogs and pinnipeds appear to have a special gift when it comes to crossing species barriers. Just last week we saw a dog try to befriend a pod of dolphins, and a sea lion trying to drown a group of divers in cuddles.

You can watch the full video below.

 

Continue reading >

29 Jul

Bold Dolphin Shows Man Just What He Thinks of His Phone

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

A group of men was soaking up the scenery from a fishing boat, gliding smoothly across the beautiful waters near South Australia.

The sun was shining, the scenery was idyllic. Wild dolphins followed the boat, adding to the picturesque majesty of the moment.

"Look at that! That's amazing," someone says about the dolphins swimming alongside their vessel.

"He's showing off," another says.

One man tries to capture the dolphin on his cell phone camera, leaning slightly over the side of the boat.

The adorable dolphin, with his permanently jovial expression, follows, looking up at him, almost posing.

Then the little dolphin ... just leaps out of the water and tries to swipe the guy's cell phone.

Continue reading >

28 Jul

Dog Confronts Dolphin Who was Rude to His Human

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

Dogs have been shown to be especially friendly around dolphins they meet in the wild, almost as if they consider them kindred spirits who just happen to live in the ocean. But as magical as some of their interactions have been in the past, our canine companions do have a line their dolphin buddies dare not cross.

Don't mess with their humans.

YouTube/rbansupport

A girl swimming off the coast of Galway, Ireland, recently had a rather unpleasant encounter with the region's most disgruntled locals. Dusty the dolphin, as she is sometimes called, has garnered a reputation in recent years for hanging out near popular beaches where she's known to occasionally ram into beachgoers.

Nobody is really sure why Dusty gets aggressive, but swimmers have been warned to keep their distance if they see her approaching. Apparently, this young lady didn't get the message.

 

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27 Jul

Bold Beachgoers Leap into Action to Save a Shark in Distress

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

The mere sight of a sharp-toothed aquatic predator lurking in the water is usually enough to send most folks scrambling back to dry land — but not these brave beachgoers. They know that sometimes even "scary" animals need a helping hand.

Earlier this week, brothers Marcus and Logan Lakos were amongst dozens of people out enjoying a day in the sun at Henderson Beach State Park in Florida when they spotted a swimmer in distress — specifically, a hammerhead shark. It would be hard to fault anyone for wanting to flee to safety or wait and hope that the large animal would swim away, but the Lakos boys' reaction was quite the opposite, and they convinced others to join them.

"I started pulling it in and it was kind of scary, but hammerhead sharks aren't really that dangerous to humans. Knowing that, I pulled it in," Logan told news station WJHG. "Everyone else was freaking out so it was hard to bring him in. But once people started realizing we were trying to help it, some of the other guys around were all crowding around it and trying to help it."

YouTube/FlyAlb

Once the shark was up on the sand, the source of her distress was clear — two hooks and a fishing lure were embedded in her mouth. Although those painful remnants meant she had survived previous run-ins with humans, they no doubt impeded her ability to eat, and potentially opened her up to infections.

Soon enough, Logan and Marcus were joined by dozens of other people on the beach who shunned their fear of sharks to come to her aid.

Continue reading >

25 Jul

Dog Tries His Best to Fit in with a Group of Dolphins

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

Louie is clearly an outgoing sort of pup, the type who's eager to get acquainted with everyone he meets — but some friendships just weren't meant to be.

Footage posted on YouTube this week shows the dog, encouraged by his human on shore, trying to introduce himself to a group of passing dolphins.

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 10.18.09 AM

With all the awkward excitement of an outsider who really wants to fit in, Louie dog-paddles as fast as he can toward the pod — only to have them pass him by without appearing to take much interest. Poor Louie.

In the watery realm that dolphins call home, dogs can never be more than a visitor — but that doesn't stop friendly pets like Louie from trying.

Watch more unusual animal friends here!

24 Jul

Stranded Orca Cries as Rescuers Try to Save Her

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

Helplessly caught in a pile of rocks, a little orca started to cry for help.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 4.41.24 PM

Just off the coast of Canada, a man spotted the desperate orca on Wednesday and knew he had to do something. He called for help and soon a group of Guardians from Hartley Bay, British Columbia, joined people from For Whales to voyage out and help the orca, who had been trapped for hours, according to a Facebook post.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 4.42.48 PM

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23 Jul

Turtle Saved from Soup Pot by Costa Rican Police

A green sea turtle was rescued last week by Judicial Investigation Police after they received a tip by a neighbor, according to The Tico Times. The 264-pound turtle was found on its back and bound in a private home. It was suffering from six harpoon wounds, inflicted during its capture. This is the second sea turtle in three weeks to be rescued from ending up in someone's bowl. The first was found in the trunk of a car and suffers from critical injuries, including a harpoon wound to its lung. 

These turtles are captured and eventually sold to be put in turtle soup. Green sea turtles are already listed on the endangered species list and if the harvesting of both their meat and eggs doesn't stop, this species could disappear forever. They are protected by the Sea Turtle Conservation and Protection Law and those found poaching the creatures can face up to three years in prison.

Both are being rehabilitated at the Jaguar Rescue Center.

 Learn more about protecting sea turtles here!

23 Jul

104-Year-Old 'Granny' Orca Spotted Leaping Wildly Out Of The Ocean

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

famous 104-year-old orca has made another big splash this week, and a lucky photographer caught her on camera.

Just off the coast of Vancouver, Canada, Granny breached brilliantly as she led her pod through a narrow pass between islands, and Gary Sutton snapped the glamour shots, which Wild Whales Vancouver posted to its Facebook page.

Gary Sutton

Arguably one of the world's most known animals, Granny, or J2, made waves last year when the discovery of her age (then a ripe 103) spoke to how long orcas can thrive in the wild, as opposed to captivity.

"It was a pretty incredible experience," Gary Sutton, of Wild Whales Vancouver, told The Dodo. "I saw this whale breach almost completely out of the water twice in a row and assumed it was a younger animal because of the crazy air time but when I looked closer later on and matched up the eye patch and chin clip to older photos, I realized it was the matriarch herself!" Sutton has never seen Granny being that active before, he said, and to catch the moment on camera was pretty special. "At approximately 104 years old, seeing her lead her pod out of Active Pass with a breach like that is something I'll never forget."

Gary Sutton

Granny's birthday is thought to be in 1911 — that's astoundingly before World War I and before the Titanic sank. The discovery of her birthday added to the already concerned public's evidence against keeping intelligent marine mammals like orcas in captivity, and brought potentially bad news for SeaWorld, which profits off such practices.

The latest images of the ancient orca are a reminder of how truly majestic these animals are — especially when they're allowed to live their long lives in the wild.

Read more about how scientists know how old Granny is here. And follow Gary Sutton's fantastic pictures on Instagram.

Continue reading >

22 Jul

Sheep of the Sea are the Cutest Slugs We've Ever Seen

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from thedodo.com)

Move over, sea bunnies. The sea sheep are here. 

This little sea slug — known as the leaf sheep or, more formally, Costasiella kuroshimae — certainly is stunning. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to a cartoon land sheep, the leaf sheep is a species of sacoglossan sea slug that has the unusual ability to photosynthesize.

Imgur

Leaf sheep retain the chloroplasts from the food they eat and use them to manufacture their own energy — just like a plant would. The process, known as kleptoplasty, is only found in certain sacoglossan sea slugs. While leaf sheep aren't particularly good at photosynthesizing, some species can live for months on photosynthesis alone.

The sheep slugs, which are found near Japan, also come in different color variations. This one looks like an artichoke.

Imgur

If you need to see one in motion, here's a handsome leaf sheep roaming across a wide expanse of leaf. As you can see, they're very tiny — only a few millimeters long.

Oceans are pretty cool, right? Learn more about its fascinating creatures here!

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