Bites at Animal Planet


6 Jul

Feeding Frenzy! Five Sharks Devour Sperm Whale Carcass (VIDEO)

While America was celebrating our nation's birth this weekend, the five sharks in the video below were going bananas over a sperm whale carcass off the coast of New South Wales, Australia.

According to the videographer and diver Brett Vercoe, three great whites and two tiger sharks were included in the frenzy which lasted for at least three hours.

Photo: YouTube image

The toothed sperm whale will eat about one ton of fish and squid a day.  On average, they grow to 49 to 67 feet in length and can weigh 35 to 45 tons. To put that into perspective - an average U.S. car is about TWO tons.

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5 Jul

Giant Shark Swings By For A Chat, Chaos Ensues

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from

These girls expected a nice, leisurely diving trip, but they got more than they bargained for. Twelve feet more, to be exact.

The girls were in a protective metal cage in Mossel Bay, South Africa, when a very curious visitor swam up: an 11.5-foot great white shark.

He seems to be quite hungry, as he immediately sets to work munching through the cage — while one of the girls screams.

"Hello, there." 

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18 Jun

New Species Proves Octopi are Smart - and Also Adorable

We know octopi are super smart, but this new species is definitely proving that they're also super adorable.

Known as the flapjack octopus, these guys are currently living at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, where they're being observed by Stephanie Bush, a postdoctoral researcher, Yahoo! News reports. Bush has the lucky task of naming the species and due to their super cute nature, she is considering naming them "Opisthotheusis Adorabilis." With big eyes and almost kitten-like ears, we think it would be quite fitting.

The flapjack octopus lives at depths up to 1,476 feet, which has been recreated at the research institute. One of the animals has already left eggs, but they may take up to three years to hatch.

Check out another octopus video below:

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15 Jun

Two Teens Attacked in Separate Shark Attacks at Nearby North Carolina Beach

ABC US News | World News 

A 16-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl suffered serious injuries after both were victims of shark attacks in Oak Island, N.C., ABC reports. The attacks happened on the same stretch of beach, only about 2 miles away, and within an about hour of each other. The mayor of the town, Betty Wallace, made a statement through Facebook.

One of the things we hope we never have to hear from a beach community; the shark bite victim is a teenage girl. ...

Posted by Mayor Betty Wallace on Sunday, June 14, 2015


Shark experts say the sharks were likely bigger sharks, such as tiger or bull sharks, and that it is possible it may have been the same shark, given the distance between attacks and the close time frame which the incidents occurred. 

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11 Jun

Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Pacific White-Sided Dolphin: It's a Boy!

Piquet and Calf
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium recently announced the gender of a new Pacific white-sided dolphin calf born June 1: it's a boy! This spirited calf has already accomplished numerous milestones that are vital to a young calf's first days; from taking his first breath seconds after birth, to bonding with his mother and learning how to slipstream, which is a swimming technique that helps a calf save energy by swimming in its mothers wake.

This marks the second pregnancy for the aquarium's 27-year-old female dolphin, Piquet. The first calf Sagu, born in 2012, is doing well and flourishing at the Shedd Aquarium. 

The new calf has weighed in at about 25-30 pounds and is 3 feet long. Experts and veterinarians will continue to monitor the calf and his mother during this critical first period, and they will be away from the public for the time being. For updates, check out Shedd's website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about dolphins, go to our Ultimate Guide to Dolphins or view the videos below:


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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:

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.


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.


15 May

A Monster Find: Warm-Blooded Opah Fish Discovered Deep in Pacific Ocean

In what is quite the discovery, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers found the first warm-blooded fish living deep in the Pacific Ocean, according to USA Today.

The Opah, unlike other fish, generate heat when they swim and have special blood vessels that distribute warmth throughout their disc-shaped bodies. Along with this, the Opah (considered deepwater predators) have "counter-current heat exchangers" in their gills that work to lessen heat loss and keep their body temperature above the water temperature as they swim 250 feet undersea, USA Today reported.

The opah isn't the only fish to warm it's body while swimming. Apparently tuna and sharks are known to temporarily warm their swimming muscles. However, the difference is that the opah can warm its entire body, similar to whole-body endothermy, which is how mammals and birds distinguish themselves from fish and reptiles.

Thanks to its warm-blooded talent, the opah is able to swim at faster speeds, something not common of deep, cold-water fish. Because of this, the opah benefits from quicker swimming, better vision and quicker responses - allowing it a better chance at survival.


Check out the latest River Monsters clip:

This post is part of our special MONSTER NEWS coverage for MONSTER WEEK! Check out related articles here and watch video highlights in anticipation of Monster Week, starting May 17, only on Animal Planet.


12 May

Mary Lee the Great White Shark Has Traveled 20,000 Miles - and Become a Social Media Darling Along the Way

Mary Lee, a great white shark with her own Twitter account, has been traveling up and down the Eastern coast to the delight of fans and continues to send "pings" to let her followers know where she's at.

Mary Lee is part of a shark tracking program by OCEARCH that is dedicated to tracking more than 100 sharks around the world, according to the Babylon Village Patch. Mary Lee was first tagged off Cape Cod in 2012, and was named after one researcher's mother. Check out the video of her being tagged below:

While the Mary Lee Twitter account isn't run by OCEARCH, it's fulfilling the same goals as the research organization: making sharks less scary by studying their habits.

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