Bites at Animal Planet


28 Jul

Zoo Elephants Said to Have Too Much Junk in Their Trunk

Zoo keepers and researchers are faced with a very big problem. African elephants in captivity are reportedly becoming obese, which could have serious consequences for the species.  

Similar to what we see with humans, this obesity can lead to “the development of heart disease, arthritis, a shorter lifespan and infertility,” said Daniella Chusyd, M.A., a doctoral student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences. Because elephants in the wild are continuously threatened by loss of habitat and poaching, the infertility found in elephants in captivity is the most troubling side effect of the rising obesity issue.


Photo Credit: Thinkstock

With the threats that animals face in the wild, zoos remain one of the few ways to protect species from extinction. In the United States specifically, zoos need to average about six elephant births each year in order to maintain their current population. Currently, the birthrate is only about three births per year, which has raised worry that the elephants could disappear from zoos within the next 50 years, as reported by LiveScience.

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15 Jul

Untold Stories of the ER: Snapping Turtle Latches on and Won't Let Go

Our friends over at Discovery Fit & Health shared this crazy video with us from Untold Stories of the ER.

Patient Bo was noodling for catfish (just like our friends on Hillbilly Handfishin'!) when a 25-pound alligator snapping turtle latched onto his neck. Shouldn't be a problem to remove it, right?

Wrong. If the doctor harms or, worse, kills the turtle during removal, the catfishers risk serving jailtime according to the game warden who accompanied the group to the emergency room. Not to mention that pesky little detail of how strong the turtle is and the fact that it can hold its breath for an extended period of time.

Check out the video above, then watch some more awesome turtle videos.

13 Jul

Massive School of Anchovy Swarm Southern California Coast

A massive school of anchovy swarmed the waters of the Pacific Ocean near Scripps Pier at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego in La Jolla, Calif., last week on July 8. The incredible event was witnessed by many marine enthusiasts and beach goers — many of whom took to the waters.

Watch the video below and see the amazing lava-lamp-like ebb and flow of the school of fish as curious swimmers approach and as they ride the current:

Researchers haven't seen an event like this in over 30 years and have no explanation for its occurrence.  The school consisted of millions — possibly even over a billion — of the fish, called the Northern anchovy.

The anchovy returned the next day, Wednesday, and many swimmers, snorkelers and surfers hit the waters to take full advantage of the rare opportunity to swim with the phenomenon.  See the Scripps YouTube playlist for more footage of the amazing event >>

Photo: YouTube image 

The Northern anchovy is harvested off the West coast.  It is mostly used as bait by commercial fishermen.

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11 Jul

These Maine Coon Kittens Wish You a Happy Friday

Happy Friday, everybody! Only a few more hours stand between you and your weekend but those hours seem to drag. So, to make that time go by faster, here's a video of some Maine Coon kittens all moving their heads in unison:

Look at them go! You could watch for hours (but maybe you shouldn't).


Photo Credit: YouTube

For more adorable kittens, check out our Too Cute! Kittens playlist!

To learn more about Maine Coons, check out our Cat Breed Selector and check out the Cats 101 video about Maine Coons below:


10 Jul

Celebrate 'Don't Step On a Bee' Day! Save the Bees & Be Like a Bee Today

Today is national "Don't Step On a Bee Day" and we want to take a moment to honor our friend, the BEE.

Bees have been disappearing on a frighteningly large scale around the world, a phenomenon that has been dubbed "Colony Collapse Disorder" and we are at a tipping point, according to many researchers.  Since World War II, circa 1945, bee populations have declined from 4.5 million to 2 million, as of 2007. According to entomologist Marla Spivak in her below Ted Talk, the main threats to bees causing the decline are believed to be:

* Pesticides
* Parasites and disease
* Agricultural monocultures from modern farming practices
* An increasing flowerless landscape

Photo: Thinkstock

So, why should we care? Aside from bees being awesome, we should care because more than 1/3 of the world's crops depend on bee pollination. As bees have been dying over the last 50 years, we've increasingly needed them more and more — worldwide crop production dependent on bee pollination has increased by 300%.

See BEAUTIFUL close-up photos of bees >>

How can we help? Dr. Spivak offers two simple ways we can help bees:

* Plant bee-friendly flowers.
* Don’t contaminate them with pesticides.

Easy, right? We need to nourish a diversity of bee-friendly, flowering plants year-round — at home, in public spaces, roadsides and farmlands. However, some garden plants may be harmful to bees, depending on where you purchased them — so be sure you vet your source. Check out Discovery News for the full report >> 

"We need to diversify our farms. We need to plant flowering crop borders and hedge rows, to disrupt the agricultural food desert and begin to correct the dysfunctional food system that we’ve created," Dr. Spivak says. 

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9 Jul

Tiny Hedgehogs Have Tiny Birthday Party with Tiny Cake

In case you need a little pick-me-up during your work day, take a tiny moment for a tiny celebration with these teeny, tiny, adorable hedgehogs, celebrating the cutest, teeniest birthday! ... And, though the cake may be miniature (and hedgehog food), it still looks delicious! Where's my slice?!

Happy birthday, little guy!

Photo: YouTube image

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8 Jul

Too Cute Tuesday: Germany’s First Walrus Pup is Born


On June 15, an adorable, whiskered male walrus pup was born at Hamburg’s Hagenbeck Zoo. But this isn’t an ordinary walrus pup.

Why? Because he is the first and only walrus to be born in Germany. The zoo’s website states that this group of walruses (the pup’s mother and enclosure mates) came to them about a year ago from the Moscow Zoo to fulfill the dream of Tierpark Hagenbeck to host the only walrus breeding group in Germany. And their dreams have come true! This little guy doesn’t have a name yet, but it will be decided by zoo visitors.

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7 Jul

Goats and 'Jurassic Park' Come Together in This Hilarious Video

It's the Monday after a long weekend, so we all need a pick -me-up. And what better way to cheer yourself up than with a 36 second video of goats singing the Jurassic Park theme song? 


Music to our ears! Happy Monday, everybody.

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2 Jul

Bigfoot Hairs Ruled Out, but New Mystery Emerges

A cast of an alleged Bigfoot footprint. Image Credit: Cliff Barackman

Research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B claims that hair samples presented as evidence of Bigfoots did not actually come from the mythical creature. However, as the article from Discovery News states, those believed to belong to the Yeti actually uncovered another mystery - an ancient and new species of bear.

Is this difinitive proof that Bigfoot may not exist? No need to fret yet, Bigfoot believers.

Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News writes, "The study solely focused on hair samples, and did not address the footprints, photographs, recorded sounds and other 'evidence' purportedly linked to Bigfoot, the Yeti and similar supposedly human-like creatures."

Out of 57 hair samples provided, only 36 were tested. And as viewers see on Finding Bigfoot - there is a lot more evidence out there to be shared.

Read more about the research, what was found and more on Discovery News >>

So, what do you think? If you're a Bigfoot skeptic, does this confirm your disbelief? If you believe Bigfoot is still out there, does this change your mind in any way? Talk to us below in the comments and be sure to tune in Sunday, July 6 at 10PM E/P for an all-new episode of Finding Bigfoot!

2 Jul

Animal Planet L!VE Gets Patriotic!

It’s almost the 4th of July and that means our Animal Planet L!VE cams are getting decked out in all things red, white and blue to celebrate. Whether it be bunting in the cam's corner or an all-American blow out (here’s looking at you, Kitten Cam), Animal Planet L!VE is ready for the Fourth! Our ants on Ant Cam are even marching on to some classic patriotic music! Need more convincing? Here are some highlights of what you’ll find over at Animal Planet L!VE this Fourth of July weekend!

Kitty in a Hat
Our Kitten Cam is all dressed up and ready to party.

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