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25 Nov

First Footage of a Monster from the Deep

What's believed to be first ever footage of a live, female anglerfish swimming at extreme depths has been recorded by researchers with the Monterey Bay Research Institute.  

AnglerfishThis species of anglersfish is known as the black seadevil. These terrifying-looking fish live in the deep ocean where no light reaches. The females have an appendage on their head with a bioluminescent tip. The glowing tip lures in potential prey just like lure on the end of a fishing pole, hence the name "anglerfish."

No one knows why so many creatures from the deep look like horror movie monsters. Perhaps our image of monsters is influenced by the human species' deep instinctual fear of the dark, cold depths of the ocean where we could never survive. Luckily, anglerfish are harmless to people. 

Regardless of human impressions of them, anglerfish are a fascintating species, as this video proves.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation.  

22 Nov

Dolphin Laughs at Cartwheeling Girl

There's no way that there's not some form of interspecies communication going on in this video. A member of FunDipped Productions, an Orlando based circus theatre company, decided to do bit of a routine in front of the viewing window of a dolphin enclosure. She definitely got the dolphins' attention.

What do you think, is the dolphin in the video experiencing joy at her acrobatics?

 

 

 

Dolphin acrobat
An acrobat performs for a dolphin.

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

20 Nov

Watch a Lion "Sleep Roar"

You've heard of sleep walking, but what about sleep roaring?

If you have a pet dog, you know that canines dream. You've probably seen your dog flipping his or her paws, breathing heavily and maybe even barking--all while sound asleep.

This video is the cat version of that:

The lion's name is Hercules and he lives in Colorado at a facility called Wild Animal Sanctuary which specializes in rescuing large carnivores. Large carnivores such as big cats, bears and wolves face euthanization more than any other group of captive wild animal due to the high cost of feeding them and the extreme danger associated with caring for them.  

(Sidenote: please don't try to get a big cat, bear, wolf--or any other kind of wild animal--as a pet. It's not cool and usually end badly for the animal. Getting to live in a wildlife sactuary like Hercules did is the rare exception.)

They had this to say about the video:

"...he sometimes dreams of roaring while he is sleeping. Much like dogs do (where they dream of barking or running in their sleep), lions also have vivid dreams, and Hercules is having one heck of a wild dream!"

What do you think lions dream about?

Lion sleeproar

Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

18 Nov

Baby Goose Jumps Off Cliff - Dramatic Video

Life is tough in the wild. Baby barnacle geese learn that the hard way when leaving the nest for the first time. Check out this dramatic video of what barnacle geese goslings are up against when it comes time to strike out into the great big world. Talk about extreme cliff diving!

Barnacle geese are birds of the north. Their spring breeding grounds are the rocky cliffs in Greenland, Norway and Russia. In winter they fly south to England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands. 

As a species their populations are doing well. 

12178665936_7a85924b8b_bBarnacle geese. Photo by Åsa Berndtsson via Flickr Creative Commons.

 Protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

 

 

11 Nov

Elephants Get Ahold Of GoPro, Create Perfect Short Film

When elephants stumble across a GoPro left by tourists, they react just like any human would.  Find out about Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, where the adorable close-ups happened and read The Dodo's full account of the encounter.

  Elephant-gopro-video
Photo: YouTube video by Sue Bowern Zambezi Safaris

By Melissa Cronin

When a herd of elephants at a watering hole in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, stumbled across a tourist's GoPro camera, they reacted, understandably, like the rest of us would: by rushing over to touch it. One hurried over immediately.

Continue to the Full Report at The Dodo >>

 

Continue reading >

10 Nov

Sweet, Compassionate Dog Tries to Save His Fish Friends

When a few poor, unfortunate fish are stuck high and dry, one sweet pup takes action to try and save them! This video is a true testament of the heart of man's best friend:

Good boy — we LOVE you, puppy!! You're a HERO!

Continue reading >

8 Nov

Meet Munchkin, the Cutest Shih Tzu in a Teddy Bear Costume EVER

Miss Halloween? Well, fortunately, dressing up pets in TOO CUTE costumes is totally OK year-round — we promise! Meet Munchkin — the most adorable teddy bear Shih-tzu we have ever seen! Watch and melt:

He even has a Facebook page so you can keep up with all the ADORABLE teddy action! Like his page >>

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.59.32 PM


... WE LOVE YOU, MUNCHKIN.

 

30 Oct

Bats Need Love Too

Halloween is upon us, and what animal is more a symbol of the holiday than the bat? It's also Bat Week, a designation created to help raise awereness about how awesome bats are, how important they are to us, and to help people realize that most of what you THINK you know about them is wrong. Read on to have all of your bat myths dispelled!

3642531568_a1a9253ef2_bPhoto by Mark Evans via Flickr Creative Commons.

Did you know?

  • Bats are diverse. With over 1,000 species, bats are the most diverse group of mammals.
  • Bats are not rodents. They're not even closely related to rodents. They belong to the mammal order Chiroptera (rodents belong to the order Rodentia), so calling them "flying rats" is flat-out wrong.
  • Bats eat more than mosquitoes. Some bats do eat mosquitoes, but that's not all they eat. Most species in North America feed primarily on insects and help control populations of beetles and moths that are agricultural pests. Other species feed on flower nectar and are important pollinators. Some eat fruit. There are other species that specialize in feeding on fish, frogs or small mammals. And of course, there are three species of vampire bat that feed on the blood of other animals.
  • Bats aren't blind. All bat species have eyes and none are blind. Many species do primarily rely on echolocation to find their prey.
  • Bats won't get tangled in your hair. Bats sometimes swoop close to people, likely in an effort to catch mosquitoes trying to bite us, and so it's possible that behavior inspired this myth.
  • Bats are not dangerous. While bats can carry rabies like most other mammals, your chances of being bitten by a rabid bat are exceedingly low. That chance goes down to zero if you never try to handle a bat. A bat can't bite you if it doesn't touch you, and the only way that will happen is if you try to touch it. Here's how to remove a bat (or bats) that get into your home.
  • Bats are in trouble. Over six million bats have died in North America in just the last few years. The deadly killer is a disease known as white-nose syndrome that mysteriously appeared in 2006 and proceeded to wipe out mass numbers of bats. Biologists are still trying to figure out what white-nose syndrom is and how to stop it.
  • Bat boxes do work. Many people try to help bats by putting out bat boxes, only to be disappointed when bats don't move in. Bats boxes do work, but you have to have the correct model and you have to mount it properly. Here's a good tutorial on building and mounting a bat box.

So there you have it: bats are awesome! If you're still not convinced, watch this video of an orphaned bat responding to its caretakers, and your heart will melt. 

  

 Adopt a Bat with the National Wildlife Federation.

24 Oct

This is Why You Shouldn't Ever Run From a Bear

 If you encounter a bear in the wild, you should never run from it.  Here's why.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

This video from KTUU.com had this caption:

"Billy Adrian says he was in a vehicle driving at about 25 to 30 mph along Dead Man's Curve in Kodiak when he and other vehicles saw a brown bear 'just running' alongside the road Thursday."

Bears have no problem sprinting at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Humans aren't even half as fast.

Tips for hiking in bear country:

  • Do research and know if bears are active in the area you're hiking.
  • Make noise while you're hiking to alert bears to your presence. Bears generally avoid people and dangerous encounters are more likely to happen if you surprise a bear.
  • Carry bear spray.
  • Don't hike alone, or at a minimum make sure others know where you are hiking and when you should arrive at your destination.
  • If you encounter black bear clap and yell to scare the bear away, and slowly back away from it. Black bears are afraid of people and will run away if they can. 
  • If you encounter a brown (grizzly) bear slowly back away but don't try to intimidate it. Grizzlies will attack if they feel threatened so trying to scare one away like you would a black bear could actually trigger an attack. If attacked by a grizzly, play dead so that the bear no longer sees you as a threat.
  • Never run from a bear, which could stimulate its predatory instinct to chase you.
  • Most importantly, remember that bear attacks are extremely rare. You have more chance of being injured or killed driving your car to the grocery store than you ever would from a bear.

15074449878_485aa9132d_kPhoto by Sandy Brown Jensen via Flickr Creative Commons.

Adopt a bear and protect wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation. 

22 Oct

Meet the Hellbender

Just in time for Halloween, I introduce you to the hellbender.

No, it's not one of Satan's minions or a CGI monster. It's a type of salamander native to the streams and rivers of eastern North America.  Despite its demonic-sounding name, this spectacular amphibian is completely harmless to people. Yet the species is rapidly declining due to human activity such as deforestation, erosion and chemical runoff into our streams--which is the real horror story.

Watch this video put out by the Forest Service and partners about one of North America's most fascinating and little-known wild animals.

 

The Last Dragons - Protecting Appalachia's Hellbenders from Freshwaters Illustrated on Vimeo.

Here's a close up of the ancient beauty of the hellbender, an animal perfectly adapted to and camouflaged in its environment.

8438953051_43b48a7076_k
Photo by Brian Gratwicke via Flickr Creative Commons. 

Save Appalachian streams and the hellbenders that live in them with National Wildlife Federation.

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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