Bites at Animal Planet

Web/Tech

1 Feb

Eagles Trained to Take Out Drones

 

Drone technology has hit the mass market, and the flying devices seem to be everywhere. While commercially available drones are legal and regulated, not everyone is a fan of them. There are concerns that drones could interfere with commercial aircraft, be used for illegal spying and surveillance, or even used in terror attacks.

Dutch police are exploring a new solution for responding to problematic use of drones: training eagles to take down the flying machines. The video above highlights this unique lo-tech solution to a high-tech problem.

Even if you don't speak Dutch it's pretty obvious that a small to medium-sized drone wouldn't stand much of a chance against a trained eagle. 

You can read more about this unique program on IEEE Spectrum website. 

Golden Eagle Tony Hisgett Flickr
Photo by Tony Hisgett via Flickr Creative Commons.

Adopt and Eagle with the National Wildlife Federation.

21 Dec

First Litter of Puppies Born via In Vetro Fertilization

Science is constantly evolving and breaking barriers. This month, another threshold was surpassed as scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and researchers at Cornell University announced that they successfully used in vitro fertilization to produce a litter of domestic puppies after nearly 40 years of failed attempts. 

A total of 19 embryos were transferred to the host female pup who gave birth during the summer. Her litter of seven included two pooches from a beagle mother and a cocker spaniel father, and five from two pairings of beagle fathers and mothers.

"The seven healthy puppies born as a result of this work represent hope for their endangered counterparts," said SCBI research biologist Nucharin Songsasen in the SCBI's press release regarding the breakthrough. "We collect and freeze ovarian tissue and sperm when genetically valuable individuals die. Now we are one step closer to applying in vitro technologies to endangered canids, which should ensure their survival even while the populations continue to decline in the wild."

On the list of canines biologists hope to preserve is the dhole, also known as the Asiatic wild dog, red dog, or whistling dog. The species is native to eastern and southern Asia and is marked as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature thanks to the depletion of their prey, disease transmission from domestic dogs and habitat loss.

Cuon alpinus (Dhole)

According to SBIC, perfecting this process also opens up doors for eradicating heritable diseases in not only dogs, but humans as well. Researchers affirm that canines share more than 350 heritable disorders and traits with humans, a number almost twice that of any other species. Learning more about the genetic intricacies of diseases may lead to more than cures. 

“With a combination of gene editing techniques and IVF, we can potentially prevent genetic disease before it even starts,” said Alex Travis, associate professor of reproductive biology in the Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Take a closer look at the adorable miracles below:

The pups born were largely created by Beagle parents. Learn more about the breed: 

9 Dec

The Animals Behind the Sounds of Star Wars

In 1977, George Lucas created an entire universe from scratch. The birth of the Star Wars franchise was also the birth of Ben Burtt's legendary career as a sound engineer. Burtt who has contributed to every Star Wars movie and subsequent video game and TV show since the beginning, capitalized on the plethora of sounds the natural world offers to bring Star Wars to life.

Check out some of the iconic Star Wars sounds and the curious animals behind them.

Chewbacca: 

According to Burtt, the infamous voice of everyone's favorite Wookiee was created using "mostly bears, with a dash of walrus, dog, and lion thrown in". Star Wars fans insist, however, that Burtt got more creative than he cared to admit. They argue Burtt also enlisted the help of camels, badgers, tigers and even rabbits. 

TIE Fighters: 

Now listen to this: 

Quite similar, no? In fact, the TIE fighter sounds were created using the howls and yells of elephants. All Burtt did was stretch them out and slow them down.

Tusken Raiders:

Now listen to this: 

Burtt and his crew made minimal manipulations to the donkey bray to create the desired sound. Just a bit of deepening and speed adjustment and voila. 

The Sarlacc:

While the Sarlacc noise is mainly an orchestra of the sound crew's growling stomachs, the base effect used was an alligator's hiss. 

Tauntaun:

Now listen to this: 

This one may be harder to hear, but the sounds of the Tauntauns were created by manipulating the vocal stylings of an Asian sea otter named Moda.

Acklay Screech: 

Now listen to this: 

To create the screech of one of the most terrifying monsters from The Battle of Geonosis, Burtt called upon sounds from pigs and dolphins.

Excited for the franchise to continue? So are these pups: 

26 Nov

Manny the Frenchie Makes Most Adorable Visit to Sick Fan

It's no secret that Manny the Frenchie is an internet sensation. His Instagram is inching closer and closer to hitting one million followers, a mark hit some time ago on his massively popular Facebook page. Not to mention, he's quite the avid Puppy Bowl fan. However, it's not just about the glitz and glam of stardom for the precious pooch. 

Recently, Manny traveled to Louisiana to bring a smile and a sloppy wet kiss to the face of a true survivor. Joycelun, one of Manny's biggest fans, suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and had no idea her favorite pup was coming to visit. Check out the incredible surprise below: 

Bites @ Animal Planet had the opportunity to chat with Manny about his travels and what it meant to bring some joy to Joycelun. 

Bites: What made the email about Jocyelun stick out in your inbox? Was there ever any hesitation in making this surprise happen for her?  

Manny: We receive a couple hundred emails like this every month and although I wish I could help every single human and animal that emails me, unfortunately I can't. This particular email stood out because it was regarding a disease that affects only humans and not animals. Katie showed us how much Joycelun loved looking at my pics and how much I help cheer her up when she is in pain. After learning more about Cystic Fibrosis and what Joycelun has endured her whole life, there was no hesitation to visit her.  My mommy and daddy decided that instead of a regular visit, we wanted to surprise her and capture her reaction. 

Continue reading >

25 Nov

Pups Making Thanksgiving Dinner Stress Free and Easy

Thanksgiving dinner is never a walk in the park. There's a table to set and decorated, in-laws to chat up, and an entire feast to cook. Luckily, some have an extra hand--or paw-- to make the holiday preparation much easier.

The potatoes need to be boiled, but watching the pot is quite annoying when there's a football game on and there's pumpkin ales to be had. Steve the Goldendoodle is the perfect Thanksgiving assistant and will gladly keep an eye on the stove while you enjoy a few minutes away from your kitchen duties.

Mashing and mixing get tiring. You may be cramping up and need to give your joints a breather from the basting and stirring. When you've got a pooch like this, there's no need to fight through the pain. Tap out and hand the duties over to this guy. 

It's a holiday, so you know people will be snapping pics left and right. The last thing you want to get caught with is an undecorated, uncoordinated, uninspired table setting. When in need, call up Buddy the Beagle and watch him work Pinterest-worthy magic. Unfortunately, his services go at a high rate of seven treats per hour. According to his Instagram, you won't be disappointed.

 

A photo posted by peaches (@peatzpit) on Oct 29, 2015 at 6:14pm PDT

Too caught up in the mashed potatoes and stuffing to realize you've left drops of gravy all over the kitchen? No big deal when you've got a pup like Peaches. Messes be gone! 

 

A photo posted by Rocco and Gianni (@demandingduo) on Nov 23, 2015 at 6:28pm PST

Even if your pup can't hold a spoon or put together a beautiful table, they sure can spice up your Thanksgiving with some holiday spirit. Everyone loves a good festive hat, right?

Cats try to help in the kitchen, but it seems like they're in it for themselves this holiday season. 

20 Nov

Robot Cats are a Real Thing Now

Hasboro is taking technology to the next level this holiday season with JoyForAll, a branch of their multimillion dollar corporation. They have officially introduced their new product: Companion Pets. They hope inspire "spontaneous smiles, laughter, and warm memories" with their line of animatronic animals.

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Hasbro.com

The product is targeted at seniors who may not be capable of taking care of a pet, though it could be convenient for anyone who craves feline friendship and kitty cuddles. Forget being allergic or breaking your lease agreement, now everyone can have a cat! Unfortunately, your animatronic cat won't look like Bub, Hamilton, or Sam. There are currently only three options to choose from: Creamy White Cat, Silver Cat with White Mitts and Orange Tabby Cat.

Fear not, the company website declares that the cats look, feel and sound like an actual kitty, with the capability of responding to human touch. Each cat has five built-in sensors to insure an interpersonal relation between owner and cat, as well as "VibraPurr", which is cited to sound and feel like real purring. 

 Learn more about the kitties below:

More inclined to adopt a living cat over an animatronic one? Check out a few adoptables on Kittem Cam!


Live video by Animal Planet L!ve

16 Nov

Instagram Pups Giving Us Serious #BeardGoals This November

Move over hipsters and mountain men and bow down to the dogs that are slaying the scruff this month! They may have more hair to work with, but the internet is buzzing with pictures of canines rocking flawless facial hair and it's time they got the credit they deserve. 

First up, the class act that is Izzy the Schnauzer.

 

A photo posted by Izzy (@izzythegiantschnauzer) on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:08am PST

Izzy may be playing coy, but that curly goatee on display is enviable for sure. Just look how it glistens in the sunlight. It's perfect for the fall. 

 

A photo posted by • o w e n • (@owenthegriff) on Nov 12, 2015 at 4:02pm PST

Owen, on the other hand, came to the party 100% ready for his beardy close up. His bowtie exudes class, but his wild scruff says, "Don't worry, I can be chill too". 

Continue reading >

15 Oct

Wonder What Your Pets Do While You're Away? New Camera Captures Their Every Move

Minifront_white

Ever wonder what your pets do all day while you're away? Now you can finally solve the mystery!

EZVIZ, a North American company spun off from the world’s largest and most trusted security video suppliers, has created a new wireless camera that allows you to see what's going on in your home from the convenience of your phone. No more wondering which pup got into the trash or whether or not your cat actually moved from its napping spot all day.

The EZVIZ “Mini” Indoor Wi-Fi camera weighs in at 4 ounces, has a sleek white design, sets up and connects easily, and comes with a magnetic base that allows you to attach it to different places without complicated installation or wall damage. And at a cost point of less than $70, it's a relatively inexpensive way to monitor those furry little friends you have trouble leaving when you head to work.

The camera records in 720p HD, can display night vision up to 30 feet, features a 115-degree viewing angle, and contains a built-in microphone.

Follow EZVIZ on Twitter at @ezvizlife or visit them on Facebook.

No more naughty pets while you're at work! Unlike this clever beagle...

 

14 Oct

Rescue Ferret Best Friends Can't Get Enough of Their New Life

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from thedodo.com)

Rescuing a pet is one of the most rewarding things, because you're giving an animal a brand new life that they've never known before.

Charlotte and Rumpel are two ferret best friends who went through multiple homes before they finally found their forever family together, with some occasional ferret foster siblings, too.

Their lives were unpredictable before they were rescued by their human, and now they love everything about their new life. There are so many activities for them to take part in ...

Such as napping...

 

Rumpel already went to bed, like a good boy that he is 😴

A photo posted by Pet Ferrets (@ferret_farm) on Jul 25, 2015 at 6:33pm PDT

Continue reading >

25 Sep

Watch Animals Attacking Drones

There is something about animals and drones that just doesn't mix...Want more awesome videos? Head to digg.com/video

Posted by Digg on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

 

We see a lot of animal videos here at Animal Planet. Every once in a while one comes across our screens that stands out from the rest.

This video of animals all shapes and sizes taking on drones is one of them. It's a great reminder that no matter how much technology we have, Mother Nature still wields tremendous power in the form of her beasts, and can destroy our machines with fangs, talons, claws and muscle.

That's not a bad reminder to get.

Watch this octopus actually steal a camera!

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