Bites at Animal Planet

Weird

22 Apr

New Species of Frog Discovered in Costa Rica Looks Like Kermit the Frog

OH MY GONZO.  

Kermit has a very real, translucent doppelganger! 

This muppet-colored amphibian with similar bulging white, black pupiled eyes and lanky limbs of Jim Henson's famous puppet, is a new species of glass frog: Hyalinobatrachium dianae. But even Miss Piggy herself is probably confusing the two. 

Scientist Brian Kubicki, founder of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center, and his team, discovered the frog in February in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. 

Instead of naming this look-alike after our beloved Kermit, however, this species' scientific name means "Diane's bare-hearted glass frog," after Brian's mother. Sorry, Kermie. 

The underbelly of the one-inch long amphibian (only 2.5 centimeters big!) is see-through. You can peer right on in to its insides! I'm talking organs, people. From its stomach to its tiny, beating heart. 

But even though it wears its heart on its belly, the bare-hearted glass frog is far from pleasant. According to Andrew Crawford, a batrachologist at the University of Los Andes in Colombia, this new species is quite territorial, fighting any males who trespass their territory. 

The team found six specimens so far, but we can be rest assure 

And to quote the green muppet to top it all off: "always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament."  

Alright, Animals!

Meet another potential interesting frog find:

3 Apr

11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Llamas

Llama1-500w
Photo: Thinkstock

Llamas are adorably weird creatures. And although you've seen them all over the Internet, here are 11 facts you probably didn't know about them.

1. Llamas are actually a close relative of the camel. But without the hump, the hump, the lovely little lump.

2. Llamas ears are shaped like bananas.

3. They don't only spit at humans. Llamas spit at each other to resolve misunderstandings in their own groups. If only that would solve all group dilemmas. 

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Photo: Veer

4. Llamas don't have hooves. They only have two toes on each foot with a leathery pad underneath. 

5. Baby llamas are called "crias." Mama llamas "dams," and papa llamas "sires." Yes. mhm, quite, sire. 

6. They weigh between 280 and 450 pounds. Oh my.

7. When llamas get pregnant, their pregnancy lasts 11 months to a year! And they have their babies standing up. The birth only lasts 30 minutes. 

8. Besides looking like a silly, short, hairy giraffe. Llamas are actually intelligent and incredibly easy to train.

9. People bring llamas to nursing homes as a form of therapy.  

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Photo: Veer

10. The fibres of llamas are fireproof.

11. And finally, llama dung is almost odorless. Holy crap.

1 Apr

Lamb Born in Russia With Human Face

 

 

Mother Nature Network posted a blog about a lamb born in Russia with a human face, and I have to admit that I first thought it was an April Fools' Day joke. But after watching the video above, it seems legit.

MNN reports:

Lamb deformed"The lamb does look disturbingly like a cranky grandpa. Its eyes and mouth are eerily human, with a large nose that gives it a cartoonish angry expression. The cause of the animal's deformities are not due to an aberrant farmer getting a little too cozy with one of his ewes, as some jokesters may suggest. Rather, they are likely the cause of a Vitamin A overdose, at least according to local veterinarian Dorofei Gavrilov, who is also from the village of Chirka in southwestern Russia where the lamb was born."

Often, animals born with deformities don't survive, but in this case, the little lamb doesn't seem to be negatively affected by its unique face and with human care, should have a normal life.

Read more about this bizarre lamb and its fate here.

 

Here's another example of a animal with a bizarre-looking deformity.

 

 

17 Mar

Squirrel Takes Leap of Faith

Squirrel

Not every day do you see a flying squirrel. Not every day do you see a grey squirrel do a flying squirrel impression. It just goes to show, when you really want something, you get it. Take this squirrel for instance...

 Watch Animal Planet LIVE's Wild Birds Cam (where squirrels often make cameo appearances)!

Continue reading >

16 Mar

Rescuers Help Puppy Stuck In Exhaust Pipe (VIDEO)

Leave it to a puppy’s curiosity to hand him in trouble.

One two-month-old pup almost found that out the hard way after getting stuck inside an exhaust pipe earlier this week in Thailand. Fortunately for the little guy, a group of rescuers came to its aid. Take a look at some footage captured from the scene:

As you can see from the clip, rescuers pulled out all the stops to help the puppy, going as far as to use some sort of power tool to cut the pipe. And it all paid off in the end!

See how this rescue compares to some of the greatest, and even weirdest, animal rescues captured on film!

11 Mar

Coolest Lizard EVER Jams on a Leaf Guitar

WE WANT AN ENCORE!

O-LIZARD-GUITAR-900

Photographer Aditya Permana stumbled upon a forest dragon lizard in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, strumming away at his guitar leaf. Permana watched the lizard for an hour before getting the shot, according to a Huffington Post article.

Word is out that people are asking for the lizard to perform at Coachella, Bonaroo and Firefly Festival this summer. JUST KIDDING!

Watch More Preposterous Pets Videos on AnimalPlanet.com!

28 Feb

Should We Watch Weathermen or Animals for Accurate Predictions of Weather?

Animal-instinct-weather-forecasters-BLOG-500w

"There will be a 90% chance of snow this evening, so gear up for a bad one, people." 

"Thank you, John. Now Rebecca, back to you with sports." 

We've all had that day, or several days, after watching the morning news and bracing for a storm or looking forward to a beautiful day, only to find that the weatherman was wrong. But we always hear stories of animals seeking safety and gearing up for weather changes before anything occurs. So, should we just watch the animals at the zoo? The pets in our home? Or the furry, flighty creatures in our backyards? Does animal instinct predict the weather better than meteorologists can? 

Well, yes and no. 

Animals have the ability to sense things we humans can't: changes in air and water pressure and high and low frequency sound vibrations, main indicators of weather change. 

For example, when a hurricane is brewing, sharks don't know what's happening, but they do know that the hydrostatic (water) pressure is changing, so they seek safety in deeper waters, Jessika Toothman from HowStuffWorks reports.

And elephants can sense earthquakes, or well, they can't sense earthquakes, but they can sense the changes in vibrations beneath their feet triggered from the shock waves produced from its epicenter. These unusual vibrations let them know something is up and they flee to safety. 

Continue reading >

23 Feb

Meet the Bobbit Worm and Get Ready for Nightmares

Bobbit Worm - Dinner time from liquidguru on Vimeo.

There are some creatures that are hard to believe aren't CGI creations from a sci-fi horror film. The bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois) is one of them.

Bobbit worms are giant invertebrates that lie in wait under the sand on the sea floor for an unsuspecting victim to swim or crawl too close. When that happens, they launch themselves upwards at speeds almost too fast for the human eye to see, grab their victim, and drag it to its death under the sand.

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Photo by Rickard Zerpe via Flickr Creative Commons.

Bobbit worms' terrifying mouth parts look like an unholy cross between the mouth of a Predator from the Schwarzeneggar movie and a sarlaac from Star Wars (although fortunately, they don't hunt humans for sport or take thousands of years to digest their prey).

They can grow to lengths of over 9 feet. They are venomous. They got their common name from the fact that because they attack their prey with such speed and force they often cut the fish in half, similar to a what abused wife Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband's man-parts. 

Here's another video showing the full body of a bobbit worm that was discovered lurking in an aquarium tank to add to the nightmare-fuel.

 

 Protect Wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation.

 

19 Feb

Odd Couple of the Day: Goat and Dog

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 1.35.17 PM

BFFs: Goat and Dog

This video went viral on social media, showing a white German Shepherd looking over and cuddling with a family's newborn baby Pygmy goat, a breed of miniature domestic goat. According to her owner, she took care of the adorable goat as if it were one of her puppies! Look at that face!

Watch videos of 'Animals In Love' on AnimalPlanet.com!

Watch another adorable goat and puppy in love on Too Cute!

12 Feb

Mysteries [Kind of] Explained: Why Cats Love Boxes

Etta-in-a-box
Tabby cat Etta: Resident Box-Welcoming Committee. (Photo by Jodi Westrick)

Any day I get a delivery from Amazon (or any site that sends shipments in boxes, really) is the best day in the eyes of my cats - particularly for my tabby Etta. As soon as I empty the contents and place the box on the floor, Etta makes her way to it and curls up for a nap.

What is it about boxes that's so appealing to our feline friends? In Wired's "What's Up With That" series, they explore several theories attempting to explain this cat behavior. So why do cats love boxes?

Here are the theories:

1) Boxes provide security.

According to the article, ethologist Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands has been studying the stress levels of shelter cats. In particular, she observed newly-arrived cats to Dutch shelters - a group of which was provided with boxes, and another group that was not.

Can you guess what happened?

Turns out, the cats with access to boxes were much less stressed out, were more willing to interact with humans, and got used to their new surroundings faster. So, it seems like those boxes your cat(s) love could be comforting spots for them.

Continue reading >

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