True Facts About The Seahorse


Like me, you probably need more reasons to judge animals on features and skills over which they have no control. Especially the seahorse.

We’ve spent so much time on the lowly pandas and squirrels, that we’ve hardly touched on this hopelessly inefficient swimmer what with its “Denny’s menu” of  dorsal fin. Where we, ANTP, has failed, Ze Frank provides you with a thoughtful video with scoop on nature’s most romantic predator.

Check out some True Facts About The Sloth, Baby Echidna and  Angler Fish. Thanks to io9 for keeping me hip to the latest in snarky animal videos.

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Python Challenge 2013: Snake Jihad, Snakepocalypse Vid


 

Of the 400 people who have signed up for the challenge that start tomorrow, this is the guy I know will not succumb to unpreparedness.

I predict this guy will murderhouse at least 5,000 snakes by the end of this weekend. Most of them likely to be Burmese pythons.

How many weapons does one man need? All of them.

Whacking Month in the Everglades, Python Challenge 2013


Here’s what I know about this so far:

  • It takes place in the Everglades where the nonnative Burmese Python is wrecking the ecosystem and proliferating faster than the rabbits I want to compare them to.
  • There will be two main prizes: $1000 for biggest snake and $1500 for most Burmese Pythons caught.
  • No, you cannot just cut up and sew together several snakes together to win $1000. You’d know that if you’d read the instruction manual.
  • Hundreds of people ranging from professional hunters to complete amateurs are bringing all types of weapons to this month-long extravaganza. All ages welcome!

I get the feeling that this will not go well for someone. Not for the obvious reasons like the 17 footer found months ago or the kids, pets, and large animals the snakes have taken out. No, no. The real fear didn’t hit me ’til I read through the manual which seemed both comprehensive and patronizing all at once. Behold.

Python manual

If you see a python being consumed by another swamp monster, let it go.

So, I’m already wading through the fucking murky Everglades swamp and in the back of my mind thinking about the alligators that were in no addressed in the training AND I’m looking for pythons. Big, angry grand daddy ones. I have so much trouble keeping my footing in the shower that I’m already done with this challenge, but let’s just see what the rest of the amateurs will have to deal with.

There wasn't enough to worry about.

There wasn’t enough to worry about.

There are a plethora of non native species roaming about mixed in with native snakes that are poisonous and non poisonous and I really hope the 15 seconds you guys used scrolling through the images on the PDF helps you sort em all out (especially the endangered ones). They are all brownish and look like snakes. Write that down.

Put your hand in its mouth to fish out possible other pythons.

Put your hand in its mouth to fish out possible other pythons.

I had an issue with the handling methods in the photo until I realized that the snake is probably already dead. Just so you know though, kneading is not the proper way to dispatch a python – try a gun, a machete, or a captive bolt. Just be sure to, you know, be super careful with that while you’re faffing around the Everglades with your kids.

All that to say…I will be obsessed with this story for the next month, starting January 12th. Stay tuned!

Speaking of Parthenogenesis…


…did you know that turkeys are one of the few birds that delivers virgin births? Perhaps due to Lack of Journalism™, I never managed to find this out during my Turkey Knowledge Quest/FAQ. Learn about that a bunch of other pretty bizarre turkey trivia thanks to Discovery Channel “News”

Podcast: Denying Mermaids, Cee-Lo’s Cock…atoo, Lonesome George Isn’t Lonesome Any More


Rest In Peace, Lonesome George, may your journey be devoid of pesky tortoise chicks, full of god-fearing merpeople, and sprinkled with mangled feathers. Don’t worry because Chris’ friend’s obese cat will meet you in Animal Heaven shortly.

Sounds like a sadcast, but trust me it’s not.

 

 

Have an animal anecdote or shout out? Let us know and we will do it hard on the next codpast, people.

Podcast: Baby Rhinos, Baby-making Whales and Ugliest Dog Fraud


Aren’t you tired of the same dog breed monopolizing the competition? What would Benji think? Also, do humpback whales have any shame? Listen and contemplate your own thoughtful answers.

Animal Feature Blogathon: Arachnoquake


“You dumber than a box of hams.” -Expendable, Nameless Nobody #2

Although this blog is in dire need of actual content (namely “news”), I will perservere through and write about yet another 2-hour Syfy animal-themed Original Movie*. What horrorific gem are you letting me watch for you this time? Arachnoquake. The ever-pervasive ads tell me that this movie involves fire and spiders and a cast of characters I am guaranteed not to give a singular shit about. So, let’s begin.

What is that accent, expendable opening characters? Southern redneck or ebonics? The start of the movie already has me convinced that it’s not about to take itself seriously. In the woods of Louisiana, there’s a tiny spider crawling into a carton of non-spider eggs to be shipped, presumably into Town. Spiders perhaps from the smoking, unwholesome-looking cavern nearby. Don’t get bit by one or your skin will bubble and white pus will ejaculate itself violently at a nearby audience.  But that’s not our problem, fellow Orleaners, cause those cartons are a long way from…oh wait.

J: Does anything bad happen in New Orleans?

That’s dark, J. But a quick cut to a Gambit-esque, bad boy ladies man has me think everything’s going to be just fine. I can trust that our hero, a bartender or tourguide in his father’s swamp hustlin’ business, will lead the bubbly, blonde Unlikely Voice of Reason and the township to victory over eggy spiders. Oh, Neelix Paul’s dad, get your son to get his shit together while the movie rounds up the rest of the fodder, white noise, and spider bait for uninspired cameos.

J: And the plot thickens.

Me: Thinnens.

A family of frustrated mom and two even frustrateder teens (you can’t feed children to Syfy Original spiders) needs a tour guide because no one is at all put off by the fact that the old one practically burst into a hot sticky mess. Paul, the family, and spider nuggets drive until they hit a gassy sinkhole with a spider frightening-looking enough to warrant a closer look. It’s a good thing you teach grade school bio, mom, and you’re a mediocre golf player, senior citizen, or else the team might find themselves in a sinkhole full of trouble. Ah, well, despite everyone having phones and radios, the team somehow drives straight into a city completely devoid of human life due to blind spiders of various size and attitudes.

Driving away is the priority even at the expense of stopping from lack of gas, according to one paranoid rider. But fuck her cause Paul’s getting gas anyway, like a real hero. Real heroes make executive decisions like getting gas and hitting on moms and hiding in a supermarket with glass for walls. At least the market has expired  bugspray. Mister rider guy sir, did you not see the previews of this movie? The spiders are far too big and prone to spouting fire to use that crap.

J: So, he’s going to save them and then the business’ll pick up and he’ll be the hero?

Probably. It seems like the best he can do is give leadership authority to someone else while he unsuccessfully leads a senior citizen-less team outside to the tour trolley. The 2 second ad signifying the end of each commercial break promises fire-breathing spiders but here I am, looking at an empty set of a city, watching the characters beat each other up for control with no freaking spiders whatsoever. If I’m going to properly waste my time watching bad CGI, Syfy, I don’t want to see CGI dust and smoke from the earthquake cause as it stands now, this movie is lacking serious zazz. Spider guts jizzed onto the lens won’t do it either. Dad of the family is driving a bus of bouncy teens somewhere but that’s just to fulfill a minimum requirement of breasts and short shorts for this type of thing and you know it.

Anyway, what are we doing. The mom is having an asthma attack and Paul’s dad is pissed that there are spiders. The team and the dad head over to  the swamp to get an makeshift inhaler (?) and a refund for the tourists. As Blackguy McHood makes a speech about the fucked up nature of the situation, his ass gets ate very much samuel-l-jackson-in-deep-blue-sea-ly. That’s enough to get the crew on a boat and into the bayou. Just like Piranhaconda, this film has two bad guys: the spiders and Mr. Inabilitytomakeagooddecision.The spiders are expert swimmers and, for some reason I’l never understand, caw like hawks and auto-tuned hawks. Thankfully our heroes make it out of the boat in time to learn that the spiders breathe fire. Fire that smokes Paul’s dad but doesn’t seem like a reasonable defense against alligators. Tough break, spiders. I guess making them bullet proof and alligator proof like the piranhacondas would ask the audience to suspend too much disbelief.

Um, if dragons were real, then something like this could happen.

Post-commercial break, we find ourselves at the beginning of this movie, in the forest with idiots with guns (and I notice that we’re only halfway through this shitshow). The mom explains fire breathing spiders with science and frakking in a predictable way. It’s a brainless creature filled with fuck, gas and eggs and fire and ability to alter time itself as a man on fire slow-motion spins to draw out the effect of being alive and on fire. It occurs to me that these would make for piss poor spiders if they’re looking to suck their victims dry – the fire would cook up all the sweet, precious goo inside. Paul and his father share a deliciously tender moment as they wander through a familiar, Hawaiian-y  generic foresty forest right before the father succumbs to fire poison.

Angrily, our hero stomps into a dark cave, ready to catch a case and save his hot sister. Some other characters are there for some reason suddenly and discover the Brain Bug, the ring leader of all the above ground hijinks up to this point. The team hauls it out of the cave and onto another boat which, by the sounds of the buttons, is operated by an R2-D2. I really don’t understand the Brain Bug’s plans to conquer the city. The brainless drones don’t seem to be doing anything in particular outside of growing, breathing fire, and climbing to the tops of things.

Trust me, I can get all of him from here.

Matt: I don’t know what looks faker: the spider or the helicopter?

The smoke, Matt. Spiders kind of look fake anyway and, since I think helicopters run on magic,I guess they do too. Nothing about the smoke is convincing. It’s way too slow and not the right transparency.  J is trying to convince me that a spider making a web on a radio tower is faker but the camera just insists on panning over the “burning” city. As the helicopter approaches the largest spider, who is busy making a helicopter sized web, the soldiers below make desperate attempts to shoot it down before the spider notices. Nah, guys, I’m kidding. It just looks that way.

The hero kills the Brain Bug and the other spiders….die. So, everyone celebrates. The fake helicopter dances jubilantly in the fake smoke while a fake spider explodes in floating cup in the ocean.

Next week, it’s Bigfoot, folks. But I’m not going to do it. Because this is an animal news podcast and Bigfoots aren’t real**.

*Note: A commercial informed me that June is Syfy Original Movies month, assuring our readers of a definitive deadline for these god awful posts.

**I’m never going to watch a Syfy Original Movie again.

Choice Quotes

Teen girl in letter jacket hits toddler-sized spider as it lands and immediately bursts into flames.                                                                   

Coach: And that is why you’re my number one hitter!

Father steps on dead spider triumphantly, despite having not killed it himself.                                                                                                             

“And THAT is how you make jumbalaya!”

I’m going to destabilize if I see another one of those things.”

Watch this trailer and you won’t have missed a single element from this movie.

Arachnoquake Trailer

Animal Feature Blogathon: Piranhaconda


Hey folks,

It’s been awhile but it’s time for another blogathon. This time courtesy of Syfy Original Movies. I’ve started in on Piranhaconda this Saturday proving that my dedication to this blogcast far supercedes any kind of normal, interesting life a regular jackoff might have on a Saturday night! It’s a 30 minute movie packed into a two hour slot and I’ve got Matt and his mom to get me through it. Let’s begin.

Oh no, a bikini’d babe is running through a rainforest from something, something scary and intriguing. No doubt it’s the pirhanha-anaconda alluded to in the previews. No, it’s some scarecrow thing. They, the creators of this “film” have psyched us out. We’re watching a movie in a movie, guys. Thank god. I was afraid we’d have to watch a movie about a fish-snake terrorizing bad actors. Again, thank god.

Ten minutes in and there it is. I guess it’s “spitting” and or “face ejaculating” on a woman’s gigantic breasts and eating her leg, presumably the rest of her as we cut to the first commercial break.

“Apparently, you turn into red mist when you die” – Matt

After the commercial break, we return to a perhaps a different movie taking place on a college campus with sweaty co-eds discussing photoshoots. They’re flirty, sexy, hot and dying to die. Wait, there’s a picture of a snake, so this scene is relevant again.

Matt: Here’s a question: Who’s going to die more? Men or women?

Me: I dunno, I’ll keep a death count.

We’re at Women: 1, Men:0. I called it too soon. A really surprised and not terrified asian woman just got ate in a scene sandwiched between two, disjointed but lively scenes about  sexy photoshoots.

Matt’s mom: Who’s going down next? ROSE or KIMMY?

Me: They have names?

While typing that out, guest star and supposed herpetology academic Michael Madsen shows up to make this movie relevant. He’s here to lay down some science on this Hawaiian island we’re on. Yes, that’s right reader,   Madsen is the voice of reason here. He’s finding evidence of the possible existence of a creature that the audience has already seen twice in the last 20 minutes but everyone in the film raises a speculative eyebrow to. You know you’ve got a winner on your hands, Syfy, when Michael Goddamn Madsen is straightening the idiots out.

Women: 5, Men: 0

I didn’t think I was that kind of person but I can’t help but notice that Piranhaconda has a taste for silicone. I mean, the girls going down are all quite top heavy…not that I’ve seen any A cups since the movie’s start. Even in the complex love triangle between blonde, brunette and man, there’s not the usual titty dimorphism between popular girl and girl-next-door or even main characters and everyone else who doesn’t get a name.

Nameless McHooters, in her futile attempts to be a better actress, attracts a deadly double dose of monstrous horror which somehow has no effect on the B-movie in the D-movie we’re already watching.

Women: 6, Men:0

If anything, we’re watching a great tourism campaign for Hawaii. The audience is driven and chased across varied landscapes framing an ever-clear, blue sky. The beauty of Hawaii is awe-inspiring much unlike the performance of a balding mafia lacky, hunter, villian, kidnapper guy.

“Don’t kill them, shoot them in the ass!” he says ass-ishly.

Did this movie need another bad guy? We have at least two piranhacondas, ignorance, and stupidity (“let’s split up!” “good idea!”) working against our beloved heroes. A Colombian warlord seems…superfluous.

Women: 6, Men: 1

“I forgot we were all composed of a giant, red haze.” – Matt

Matt brings up a good point though. Following every attack is a red mist left in the victims place, an image evocative of Lost’s smoke monster.

Women: 6, Men: 2

Red mist, and stars.

Before another person can allude to getting naked, two men have been mist-ified by the giant, yellow snake. I’m not sure what elements qualify this thing as half-piranha. The teeth? No, snakes have teeth, it’s no big deal. The color? No, there are yellow snakes everywhere, all the time. Teammurder? Meh I saw one run into another one and it didn’t appear to want to share. AHA! Ah, yes, dear reader. It’s been right in front of us all along. The bloody mist, usually left in the water after a piranha attack, is left in gas form by our toothy snake.

I get it now. Women: 6, Men 3.

Damnit. This plotline moves so fast that I hardly have a second to ponder the more challenging aspects of this story. Just as I grasp who the actresses are, they’re being kidnapped. Just as I grasp why they’re being kidnapped, I wonder why Madsens wearing a colorful beaded cuff bracelet. How could I handle another hour of this madness?

Henchdude: You see? That crazy scientist dude was telling the truth.

I’ve learned that the default setting for Hawaiian henchmen is to Not Believe in Science or specialists in their fields. Dumb. Haven’t they ever seen this movie?

Henchdude: It’s like an unholy union between an anaconda and a piranha.

Henchlady: You mean a piranhaconda?

Bad guy: I can’t believe you just said that.

Hey, me neither. Thankfully, an origin story is unfurling to explain all “this” And what a story it is! How many Syfy monsters can be attributed to “chemicals in the water”? Lots and why not all? For chemicaled water fills a well that can never go dry in the world of hokey D-movies, Syfy. Moving on.

Even with all the cartoon mist snakes about, the kidnappers try to keep track of the cast and crew of that other movie for a ransom. Oh yeah, script girl, let Henchdude chase you into the snake’s nest of gooey, unusually ostrich-egg-like eggs.

Women: 6, Men: 4. It’s a little late in the game, but the score is starting to even out.

Ah, yes script girl, use the egg spooge that inexplicably ended up on your supple bosom to prove the animal’s existence. After all, we’ve only lost 10 folks and had the damn Piranhacondologist trying to remedy your ignorance all through this awful film. But no no. Wait for the egg spooge. That’s fine, I guess.

Hey, look guys: Evidence.

As our plucky band of hot heroes escape their Colombian captors, the exchange of gunfire is somehow attracting…judging by the angle the guns are pointing, a dragon or a satellite of some kind. Alas no, it’s a piranhaconda…

Women: 7, Men: 4

Matt’s mom: How did it turn into surf music all of a sudden?

Oh my grod. It’s an upbeat surf song about the monster. The existence of this lyrical, carefully metered masterpiece is actually valid given the number of piranhacondas seemingly everywhere now. Hanging out by the pool, sleeping on the road! You can’t take a step in Syfy Hawaii without stepping on one of these things or their nests of dozens and dozens of ostrich eggs.

Our crowd of heroes have been distilled to the very most important characters: Dr. Madsen, man, blonde, and brunette. The director’s a hero but woefully separated from the group. He finds a stranded idiot girl who thinks her boyfriend ditched her for a girl who looks more like a human being.

Matt: Inappropriate Joke – You know how I know the director’s dead? Cause if you’ve got boobs in this movie, you die.

Wow, Matt, that’s a low blow. But even as I hope the girl gets balls deep in yet another piranhaconda’s nest, director eats it first. But she doesn’t get off so easy. A bloody half torso tells the rest of the story.

Women: 9, Men: 5

Madsen, ya smug bastard.

The 4 attractive people finally seem to distance themselves from the – waitwaitwait. This movie just became The fucking Lost World. Dr. MADsen has been carrying an egg around the whole goddam time for the sake of grants. That dickwad. Anyway, let’s hurry to the BOAT to escape the island of monster FISHsnakes. But thankfully a confrontation with the kidnappers will prevent us from following that insane path of logic.

Women: 9, Men: 9

Wait, blonde is sacrificing herself for the rest. Hooray!

Women: 10, Men: 9, Minivan: 1

Aw. Oh well.

Brunette: Please don’t die!

Man: I’m a stuntman. This is what I do.

I’ve only just learned that “man” is a stuntman. I guess that’s relevant. But is it really, reader? It’s not.

Matt: Oh, we’re gunna have a boat chase! Here we go!

Cut to scene of piranhas swimming. Cut to man finding an ATV in the middle of the forest. Cut to Dr. Madsen and Brunette speedin, medium-style, down the Amazon. Madsen reveals his madness as he cacklingly expresses his contempt for humankind in favor of the snakemonsters. Wait? He’s a bad guy now?

Women: 10, Men: 10, obviously.

In an uninspiring chase scene involving the ATV, Man and Brunette, and a sprawling, open road where they forgot to CGI in the snakefish, movie is threatening to finally come to conclusion.

Catch this you ugly fish, says our man hero as he softballs an explosive into the mama snake’s mouth. There’s premature, celebratory making out and fish growling as we fade to black.

Matt: They won! Except for the one that didn’t get killed by them.

Exactly, Matt. That shit was Abrupt and Anticlimatic as fuck and, even as the credits roll, Matt’s mom remains unconvinced that the movie’s actually ended.

So, with that, we have Piranhaconda, reader. Be sure to watch it or don’t and leave anything I forgot in the comments.

This is between you, me, a director, a script girl and her crush on the stuntman and a Colombian mafia of some sort. And science.

Choice Lines

“That loco chica, she was playing kick ball with my cajones.”

“You’re gunna die or else you’re gunna die!”

“You guys are Coocoo for Psychopuffs”

“This is gonna make me one hell of an omelette!” – Dr. Madsen

Lisa Frank Wasn’t On Drugs, She Just Saw This Crab


Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Somehow all these bursts of wild colors, top hats, monocles, rainbows, and sparkles made sense to me as a kid. Now, even as a kind of artsy-type adult, I cannot understand how Lisa Frank products came to be. How does one imagine such colorful animals/backgrounds/foregrounds? I don’t think I could dream something like what she comes up with and I’ve had Benadryl Dreams.

If you take Benadryl and watch Alien, you're gunna have a bad time.

Well, now we know from where she must draw her inspiration. It’s the real world crab recently discovered doing crab stuff in the Philippines. It’s even adorably sticker-sized (one to two inches wide)

Compare

...and Contrast.

Now, I’m just a bad person. Accusing that poor woman of taking drugs and being insane when she just went to the Philippines and brought the vibrant, tropical-colored world to my trapper keepers. I could learn a lot from her.

I'm just jealous cause this isn't my life.

What’s that? You want more psychodelically colored animals? LET’S DO THIS.

   

    

  

That’s right. It’s man. The most colorful of them all.

NEWS: Kristin Hears About Awesome One-Eyed Bullfighter, Gets Complex Feelings About Bullfights


Guess who’s back in the game, guys? It’s Matador Juan Jose Padilla, that guy who got gored through the eye 5 months ago (You really want to see the pictures? Really?)

I hate to say it, but he looks better than ever.

Er.. he figuratively looks better. Um, I mean he looks like he's doing a good job and his style is quite lovely. His depth perception is probably really wonky...I'll just stop now.

As far as human interest pieces go, I particularly enjoy stories where an individual loses to an animal in a fairly predictable way (note: tame ≠ domesticate) then” brazenly” places himself or, less likely, herself right back in the precarious situation usually minus a critical organ. As a pretty risk-averse person, I can really only read these exciting stories knowing I’ll never be …let’s say ‘brave’ enough to take up a career or hobby with bat-shit crazy, wild animals.

And here I am in Spain, with ample opportunity to witness such insanity in person at an actual bullfighting stadium and I just can’t get myself to go. Because it’s one thing to support sports where the occasional show horse gets rowdy or the occasional shark pops up  and a whole ‘nother to actively, purposefully aggravate the animal.

A few podcasts back, Matt and I discussed a Crocodile Baiting show we saw in Thailand that really didn’t jive with us. Animals tamed to put on a show for us seems insensitive to the animals who have better things they’d rather be doing and insulting to the viewers who should know that animals don’t have to interact with people to be awesome.

Yet, now I’m encountering some cognitive dissonance when it comes to distinguishing these kinds of performing-sporting activities. I really enjoyed watching the Sardine Dances at a Korean aquarium but the sea lion bit was too far. Elephants painting seems contrived but neat, but I’m totally over circuses. I would never go to a rodeo but the longer I’m here in Sevilla, the more I feel like I have to see a bullfight or equestrian show of some sort. Perhaps I don’t want to see a show that can go wrong or maybe stupid animals doing tricks won’t keep me up at night.

Hm, I’m perusing the Spain tourism sites, the bullfighting schedules…stay tuned.