Podcast: Aquarium Heists, Tupac the Guard Caiman, and Cat Interrogations

You know what time it is?  It’s time for ANTP.  Today, we’ve got animals guarding things, animals being stolen, and an animal breaking into jail.  Listen!

Also, we just hit 25,000 views on wordpress.  Thank you all so much for reading, and we hope to get another 25,000!


Tuesday Video Lunch: WHAT?!

For all the times we’ve mentioned it on the Podcast, it is amazing that we hadn’t posted the following video earlier. So often our conversation has drifted to the topic of a couple dozen Japanese giant hornets killing 30,000 honey bees in a single attack. It is this sort of insane destruction that makes the Japanese giant hornet the stuff of nightmares. They are terrifying monsters and that is why they are so awesome and so appropriate for this week’s Video Lunch.

But something we never mentioned was that the native Japanese honey bees have a bizarre defensive mechanism that helps them fight off the hornets. If the bees can capture an advance scout hornet, they will engulf it and vibrate to raise their body temperatures, killing the hornet by overheating it. A recent study has shown increased activity in a specific section of the bees’ brains when they are engaged in their defensive ball, perhaps acting as a timer so the bees know when to turn down the heat.

I particularly enjoy the Gone With The Wind style shots of the dead and dying bees writhing on the ground.

Tabloid Thursday: Planking is Dangerous

As usual, the bulk of so-called “news outlets” have missed the most interesting part of an amazing story. Science Magazine, Practical Fishkeeping and the BBC are all reporting that a new study has found that some species of zooplankton actually leap out of the water to avoid predators. The tiny copepods can jump as much as 60 times their own body length. They are only a tenth of an inch long, but still.

This is all fairly amazing. Until recently, it was generally thought that zooplankton mostly just floated around, incapable of real evasive action in the event that predators attacked. Now we see that some of these microscopic animals have a fairly advanced and successful escape mechanism.

It also helps to explain the high survival rate of these specific copepods. These particular copepods do not migrate to darker waters during daylight hours, so they should be easy targets for predators. However, their ability to jump out of the way of danger has allowed them to stay close to the surface without acting as an all-fish-can-eat buffet.

But why do none of these stories mention the terrifying part of this story? They have left out a bit that you can only find from Weekly World News and Tabloid Thursday!

Perhaps it is just to prevent mass hysteria that the story is being suppressed, but we can’t live with the thought that others might be saved, if only they knew the truth about the flying plankton. The “fact” of the matter is that they are not leaping just to escape predators; they are out for blood! The copepods have developed a taste for human blood and are now leaping onto unsuspecting fishermen and sucking them dry. Of course, given their minuscule size, it must take hundreds if not thousands of them to drink all of a fisherman’s blood. However, Weekly World News is “reporting” that “There have been 27 fishermen that have died from the flying plankton over the last few weeks.”

Don’t believe everything you read though. For the first time ever, we have some cause to doubt Weekly World News. They acknowledge that the copepods are 0.1 inch long and can jump 60 times their body length, but they also say that the copepods can “jump ten feet of the water.” Even if we are generous and assume that they mean “ten feet out of the water,” the math seems a bit squiffy. 0.1 in. x 60 = 10 ft? Sounds about right, never mind. Or do they mean that they can jump 10 feet vertically and travel laterally for 60 times their body length? That makes sense too.


Weekly World News is also reporting that a couple of bottle-nosed dolphins have taught themselves to fly, using their fins as wings. Not just leap out of the water, actually fly. But since they quote a “NASA expert” as saying that dolphins learning to fly is ” not completely surprising,” we decided that it really isn’t news-worthy.

Podcast: Robbie on Romney, Shatner’s Gorilla Bad Touch, and Future Zoos, OF THE FUTURE!

Animal News: The Podcast is ready to go.  Are you?

Thanks to guest correspondent Robbie!

This is Koko signing either shame or pink. We'll let you decide.

Tuesday Video Lunch: St. Rhinotines Day

Happy St. Valentine’s Day! According to a survey conducted of English speaking people who live in my apartment, no animal is more romantic than the rhinoceros. So today, let’s have a look at the love life of this majestic creature. But first, some actual news:

Last week, police and staff at the Ueno Zoological Gardens conducted a rhino escape drill. For a touch of realism, the rhinoceros substitute was a delightfully realistic papier-mâché rhino with two zoo staff inside. The wiggling ears and wagging tail are especially nice touches. I think they put on a bit too much eye shadow though; it made the rhino look a bit trampy. Luckily for us, somebody got the whole ordeal on tape for this week’s Video Lunch!

As you can see from the video, the end game for stopping an escaped rhino on a rampage is to shoot it with a tranquilizer dart. But what if the goal isn’t to stop a rhino, but to woo her? Well, as we discussed in the most recent podcast, it is notoriously difficult to sedate rhinos and other animals without killing them. For this reason (and for a number of moral reasons) we must advise that you never attempt to date-rape a rhino or any other living thing.

Our next video will show you the proper (if not always successful) way to go about courting a buxom rhinocerus lass. In this video, Romeo the rhino makes several efforts at winning the heart of a mate. He tries buying her a drink at the waterhole, he tries sweet talking her with squeaks and whines, and he even tries to pick her up by the leg and carry her off. As he confronts a wall of angry females, it looks like what he really needs is a wingman.

And, like so many human bachelors, when things don’t work out with the ladies, he goes home and breaks shit.

Oh, and since it is St. Valentine’s Day, here are some pictures of a cute girl and a horse’s heart.

Podcast: Moanin’ Paul, Whalesploitation, and Cat Bread

Today on Animal News: The Podcast:

  • Are Whales Slaves?
  • What is the price index on a llama?
  • Do you enjoy breading your cat?
  • How old was Dolly when she died?
  • Is the previous question about Hello Dolly?
  • If it were, did you get the joke?
  • Do you want to be our boy/girlfriend?  Circle One: Yes No Maybe


Podcast: Super Bowl Predicting Animals, Mink Sonar, and Hangovers, So Please Listen Quietly.

Hey guys, welcome to Animal News: The Hangover-cast.  We’re pretty hung over today, so we’re softly, slowly, holding you closer, tiny dancer.  Enjoy!

Podcast: Ghostopus, Feces and Dead Fish Raining From The Sky, and “It’s an Anti-plug, Don’t Do It!”

We’re talking about snub nosed monkeys, lost worlds, and marine snow today.

Animal News: the Podcast, approved by Oliver Geology.

The State of The Podcast

Hello readers, listeners, and friends!

If you’re reading this, we’ve probably just passed some important milestones.  I just wanted to talk to you guys for a minute, and hopefully let you know how the podcast is going.  First off, a little look back.

About nine months ago, the idea came into my head that Kristin and I should do a podcast.  We had been talking on the phone, and Kristin, as usual, was making me laugh.  I had been listening to a lot of The Nerdist, Sklarbro Country, WTF with Marc Maron, and Comedy Bang Bang.  I thought that Kristin and I had some good chemistry, and could look at things an interesting way.

It seemed that for months, Kristin and I would talk about animal news every time we were on the phone.  We started just talking about doing a podcast, calling it Animal News, and having silly conversations about animals.  The first time that she made me die laughing, I knew that we would have to do it at some point.

At first, I thought that it would just be Kristin and I on the podcast.  We were looking to emulate our conversations, but once we mentioned it to Jake, he came up immediately with “This Week In Animal History” and I knew that he had to be on the podcast.  We started putting stuff together for our first show, I started dragging stuff together to record us, and we set a date.

In July, our first episode was made.  It was way too long, but we didn’t know how long the show needed to be.  Listening to it now, I understand that we should have stopped ourselves a little earlier, we didn’t have enough to fill up the time, and I caused it to be too long.  This is a theme of the podcast, I go on and on, and Kristin and Jake try to wrap it up.

After our first episode, I got in contact with Sound Cloud, an internet audio hosting site.  They were trying out a beta for podcasters, and allowed me to get into it.  If they had not provided us hosting, we would be unable to bring the podcast to you every week.  We sincerely appreciate their help.  If you do anything with audio online, please consider supporting them.  They are amazing.

Over the last six months, we’ve had around 1000 listens to our podcast.  We have had 3000 page views on this blog.  I got to interview a Zookeeper, have my family on the podcast, go to Jeju-do, see lots of things, and talk about my experiences with animals.  I’ve been able to do this with two of my best friends in the world, and there is nothing better than that.  It’s been awesome so far.

We’re celebrating our six month anniversary on the podcast this week, but we are also looking forward to the next six months.  I just wanted to share with you some of the things we are looking to in the next six months.

  • Continue putting out a podcast every week.  Without fail.
  • Keep making the podcast more and more relevant, making it more timely and more entertaining
  • Get more guests, and have more guests return to talk about animals on the podcast
  • Try to get more expert interviews
  • Work on our website, to bring better and better content to you
  • Continue growing, getting more listeners and readers
  • Connect with our listeners and readers more

So, with those goals in mind.  I wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for listening to our podcast and reading our blog.  Thank you for sharing it on facebook.  Thank you for making the effort to seek out new things.  I also want to say thank you to Kristin and Jake for doing incredible work on the podcast, and making this website fun and entertaining to be on.

I’ll talk to you guys again in six months.  As we grow, I hope you’ll keep following us, and I hope we can get you involved more.

Once again,  thank you.


P.S.  just in case you were wondering.

بيض خلد الماء

is how you write platypus eggs in Arabic.


This kind.

On The 6th Day of Xmas My True Love Gave To Me: Six Monsters Laying

It’s another edition of

Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas™!

Hey, wait a goddamn second.  I’m not Kristin.  I’m not the only attractive member of the podcast other than Jake.  I’m just some other guy.

Oh hey, I’m Matt!

I agree with Kristin.  This song has too many birds.  So, for “Geese a laying.”  I thought to myself, man, Geese are so 1800’s.  We have airplanes and trains and refrigeration.  If I am going to give a gift to somebody, it better be better than geese.  So, I just searched for eggs on google, and I want to show you what I found.  Come along with me.

Well, aren't those cute.

Look at those little bitty eggs.

Aww… those eggs are so cute.  I bet they would be delicious too.  All you would have to do is get them away from their mom, put them in a pan, fry them up… mmm… good eats.

I wonder what kind of animal those are from. Could I handle six of them for the rest of the days of Christmas?  Probably, I mean, look at how small they are.

This kind.

This kind.

Oh, you might be thinking to yourself.  That doesn’t look so bad.  It’s kind of cute with it’s bill and mammalian features.

You’d be right, if it were anything but a platypus.  What that cute picture doesn’t show, and could never show, is that it’s cute little beak is actually a highly tuned electrical sensor that can track things in the water, in front of it.  It has cute little fins with cute little claws, what could it really do to you though?

Oh, I may have forgotten to mention, it has two poisonous barbs in it’s hind legs, that contain a neurotoxin.  Yes, the platypus is one of the few venomous mammals in the world.  It also is the only one of those to lay eggs.  So, maybe a herd of 56 platypus and their breeding partners would be a little out of your depth.  Your true love would never wish that upon you.

How about this then?

How about this then?

Aww… Why did that man put an animal egg in his belly button, you say?  Good question.  anyway, that thing looks reasonable, right?  Probably good eating too.  Let’s see what mommy looks like.

What is it? What is it? Kill it!

Oh good, another monster.  What the hell is that thing? Oh, it’s just another product of the Australian nightmare factory.  Yes, it’s an Echidna.  The Echidna, together with the Platypus make up a group called the monotremes.  These animals are egg layers all.  They also curl up into bundles of nightmare spikes.

You know what?  We should probably look somewhere else.

This can't be bad, right?

I mean, look how small they are!


Oh good.  Yeah, I don’t want 56 of these.  I’m pretty sure you’d have 200 by the end of day one.  Then things are going to get rough.

How about one of these?

Pretty cute, right?  I mean for a lizard.  Hold on, I’m sensing a pattern.  Maybe it isn’t as cute when it grows up.


No, I refuse on principle.


What is the catch? I know there is a catch.


No. No. No. No. No.

Oh, a sea creature, this couldn't be terrifying.

Right? I mean come on.  There is no way this is scary, right?

:Distant sounds of the vomit of terror:

Oh no. Please. No more.  Just one you say?  Well, maybe this will be the twist! Maybe after all of these terrifying things, the last one will be cute and cuddly.


Okay, I may be on board.  It looks like an egg.  Actually the creature is kind of cute. And while a non traditional egg shape, perhaps that is just what we need to change up the song.


Okay fine.  The song is perfect.  There is no way a goose could be terrifying right?