Tuesday Video Lungh: How? Convenient…


On your way home and feeling hungry? Why not stop at a vending machine and buy some Video Lunch?

Of course, not just any vending machine will do. After all, you had candy bars and soda pop for lunch yesterday, and you are watching your figure (expand.) If only there were a vending machine that sold healthy food items, like fresh seafood. Oh, wait. There totally is a vending machine that sells fresh seafood. Anybody hungry for crabs?

So the Chinese can now get their hairy crabs (grow up) in the subway. You have to admit, these machines “save many troubles.”

Of course, the Japanese are famous for their vending machines. You’ve probably heard that one can purchase umbrellas, eggs or even used underpants from vending machines in Japan. But when I heard that China had live crab vending machines, I thought that they had even outdone the Japanese. I was wrong.

As it turns out, selling live animals in vending machines is old news in Japan. There machines sell live rhinoceros beetles. They apparently make good pets and even better mini-gladiators. (Before you freak out about that, it seems that they don’t actually get hurt when they wrestle.)

They also have claw games. Lobster claw games. Not games with lobster claws, but claw games with live lobsters as the prizes. But there is something that you should know before you write a blog post about how crazy Asia is (I’m looking at you, mirror.) Lobster claw games can be found across the United States, from Maine to Vegas.

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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.

Tuesday Video Lunch: If I could spend time in a bottle…


Harry the hermit crab has a brand new house at LegoLand Windsor Resort. In England, this qualifies as news. Here at Animal News the Podcast Blog, it qualifies as Video Lunch!

Personally, I prefer when hermit crabs take up residence in beer bottles. Glass is way more environmentally friendly than plastic and somewhat less gaudy than children’s building blocks. Take, for example this lovely bottle neck “shell” found in Finland:

When he grows up, he can move into a larger model:

So stick to glass bottles for your beer. If not to avoid the poisons from plastic bottles, then do it for the hermit crabs. (And the other animals that are adversely affected by all of the pollution caused by plastics.)

Tuesday Video Lunch: Predatory Snails and The Hermit Crab Housing Market


Pop quiz! What do snails eat? The answer is: Video Lunch!

In actual fact, it’s not that simple. There are three primary groups of snails: land snails, sea snails and freshwater snails. Many a gardener will tell you that terrestrial snails are mostly herbivorous and particularly like fresh seedlings. Luckily for gardeners, snails are also quite partial to beer, so traps baited with beer are quite effective against these slow pests.

Freshwater snails mostly eat algae. According to this diagram, the Center for Disease Control seems to think that freshwater snails also enjoy eating poop and parasite eggs. Gross. Parasite life-cycles are fascinating, but almost always involve poop.

Sea snails, like freshwater snails, are mostly interested in munching on algae and plants. However , there are several snails that are predatory. And it is a good thing too; if conchs weren’t wolfing down smaller snails, where would hermit crabs get new shells?

Whale Tale


Today, I was cruising around io9, and I came across this.

This short video shows what happens to a whales corpse as it descends to the bottom and is consumed by the scavengers that live there.  It’s pretty incredible to watch, because of the detailed craftsmanship of the puppets, and the beauty of the whole thing.

Anyway, what with our most recent podcast being about Whales, I hope you guys would like to see this video.  In the comments, which one of the puppets is your favorite?

Podcast: Whales, Tales, and Toothpaste-Like Milk


Listen up kids, it’s time to talk about the 4000 uses for whale bones.  Listen up.

Things Animals Do Before An Earthquake


Recently my hometown in Maryland was rocked by a quakier than usual earthquake. Of course, my immediate thought was of my mom’s two yorkies and how they likely flipped the fuck out moments before the quake took place (these are dogs easily unhinged by the presence of balloons and paper towel rolls). And so I wondered what the rest of the animals would be up to in those frightful minutes before the event.

In general, when any major natural disaster is coming, animals want to flee the area. And from what I can tell from tweets, dogs freak out. That’s not really descriptive enough for me so I had to figure out what a “freak out” entails. A Japanese doctor noticed that dog bites tend to increase around earthquake events and barking but he couldn’t really conclude anything since dogs seemingly bark all the time for no reason.

The Maryland SPCA, however, was ready to conclude some shit and called people after the latest quake to ask about their pets’ shenanigans. Pet owners claimed that while some of their animals hid under beds, made a ton of noise, and ran around, others had no fucks to give about quakes and instead took to napping. Shows how reliable they are. I can’t blame pets though as the ability to survive without bedazzled kerchiefs and filtered water is being bred out of them.

What about other animals? Other animals aren’t bogged down with bows, tied up listening to NPR or learning to open the fridge. No. They’ve got ears to the ground, ready to pick up and flee like champions at the smallest hint of a disaster. In Sri Lanka and Thailand, elephants haul ass uphill along with …seemingly every other animal in the area. In fact, so lightning responsive were they that, after the 2004 tsunami, almost no animal carcasses were found in the receded waters. But, Kristin, you say, what is almost? That’s just as bad as the pets. And I say that you could guess the animals that didn’t make it. Cat. And maybe some buffalo but I gunna round them up to “cows” to support my thoughts here.

For other animals I might have missed:

More on toads being awesome at predicting shit here.

Actually I’m pretty sure this happens all the time on Christmas Island but whatever.

I’ll try to find more cool photos of animals reacting to things like this.

UPDATE:

Dogs both freak out and flee like champions.

The dog in this video didn’t have enough time to really freak and instead took off just moments before the quake happened.