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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WTF Evolution is Pretty Awesome

Man, Jake just suggested a site today, so I decided to suggest another one.  WTF Evolution is pretty funny, and good stuff.  Check it out!

“So I was thinking.”

“Great, evolution.”

“Nobody really needs eyeballs and limbs and all that, right? When you get down to it, all you really needto be alive is an opening for stuff to go in and an opening for stuff to come out.”

“Well, yeah, I guess so.”

“I might try making things that way for a few million years. ‘Sea cucumbers’ and the like.”

“Okay, but it’s not just going to be, like, a tube with a mouth and an anus, is it? That sounds a little crass.”

“What if I made it pink?”

“I don’t know…”

“Oh, and also, it’s going to breathe through the butt end.”

– WTF Evolution

Fly into the En-Dangered Zone!


Stop doing whatever you are doing (looking at cat pictures) and get yourself over to Bird and Moon. Bird and Moon has some very funny and informative animal comics. Like this one.
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Every last shred of credit goes to birdandmoon.com. Except the En-Dangered Zone bit, that was me.

EDIT: Fixed the link so now you can see the rest of Bird and Moon’s great stuff.

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.

Tabloid Thursday: Big Money, No Whammy!


There has been a lot of buzz about the “Mega Millions” lottery recently. Not all of it good. It is well known that government run lotteries are a big source of revenue, but studies have shown time and again that the lottery is played by the poor and under-educated people in society. In fact, lots of news sources from around the country are running stories about how the lottery is basically a “poor and uneducated” tax. But of course, somebody wins. In Michigan, two recent lottery winners continued to receive food-stamps after. But what takes the cake is that the Mega Millions has been won by one of society’s poorest and least educated, a dog. It must be Tabloid Thursday!

According to Weekly World News, a golden retriever/poodle mix named Princess walked into a convenience store with the winning ticket tucked into her collar. The winnings represent a staggering $218 millon (before taxes and flea bath.) There is no indication as to who her owner is, so “As far as we know, this is the dog’s winnings.” What will happen if the dog remains unclaimed is not clear.

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.

EDIT:

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.

Tabloid Thursday: Gorilla Buffalos Buffalo Zoo


Well, the “Mainstream Media” has done it again. First they hide footage that shows 9/11 was an inside job, then they blackout news about Republican front runner Ron Paul and now they are reporting that a gorilla didn’t escape the Buffalo Zoo. According to CBS, although it did bite a keeper and leave its cage “the gorilla never left the ‘secure non-public area behind’ the exhibit.”

But the Weekly World News has the real story. And the way they tell it, the breakout was carefully orchestrated and Koga the gorilla was at large on the streets of Buffalo for five hours before he was brought down by a “barrage of blow darts” from a SWAT team. Now that sounds like just the stuff for Tabloid Thursday!

It seems that a door was left unlocked and Koga simply walked out of his enclosure into the secure area behind it. There he was startled by a zookeeper and bit her. Here is where the accounts differ. Most reports claim that the gorilla was sedated by a veterinarian while still locked inside the zoo, away from the public. According to Weekly World News, however, Koga hid in a large drain pipe before making his way into the city and and causing havoc.

This photo from Weekly World News is clearly not photoshopped, I can tell by the pixels.

But that’s not all the “Lamestream Media” is covering up. Care to guess what Koga was doing whilst running about the streets of Buffalo? He was “apparently singing nursery rhymes at the top of his lungs.” That’s right, folks, this story is being suppressed because we aren’t supposed to know that the Buffalo Zoo’s is working on a super-intelligent, singing gorilla program (presumably for the CIA.)

Of course this picture of Koga looks suspiciously like the picture of Koga in the city; it's the same gorilla. It would be suspicious if it didn't look the same.

Tabloid Thursday: Is the Easter Bunny Actually The Missing Link?


Tabloid Thursday!? We should call it Totally Legitimate Science Thursday! Weekly World News reported on Tuesday that new research indicates humans evolved from rabbits. They even have the sophisticated diagrams to prove it:

Actually, that third one kind of looks like a satyr. Could it be that the ancient Greeks had found proto-human rabbit-man fossils and created a mythological creature around what they didn’t understand? It wouldn’t have been the first time they made such a mistake.

"'Elephant'? Never heard of such a thing (since I live in Ancient Greece.) That, my good man, is clearly a cyclops skull. Also, why would I refer to my own time-period as 'Ancient'?"

But back to our present topic. It seems that there has been some very interesting research conducted by Sven Bjeen of the University of Amsterdam. (Don’t bother looking him up, his faculty page is suspiciously non-existent on the university’s website.) The “studies” show that proteins in hares are nearly identical to those in humans, suggesting a recent common ancestor. In fact, Dr. Peter VanderMan of Brussels University says that the work “indicates that man most likely evolved from an ancient rabbit rather than an ape or monkey.” He even speculated that the missing link probably wiggled its nose like modern bunnies. (Like Bjeen, VanderMan’s faculty page is nowhere to be found. No doubt these men are trying to keep a low profile to avoid hate mail from creationists and rabbitphobes.)

I eagerly await the discovery of the “missing link that moved by hoping and had a hairy pelt.” And luckily, I won’t have to wait long. Weekly World News says that scientists are “confident they will find the direct link by August of 2012.”

Tabloid Thursday: La Chupacabra!


When we at Animal News started Tabloid Thursday it was regarded as an inevitability that we would get to write about the true giants of animal tabloids: Bigfoot, Nessie, Michael Vick. But we couldn’t have hoped that we would be able to write about la chupacabra so soon! La chupacabra, for those of you who are totally ignorant of Hispanic folk-lore, is a smallish vampire-like creature that kills livestock and drains them of blood. The name chupacabra means “goat sucker.” (This, by the way, would make an excellent insult. Try it out sometime.)

The story of la chupacabra started in Puerto Rico, but has spread throughout the Americas from Chile to the lower 48 States. However, details about the creature vary dramatically from sighting to sighting. By some accounts, la chupacabra is some sort of winged lizard with glowing red eyes. Others say it is an ill dog, coyote, or dog/coyote hybrid. Luckly for us, The Daily Mail has obtained a photo that may hold all of the answers:

From The Daily Mail

As we can clearly see from the photograph, la chupacabra is real. Obviously, it is not reptilian or winged. Careful examination of the photo leads us to believe that la chupacabra is perhaps the most advanced animal on the planet. This particular specimen (seemingly born without a left eye) had the dexterity and wherewithal to paint a replacement eye on its own face! Furthermore, it may have bleached and styled its own “mohawk” hairdo. If it got that bitchin’ tan in a salon, this animal is one of nature’s greatest miracles!

But the story doesn’t end with this ridiculous photo taken on a San Diego beach. La chupacabra reportedly slaughtered 35 sheep on a Mexican farm recently. News outlet CuasarTV released a video with images of the dead sheep and an interview with the owner. Two chupacabra reports in one week?! Is it Christmas? Er… Cinco de Mayo?

Tabloid Thursday: Kung-Fu White-Claw Asiatic Brown Bear


Kung-fu Panda has more of a ring to it, but a headline from Weekly World News informs us that there is actually a kung-fu Asiatic brown bear in Russia. Sounds like a story for Tabloid Thursday!

The truth is somewhat less adorable and awesome than their leading image would have us believe:

From Weekly World News

In actual fact, the whole story is really about a video on YouTube of a bear playing with a stick. The bear is not exactly a kung-fu master, but it is actually somewhat impressive how well he controls the stick despite the lack of opposable thumbs.

To summarize: the bear does not actually know kung-fu, but he is actually cute.