What do bats and skateboarders have in common?

Bats and skateboarders have something special in common. They both use inertia to land their tricks which, in a bat's case, means landing upside down.

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How beetles breathe under water

From KQED Science:

Surface tension is the property of any liquid that describes how its particles stick together. In the case of water, surface tension is especially strong, enough to form a kind of film where it meets the air, whether at the surface or in a bubble...

If you’re a bug the size of a paperclip... surface tension makes a difference. Harnessing it, some aquatic beetles carry the oxygen they need underwater in the form of a temporary bubble, sort of like a natural scuba tank. Others encase themselves in a layer of air and draw oxygen from it their whole lives.

"Nature’s Scuba Divers: How Beetles Breathe Underwater" (Deep Look)

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This guy's poor dog really hates it when his owner blows raspberries


Nathan Chung's dog really hates it when he “blows raspberries.”  Read the rest

Puppy wants bed back from cat

Passive resistance in a nutshell (or an occupied dogfort.) Read the rest

Library where you can check out dead animals

At the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services, anyone can check out skulls, taxidermy mounts, pelts, and other bits and pieces of dead animals for free. Librarian Celia Rozen says that the most popular items are bear and wolf furs used in Boy Scout rituals and also snowy owl mounts requested by Harry Potter party planners. As you might expect, educators appreciate the opportunity to make their lessons more, er, tangible.

“It gets them excited about being in biology class,” South Anchorage High School science teacher Chris Backstrum told the Alaska Dispatch News. “It starts the year off on a good foot."

"Need a wolf fur? A puffin pelt? All you need is a library card and a visit to the ARLIS library" (ADN)

"Something Preserved" (Great Big Story)

(photos by Marc Lester/ADN) Read the rest

Crocodile-buffalo hybrid photographed in Thailand! (And Egyptian demon seen in Greece!)


This creepy crocodile-buffalo hybrid turned up in High Rock, Thailand this month. The beast bears a striking resemblance to the half-aquatic, half-terrestrial Hindu god Makara, and is now on display in the village! According to Mysterious Universe, the creature may actually be a calf with a skin disorder. Sure it is....

Related, off the west coast of Greece, tourist Harvey Robertson snapped the following photo of this bizarre crocodile-hippo-dolphin that could be the earthly incarnation of the Egyptian demon Ammit, seen in illustration below!

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Guns don't kill people, dogs with guns kill people


Following up on their highly successful data-driven charticle about toddlers shooting people to death in America, the Washington Post publishes a new infographic about all the people being shot to death by dogs.

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China plans to ban ivory trade “within a year or so.” US official: Yes it's a “huge” deal.


During his visit to Washington last month, China's President Xi Jinping vowed to stop the commercial trade in ivory in his nation, but didn't say much about when or how.

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'Dracula fish' and snub-nosed monkeys among 200+ new species discovered in Himalayas

Bompu litter frog,  newly discovered in India. [Sanjay Sondhi]

“A sneezing monkey, a walking fish and a jewel-like snake are just some of a biological treasure trove of over 200 new species discovered in the Eastern Himalayas in recent years,” reports the World Wildlife Foundation today.

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Ocean life or acid trip? Photos of psychedelic jellyfish


No, you're not tripping. And these aren't CG. You're looking at Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish captured by Florida-based photographer Aaron Ansavor who finds them on a local beach.

"It's an opportunity to explore a new world," he told National Geographic.

More images at his site Ansarov.com. (via Jux)

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“I built my rabbit a cart and now he delivers me beer!”


Says the uploader of this superb video, “I built my rabbit a cart and now he delivers me beer! This event marks the release of an epic accomplishment.” Read the rest

Animals attacking drones

They've already made up their minds about annoying buzzing noises we humans are in two minds about. Read the rest

Cat discovers an effective method for dog shutdown


Works every time. “We've been monitoring our pup at home to get a sense of how much barking he's been doing,” Devon Meadows explains.

“Chazz had just started barking after my wife and I left for work but luckily our cat, Greyscale, shuts that down.”

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Doge proprietor of corner store in Japan greets customers with happy Shiba Inu wag


Miki Kotevski, who shot this video, says: “This Shiba Inu has brought more people together from across the world than most politicians and other figures will ever be able to. Shiva's owner is the kindest owner and a great and kind person. Shiva is the Shiba's name and he is the best dog around.” Read the rest

Watch an octopus disappear into "quicksand" on the sea bottom


The southern sand octopus (Octopus kaurna) whips up some seafloor "quicksand" lined with mucus and burrows into it to rest during the daytime. From New Scientist:

(University of Melbourne researcher Jasper) Montana and his team first caught the octopus in the act of burrowing in 2008 when they were scuba diving at night in Port Philip Bay, south of Melbourne, Australia. When they shone a light on the octopus, the startled animal spread out its arms and repeatedly injected high-powered jets of water into the sediment using its funnel. This caused grains of sand to be temporarily suspended in water, making it like sandy water.

“The sediment became fluid like quicksand,” Montana says. The octopus put its arms into the sand while still pumping out water and eventually dived down into the sediment. The liquefied sand is likely to reduce drag and so allow the animal to burrow more quickly, using less energy, Montana’s team speculates....

They (later) found that the animal used its arms and mantle to push the sand away and form a burrow. It also extended two arms to the surface to create a narrow chimney to breathe through. Finally, it secured the walls of its new home with a layer of mucus that kept the grains of sand together so the entire thing maintained its shape.

"Zoologger: Octopus makes own quicksand to build burrow on seabed" (New Scientist via Laughing Squid)

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Little budgie likes preening this cat, and the cat likes it


This white budgie is grooming a cat friend, and the cat seems to like it. Read the rest

Baby meets beagle

“My wife and I were worried about how the dog would react to a baby, so we kept them apart for a few months. This is when they get introduced to each other.” Read the rest

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