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Texas gentleman shot by bullet that ricocheted off armadillo


A fellow from East Texas didn't take kindly to an armadillo that entered his backyard at 3am on Thursday morning. He opened fire on the animal, but one bullet bounced of the critter's tough hide and hit the man in his face. He was airlifted to the hospital, where a surgeon wired his jaw shut. The armadillo got away.

Michael Marks of the San Antonio Current writes, "Leave them alone. Do not shoot them, do not eat them, do not hit them with your car if you can help it. They are simple and majestic beasts. Let them eat grubs and migrate north in peace."

Image: Shutterstock

Kitties enjoy ice ball on hot summer day

Your cat will pretend to love you if you give her a frozen water balloon on a hot day.


Meowijuana Catnip Buds

One of life's simple pleasures is watching your kitties get blissed out on catnip. Most store-bought catnip is ditchweed, though. If you really want your cat to pretend to love you, give her 100% organic Meowijuana Catnip Buds available on Amazon.

Human and fish insult each other's species


"The Fish, the Man, and the Spirit" is by Leigh Hunt. It was published in 1836.

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Man decides not to crush caterpillar after noticing it had a human face

"My first thought was to crush it with my cane, then I thought, no, it looks so strange, I'm going to take a picture of it," said Robert Palmer. The Toutle, Washington man was referring to a human-faced caterpillar he happened upon while watering his horse. "I'm going to be 70 in November. And I've never seen a bug with a human face staring back at me," said Palmer.

Japanese show: bear attacks person in a plastic cube


According to Boing Boing reader Malcom Bell: "ItteQ is a travel show and this is a one-off. The woman in the box is Imoto Ayako."

Imoto Ayako

The show is called Sekai No Hate Made Itteq! (translated: Riddles at the Ends of the Earth!)


Spitting armadillos have given leprosy to 9 people in Florida


Authorities are asking people in Florida to refrain from shooting and eating armadillos, and to resist the urge to handle them or keep them for pets, because they are responsible for a leprosy outbreak in the state.

Armadillos are believed to be the only animal able to carry leprosy – which some scientists believe they contracted from humans hundreds of years ago – and are common across Florida. “We catch more armadillos than we do any other species,” wildlife trapper Kyle Waltz told Action News Jacksonville. “If they’re trying to get out of a cage they can spit on you.” Residents have raised concerns that the critters may bite domestic pets, resulting in bacterial infections akin to those transmitted by rodent bites.

Image: Shutterstock

Ravens get stoned by rubbing chewed-up ants on their feathers


Ravens are intelligent, better talkers than some parrots, roam in teenage gangs, and get high by rubbing chewed up ants on their feathers.

Mental Floss presents 10 fascinating facts about ravens


When it comes to intelligence, these birds rate up there with chimpanzees and dolphins. In one logic test, the raven had to get a hanging piece of food by pulling up a bit of the string, anchoring it with its claw, and repeating until the food was in reach. Many ravens got the food on the first try, some within 30 seconds. In the wild, ravens have pushed rocks on people to keep them from climbing to their nests, stolen fish by pulling a fishermen’s line out of ice holes, and played dead beside a beaver carcass to scare other ravens away from a delicious feast.

If a raven knows another raven is watching it hide its food, it will pretend to put the food in one place while really hiding it in another. Since the other ravens are smart too, this only works sometimes.

Image: Shutterstock

Slow Loris hates having its belly combed

lemur-comb [UPDATE: It's not a lemur, it is a slow loris. Also the slow loris is being tortured, according to this (autoplaying) video. "I pledge not to support and encourage the illegal pet trade in slow lorises. I will not ‘share' or ‘like' any video or photo that shows a slow loris being kept as a pet and, where possible, I will ‘comment' directing people to the International Animal Rescue slow loris rescue information page to help expose the truth and end the suffering." ]

Yesterday I called a jaguar a leopard so this might not be a lemur.

Grouchy panther punishes jaguar for dropping a bowl


Milking bullet ants to extract venom that causes the "worst pain known to man"

When a bullet ant stings you it feels like you've been shot by a gun. In the above video, watch Dr. Corrie Moreau milk one of these "incredibly aggressive" and alarmingly big venomous ants.

From Brain Scoop: Researchers are interested in what makes the sting so painful and if this potent neurotoxin could have some medical benefits. To study the chemistry of the venom they need to isolate it, so some brave researchers capture and milk them to extract their venom, just like a snake or spider is milked.

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Naturalist Steven Backshall described what it's like to be stung by a bullet ant in an episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast:

The pain is throughout your whole body. You start shaking. You start sweating. It's completely systemic. It goes through your whole body and it really does effect your nervous system. Your heart rate goes up. And if you have quite a few of them, you will be passing in and out of consciousness. There will be nothing in your world apart from pain for at least three or four hours.

And here's Hamish (of the comedy team Hamish & Andy) putting on a pair of Amazonian rite-of-passage mittens loaded with bullet ants:

Baboons hijack car on highway in South Africa


A family ignored warning signs along a highway in South Africa, and ended up being held captive by a band of criminal baboons who ransacked their luggage for food.

The baboons along this South African highway might as well be humans. They know how to open car doors (yes, they know how to use the handle), and they know just how to sift through your belongings so that they find what they're ultimately looking for: food.

After finding and demolishing a pack of cookies in the back seat, mother baboon — who I think at this point had been joined by one or two other baboons — decided to take on my sister's travel bag. We all watched as the baboons sat on the side of the highway and carefully took out every single item in that bag. They tried her toothpaste, took her camera out of its case, but once they found out it wasn't food, they simply put it back in the bag or left it on the ground.

It was somewhat fascinating to watch, but I couldn't really concentrate amid the loud sounds of my sister sobbing in the background. Not that I blamed her; her possessions were in the hands of baboons and we weren't exactly sure if or when we were going to get them back.

Image: Shutterstock

Man runs from cheetah chasing him through a hallway


Let's hope the man didn't damage those janitorial supplies when he slid in to them.

What is the difference between venomous and poisonous animals?


Earlier today, I posted about a "poisonous" cobra. Boing Boing reader cryoutlaughin corrected me in the comments. Snakes are venomous, not poisonous. As Jolene Creighton in Quarks to Quasars puts it, "The quick and dirty way to separate venomous creatures from poisonous ones is by thinking about bites: If you bite it and die, it is poisonous; if it bites you and you die, it is venomous." So a cobra is venomous and a poison dart frog is poisonous. (I guess if you want to be picky, a snake could be considered poisonous if you eat it and ingest its venom.)


From the article:

  • Poisons are any chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms.
  • Toxins are biologically produced chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms.
  • Toxicants are synthesized chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms.
  • Poisonous organisms secrete chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms.
  • Venomous creatures inject chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms.

Images: Shutterstock

Family upset that someone keeps shaving a "perfect square" patch in their pet cat's fur

Since January, Tabby the cat has returned to her family's home in Canada five times with a square patch of fur shaved from her body. The family is mystified, and when they told neighbors about it, one of the neighbors reported that his four-year-old cat Twilight has received similar treatment.

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Gentleman offers tongue to crab, crab accepts

Lesson learned! Or perhaps not.


Mother raccoon teaches her baby how to climb a tree

A baby raccoon is called a kit. [via]