Watch this owl's incredibly precise flying

Not only are owls incredibly agile flyers, they're also silently stealthy.

(r/NatureIsFuckingLit)

Owl through legs (full speed)
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Another horse dies at Santa Anita, 2-year-old colt is 27th fatality this season

Shut it down. End horse racing. It's animal abuse.

This odd animal has one of the fastest bites in the world

From Smithsonian Channel's "Great Blue Wild: Life in the Muck:"

The speed of a hairy frogfish’s bite is the result of a vacuum in its mouth that can suck in its prey in just 1/6000th of a second. It’s so fast that even slow-motion video struggles to capture it.

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Watch big shark circling unwitting swimmer

Yesterday, a guest on the 28th floor at the Tidewater Resort on Panama City Beach caught this video of a big shark circling a lone woman who had no idea the animal was nearby. Eventually people on the beach noticed the shark and yelled to the woman to return to shore. I don't know what kind of shark it was, or whether it was hungry, but I am certain that this video would be more interesting with the soundtrack below. (News Herald)

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Boing.

Bush baby go Boing. Boing Boing.

[via] Read the rest

Incredible albino panda photographed in wild for the first time

This is thought to be the first photo of an all-albino panda. The beautiful animal was photographed by a trail camera at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, China. From The Guardian:

Local researchers said they believed the panda to be between one and two years old. The sex could not be determined from the photo, taken by an infrared camera installed in December last year to monitor wildlife in the area.

Spotting the albino panda is incredibly rare, given how infrequently albinism manifests. The giant panda, native to China, is the rarest member of the bear species, with fewer than 2,000 remaining in the wild...

Scientists from the China Conservation and Research Centre said the photo suggested the recessive albinism gene is present in the local panda population in Wolong. Whether the gene will be passed down will require further monitoring of the field site, the reserve said.

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Doorbell cam video of snake attacking man

When Jerel Heywood opened the screendoor at his friend Rodney Copeland's house in Lawton, Oklahoma, a snake darted down from its roost on the porch light and bit Heywood's head! A neighbor then rushed off over and dispatched the five-and-a-half-foot snake with a hammer.

Fortunately, the snake wasn't venomous. Heywood went to the hospital where he received stitches and a round of antibiotics. According to CNN, Copeland "hopes to keep away any (other) potential lurkers by spraying the yard with sulfuric acid."

"I hear they don't like that," he said. Read the rest

Why birds fly in a V formation

Why do many birds fly in a V formation? The wonderful video curators at The Kid Should See This came across this excellent 2014 clip above from the science journal Nature explaining research into the aerodynamic advantages of the formation. From Nature:

...UK's Royal Veterinary College put data loggers on ibises to record their position, speed and wing flaps when they migrated. The ibises position themselves within the V so that they benefit from the flow of air created by the bird in front. They carefully time their wing flaps with their flock mates', to get an extra lift when flying high.

More at Nature: "Precision formation flight astounds scientists" Read the rest

Snake with three eyes

Australian Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife service rangers found this 40cm snake with three functional eyes near the small town of, um, Humpty Doo which is about 40 km from, um, Darwin. The Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife posted on Facebook:

The snake is peculiar as an x-ray revealed it was not two separate heads forged together, rather it appeared to be one skull with an additional eye socket and three functioning eyes.

It was generally agreed that the eye likely developed very early during the embryonic stage of development. It is extremely unlikely that this is from environmental factors and is almost certainly a natural occurrence as malformed reptiles are relatively common.

(via Daily Grail) Read the rest

Capybara enjoys meditating in the bath

Wise little capybara.

Not entirely sure what's going on in this video as I do not speak Japanese, but the title is:

Capybara @ Izu Shaboten Animal Park [open-air bath of ancestral capybara] to put mandarin orange on head

And to be honest, that is enough for me.

I aspire to achieve the apparent serenity this capybara exudes, even when they haz a little orange on their head.

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Cow enjoys being petted like a dog

🐮 Want to boop that beef snoot so bad. Read the rest

Coyote chases off burglar

In Downey, California, southeast of Los Angeles, a gentleman breaking into a car was chased off by a neighborhood watch-coyote. Video evidence above. My favorite part is the thief peeking around the cars to see if the coyote was awaiting his return.

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Library loans taxidermy animals for science, education, and Harry Potter parties

In Anchorage, Alaska anyone with a public library card can visit the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services library and check out a taxidermy ring-necked pheasant, black rockfish, or hundreds of other mounted animals, skulls, and furs. From Smithsonian:

While the majority of users are local teachers, who incorporate the pieces into their lectures and lesson plans, and biologists and researchers using items for studying, non-educators are also known to check out pieces too.

“We have a snowy owl that has been used on several occasions as a decoration for a Harry Potter-themed party,” Rozen says. And filmmakers reportedly used a number of items during the making of the 2013 movie The Frozen Ground to design the basement lair where the film’s villain would keep hostages captive. Just like with library books, ARLIS expects that lendees take good care of any items checked out.

Interestingly, ARLIS’s existence is largely known by word of mouth, both for patrons and locals who want to donate a piece of realia to the collection. The vast majority came from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game with a lesser amount from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however the library does also take donations from the public.

“Earlier today someone called me and offered us a raven that he found in the wild that had been killed,” she says. “Ravens are frequently requested, even by English students doing presentations on Edgar Allan Poe.

"This Library in Anchorage Lends Out Taxidermic Specimens" by Jennifer Nalewicki (Smithsonian)

Learn more in my post from 2015: "Library where you can check out dead animals" Read the rest

This is the reconstructed face of a pet dog that lived 4,500 years ago

Archaeologists uncovered the skeleton of this neolithic dog more than a century ago in a 5,000 year old tomb on on the island of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. Now, forensic scientists and artists have reconstructed the animal's face. According to Historic Environment Scotland researcher Steve Farrar, this dog and 23 others found in the "Cuween Hill (tomb) suggest that dogs had a particularly special significance for the farmers... Maybe dogs were their symbol or totem, perhaps they thought of themselves as the 'dog people.'" From The Scotsman:

As HES observes, the fact that the Orkney residents placed canine remains alongside those of humans could also speak to their belief in an afterlife for both parties.

The latest work was originally created in clay using traditional methods, with a 3D print of the Cuween Hill skull as the base to build the anatomy on to.

It was then cast in silicone and finished with the fur coat resembling a European grey wolf, as advised by experts...

(Forensic artist Amy) Thornton, who trained in facial reconstruction methods at the University of Dundee, said: “This reconstruction has been a particularly interesting project to be involved in, as it marks the first time I’ve employed forensic methods that would usually be used for a human facial reconstruction and applied these to an animal skull.

“This brought its own set of challenges, as there is much less existing data relating to average tissue depths in canine skulls compared to humans.”

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Rare giant bird kills Florida man

Marvin Hajos, 75, of Gainesville, Florida, fell in his backyard and was then attacked by his pet cassowary, a giant bird from ratite group that also includes emus and ostriches. Native to northeastern Australia and tropical forests of New Guinea, cassowaries have three-toed feet with long, sharp claws. From CNN:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers cassowaries Class II wildlife, meaning they pose a danger to humans and are subject to specific cage requirements. Owners must also have "substantial experience" with the animals, the commission says...

They can grow more than 5 feet tall and the heaviest females can weigh more than 160 pounds, the (San Diego Zoo) says. Males weigh up to 120 pounds.

"The cassowary is rightfully considered the most dangerous bird in the world!" the zoo says. "Each 3-toed foot has a dagger-like claw on the inner toe that is up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) long! The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick."

image: "Southern cassowary" by Scott Hamlin/CC BY-SA 2.0

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Porcupine quills are sharp AF and inspiring a new kind of surgical staple

From Deep Look:

The quills of North American porcupines have microscopic backward-facing barbs on the tips. Those barbs make the quills slide in easy but very difficult to remove.

Researchers at Harvard are looking to porcupine quills for inspiration in designing a new type of surgical staple that would also use tiny barbs to keep itself lodged into the patient’s skin. This helps because traditional staples curve in under the skin to keep the staple in place. This creates more damage and can provide a place for bacteria to infect the wound.

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Akita puppy swimming through the air

Whoosh whoosh whoosh go the tiny fuzzy paws. Read the rest

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