Two birds have a chatty conversation

This pair of Indian ring-neck parakeets have a lot to say to each other.

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Whale watchers get an amazing close encounter [Sound ON!]

This is pretty incredible video. Make sure to unmute, and have your speakers or headphones on.

These whale watchers definitely got their trip's worth. Read the rest

Watch: After bears attempt to save cub from dumpster, cops come to the rescue with one simple tool

Usually cops use ladders to save stranded kitties from trees (at least that's the myth), but last week they used one in Lake Tahoe, California, to save a baby bear. After one cub stands on its mother's back, trying to open the top of a dumpster to free another cub who is trapped inside (who knew bears were that clever!), a couple of deputies come to the rescue with said ladder. If only all cop stories were this wonderful.

Via Mashable Read the rest

Troop of monkeys think an animatronic spy monkey is a dead baby and become sad

In this BBC video, a troop of Langur monkeys come across an animatronic spy monkey with a camera in its eye, and assume it's a dead baby. They gather around it and appear to mourn it.

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Salmon cannon video enhanced with Mario soundtrack

Salmon cannons are used to quickly move salmon from one place to another. I don't know if they salmon enjoy it, but it looks like something a lot of people would like to try.

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Woman put octopus on her face -- it bit her and she had to go to the hospital

A woman from Washington State who was participating in a salmon fishing derby spotted a small octopus and decided to stick it on her face and have her photo taken. Unfortunately, the octopus wouldn't let go and it gave her a venomous bite on the chin, too, which resulted in a nasty infection. She had to go to the hospital for treatment.

From Huffpost:

“[My friends] noticed my face had changed,” she said. “We couldn’t get the beak to dislodge ― it was like a prong.”

Although Bisceglia eventually freed herself from the octopus, she bled profusely for 30 minutes afterwards.

“There’s still a pus pocket and there’s a spot under my chin,” she said.

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Delightful deepsea encounter with a wildly cute and weird piglet squid

This darling denizen of the deep is a Helicocranchia, aka a piglet squid. Scientists on the Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V Nautilus caught footage of the rarely seen creature at a depth of 4,544 feet near Palmyra Atoll in the Northern Pacific Ocean. The commenters' delightful descriptions really make the clip.

(MNN via Kottke) Read the rest

The snail cosmology of medieval manuscripts

We're no strangers to the delights of the rude drawings that monks doodled in the margins of medieval manuscripts around here (1, 2, 3), but University of Bonn medievialist Erik Wade's epic Twitter thread on the astonishing variety of snail-doodles is genuinely next-level. Read the rest

Scan of a 1921 book about insects

Public Domain Review calls our attention to the gorgeously illustrated 1921 Fabre’s Book of Insects.

Like Jacques Cousteau in the twentieth century, Fabre’s greatest accomplishment was perhaps to have brought out the beauty and drama in the lives of creatures that had hitherto been regarded with horror, if regarded at all. He turned his attention not just to bees, whose praises have of course been sung since the classical era, but to wasps, weevils, ants, glow-worms, caterpillars, and cicadas. He also sometimes wrote about wild flora and fauna, and in one rare chapter about his cats — all in prose characterized, a little like Cousteau’s, by a well-informed wonder at the natural world, appealing to both children and adults:

Few insects enjoy more fame than the Glow-worm, the curious little animal who celebrates the joy of life by lighting a lantern at its tail-end. We all know it, at least by name, even if we have not seen it roaming through the grass, like a spark fallen from the full moon. The Greeks of old called it the Bright-tailed, and modern science gives it the name Lampyris.

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After poacher crackdown, Tanzanian endangered rhino and elephant populations are staging inspiring recoveries

Four years ago, there were 15 known black rhinos left in Tanzania -- "ground zero of the poaching crisis" -- and today there 167 of them; elephant populations (which dropped 60% between 2009-2014) are rebounding too, up to over 60,000 from a low of 43,330. Read the rest

An up close look at the tiny mites that mate on your face while you sleep

Dozens of demodex mites live inside the pores of your face skin. The little arachnids are fairly harmless,  feasting on sebum by day, and crawling across your face to find other demodex mites to mate with.

[via The Kid Should See This] Read the rest

Baby deer befriends toddler, follows her everywhere

A baby deer meets a toddler and decides to be her BFF.

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Owls have asymmetrically placed ears to track prey

I have 4 or 5 beautiful great horned owls in my backyard. I see them every day. This short National Geographic video explains why owls are such great hunters: huge light-sensitive eyes, fringed wings that allow them to fly silently, and asymmetrically placed ears that picked up sounds a fraction of a second apart to help them pinpoint their prey's location.

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The Reality Bubble: how humanity's collective blindspots render us incapable of seeing danger until it's too late (and what to do about it)

Ziya Tong is a veteran science reporter who spent years hosting Discovery's flagship science program, Daily Planet: it's the sort of job that gives you a very broad, interdisciplinary view of the sciences, and it shows in her debut book, The Reality Bubble: Blind Spots, Hidden Truths, and the Dangerous Illusions that Shape Our World, a tour of ten ways in which our senses, our society, and our political system leads us to systematically misunderstand the world, to our deadly detriment. Read the rest

Great white sharks viewed from upside down look like sinister grinning demons

From u/OrwellianOverseer via r/interestingasfuck -- the underside of great white sharks look demonic.

Upside down great white sharks from r/interestingasfuck

Image: Joshua Haviv/Shutterstock (enhanced to accentuate the "eyes") Read the rest

Man tests "no-spray" skunk trap, gets sprayed

Shawn Woods was testing out a no-spray skunk trap, but things didn't go as planned, and he got squirted with eau de moufette. Read the rest

Snail amuses itself with a carrot

It's hard to believe that snails like to play, but that's what this one looks like it's doing with a baby carrot in this time-lapse video.

From YouTube description:

I have two nerite snails named Randolph and Mortimer (yes, after the Dukes in Trading Places). They are sisters who have lived with me for over a year. Up until this point, I had offered them a few types of food that they were not interested in, but one day I offered this baby carrot to them and shortly after, found Randolph doing what you see in this video. I left the carrot in for about a week, during which time Randolph and Mortimer ate the whole thing. In this video, I don't think she's eating it, but simply playing. I have other videos of her eating where you can clearly see her moving her head and engaged in the activity of eating. This is just her having fun.

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