Researchers' budget blown when a migrating eagle's tracker chip connects to an Iranian cellular tower and sends expensive SMSes

Volunteers at Novosibirsk's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre put trackers on 13 wild eagles to track their migration patterns; the trackers connected to cellular towers and message the researchers with the birds' location. Read the rest

Download hi-rez scans of all 435 illustrations from John James Audubon's Birds of America

The Audubon Society's tribute to John James Audubon's Birds of America (originally published between 1827 and 1838) features all 435 of Audubon's vibrant, beautiful portraits of the birds he studied, along with his notes on their behaviors and other characteristics (the site also includes audio samples of each bird's call). Read the rest

Watch how antlions build traps and capture ants

I've come across antlion traps in Colorado. It's incredible to see the little legs of an antlion poking out from the bottom of a small pit, flicking dirt at any ants that come near, causing them to tumble down to the inclined sides of the pit into the jaws of the antlion. If you haven't seen an antlion trap in person, this BBC Earth video is the next best thing.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Video: Goat crashes through glass door and sleeps in bathroom

The getaway goat's name is 'Big Boy.' “He’s never done anything like that before,” his owner said when finally reunited with the goat.

“I think he was drinking too much that night. I’m really sorry it happened but there wasn’t much I could do. I wasn’t there.”

In an Ohio town, a teen got home from school last Friday to discover the family dog barking outside, and a sliding glass door shattered.

The kid's mom called the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office after they figured out a goat had crashed into their family home.

Keathley said she and the deputies called vets, animal control and the local Humane Society for advice. She said everyone laughed at them and they laughed too but they really needed help. Finally, the deputies decided to attempt corralling the goat out themselves. They tried tying a rope around its neck, enticing it with carrots, dog bones, grass.

At one point, the goat turned around and ran back into the bathroom. Eventually, the two deputies each grabbed a horn and managed to lead the goat outside and into the German Shepard’s cage.

On local Facebook pages, Keathley asked, “is anybody missing a ram? Please contact me ASAP.”

She said she didn’t want to include what the male goat had done in the post or else the owner might not claim him.

More: Goat breaks into Ashland County home, falls asleep in bathroom [times-gazette.com, video courtesy Jenn Keathley] Read the rest

Labradoodle inventor apologizes for creating diseased, crazy monster

Dog breeder Wally Conron says he regrets his invention of the Labradoodle, which is ½ poodle and ½ Labrador Retriever.

From Futurism:

Conron told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that creating the labradoodle may be his greatest regret, citing strange behavior, health concerns and unscrupulous breeders imitating his work with little regard for the dogs’ welfare. “I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem,” he told the ABC. “I do see some damn nice labradoodles but they’re few and far between.”

Photo by Bruce Williamson on Unsplash Read the rest

Watch this sick feral dog get nursed back to health

The first part of this video is hard to watch, but it has a happy ending.

via Gfycat Read the rest

Cat owner runs a test to see if cats can pass through a narrow gap

There's a rule of thumb that says if a cat can get its head through a hole, its body will also squeeze through it. To test the rule, Maru and Hana's owners built a doorway barrier with a series of increasingly narrower gaps. I don't think they learned much from the experiment, but the video is entertaining.

[via Neatorama] Read the rest

Watch how this adorable hummingbird makes friends with a human

Not only is this the calmest hummingbird I've ever seen, but the bravest as well. Read the rest

Two birds have a chatty conversation

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

Image: YouTube Read the rest

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.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

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.

Image: Twitter Read the rest

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.

Image: Kiro 7 Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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