When was the last time your eyeballs feasted on something that wasn't a part of the dumpster fire we call a news cycle? It's been a while for me and I'm betting the same can be said for you too. Here: get a load of this greater one-horned rhino calf pestering its mother to play with him. There is running. There are head butts. There is so much joy here that you won't know what to do with yourself. Read the rest
A unicorn of the sea somehow ended up separated from other narwhals. Luckily, the lost narwhal was welcomed into a pod of beluga whales, where they were spotted frolicking in the St. Lawrence River. Read the rest
A very good dog directs its human companion to give treats to its friends.
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"I never considered that the wild turkey was a playful bird, but in fact they are playful," says Joe Hutto, who raised 16 wild turkeys from egghood to adulthood. In this video from BBC Earth we see Hutto's turkeys playing with a young deer.
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In the 1950s, Soviet zoologist Dmitry Belyayev began selectively breeding wild foxes based on how friendly they were. The result is a semi-domesticated red fox, five of which now live in California. Read the rest
Cheetahs in captivity still want to run and chase things, so the caretakers at Oregon Zoo made a custom-built a catapult that launches balls from one end of the cheetah habitat to the other. The cheetahs get a treat when they fetch a ball. Read the rest
A young snow leopard jumped from a rock and startled its mother, and the mother's startled reaction startled the cub. Read the rest
It's either unbearably cute or the prologue to a rabies epidemic. No matter how you see it, this raccoon takes a pass at every cat in the neighborhood, searching for the one that'll be the life-long pal he's looking for. Or at the very least, find one that'll tolerate him for a few hours. Read the rest
A handsome stallion is introduced to an inanimate denizen of the Uncanny Valley. You can almost hear it thinking, "What eldritch horror has been loosed upon the earth?"
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is one of my all-time favorite authors, whose "Eight Worlds" stories and novels have been strung out over decades, weaving together critical takes on Heinlein and other "golden age" writers with mindfuckingly great technological/philosophical speculation, genderbending, genre-smashing prose, and some of the most likable, standout characters in the field.
Look at this rotating brush, called the Happycow. From the manufacturer's description:
Through automatic controls, the cows start up the machine by themselves by a slight lift of the brush. After the machine has been turned on, the brush is in operation for approx. 60 seconds. After it switches itself off, the cow cleaning machine can be immediately reused. The cows use the machine six times a day, on average. Uses the cow's natural behaviour of rubbing its body up against the feeding tree and activating the device.
I think my cats would go for a Happycat. If there isn't one already, someone should Kickstart it.
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A black bear opened the door to a Colorado hotel and moseyed on in. It climbed on furniture and inspected the lobby while 300 guests were sleeping in their rooms. It finally left without causing a scene. Rather than run for cover, the person at the front desk silently taped the bear.
The Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, is famous for inspiring Stephen King's The Shining.
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Sculptor Jud Turner (previously) has created a giant shiny metal firefly with the tail-light from a 1959 Cadillac, wired up to a clapper-style switch. It's called "MerKaBot" and it was created for Firefly Aerospace.
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Josh Klein became a TED talk sensation a number of years ago when he created a vending machine that taught crows how to exchange lost coins for peanuts. Now Josh has a new project based on his vending machine -- an "experimentation platform designed to autonomously train corvids (the family of birds crows belong to)." I asked him to write a bit about it. Here it is:
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Ten years ago I walked out on the TED main stage in one of my very first public appearances and poured my heart out about the craziest, weirdest, most unlikely thing I'd ever attempted: building a vending machine for crows.
The response was immense, and for several months I was convinced that we were on the verge of transforming how the entire human race interacted with animals. We built an open source version of the box so anyone could make one, assembled dozens of kits so people could buy them and do their own tests, and I ran around in a media-fueled frenzy trying to get people to understand that crows really could change the world.
Then bad things happened. The community of fans stopped trying to assemble the design as they found it too hard to work with. Those who bought kits generally didn't finish building them. A big news outlet misreported my results and then redacted the piece by basically calling me a liar. Worst of all, I got so hurt that I stopped trying.
For a while. For whatever reason my inner ten year old wouldn't stop insisting that despite sinking a decade into obsessing over corvids (the family crows belong to) and other synanthropes (animals which live close to humans), I needed to do more.
This video starts with the odd image of a hawk's body hanging from the front of a car. Apparently, it flew headfirst into the car's grille and got stuck. The driver and the passenger worked calmly to rescue the bird, which seemed dazed, but eventually flew away. Read the rest
In this video we see a cat stealthily approaching another cat. A golden retriever knows that nothing good can result if the two cats start to fight, so it gently picks up the cat by its harness and carries it away.
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Zookeeper Brianne Zanella is tasked with exercising Oregon Zoo's baby goats, who visit the seals for the first time in this charming video.
The smaller of the two, Ruth is a two-month-old Nigerian dwarf goat kid named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her friend Sonia is a mini-Nubian goat kid. No word on when or if they are getting an exotic tiny goat named Elena.
There's a whole Tiny Goat Visits series for those interested in a deep dive into goat-related entertainment.
• Tiny Goat Visits Seals (YouTube / Oregon Zoo) Read the rest