Astonishing encounter with a nearly human-size jellyfish

UK TV host and wildlife biologist Lizzie Daly and her crew were diving off the southwestern coast of England as part of their Wild Ocean Week initiative when they met this magnificent and massive barrel jellyfish. Typically, barrel jellyfish aren't bigger than meter long but this one was closer to 1.5 meters. From The Guardian:

Daly and an underwater camera operator, Dan Abbott... stayed with the abnormally large, translucent bell-mushroom-shaped animal for about an hour before it swam away.

The pair said they were not surprised by the animal’s behaviour. “It has got a very mild sting and poses no threat to humans – some people don’t even feel it,” Daly said. “Many people would be immediately worried, but it is not dangerous. Its a majestic creature.”

View this post on Instagram

SO THIS JUST HAPPENED😱💙 Diving with a giant barrel jellyfish! I could not think of a better way to celebrate the end of #WildOceanWeek. The full video of the dive is LIVE right now! I'll put the link in my stories if anybody wants to spend just two minutes watching this breathtaking moment coming face to face with a barrel jellyfish THE SAME SIZE AS ME while diving off of the coast of Falmouth 💙 What an unforgettable experience, I know barrel jellyfish get really big in size but I have never seen anything like it before! For anybody who is in Cornwall do come on down to Maenporth tomorrow at 12pm for a beach clean. There should be a good crowd of us rounded up now so it will be fun - and it will be followed by a small talk about the trip!

Read the rest

Why this mysterious, bizarre bird is bright orange

Drivers on a highway in Buckinghamshire, UK spotted this very strange orange bird on the side of the road and called the nearby Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital. Further investigation by veterinarians revealed that the bird's feathers were not naturally orange but rather stained with curry. From CNN:

Vinny, named by veterinary workers in honor of the Vindaloo curry he was covered in, had a "pungent smell" but was otherwise healthy, the hospital said.

All he needed was a bath. Rescuers were finally able to clean the curry off of the herring gull after he put up a bit of a fight and covered the veterinary team in curry water.

Now that he's been thoroughly scrubbed and returned to his natural white coloring, Vinny will soon be ready to fly free...

Read the rest

Fellow catches big fish that is then caught by something much bigger

"Run, Daniel, run!"

(via /u/TheNatureLover) Read the rest

Polar bear got lost in Russia, hundreds of miles from home [video, photo]

“Environmentalists say the bear could have lost its bearings while drifting on an ice floe.”

Dig this psychedelic squirrel's rainbow look

Photographer Kaushik Vijayan snapped beautiful shots of rainbow-colored Malabar giant squirrels in the Pathanamthitta District in Kerala, Southern India.

"I felt so amazed by how drop-dead gorgeous it looked," he told CBS News.

While University of Miami evolutionary biologist Dana Krempels was quoted in National Geographic suggesting that someone may have jacked up the color intensity of the photos, the squirrels do have far-out purple coloring. From Nat Geo:

The squirrel’s purple patterns likely play some sort of role as camouflage. This is because the broadleaf forests these squirrels inhabit create a “mosaic of sun flecks and dark, shaded areas"—not unlike the rodents’ markings, (according to University of Arizona conservation biologist John Koprowski, author of Squirrels of the World.)

Read the rest

Here are a whole bunch of little albino turtles

I like these albino turtles. Read the rest

Ocelot of bouncing around

Boing Boing! Read the rest

Clever bird adapts to pecking order

Sometimes life comes at you fast, and you just have to make the best of a challenging situation. Read the rest

Moose enjoys treats

“He is very gentle when he takes his treats.” Read the rest

This is a real African black panther and it's incredibly rare

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on Feb 13, 2019 at 3:05am PST

In central Kenya, biologists and wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas captured footage of a fantastically rare melanistic leopard, sometimes known as an African "black panther." There are only two known prior photos of an African black leopard, from 1909 and 2007. From National Geographic:

"Almost everyone has a story about seeing one, it's such a mythical thing," says Pilfold, of San Diego Zoo Global's Institute for Conservation Research.

"Even when you talk to the older guys that were guides in Kenya many years ago, back when hunting was legal [in the 1950s and ‘60s], there was a known thing that you didn't hunt black leopards. If you saw them, you didn't take it..."

Pilfold adds it’s curious that the fictional country of Wakanda, home of the superhero Black Panther, is located in East Africa, fairly close to Kenya.

"It's a unique coincidence," says Pilfold. "The only place where we have black leopards is where this place in the Marvel Universe appears to exist."

"Black leopard spotted in Africa for first time in 100 years" (National Geographic)

Black Leopard: My quest to photograph the most elusive cat in Africa (Camtraptions)

Read the rest

Watch: young male lion attacked by pack of 20 hyenas

In this preview from the upcoming episode of BBC's Dynasties -- a young male lion finds himself surrounded by a pack of 20 hyenas. The video ends before we find out whether or not he prevails, I guess we have to tune in to find out, but my money is on the relentless hyenas. Read the rest

China reinstates ban on using tiger and rhino parts in traditional medicine

After the whole damn planet declared its disgust with China's lifting the ban on using tiger bones and rhino horn in medicine, the Chinese government has decided to back peddle on its declaration: using the exotic, endangered animals bits and pieces will remain off limits to the world of eastern medicine.

From The New York Times:

Making a rare concession, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said that it had decided to postpone an order made last month to undo a 25-year ban on the trade.

“The Chinese government has not changed its stance on wildlife protection and will not ease the crackdown on illegal trafficking and trade of rhinos, tigers and their byproducts,” Ding Xuedong, a top official with the council, said in remarks published in the state-run news media on Monday.

I'm having a hard time believing that anything to do with any government would be good news this year, but here we are.

It is worth noting, however, that the Chinese ban on slapping bones and horn into medicine isn't permanent. It could be rescinded at any point in the future. However, as The New York Times points out, China's working hard to sort out a greater share of respect on the world stage. Not murdering rare animals for their bits and pieces? That's an easy win.

Now if we could just get them to knock off the shit they're pulling with Muslims in their nation, we'll be getting somewhere.

Image by Soumyajit Nandy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Read the rest

This lynx became buddies with cameraman after spending months together in the Canadian north

It's an accomplishment to find and photograph a lynx: they want little to do with humans and make an effort to keep themselves to themselves. It's an even bigger accomplishment to not only find a lynx to photograph, but to also spend enough time with it that it comes to see you as a hunting buddy. Read the rest

Important elephant road safety tips

If you see an elephant on the road and do anything but breathe, you're gonna have a bad day. Read the rest

More mammals are becoming nocturnal so they can avoid humans

As Earth's human population expands, it's harder for other mammals to avoid people during the daytime. As a result, some mammals are becoming increasingly nocturnal. Nobody knows how that shift will affect individual species and even entire ecosystems. In a new paper in the journal Science, University of California, Berkeley wildlife ecologist Kaitlyn Gaynor and her colleagues examined data on how 62 species across the world spend their days and night. From Scientific American:

For example, leopards in the Central African nation of Gabon are 46 percent nocturnal in areas without bushmeat hunting, but 93 percent nocturnal where the practice is common. In Poland wild boars go from 48 percent nocturnal in natural forests to 90 percent nocturnal in urban areas. Even activities people consider relatively innocuous, such as hiking and wildlife viewing, strongly affected animals’ daily rhythms. Brown bears in Alaska live 33 percent of the day nocturnally when humans stay away, but that number goes up to 76 percent for bears exposed to wildlife-viewing tourism. “We think that we're leaving no trace often when we’re outdoors, but we can be having lasting consequences on animal behavior,” Gaynor says...

Perhaps even more alarming is the cascade of effects that could occur in the wider ecosystem as animals switch from day to night. “Patterns of competition and predator–prey interactions might change with the nocturnal behavioral changes,” Gaynor says. If one species—say a top predator—starts hunting at night and goes after different types of prey, it will likely have innumerable trickle-down consequences for everything along the food chain.

Read the rest

Raccoon climbs up side of skyscraper as world watches with bated breath, then is captured and released to wild

A raccoon in Minnesota got its 15 minutes of fame after climbing up the side of a skyscraper Tuesday. The world watched online as the adorable little trash panda scaled more than 25 stories of St. Paul's UBS building.

The New York Times:

It all started when maintenance workers at an office tower in downtown St. Paul, Minn., found the raccoon curled up on a ledge on Tuesday afternoon. After it was roused, the creature took off — and scaled the side of the building. An audience gathered on the street below — and on Twitter — to watch the hourslong attempt to stop it. While some cheered for the animal, others warned that they were vicious.

“Do not be fooled by their attempts to be cute,” one user wrote. “This building climbing scheme was just part of their nefarious plot to take over the world. Stay vigilant!”

Officials managed to bait and trap the raccoon, and they released it into the wild.

Earlier, though, the outcome was far from certain.

NPR:

The raccoon was spotted more than 20 stories above street level, in a downtown escapade that our colleagues at Minnesota Public Radio tracked closely — it was, after all, just across the street from them, giving them front-row seats as the animal avoided death and capture with equal aplomb.

Dubbed the #mprraccoon on Twitter, the raccoon drew thousands of breathless observers as it scampered, scaled and explored its unlikely high-rise habitat. Its occasional naps were followed closely, analyzed for clues about its mental state, hopes and dreams.

Read the rest

Watch a cheetah jump into vehicle during a safari

"A cheetah decided to explore our vehicle on a safari I was leading for Grand Ruaha Safaris (in the Serengeti National Park," wrote wildlife photographer Peter Heistein on Instagram. "Another one jumped up on the hood and was staring at us through the windshield. They were just curious, we kept calm and let them go about their business. Quite a thrill to be this close!

"Our guide Alex Mnyangabe... helped us through the encounter with instructions on how to treat the animal 'with respect.'"

Read the rest

More posts