Archive for the ‘Animal’ Category

New Cousin to the Velociraptor Discovered in China

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Liaoning Province in China is known for the substantial amount of dinosaur fossils that’ve turned up in the dirt there. Over the years everything from insects to fish to plants have been discovered in such detail that even skin textures have been left behind in the rock.

Now it appears that a new feathered dinosaur that is cousin to the Velociraptor can be added to the long list of discoveries there.

The new dinosaur with a ridiculous name to try and pronounce, Zhenyuanlong suni, stood at about 5 feet tall, had wings too short to allow them to fly and some of the most complex feathers seen on a dinosaur up to this point. The feathers’ complexity is clearly visible on the rock that the near-complete skeleton has been found in and resemble the feathers of today’s eagles.

Professor Junchang Lü from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences’ Institute of Geology:

“The first feathered dinosaurs were found here and now our discovery of Zhenyuanlong suni indicates that there is an even higher diversity of feathered dinosaurs than we thought. It’s amazing that new feathered dinosaurs are still being found.”

It’s also hugely terrifying to think of these semi-flying, feathered 5 foot dinosaurs tracking you down to feed their young.


Nightmare Shark Caught Off Coast of Australia – Has Been Terrifying World for 80 Million Years

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

That nightmarish thing in the photo above isn’t a screen-used graboid prop from Tremors.


That’s an actual creature that lives in our oceans…you know…that giant mass of water that you swim in when you vacation?

Caught off the coast of Australia by a fishing trawler, that thing is a six-foot long monster known as a frilled shark.

Frilled sharks haven’t evolved in almost 80 million years simply because a nightmare is always going to be a nightmare. On very rare occasions frilled sharks are found close to the surface because they’re dying. “Close to the surface” is around 4,000 feet below the surface.

Simon Boag of the trawling company that caught the creature:

“It does look 80 million years old. It looks prehistoric. It looks like it’s from another time! It has 300 teeth over 25 rows, so once you’re in that mouth, you’re not coming out.”

According to a marine conservation society in California there is a report of a frilled shark from 1880 measuring in at 25 feet.

Next time you go splashing around in the ocean for fun just remember…

These live there.


Because the Ocean isn’t Scary Enough…Robosquid

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Robots. We just can’t stop building them even though countless movies tell us where it’s all headed. Not only can we not stop trying to emulate ourselves mechanically, a small portion of the robotics community can’t stop trying to emulate creatures from the animal world.

One of the latest creations by a group called FORTH (Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas) is a tiny little robot trying to emulate the natural actions of octopi and squid.

The video above showcases the features and development of the robot as it goes from having bare legs to more efficient webbed legs to carrying an object in a couple of its legs (check out the little yellow ball it’s carrying) to going for a swim out among more natural life in the actual ocean.

It’s fascinating and almost relaxing to watch as it pulses through the water.

Relaxing until someone attaches tiny laser-guided torpedoes to it.

[Spectrum IEEE]

Chicken Found with Photo Sticking Out of its Chest

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Katha Sheehan, the owner of a Florida chicken rescue, was brought a chicken that had a corner of something portruding from its chest that was obviously not a feather.

Peeking out of, and embedded into, the chicken’s chest and packed behind some primitive stitch-work was the corner of the photograph above.

A local vet removed the photograph from the infected hole in the chicken’s chest after cutting through the makeshift stitch job. Not only was there the 4″x6″ photo…

Nope. Wouldn’t be a Florida story if that’s all there was…

There was also a sketch of a skull.

A nearby anthropology professor who’d been asked about the chicken because of the cult-like procedure stated:

“This is a magical ritual of Cuban origin, probably, with the name ‘Sarabanda,’ which is a deity from the Congo area that was probably used to affect the relationship of these three young people. To me it is alien, the idea of casting your sins on innocent animals.”

According to the vet that treated the chicken, who’s name is Trooper, is recovering very well.


New Clam Looks Like Alien – Becomes Butt of Where’s Waldo Jokes Forever

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Back in 1989 two marine invertebrate biologists were discussing the subject of new species when the both went ‘whoa’ realizing that they’d independently discovered the same creature 1,000 miles apart. One scientist found them in Morro Bay, California while the other scientist discovered them on urchins on Vancouver Island in British Colombia.

Living on the finer spines which rest closer to the body of sea urchins, the Waldo Arthuri, is a small (0.2 inches long) clam-like creature that travels around like a snail. Because the little guys are so fragile it’s been hard for the researchers to really analyze them although they’ve been able to extract DNA which has led them to declare this a new species that’s not documented yet.

Why these things live on urchins is still an unknown.

“What they get out of the relationship is pretty mysterious. The urchin might provide shelter to the clam, and there might be food flowing in the water to the urchin that the clam might be able to filter out and benefit from. What the clam gives to its host, if anything, is pretty unknown.”

[Fox News]

Duck Gets 3D-Printed Foot to Help Him Walk Again!

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Buttercup is an adorable little duck who was born with one of his feet turned backwards.

Born at a high school as part of a biology program, Buttercup was given to a sanctuary specializing in dealing with ducks.

Software engineer for the sanctuary, Mike Garey, took Buttercup under his wing and began looking for ways to give this little duck a much-less painful method of mobility.

Using photos of Buttercup’s sister Minnie’s foot, NovaCopy, a 3D printing company that Garey had gone to, created and then printed a copy of the foot.

Just last night, Buttercup was given the new foot to test out and the result is something that’ll make even hard-nosed haters of cute stuff smirk a little bit at.

The video above is Buttercup before the new foot. The video below is Buttercup with the new foot.

[Gizmodo and Buttercup's Facebook Page]

Perfectly Healthy Two-Headed Turtle Born in Texas Zoo!

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The San Antonio Zoo in Texas has become the home to a tiny and oddly adorable two-headed turtle.

According to the zoo the little critter is doing really well, totally healthy and following its mother around just like its other little turtle siblings without any difficulty.

In fact the only complication that this mini-Godzilla-like turtle design seems to have is that some genius at the zoo named it Thelma and Louise.


Giant Snake Opens Doors – Steps Into Your Nightmares!

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Watch as this door opens up and something spills straight out of this closet and into your nightmares.

This is Julius and yes…this thing DID learn to open even round doorknobs. So you’re really not safe anywhere.

Julius passed away in 2012 from an infection that her vet could not diagnose. While we’re saddened about that…we’re glad that Julius didn’t get the chance to visit Florida and teach the rampant pythons here this trick.

That would’ve finally dumped the Sunshine State into the hellmouth it currently sits on.


Researchers Record the Moment of Inception…in a Hungry Zebrafish. We’re Next!

Friday, February 1st, 2013


Ever wonder what it looked like at the inception point of a thought? Like when your watching ‘fail videos’ online and you do that mental cringe at the exact moment that you’re watching someone sledding down a hill on an oil-pan and suddenly the shot pans far enough to see the gaggle of unattentive people about to meet said oil-pan driver?

Wonder no more!

Researchers in Japan have actually filmed that ‘Oh $#%*!’ moment…

In a zebrafish.

Watch the video. That sudden flash of light takes place the moment the fish noticed food being put into the tank. Zebrafish aren’t going to be taking over the world anytime soon with all of their incredible cerebral abilities, but that was the point of this…to record the inception of a thought in a more simple brain simply to see if it could be done.

A double-transgenic larva was embedded in agarose, and a spot was presented on an LCD display placed on the right-eye side. Ca2+ signals were detected on the left tectum upon appearance (ON) and disappearance (OFF) of the spot. The spot was shown for the first 3 s in this 6 s movie. The video is shown at 3x real time.

Experiments are expected to take place on more advanced brains way too soon.

We could sit around all day and come up with scenarios about this stunning breakthrough.

But if you were a zebrafish, we’d already know that.


Chimp Gets Cable – Prefers Sexier Premium Channels

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

While we all wait for the scenes in Planet of the Apes to play out in real-life, a female chimp named Gina will give us all a glimmer of hope that at least a small percentage of our future primate overlords will need us for a little sumthin’ sumthin’…

Even if that something’s acting out her favorite love scenes from high-quality fare like ‘Slappin’ Bumpies 2′.

For those still catching up…

Gina is a female chimp at the Seville Zoo in Spain. As part of the zoo’s enrichment program, Gina was given her very own remote control for a television mounted to a wall near her cage.

Not long after Gina began figuring out how to work the remote, she also found that she preferred certain channels over others.

Those ‘certain channels’ were the ones that featured the people that kept her in cages riding one another like pack animals (obviously we’re skirting the ‘P’ word because that tosses red flags).

Pablo Herreros, the zoo’s primatologist wrote in his paper on Gina and her viewing preferences:

“The surprise was when they found that within a few days, Gina was not only using the remote control perfectly well, but that she also used to choose the p**n channel for entertainment, as many of us would have done.”

At least we know there’ll be a few sympathizers we can count on when we end up in cages with bad day-time television blaring at us.

Even if they just want us for our bodies.

We went there.

[New York Daily News]

Giant Squid Caught on Camera in the Wild For the First Time!

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Giant squids are legendary.

They’ve taken on Moby Dick, Captain Nemo’s Nautilus and even a bunch of Goonies.

While giant squids have been captured in the past and alleged parts of them have surfaced here and there…seeing one in the wild has been something of a Holy Grail moment that misty-eyed scientists and cryptozoologists have dreamt about forever.

Everyone can prepare to drop your jaws because there is now video of one of these mysterious monsters going about its business deep in the Pacific Ocean.

A team of three Japanese scientists spent over 400 hours crammed in a 31 foot submersible over the course of 100 missions about 150 miles north of Iwo Jima.

At a depth of 2,066 feet, the lights from the submersible reflected onto the creature’s silver skin as it eyeballed the sub curiously before it swam off.

The Discovery Channel’s new branch, Curiosity, is keeping the footage secret until the season finale later this month when they’ll unveil it to the world for the first time…

Up until then? A lot of “Release the Kraken!” headlines.


Mission Accomplished: WWII Carrier Pigeon Finally Delivers Message

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

We all watch movies like National Treasure and secretly hope that something cool like that might actually be out there in the world or even better that it might, out of some cosmic chance, actually happen to us.

David Martin of England had a small bit of such wishful awesomeness fall into his lap when he began renovating his 17th century fireplace. Inside the chimney were the remains of a pigeon….but not just any pigeon…

David Martin uncovered the remains of a carrier pigeon…and not just ANY old remains of some random carrier pigeon…

These particular remains were attached to a small red cylindrical container…and not just ANY small red cylindrical container…oh no, kids…Mr. Martin had found the remains of a World War II carrier pigeon that was still clutching a little red container which held a small, cigarette paper-sized encrypted message!

Martin found this mysterious container in 1982 and sent it off to have it solved. Intelligence officials believed that it was impossible to break because the code books from back then that might hold the answers to this particular code had been lost or gone missing.

Addressed to the mysterious “X02″ from the more mysterious “Sjt W Stot”, the message, sent during the Allied invasion, continues to baffle codebreakers who are working on the message. Bletchly Park, once a highly secretive location where the Nazi’s Enigma Code was broken and now features a museum about pigeons’ role in the war, has more than 30 messages carried by pigeon and not a single one is written in code which causes many of those involved to believe that this message was of utmost importance and urgency.

Just how important was the information this little bad-assed bird o’ war was carrying?

When Martin showed the bird to a counter-espionage specialist who was actually THE inspiration for Ian Fleming’s infamous agent 007?

“When I showed the bird and code, the blood drained from his face and he advised us to back off. He said nothing would ever be published.”

[Discovery News]

Beluga Whale Speaks Crude Human!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

There are a lot of animals that mimic human vocalization.

But when an animal you’d never expect to develop mimicry suddenly begins doing it? It’s a little disturbing. Imagine if your dog suddenly quit barking and just started asking for his dinner in a crude-sounding human voice? You’d understandably be a little freaked the hell out.

This is exactly what happened recently National Marine Mammal Foundation in California. NOC, a nine-year-old Beluga whale, suddenly began making strange sounds unlike anything his trainers had ever heard. At first, no one could tell that it was actually the whale making the bizarre noises. As days went by and the sounds were more frequent, the trainers realized it was NOC.

There have been reports of this kind of mimicry taking place amongst Beluga whales (who’re often called the ‘canaries of the sea’) but it’s never been recorded until now.

At one point one of the divers actually got out of the pool that NOC was in and asked the other trainers at the facility who told him to get out of the pool. We could only imagine the slack-jawing that took place when they realized that their own whale had just told them to get out of his pool.

Just think…we’ve been looking for signs of a robotic take-over or the zombie apocalypse while these adorable whales have just been swimming around…plotting.

[Exclusive TV News' YouTube]

Fresh Giant Eyeball Found on Beach Still Bleeding!

Friday, October 12th, 2012

[ UPDATE: Giant Eye Mystery Solved! ]

Florida always seems like it’s sitting on some kind of undiscovered Hell-Mouth.

Between Bath-Salt Zombies, giant snakes slithering through your lawn, Night Creepers and lizards eating humans there’s just something…not…quite..right.

Which brings us to Pompano Florida.

Some guy’s going for his morning stroll and spots something odd drifting around in the surf. Just like in any other horror film, the dude goes to investigate…and kicks it over…revealing at a huge eyeball staring right back at him.

“It was very fresh,” he said Thursday. “It was still bleeding when I put it in the plastic bag.”

Police referred him to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who, frighteningly couldn’t identify what species the eye came from.

The Fish and Wildlife officers place the eyeball on ice and sent it to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for analysis.

In the end who really cares about where the eyeball came from…the Fish and Game Commission people should be looking for the thing that ripped apart the thing with the giant eyeball.

[Sun Sentinel]

Mysterious Ocean Crop Circles Perpetrator Discovered!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

What you’re looking at isn’t the newest trend in ‘crop-circling’. The thing that created this spectacular-looking sand sculpture isn’t an alien trying to communicate with humankind, either.

The master craftsman behind this amazing looking design is something far less scary and almost kind of adorable.

Yoji Ookota, an office worker who left his cubicle life to pursue his love of underwater photography, recently discovered something that no one had seen until his camera caught sight of it.

A six-foot-wide, elaborate geometric shape 80 feet under the surface of the water on the sea floor. Then he began to spot more of them. Ookota dubbed them the ‘mystery circles’.

As Ookota began to study the circles to find out how they were created, he found the culprit.

An adorable little male puffer fish.

In an amazing display of engineering and the need to be loved, the male puffer fish uses its fins and works day and night to create these things in order to attract females to mate with them. Once the puffer fish creates the ridges, males have even been seen filling their mouths with shells and blowing them onto the ridges they created like they were doing some primitive, animal form of bedazzling.

Females, attracted by the final design, join the male in the center of the design and mate. Later on the female returns to the center of the ‘mystery circle’ and lays her eggs.

These ‘mystery circles’ aren’t just for decoration either. Those shells used to ‘bedazzle’ the ridges appear to serve as nutrients to the young fish when they hatch. According to the most recent research, the design isn’t just for decoration and attracting a mate. The design also features a small bit of engineering. Scientists are discovering that the ridges also serve to protect the eggs from predators and currents that could scatter the eggs across the ocean floor.

This fish has more motivation and interior design abilities than most guys we know.

Weirdly amazing.

[Spoon & Tamago]

Besties Forever: Woman and Cow Found Buried Together

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

During the excavation of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Cambridgeshire, archaeologists have discovered the last resting place of a woman and her….cow?

University students who uncovered the find first thought the animal was a horse since men and their horses, even though rare, have been discovered in the past.

Dr. Duncan Sayer, co-director of the excavation stated:

“Animal burials are extremely rare, anyway. There are only 31 horse burials in Britain and they are all with men. This is the first animal to be discovered with a woman from this period – the late fifth Century – and it’s really interesting that it’s a cow, a symbol of economic and domestic wealth and power. It’s also incredibly early to find any grave of a woman buried with such obvious wealth.”

From other trinkets found with these two interesting and apparent companions, it appears that these two may have been besties while alive.

“They would have wanted to give her something really important to show respect and they wouldn’t have done that for just anybody. That’s why we don’t find cows with burials,” she said. Dr Sayer added: “The cow burial is unique in Europe which makes this an incredibly exciting and important find. I don’t think I’ll find anything as significant as this again in my lifetime.”

Anyone else smell a potential animated feature in this story?