25 Weirdest Animals. See also: 24 bizarre creatures of the deep. Not responsible for nightmares related to the viperfish, the oarfish, or the star-nosed mole.
"While we were there, sitting by the fire one night, I saw an extraordinary-looking dog that appeared to have two noses. I was sober at the time, and then I remembered the story that the legendary explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett came back with in 1913 of seeing such strange dogs in the Amazon jungle", explains fellow British Colonel John Blashford-Snell. The double-schnoz phenomenon has been documented in other species, and has even been studied, dramatized, and synthesized in humans. But a clue has recently been discovered in Bolivia that hints at not just a random mutation, but what might have once been a multi-snouted dog breed.
I love giraffes. Sure, some people think they're evil (previously on MeFi), but did you know that they have black tongues? Or that their scientific name hints that early viewers thought they resembled a camel/leopard mashup? That their closest living relative is the okapi? Did you know that they come with a special structure to prevent too much blood flow to the brain while drinking, and built-in pressure hose to protect the capillaries in their legs from their massive height and resulting blood pressure? This here giraffe is an amazing critter.
Deyrolle: The Strangest Shop in All of Paris. "Paris has many unusual shops, but one of the most unusual has to be Deyrolle."
Earthlings (1 hr 35 min Google video) is "a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called 'non-human providers.'" Also in three parts on YouTube.
Animal Face Off! A herd of buffalo battle a pride of lions and two crocodiles. Like "The Warriors" at a watering hole.
The Encyclopedia of Life project will create a compendium of every aspect of the biosphere. It aims to compile data on all of Earth's 1.8 million known species on one Web site, and will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. E. O. Wilson is getting his wish. [Via BB.]
Suicide food. Yep, some animals just have an inexplicable death wish. Classic. Creepy. Cute. Sporty. Disturbingly sexy. Just plain confusing. These animals all have one thing in common. They're freakin' tasty.
Zoo Babies from around the world. Probably the cutest photo gallery you'll see this week.
The most effective Surreality is that which is entirely Unintentional (15-minute Google video). A delightful balance between amusing & disturbing. Harvested from Doctor Macro's MGM Shorts page. Previously.
Nearby residents didn't seem too upset. No one claimed it was the work of aliens or a secret cult. 250 animal carcases dumped. Included coyotes, dogs, cats cows, the usual stuff. "I'm a little concerned about it,""Stuff like that happens," she shrugged. But the folks in the forums think otherwise and have opinions as to what should happen to the deed doers and the cause of their actions.
In this corner: John "Mack Daddy" Mackey. In this corner: Michael "The Pollanator" Pollan. Mackey. Pollan. Mackey. Pollan. Mackey vs. Pollan!! (.rm file via)
Saving the world’s weirdest creatures. The EDGE of Existence programme, a project of the Zoological Society of London, aims to conserve the world's most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species by implementing the research and conservation actions needed to secure their future. [Via MoFi.]
Gregory Colbert's Ashes and Snow has been linked to twice before on Metafilter. However, you can now view 10 minutes of his film as part of his Ted Talk--it's the most stunning nature footage I've ever seen. In the talk he also mentions a new concept he's developing called Animal Copyright, which I think is long overdue.
“Allowing parents to select their children’s sexual orientation would further a parent’s freedom to raise the sort of children they want to raise.”
Cure for teh gay? I was relaxing in front of X-Men 3 when a friend mentioned that the United States "gay sheep" experiments were wrapping up (though not uneventfully), with considerable successes. Lesbian tennis champ Martina Navaratilova has been fighting to end the tests for some time, but it appears a "gay vaccine" for pregnant mothers may be inevitable. Meanwhile, the GOP's only gay congressman retires.
Birds that rap and cows with accents. The big picture is urban adaptation, which is pretty cool. (...and the egg wins.)
RavenViewer. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers free sound analysis software that allows you to simultaneously listen to and watch spectograms of animal communication, such as the uncanny mimicry of a lovesick Satin Bowerbird or the chilling call of the Common Loon. If birds aren't your bag, there's lots of other animal sounds (and stunning video) to explore.
I researched and put an infopiece together after recently learning of bile bears here on Metafilter. Even as an animal professional, I was unaware of the existence of bile bears. Now I know: Bile Bears are live moon bears that are turned into living crated "bile kegs," the bear's bile being extracted by means of a surgically implanted tube and used to treat conditions as varied as gallstones, kidney disorder, and (of course) impotence. After the long-suffering bear dies, the creature's body parts are then sold off individually for further monetary gain. Indeed, it is an appalling practice, but worse I learned the practice is spreading, and in fact demand for bear products is now affecting the bear population of North America, as North American bears are being illegally hunted and harvested for their parts to be used domestically and abroadin the preparation of traditional Chinese medicine.
Horse Rescue in the Netherlands--after a heavy storm in October, 100+ horses were standed on a small island. Here's how they were rescued.Google video; alternate YouTube link. Warning: Vangelis music.
A recent article recently came out in the Wall Street Journal, which cited new study from Stanford about animal consciousness. Elephants grieve, bees create mental maps, dolphins recognize themselves in mirrors. Snakes have more brain cells than humans, and chickens worry about the future. What are your thoughts? Does this change the way we treat animals?
Elephants are self aware (news story, videos). "As a result of this study, the elephant now joins a cognitive elite," said researcher Frans de Waal at Emory University. [Past posts tagged with "elephant" "elephants"]
Philadelphia Zoo will close Elephant Exhibit, America's "Oldest Zoo" announced Thursday - becoming the 11th zoo in the US to stop displaying elephants since the Detroit Zoo made such a decision two years ago. Is this officially a trend yet?
Blood-painting the inside of your car has got to suck. Ever wonder what happens when you hit a moose? Hint: it appears worse to your car than hitting a kangaroo. (warning, if you can't stand the sight of dead animals [even when they look cute in deathly repose], stay away)
Clara the rhinoceros. Hansken the elephant. Monster from the deep. Prints from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam [previously].
We're Schleswig-Holsteins, darling. (Ah, from the Low Countries.) Cows have accents. Some other animals with accents: birds, otters, frogs, monkeys.
Free Your Imagination : from the furry "Yeti crab" to the almiqui, animals discovered and rediscovered this millenium.
Patches The Horse enjoys getting beers from the fridge, watching television, and riding in convertibles to the McDonald's drive-thru.
Need to know the future? Try a little haruspicy. Full details, including a script in Greek, here (don't worry, they use an egg). For the animal rights activist, there's a cruelty-free method.
Tiny animals look especially tiny when perched on fingers. From mefi's own specklet.
The Feather Book, digitized by and on display at McGill University: A seventeenth-century book containing illustrations of birds and men -- composed of real feathers, beaks, and claws. More information about the book and its contents and history can be read here.
Panda, Inc. - National Geographic does pandas, including this surfeit of cuteness clip of Tai Shan and mom playing. Watch for panda mania to break out in the U.S. as we count down to Tai Shan's one year birthday. At 53 pounds, he is coming along nicely - see his progress in his photo album since birth. Meanwhile, in the wild, happy news that the panda population may be double what was previously thought. Yay! (via adorablog's great panda file.)
Bunny versus Airbus A380. The bunny was on the runway as the A380 came in for a landing, but managed to avoid getting pancaked by bolting as the behemoth decelerated. We salute you, Runway Bunny.
For those of you that love photos of animals getting along with other animals that they would normally be eating, the photos section of the Animal Liberation Front website is for you.
Himmapan.com features illustrations and photos of artistic depictions of the creatures of the legendary Himmapan (or Himapan/Himaphan) Forest of the Himalayas. Fantastic chimeras of Asian mythology.
"This is the most tacky, tasteless, smutty, down-in-the-gutter tour ever created," Tollini told the 80 or so adults who piled onto two trams and devoted three hours to tales of fornicating felines and hermaphrodite ostriches. Big thanks to Tizzie at 9622.net.
Specious Beasts: the unsuccessful fauna of the American West.
Cairo, an Italian mastiff puppy, was introduced as a playmate to 10-week-old Koza, a lion cub whose twin died, at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The idea is that lions are social animals, but there are no other lion cubs at the park for Koza to interact with. Cairo is the next best thing.
Retrocrush is celebrating the Year of the Dog with a tribute to the 100 greatest dogs of pop culture history. (via presurfer). Is your favorite famous canine on the list?
Songs of Brazilian Birds A fantastically diverse collection of .au files, including the beautifully evocative Organ Wren or Uirapuru, the mooing of the Capuchinbird, the sci-fi minimalism of the Short-tailed Antthrush and a duet of Laughing Falcons (they'll make you laugh at the end).