Hard Numbers Reveal Scale of America’s Trophy-Hunting Habit by Rachael Bale [National Geographic]
Sport hunters, those who kill animals for recreation rather than out of necessity, imported more than 1.26 million trophies to the U.S. in the decade from 2005 through 2014, according to a new analysis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s import data by Humane Society International and the Humane Society of United States. That’s an average of 126,000 trophy imports a year, or 345 a day.[more inside]
A slightly silly and squirrelly animation for a rather rude song. Contains meerkats with beehive hair and a very large singing squirrel with a bad wig. Found through b3ta, a long time ago.
Want to decorate your hunting lodge or baronial hall without feeling too guilty? Crochet taxidermy to the rescue! [more inside]
Animal Families - A collection of animal illustrations that explore the relationship of parent and child. By artist Michael Sutton.
For your minute of zen, baby bunnies dozing in glasses. The noses! The pawses! The chinses!! [more inside]
The Winners (and a small flock of runners-up) have been named in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
Koala bear Imogen was born at Australia's Symbio Wildlife Park in November. Soon after, another koala in the park had a baby but, sadly, mom died a few days later leaving the new joey orphaned and in danger. Zookeepers Matt and Kylie decided to hand-rear Imogen because she was stronger and older, freeing Imogen's mother to raise the motherless joey. The plan went well and Imogen turns one year old this weekend. She's had an adventurous young life that Matt and Kylie thoughtfully documented along the way. [more inside]
On 20 February 1947, the first animal made it into space aboard a captured Nazi V-2 rocket. That animal was a fruit fly, accompanied by several compatriots from the same species. Their rocket reached an altitude of 108 kilometers and then parachuted safely back to Earth after completing their 3 minute and 10 second mission. All hail Earth's pioneering space travellers!
The Speed of Animals. If you're six feet tall, 10 miles per hour probably doesn't feel very fast. But what if you were just six inches tall, like a squirrel? It would feel quite a bit faster. This site shows the actual speeds of animals and how fast they would be going if they were your size.
A study published in the journal Animal Behavior found that crows can recognize their fellow dead crows and learn to avoid the dangerous circumstances associated with death. The BBC described the study, which involved a "masked individual playing bad cop, arriving on the scene holding up a dead crow." [more inside]
“Head trainer Teri Turner Bolton presses her palms together over her head, the signal to innovate, and then puts her fists together, the sign for “tandem.” Comparative psychologist Stan Kuczaj records several seconds of audible chirping between [the dolphins] Hector and Han, then his camera captures them both slowly rolling over in unison and flapping their tails three times simultaneously. [...] Either one dolphin is mimicking the other [...] or it’s not an illusion at all: When they whistle back and forth beneath the surface, they’re literally discussing a plan.” [more inside]
"One hunter recalled a nighttime visit to a swamp in Ohio in 1845, when he was sixteen; he mistook for haystacks what were in fact alder and willow trees, bowed to the ground under gigantic pyramids of birds many bodies deep." In his new book about the passenger pigeon, the naturalist Joel Greenberg sets out to answer a puzzling question: How could the bird go from a population of billions to zero in less than fifty years? (SLNewYorker.) [more inside]
Walidah Imarisha is a professor at Portland State University, where she teaches a class on race and Disney. This is her interview with Bitch Media on the racial politics of Disney animals.
There exists a film whose trailer tantalizes the brain; a film whose English dub, believed to have been created by the notorious K. Gordon Murray (his previous lies - he is described as a "flim-flammer" who ran a "kiddie circuit"), has eluded even the most fervent afficionados of strange cinema. Thanks to the people of Sweden and a translator known only as Doctor Death (and fixes from uploader Justin Sane - you can see the translation by turning on captions), you can enter the world of The Secret of Magic Island: the live-action children's film starring an all-animal cast.
Last night, Virginia Tech grad student Ann Hilborn, her labmate Chris Rowe, and their research supervisor Marcella Kelly were posting pictures of animal genitals on their lab’s Twitter account (@Whapavt). When Hilborn added some more from her collection, one of their readers called it a “junk-off”. And thus a hashtag was born. [NSFW?]
We think of the Stone Age as something that early humans lived through. But we are not the only species that has invented it.
Fawn frolics with rabbit (SLYT) (no cats, sorry, but at least it's filmed in landscape).
"New Pal" - the latest comic in a series that Lauren Monger has been cartooning for Vice. More Lauren Monger comics and drawings (most of which involve the same cast of beautifully-watercolored animal friends) at her tumblr and her twitter.
How did they get those dogs to do that? "Hundreds of dogs rise up against their oppressors in this visually stunning, one-metaphor-fits-all Hungarian drama... a film featuring 274 dogs, no CGI, and a pair of canine protagonists who consistently out-emote their human co-stars."
To start your weekend off right, here are 8 opossums eating banana pieces all at the same time. It's hypnotic.
Animal Planet presents The Cute Channel, with clips from their show Too Cute. Caution: With this much concentrated cuteness, you may be rendered temporarily speechless. [more inside]
Mother rabbit defends her bunnies from a snake. Relentlessly. [slyt]
"Actual zookeepers taking photos of themselves doing Chris Pratt's Jurassic World velociraptor taming move is a thing."
Deer using dog door (SLYT)
Historie of Beafts combs through Medieval bestiaries to bring you the finest in olde-tyme animal facts. [more inside]
For tens of thousands of years, wild horses have inspired humans - to nurture, to create, to slaughter - culminating in the past century of America’s legal and psychological battles over the horses we can’t own. [more inside]
The family shows up at Hank’s house unaware that they’ll be sharing it with assorted wildlife whose collective attitude toward humans ranges from playful to scarily aggressive. Oh, and all the animals are real, and largely untrained, and when they paw and pounce on their human costars, you can see real terror in the actors’ eyes — like actual Oh shit please God no terror.The making of Roar, possibly the Most Dangerous Movie of All Time.
Once-Prized Tibetan Mastiffs Are Discarded as Fad Ends in China [New York Times]
“Then there is the Tibetan mastiff, a lumbering shepherding dog native to the Himalayan highlands that was once the must-have accouterment for status-conscious Chinese. Four years ago, a reddish-brown purebred named Big Splash sold for $1.6 million, according to news reports, though cynics said the price was probably exaggerated for marketing purposes. No reasonable buyer, self-anointed experts said at the time, would pay more than $250,000 for a premium specimen.”
Chris Crowe has a girlfriend. She stands a leggy 5 feet tall, weighs a trim 11 pounds, and sports a set of wings like you’ve never seen. Walnut the white-naped crane is the most genetically distinct endangered crane on the block — which means she needs to have been making babies, like, yesterday. Walnut was raised by humans at a zoo, and as a result, she recognizes and trusts humans — and is deeply hostile to other cranes. How hostile? She killed the two male cranes that her former keepers attempted to pair with her. "I like to jokingly tell people that Walnut ‘allegedly’ killed two male cranes," Crowe says. "It’s not like she was tried and convicted. We don’t know her side of the story."
Masao Kinoshita makes sculptures of bizarre anthropomorphic animals and animal-human hybrids, often with their musculature exposed.
"The spotted hyena has a genital set-up that is unique among animals. [...] They have a pseudopenis; an extended clitoris through which they urinate, have sex, and give birth. In order to have sex a male has to place his penis in the pseudopenis, which is extremely difficult without her complete cooperation. Once the two have mated, the female has the option of simply peeing, and flushing out much of the male's sperm."