GQ visits the Cute Animal Viral Machine at the heart of Buzzfeed. "One joke in the BuzzFeed offices is that no one employed there can quite explain to their parents what exactly it is they do. To those parents, I would like to say: I can't entirely explain it, either, but whatever it is, these men and women are so fucking good at it. They have thought hard about who looks at what and why. Jack has done entire studies on why cats have triumphed over dogs on the Internet. (The answer involves 'path dependency,' the fancy economics term for when one product, like VHS, conquers another equally legitimate one, like Betamax.) He can tell you with some certainty that a reader of BuzzFeed is equally inclined to click on a photo of a dog or a cat—but that he or she is significantly more likely to share the photo of the cat with others. (Why? 'Totally non-data-driven theory is that dogs are trying too hard,' Jack says.)"
"I had heard about this film through various channels off and on through the years. It had gotten to the point where it was almost apocryphal in my mind.... Nobody knew where it was, nobody had ever seen it, but I was aware it existed. It was like the holy grail." said Wayne Petersen, director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas program for Mass. Audubon on the archival footage of the extinct heath hen discovered, restored and premiering at the Mass Audubon Birders Meeting this month. [more inside]
Many animals, cats in particular, are graceful creatures capable of leaping high and far with remarkable precision. But sometimes they miss. (SLAnimalGIFsTumblr)
There Can Be Only One Snake v Crocodile in Northern Queensland
Perhaps you would like many pictures of mutant vegetables, or a look back on how animals have been perceived or a short guide to the museum of supernatural history. If so, Uli Westphal has you covered.
"First time I ever got beat up by a baby moose." -- Maine moose trapper/tagger Wes Livingston gets mauled by an ungrateful juvenile moose on video. [via 9MSN; TW: animal mauling; Livingston is ok] [more inside]
Peacock Spiders don't hurt humans (they're tiny and 'insignificant'). Here's one on a human fingernail in Western Australia where they live. Peacock Spiders (Flickr image search results) are quite something. (Previously). The still images don't capture the mating performances properly. [more inside]
The Rocky Ridge Refuge is home to a lot of animals and a lot of interspecies friendship. [more inside]
Every psychic animal dreams of claiming the throne vacated by the late Paul the Octopus. Super Bowl XLVIII crushed many of those dreams. Especially disappointing was the fall of Buffett the Manatee who, from his tank at Sarasota, Florida's Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, had correctly called the last six Super Bowls.
Chinese New Year's eve and its the Year of the Wood Horse according to the annual rotation of 12 animals and 5 elements followed by Chinese geomancers. Horse babies are always welcome, especially boys. Less known however is the stigma attached to the girl child born in the year of the Fire Horse. [more inside]
animals riding animals (SLTumblr)
Dennis Hlynsky is a professor of film and animation at RISD whose most recent work, titled Small Brains on Mass, looks at bird behavior, particularly how they interact when flying in groups. To better understand how flying as a flock is achieved, Hlynsky filmed the birds and then stacked the images on the same frame for a set number of frames, the results show each bird’s flight as a trail, but synchronized with the flock. The results are often pure poetry. [more inside]
"The Cubs occasionally had human mascots, but, aside from managers' children, their tenures were short-lived. (An exception was the Fat Boy, Paul Dominick, who was given credit for a 21-game winning streak in 1935 and then left for Hollywood.) Instead, they seemed to prefer animals—who, it should be noted, did not demand salaries. The 1908 world champions had Bud, a Boston bull terrier puppy with an adorable curved tail, and a grotesque-looking fake polar bear. The 1913 team had a homicidal gamecock, named Tampa after their spring training home. (Tampa's mascotting career seems to have ended when he murdered another rooster.) In 1915, they had another dog, a terrier named Toy. But mostly they had live cubs."
Sailfish and the Dredge; a prey's eye view of what it's like to be chased and hunted by a sailfish. [more inside]
The Dodo is a new website by Kerry Lauerman (former Salon editor-in-chief) and Izzie Lerer (of the Lerer family) about animals, and particularly about humanity's relationship with animals: We think of them less as objects at our disposal, as science increasingly reveals them to be intelligent, emotional, social beings that are not as different from us as we used to think they were. Its lead article today is an essay by Glenn Greenwald (previously) on the dogs he and his partner David Miranda have fostered at their home in Brazil. And, as you might expect, there are also heartwarming posts such as this one about elephants being reunited after 20 years apart.
Minnesota Birdsong: An interactive poster Cute interface with birdsong content provided by the always amazing Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Octopus steals GoPro. Sealion steals GoPro. Crab steals GoPro. Human steals GoPro. (Previously: Eagle steals camera, Seagull steals camera)
Do not pamper your animal. A camel is your partner in work, not a pet. You must look into its gigantic, sable eyes and address it firmly. You can reward it with ear scratches.
When Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office on Wednesday to become New York City's mayor, one of the first things on his agenda will be the fight to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park. [more inside]
Back in 08', filmcow.com, the people behind Charlie The Unicorn and other such Internet nonsense, released a darling little video about adorable singing ferrets signing about the things they love, "Make Me Smile!"
A scientist radio-tracking pandas in the Chinese wilderness frolics with an inquisitive cub who was left in his care by its mother: Dajun and the wild baby panda. [more inside]
Do you have a horse that you want to dress up in a costume but can't decide which costume? Then check out the Horse Fancy Dress ideas blog. [more inside]
A researcher at the University of Lincoln tests whether cats form secure attachments in the same way human babies or dogs do. [SLYT] [more inside]
Quick Tutorial on How To Crush Leaves (slyt, 1:02)
Just how much have dog breeds changed in the past hundred years? A lot (and for the worst). [more inside]
Scenes from David Lynch's Dune featuring the House Atreides pug. (SLYT with wrong aspect ratio)
Animals have tempers. Bad tempers. And they want what they want. And there are animated gifs to prove it.
Known primarily for their kitty, puppy, and owl cams, The Pet Collective has also created some entertaining music and film parodies featuring primarily cats and dogs. Among the best of their music parodies are Royals (with a very weird final scene), Wake Me Up, Thrift Shop, Roar, Wrecking Ball, and We Can’t Stop. Among the better movie parodies are Star Wars, Hunger Games, and Jaws
CreatureCast - Rhizocephala - a charmingly animated look at the lifecycle of rhizocephalan barnacles, one of the more horrifying (non-charming) parasitic crustaceans (likewise). NOT a practitioner of parasitic castration but still disturbing: The bobbit worm. Happy swimming!
The epic battle for species cuteness continues! Bull Terrier versus a Crab. [slyt]
Cats Stealing Dog Beds [slyt]
Advice to UK animal owners just before World War Two broke out: "If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency." It concluded: "If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed." [more inside]