Category Archives: animals

swiping left.

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The octopus is one of nature’s smartest and most enigmatic creatures, seemingly able to engage in some of the more complex thought processes in nature while also taking advantage of its unique physical abilities. Recently, some angry cephalopods were discovered to be assaulting fish by striking them with an arm.

Their taste for violence doesn’t end there. A new study demonstrates that when an octopus wants to be left alone, it’s not above tossing the nearest object at the noggin of its target.

Researchers at the University of Sydney published their findings in the science journal bioRxiv, and it’s clear that octopuses have a low tolerance for unwelcome visitors. Observing them off the eastern coast of Australia, scientists witnessed octopuses hurling shells, algae, and other debris at other octopuses in an effort to warn them off.

Octopuses don’t “throw” objects the way a human might. Instead, they use their arms to position the object in front of their siphons, which can produce a jet stream of water that propels the material into their adversary.

This behavior has been observed before, but this new study shed some fresh light on their motivations. The footage obtained via GoPro cameras captured a number of female octopuses throwing shells at would-be male suitors, a kind of swiping left, using blunt force.

In these cases, the males were not always discouraged. One bachelor was hit 10 times but stuck around. Others attempted to dodge the projectiles. Octopuses can toss objects for other reasons. They may, for example, want to clean up their living space by removing clutter. In some cases, that unwanted clutter may also mean a pushy mate.

“you want trouble, you can get trouble” 

s. rotslach

 

 

credits:

Photo- S. Rotslach/Getty Images, Mental Floss/J. Rossen, Science Alert/ M. Starr, University of Sydney/bioRxiv

think pink.

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Today in animals you might not believe are real (but are!): the pink fairy armadillo. This species (Chlamyphorus truncatus) grows to just about 6 inches long, making them the smallest armadillos in the world.

They are found only in central Argentina, and because they’re nocturnal and spend a lot of time burrowing underground, the elusive creatures are difficult to study. 

Like other armadillos, pink fairy armadillos have a shell (or carapace) but theirs is softer, thinner and more flexible. The shell’s color comes from blood vessels close to the surface.

source credit: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

“always be yourself unless you can be an armadillo,

then always be an armadillo.”

-author unknown

some animals are so unusual, it’s hard to believe they’re real.

what’s the most interesting/unusual animal you’ve ever encountered?

woodpecker.

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today at the toledo zoo

 so many beautiful animals

the birds – stunning

even

the very curious and friendly woodpecker

hanging on the screen following us around

staring and blinking

so cute and cheery

 reaching over to touch it

quickly reminded me

how it got its name

when it pecked my finger

 with the memorable touch of

a sewing machine needle/jack hammer

decided right there and then

to just admire each other from afar in the future.

“all bad jazz sounds like woody woodpecker.”

-leo kottke – musician

 

 

image credit: Woody Woodpecker – Walter Lantz Studio, Universal Studios

the swan.

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on the river – welcoming spring

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

– Mary Oliver 

who’s zooming who?

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We humans may be tiring of video calls, Zoom birthdays and streamed performances, but the chimps at two Czech zoos are just starting to enjoy their new live online linkup. To make up for the lack of interaction with visitors since the attractions closed in December under Covid-19 restrictions, the chimpanzees at Safari Park Dvur Kralove and the troop at a zoo in Brno, 93 miles away, can now watch one another’s daily lives on giant screens.

There are no mute-button disasters as the sound is off, but there has already been plenty of interest in what the distant cousins are up to since the project got underway last week.

“At the beginning they approached the screen with defensive or threatening gestures, there was interaction,” said Gabriela Linhartova, ape keeper at Dvur Kralove, 84 miles east of Prague. “It has since moved into the mode of ‘I am in the movies’ or ‘I am watching TV.’ When they see some tense situations, it gets them up off the couch, like us when we watch a live sport event.” The chimpanzees have also adopted other human behaviors such as grabbing goodies like nuts to chew on while watching the action.

The video conferences, also aired on the safari park’s website, will run daily from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. until the end of March, when keepers will evaluate whether they should continue.

“it is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.”

-H. L. Mencken

 

 

 

credits: David w. Cerney – Reuters

which one of us is me?

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 a group of penguins in the water is called a raft- on land, they become a waddle. 

“all penguins are the same below the surface,

which I think is as perfect an analogy as we’re likely to get for the futility of racism.”     

-Russell Brand

 

 

art credit: Wood print by Kaamran Hafeez, One Penguin in a Large. Group of Penguins

bear with me.

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National Park Service Notice –

READ: Please don’t run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself.

As a follow-up to a previous post, if you come upon a stationary bear, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees. Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).

Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Don’t we all? Identify yourself by making noise so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Help the bear recognize you as a human. We recommend using your voice. (Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear) The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.

P.S. We apologize to any “friends” who were brought on a hike as the “bait” or were sacrificed to save the group. You will be missed.

#FindYourPark #RecreateResponsibly

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/index.htm

“i’d rather write about polar bears than people”

-mary oliver

image credit: Bear resting on a log thinking bear things at Katmai National Park & Preserve, NPS/ J. Ehrlenbach

breakfast.

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bunny stops by the yard for a quick breakfast

kitty sees bunny and considers breakfast

bunny sees kitty and keeps eating

kitty sees bunny seeing kitty

one inside, one outside

only a screen between them

understanding

each is safe

but what goes on in their heads?

 

“it is easy to be brave from a safe distance. “

-aesop