Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Adorable. Possibly rabid, but adorable.

In photos that have never been seen before, a couple inadvertently caught the rarest leopard in the world on camera. The Strawberry Leopard was spotted on the Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve in South Africa by a motion triggered camera which was pinned to a tree. Gorgeous.

So occasionally I take Sparky to a local cemetery and let him run around a little, just to get some exercise and fresh air. Of course I pick up after him and to be safe I put his leash on if another person comes close to us with their own dog, but usually it’s just a relaxing time for him to smell the smells and hang out with me.

Usually.

The other day? Not so much.

You see, I parked in our usual spot, unleashed The Spark, and of course he leaped out if the car to do his thing. He sniffed around, going from tree to tombstone to crypt, tail wagging with that dog-smile on his face.

But then . . .

As I watched he stopped, stood still, his ears perked up, and off he went like a Jack out of Hell. He bolted over a slight rise and down the other side, snarling like a dog possessed.

I gave chase, calling for him to come back, but as I reached the top of the small hill I saw what Spark was heading for.

A burial.

In progress.

With people standing around solemnly listening to the preacher’s final words in honor of the deceased.

Oh good Lord.

I still have no idea what Spark was so upset about. All I know is that there I was, in a t-shirt, basketball shorts and sandals, sort of whisper-yelling for my dog to get the hell back to me as about 50-sets of grieving eyes stared at me.

Awkward.

All I could do was mumble a “I’m so sorry” several times as I scooped up my furry ball of terror and speed walked back over the hill to my car. Oh, and just before we disappeared Sparky gave one last yap at whatever the hell he was so upset about.

Me? I didn’t look back.

Very cool.

Capybaras are awesome creatures, man. Their calm and motherly nature attracts animals of all varieties to them, as is evidenced in the photos below. Some say they radiate peace, which is an amazing trait, but the truth is that in the wild Capybaras live in large groups so a female Capybaras take care of not only their own offspring but others as well. This helps them to be great mothers who will adopt just about any animal they encounter. In fact, animal rescue shelters will give young animals to a Capybara because they know it will do a great job of raising them. Capybaras, man. They’re cool.

Doesn’t look a day under 350. Seriously, that’s her though.

So I read an article the other day about a female Greenland Shark that was discovered in the Arctic Ocean and is estimated to be around 400-years old. 400-years! That shark was cruising the seas the same time the Mayflower was heading to America! Mind blown, man. They said Greenland sharks don’t even reach maturity until they’re 150. The lifespan also has something to do with the fact the sharks live in the Arctic Ocean at depths of 2000 meters, so this helps slow their metabolism and in turn the aging process.

Wild stuff.

Anyway, this led me to give orders to my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied to research the life spans of various animals. After a night of exhaustive research in our underground headquarters, here’s what they found. Keep in mind these are the known record life spans of these animals and the average lifespans are shorter.

Mayfly 

1-day

Live every day like it’s your last, Mayfly. Because it is.

Dragonfly

20-days

Housefly

35-days

Color me skeptical. I swear I tried to kill the same fly for 6-months a couple summers ago. Dude was taunting me. Fortunately he got too close and Sparky took him down.

Guinea Pig

4-years

Seriously? 4-years? Man, we’re sure setting kids up for disappointment, aren’t we? Just when they’ve really started to love little Boo Bear he kicks the bucket. Sad really.

Mouse

5-years

Rat

7-years

Say what? I thoughts rats lived much longer than that. I’m a tad disappointed.

Hummingbird

12-years

Rabbit

14-years

Sparrow

23-years

Tiger

26-years

Lion

26-years

So lions and tigers have basically the same lifespan. Not shocked.

Dog

29-years

Please, please let Sparky break this record. Please. Seriously though. Please.

The Spark.

Ant

30-years

The ant has the longest lifespan of any insect. Way to go, ants.

Eagle

32-years

‘Murica!

Cat

32-years

This is Nutmeg, who passed away quietly surrounded by family and friends last year. Rest in peace Nutmeg.

Boa Constrictor

40-years

Spider

43-years

This spider was a lab spider. It’s name was #16, which is unimaginative as hell. Why not Webster or Aragog or Hank or something? Anywho, #16 was killed by a wasp and that’s just an awful way to go.

This is #16. Seriously.

Grizzly Bear

44-years

Hippo

61-years

The hippopotamus is the world’s deadliest large land mammal, killing an estimated 500-people per year in Africa. Yikes.

Chimpanzee

66-years

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken students to the zoo and watched them jump up and down in front of the chimps, acting like chimps. And the chimp is usually looking back at them like this . . .

Andean Condor

79-years

Alligator

80-years

His name is Muja and he is still alive in Latvia. He was brought there in 1937 from America. You go Muja.

Actually Muja.

Cockatoo

83-years

Anybody remember Baretta’s cockatoo, Fred? Nobody? Never mind.

American Lobster

100-years

Olm

102-years

Killer Whale

110-years

Her name was Granny and she is feared dead after disappearing from her pod awhile back. I’m going to need a minute here.

Macaw

114-years

Her name is Charlie. She lives in England and is known for imitating Churchill’s rants about the Nazis. Charlie is awesome.

Meet Charlie!

Human

122-years

Her name was Jeanne Calment and she lived in France. And get this – when Jeanne was 12-years old she met Vincent Van Gogh. Sweet.

Box Turtle

138-years

I painted my name on probably 50 Box Turtles when I was a kid. Just a small “Dave Shoemaker” above the tail on the shell. Sooo, theoretically many of them are still out there roaming the Southern Ohio woods.

PS- Out of curiosity I looked up how far Box Turtles roam in their lifetime. Turns out they stay within 200-yards of their homes. Dang, some of those turtles could still be near me as we speak.

Crocodile

140-years

This guy lived in Australia and was named Mr. Freshie. Cool.

Geoduck Clam

160-years

No comment.

Sea Urchin

200-years

Bowhead Whale

221-years

Koi Fish

226-years

Tortoises

250-years

Greenland Shark

400-years

See my remarks above.

Ocean Clam

507-years

I know. Sort of anti-climactic that this guy is almost the oldest, no? Dude looks like a  . . . sorry, I can’t go there.

 

Again, I got nuthin’ here.

Turritopsis Nutricula Jellyfish

Immortal. Yep, you read that right. Since it’s capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. That’s nuts.

So there ya go, kids. That’s all my crack staff could come up with. Have a great day.

Check out this bird bouncing a golf ball off a cart path, man. Just having fun like you read about. I wish we all could be as happy as this bird bouncing a golf ball off a cart path. Animals, man.

PS- You fun haters that are telling me the bird thinks the ball is an egg and is trying to break it open can go straight to hell. That’s a bird having fun. End of story.

 

KelownaNow – A Vancouver Island resident is thanking heavy metal titans Metallica for her narrow miss with a cougar on Tuesday evening. Dee Gallant and her husky Murphy, were out for their usual evening stroll on a logging road just outside of Duncan, BC in the Cowichan Valley, when she said she felt “like something was watching” them. It wasn’t until the predator was creeping toward them that she realized what it was – a mountain lion.

Thinking quickly, Gallant took to her phone’s music library to try and find something that sounded the most human and most threatening, it was then that she landed on the track “Don’t Tread On Me” by Metallica. The minute the heavy metal music began, the mountain lion ran away.

Good thing Dee Gallant had another idea after that hissing sound she was making didn’t work, huh? Chick sounded like a kitty with a hairball or something. Anyway, good thing she didn’t play one of those hipster bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Foster The People or Bright Eyes. That cougar would’ve attacked, ripped her throat out, dismembered her and eaten her iPod without blinking an eye.

PS- What kind of a Husky just sits there quietly like that with a deadly predator stalking their owner? Sparky would have made the charge and gone to war for me without hesitation. 

PPS- The tune in question . . .

So a guy was staying at the Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire the other day and walked out of his room to go grab some breakfast. There, leaning against the railing, was a bear checking out the sunrise. Probably climbed up there to get a better view, ya know? Bears, man. Appreciating nature’s beauty.

PS- Also probably looking for some free chow or a random stray toddler.  

Hero.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A dog suffered multiple snake bites Monday night in Davidson County while protecting his owner.

Haley McCormack was headed inside her home after work and said she didn’t see the copperhead snake that was lurking near her front porch. “As I pass the corner of my front porch, the snake is already recoiled back,” McCormack explained. “Arlo lunged out and actually grabbed it by its tail.”

Her pit bull, Arlo, proceeded to kill the copperhead snake before it could bite her. While trying to kill the snake, McCormack said Arlo suffered at least three bites to his face.

The dog was rushed to the emergency vet and doctors administered antivenom.

According to McCormack, doctors gave Arlo a positive prognosis. “He’s my hero. He didn’t hesitate to jump in and save me.”

Hell yes Arlo jumped in to save Haley McCormack. That’s what dogs do, jump in front of dangerous animals and save their owners. Arlo didn’t think twice about ripping a highly poisonous snake to shreds, even if it meant getting bitten in the process. A cat would have hightailed it out of there and eaten your corpse after you were dead. Dogs, man. We don’t deserve ’em.

PS- Somebody in Ross County has been driving around and calling the authorities on people who leave their dogs tied outside when it’s too hot.

PPS-

 

Sea Otters hold hands when they sleep so they won’t drift apart. Animals, man.

Check out this scientist who wanted to get up close and personal with a Polar Bear, albeit from the comfort of his Arctic Buggy thingy. And I’m sorry but I’m always rooting for the animals when I see this stuff. This bro is in the Polar Bear’s natural habitat, and that bear is hungry. Am I the only one who was hoping the bear would bust that glass and have himself a tasty snack? That’s what I thought.

I wrote about Bullet Ants in one of my “Cool Animal of the Day” posts, and this chart pretty much explains it all. Bottom line? Don’t get bitten by a Bullet Ant because it will hurt. A lot.

PS- If you like cool animals, just type “Cool Animal of the Day” in the S:U search box and you’ll be provided with hours of entertainment. You’re welcome.

According to a French study of social interactions, men who approach a single woman on the street will get her phone number one out of 10 times. If the same guy approaches women while walking a dog his odds go to one in three times. The research says that a man with a dog signals that he has the resources and the willingness to care for others.

Get it, little dude. Get it.

I’ve written about octopuses before because they’re fascinating as hell. Check out the blog Someday, Octopuses Are Going To Rule The World for some cool octopus facts. Anyway, this is a video I first ran a few years ago and it is absolutely astounding. I can’t watch it enough.

Slingshot leaped 35′-3″. The world record for humans is 29′-4 1/4″. Good boy Slingshot. Good boy.

Coyotes are impossible to exterminate. The more coyotes get killed, the more they procreate. This occurs because the coyote howl acts as a roll call. A normal coyote litter size runs between 4 and 5 puppies. However, if the female does a roll call howl and the population is sparse based on these calls, the female will generate more pups. They’re effectively taking a census with the howling. A low census causes a chemical or metabolic change in breeding females and they’ll have as many as nine puppies in the litter to make up for the population loss. Coyotes are now in 49 states.

Actually it’s a moth from Southeast Asia that’s inflating scent glands from its butt, but still. Nature, man. Just messing with us per usual. On a related note, Good God.

PS- It’s preparing for its mate. Yep, that’ll get the ladies.

PPS- If you want all the fascinating details regarding this bad boy, read below the photos.

Newsweek- Creatonotos gangis is a species of moth that lives in Southeast Asia and parts of Australia. Most of the time it looks like a normal moth with white and black wings and a red or yellow body. It’s in the Eribidae family of moths, which includes some of the largest moth species.

But when preparing to mate, four tubular, translucent scent glands, or coremata, inflate like balloon animals from his behind.

Some male moths and butterflies have these coremata, or “hair-pencils.” They use them to expel pheromones to attract mates, and the hairs waft the smell toward the females. WIRED wrote a detailed analysis of these odd organs. You can also learn more about the weird body parts of moths and butterflies in this Powerpoint slideshow (PDF), complete with macro photos.

Comments on the video of C. gangis, which six days after posting has more than 200,000 shares, express fear and confusion at this strange creature’s inflating organs which are each about the length of the rest of his body. The behavior is confusing and makes it look a bit like a sinister alien. But the animal is harmless, as long as you don’t eat too many of them.

When C. gangis is just a caterpillar, before it has transformed into its mothy self, it eats plants with alkaloid chemicals. These plants evolved toxicity to discourage insects from eating them, but the caterpillars bit back evolutionarily—in fact, it’s necessary for them to eat the toxic plants in order to grow these glands as moths. The more toxins they eat, the bigger their hair-pencils ultimately will be. These toxins also have the added benefit of making them taste terrible.

NRK Radio- A 1-year-old explorer made an epic journey from Norway to Canada, covering 2,176-miles in 76-days. That young explorer was an Arctic fox. 

Scientists were left “speechless” by the fox’s journey, Greenland’s Sermitsiaq newspaper reports. Researchers from Norway’s Polar Institute had been tracking the young female fox on a GPS, according to BBC News. They freed her into the wild on the east cost of Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago of Norway.

The fox started her journey in March, at just under a year old. She walked nearly 1,000-miles from the archipelago near the North Pole to Greenland. She completed this leg in just 21 days, then began the second part of her trek.

The fox then walked about 1,242-miles farther to Canada’s Ellesmere Island. The whole trek took her just 76-days, averaging about 28.4-miles a day. Some days, however, the ambitious fox walked over 96-miles.

No fox has been recorded traveling that far, that fast before.

Eva Fuglei, a research scientists at the Polar Institute, spoke to Norway’s NRK public broadcaster about the fox’s unlikely journey. “We couldn’t believe our eyes at first,” she said. “We were quite thunderstruck.”

This fox went much further than most others tracked before – it just shows the exceptional capacity of the little creatures. Researchers think the fox curled up in the snow to sit out the bad weather.

The fox could have traveled even farther, but scientists stopped tracking her when she reached Canada in February, because her transmitter stopped working, the Polar Institute said. 

96-miles in a day? That’s .67 miles per minute for a 20-pound animal the size of my dog Sparky. Thunderstruck indeed. And little dude did it by crossing large portions of the frozen freaking ocean, man. That’s intense. I wonder where she was going? Had to have some sort of purpose. You don’t make that journey without good reason. And it’s sad that her transmitter stopped working. We have no idea where she is now. Hell, she could be chillin’ on the beach on Prince Rupert Island for all we know. Animals, man. They never cease to amaze me.

First, watch the video. My comments follow.

Wait. WHAT? No way! Seriously, yes, ladies and gentlemen, sharks live in the ocean. In other shocking news there are alligators in swamps, snakes under rocks and birds in the sky. Good Lord. On a related note I know a guy in the Outer Banks who owns a bi-plane and gives tourists aerial tours. He used to take me up every summer above the beaches and point out all the sharks between the swimmers and the beach. This is not uncommon. They’re nearby a lot but they rarely bite anyone. Anyway, dumb report.

Just kidding. He looks awful. Read on . . .

Siberia- A man allegedly found alive in a bear’s den a month after the beast attacked him and dragged him to its lair survived by drinking his own urine, according to reports in Russia. Named only as Alexander, the victim is said to have been severely injured and close to death when hunting dogs found him in Russia’s remote Tuva region. The emaciated man was reportedly rushed to hospital where medics discovered he’d broken his spine after being set upon by the brown bear.

He is said to have told doctors that the predator had overpowered him  – then tossed him in its den where it kept him for a month. According to the Siberian Times, Alexander explained: “The bear preserved me as food for later. I drank my own urine to survive.”

A group of Russian hunters found Alexander after their dogs barked and refused to move on from a bear’s den they passed in the forest, it’s reported. When the hunters checked inside the lair they apparently saw what they believed to be a “human mummy” – until they realized he was alive.

Listen, I was fully prepared to pooh-pooh Alexander’s story. After all, no website can pooh-pooh a story like Shoe: Untied, amirite? That is, until I saw that photo. That, my friends, is a man who’s been kept in a bear’s den for 30-days. No way to fake that. End of argument.

Note: The Siberian Times sounds like a great newspaper to work for, huh? Just reporting on people freezing to death, bear attacks and vodka overdoses on the daily.

Note 2: Is anyone surprised who saved Alexander? Dogs, because of course they did. Cats would have waited until the bear ate him and feasted on the scraps. 

Note 3: There are now reports this is indeed a hoax. Why does somebody always have to try and ruin a good story?

Check it out, man. A big ass shark goes after a good boy but didn’t count on the pup’s homeboys putting on the bum rush and beating the hell out of him. At last report that shark was in hiding, embarrassed by the ass-whipping and afraid to show his shark face among his shark friends.

PS- On a related note, dogs, man. You come at one you come at them all. Badass.

U.K.- Owners who are convicted of beating their pet could face up to 5-years in prison under a new bill being proposed by the UK Government.

This will see the very worst cases of cruelty, such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, as well as gross neglect of farm animals, hit with much harsher sentences.

It also marks a massive increase on the current sentencing guidelines for animal abuse, which put the maximum prison term at just 6-months.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced the groundbreaking piece of legislation, which will represent one of the toughest crackdowns in the whole of Europe.

He said: “There is no place in this country for animal cruelty. That is why I want to make sure that those who abuse animals are met with the full force of the law.”

Hell yes people who abuse animals should go to jail. It’s a proven fact there’s a connection between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans, and most serial killers killed animals when they were kids. Hey, even if there wasn’t a connection these idiots should be tossed in the slammer. Nothing worse than a coward who picks on defenseless animals. Hate ’em. And Michael Gove is my kind of guy. He’d have my vote all day, every way.

PS- The proposed Dog Chaining Ban in Ohio has yet to be passed. Hit this link to learn more:

Ohio Introduces Dog Chaining Ban

 Hey, I ain’t mad at that Huntsman Spider. In nature you take what you can get. If a Pygmy Possum is dumb enough to get close to a spider the size of a hubcap it gets what’s coming to it. Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest, Law of the Jungle, all that stuff. On a related note, dang that’s a big spider. Australia, man.