Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Check out that Mutated Golden Australian Possum, man. Just as gold and mutated and adorable as can be. What a pet she would make, amirite? Little dude looks like Pikachu, a rat and a rabbit combined. Also a gerbil. The golden color occurs due to a mutation which causes a low level of the pigment melanin which gives them their normal color. They’re really rare in the wild, and although their bright color makes them look cool to us, it also makes them stand out to predators. Not good, man. Luckily for this little gal she’s going to be raised in a wildlife sanctuary so she can live a long, happy life. Anywho, Mutated Golden Australian Possum.

Yeah, it hasn’t been a good week for those notorious Murder Hornets. First we saw them getting diabolically roasted by the Honey Bees from Hell, and now video has emerged of a damn Praying Mantis just kicking the hell out of one and eating it’s head. Sad times for Murder Hornets. Sad times indeed.

WARNING: GRAPHIC. Also funny.

Remember those Giant Murder Hornets I wrote about the other day? The ones that recently arrived in America? Their sting can kill you and they are able to kill honey bees by the thousands. Well, it turns out these psychos can be taken out by bees as well – Japanese Honey Bees to be exact. And how do these Japanese Honey Bees kill Murder Hornets? Read on because the answer is awesome.

Murder Hornets are best known for their ability to decimate honeybee hives, decapitating bee after bee during what the Washington State Department of Agriculture so eloquently described as a “slaughter phase”, destroying one hive within a matter of hours. However . . .

In Asia the bees have learned to fight back, and I mean really fight back, as in kicking some serious Murder Hornet ass. Japanese Honey Bees are able to form hot defensive “bee balls” in order to collectively cook hornets at a temperature that the bees can withstand but the hornets cannot. Man, that’s diabolical. They do it by surrounding the hornets and vibrating their rear flight muscles. Bee twerking if you will.

The video below shows a Murder Hornet scout approach a Honey Bee hive as a means of checking it out and marking it with a pheromone that will allow its fellow hornets to find it. But no so fast, Murder Hornet. The video shows the hornet being swarmed by hundreds of bees all at once, with thermal photography revealing the temperature increase as the honeybees raise the temperature within the bee ball to a precise temperature and roasting the hornet alive.

Nature, man. Doing her thing per usual.

PS- I don’t know how those little bees get the signal to attack, but attack they do, and all at once. Just a chilling sight to behold.

The other day I saw a guy working on a streetlight that was sitting on the ground and I thought, “Man, that streetlight is big.” So, I decided to put my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied to work finding other big things that we might think are smaller. The results were astounding, befuddling, stupefying and downright flabbergasting. Take a gander and prepare to be dumbfounded.

[click a pic and scroll to read the witty captions by Shoe: Untied intern Naitee Aggarwal]

Listen man, I know the animals are making big comebacks all over the damn globe. We have wild beasts walking casually through city streets, birds are flying lower and becoming more brash, and alligators are walking through city parks like they own the damn place. But you know what I never thought I’d see? Monkey motorcycle gangs making toddler kidnap attempts. That one surprised even me. Be careful out there kids. It’s a new world. I swear I even caught Sparky looking at me funny today.

Check out that little Black-Throated Bushtit man, just as adorable as it can possibly be. I shall call him Teddy. Teddy hangs out in the foothills of the Himalayas, stretching across northern India through Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, northern Myanmar, Vietnam, and Taiwan. These little dudes are only about 4-inches long and are really social. They hang out in groups of up to 40. Anywho, Black-Throated Bushtit.

PS- I have several one-liners about this little guy’s name but I just can’t pull the trigger.

[To see many more cool animals, simply type “cool animal” into the search box on the left]

BLAINE, Wash. — In his decades of beekeeping, Ted McFall had never seen anything like it.

As he pulled his truck up to check on a group of hives near Custer, Wash., in November, he could spot from the window a mess of bee carcasses on the ground. As he looked closer, he saw a pile of dead members of the colony in front of a hive and more carnage inside — thousands and thousands of bees with their heads torn from their bodies and no sign of a culprit.

“I couldn’t wrap my head around what could have done that,” Mr. McFall said.

Only later did he come to suspect that the killer was what some researchers simply call the “Murder Hornet.”

With queens that can grow to the size of a matchbox, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.

In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.

Finally, some good news in 2020! Australia basically burned down, there were floods and landslides in Indonesia and Brazil, an earthquake in Puerto Rico, locusts swarmed across South Africa, Kobe was killed, Harry and Meghan quit the royal family, the Houston Astros are cheaters, and the damn CORONA19 has us all ready to punch a toddler. But hey, at least we have giant cannabalistic decapitating Murder Hornets with stingers that can pierce a goddamn suit of armor and make you feel like hot metal is driving into your skin, huh? Good times! On a related note, 2020 can go straight to hell.

Check out that little Armadillo Lizard, man. Dude looks like a tiny dragon. Armadillo Lizards get their name because they grab their tail in their mouth and roll up into a ball when threatened, like regular Armadillos. This guy likes to hide in crevices and whatnot, and enjoys fine dining fare such as termites, fleas and crickets. Tasty. Anywho, Armadillo Lizard.

PS- They make great pets! Woot!

Check out Barry the Canary, man, just chillin’ with an awesome mid-90s bowl cut. Man, that little dude’s lettuce is straight fire. And I’m guessing Barry’s a ladies bird like you read about. Barry is a Gloster Canary and his Instagram bio says he’s “the birb with the fringe!” Cool. Fringe indeed. Gloster Canaries originated in the Canary Islands but are not seen in the wild anymore. Sad really. There are several types of Gloster Canaries, but my man Barry here is a Corona (I know, tough break on the name) hence the crested head. Anwho, Barry the Canary.

PS- Barry can sing like a, well, bird.

Like cool animals? Type “Cool Animal” into the search box up yonder for all the cool animals you’ll ever need. You’re welcome.

wildlife photographer captured a moment between two penguins comforting each other as they look out over the Melbourne, Australia skyline. Both were recently widowed. Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner photographed the two animals and shared it on Twitter. He explained the two penguins had lost their respective partners and had been watching the ‘dancing lights’ of the Melbourne skyline. “A volunteer approached me and told me that the white one was an elderly lady who had lost her partner and apparently so did the younger male to the left. Since then they meet regularly comforting each other and standing together for hours watching the dancing lights of the nearby city.”

Amazing photos.

 

Check out that Furry Sea Slug, man. Just adorable like you read about. Looks like an fluffy little bunny. It’s official name is Jorunna Parva, but that’s no fun. This little dude’s ears are actually rhinophores, or chemosensory scent/taste organs that help them detect chemicals in the water and navigate their way across the ocean floor. They hang out in the Indian Ocean. Anwho, Furry Sea Slug.

Ruby, man. Just giving affection right and left. She knows it’s better to give than to receive. Here she is at doggie daycare doin’ her thing.

Kratu don’t give a damn about nuthin’.

You’ve all heard many a story about a little dog called The Spark. He’s battled coyotes, squirrels, horseflies, spiders, sweepers, the occasional hobo, and a lady in a power suit. Little dude is fearless, and he proved it again today.

Sparky and I welcomed a new addition to our family a few weeks ago, a little Maltipoo named Lilly that needed a home. Sparky has welcomed Lilly with open paws (ok, he does have to let her know who’s boss every now and then) and for the most part it’s been smooth transition. Whenever we’re around other dogs Sparky makes it clear that he’s Lilly’s protector, always staying between her and any potential danger.

Which brings me to our latest adventure . . .

Today I took Sparky and Lilly to a local state park, a place with a huge lake and plenty of room to run around. As I pulled into the parking lot near the dam I noticed a large American Black Vulture sitting there. It had its wings outstretched and it was massive. It had to have a wingspan of close to 6-feet and of course had one of those hairless heads and nasty looking hooked beak. I’d read about these creatures before and knew how mean they could be. Just recently I’d read this in the Louisville Courier-Journal:

They’ll devour slimy newborn calves, full-grown ewes and lambs alive by pecking them to death.

First the eyes, then the tongue, then every last shred of flesh. 

Yeah, so I knew I needed to keep an eye out, and especially up.

As we parked it flew away, but not before Sparky had spotted it and gave a low, gutteral growl. Not much gets past The Spark, man.

I got out of the car first, just to have a look around and scan the skies. I mean, I was pretty sure we’d scared the beast off but better safe than sorry, especially where my dogs are concerned. Plus, I figured no flesh eating bird in its right mind would swoop down with a human standing right there.

All was clear.

The pups hopped out and started doing their thing, trotting around and sniffing everything in sight. I made sure to stay close, especially to Lilly. After all, Spark is 22-pounds, experienced and a badass, but Lilly weighs probably 8-pounds and wouldn’t know danger if it stared her in the face. Spark was about 20-feet to my left, Lilly no more than 15-feet in front of me.

And then it happened.

First I thought Sparky had spotted a squirrel or rabbit and was making a mad dash for it. He was heading straight ahead so I thought he’d fly past Lilly in his hot pursuit. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw it – the damn vulture was making a dive at Lilly.

For a brief instant I thought Sweet Lilly was a goner. What flashed through my brain was that poor little girl, who’s already been through so much, being carried off to be eaten alive by that winged monster.

Fortunately, somebody wasn’t going to let that happen, and that somebody was Sparky.

Not on my watch, you flying freak.

I promise you that behemoth was 20-feet up and diving as The Spark made his charge, growling and barking like a dog possessed. He leaped up and I swear, for just a split second, that I thought he was going to make contact. Instead, the beast made an excellent life choice – it got the hell out of there.

And as the big bird rose and flew away, Sparky gave chase, looking up and growling as he ran. I’m telling you that dog would still be giving chase had I not ordered him to come back.

Lilly? She was standing under me, shaking, and did so until Spark trotted back and they nuzzled noses together.

And as we walked back to the car, Sparky constantly the skies, ever watchful.

In retrospect, Lilly tore a toenail a couple days ago. It’s being treated but she’s still limping pretty badly. I believe the Black Vulture saw that and estimated Lilly was easy prey.

What it underestimated was the furry ball of protective fury they call The Spark.

I gotchu, girl.

 

 

Check out that Flying Squirrel, man. Just soaring through the skies like a freakin’ winged rat. When I was a kid we called these animals Sugar Gliders, which is way cooler in my opinion. We actually had them in the woods near my house when I was a youngblood, and you could hear them swoosh above your head if you were out in the woods near dusk. The young are born in a nest and are cared for by their mother. By 5-weeks they’re able to practice gliding skills so that by 10-weeks they’re ready to leave the nest. Cool. Anywho, Flying Squirrel/Sugar Glider.

PS- They also make great pets!

Check out those Valais Blacknose Sheep, man. Just cute as the dickens. The Valais Blacknose sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the Valais region of Switzerland. The breed originates in the mountains of of Valais. It is documented as far back as the fifteenth century, but the present German name was not used before 1884 and . . . ah, screw that. I want a Blacknose Sheep and I want one yesterday. Anywho, Valais Blacknose Sheep.

This question was asked on Twitter, and one man’s answer touched my soul. Here it is:

My wife, my 3-year daughter and I were on a vacation in Alaska. One evening we went for a walk after dinner. Upon our return we found a Grizzly Bear between us and the door to our cabin. As we came through a clearing it stood up on its hind legs and roared, showing its teeth and growling. It then made a move towards us.

Without hesitation my 11-year old Bull Terrier, Duke, charged the bear and leaped towards its throat. As that was happening I ran my daughter and wife into the cabin, grabbed my rifle and ran back outside. The bear and Duke were gone, but I could hear sounds of the battle off in the dark woods.

Finally everything became quiet and I could hear the bear crashing away through the forest. I looked for what seemed like forever for Duke, and I was assuming the worst. Finally he came limping through the underbrush to me, bleeding badly. He’d fought like a son-of-a bitch. 

I rushed him to a local vet and he licked my neck and face all the way there. He seemed to be more worried about me, and that he was glad I was ok. When I got there I found out he had a broken leg, broken jaw and a 9-inch gash on his side.

He never made it.

Would I give five years of my life to Duke?

Yes.

After all, he gave my entire family our lives.

Dogs. They’re truly a gift to mankind.

So a guy in Pennsylvania recorded a couple videos of all the animals that crossed a log bridge over a stream on his property. The results are very cool. Enjoy.

Check out that Blanket Octopus, man. Blanket Octopuses get their name from sheets of webbing that stretch between some of their arms. When threatened, they stretch their arms out, creating a blanket-like silhouette meant to frighten would-be attackers away. That’s cool. They are always in the open ocean—in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as in Info-Pacific waters—and never rest on the sea floor. And get this – the Blanket Octopus is immune to the stinging cells of the highly dangerous Portuguese Man-of-War, which it uses to its advantage by yanking the tentacles off and brandishing them as weapons against predators. That’s badass. Anywho, Blanket Octopus.

PS- Be sure and watch the videos below the photos. Nature, man. And as always, click and scroll.

What a world. Click, scroll, be amazed.

Ohio seems well represented.

Check out Jonathan, the oldest damn animal in the world. Jonathan is a Seychelles Giant Tortoise and has lived through a lot. I mean, this dude was born in 1832 and has lived through the the Civil War, both World Wars, 9/11 and that God awful 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show. Hell, Jonathan was born before Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Edison and freakin’ Betty White.

At 188-years old he’s now living a relaxing life on the remote island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, just chillin’ like a villain in the sun whilst eating grass and weeds and stuff.

And get this – Jonathan is so popular on St. Helena that his portrait is on the back of the island’s five pence coin. That’s cool. Anywho, Jonathan the World’s Oldest Known Animal.

Check out that Dracula Parrot, man. Looks like a cross between a parrot and a damn vulture. It’s also known as the Vulturine Parrot, or Pesquet’s Parrot, and its featherless face gives it a bit of a frightening look. This dude mainly eats figs though, not meat. Scientists think its bare face might be an adaptation to prevent bits from sticking to it when diving into a meal, just like a vulture. This guy is native to forests in Papua New Guinea. Anywho, Dracula Parrot.

Da hell? Pig Dog? Pony Pig? The mind reels. What is it? Scroll down to find out.

Here’s the photo flipped 180 degrees. Does this help? No?

Ah, there it is. Puppy! And the best part is that his name is Doug.