Archive for the ‘Nature’ 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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

 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.

Not dead! NOT dead!

You’ve heard of the Walking Dead, but North Carolina officials are warning locals about the crawling undead. The state’s Department of Parks and Recreation has posted a photo on its Facebook page of a “zombie snake,” a reptile known for defending itself by lying on its back and pretending to be dead.

The Eastern Hognose, also known as a Puff Adder, is found as far south as Florida and Texas and as far north as Minnesota, according to ABC News.

Some have claimed the snake can shoot venom as far as 25-feet.

Department spokeswoman Katie Hall was quick to defend the snakes to USA Today. 

“We love hognose snakes,” she said. “They put on this really dramatic display, but it’s kind of adorable.”

Hey Katie Hall, I have some advice for you. Any possum playing dead serpent that can shoot venom 25-feet shouldn’t be compared to a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Good God woman. Look at that thing, just pretending to be deceased only to pop up and shoot venom in your eyeball like a damned demon from hell. Kind of adorable my ass.

Chills, man.

Check out that Dik-Dik, man. Adorable. This little dude lives in the bushlands of eastern and southern Africa. They’re tiny and stand about 12–15 inches at the shoulder, are 19–27 inches long, weigh 6.6–13.2 pounds and can live for up to 10-years. They can also scurry at nearly 30 mph, which is pretty damn speedy. Dik-Diks are named for the alarm calls of the females. In addition to the females’ alarm call, both the male and female make a shrill, whistling sound. These calls alert other Dik-Diks to predators. Check out the videos below to see and hear some real honest-to-goodness Dik-Diks. Anywho, Dik-Dik.

Holy . . .

Raccoon Dogs are terrorizing a village in central England after escaping from their pen in Nottinghamshire, according to news reports.

Raccoon dogs, also called Tanukis, look like a combination of a dog and a raccoon, but are neither dog nor raccoon, however they are part of the canid family, which includes wolves and dogs.

Shortly after escaping their pen, one of the loose dogs was photographed and reportedly attacked a goat.

Police are warning residents to watch out for the animals and to stay away from them if spotted because they are “potentially dangerous if approached as they are not domesticated,” Nottinghamshire police officials said, according to CNN.

Nottinghamshire resident Mandy Marsh told the Independent that one of the escaped animals attacked her pet goat and pony.

“I heard such a terrifying noise like I had never heard before. It was screaming. We ran out and this animal – we now know it’s a raccoon dog – was trying to attack our goat, Marsh said.

“The raccoon dog was trying to kill it. It was absolutely crazy. It was hissing and screaming and snarling. It was going absolutely mad.”

Sweet Mother of God that’s a horrific looking beast. Raccoon Dog? Really? Hell, this opens up a whole new world. What’s next, Wolf Cows? Hummingbats? The mind reels. And you have to bring your A Game, goat. And any self-respecting billy would have head-butted the hell out of that Raccoon Dog. Embarrassing really.

PS- My parents had a couple miniature burrows named Pancho and Lefty that were not to be trifled with. A couple coyotes made the mistake of harassing Pancho and got kicked into oblivion.

PPS- Sparky would tear that Raccoon Dog to shreds.

 

Four tiger poachers were killed in a mangrove forest in Bangladesh on Wednesday during a shootout with police, officials said. The alleged poachers opened fire at Rapid Action Battalion, the anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, in the Sundarbans, the world’s biggest mangrove forest, after they were questioned, AFP reported.

The four men, who were found dead along with guns and ammunition on the boat, were identified as members of a gang that allegedly poaches Bengal tigers and Irrawaddy dolphins, officials said.

“These gangs have become a major threat to wildlife conservation,” Tajul Islam Islam, a spokesperson for the Rapid Action Battalion, said.

Let this be a warning to all Bengal Tiger poachers in Bangladesh – try and poach a Bengal Tiger, Irrawaddy Dolphin or any other endangered species in Bangladesh and you will be hunted down by the Rapid Action Battalion and you will be murdered. Why? Because the Rapid Action Battalion gives no damns.

PS- I had to find out what the Rapid Action Battalion looked like. I was not disappointed.

As of April 2016, more than 4000 people have attempted to climb Mount Everest.  Annually around 800 people make the attempt which include Sherpas, clients, and professional climbers.

The year 2017 had the second most summits at 648 after 658 in 2013. 61% of the climbers who climbed reached to the top of Everest. 446 of the climbers were from south side and 202 from the north side in 2017.

Did you know?

There are about 200-dead bodies in the mountain, and the bodies now help other climbers to know they are on the right path or not. Those bodies are left there due to the poor weather and bringing them down is very dangerous. Looking back to the history, 4% of the climbers those who have made it to the summit have died.

Dead guy.

Damn place is like being in line at Disney World or something.

Thar she is.

In the wild there have been no fatal attacks on humans by Orcas (Killer Whales) and only one reported bite. In captivity there have been several non-fatal and fatal attacks on humans since the 1970s.

 

AOL- Footage of a dutiful beluga whale returning an expensive gadget to its rightful human owner is making waves online.

Strangely enough, iPhone owner Ina Mansika and her friends were actually searching for the specific whale, known as Angel — which attained celebrity status weeks ago as a suspected Russian navy spy when it turned up in open waters around Hammerfest, Norway, wearing a harness — when the encounter occurred.

Angel hasn’t been behaving like a typical Beluga as she’s been letting people scratch her nose and chin and generally behaving like she’s having s great time.

Mansika told AOL that she and her pals laid down on a dock for a better chance to see the infamous Beluga and “hopefully get the chance to pat it” when her phone slipped out of her jacket pocket and into the ocean.

Seconds later, the considerate sea creature dove down and appeared at the surface of the water with the gadget in its mouth, to the shock of onlookers.

Check out Angel. First she defects from the damn communists and now she’s returning her fan’s cellphones, all the while with a smile on her face. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times – in 100-years we’ll know stuff about the intelligence of animals that would astonish us if we knew it today. Amazing. Animals, man.