Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

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The White Moose is found in Sweden, and there are only about 100 of them in existence. The moose is not albino, but lacks color thanks to a genetic mutation. Albino animals are unable to produce melanin – animals with leucism, like white moose and peacocks, for example, have reduced pigment. True albino animals have pink or red eyes, whereas animals with leucism have dark eyes. They stand as high as 6′-6″  at the shoulder and weigh up to 1,800 pounds, and the males have massive antlers that can span 6-feet from end to end. And believe it or not, these animals can run up to 35-mph. That’s fast. Anyhoo, White Moose. Man, they’re majestic.

The next time you’re out walking around in the woods, take a gander up above you. It’s sometimes hard to see, but there’s a naturally occurring phenomenon called Crown Shyness that is cool as hell. What it does is, it keeps the uppermost branches of certain tree species from touching one another. Crown Shyness was first observed in the 1920s, and scientists have been trying to explain it ever since. Some believe it occurs to reduce the spread of harmful insects, others believe that trees are attempting to protect one another’s branches from getting cracked and broken in the wind, and some have even suggested that Crown Shyness happens so that trees can optimize light exposure in order to maximize the process of photosynthesis. However, nobody knows for sure why it occurs. Mother Nature just doin’ it up big per usual, huh? That’s wild, man. Anyhoo, check out the examples of Crown Shyness below. Click on the photos for optimum amazingness.

Note: If you liked this, check out the blog I wrote about

Namibian media say an elephant trampled and killed an Argentine who was in a group of hunters tracking a herd of elephants. The Namibia Press Agency said the hunter, identified as 46-year-old Jose Monzalvez, was killed on Saturday afternoon in a private wildlife area 43-miles northwest of the small town of Kalkfeld. The agency said Monzalvez, who worked for an oil company, was with another Argentine and three Namibians when he was killed. It says one of the elephants charged before the group was able to find a spot to aim and shoot.

No fair! No fair! The elephant didn’t give Jose Monzalvez time to find a spot to shoot! What kind of hunting rules are these Namibian elephants playing by, anyway? That’s bogus, man. Everyone knows the animal is supposed to just stand there while the hunter takes his time to murder it, man. Play by the rules, animals!

PS- This seems to be happening more and more. Animals, man. They’re fighting back. Next we’ll hear about a squirrel hunter getting a vein ripped out of his neck and bleeding out under a walnut tree.

PPS- Can’t wait.

 

Yep. Looks like marble alright.

Yep. Sam Kanizay’s legs.

Newsweek – Mysterious sea creatures that began eating a teenager’s legs in Australia were identified as “Sea Fleas” on Monday. The incident occurred near Melbourne on Saturday, when 16-year-old Sam Kanizay emerged from an evening dip in the ocean with his legs and feet covered in blood, the result of the considerable appetite of the flesh-eating tiny creatures. Unable to walk, the teenager was brought to a hospital suffering from “pin-sized holes” that were bleeding profusely.

At first, experts were left scratching their heads as to what the meat-loving animals these were. Then Kanizay’s father went back to the beach with a net full of meaty bait to attract the creatures, then filmed them. Thanks to his video, experts were able to confidently identify the creatures as Lysianassid Amphipods, a type of scavenger shrimp-like crustacean commonly known as “Sea Fleas.”

Hey, I’ve had a tough day today. Sparky hopped into my new car with muddy paws and I had to come back all the way back in the house to get a towel, then go all the way back out and wipe the seat and his paws off. I also have a blister on the little toe on my right foot from when I was working out because I forgot my socks. Anyway, I’m struggling with these burdens today. Somehow, I persevere, and reading this article made me feel a little better because, you know, at least I didn’t get my legs eaten by Sea Fleas.

Note: I guarantee every man who read this was thinking the exact same thing I was – thank God the Sea Fleas didn’t attack higher. Chills, man.

Note 2: Originally I was going to make fun of this kid for being a wuss, I really was. Come on, he couldn’t walk? Please. And then I saw this:

Whoooops!

Mobula Rays are also referred to as Devil Rays or Flying Rays, due to their propensity for breaching, or shooting out of the water in a spectacular manner. Launching themselves as high as 6-feet above the ocean’s surface, these dudes do flips before plunging back into the water with a big flop. They travel with about 100 other rays that also jump, twirl, and belly flop as they move through the sea. Dudes are acrobats, man. Scientists think the males do it to attract attention. And get this – the Mobula Rays wing-like fins can extend up to 17-feet. That’s wild, man. Anyhoo, Mobula Rays.

Huntsman Spiders generally live in Australia and are huge, with leg spans of up to 12-inches. They eat cockroaches and other insects, but have been seen dragging mice up refrigerators. Not kidding, here’s a video. In addition, Huntsman Spiders can sometimes move using a “cartwheel motion” which sounds absolutely terrifying. Fun fact: People have released Huntsman Spiders in the southern United States, so run for your lives. Anyhoo, Huntsman Freakin’ Spider.

You don’t have to say it. I know it’s a great headline. Anyway, check out the Caracara, man. Dude has a future in aerial photography.

The Sand Cat, also known as the Sand Dune Cat, is the only cat living mostly in true deserts. Amazingly, even adult Sand Cats look like adorable little kittens. This little dude is widely distributed in the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. The Sand Cat inhabits both sandy and stony desert, in areas far away from water. It has really thickly furred feet and is tolerant of extremely hot temperatures. Believe it or not, Sand Cats can meow but can also yelp like a Chihuahua. That’s cool, man. They can also run 25-mph, which is speedy as hell. Oh, and Sand Cats are master diggers and can burrow like a boss. Anyhoo, Sand Cats.

Beautiful.

An underwater photographer named Franco Banfi was the one who snapped these extremely rare photos while following a pack of sperm whales in the Caribbean Sea, near Dominica Island. The whales suddenly stopped moving and went into what’s called a “synchronized vertical rest.” This behavior that was first documented back in 2008, when a team of stunned biologists from the UK and Japan drifted into a group of completely still sperm whales. After further studies, they found that this collective nap occurs for approximately 7% of the whale’s life, almost always in short intervals of just 6-24 minutes. That’s crazy, man.

I wonder how you get up there?

Cool.

Along the wild Pacific coast of British Columbia there lives a population of Sea Wolves. Scientists know from exhaustive DNA studies that these wolves are genetically distinct from their relatives. They are behaviourally distinct, swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct — they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland cousins.

Incredibly, 90% of their food comes directly from the ocean, with 25% of it coming from eating salmon. Hey, in addition to being amazing they have good taste! Another cool fact is that these Sea Wolves are excellent swimmers and have been observed swimming as far as 7.5 miles from island to island.

British Columbia has a relatively low human population, so these Sea Wolves enjoy an isolated wilderness – an area of 21-million acres. There are 25 native species of conifers and grizzly bears, black bears and spirit bears living there as well.*

*Spirit Bears? Cool name. I searched that one up on The Goggle and it turns out Spirit Bears are a rare subspecies of Black Bear, 10% of which are white. Nature, man.

However, here’s the bad news. Sea Wolves are being threatened on all sides by hunting, trapping and industry. Road building and clear cut logging have been harmful to the wolves, not only destroying the forests they live in but making it easier for hunters to gain access to hunt them. Who the hell would want to kill an animal that has adapted and worked so hard to survive? Humans suck, man.

Anyway, Sea Wolves are a real thing, and I had no idea. Just cool as hell. Check ’em out by clicking the gallery below and rolling through the photos.

“Honey, somebody’s at the door!”

Check out that Asian Sheepshead Wrasse, man. Dude looks like the guy in that movie Mask back in the 80’s. Seriously, click on that link. Not even kidding. The Asian sheepshead wrasse is a species of wrasse, because of course it is. It’s one of the largest wrasses native to the western Pacific Ocean. It inhabits rocky reefs, because really, who’d want to go out with that mug? It can reach 39-inches in length. This species is valued as a food fish in Japan, which is sort of sad. Anywho, Asian Sheepshead Wrasse. 

PS- Check out the video at the bottom about an Asian Sheepshead Wrasse and his buddy. Awesome stuff.

“Not so fast, fish boys.”

NP– The orcas will wait all day for a fisherman to accumulate a catch of halibut, and then deftly rob them blind. They will relentlessly stalk individual fishing boats, sometimes forcing them back into port. Most chilling of all, and this is new: After decades of relatively peaceful coexistence with cod and halibut fishers off the coast of Alaska, the region’s orcas appear to be turning on them in greater numbers.“We’ve been chased out of the Bering Sea,” said Paul Clampitt, Washington State-based co-owner of the F/V Augustine. Like many boats, the Augustine has tried electronic noisemakers to ward off the animals, but the orcas simply got used to them. “It became a dinner bell,” said Clampitt. John McHenry, owner of the F/V Seymour, described orca pods near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands as being like a “motorcycle gang.” “You’d see two of them show up, and that’s the end of the trip. Pretty soon all 40 of them would be around you,” he said.

I already knew Orcas were the Badasses of the Sea. Hey, I saw that documentary where that pod of Orcas went hunting and eating Great White sharks just for kicks and giggles. But gathering and bullying fishermen? That’s chilling, man. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times, once the animals figure it out we’re all doomed. We’ve been bullying them for years, making them work and putting them in cages to gawk at for our pleasure. Now the tables are starting to turn. Pretty soon it’s gonna be Planet of the Apes, Eight Legged Freaks, The Birds, Willard, and Razorback all rolled into one. Good thing I have Sparky to vouch for me.

PS- Love the quote about the sounds becoming a dinner bell. Orcas, man.

PPS- If you haven’t seen Razorback do so immediately. The opening scene is terrifying.