Monday, May 5, 2008


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Friday, May 2, 2008

'Sex pest' seal attacks penguin

An Antarctic fur seal has been observed trying to have sex with a king penguin.

The South African-based scientists who witnessed the incident say it is the most unusual case of mammal mating behaviour yet known.

The incident, which lasted for 45 minutes and was caught on camera, is reported in the Journal of Ethology.

The bizarre event took place on a beach on Marion Island, a sub-Antarctic island that is home to both fur seals and king penguins.

Why the seal attempted to have sex with the penguin is unclear. But the scientists who photographed the event speculate that it was the behaviour of a frustrated, sexually inexperienced young male seal.

Equally, it might be been an aggressive, predatory act; or even a playful one that turned sexual.

"At first glimpse, we thought the seal was killing the penguin," says Nico de Bruyn, of the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Source: BBC NEWS

Photo of the Day...

Feral cat and feral kitten (via stshank)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's love? For Conchita the endangered monkey it's a teddy bear mum

Conchita is a white-naped mangabey, an endangered primate at the London Zoo. Her mother was seriously ill when Conchita was delivered via C-section, so zookeepers put a teddy bear into the newborn's enclosure. Now Conchita sorta thinks the bear is her mom. "She hugs that bear day and night," says keeper Andrea Payne. "She will run to the bear when she's alarmed. She won't run to me. She clamps on to it just like she would her mother." The teddy bear is "smelly" and has some monkey poo on it, but the zookeepers can't wash it. "To the baby it is her own special smell... The baby recognises the smell, it's a comfort to her. Washing the teddy would make it unrecognizable."

London Times

Legless Lizard Among Newly Found Species: are you sure thats not a snake?

Scientists discovered legless lizard, a dwarf woodpecker and another 12 suspected new species in Brazil's fast-disappearing Cerrado grasslands, an environmental group said Tuesday.

The discoveries were made during a 29-day expedition by U.S. and Brazilian scientists in Brazil's vast wooded grasslands, one of the world's 34 biodiversity conservation hotspots, Conservation International said in a statement.

The grasslands are threatened by encroaching farmland; the expedition focused in and around the Serra Geral do Tocantins Ecological Station, a 2,765-square-mile protected area that is Cerrado's second largest.

The 14 suspected new species discovered include eight fish, three reptiles, one amphibian, one mammal and one bird, the group said.

The legless lizard, of the Bachia genus, resembles a snake due to its lack of legs and uses its pointed snout to move about its predominantly sandy environment.

Other outstanding new findings include a dwarf woodpecker of the genus Picumnus, and a horned toad of the genus Proceratophrys.

Besides the new species, the scientists also recorded several threatened animals such as the hyacinth macaw, marsh deer, three-banded armadillo, the Brazilian merganser and the dwarf tinamou, among more than 440 species of vertebrates documented.

"We need to know our protected areas better, especially the ecological stations whose principal objective is to generate scientific knowledge of Brazilian biodiversity, so little studied and already so severely threatened," said expedition leader Cristiano Nogueira.

Source: Discovery Channel

Genetically Altered Trout Approved for Release in U.K.

Plans to pour tankfuls of genetically altered fish into wild lakes and rivers have been given the go-ahead in the United Kingdom after conservation scientists backed the project.

According to a recent study, releasing the modified fish for anglers to catch is a better option than traditional trout farming and may even benefit native trout populations.

That's because the fish have been engineered to be sterile, so they won't breed with vulnerable wild strains.

These so-called triploid trout have three sets of chromosomes in their cells instead of the two sets normally found in diploid animals.

The two-year study, led by Dylan Roberts of the U.K.'s Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, investigated the impact of releasing triploid trout on native populations at 90 river sites in England and Wales.

The government's Environment Agency (EA) approved the plan last week following the study's publication.

The EA announced that by 2015 the estimated 750,000 farmed trout introduced each year in fishing waters must consist purely of triploids.

National Geographic

5 Extremely Expensive Exotic Pets...

5. DeBrazza’s Monkey, $7,000

4. Macaw $12,000

3. Python $15,000

2. Chimpanzee $65,000

1. White Tigers $138,000


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fence porthole gives pooch a point of view

It needs no explanation, the Pets' Observation Poodle from Hammacher Schlemmer. Nine inches wide and 5" deep, it gives "the inquisitive canine," which is cataloguese for "dog," a panoramic view of things at which to bark.

Hammacher Schlemmer suggests lining several of these $30 domes around the perimeter of your yard, to allow your pet an unrestricted view of interesting places it cannot go.

Source: Boing Boing Gadgets

Friday, April 25, 2008

Drug-Sniffing Dogs Cloned in Korea

The Korean Customs Service today unveiled seven golden Labrador retrievers cloned from a skilled drug-sniffing canine in active service—a test to see if duplicates could reduce the difficulty and expense of finding dogs qualified to detect drugs and explosives, officials say.

Seen here at their training facility near Incheon International Airport west of Seoul, the pups were born five to six months ago.

The dogs all currently share the same name: "Toppy"—a portmanteau of the words "tomorrow" and "puppy."

In February all seven passed a behavior test to check if they are qualified to work as sniffing dogs. Only 10 to 15 percent of naturally born dogs pass the test.

If the cloned dogs succeed in other tests for physical strength, concentration, and sniffing ability, they will be put to work by July 2009 at airports and harbors across South Korea, according to the training center.

Normally, only about three out every ten naturally born dogs the center trains—at a cost of about $40,140 each—ends up qualifying for the job.

The cloning was conducted by the team at Seoul National University that in 2005 successfully created the first known dog clone, an Afghan hound named Snuppy.

The team's leader, Lee Byeong-chun, was a key aide to disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk. Hwang's purported breakthroughs in stem cell research were revealed as false, but independent tests proved the team's dog cloning was genuine.

Lee said it cost approximately $100,000 to $150,000 to clone each of the seven Labradors.

The seven are the first cloned drug-sniffing dogs, though his team has cloned 13 other dogs and five wolves, he added.

Ancient Praying Mantis Found in Amber...

An 87-million-year-old praying mantis found encased in amber in Japan may be a "missing link" between mantises from the Cretaceous period and modern-day insects.

The fossil mantis measures 0.5 inch (1.4 centimeters) from its antennae to the tip of its abdomen.

Although the forelegs, head, and antennae appear to be well preserved, the wings and abdomen have been badly crushed.

Kazuhisa Sasaki, director of the Kuji Amber Museum, found the fossil creature in January buried 6.5 feet (2 meters) below the surface in an amber mine in Japan's northeastern Iwate Prefecture.

"This part of Japan is famous for producing large amounts of amber, but it was very fortunate for me to find this specimen," Sasaki said.

"I found it in a deposit that had lots of other insects—ancient flies, bees, and cockroaches—but this was the only praying mantis."

Are animals stuck in time?

Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friend seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes. Newly published research from The University of Western Ontario may bring us closer to answering that very question.

The results of the research, entitled "Episodic-Like Memory in Rats: Is it Based on When or How Long Ago," appear in the current issue of the journal Science, which was released recently.

William Roberts and colleagues in Western's Psychology Department observed that rats are able to keep track of how much time has passed since they discovered a piece of cheese, be it a little or a lot, but they don't actually form memories of when the discovery occurred. That is, the rats can't place the memories in time.

The research team, led by Roberts, designed an experiment in which rats visited the 'arms' of a maze at different times of day. Some arms contained moderately desirable food pellets, and one arm contained a highly desirable piece of cheese. Rats were later returned to the maze with the cheese removed on certain trials and with the cheese replaced with a pellet on others.

All told, three groups of rats were tested in the research using three varying cues: when, how long ago or when plus how long ago.

Only the cue of how long ago food was encountered was used successfully by the rats.

These results, the scientists say, suggest that episodic-like memory in rats is qualitatively different from human episodic memory, which involves retention of the point in past time when an event occurred.

""The rats remember whether they did something, such as hoarded food a few hours or five days ago," explained Roberts. "The more time that has passed, the weaker the memory may be. Rats may learn to follow different courses of action using weak and strong memory traces as cues, thus responding differently depending on how long ago an event occurred. However, they do not remember that the event occurred at a specific point in past time." .

Prior studies have suggested that rats and scrub jays (a relative of the crow and the blue jay) appear to remember storing or discovering various foods, but it hasn't been clear whether the animals were remembering exactly when these events happened or how much time had elapsed.

"This research," said Roberts, "supports the theory I introduced that animals are stuck in time, with no sense of time extending into the past or future."

Are Ice Age relics the next casualty of climate change?

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently launched a four-year study to determine if climate change is affecting populations of a quintessential Arctic denizen: the rare musk ox. Along with collaborators from the National Park Service, U. S. Geological Survey, and Alaska Fish and Game, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists have already equipped six musk ox with GPS collars to better understand how climate change may affect these relics of the Pleistocene.

The research team will be assessing how musk ox are faring in areas along the Chukchi and northern Bering Seas, and the extent to which snow and icing events, disease, and possibly predation may be driving populations.

Musk ox are a throwback to our Pleistocene heritage and once shared the landscape with mammoths, wild horses, and sabered cats, said the studys leader Dr. Joel Berger, a Wildlife Conservation Society scientist and professor at the University of Montana. They may also help researchers understand how arctic species can or cannot adapt to climate change.

Once found in Europe and Northern Asia, today musk ox are restricted to Arctic regions in North America and Greenland eventhough they have been introduced into Russia and northern Europe. They have been reintroduced in Alaska after being wiped out in the late 19th century. Currently they found in two national parks: Alaskas Bering Land Bridge National Park and Cape Krusenstem National Monument.

Balding Penguin Gets a Wetsuit

Pierre, an African penguin at the California Academy of Sciences, was going bald, which posed a significant problem for the 25-year old bird. Penguins rely on their feathers to stay warm, not blubber.

The poor little bird was shivering and refusing to get into the water. Scientists charged with his care initially tried a heat lamp to keep him warm, but that was costing him social interaction, so they began brainstorming. The result was interesting to say the least. They ordered him a wetsuit.

Pierre, who began going bald when he was five years older than the average life expectancy of a penguin, was fitted for a suit by Oceanic, one of the largest manufacturers of wetsuits in the world.

He has, since that time, began to re-grow his feathers. He now fearlessly plunges into the water where his mates have readily accepted him, allaying one of the early fears of the scientists. Pierre, who has been in the Velcro-closed suit for about six weeks now, is already being weaned off his new clothes as he re-grows his feathers, but until then happily flaps around the habitat with his black neoprene body.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ashera Cats are expensive...

The ASHERA EXOTIC CAT is considered one of the rarest domestic cat available today. A proprietary blend of the exotic bloodlines of the African Serval and the Asian Leopard Cat subsequently crossed with a rare domestic cat, the ASHERA grows up to 30 pounds (14 kg).

The Snow Ashera is a rare version of the standard Ashera and differs in that the background color is white instead of the brown caramel seen in the standard cat. The result is a striking animal that resembles the famed white tigers. The Royal Ashera is rarer still, with less than four kittens produced each year. The Royal Ashera has a cream background but uniquely, the spots and stripes are tiger orange, instead of black. The Royal Ashera is indeed the rarest domestic cat in the world and will be enjoyed by just a few. All ASHERA kittens are hand delivered to your residence (U.S. residents only).

Price: From $22,000.00 to $130,000.00

LifeStyle Pets

Oscar the sexy naked bird...

Oscar has a rare virus that causes her to pull out her feathers because they irritate her. She has survived 12 years so far. And yes, Oscar is a girl. It was a year before Humane Society workers determined through a blood test that what they thought was male, was truly female, and it was too late to change names.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3-D Coyote Lifelike, Full-Size Predator

Get rid of aggressive, destructive, disease-carrying Canada geese

DIY Discovery Channel: Casio EX-F1 Slow-Mo Cam In My Backyard

Shooting slow-mo takes some getting used to, and because you end up with long stretches of zero movement, the in-cam video editor is not just a luxury but a necessity. In the end, though, everything looks like it's ready for Discovery Channel. I think that chipmunk's gonna be a star.

Check out the VIDEO

Compliments of Gizmodo

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008


R.O.A.R for Earth Day!

Reach Out. Act. Respond.

This month, celebrate the earth as a home for animals while lending a helping hand, whether it’s nationally, locally or in your own backyard. With Earth Day approaching on April 22, it’s the perfect time to learn more about local conservation – and we’re ROAR-ing with ideas!

Animal Planet is partnering with leading animal organizations to inspire people like you to make the world a better place for animals. Together, we have the power to improve the lives of animals in our communities and in the wild. Simple things like volunteering at a local shelter, spreading the word about conservation, supporting a favorite animal cause or walking an elderly person's dog can make a difference. Even the smallest act has an impact. Join us in our passion to help animals.


ROAR for Earth Day!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mascot Bloopers!

Rick Rolling Puppy...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

To the douche bag who let their dog pee on my Vespa...

That isn't nice.
I don't understand how hard it is to curb your dog away from things that people own, touch or tend to.
I see people let their dogs pee on garbage bags and i think, someone has to pick that up; and maybe being a garbage man isn't the most glamorous job, but who wants to add insult to injury but making them touch urine soaked bags to make an already not so fun job worse!

there shouldn't be a need for people to put up signs that say "please curb your dog" around gardens! That should be common sense. If someone has a garden, then they probably enjoy tending to it. The next time they lean over to smell their flowers, all the will get is a tasty whiff if your dogs liquid excrement!

There are plenty of places in this city that are acceptable to let your dog urinate on. Fire hydrants for example is a good place to start. We hold firefighters with the utmost regard in our society, yet when they are trying to save your lives and possessions we thank them by letting them douse the blaze with a piss soaked hydrant.

Lets take a moment to dissect the term "curb your dog." Maybe the key here is that you don't quite understand what it means. "Your dogs urine isn't wanted here" that is what it means. But lets break it down further, does it mean that you should bring your dog to the actual curb to pee? YES!

I don't want to put a sign on my vespa cover saying "please curb your dog" because that is silly, and you probably won't pay any attention to it anyway; because any person who is so oblivious to the world around them would most likely not be able to process that request.

in conclusion, everything i touch now smells like urine, and i hope that one day i will be able to shake your hand.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Animal Planet: "Groomer Has It" - April 12th at 9pm

GROOMER HAS IT sniffs out 12 of America's most devout dog groomers to compete against each other in a test of desire, creativity and affinity for animals as they shave, shear and shampoo their way through a series of challenges that will crown only one as "Groomer of the Year." The contestants will be put through their paces to see who can turn the shaggiest pooch into a beautiful, prancing pup beginning Saturday, April 12, at 9 PM (ET/PT).

These self-proclaimed best groomers will live together in a swanky Los Angeles loft, the "Dog House;" work elbow-to-elbow in one salon; and face grooming challenges that range from styling pups for their runway debut to grooming some of the most exotic dog breeds to making adoptable pups look their fetchingly best for new homes.

After each challenge, host Jai Rodriguez and our outspoken panel of judges, including esteemed veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan, champion dog handler Xavier Santiago and leading U.S. grooming expert Joey Villani will decide which contestant does not make the cut.

The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $50,000, a mobile grooming salon from Wag'n Tails Mobile Grooming and the title of "Groomer of the Year" - three prizes totaling $125,000 that could jump-start the groomer's career and change their lives.

Each of these groomers thinks he/she has what it takes to be top dog in this competition, but in reality, only one… GROOMER HAS IT.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Most Popular Dog Name is Max...

According to the announcement of the Department of Health, in 2004 the most popular dog names in NYC were Max, followed by Lucky, Princess, Rocky and Buddy. Always consider that only registered dogs contribute to these dog name statistics, and only about 20% of dogs are considered to be officially registered in NYC.
According to a list published by VIP (Veterinary Pet Insurance) for the most popular dog names in 2004 the number one male dog name was Max, followed by Buddy and Jake. For female puppies the most popular name was Molly, followed by Maggy, Daisy and Lucy. The list was compiled from a survey of more than 30,000 of VPI s policyholders.
Another source for dog name statistics could be a dog tag business. One good example for a company which has compiled lists of favorite dog names from their pet ID tag orders is Bow Wow Meow - they offer listings of most popular dogg names for different geographical regions. So as for baby names it alway depends on what region you are looking at if you search for favorite dog names.


Photo courtesy of:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Monkey Vs Dog...

Sassy Pet Saks™

Talk about stylin’ with sweetness, Douglas Company’s Sassy Pet Saks™ and Totes are the fashion forward statement of the year. No girl’s accessory wardrobe is complete without one. Most girls, “in the know,” have several! There are 13 brand new styles to choose from or add to your current style collection.

Giddy up and go Western Chic with the new Pink Bling Sak™, Kicky Denim Sak™ , and Cowprint Tote. Each holds a galloping great horse. Or, spring into spring with the following flowerlicious styles: Flowerburst Sak™ with white pony, Electric Bouquet Tote with white cat, Daisy Madness with Shep Terrier and Dream Catcher Tote with yellow nugget lab inside. Feel exceptionally pretty in pink with Summer Sun Tote, Sweetly Pink Sak™, Magic Princess Sak™ and Pretty Lilly Sak™. If black and white is more your style then go preppy with Black & White Plaid Tote holding a White Highland Terrier or try it a little more mod with Black & White Whirl Sak™ with black pup inside.

Douglas’ Sassy Saks™ come with all the feminine touches and are created from the richest and most popular hues and fabric choices. Look for this award-winning collection in specialty gift stores near you. Douglas Totes, Lil’ Nugget Sassy Pet Saks™, Sassy Pet Saks™ and Adventure Saks™ range in price from $13 to $24 each.

"Douglas’ Sassy Saks™ and totes continue to create fun fashion for girls of all ages,” said Erika Radich, Marketing Manager, Douglas Company. “Each new design offers a unique look to add to the young wardrobe needs.”

Douglas products are sold at specialty gift and toy stores in the USA, Canada and Europe.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Your Pets Can Live Pain Free...

Dr. Frank's Safe All Natural Pain Relief

Just a side note here, i think if you have to actually say that the product is "safe" in the title byline then it makes you wonder. Also i don't understand why it's in a spray bottle. You spray it into your pets water dish and then they drink it and all pain stops magically. Why isn't it just a bottle that you mix in the water, why a spray bottle, it seems pointless.

There is a must see video here: VIDEO

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Life of Riley: Brooklyn Kangaroo Officially Named

The Prospect Park Zoo's recent marsupial addition was named Riley this week, following a public contest (even though no one knew the animal's gender!).

Riley is a Western Grey Kangaroo--a species native to Australia that can jump 30 feet at a time. Zoo keepers were only able to determine Riley's sex this week, which required that the names for the contest remain gender neutral (Kinta, Kylie, and Nari were the others).

In a vote organized by the cultural group Heart of Brooklyn, 208 submissions were winnowed to four options for voters, who determined that Riley was the best of the lot. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, building his future constituency, announced the winner in front of many appreciative children and that Allison Make had submitted the winning name (apparently the 48th most popular name for baby girls in the city in 2006, 159th most popular for boys).


Source: Gothamist

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why is it...

We focus on controlling gray wolf populations when really, the species posing the greatest threat to the survival of humans on earth (and severely overpopulating the world) is man itself.

Source: Gray Wolf Hunts Planned After De-listing - MSN
Overpopulation: Resources For Understanding And Taking Action -

Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily LOL Cats!

Talking Dogs?! (I'm still skeptical)

More Monkey Business: The Hundredth Monkey Effect

According to Wikipedia, The Hundredth Monkey Effect generally describes the instant, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned the new ability. However, for those of you that don't know the origin of this phenomenal Effect, you're not only going to get excited you're going to instantly re-realize how freaking similar we are, as today's modern civilization, to this wonderfully wild species.

The year was 1952. The setting was an island somewhere in the south seas. A few anthropologists were studying the behavior of the macaques, a Japanese Monkey native to the islands with a diet consisting primarily of sweet potatoes. By routine, the monkeys would dig up a potato, break it in half and eat only from the center in order to avoid the potato's sandy coat, discarding the rest. After one potato, the monkey would go back to dig another. One insightful afternoon, a pioneering monkey decided to rinse his potato, allowing him to eat it whole, and dig for fewer potatoes. Consequently, he not only began enjoying a cleaner habit, he instantly created more free time to enjoy the things he loved to do. Was he praised immediately?

Just the opposite. His family and friends just couldn't understand why he was doing something so different! Despite this, some of the onlooking monkeys became privy to the transition and began washing their potatoes too. Slowly but surely, many more of the surrounding monkeys shared in the innovation. Hundreds of monkeys continued to hold fast to their comfortable method even though they began to notice the abundance the other monkeys were enjoying at the beach. Now, supposedly when the hundredth monkey took the leap of faith, all the rest followed. Most remarkably and due to an evident mass consciousness, the paradigm immediately shifted amongst the monkeys inhabiting the neighboring islands too!

Full Story

Monkey Riding Mini Bike!

Monkey Riding Mini Bike - Watch more free videos

Giant Rubber Ducks and Badgers Oh My!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do Not Feed The a thong!

A 58-year-old man who fed pigeons wearing only a skimpy thong which was back to front has been fined £150.

Neighbours spotted David Batchelor in his street in Perth in the underwear which left his genitals partly exposed.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that children walking home from school had been passing by at the time.

His lawyer said that Batchelor had been drunk and there was no sexual element to the way he had behaved. He admitted committing a breach of the peace.

When officers had turned up to investigate they found Batchelor still partially dressed and with his flimsy thong on the wrong way round.

At the court previously, Fiscal Depute Hannah Kennedy said: "The witnesses watched as the accused walked between the common close entrance and the pavement. He went behind some bushes outside his house.

"There were a large number of schoolchildren passing his home address at this stage.

"He returned to his flat then reappeared still wearing this item.

"It was still exposing his genitalia. The witnesses were alarmed by his actions and concerned for the children who had passed."

Batchelor claimed he had not seen anyone around, but then confessed he looked at everyone as they went past and the "schoolgirls were bonnie."

Mrs Kennedy added: "Asked why he did it, he replied 'I don't know. I was just feeding the birds and if I was wanting to do that I would just go down town and get a whore'."

Sheriff Michael Fletcher said: "The alcohol seems to be at the root of the problem and nothing much can be done about that, given his attitude towards it."

BBC News

Rogue monkey accused of Rape!

According to The Sun newspaper, the 3ft langur monkey had lived peacefully beside villagers in the Hyderabad region for years.

But the primate was overcome by lust after watching a couple engaged in amorous activities in a field, and is said to be copying the behavior.

An elderly woman is reported to have died of shock after the monkey jumped on her.

A local villager said: "It's awful. It keeps trying to do what it saw in the field!

"We're waiting for a forestry team to catch it" she added.

India has had problems with monkey violence in the past, and in some areas has resorted to training larger, more violent monkeys to combat the pests.

Last year the deputy mayor of Delhi was killed after being attacked by a hoard of wild monkeys on a balcony.

In another incident in Delhi a monkey is claimed to have snatched a two-year-old baby from its mother's arms.

The city now employs monkey catchers to round them up and return them to nearby forests. Local authorities have met resistance when they try to move the monkeys to other areas.

Culling the creatures is seen as unacceptable to devout Hindus, who see the monkeys as manifestations of the god Hanuman and often feed them.


Is Knut a Polar Bear on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown?

According to the Daily Mail, orphan and former cuteness-porn star Knut has let his child stardom go to his head. Markus Roebke, one of the Berlin Zoo's keepers, claims the larger-than-life polar bear (whose silver-screen debut comes this spring) is a "publicity-addicted psycho." Roebke adds, "he actually cries out or whimpers if he sees that there is not a spectator outside his enclosure ready to ooh and aah at him." Poor Knut. Looks like unless he wants to take the Corey Feldman route, he should do like Shirley Temple, quit the biz, and take to politics.

Source: Gridskipper

Life Imitates 'Caddyshack': Gophers Triumph Over Man

Bill Murray must have winced when he heard that mankind's latest salvo in the valiant war against gopher-dom ended in a massive explosion that sparked a prairie fire outside of Calgary, Alberta, over the weekend.

Even though there was a ban on fires in the area, two Canadian men went into a field with a device called the Rodenator.

The Rodenator dumps a mixture of propane and oxygen into gopher holes, then lights them up like a Fourth of July fireworks display, causing an underground shock wave, killing the gophers and collapsing their tunnels.

Problem was, after a couple of successful blasts, the two Canucks overfilled one of the holes, and the flames jumped out and onto the dry grass, starting a fire that threatened several homes and caused $200,000 in damage.

Check out this video of the Rodenator in action!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Animals from Junk


Photo of the day: Cliffhanger

No Bait! Fish May Respond to Sound

Call them Pavlov's fish: Scientists are testing a plan to train fish to catch themselves by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time.

If it works, the system could eventually allow black sea bass to be released into the open ocean, where they would grow to market size, then swim into an underwater cage to be harvested when they hear the signal.

What's next, teaching them to coat themselves in batter and hop inside a fryer?

"It sounds crazy, but it's real," said Simon Miner, a research assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood's Hole, which received a $270,000 grant for the project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Miner said the specially trained fish could someday be used to bolster the depleted black sea bass stock. Farmed fish might become better acclimated to the wild if they can be called back for food every few days.

The bigger goal is to defray the costs of fish farming, an increasingly important source of the world's seafood. If fish can be trained to return to the farmer after feeding in the open ocean for several days, farms could save money on feed and reduce the amount of fish waste released in concentrated areas.


Elephants Shoot Excellent Video!

For the upcoming BBC documentary series Tiger - Spy in the Jungle, filmmakers enlisted the help of elephants to capture the tigers with hidden HD cameras. The large "trunk cam" (pictured here) was the most ludicrous of the devices carried by the elephants, while the smaller, lighter "tusk cam" proved to be easier for the elephants to carry for long periods of time. In addition, various log and rock cams were placed along the ground and activated by motion sensors when animals came close.

Apparently elephants move so smoothly that the improvised footage resembles that shot with a Steadicam rig. Look for the show on BBC One this Sunday, March 30th.

Source: Gizmodo

Here's what it looks like when a sloth bear checks out its reflection in the lens.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Animal Planet Launches DVD Training Series

The next page in the cause for responsible pet ownership may be found in Animal Planet's new DVD training series.

Revealed at the 2008 Global Pet Expo in San Diego, the series is designed for pet adopters. Two million free DVDs will be sent to shelters across the country by Animal Plant Pet Video.

Pet Pulse reporter Annabella Asvik has the story. Click on the video at the top right to watch this interview.

For more information on the training series, visit