1419 posts tagged Animals
1419 posts tagged Animals
Today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena shares a rare and incredible sight: a pod of sperm whales fast asleep, floating in a vertical position, some with noses pointed up towards the water’s surface, some pointed down to the ocean floor. It’s a haunting sight, something the whales are believed to do for only brief periods of about 12 minutes at a time. Quick, vertical power naps.
Researchers have observed sleeping sperm whales exhibiting the same sort of Rapid Eye Movement that’s associated with dreaming in humans. So now we’re wondering what sorts of awesome things whales dream about.
Oh hai! The awesome world of science just got a whole lot cuter. Biologist and blogger Sofía Gabriela recently shared this outrageously cute photo of a newly discovered species of velvet worm that scientists have named Eoperipatus totoro because of its delightful resemblance to the Catbus in My Neighbor Totoro.
Photo by Nicky Bay.
[via Super Punch]
Today the Department of Exceptionally Wee Wonders would like to introduce you to
Li’l Sebastian Acer, Britain’s smallest horse. The average miniature horse usually measure less than 34-38 inches tall. But Acer, who was born with dwarfism, stand a mere 22 inches tall, making him considerably smaller than the average miniature horse. He’s also 3-years-old and outrageously adorable.
Acer lives on a farm in Corringham, Essex, England with Maureen O’Sullivan, where his tiny legs get plenty of exercise. In addition to playing in the fields, O’Sullivan takes Acer for daily walks on a leash, including visits to the local pub. Even though Acer has his own itty-bitty stable, he also has free run of O’Sullivan’s house. He also has a BFF, a black labrador named Demon, who’s taller than he is.
Video by Matt Writtle
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a slug with a leaf, friends, we have your answer right here. This strange creature that appears to be part leaf, part slug and part tongue is a Leaf-vein slug (Athoracophorus bitentaculatus), a species of land slug native to New Zealand. They’re nocturnal and thought to feed primarily on algae and fungi found on the surface of plants, which means they don’t damage plants like plenty of other slug species do.
To view more examples of this fascinating little creature, click here.
Here we go again, first there were Dirds and then there were Meowls. Last month we learned about Bears with Beaks. But today, oh yes, today the Department of Awesome Animal Hybrids introduces us to slightly creepy yet irresistibly adorable Slittens, aka sloth-kittens.
They were first dreamy up by Rachael Aslett, a web designer and creative strategist based in Perth, Western Australia. Rachel started the slittens Tumblr where you can check out lots more of these sleepy, cuddly creatures and also submit photos of your own incapacitatingly cute kitten-sloth combos.
If someone ever creates a gif of a yawning slitten, it’ll either be the key to world peace or the beginning of the apocalypse.
[via Design Taxi]
Today the Department of Awesomely Good Deeds salutes the team of firefighters from Lacey Fire District 3 who, while extinguishing a fire in a mobile home in Lacey, WA, rescued a family of five hamsters: Oreo, Madonna and three unnamed wee baby hamsters.
But wait, that’s not the truly awesome part:
The poor little rodents had been overcome by smoke. After consulting their “Pet Emergency Pocket Guide" the firefighters treated the teeny-weeny rodents with oxygen from a tank they’d adapted for tiny animals as well as other first aid equipment. According to Tim Hulse from the Lacey Fire Department, the team was able to save all but one of the hamsters.
It’s October at last, which means that pumpkin carving season has officially begun. This ferociously awesome Tyrannosaurus rex head sculpture was carved from multiple pumpkins by Chris Vierra, one of the amazing sculptors at Villafane Studios (previously featured here).
Vierra transformed a pile of pumpkins into a fantastically detailed dinosaur’s head at the Field Station: Dinosaurs outdoor prehistoric theme park in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Visit the Villafane Studios website to check out more of their phenomenal carved pumpkins. We can’t wait to see what else they do this season.
"One of the most fascinating forms of predation in the natural world has never been seen by man but is often depicted in art. The contest of survival between the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and one of its favorite preys the Giant Squid (Architeuthis dux) has long been of interest to me.”
This awesome piece of LEGO art is featured in the upcoming book Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark [pre-order on Amazon] by Mike Doyle, author and amazing LEGO artist (previously featured here). It’s a 325 page collection of dark LEGO masterpieces created by 140 LEGO enthusiasts from around the world. The works range from nightmarish and creepy to black humor to sculptures of dark chocolate. It’s the sequel to Doyle first and wildly popular LEGO book, Beautiful LEGO [Buy on Amazon].
Today the Department of Awesome Camouflage is marveling at this incredible praying mantis who looks more like a collection of sticks and bits of plants than a predatory insect. This exceptionally stealthy mantis belongs to the genus Toxodera, which consists of some of the largest mantids in the world. It was discovered and photographed by Peter Houlihan in Borneo:
Amidst the dense jungles of Borneo lives quite possibly the largest mantis in the world! Yet, despite its size, it remains nearly impossible to find. Late one night, I was collecting insects in the rainforest for my research when I encountered this brilliantly cryptic mantis amongst a swarm of unaware insects. I am still not sure how I spotted it, but it is by far the most impressive mantis I have ever seen.
Bangkok-based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously featured here) continues to take breathtaking photos of Siamese fighting fish, also known as betta fish. His fascination with their splendid, flowing fins and brilliant coloring is apparent in the extraordinarily detailed portraits he creates. The photos are so perfectly clear and close-up that it’s easy to forget the fish are underwater and not floating in midair.
Angkatavanich recently told Popular Photography that he only started photographing the fish after encountering them for the first time three years ago at a fish show and has since become obsessed with the different species which vary greatly in size, shape, and color patterns.