Baby picture of Crane # 412, 2004-2011
Hunters kill 4th endangered Whooping Crane in 2 months. This bird, #412, learned to migrate by following an ultralight aircraft from Necedah, WI to Cherokee County, AL. Last year his chick disappeared. Hunters killed three whoopers in GA this winter. Less than 600 survive. The bird was discovered Jan. 28–two days before the end of waterfowl hunting season. The main hunting area in Cherokee is the Little River National Preserve, which got national parks funding and designation in 1992, but with the special exception that hunting be allowed there. Great idea. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Rare and freaky blanket octopus spotted octopus off Florida. It’s red, huge and has cape-like arms. People rarely see these regular residents, which live far off shore when the Gulf Stream isn’t acting funny. JustNews.com via Scienceblogs
Michigan wants to ban wildlife rehabiliators from helping sick or injured mute swan. They want to restore the native trumpeter swan, instead. MLive
Israel tests bomb-sniffing mice for airline passengers. Om Dagens Nyheter
Leaked report shows Tanzania’s road through the Serengeti would carry a million cars a day. The road would cut off the migration of elephant, zebra and wildebeest, the country’s main economic engine. Chicago Tribune
Obama administration says, sure, walruses deserve endangered species protection, but they won’t get it. LATimes
Everyone’s been talking about this video of octopi picking up coconut shells off the ocean floor, cleaning them out, then using them as an armored hiding place.
It’s an impressive feat, but it’s not the first. There’s a small genre of videos of octopi evasive manuevers. They hide in other things we’ve thrown out on the ocean floor, like decaying shampoo bottles or beer bottles. They even got through this octopus obstacle course set up by National Geographic. They have been taped escaping fish markets in Tokyo and South Korea.
Many researchers have reported that octopi left in the lab at night will escape their tank, go eat another fish, then go back home to cover their tracks. Apparently they’re not smart enough to catch onto security cameras. Yet.
The Independent report that Portobello Aquarium in New Zealand had many such incidents and in one case just decided to release an escape artist octopus named Sid. Matthew Crane, Portobello’s senior aquarist, explained that people are just starting to realize how clever octopi are. “Some people compare them with dogs, because you can train them to open a jar, for instance, particularly if it’s got a crab in it.”
So, remember, the octopus isn’t dumb. That’s just what they want you to think.
Want to see some smart dolphins? Check out this animaltourism.com map and guide.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocWF6d0nelY&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01] To see more animals go to
Keep reading Hiding in Coconut is Just Octopus’ Latest Trick