Tony Hale’s excellent needy dog impersonation

Tony Hale from Arrested Development does the most spot-on dog impersonation. I can hear my old dog Jolly saying just about every line. Even my new silly beagles, I’m sure, are thinking some of these thoughts–well, at least the part about the vacuum.

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Worst South Africa DVD ever

Kristine Pearson

Getting ready for a trip to South Africa to see wildlife, I subjected my husband to yet another travel video I found on Netflix called Destination Africa, which purports to be from 2005. What I got was easily the most awful and awkward travel documentary ever made on Africa.

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This Week in Great Animal Videos

Best Friends vid has dogs happy at Christmas with their families–and with human hands. Also Santa visits Wolf Park and a penguin escapes to whale-watching boat

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No Rescued Beagles Left in Newark Shelter

While you can give donation on behalf of individual dogs rescued from a NC Lab, you can’t see which ones you can actually adopt.

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OK Go: Dances With Mutts

OK Go has another mesmerizing video. This time they dance with a herd of dogs instead of treadmills.

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Fabulous Possum Video: Ad Campaign or Satire?

Are these fabulous possum care instructional videos a viral ad scam? Or just a California wildlife rehabilitator with a sense of humor?

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Improbable Battles in the Animal Kingdom this Week

Some improbable animal battles this week.Praying Mantis v. HummingbirdThe hummingbirds in this video already hate the praying mantis. They bicker with him and kick him in the head. Their prejudice is well-founded: the mantis lunges at the bird. In slow mo, it seems like the bird gets off. But there is a long-running war and the mantis sometimes wins. The outcome is so improbable, there’s a discussion on Snopes debating whether it is possible.

[youtube=]Shark v. Ring

Veterinarian Chip Gardener grabbed a nurse shark ensnared by a frisbee ring and freed it. Gardener was diving near the wreck “The Princess Anne” off Palm Beach with his friend John Dickinson, who joked on CBS that his focus was just framing the shot.[youtube=]

Chicken v. FoxA young fox broke into a hen house in Basildon, Essex, UK, and was pecked to death by the rooster Dude and his hens Izzy, Pongo and Pecky, the Daily Mail reports. Even if he survived the bites, he would have died of embarrassment over the attack.

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The Cute Seal Video NOAA Doesn’t Want You to See

This is just the sort of video that the folks at NOAA, who enforce the Marine Mammal Protection Act, don’t want you to see. Here’s a woman snuggling with an elephant seal, who is clearly nuzzling back. She’s off on the remote South Georgia Island (where Shackleton sought rescue), between Argentina and Antarctica.

These uninhabited island have become like little Galapagos, with animals that are now not so scared of people. (They probably were more wary when it was the base for seal-hunting and whaling operations). Wildlife officials always remind you that seals will bite.

The woman seems to follow the standard procedure for interacting with most wild animals: sit still and wait for the animal to come to you. The seal keeps sniffing her face and even climbs over her. (And, no, he didn’t have designs on her; elephant seal mating is much more violent.)

One guide near Canterbury, England, Wildlife Sailing, even offers a tour to a sandbank where you can swim with seals. “No need to swim to them they swim to us!” they say. Who knows what seals would do with human visitors if hunting them stopped completely?


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Elephant Baby Drama

[youtube=]Ever wonder how elephants give birth? Me neither. But this Bali Adventure Tours video–which does have a lot of birthy gore–shows you. There’s a dramatic twist at the end. Hint: They probably wouldn’t publicize a graphic video of a stillbirth.

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Hiding in Coconut is Just Octopus’ Latest Trick

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 map and guide.


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