Friday, December 20, 2013

Lesbian Penguins
There's a reason why the words "lesbian" and "penguin" rhyme -- the words clearly go together, as these lovely ladies from an Israeli zoo are proving. Suki and Chupchikoni are in love and have chosen each other as a mate, despite a plethora of male options. They remind us here at ANW of the gay penguins in Manhattan, about which we've reported lovingly before:
Do you see the other penguins getting all upset over this coupling? Are they marching around with hateful signs and threatening these little lovers with violence? No! Because they know it's none of their durn business!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Interspecies Fun!

I don't know much about the source of this video. From the "yeah" I hear the woman on the phone say, I think it was made in Australia. And, indeed, in searching "Australian Magpie," I discovered that they do look like the magpie in this video. I would also venture to guess that this particular bird is a pet, not a wild magpie. But what will ever remain a mystery to me is just how empathetic animals can be. Surely it takes an act of imagination for the bird not to feel threatened when the much-larger dog play-bites him? And doesn't that suggest intelligence? And if we agree to the two foregoing propositions -- that empathy denotes imagination, and imagination requires intelligence -- don't we also have to wonder how dumb humans are when we are unable to empathize with each other? I mean, if two such different species as a bird and a dog can do it, what is stopping us humans?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Onward, brave knight!

I just had to include this photo in my blog. I don't really know what to say about it besides, "Whaaaa?" And that it is yet more proof that animals rock. For more intelligent commentary, please see the original posting in _The Guardian_ (citing _The Observer_):

Monday, December 2, 2013

Eagle-Selfie, Viral Video!

This is kind of a dream-come-true for me: an eagle stole a camera that had been set up by rangers in Australia and recorded his long journey, only to take a great shot of himself (above) before the video ran out. I've always wanted to strap a camera to various animals to see what it's like to look at the world from their point of view. This guy has made it happen!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tortoise Fashion Show

Why did the chicken cross the road . . . on a tortoise? This is no joke! Katie Bradley, from Vancouver, Canada, encourages us to ask this very question and others while contemplating the many delightful suits she knits for her pet tortoise. You must check the wide selection of high-fashion clothes out -- and don't forget to note the blasé model, who is clearly an old-hand at the cat-walk!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Panda Party Poopers

You can imagine my delight and eagerness when I read the headline "Baby panda party" and the description that the video would show me how they "celebrate turning 100 days old." Well, this has to be the most boring party of all time. Can't they ferment some bamboo juice or something? Call in someone to play a rousing song on the erhu! Let's get this party started!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chatty Cub

I'm not sure that the above photo is of our little star in the link above it, but I am sure that this little gaffer at the Belgrade Zoo -- who was just introduced to the public on Thursday Oct. 3 -- is a talker! He has something to say, and, by golly, he's going to say it! And you'll listen because he's one of rarest creatures in the world. Or is it because he has the most adorable pot-belly you've ever seen?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shadow Dancers

I think this stunning photo of vicuña, a South American animal closely related to llamas, is one of the most gorgeous, inventive portraits I've ever seen. At first I was taken by fact that the helicopter's perspective emphasizes the flatness of the desert around the animals, and only then did I notice that their shadows show their shapes like cave-drawings. This is photography as Romantic-era poetry: photographer George Steinmetz makes the world new again for us by teaching us to perceive it in an original way.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wedding Flight

You must watch this amazing short film of the wedding flight of a virginal queen bee. It's from a new film that I'm dying to see -- More Than Honey, which explores the global crisis facing honeybees. As The Guardian site notes, the director Markus Imhoof used mini-helicopters and high-speed cameras to capture this incredible extraordinary video; "it took 10 days to get 36 seconds of footage at Heidrun Singer's hives in Austria." Thanks to their incredible patience, we have this jewel of a video:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

!Bienvenidos, olinguito!

Meet the most recently identified carnivore, the olinguito, which has been described as cross between a teddy bear and a house cat. Hellooooo! Best animal ever! Just one more reason why I think South America has some of the most wonderful animals in the whole world. (Google "pacarana" if you don't believe me!) News sites are exploding with this great news, but I think the BBC site has the best coverage because it includes more photos of this beautiful creature: Turns out that zoos were mystified at their inability to breed it, only for the scientific world to realize now that they were trying to cross an olingo with an olinguito (translation: small and adorable olingo. Spanish rocks, too.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Norman, the Scooter Dog

Meet Norman, widely known as "the scooter dog" because he has just been inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for setting the record as the fastest scooter-riding dog. (I can't imagine he'll have much competition in this category.) But what really impresses me are his bike-riding abilities. He pedals perfectly, like he's in the Tour de France. Check out the video on his awesome website. If it doesn't make you feel like you're losing your mind, then you have a much stronger grasp of your sanity than I do.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Be more dog?

"Be more dog," says O2, the cel phone provider in the UK.  I dunno. The concept makes for a funny ad (see link below), but I don't think a cat would ever really buy into this slogan. Plus, I prefer the cat acting more like a cat at the start of the video. I mean, the very reason we love cats is that they are so hilariously self-important and snobby! The motto does work well for us humans, though. Dogs are full of joy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Wild Gone Wild!

Photobomb! Here are my favourite photos of animals trying to get into the shot -- and taking all the limelight. The looks on the faces of the women with the friendly manta ray (surely it's not a sting ray?) just crack me up. They are almost as cute as the manta ray. And the sloth! He must be saying, "!aloH!" ("!Hola!" upside-down.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wacky Dog Grooming Competition

If this photo makes you say, "Whaaaa?", then don't expect a logical explanation in the rest of the equally mad-cap doggie hair designs in the rest of the slide show. (I also recommend you read the hilarious comments under the photos). Check it out!:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blue (lagoon) Lobster?

This beautiful lobster was caught off the coast of Nova Scotia. It has a genetic defect that makes it so brilliantly blue. I say, bring on the genetic defects, if this is the result! I can't get over the incredible colour! Read more here:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Milky Way

I believe it was David Letterman who said, "Every man, woman, and child enjoys a fine beverage." Add "25-year-old orangutan" to that list, Dave.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spinning Seal

I think I know why this seal is spinning: he's trying to hypnotize the visitors, whom he hopes just happen to be carrying large barrels of sardines.  Watch the video and imagine that he's saying the following: "You are getting sleepy; you feel an overwhelming urge to throw your fish into the water. Don't resist. Give in to the urge. Toss your fish towards me."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Giddiness

This adorable photo by Italian photographer Andrea Zampatti captures perfectly how I would feel if spring would only bloom for me, as it has for this little dormouse. I think I'll be delirious with joy! But I can't imagine it will ever come this year as I look out on the FRESH and PLENTIFUL SNOW today. Yes, P.B.Shelley -- spring CAN be far behind!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tightrope-Walking Raccoon

I never thought I would report that a raccoon in Toronto has been filmed tightrope-walking along the electrical and telephone wires high over the houses. When I lived in T.O., I was often amazed at their intelligence, but this really takes the cake! We have a lot to learn about animal intelligence -- and creativity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Elephant-Seal Crossing?
This hilarious video from Brazil shows a half-ton Elephant Seal going for a stroll in town. The narration is cute -- and comforting, as we're told that the seal was splashed with water during his stroll to keep him comfortable and healthy -- but I was surprised that the narrator does not see fit to mention a very surprising aspect of this incident. I mean, it is weird enough that a seal should show up downtown, but no one mentions that he's USING THE ZEBRA CROSSING!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Untamed Shrew UPDATED!

I came across a photo of this beautiful little creature from Africa today and just had to share it with you. It is the Elephant Shrew and I'm quite taken with it! I think it's just lovely in its strangeness, and its coat is an example of an expert dye-job if I've ever seen one! My mom put it best when she wrote, "It’s as though God said, 'I think I’ll make a rat -- no, a fox -- changed my mind, a tiny elephant! Oh, what the heck. I’ll just let them figure it out.'" They clearly haven't decided yet -- and I'm delighted they haven't!

UPDATE: ANW has just learned that there may be a new species of Elephant Shrew. Please see this link for more information:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eddie the Otter Shoots Hoops for Health
Seriously, as if otters aren't cute enough -- now they're shooting hoops! Oh, it's all very scientific, as his wonderful trainer tells us. Eddie has arthritis and needs to exercise to stay limber. All I know is that I'd like to see a bit of competition introduced into his "training." Let's get another basketball-playing otter in that tank and televise it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Secret Squid

Finally, scientists have caught one of my favourite creatures on video in its natural habitat.  The giant squid is an elusive one; until recently, scientists had only seen dead ones and knew about its habits from the immense scratch marks on its enemies of the deep and its main predators, the sperm whale. Did I mention that, instead of simple suction cups on its tentacles, the giant squid has rotating claws -- thus the scratch marks on the whales. Imagine that battle! And these claws on thirty-foot long tentacles! You can't make this stuff up! Commenting on the video, taken 2,000 feet below the surface in the Pacific,Tsunemi Kudodera said, "It was stunning. I couldn't have dreamt that it would be so beautiful. It was such a wonderful creature." See for yourself: