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Animals Nature

Punk rock turtle who can breathe for 72 hours underwater

The Mary River Turtle not only has specialized glands that allow it to breathe underwater for 72 hours, it also sports a punk rock algae-infused mohawk.

Named one of the world’s most vulnerable reptiles, the turtle lives in Mary River streams in southeastern Queensland, Australia. It uses the algae growing on its shell to camouflage itself from predators.

“We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish,” Malcolm Gladwell once said. While his message encourages people to slow down in this hyperspeed era, perhaps we need a little more punk in our lives too.

Rock on!

Photos: Chris Van Wyk

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Animals Science

Anthropologist Grover Krantz donated his body to science with this one condition

Grover Krantz was one of the few anthropologists who dedicated their time to studying Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot.

As a cryptozoologist, Krantz believed that Bigfoot might exist and did everything he could to research it. Five of his ten books explored the possible existence of the ape-like creature.

Perhaps even more interestingly, the peculiar scientist donated his body to science with the one condition that his dog Clyde, an Irish wolfhound, would be right by him.

“I’ve been a teacher all my life and I think I might as well be a teacher after I’m dead, so why don’t I just give you my body,” said Krantz. “But there’s one catch: You have to keep my dogs with me.”

Both Krantz and Clyde are on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.

PS, if you’re wondering why mentions of Bigfoot may be on the decline, blame technology.

Categories
Animals Nature

Watch two Kangaroos fight it all out in the Australia Outback

What looks like it was taken out of a country western film, here are two Kangaroos fighting each other from the outback in Australia.

Kangaroos usually loaf around most of the time — if they’re not eating or jumping around — so to see them duking it out like humans in a good old boxing match is fascinating.

For all the jokes about humans fighting kangaroos, it seems unlikely that humans could defend against the extremely muscular hind legs of the kickboxers that can crush bones.

But in more serious terms, if you want to donate to help fight the rampant Australia fires — of which millions of wild animals have been a victim, including kangaroos — donate here.

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Animals Nature

Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland

Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland
Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland
Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland
Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland

Strange-looking but cute — if you can even see their faces — the Valais Blacknose sheep is a type of mountain-breed sheep from the Valais region of Switzerland.

Fancy.

Categories
Animals Nature

Disappearing sandpipers

sandpipers flying
photo by deepakrajanna/tw

Behold nature at its finest.

This mesmerizing video of sandpipers flying in unison (aka bird murmuration) and magically disappearing is not a magic trick.

Rather, it’s the rapid flash of their black backs and white chests in contrast to the backdrop of the blue sky that gives off the fascinating appearance.

You can see more of their color patterns in the video below.

Categories
Animals Nature

The African Dung Beetle navigates Earth using the stars

Not sure what’s more amazing about the African dung beetle, one that it rolls immaculate balls out of other animals dung or that it navigates the Earth via the Milky Way.

“These clever insects use the polarized light of the moon to navigate in a straight line,” writes Popular Mechanics. “Their eyes cannot see individual stars but a group of stars together, like the Milky Way, is dense enough to create a luminous line for them to follow.”

But entomologist and photographer Piotr (Peter) Naskrecki of the Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique believes the Kheper subaeneus beetles are more interesting for what they do for mother Earth. 

Few animals are as important to the African savanna ecosystem as the dung beetles and without their thankless toil the entire ecosystem would soon collapse, covered in a thick layer of waste. 

Piotr Naskrecki