Monday, August 18, 2014

Leopard sneaks up on warthog and pounces...or, maybe not

After sneaking up on a warthog, a leopard finally takes action,
though not the kind of action you'd expect.

A leopard in the Kruger National Park in South Africa stealthily snuck up on a warthog that was minding its own business and happily feeding in the grass. The warthog had no idea it was about to become a meal. It kept feeding and wagging its tale without a care in the world. Until the leopard decided to pounce.

Cedric submitted the video to Kruger Sightings with the first 50 seconds sped up to twice the normal speed, returning the video to normal speed when the leopard decided to take action. Watch the humorous outcome:

Just as the leopard is about to leap on its prey, it completely forgets what it is supposed to do, or so says Kruger Sightings.

Commenters on YouTube had other opinions, such as the leopard didn’t realize how big the warthog was (not likely) or the leopard was surprised that the warthog did not start running (probably not).

Someone offered the warthog-was-too-big theory because leopards are known to carry their kill up into trees to protect it from scavengers like hyenas. But leopards are also known for their strength that enables them to carry large animals into trees.

A warthog, on the other hand, is known for its sprinting ability to flee from danger, as this one showed once it realized it was about to be eaten—or licked, or sniffed. It definitely wasn’t known for detecting danger, that’s for sure.

As for the leopard, who knows why it did what it did? For our amusement, perhaps?

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tiger sharks petted and regularly fed by hand by divers

Tiger sharks are petted and fed by hand by divers off Jupiter, Florida.

Two divers are captured on video feeding tiger sharks off Jupiter, Florida. It’s so common that GrindTV Outdoor said “for these divers, every week if Shark Week.”

Mickey Smith and Robert Nimmo, members of a group called Shark Addicts, told GrindTV that they dive with paying clients every weekend aboard Emerald Charters. They go four miles offshore, make three dives per trip, and encounter as many as 20 tiger sharks per dive.

Take a look at the incredible footage of the divers getting up close and personal to the dangerous tiger sharks, something you'd likely see during Shark Week:

More from GrindTV Outdoor:
“Sharks have such a bad reputation, all caused by the media,” Smith said, when asked why the group is so passionate about spending every weekend swimming with and videotaping apex predators. “We bring people on these shark dives who are hesitant at first, after the dives they can’t wait to go again.”
Asked about the intimacy of these dives, inspired by the presence of bait, which is what the sharks are really after, Smith said of the potential danger factor:
“Sharks are beautiful and intelligent animals. They know the difference between the divers and the bait. I feel totally in my comfort zone when surrounded by these awesome sharks.”
National Geographic offers a pretty good description of Tiger Sharks:
Tiger sharks are named for the dark, vertical stripes found mainly on juveniles. As these sharks mature, the lines begin to fade and almost disappear.

These large, blunt-nosed predators have a duly earned reputation as man-eaters. They are second only to great whites in attacking people. But because they have a near completely undiscerning palate, they are not likely to swim away after biting a human, as great whites frequently do.

They are consummate scavengers, with excellent senses of sight and smell and a nearly limitless menu of diet items. They have sharp, highly serrated teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to crack the shells of sea turtles and clams. The stomach contents of captured tiger sharks have included stingrays, sea snakes, seals, birds, squids, and even license plates and old tires.

Seems like tiger sharks will eat just about anything. Be careful, divers.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shark Week probably missed this one: nurse shark spits mouthful of water into DJ’s face

Shark Week on Discovery Channel missed this one. A nurse shark
spit a mouthful of water into DJ Corey Bonalewicz's face. 

Shark Week on Discovery Channel probably missed this one:

New Orleans DJ Corey Bonalewicz and his girlfriend were admiring a six-foot nurse shark at a Cancun, Mexico, tourist destination when Bonalewicz received the surprise of his life. The nurse shark spit up a mouthful of water right into his face. As you can see, Bonalewicz took it well, posting the hilarious video on his YouTube Channel:

The U.S. radio personality included this description with the video:
New Orleans DJ Corey Bonalewicz was holidaying in Cancun last week when the man-size shark gave him a wildlife experience he is sure to remember for a long time.

As the B97 presenter petted the docile fish in clear and shallow water he may have rubbed it the wrong way causing it to spit a stream of water at him from close range.
As the American recoils in disgust his friends and a man who appears to be a shark handler laugh raucously.

"Thank you," the DJ says as he wipes his face. 

The radio personality appeared unperturbed by the incident, posting a link to the video online and linking to it on his Twitter page.
Incidentally, Shark Week on Discovery Channel began Sunday night. From Discovery Channel:

"Shark Week, television's longest running must-see summer TV event, returns to Discovery Channel on Sunday, August 10. Building upon last year's 11 shark-filled specials, a whopping 14 hours of brand new Shark Week programs coupled with a live talk show each night gives this year's Shark Week the most number of programs and premiere hours ever featured in the event's 27-year history.

"Shark Week’s late-night live talk show, Shark After Dark, will return. Host Josh Wolf will lead viewers through an hour-long celebration of all things shark-related, including celebrity guests and shark experts. The talk show will give viewers the opportunity to interact live on-air every night with tweets, questions to celebrity guests, and more.

Tune in for the excitement. But don't expect a nurse shark spitting water in a guy's face. 

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Giant hammerhead shark caught in Oman; see the sad video

Giant hammerhead shark is caught off Oman. Generic photo of a
hammerhead shark is courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife

A fisherman in Oman is seen standing next to a giant hammerhead shark he caught in a video presented on YouTube by Animal Wire.

The hammerhead shark is absolutely huge.

Sadly, this 15-foot-plus hammerhead shark is probably destined to become shark fin soup. It can fetch up to $100 per pound for the fins. Watch Animal Wire’s report:

Apparently, sharks have several purposes in Oman.

From Fishing Oman
Sharks have a special place in Oman’s history; the flesh is used in a number of traditional dishes and the oil from their livers is used to waterproof the hulls of wooden dhows. Archaeological studies have revealed the presence of shark remains in old settlements, indicating that they have been utilized for centuries, and possibly even millennia. It is therefore no surprise to find that sharks still form an important part of the fishing and culinary cultures of modern Oman. However with the increasing demand for shark fin for use in the Far East there has been a serious decline in catches and landings of sharks from Oman’s coastal waters. Consequently, now more than ever, responsible catch and release angling for sharks should be encouraged and practiced.
At least the giant hammerhead shark in the video won’t just be used for shark fin soup. Still, it is a sad tale for such a beautiful and old hammerhead shark.

Now, more than ever, we need to get the word out on shark conservation.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Giant iceberg arch crumbles into the sea, panics woman

Giant iceberg with a beautiful arch collapses into the sea in Newfoundland, Canada.

A Newfoundland couple was admiring and videotaping a giant iceberg with a beautiful arch when the iceberg crumbled into the sea causing a bit of a tidal wave that created a panic on their boat. Or at least it was thought to be a tidal wave. No question about the panic, though. 

“I think my heart came up, and I swallowed it,” Wanda Stead told the CBC last week, capturing her emotion when the giant iceberg disintegrated. “I was petrified.”

Rick and Wanda Stead were in their boat on the Bay of Exploits in Canada admiring nature’s artwork when the giant iceberg suddenly collapsed. You might have already seen it by now; 1.7 million or so have. But in case you missed it, this is a thing of beauty:

“Run, Rick, go—go!” Wanda screams at her husband. "Go! Go!"

Rick didn't run, but he punched the gas and got out of there as quickly as possible. 

“All I could see was this tidal wave coming toward us,” Wanda said.

Turns out, a tidal wave didn’t overtake their boat, but they do believe they were not observing the giant iceberg from a safe distance.

“We were too close,” Wanda told CBC, estimating that they had parked their boat between 100 and 150 feet from the giant iceberg.

“Accidents are unplanned events. You never know with something that big … and people need to know.”

The amazing part, Wanda added, was that she kept the camera so steady to capture the incredible collapse.

Wanda also captured video of the giant iceberg from behind the land mass as they boated out to get that compelling close-up video. It gives a better idea just how big it was:

Yeah, that's one giant iceberg. 

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Ashton Kutcher steals photo of snow monkey using iPhone

Snow monkey steals iPhone and updates Facebook page.
A nature photographer was taking photos of the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan when a tourist had her iPhone stolen by a snow monkey, which retreated to the middle of a hot spring.

Photographer Marsel van Oosten of The Netherlands took a photo of the snow monkey holding the iPhone like a human and entitled it “Facebook Update.” The photo went viral. Everybody loved it. Even actor Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher steals photo, claims it as own.
Ashton Kutcher, who has a huge social media following, loved the photo so much, he posted it on Facebook and claimed it as his own.

Van Oosten wrote on Facebook that Kutcher posted a filtered version of the snow monkey, telling GrindTV Outdoor that Ashton Kutcher removed his watermark and replaced it with a tiny watermark that says aplusk, Kutcher’s screen name on Twitter and Instagram. It’s very tiny, but you can see it in the shadow of the snow monkey at the bottom in the above link. 

“I sent him two emails about this, but he never bothered to answer,” van Oosten told GrindTV. “It is a sad example of how easy people steal images from the Internet as if it’s the most normal thing to do. Ironically, Kutcher is part of the Hollywood clan that gets so worked up about people illegally downloading movies and TV series. It is mind boggling to see that Kutcher doesn’t realize he’s basically doing exactly the same thing himself: stealing copyrighted material, and to make matters worse, claiming it as his.”

A quick look at Ashton Kutcher’s Facebook page revealed that the actor must have finally gotten the message, because the photo was taken down without explanation or apology.  

The snow monkey photo is getting a lot of attention lately, but not all because actor Ashton Kutcher stole the photo and claimed it as his own. No, the photo is among the 50 finalists for the People’s Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition by The Natural History Museum of London. Public online voting is open until September 5. The snow monkey has to be a favorite.

The least Ashton Kutcher could do now is vote for the photo.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Mayflies show up as rain clouds on National Weather Service radar

In La Crosse, Wisconsin, a week ago Sunday, radar from the National Weather Service detected what appeared to be a huge rain cloud developing along the Mississippi River, only it wasn’t a rain cloud at all. It was a cloud of mayflies.

A giant mayfly swarm emerged from the water and became airborne, producing on radar what the NWS described as echo values similar to that of light-to-moderate rain.

With a general south-to-north wind flow above the surface, the mayflies quickly moved north once in the air. As the flies dispersed moving north-northeast, they also gained altitude with some of the echo being detected as far north as Black River Falls and as high as 2,500 feet above ground.
The Minneapolis StarTribune reported that the natural phenomenon called to mind a biblical plague or an Alfred Hitchcock film. It’s definitely eerie.

Mayflies cover a gas station making it difficult to pump gas.

The mayflies started to appear on radar around 8:45 p.m. Sunday, July 20, and began invading La Crosse, La Crescent, Stoddard, and other locales up and down the river in massive numbers, as seen in the accompanying photos provided by the NWS.

The mayfly swarm is said to be an annual occurrence and a good sign for the health of the river, but this year’s event is reportedly much bigger than normal.

The NWS called it a massive mayfly emergence similar to the event that occurred on June 23, 2012, when snowplows were used to remove the mayflies from the roads.

The StarTribune reported that the mayflies produced slimy roadways and was blamed for a three-car accident near Red Wing, Minnesota.

More from the NWS:
While the emergence of mayflies from their river bottom mud dwelling can occur at various times through the warm season depending on the species, this particular emergence was that of the larger black/brown Bilineata species. The radar loop below shows the reflected radar energy (reflectivity) from 835 pm to just after midnight. The higher the values (greens to yellows) indicate greater concentrations of flies. Note how the swarm is carried northward over time.

We’re pretty sure the local residents would have preferred it to be rain.

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