Category Archives: animal behavior

Affronted cockatoo doesn’t want to go to vet, unleashes stream of invective

According to the YouTube notes, this bird is pissed off: Max knows when he sees his carrier that it’s a visit to the vet and gets pretty vocal about it. Can anybody make out what Max is saying? He sounds like the Bird from Hell—the Exorcist Bird.  “Why you do this to me, Dimmy?”

Lamb teaches baby rhino to gambol

This video, arriving from Ziya Tong’s Tw*tter feed via Matthew Cobb, is touching, for it shows how a baby rhino is simply too ponderous to gambol. Or is it even trying to? And if it is, is it imitating or playing with the lamb?

Red pandas frolic in the snow

When I started graduate school, the red panda, Ailurus fulgens, was thought to be the closest living relative to the giant panda, mainly, I guess, because it sort of resembles the giant panda (both have a mask), lives in the same general area, and is arboreal, though it doesn’t eat bamboo.  In fact, it wasn’t even […]

Removing a panda from a tree

All I know about this is that I’d like to be the guy; and we have some brief YouTube notes below: A breeder in China’s Sichuan Province wants to take this panda down from a tree, but the lovely panda wants a reward. So it asks the breeder for a hug before moving!

A tail of moths and bats: a novel anti-predator trait

The Saturniidae is a large family of moths (ca. 2300 species), and is also a family of large moths, including some of the world’s biggest and most beautiful. Here’s one of them: the luna moth (Actias luna); this one’s a female. Notice two features of this insect: the long “tails” on the rear wing, and the eyespots on […]

The remarkable spider-tailed viper

I’ve previously written a post on the spider-tailed viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides), a wonderful snake that has a bizarre and deceptively spider-like appendage on its tail.  It was discovered in 1968 in Iran, but described as a new species only in 2006, with the authors speculating that the appendage could be used to lure prey.  Below is a […]

BuzzFeed post on animal reproduction

I’m starting to get really wary of “aggregators,” those sites that simply steal stuff from other sites, don’t give them credit, and usually compile lists of things that seem to attract people, like “The 7 things you need to know to have great sex,” or “You won’t believe what this cat did!”.  What bothers me is […]

The further adventures of Harry

by Matthew Cobb Regular readers will know that I have become the staff of a small kitten called Harry, who is bitey and scratchy and generally excitable, except when he’s not all floppy and purry and asleep. On Saturday, Harry decided to help me with marking (aka grading) second year university exams. These were short […]

A capybara onsen

Many of you probably know that the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the world’s largest rodent. They can be huge: as Wikipedia notes, “The top recorded weights are 91 kg (201 lb) for a wild female from Brazil and 73.5 kg (162 lb) for a wild male from Uruguay.” That’s a lot of rodent! Capybaras are native to South America, but some […]

Speaking of clams. . .

(Does that sound like the title of a Krista Tippett show?). I’m on the move today, and posting will be light, which means that if I report on science or natural history, I won’t have time to read the original papers. But this finding is cool anyway, and there’s a video, so I’ll use a […]


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