Category Archives: animal behavior

Dinosaur 1, mammal 0. Bee-eater catches bat.

by Matthew Cobb PCC mailed me from holiday (can you spot the problem in that phrase?) and asked me to post these amazing photos by Shuki Cheled, which have just been posted on, where Jonathan Meyrav writes this: On Friday 26 June photographer Shuki Cheled was birding around the Judean plains with a Dutch […]

Raccoon invades beer warehouse with predictable result

It’s Friday afternoon, and that means GOOFY ANIMAL VIDEOS. From United Press International, we have a drunken procyonid: NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) — A New York man shared video online of a raccoon [Procyon lotor] trying its best to walk in a straight line without falling over after getting into some alcoholic beverages. The […]

Parrot cries like a baby

Looks like today’s an almost all-biology day, which is fine with me; we need a day without godless ranting! To finish off our bird theme, we have this video of a green parrot that has obviously cohabited with a baby. I don’t know the species, but I’m SURE some readers do, so put the answer […]

How and why does this caterpillar whistle?

A piece in ScienceNews reported some new research (not yet published) that updated an old but good paper on the famous “whistling caterpillar.” I refer to the walnut sphinx caterpillar (Amorpha juglandis), which, when disturbed—as in a predator attack—emits a high-pitched whistle from its spiracles (the body openings used for respiration). An earlier paper (from 2010) by […]

Raccoon rides alligator

UPDATE: A reader in the comments (#2) gives a reference suggesting that this photo may be a fake. Stay tuned. _________ If this photo hasn’t gone viral, it will. It shows a raccoon (Procyon lotor) riding an alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida. WPTV in West Palm Beach gives details: A Palatka man’s son was able […]

Rock climbing bears

Alex Honnold has nothing on these bears. Although I knew of the fearlessness and dexterity of wild sheep and goats on vertical rock slopes (the ones who weren’t so skillful didn’t leave descendants!), I wasn’t aware that bears had joined the rock-climbing club. The information below comes from Stephanie Latimer, who made the video in Big […]

My whale and sea lion encounter

Kris Rossing, a reader, is a Senior Aquarium Biologist at the Vancouver Aquarium, undoubtedly the best such facility (for both display and research) in Canada. Kris spends his time tending and studying endangered frogs (see a story here), and, when he heard I was coming to Vancouver, he kindly invited me to a behind-the-scenes look […]

Wild animals see themselves in a mirror for the first time

by Grania Jerry asked me to post this video after we both had come across it via different sources. I remember my own animals’ reactions to the mirror – we had a large one on the floor propped up against a wall once upon a time, and on various occasions a resident felid or canid […]

Mother weasel rescues bereft baby

Here’s a heartwarming moment for the end of the week. From The Dodo, via reader Su, we have an endearing video of a mother weasel and her string of offspring, who clamber to follow mom over a stone wall. One hapless baby gets left behind, but, after some weaselly distress calls, mom comes back to rescue […]

H is for Hawk

I can’t recommend highly enough the new book by Helen Macdonald: H is for Hawk.  It is up there with J. A. Baker’s The Peregrine as one of my favorite books about nature, but Macdonald’s book is very different. While Baker’s is about observing wild peregrines near his home, and is entirely lyrical writing about […]


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