Category Archives: animal behavior

The mighty pinch of the coconut crab

The coconut crab, or “robber crab” (Birgus latro), is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world, with individuals weighing up to four kg (about 9 pounds).  They have a wide range: But because of their size and the fact that they’re tasty, they’ve been largely driven extinct by humans on populated islands. Here’s how big they are: They […]

Fun cat facts

And from BBC Radio 4, courtesy of reader Laurie, we have “16 things you never knew about cats.” Hint #4 could be useful if you own a cat.  I knew 8 of these “facts” (some of which may be doubtful). 1. When night falls in the Disneyland theme park, 200 cats are released to catch […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Mike Hannah send some photos from the Land of Kiwis and notes (indented): I understand that you are visiting New Zealand next year – so I have attached three photos of endemic species to whet your appetite. All the pictures were taken in an urban sanctuary called Zealandia situated in the suburbs of Wellington. […]

Cat and chipmunk friends

Well, I’m not convinced that this cat and chipmunk story, from Shareably and imgur, means that they’re BFF’s, but it is a photo of a cat cuddling up to a rodent who’d normally be considered a meal. It may be a one-off set of photos, but it’s still cute: h/t: Nicole Reggia    

A snake-mimicking spider

by Greg Mayer Matthew shared with me an interesting video of a spider from Singapore that looks like the head of a snake. The videographer, Nicky Bay, is most interested in the pulsation of a dark region below the ‘eyes’, but to me it’s the resemblance to a snake that is most striking– the ‘nostrils/loreal […]

Snakes on a plain!

by Matthew Cobb By common agreement, the most terrifying footage of Sunday night’s BBC Life on Earth II – narrated by David Attenborough – was the scene where the newly-hatched marine iguanas on the Galapagos had to run the gauntlet of the racer snakes (the clue is in the name). The iguana eggs are laid […]

Rabbits and cat living in harmony

Reader Brigette Zacharczenko, a grad student in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Connecticut at Storrs (she has an insect website), sent me some lovely photos (in an email titled “Some fluffy kitty belly for you to enjoy”) of her rabbits and new kitty that I’m posting with her permission. Her description is indented. My […]

An evolutionary tradeoff: “flying” in fish helps them escape fish predators, but exposes them to avian ones

I don’t know how the BBC manages to get this kind of footage, but their nature shows far outstrip any I’ve seen from other organizations. This short video on flying fishes comes from the “Hunger” episode of the “Oceans” series, and shows how the “flying” adaptation exposes them to new dangers, and new selection pressures. […]

The cephalopod-faced display of Costa’s Hummingbird

Reader Michael sent a short (2-minute) video clip showing a male Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae) courting a female; it’s from a PBS show called “Super Hummingbirds” that will be shown on October 12th. Don’t miss it.  This is a must-watch and, a Michael noted, the real fun begins 40 seconds in: “Spring is the time […]

Panda Act of Love rudely interrupted

Two giant pandas were making the beast with two backs when they were rudely interrupted by an Act of Gravity. How sad! ❤ lol pic.twitter.com/y6mtv21fy1 — *GIF*WORLD* (@wordstextings_) October 2, 2016 I bet the zoo, which wants more pandas, was even more upset.