Category Archives: animal behavior

Bird flight records, with a plucky whimbrel flying through a hurricane

It’s unimaginable to me how some migrating birds can remain airborne for so long. The record varies depending on time and distance. National Geographic reports that a satellite-tagged female bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) migrated nonstop across the entire Pacific Ocean: some 7,145 miles from Alaska to New Zealand. That’s without a refueling stop, which means either […]

End of the day cute wildlife

You’ve probably learned that I like to make the last post of the day something upbeat or light, just like the U.S. evening news always ends on a positive piece. Here’s a raccoon who’s learned a nice trick. Watch the video below to see “Rocksy,” a procyonid who’s learned to knock on the glass panel door with a […]

The powerful salty

Here’s an Instagram that was tw**ted by Brooke Borel (who said “I can’t stop watching this”) and then passed on to me by Matthew Cobb. The description: A saltwater crocodile propels its entire body out of the water with the power of its tail. This video was taken for a project on crocodiles sponsored by […]

Chimpansees halen drone naar beneden en filmen elkaar! (Dutch chimp swats down drone)

It’s time to stop bothering our nonhuman relatives with those ubiquitous drones. For, make no mistake about it, the animals don’t like it—and will hit back! A few days ago we had an Australian eagle taking down a drone, and now we see an affronted chimp doing the same thing. But this story is more […]

Caturday felids: cat and squirrel play cat and mouse, kitty history, epic cat door fail, Google cat map in Japan

Lucky you—we have no fewer than four cat items today. In the first, a cat and squirrel play hide-and-seek around a telephone pole. The squirrel wins, of course! Click on the screenshot to go to the video: ***** Don’t let the light-hearted music mislead you: this funny video on “Kitty History” is also left-wing, has […]

Two babies playing – one is human

By Matthew Cobb Now this looks to me as though the baby gorilla is playing peekaboo. Any hard-noses out there want to come up with a different interpretation? Video filmed in the Columbus Zoo. h/t Ziya Tong  

Decoy calls unexpectedly change a frog’s mate preference

Behavioral work on many animals, ranging from insects to mammals, has shown that females prefer a certain type of male call: perhaps one that is longer, louder, or has certain combinations of sounds. We’re not sure why these preferences have evolved, though there are many theories. Those include hypotheses that males with, say, louder calls are healthier, and […]

I saved two lives!

Yes, they were the lives of crayfish, but who’s to say they don’t value their existence as much as we do ours? As I walked out of the building today, and past the big pond, I came upon two crayfish on the sidewalk. When I approached them, they made cool threat displays like the one below, […]

Matthew Cobb answers questions about evolution and animal sniffers

Manchester Life Sciences has posted a new YouTube video in its “Ask a Scientist” series, and the scientist to ask happens to be our own Matthew Cobb. In this 15-minute video he takes on six questions about evolution and about his own speciality: olfaction. It’s very interesting: click on either screenshot below to go to the video: Our hero! […]

Gruesome but amazing falcon behaviour

JAC: In lieu of our usual dollop of living creatures in “Readers’ wildlife photographs,” I’ll post this contribution by Matthew. by Matthew Cobb Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) is a kind of hobby with a wingspan of about 1 meter which breeds on Mediterranean islands and overwinters in Madagascar. It’s a rather fine-looking bird, as this […]


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