Category Archives: animal behavior

Cormorant fishing off the skin of a whale shark

I had to put up this video because it’s so cool and unusual (Matthew alerted me to it). It’s a cormorant grabbing remoras affixed to the skin of a whale shark off Cabo San Lucas, and a one-off video. (Remember that the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is the world’s largest fish.) Now that is avian inventiveness! Earth Touch News […]

A king penguin pops bubbles

From Sydney, posted just 4 days ago, we have a King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) trying to spear bubbles with its beak. Curiously, if you look for “penguins pop bubbles” on YouTube, you’ll get several videos (e.g. here). The notes: “A King Penguin [ptenodytes patagonicus] was caught on film having loads of fun with bubbles! Bubbles are used […]

A newspaper-stealing coyote

A coyote in San Francisco (yes, they’re there) was found to be the source of missing newspapers that had been delivered but disappeared. The deliveryman then observed the coyote playing with the purloined papers as if they were toys. He managed to solve the problem, though, and guess how? Click on the headline to find […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

We have a nice mix of photos and a video today. First, reader Rick Longworth struck up a friendship with an African owl. His notes: A few years ago my wife and I did a flying vacation (rented Cessna)  across South Africa.  We encountered dozens of species, mostly in parks and preserves. We stayed for […]

Wildcat catches mouse in the snow

Reader Rick Longworth sent this video of a “wildcat” (I’m not sure whether this is a feral tabby or a European wildcat [Felis silvestris silvestris]) catching a rodent in the snow. Nor can I be sure if he actually sees the prey, or is, like a fox, hunting by sound. It’s hard to gell. Finally, […]

Arctic fox wants a fish

Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are especially beautiful in the winter when they turn white and fluffy (they’re brown in summer). In this video, a Russian ice fisherman repeatedly fends off a fox who wants a fish that the man has apparently stored, live, in a hole in the ice. After repeatedly rebuking and driving off […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and science post!)

Bruce Lyon, our professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California at Santa Cruz, has sent another installment in his continuing and engrossing series on coots. This counts not only as a photography post, but as a science post, so be sure to read his text (indented), which describes experiments to figure out […]

Evidence that raptors spread brushfires to flush out prey

Now the paper at hand is far from conclusive, but it raises questions that really do deserve investigation, for it suggests that at least three species of Australian raptors, jointly called “firehawks,” spread brushfires to flush out prey. If true, that would mean that birds either “use fire” or “weaponize fire”—something known only in our […]

Are dogs smarter than cats?

Yes, that’s the perennial question, and of course it depends on what you mean by “smarter”. Several people (mostly dog owners, of course) have sent me articles touting a recent finding that dogs are smarter than cats because they have more neurons in their brains. For example, this article reports a new article in Frontiers in […]

Mantis fly has a walking pupa that climbs trees before hatching

Although this observation and video don’t revolutionize science, they do provide some information that was missing about the life cycle of an insect, and, importantly, they allow the lucky finder to see something that presumably no other human had seen before. In this case it’s a substantial part of the lifecycle of a “mantidfly“, Ditaxis […]