Category Archives: animal behavior

Naturalist communes with bears

It’s the end of the week, which means it’s time to enjoy some animal cuteness. In this case we have a momma American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) and her two adorable cubs (or is it three?), all filmed by a biologist who gets along with them swimmingly.  This three-minute video from BBC Earth shows something […]

Ratte steckt im Gulli fest: German firefighters save fat rat stuck in a manhole cover

What a great country is Deutschland! I can’t imagine any place where a huge rescue effort would be mounted, involving multiple firefighters with fancy equipment, to save an obese rat stuck in a manhole cover (should it be “personhole” now?). But the Germans stepped up! Courtesy of alert reader Jószef, we have a lovely BBC […]

A biologist says goodbye to a dying chimp

I came across this video in a New York Times review of an upcoming (March 12) book by Frans de Waal, Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves. The notes below, however, are from YouTube, not from the book or the review: Mama, 59 years old and the oldest chimpanzee and […]

Froghoppers jump by digging into plants with metal-containing spines on their legs

Froghoppers are “true bugs”—in the order Hemiptera and placed in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha. They’re also known as “spittlebugs” because the nymphs reside in a mass of foamed-up excretion (incorporating plant sap) which looks like spittle (see below). This foamy mass clearly protects the young insects. First, the adult, which is what we’re concerned with here: […]

Drawing blood from polar bears and microwaving grapes

As I’ve clearly been unable to brain today, and can’t find much to inspire me, enjoy these two science-y videos. In the first one, sent by reader Michael, we see how the Toronto Zoo draws blood from a polar bear.  The clue is to distract the bear with delicious seal oil while he gets a […]

Hawk and owl fight over a nest

Reader jj sent a video of an owl and a hawk fighting for a nest. The owl eventually won. jj’s notes: Perhaps others have sent these links; in case not, here’s a link to a cool video showing a pair of Great Horned Owls displacing Red-tailed Hawks from their nest.  At the end of the […]

Bird versus chameleon

No animals were harmed in the making of this video, but one got scared. The YouTube notes: “I have 2 white bellied caique and originally I had 30 chameleons all hatched in my house after warming the eggs for 6 months without expecting them to hatch. He is one of them. The others, I donated […]

Honey badger saves its offspring from a leopard

Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis), of course, have a well deserved reputation for fierceness. In fact, their name is synonymous with “badass.” But I didn’t think one would take on a leopard. Yet it did—when that leopard was trying to kill the badger’s offspring. Here’s a video of a badass honey badger (a redundancy) driving off […]

Alligators apparently swallow stones for ballast

Alligators and crocodiles are known to swallow stones, which are called “gastroliths” when they settle in the creature’s stomach. Some birds do this, too, but to help grind up their food. (Other marine creatures like seals also swallow stones.) Why do crocs and alligators do it? In the paper below, published in Integrative Organismal Biology […]

Asiatic honeybees make “The Wave” to deter predators

Reader Mehul called my attention to a phenomenon of which I was unaware. It’s amazing too: a “wave” of honeybees in a colony, created to divert or scare away predators. One honey-sipping moth makes it through the bee cloud, but that’s because of another evolutionary trick. Have a look at this stunning Attenborough segment.