When large swarms of tuna fish gather together, you get a bait ball. It's actually a last-ditch defensive measure adopted by small schooling fish when they are threatened by predators. However, bait balls are also conspicuous, and when schooling fish form a bait ball they can draw the attention of many other predators. As a response to the defensive capabilities of schooling fish, some predators have developed sophisticated countermeasures. This particular example was photographed by Octavio Aburto in Mexico. Continue reading for more.
Iris Peste noticed that her tortoise was having mobility problems, so a trip to veterinarian Dr. Carsten Plischke's office aimed to find out just what was wrong. Plischke discovere worms and a growth disorder that caused Blade's limbs to become so weak that he could no longer walk on his own. So, the vet used some of his own son's LEGO bricks to create a makeshift wheelchair of sorts, fitted to the tortoise's underside. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
Remember when you saw and / or experienced snow for the first time? The same emotions apply to animals as well, ranging from shock to pure joy. This baby polar bear at the Toronto Zoo couldn't get enough of the fresh powder, and even decided to get a taste of it too. The cub was born on November 9, 2013, and was reportedly one of three male cubs born to mama polar bear Aurora that day. Continue reading for more.
Meet the black swallower, a species of deep sea fish in the family Chiasmodontidae, notable for its ability to swallow fish larger than itself. The black swallower feeds on bony fishes, which are swallowed whole. With its greatly distensible stomach, it is capable of swallowing prey over twice its length and 10 times its mass. Its upper jaws are articulated with the skull at the front via the suspensorium, which allows the jaws to swing down and encompass objects larger than the swallower's head. Theodore Gill speculated that the swallower seizes prey fishes by the tail, and then "walks" its jaws over the prey until it is fully coiled inside the stomach. Continue reading for a video, more pictures and additional information.
You know how fish tanks have glass sides that let anyone peer in to see what the aquatic animals are up to at any given time. Well, not a geeky dad has decided to build one exclusively for cats, and calls it the "Cataquarium". This person apparently lives on a farm and has included a ramp so any cats caught outside in bad weather can find its way into a cozy little box, complete with viewing window. Continue reading for up-close images.
White tigers and chimpanzees aren't synonymous, but when two white tiger cubs were born during a hurricane and separated from their mother after their sanctuary flooded, chimpanzee Anjana became their surrogate mother. Keeper China York says, "She gives them a bottle, lies with them and acts as a surrogate mother. She has a close contact and bond and gives them a nurturing." Continue reading for more unlikely animal friendships captured by photographers.
No, the crop circle-inspired design you see above was not created by aliens, but rather a tiny Japanese puffer fish. That's right, tiny silvery male puffer fishes are responsible for making the beautiful and elaborate underwater crop circles to attract a mate. They use their pectoral fins to carve an elaborate series of rings and ridges in the sand. Since they are constantly washed away by water flow, the tiny fish must constantly maintain them. The more elaborate the underwater 'crop circle' mating ring, the more likely the male puffer is to attract a female counterpart. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Another day, another batch cat pictures that have gone viral overnight. This time, they're from Japan, and cat owners are basically placing strips of hand-drawn cartoon / anime eyes in front of their cats. The official term is "cat montage" (neko montaaju), and it's strange to say the least. Want to find more? Just search for the Japanese term on Twitter. Continue reading to see some of the best so far.
Five-month-old Alia has an unusual best friend, Daisy the sloth. They met when Alia was just two days old, Daisy, three months old, and the duo have been inseparable ever since. Alia's parents, Julia and Jason Heckathorn, say that both of them love to play and take naps together. This family also have a kangaroo called Boomeroo, an anteater called Noche, sugar gliders and a cat called Larry. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
You've probably seen images and even video of the deep-sea anglerfish, but here's an up-close look, in its natural habitat 2,000-feet underwater. This video was captured by MBARI's ROV Doc Ricketts at 600m (1968.5 ft) on a midwater research expedition in November 2014. Sea devils are the family of deep-sea anglerfish known as the Ceratiidae, from the Greek keras, "horn", referring to the bioluminescent lure that projects from the fishes' forehead. Continue reading to watch.