“The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is one of the most sought after bird in Africa. A most amazing bird with prehistoric looks – its height of up to 150 centimeters (5 feet) and weighs up to 14 pounds – a most amazing bird found in the pearl of Africa – Uganda. The Arabs used to call the Shoebill Stork – “Abu Maruk” meaning father of the shoe – one could call the Shoebill Stork a flying shoe because of his unique bill. Amazingly this prehistoric looking bird can live for 50 some years. The population of the shoebills is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, the majority of which live in swamps in Sudan, Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. BirdLife International has classified it as Vulnerable with the main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting.” – Manuela Kulpa
The Yeti crab is a recently discovered animal which lives in the South Pacific Ocean. The Yeti crab looks like it’s always wearing the bright yellow crab-mittens its grandmother gave it for Christmas one year. It’s roughly 15 cm long and its pincers contain bacteria which it can use to clean the water around its body. It usually eats green algae and small shrimp.
FYI: Bearded pigs use their scruff to dig around for roots, fungus, and bugs to eat. They also snarf down plants, small birds, and the occasional orangutan carcass. (It’s a pain getting the gristle out of your beard, though.) For more chuckles, steal a line or two from these animal jokes that will have everyone in your office howling. *No pun intended.*
As a senior writer for Live Science, Laura Geggel covers general science, including the environment and amazing animals. She has written for The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site covering autism research. Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU. When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee. Follow Laura on Google+.
The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is a species of antelope found in numerous countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia. They are pretty easy to recognize because they have a very long neck and long skinny legs. Oh, and you know, the fact that they can stand on their hind legs! This allows them to be able to reach vegetation that other antelopes can't. And don't they look smug about it.
It almost looks like it could be viral marketing for something like Diablo III or a new season of Supernatural, but the footage has been floating around for over a year now and so far no one has claimed it. One part of your brain knows this is just a computer-generated effect. But goddamn, did they do a good job -- notice how the glow from the flaming angel beast even lights up the structure on the opposite side of the frame:
Kiwa hirsuta, which has been nicknamed the yeti crab (for obvious reasons), is a crustacean that was discovered back in 2005 900 miles south of Easter Island at a depth of 2,300 meters. Although there isn't a great deal of information on these curious animals, they seem to dwell around deep sea hydrothermal vents. As you can see, their pincers are covered with blond, hair-like strands. It transpires that these hairs are riddled with bacteria, which some believe may serve as a food source for the crustacean.
The daintily named sea pig is actually a kind of locally abundant sea cucumber that inhabits the world’s abyssal plains up to 3.7 miles beneath the surface. It gets its name from a characteristic pink, eggplant-shaped body and bloated legs that give it a porcine appearance. Like their shallower cucumber cousins, sea pigs play an important role in marine ecosystems. They feed on detritus that falls to the seafloor from the rich waters above, whether plankton or a whale carcass. They walk along on a few large tube feet, using a combination of muscle contractions and body fluids. Modified pairs of legs can act as antennae to detect food.
Most of us don’t grasp the variety of animals species that inhabit the Earth today, and some even get surprised as they find out there’s an animal they haven’t heard of before. But seriously now – out of 1,367,555 identified non-insect animal species that live on Earth today, how do you expect to know every single one of them? To put it into perspective, take into account that this number represents only 1% of all animal species that ever lived!
The Star Nosed Mole must have jumped straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It looks as if its head just got blown up, an effect made even more realistic by the pink tentacles stretched out on its nose. This weird creature is found in Canada and in the north-eastern part of the US. The name comes from its strange nose (which is more like a squished octopus attached to its face than a nose). The tentacles on the nose help the mole find snails, molluscs, worms, and other small creatures it likes to eat. They probably see it coming and die laughing, allowing the mole to simply walk up and gobble them up.
Now, the obvious answer here is that the girl is on a wire. There's even a convenient gap in the filming -- as the guy is moving in closer, the camera is pointed at the ground for a second or two, and when it snaps back up, the little girl is already back on the ground. We don't ever actually see her descend, which if wires were involved would be a dead giveaway. You'd see her tilting awkwardly or her clothes pulling up at odd angles wherever the wires were attached, even if she were wearing a harness. So clearly, she's being held aloft by wires that are connected somewhere in the trees ...