A news site about animals

Father-Daughter Day, with Lions

Today is my birthday.  Yesterday was Father’s Day.  Every year I can remember, my birthday fell right around Father’s Day, so my dad and I would make it a point of having a Father-Daughter Day.  We’d attend a museum, the zoo, or hike in the Hollywood Hills, go out and eat great food, and generally have an awesome time.

The zoo, of course, was my favorite destination.  Given the time of year, we’d talk about the great dads of the animal kingdom, and arrived at the lion, as the proudest papa in the Savannah.

Lions in prides share a strong social bond with each other.  Father lions make important contributions to the raising of their cubs. They protect their families from danger, like from strange lions, and also catch large prey from which the whole pride can feed.  Cubs are fascinated by their fathers, often approaching them and trying to play.  When dad plays, he teaches the cubs fighting skills in the process.  


So, Dad, thanks for protecting me, for catching large prey I could eat, and for teaching me important fighting skills, you old lion, you.

The Mighty Oarfish

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce a creature making it’s very first debut on live video: the oarfish (Regalecus glesne.) I recommend watching the video from about 4:30 to 8:00 for extreme wonderment and stunning close-ups of this 22-foot-long giant.




Oarfish, the longest bony fish alive, are large, greatly elongated, deep-sea dwelling fishes, found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen.  This particular video was shot in the Gulf of Mexico.

The name, oarfish, is presumably in reference to either their highly compressed and elongated bodies.  The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.

Mark Benfield, a professor at Louisiana State University, was present when the footage of oarfish was taken.  He explained that there were actually five videos of oarfish taken between 2008 and 2011, through use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).  Once they spotted the fish, the team followed it for about ten minutes, Benfield said.

“We weren’t looking for oarfish,” Benfield explained. “This was just sheer luck. We happened to be in the right place at the right time and we were able to spend some time with this oarfish.”

That time paid off. From the footage, Benfield and his colleagues discovered an abundance of information about the creature: that it can be found at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) below the ocean’s surface, and that it swims with a linear propeller.  Benfield’s findings were published earlier this week in the publication Journal of Fish Biology.

New Otter Pups for Perth

At the zoo in Perth, Australia, new Asian small-clawed otter pups passed their health check with flying colors this morning.

The litter is twelve weeks old now, consisting of two boys and two girls, and they’ve been eating solid foods such as fish and crustaceans for a few weeks now.

Perth Zoo senior vet Simone Vitali said the Asian small-clawed otters were “absolutely blooming.  This little bunch is doing really well, they were great weights, and so we know that they’re managing the weening process really well,” she said.

Dr Vitali said the pups were being well looked after by their parents, who have four older sons, so it was normal for them.

While the youngsters seem confident in their enclosure, they still have a lot to learn in the next couple of years, with swimming lessons from their father at the top of the list.

“They learn to swim by trial and error,” Dr Vitali said, “mum and dad and the other siblings take them down to the water and because they’re such a tight group, if mum and dad and the elder bubs go into the water they’ll follow them in and learn the difficult way.”


Happy Ottersday :-)

Dog vs. Lime


Summer is basically here; time to wear shorts, put on sunscreen, and take the dog to the beach.  Maybe he’ll find something interesting to play with, like a stick, or a hermit crab, or in this boxer’s case, a lime wedge.

My dog loves playing with old limes; she fetches and bites them like balls, and when she gets to the center, she’s hysterical to watch, and has a real good time with her lime!

Monkey Talk

I think this monkey’s feeling a little verklempt.  I’ll give you a topic: Jungle Gym, it’s neither a jungle, nor a gym; discuss.























Happy Monkday :_)

Frog Not Seen in 50 Years Found in Israel

One rare frog, the Hula painted frog, which was thought to be extinct has been spotted in northern Israel.  It hadn’t been seen since 1955, so when it was suggested that the time had come to officially declare it as extinct, few people objected.   However, a newly published paper in the journal Nature Communications has just revealed that the frog was spotted in its native habitat of northern Israel’s Hula Valley.

The Hula painted frog is considered to be one of a rare class of ‘living fossils’, so-called because they have remained physically un-evolved over millions of years, and have few or no living relatives. It has a pocked back and a black belly that is covered with white spots.

It was spotted by Yoram Malka, an Israeli park ranger, who glimpsed it from his passing vehicle and caught it before sending a picture of it to Professor Sarig Gafny, a river ecologist at Israel’s Ruppin Academic Centre.–dubbed-living-fossil.html