Animal Kingdom

Unable to find food in it natural habitat, this starving polar bear roamed into a town in Russia looking for food.

Residents of Norilsk, Russia woke to a strange site. A starving polar bear was roaming the streets looking for food. The animal would normally be in the Kara Sea area, about 300 miles from Norilsk, but climate change has forced animals such as this, to roam far from home looking for food and habitat they require to survive. The polar bear was photographed roaming throughout the city looking for food. Its paws are blackened with mud accumulated during its long trek. Authorities in the area say the polar bear may be sedated and transported to a zoo. World Wildlife Fund's Russia office told reporters: "It’s not normal for them to walk so far south, but the unusual situation can happen because of the lack of…
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Animal Kingdom

Why malaria-spreading mosquitoes are so hard to kill – and how scientists found a way to kill them without impacting the environment or other living creatures.

Almost half of the people in the world live in an area where malaria parasites can infect and kill them. Malaria parasites enter the body via a mosquito. The parasites travel to the liver where they it can remain undetected for as long as a year. While in the liver, malaria parasites develop and release toxic substances that infect red blood cells. These toxins are dumped into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. This is when symptoms begin to show. Symptoms of someone infected with malaria include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, sweating, cough, and chest, stomach, and muscle pain. Often these symptoms appear in waves or “attacks” that come and go. Fighting the mosquitoes that transfer malaria to humans has been difficult. Mosquitoes have…
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Animal Kingdom

Natures way to spread plant life – birds, bees, and… goats in trees that spit seeds?

It’s not unusual to see birds in trees. Pigeons in trees are a common sight in New York City. In Texas, noisy finch crowd trees along scenic roadways. In Washington, , vultures loom in trees waiting the opportunity to swoop down on unassuming middle-class citizens. But in south-western Morocco, hungry goats perch with acrobat-like agility high above the ground eating fruit and leaves and spitting out seeds. Goats? In trees? Spitting seeds? Goats in the boughs of trees are a common site in dry, arid areas like Spain and Mexico where edible ground-plants are harder for the goats to find. But the goats in trees in Morocco tower above all others. Locals say it’s common for 10-20 goats at a time to climb argan trees…
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Animal Kingdom

After decades of obscurity, scientists again discover the weird-looking “faceless fish” off coast of Australia

  It hasn’t seen or been seen in a long, long time. Last week the “faceless fish”, uh, showed its face in Australian waters for the first time in over 100 years. It has long been thought to be extinct. Australian scientists discovered the faceless creature about 13,000 feet below the surface during an expedition off Australia’s east coast. At first, scientists didn’t recognize the little guy. They thought it was a new species and were about to report it as such when the cook stumbled from the galley to see what all the commotion was about and with a disgusted look on his face, proclaimed, “Dang, I haven’t seen one of those in a long time.” The faceless fish, more accurately termed Typhlonus nasus…
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Animal Kingdom

Say it isn’t so Reeko – a world without giraffes?!?!

  Sorry kids, but that lovable knock-kneed doofus we call giraffes may soon be no more. Today the International Union for Conversation of Nature classified the crane-necked creature as “vulnerable” meaning it’s at a high risk for extinction. If humans don’t change their behavior, the only giraffe we’ll ever see is between the covers of a book (yeah, they’re almost extinct too). The giraffe joins the elephant, orangutan, bees, and coral as creatures that may soon face extinction. Their disappearance comes amidst the loss of habitat, varying degrees of devastating climate change, and illegal poaching. The director of Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve told CNN we have at the most, 20 years to change the way we treat nature or we will bring about…
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Animal Kingdom

Scientists warn Earth faces global mass extinction of wildlife – here’s a mind-boggling list that illustrates the seriousness

Conservationists issued a chilling warning this week telling New Scientists magazine that global wildlife populations are set to have fallen by more than two thirds of 1970 levels by the year 2020 – and there is no sign that declining wildlife numbers will slow down in our lifetime. Researchers say mammal, bird, fish, amphibian, and reptile populations have fallen by 58% from 1970 to 2012. At the current rate (about 2% reduction per year), by 2020, the populations will have declined by more than 67%. This has prompted experts to warn that we are facing a global “mass extinction” for the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs. Mike Barrett, director of science and policy at World Wildlife Foundation, said: “For the first time since…
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Animal Kingdom

And the award for the world’s weirdest animal goes to…

  There are plenty of reasons we need a list of the world’s strangest animals besides just proving that these creatures really do exist. Among this list you’ll find Halloween costume ideas, ideas for faces you can make behind the teacher’s back, and new names you can call your friends. Plus, if you’re ugly, you won’t feel nearly as unattractive after laying eyes on these hideous beasts.  Without further ado, here are the world's weirdest animals. The world’s weirdest animals Naked mole rat   The naked mole rat, also known as the sand puppy or desert mole rat, is notorious for its lack of hair and funny-looking buck-teeth. The naked mole rat’s overly large teeth stick out of its mouth which allows it to dig…
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Animal Kingdom

Algae invasion! Sea Ghosts create beautiful light show on China’s beach

  China's Xiangbi'ao beach shone with a majestic sparkling glow-in-the-dark blue hue last week after a natural phenomenon called "Sea Ghosts" invaded the waters.  Sea Ghost or "Sea Sparkle" is created by the growth of an algal bloom called Noctiluca scintallans, a type of single-cell animal that loves to munch on plankton.  The organisms multiply when nitrogen and phosphorus from farm fertilizer run-off enters the water.  Beautiful, yes - but harmful to the ecosystem.  When the blooms die, they sink to the bottom of the sea where they decompose, consuming huge amounts of oxygen and killing other marine life. Check out the Sea Sparkle on China's Xiangbi'ao beach in the pictorial gallery below.  
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Animal Kingdom

Meet death on eight legs – the fierce and awesome Camel Spider was born to give people nightmares

  Large, hairy, and growing to 6-inches long, they are also called “wind scorpions” for their amazing speed. The many legends surrounding the Camel Spider will give you nightmares. It has been told that they eat camel stomachs – from the inside out - and are said to scream as they speed across the desert floor, leap incredible distances to chase fleeing humans, and kill people by injecting them with venom then feeding on their bodies as they sleep. Of course, none of this is true but with jaws about a third of their body length, they can shred prey as big as rodents.  I would say that's enough to give pause when you run across one. Camel spiders are arachnids but belong to a different order than most other spiders.…
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Animal Kingdom

Twice as smart or twice as scary? Rare two-headed snake sells for $50,000

  Fifty thousand dollars?!? For a snake!?! But Medusa is no ordinary snake. The four-year old Honduran Milk Snake, born in Florida, has two fully-functioning heads. In fact, the owner says the two heads even fight each other for food sometimes. "I bring a mouse up to them and both opened their mouths. Then the right head struck and yanked the mouse right out of my hand. Then the left head grabbed the mouse's butt end. I couldn't believe how quickly they were eating. They were going to meet in the middle -- and these types of snakes eat other snakes!” Owner Todd Ray says he quickly cut the mouse in two before a riot broke out and now holds a playing card sideways between…
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