Animal Kingdom

Lowly cheetah hides its head in shame – it may no longer be the fastest animal on earth

Never run behind a car (you’ll get “exhausted”). And it goes without saying that you should never run in front of a car either (you’ll get “tired”). And if you think you can outrun a car, Reeko has news for you – you’re not as fast as you think – and neither is the speedy cheetah who, depending on your definition of “fast”, may have just lost its throne as the fastest animal on earth. Using high-speed cameras to capture it in motion, scientists in California have discovered a tiny little mite, called Paratarsotomus macropalpis, that they say holds the record for the fastest land animal. This little guy is able to run 322 body lengths per second. If you were to scale this up to…
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Animal Kingdom

Don’t worry kids – it’s only a huge venomous snake that attacks you while you sleep

Reeko doesn’t want to make any kids have bad dreams but figures most people would like to know that the Australian mulga snake has been found to attack people in their sleep. Besides, most kids don’t live in Australia, where this sneaky snake lives, and for the Australian kids, well, Reeko figures Australians are so tough their parents will probably use this news as a bedtime story to help their little ones fall asleep. The Australian mulga snake is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and can grow up to 10 feet in length. The mulga, also known as “Pilbara cobra” or the “king brown” lives in woodlands, grasslands, and sandy deserts – just about everywhere except for the rainforest. It not…
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Animal Kingdom

Do animals use tools? Dolphins do. They use sponges gripped in their mouth to catch fish.

Long known to be among the smartest members of the animal kingdom, researchers have discovered that dolphins, like people, use tools to help them hunt and capture their food. Researchers studying dolphins in Shark Bay off the coast of Australia, noticed that more than half of the dolphins hunted for food while holding sponges in their mouth. After capturing a sample collection of dolphins to study, they found that dolphins who used sponges to hunt for food had different diet profiles than dolphins who hunted the good old fashioned way (with bows and arrows). Apparently the dolphins prod the ocean floor with the sponge in order to stir up special types of fish. “We were blown away as to how strong the differences between tool…
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Animal Kingdom

Huge 17-foot great white shark photographed and tagged by brave scientists

Brave scientists in Australia captured this picture of one of the largest great white sharks ever tagged. The shark was tagged by the brave scientists after less-brave swimmers complained about the 17-foot shark hanging around their beach (presumably it was feeding off of a dead whale that had beached itself). While the brave scientists tagged the shark and the less-brave swimmers hid on the beach with their hands covering their eyes, the city of Albany (in Western Australia) closed the beach and had the whale carcass removed. Once the scientists determined that the shark was not a species that would respond to the command “roll over”, they hooked the great white and flipped it on its back. This paralyzes the shark by putting it into…
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Animal Kingdom

Killer sponges from the deep sea – they’re real and growing in numbers!

It was only about 20 years ago that scientists discovered that some sponges are carnivorous, meaning – they eat other animals! Since then, scientists have identified about a half-dozen of the squishy little slayers. Today, we add four new species to the list. The newly discovered carnivorous sponges live on the deep seafloor in the Pacific around California. At the moment of discovery, the scientist attributed with the amazing new find, was reported to have said, with great excitement and zeal, "Where's my finger?!?" Sponges are usually filter feeders, meaning they live off of bacteria and other single-celled organisms that are found in the water. They trap the little critters using bazillions of special cells called Choancytes. Choancytes have whip-like tails which swirl the water…
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Animal Kingdom

Alligator vs. electric eel. World premiere of the shocking video that stunned the, err, alligator.

The electric eel generates electricity that it uses to catch prey and protect itself if attacked. In the video below, a hungry South American alligator corners an electric eel on the bank of a small river. The alligator, whom we all know surely is not too bright, decides to make a meal of the electric eel. As the alligator bites down on the eel, the eel’s natural reflexes kick in, it begins its electric discharge (which it can do for about an hour), and well, see for yourself. And in this corner, weighing in at 30 pounds, we have the mighty electric eel. In this corner, weighing in at a paltry 400 lbs., we have the beast from the east, the terrifying, hide your eyes,…
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