‘Animals’ Category Archives


Why did the mammoth cross the river?

by Eugene in Animals, Cryptozoology

Saw this on Huffington Post the other day. It’s been making quite a splash in Cryptozoology circles.


It looks pretty convincing at first glance. But only at first glance. Most people point out that it’s probably either a bear, holding a salmon in its mouth, or a composite image of an elephant crossing some water superimposed on the river using Adobe AfterEffects or something similar.

My first thought was that it’s two guys who rented a Mr. Snuffleupagus costume and waded across a river with it.

Actually, according to the MonsterTalk guys, it’s most likely just a digital hoax. A film maker named Ludovic Petho identified the footage as his own– sans mammoth! It’s part of a documentary he’s working on about his father’s escape from a Siberian POW camp in WWII. Below is very clever, and very thorough comparison of the original footage with the hoax.


Even without this pretty definitive takedown, there is one other giveaway: elephants breathe through their noses. Unless they are actively drinking or retrieving something, they generally keep their trunk tips out of the water.


The Mouse that Snored

by Eugene in Animals

You know, I always thought is was spelled “doormouse”, but the dormouse is a small rodent native to Britain. It spends a third of its life hibernating. You and I spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping, so it’s not that different, but I wonder if the dormouse sleeps at all in the other two-thirds of its life?

The dormouse, you might recall, makes an appearance in Alice in Wonderland as well. Sleeping at the Mad Hatter’s tea party, eventually his head is stuffed into a tea pot. Apparently the iconic property of the dormouse is his drowsiness, just as the owl is noted for wisdom, the rabbit for speed, the pig for gluttony, and so forth.

The March Hare and the Hatter put the Dormouse's head in a teapot. Illustration by John Tenniel.

And something I did not know, the last line of that Jefferson Airplane song, “White Rabbit”, is this:

Remember what the dormouse said: feed your head, feed your head.



Put a Bird On It

by Eugene in Animals

Offered without explanation.


World’s largest insect is a cross between Jiminy Cricket and Bugs Bunny

by Eugene in Animals

This is a Weta.

Discovered by former New Zealand park ranger Mark Moffett, this is apparently  the largest Giant weta ever found. These cricket-like creatures were once common throughout New Zealand but are now restricted to a few tiny islands off the coast, where they have been sheltered from the invasive species that have caused their extinction through nearly all of their former range.

I know my cats would like to get hold of one of these.


The Boy Scouts will make you into Grizzly Adams (or maybe his bear)

by Eugene in Animals, Religion


This is one of the creepier ad campaigns I’ve seen.I suppose 12-year-olds would find it funny, but I wouldn’t know.  It’s more than a little tone-deaf. Especially in the light of the Boy Scouts’ problems with pedophilia on one hand, and with discrimination against gays on the other. I guess they still think a bear is only a quadrupedal, plantigrade member of the genus Ursus. Oops.

Original images found here.


Taxidermy is a real occupation

by Eugene in Animals

Complete with lousy commercials and all. Some people, do, in fact, make their living off of dead animals. This commercial is just too damn funny. I could never make a spoof that was half this good.


Walter (not Beatrix, not Harry) Potter

by Eugene in Animals, Artists, Museums

Now that's my kind of tea party!

From David Byrne’s blog, I learn about the famous English taxidermist Walter Potter.For me, very little captures the essence of Victorian England better than the cute/creepy emulsion of his work, at once sentimental and moralizing. All those pot-smoking toads and tequila-swilling armadilloes you get in Mexico are nothing but a response to this. More photos after the jump.

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by Eugene in Animals, Indigenous Peoples

That’s the only word for it. This photo, I am not sure where it’s from, gives just a hint of the scale of the mass slaughter of buffalo that occurred on the Great Plains in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. There were a lot of reasons for it, but the most compelling and most often cited (even at the time) was that the slaughter of the buffalo herds facilitated the genocide of Native Americans.


The strangest island of them all

by Eugene in Animals, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Travel

South Plazas Island is not by any means one of the major islands of the Galapagos, nor one of the most distant or inaccesible. There is little on it that isn’t found elsewhere in the archipelago. But it is one of the most surreal and unearthly places I have ever visited. The landscape alone is like something from a children’s book, or out of a dream. More photos after the jump.

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Birds! Crabs! Turtles!

by Eugene in Animals, Galapagos Islands, Travel

A swallow-tailed gull in flight. South Plazas Island. The swallow-tailed gull is the world’s only nocturnal gull. It hunts fish by the light of the moon. I watched them one night following our boat, diving after fish disturbed by our wake. More photos after the jump.

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