When I was a kid, some friends and I wandered down to the woods at the end of our cul de sac. There, we found an old clawfoot bathtub that someone had dumped. The bathtub was full of water, and we started fishing around in there and pulled out a leech. Holy crap, that was the scariest thing I had ever seen. We threw it back in the tub, but for days I had nightmares that the leech had crawled down the street and into my house and was going to suck my blood. As a consequence, I don’t like leeches, or things that remind me in the slightest of leeches. And that includes slugs. (I hope that leech isn’t reading this right now!)
That said, guys, this is Triboniophorous graeffei (or you can call him Tribs for short). Tribs was recently discovered in the Mount Kaputar area of New South Wales, Australia. And while its nickname does sound rather terrifying, he actually only feeds on moss. (The equally disturbingly named Cannibal Snail was also discovered rooting around in the same soil as the blood slug. The cannibals are so named because they feast on the carcasses of other species of vegetarian snails.) But back to Tribs: he’s believed to have originated in Australia’s mountainous rain forest zone, around 180 million years ago. Ecologists warn that the slug, snail and all of their brethren could be endangered if their climate changed by even a degree or two. So please, leave the blood slugs and cannibal snails alone. [Daily Mail]
Cleaning up your cat’s daily hairball attack aftermath got you down? Be grateful you’re not the vet who had to remove a terrifying 4 lb. hair ball from this handsome tiger’s stomach. After his handlers noticed that he wasn’t eating, they performed surgery to remove the basketball-shaped object, and the little dude is doing just fine now. You have to see this to believe it. Check out a pic of the hairball after the jump … if you dare. (Metro UK) Keep reading »
“I love a good piece of dolphin meat on my plate, but every time I feel bad for eating an endangered animal,” 32-year-old artist, Ai Hasegawa, told Vice. “We’re soon going to be facing a global food shortage crisis. But I still want to give life, I don’t want 30 years of painful menstruation to have all been in vain. And I want to eat good meat.”
What 30-something woman hasn’t been faced with such dilemmas concerning food and reproduction? While most of us chose to avoid dolphin meat/baby making, hoping the problem would rectify itself, Ai Hasegawa got busy looking for options that were “less costly than raising a human” with “fewer responsibilities.” To reconcile both her desire to give life and her need to eat good meat, she came up with an unconventional solution: the idea of women birthing endangered species and eating them.
Hasegawa’s project, “I wanna deliver a Shark…,” tackles “the problem of human reproduction in an age of over-population and environmental crisis” with a literal attempt to birth a shark. And why a shark? Because, her initial research suggests that sharks are the most compatible with the human body and “they’re endangered, their life-span is almost as long as that of a human, and most importantly, they’re delicious.” Keep reading »
I didn’t sleep at all last night after reading about and seeing the horrific aftermath of the deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. Such gruesome images and unbelievable destruction. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was affected (if you’re looking for specific ways to help, check out this list). In the midst of all this horror, there are always little bright spots, one of which is this interview with Moore resident Barbara Garcia. Even though her home was completely destroyed, Garcia survived the tornado by hunkering down in her bathroom with her beloved dog, who was tragically ripped out of her arms by the high winds. As Garcia is recounting the story to CBS News, the reporter spots a dog buried in the rubble behind her, which turns out to be — you guessed it! — Garcia’s missing dog. After being dug out and reunited with its owner, the dog seems scared but miraculously unharmed. You’ll definitely need a couple tissues to get through this one. [CBS News]
I hate it when I’m sitting on the grass, trying to enjoy a lollipop and a monkey comes along and steals it. Even worse is when the monkey steals my lollipop and then hits me in the face with it. That’s so fucked up! Well, at least this puppy is getting a lesson in sharing at a young age. But regardless, that monkey is a complete asshole. It must be stopped. [Dlisted]
A young lady named Bridget Evans graduated from the graduate program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this week — and right by her side, wearing a matching blue cap and gown, was her service dog named Hero. “We can read each other’s minds,” Evans told “The Today Show.” “We’re so attuned to each other. He’s my best friend, roommate, classmate, and like my sibling. I’m so grateful that I got to celebrate my day with Hero by my side and my family in the audience.” Evans’ six-year-old chocolate Lab accompanies his mistress everywhere to help her cope with spina bifida, a spine-related birth defect which has required 37 surgeries. He’s pulled her wheelchair up ramps, picked up dropped pens and turned off lights. The 24-year-old said that since Hero attended every single one of her classes, “He deserved a cap and gown as much as I did.” Damn straight! Congratulations to Bridget Evans and her Hero! [NBC News Tumblr] [Photo via Bridget Evans]
As you probably know by now, the cicadas are coming. Thirty billion cicadas, to be exact, are poised to swarm the northeastern United States pretty much any day now after spending the past 17 years underground. Many of my east coast friends have already vowed to stay inside for four to six weeks while the cicadas dutifully buzz, breed, and die; others are dreading the inevitable clean-up of the billions of crunchy post-coital cicada corpses. But one person I know is really excited about the cicada invasion: my dad. For as long as I can remember, cicada breeding seasons have been like extended Christmases for my family. I’d often find my dad out in the yard listening to the cicadas’ deafening buzz with his eyes closed, as if it were the most beautiful symphony he’d ever heard. On the exciting occasion that he would catch one of the massive insects, he’d pass it around to my brothers and me, instructing us to gently close our hands around it and feel the vibrations emitted by its trademark buzzing. Even a passionate bug hater like me had to admit it was pretty cool.
How could anyone love these much-loathed insects? Why are they so damn loud? Can cicadas hurt people? What advice does he have for people who are scared of this year’s “Swarmageddon”? Read on to get the scoop on cicadas from their biggest fan, my dad… Keep reading »
Just in case you were still not convinced that hippos deserve a place on our list of animals that are total assholes, does Paul Templer have a story for you. Templer was working as a tour guide on Africa’s Zambezi River when his group of kayaks came across a two-ton bull hippo who wasn’t exactly thrilled to see them. The hippo overturned one of the canoes and as Templer paddled over to help his comrades, the hippo lunged and swallowed him:
“I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest. My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo’s snout. It was only then that I realized I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth.” Keep reading »
Is there anything sweeter than animal moms snuggling their babies? Even if you and your mom don’t have the most Hallmark of relationships, your heart melts into a big mushy puddle when you see a mommy dog/goat/wildebeest/whatever giving her newborn babe a bath with her tongue. Yeah, her own tongue. The animal kingdom is intense.
In honor of Mother’s Day, here are our favorite videos of animal moms and babies — obviously baby panda and her mommy are first. Very important disclaimer: we have no liability if your ovaries explode! I might be figuring out how I can get pregnant with a baby koala … Keep reading »
Following in the steps of Paris’ lawn-mowing sheep, Chicago O’Hare recently announced a two-year plan to hire a herd of goats to keep grass trimmed on airport grounds. The adorable (and eco-friendly!) goat grounds crew will be able to access areas that are hard for landscaping machinery to get to, and happily chow down on invasive plants and weeds. Other airports have successfully used goats and sheep to maintain their green spaces, and O’Hare spokesperson Karen Pride says the new goat employees align with Chicago’s greater goal to be the most sustainable airport in the country. The bad news? Passengers probably won’t get to admire the goats. “It might be possible upon approach or take off to see the goats, but unlikely,” says Pride. Well, I think it’s still worth a trip to Chicago to find out for sure. [NBC]