This Is the Fastest Tortoise in the World

In the classic fable, the tortoise beat the hare by being persistent. But Bertie may be able to win through speed alone.

Bertie is a tortoise who lives at Adventure Valley, a theme park in Durham, UK. Visitors commented that he seemed to move quickly--faster than you might expect from a tortoise. So animal caretakers at Adventure Valley decided to see what Bertie could do if he trained as a runner.


(Video Link)

The standard sprinting distance in competitive tortoise racing is 18 feet. A tortoise named Charlie set a world record in 1977 by running that distance in 43.7 seconds. Bertie smashed that record by crossing the finish line in only 19.59 seconds. That's a lightning fast pace of 0.6 miles per hour!

Guinness World Record officials were on site to witness and confirm the event, so Bertie should get an official record soon.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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Tumblr Users Love Capybaras

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera is one of the largest tennis stars in the world, at least in terms of popularity and the fact he's an eleven time Grand Slam tournament champion, and thanks to the ridiculousness of the internet we are shown Capybaras That Look Like Rafael Nadal:

Despite their large size, their big, gnashy teeth and stout build capybaras are very gentle critters, preferring to take a swim and lay around on the shore all day rather than running around town causing trouble.

They're so easygoing that other animals consider them nature's chairs, as seen on the Tumblr site Animals Sitting on Capybaras:

Capybaras look like they'd be quite comfortable to sit on, provided you don't mind sitting on a soggy rodent, and despite their semiaquatic nature they don't stink because their wiry fur and lack of an undercoat keeps them stench free.

Since they're one of the least stinky animals living in their native habitat capybaras have become rather judgmental towards other critters, which inspired the creation of a Tumblr site called Capybara Is Judging You:

Where does all that capybara attitude come from? It stems from the fact that they're internet famous, of course!

They live a life of privilege, which some non-capybaras feel is an injustice, so a site featuring photos of posh capybaras living the good life was created, complete with colorful commentary, called This Is Capybara Privilege:

It's clear the internet adores the look of the majestic capybara, and the trend of capybara adoration (arguably) began with one Tumblr with an explicit name- F%#@ Yeah Capybara:

-Via Pleated Jeans, Smithsonian


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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes -Starring Pugs!

(YouTube link)

This movie recreation starring adorable little pug puppies contains no spoilers for the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, at least nothing more than the trailer would tell you. What you get is an attack scene that will bring a big grin to your face -because it’s PUGS! Enjoy the latest film parody from The Pet Collective. -via Viral Viral Videos


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This Is What a Flock of Hummingbirds Looks Like


(Video Link)

YouTube user Ivan Paras calls it an "infestation" and writes that "I think I have a hummingbird problem." Watch an ever increasing number of hummingbirds visit his two nectar feeders. One of those feeders rests in his hand, but the hummingbirds show no fear.

What would be a good title for a hummingbird-themed horror movie?

-via Twisted Sifter


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Real Life Fox and Hound Story


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This fox was found malnourished and minus his tail at age four weeks. The vets who treated him dubbed him "Forrest Stump." Wildlife ranger Gary Zammit, employed by Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre at Gwel an Mor in Cornwall, England, was known in the area for his conservation work and his appreciation for foxes. Tipped off about Forrest, Zammit gave him a home at the wildlife center. 

Forrest the tailless fox became fast friends with Barney, Zammit's (mostly) tailless dog. The adorable duo loves to spend their days together at play. Said Zammit,

"It really was love at first sight with them both. Barney is so gentle with him and they play for hours and hours. They are exhausting to watch. I think they might be kindred spirits - even without tails to wag you can tell they are happiest when they are together!"

To learn more about Forrest and see additional videos, visit the "Meet Forrest Stump" section of the Gwel an Mor website, as well as their Facebook page. Via Tastefully Offensive.


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"Ma'am, There's a Lemur on Your Baby."

(Photo: Musicats78)

All parents dread that, someday, they will hear those words spoken to them. For Angie Widener, that possibility became a reality when she visited the Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard, Kansas. There, animals roam a bit more freely than at conventional zoos.

The park doesn't allow visitors to bring in strollers, so Widener brought her nine week-old daughter Finley in with her car seat. She and her other children were having a great time. Then a passerby noticed that Finley had made a new friend:

She told HuffPost over e-mail that she was watching her two older children feed the animals when she heard a stranger laugh and say, "Um, ma'am, there is a lemur on your baby."

"I was shocked, but the zookeeper assured me she was safe, so my two older daughters and I got a few laughs and we snapped some pictures," Widener said. Pictures that have now made our day.

-via Dave Barry


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How to Rescue Ducklings from a Drain Pipe

(YouTube link)

Oh no! A baby duckling has fallen down a drain! It’s a narrow pipe, and he’s way down in there. Luckily, these folks figured out what to do. File this away for future reference, because you’ll never know when you might need to do the same. Meanwhile, get a drain cover for that hole -it can save both wildlife and your basement in case something falls in and plugs it up. -via Daily Picks and Flicks


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Puppy Comforts Older Dog Having a Nightmare


(Video Link)

Ariel Goodman has two golden retrievers: a puppy and an old dog. One day, they were napping together when the older dog had a bad dream. This woke up the puppy, who comforted his packmate until the dream subsided.

-via VA Viper


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Giants of the Canine World

Image Credit: Flickr User Niq Scott

This article takes a look at the largest canine breeds in the world. Each breed mentioned can range from gentle giant to formidable force in hunting and guarding, particularly if trained as such. 


Image Credit Flickr User dbking

The Saint Bernard originates in the Swiss Alps, where it was used in mountain rescue operations. These dogs grow up to thirty-six inches in height.


Image Credit: Flickr User Claudio Genari

The English Mastiff is the biggest of all dogs in terms of mass and dimensions. The males of this breed can weigh up to two hundred and fifty pounds. It is regarded to be the oldest dog breed in the UK. 


Image Credit: Flickr user Laertes

The Great Dane's history is thought to go back thousands of years. Drawings on ancient Egyptian tombs as well as artifacts as old as 2000 BC resemble the Great Dane. These dogs have friendly temperaments and get along well with people and animals.  


 Image Credit: Flickr user Blackburn Photo

The Newfoundland has been used for water rescue due to their musculature and webbed feet. They have friendly dispositions and are loving pets.

Read about more canine giants here.  


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7 Kittens Bob Their Heads in Perfect Unison


(Video Link)

This is so cute! On June 14, Florence Sallas of Triskel Maine Coon, a cattery in Quebec, lined up seven kittens for a group photo. Sallas decided to start by waving an object in front of the cats to get their attention. These siblings all thought alike--so much so that they moved their heads in sync with each other (warning: auto-sound).

-via 22 Words


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Surprise Sloth Sex Shocks Staffers

ZSL (Zoological Society of London) London Zoo keepers weren't privy to a secret between their two-toed sloths Leander and Marilyn. The pair had successfully mated and Marilyn was pregnant, something that the staff learned long after the fact. 

Leander had been transferred to ZSL London Zoo from a zoo in Germany in order to be paired with Marilyn. The keepers were making an effort to get Marilyn and Leander to acknowledge each others' presence -- little did they know that they were already sloth sweethearts!

Zoo staff member Tegan McPhail explained,


“To say we were surprised when Marilyn fell pregnant is something of an understatement – we weren’t aware that she’d even been near the male. 

When Leander arrived at the Zoo at the end of 2012, he and Marilyn just didn’t appear particularly interested in each other, but we knew that with sloths these things can take some time.

However, with the arrival of the first sloth to be born at ZSL London Zoo, it appears that it was all an act on their behalf and our two very sneaky sloths were getting amorous behind our backs!"

The baby two-toed sloth, whose sex is yet to be determined, is tightly bonded with Marilyn. By all accounts she is proudly showing off her baby. Via Zooborns



 


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A Hedgehog among the Pine Cones

The hedgehog is the one that's a lighter color than the others. Did you guess correctly? Good! This is Marutaro, an adorable hedgehog who is a internet celebrity thanks to his surpassing cuteness. We've already seen him on Twitter. Now he's on Vine, showing off his modeling skills in 6-second videos.

Some of his fashion choices aren't mainstream, but that's just the fashion world these days.

Marutaro is a big soccer fan and is paying close attention to the World Cup.

He's also an athlete himself, although his approach to bowling is unconventional.

-via Huffington Post


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The Jurassic Park Theme As Sung By Goats

People love having goats around for all kinds of reasons, from their incredible ability to eat just about anything to the fact that they like to headbutt stuff and stand on top of barrels, but it's safe to say goats aren't raised for their beautiful singing voices:

(Video Link)

A goat's bleat can sound like someone screaming while being strangled, a baby crying, or just as sheepish as you'd expect from a crying kid, which is why using the bleat of a goat is the best way to give your theme song a suspenseful edge.

Jurassic Goats definitely brings an air of suspense, and hair raising goatiness, to the inspiring theme song from Jurassic Park, and once again Marca Blanca has proven that every good theme song needs a goat version!

-Via Nerd Approved


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You Shall Not Pass, Dog!

(YouTube link)

You have to admit that a cat sitting on the stairs is a dangerous thing. For a human, it’s the risk of stepping on the cat and falling. For a golden retriever named Bo-Sox, the fear is of being attacked. He obviously has some unsavory history with Chevy the cat. Coaxing him down isn’t working. The little boy who comes down from upstairs isn’t helping. Then Fenway the German shepherd comes to show Bo how it’s done. But none of that helps. How Bo finally gets past the cat is a surprise. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

See also: Don’t Cross the Cat!


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The 66 Gestures Chimpanzees Use To Communicate With Each Other

(Image Via Current Biology)

Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent animals, there’s no doubt about that, but a new study published in Current Biology reveals the extent of their intelligence in the area of communication.

It seems chimps have developed a rather elaborate intentional communication system that consists of nineteen different messages, ranging from Let’s Groom! to Flirt with me…, which are relayed using 66 different gestures.

This thought provoking research study was led by Dr. Catherine Hobaiter, who claims this is "the only example of an intentional communication system (in which one individual sends a message to another individual) amongst animals”, although the jury is still out on whether or not lemurs have their own unique system of intentional communication:

(Image Via Ztona)

-Via Laughing Squid


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Baby Elephant Takes a Dip



The Asian elephant herd at the Oregon Zoo consists of three adult males, three adult females and two juveniles, one-and-a-half-year-old Lily and her brother Samudra. Little Lily, pictured above, had fun swimming with the herd this past week.

As is typical of elephant behavior, the group drank, bathed and played in the cool waters of their enclosure. Elephants are naturally excellent swimmers, using their legs to paddle and their trunks to snorkel. Elephants live their lives in close proximity to fresh water and may drink upwards of 50 gallons of water per day. Via Zooborns.

Images Credit:  Shervin Hess

 

 


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Tortoise Versus Dog in a Cutthroat Game of "Soccer"

YouTube Link

This tortoise apparently really wants to play with this ball. So much so that he's willing to get aggressive with the howling dog who seems to think he has possession of it. Upon hearing a description of the situation, one might think the dog would be the easy winner of this one-upmanship. Not so fast. This is one tough little tortoise who takes his ball games seriously. Via Tastefully Offensive


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New Invention: Dog Urinal

(Photo: Jose M Baselga)

Responsible dog owners scoop up their dogs' poops and dispose of them properly so that no one steps in them. At least, that's what you do if you don't have dog poop fairies living in your area or don't hire a professional dog poop cleaning service.

Spain takes the matter of dog sanitation very seriously. One town gathers dog poop and mails it back to its owners.

Yet dogs produce more than just poop. We dog owners should scoop up after our canine friends, but there's little that we can do about urine.

That may change, thanks to inventions now available in the the Spanish town of El Vendrell. The dog in the picture above is standing next to a flushing toilet designed to handle dog excrement. How one would convince a dog to use one is beyond me. Dogs are often pooping connoisseurs who are particular about their defecation locations.

But the device in the foreground looks more promising. It's a urinal. Dogs pee on the pole. The urine drains down into the steel grate and into the sewer system.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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Stop calling us 'Scaredy Cats'!

(YouTube link)

When it comes down to it, your timid little house cat can be as brave as his lion and tiger cousins. Cats can go into attack mode in an instant, whether their nemesis is a mop, a computer, an apple, …all the way up the food chain to a bear or alligator! This compilation by Robert Jones, who brought us the “Push It” dance video, shows that a cat’s inflated opinion of his abilities often serves him well in bluffing his way through trouble. Do not try this at home. -Thanks, Robert! 


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How To Keep Your Dog Happy When The Fireworks Go Off

Humans really enjoy watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, but dogs just don’t get the appeal. They see fireworks as loud explosions in the sky that sound like the beginning of a major battle, and many dogs experience major anxiety when the fireworks start flying, especially if their owners aren’t home.

Animals on io9 asked a group of scientists/canine researchers to offer some advice on how to keep dogs from flipping out when the fireworks start booming, and they had some great ideas to share such as- comforting your dog with hugging (like the Thundershirt/Anxiety Wrap), using Dog Appeasing Pheromones, or simply exposing them to fireworks from an early age so they know not to be afraid.

Most of the solutions are simple yet effective, and they might be just the thing to help your furry family member enjoy the Fourth with the rest of their family.

-Via io9


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Cat and Dishwater

(YouTube link)

I’ve tried to get my cats to wash the dishes, but they won’t do anything past licking the food out. Here’s one that is thoroughly into his work. Obviously, this cat prefers the agitation method, which is normally reserved for washing clothes. Eventually, he manages to dislodge the drain plug, and there goes his fun. -via Arbroath


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Sled Dogs in Training


YouTube Link

GoPro filmed this trainer at Nature Trails in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany as he keeps these 17 Siberian Huskies at the ready for their wintertime sled-dog duties. But it's not all work for these beautiful canines. The video shows them having a happy howl as well as inhaling their dog chow. From the Nature Trails website,

"Our passion is nature and the rustic life. Thus, a particular lifestyle was it. We have a pack of Siberian Huskies, which form the basis of our daily work. It's all about the Huskies and is also necessary, because only then you get a special bond between human and animal existence, which in turn is enormously important for the team work."

Via Unique Daily.


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