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.
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
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:
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
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!
(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
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
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.
Brody the kitten is a real-life squeaky toy! You touch her, she squeaks. Sometimes she squeaks even if you don’t touch her. And if you don’t play with her, she’ll play with her feet! Isn’t she adorable, looking up with those baby blue eyes while chewing on a finger? See more videos of Brody. -via Tastefully Offensive
(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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Bebe the love bird loves the shred paper. In this video, she has a purpose for it: she’s tucking them into her tail feathers to make a longer, more attractive tail for herself. Love Birds aren’t all that different from humans, now, are they?
To be honest, this behavior has been observed in the wild. It's a bird trick for hauling more nest material than will fit in one's beak. This way she can carry more in fewer trips! -via Tastefully Offensive
We suddenly have no shortage of cool cats named Venus at Neatorama! Venus the 6-year-old cheetah recently gave birth to four cubs at her home on the Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa. But that wasn't the first time she was in the news.
Venus made headlines a year ago for having eye surgery. Prior to surgery she was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts, likely due to suffering from malnutrition as a cub. At that time, Venus was nervous, fearful and displayed a fair amount of fear aggression. Vets monitored her condition, which continued to deteriorate.
During a complicated surgery rarely performed on animals, Dr. Anthony Goodhead of Cape Town, South Africa removed the cataracts and accumulated scar tissue from Venus' corneas. The surgery transformed Venus' personality as well as restoring her eyesight. She now carries herself with confidence and explores her surroundings without fear.
The first-time cheetah mom surprised the ranch staff with her exceptional maternal skills. Venus and her cubs are healthy, playful and enjoying their time spent bonding together as a family. See more pictures at Zooborns.
Images Credit: Cango Wildlife Ranch/Oudtshoorn/South Africa
Captain America Guinea Pig
Bad day today? Superhero hamster, guinea pig and chinchilla to the rescue! We dare you not to squee with joy after seeing these wonderful pets dressed up as superheroes, thanks to the fantastic felt costumes by Chez Marmota.
Take a look at more dressed up pets:
Liv is a tammar wallaby--a marsupial species found in Australia and New Zealand. One day, she fell out of her mama’s pouch. Zookeepers at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska rescued her. Now they’re raising her themselves, feeding her 8 times a day and moving her from a liquid diet to solids.
Most humans don’t have marsupial pouches (sorry, Chris Hallbeck), but the zookeepers have found an acceptable substitute.
Liv is one of six wallabies at this zoo. Four of them are tamar wallabies and two are bennet wallabies. She hasn’t joined them yet, but zookeepers hope that she’ll be ready to meet them and human visitors by July.
Photos: Lincoln Children’s Zoo
This cat has a face that should go Hollywood. Venus, a five-year old tortoiseshell cat, has two different colored eyes and two different colors of fur split perfectly down the middle of her puss.
With the longtime "cat culture" of the Internet, it's not a shocker that Venus has a sizable following; her Facebook page has over 175,000 fans. Venus lives in a home with two of her siblings plus two dogs, so she's pretty and somewhat tolerant of not being the center of attention. See Venus on Facebook to follow her antics. Via Twisted Sifter.
(Image Via Cute Animals)
Humans naturally assume that animals don’t understand cameras, or get what we’re doing when we point that box thing with the big glass eye at them, but these adorable pics prove they know all about how cameras work:
(Image Via Sad And Useless)
These pics are so perfectly timed you’d think the photographers caught their subjects unaware, but these blooper shots are considered the height of fashion in the animal kingdom because animals know that life is too short to take a boring picture:
(Image Via izismile)
Maybe these critters are on to something, maybe we need to take less duck faced selfies and stop taking ourselves so seriously in photos!
See more pictures at Pleated Jeans.
Carlos and his friends went scuba diving. Little did they know that an adorable menace lay beneath the surface, eager to feed upon human flesh--the tuna from the land.
The little shark pounced upon the human and began dragging him underwater. Or just grasping on to his swimsuit.
Carlos narrowly escaped. But as you can see from the end of the video, he's lucky that the shark didn't hit him a few inches to the right.
-via Huffington Post
Comedian and voice actor Rudi Rok, the same guy who makes 24 animal sounds and barked at dogs to record their reaction, does another of his terrific impressions in this video, this time fooling a colt. Can't quite call it Horse Whispering, but Rok may be part horse. At least, that's what the colt seems to think.
A woman in the town of Adenau, Germany, attended a religious service and returned to her car. When she unlocked it, she found a dog inside -but it wasn’t her dog! She drove the dachshund to the local police station. No one could figure out how the dog got into the car. Then another woman came into the station to report her dog missing from her car.
Here’s what happened: the two women drove the exact same model of car, and had parked beside each other. Their keys also coincidentally worked with both cars. The woman who owned the dog returned first and drove off in the wrong car -the one without her dog. Neither woman realized they had the wrong car, because the only difference was that one had a dog inside. -via Arbroath
(unrelated image credit: Lukasz Adamus)
There’s something so soothing about watching this golden retriever named Coco-chan happily nibbling away on an ear of corn, or silently slurping away on a watermelon wedge.
Maybe it’s the way her eyes seem to stare into your very soul, maybe it’s the beauty of watching man’s best friend enjoy some fresh fruits and vegetables, or maybe the act of watching Coco-chan's videos is in itself a form of meditation.
No wonder Coco-chan has her own YouTube channel, which is chock full of videos that allow us a peek into the life of one gloriously zen golden retriever. Watch and reflect on your own love of produce...
-Via Boing Boing
You know horses love cats, but folks who live in rural areas know horses love goats even more. I know several people who got a goat to keep their horse company, even if there are other horses around, because a goat keeps them calm. Here, Mr. G is either babysitting, or kid-sitting, or just sitting, actually, and enjoying a nice goat massage. -via Arbroath
A mother Southern pudú at Edinburgh Zoo gave birth to her fawn, named Scarlet. Sadly, only two and a half weeks later, Scarlet's mother died due to a preexisting health condition that was exacerbated by giving birth. The keepers had to work night and day with Scarlet, who was at risk without her mother's nourishment and care. The tiny fawn is being bottle-fed and is now gaining weight and thriving.
Scarlet's bright outlook is not only due to the dedication of her keepers. Her father Normski began to nurture Scarlet and keep her company (see photo number 2). Edinburgh Zoo staffer Liah Etemad explained,
“Scarlet started on seven to eight bottled feeds of milk each day, getting her first feed early in the morning, throughout the day and then into the early hours. She is steadily gaining weight each day. During the first week after mum died she was cared for solely by her keepers, but then at four weeks she was reintroduced to her dad Normski. We were all delighted how well it went and the two were soon cuddled up together in the evenings and he maintains a watchful eye over her during the day. The fact her and her father have bonded so well means that he is teaching her natural pudú behavior.
It has taken a lot of time and commitment from keepers, and at seven weeks old we are still giving her a small number of bottles during the day, but we could not be happier to see little Scarlet thrive. She has done so well that visitors are able to see her with dad at our pudú enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo.”
Pudús are the smallest deer in the world. Southern pudú are native to southwestern Argentina and Chile. When pudús reach adulthood, they are only about 15 inches high and 20-35 pounds. These animals are classified as a vulnerable species, as their numbers are diminished due to the rainforests of their habitat being cleared for cattle ranches and other land development. See a video of Scarlet at Zooborns.
Images Credit: Edinburgh Zoo
Image: Tom Lancashire
A sighting of Migaloo, Australia's celebrated white humpback whale, was made June 23 off the coast of Sydney. Until September of 2011, Migaloo, which translates to "white fella" in the language of Australian Aboriginals, was the only known white humpback whale in the world. It was then that footage surfaced of a white baby humpback whale (calf). The calf is unofficially named M.J., for Migaloo Junior, according to Australia's White Whale Research Centre. Another all-white whale was documented in Norwegian waters, so Migaloo and M.J. may be rare, but they're not alone.
Although the video of the news report included here --as well as a report from CNN -- calls Migaloo an albino, that fact actually seems to be in dispute. The While Whale Research Centre and the Pacific Whale Foundation don't refer to Migaloo or MJ as albinos, so I've stayed consistent with their terminology.