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Life of the Long Ears

Monday, 30 June 2014

They are not exotic. They are hardly rare. Yet there is no more joyous a sight than watching a group of hares bound around a field for no other reason, apparently, than they can and so, by heaven, they will.  Watch this wonderful video by Ben and take in this jubilant exhibition. 

Yet, like the hare, don’t get too comfortable.  Danger lurks around every corner.

Komodo: Rolling in the Deep

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Mention the name Komodo and most people would associate it with the home of the largest lizard on the planet.  Yet this fascinating and mysterious island has a reef, here captured by Dustin Adamson.  It is a place teeming with life and here the footage is shot wide so you can get a truly panoramic impression of this undersea universe.  Go grab your beverage of choice, sit back, relax and let the beauty roll over you. 

Bullfrogs in Slow Motion

During a torrential downpour at Robert Frost Farm in the American state of New Hampshire, Michael N Sutton ventured into the forest which hides a frog pond and decided to film Bullfrogs in slowmo using his Photron Fastcam BC2 HD camera.  Maybe not your average choice in a rainstorm but the result is mesmerizing.  The footage captures the gymnastic prowess of the frogs perfectly.

How is Frostie the Snow Goat Doing?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

A month ago we shared the story of Frostie the Snow Goat with you.  Among a number of general nasties that the kid was suffering from, he also had a condition called joint navel ill. This is an incredibly nasty infection which enters the body via the umbilical cord soon after birth.

Frostie quickly took the internet by storm and captured the hearts of many. So, now, after a month it is time to ask how Frostie is doing.  Has Frostie recovered? As you can see from the video above there is still some way to go but the sight of him gamboling around (a little totter here, a little totter there) is a joy to behold.

The Vampire Deer

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Do you see something a little strange about the deer in the picture? If your eyes were immediately drawn to those rather vampiric fangs protruding from its mouth, then your next thought might have been that this must be some sort of freak of nature, an accident of birth.  That isn’t how deers come, is it?  For the Water Deer, otherwise and popularly known as the Vampire Deer the answer is in the affirmative.

Let’s give the animal its proper name.  This is the Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis inermis) and it is one of two subspecies (the other being the Korean variety) which have prominent tusks, downward-pointing canine teeth which make it look as if it’s had a run in with a Nosferatu type who has suddenly acquired the ability to ‘turn’ mammals other than humans.  This feature makes the subspecies unique – they are the only two members of the genus Hydropotes.

Making Friends with Tiger Sharks

Saturday, 7 June 2014

I honestly didn’t think this was possible but here is the proof in front of my eyes – and this may well change the way that you look at sharks forever.

Diver Eli Martinez can be seen here diving with tiger sharks and interacting with them in what only can be described as a very friendly manner.

He strokes and caresses the sharks, almost as if they were dogs they he is encountering at the local park in this video shot by Armando Gasse in the Bahamas. It is an amazing sight and something which probably confounds a lot of expectations about sharks in general.  After all, thanks to a certain movie, many people believe that if you hold your hand out to a shark it will bite it off.

Yet before you book your plane tickets and rent out the diving equipment, I should add one or two words.  Martinez (who is also the editor of Shark Diver Magazine) has not simply jumped in to the ocean and struck up a friendship with some passing tiger sharks.  He has known these individuals for years.

Here are the facts in his own words: "Despite this looking easy and relaxed, it is only because I have been working with these same sharks for years, so I know them well. The tiger shark is a shark named Hook, and the lemon is a shark I named Taxi. The relationship is based on trust and respect, and I never forget that these are wild sharks, so I never get too comfortable. I always remember where I am, and what I am doing. So please watch this video as I hope it shows these amazing animals as they really are...beautiful, and intelligent, and amazing animals.”

It must be quite a thing to be able to say that you are first name terms with sharks.  Below is another video of Mr Martinez on another one of his visits to Tiger Beach where he again gets to interact with a number of his friends.  Among them are sharks he has named Taxi, Scratch, Cindy and Hook. They truly are ambassadors for their species.

The Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel Takes to the Air

You might have thought that there was only one species of giant squirrel.  In fact, there are 44 in the tribe and the largest is the Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista alborufus).

It is found in the forests of China and Taiwan and, boy, can it fly.  Strictly speaking it glides, but as you can see from the video above it is extraordinarily good at that.  It launches itself in to space and then seems to float effortlessly through the trees to its destination.  As you can imagine they are very difficult to film!

The flight is – admittedly – awesome but what many find equally striking about the Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel are its piercing blue eyes.

This incredible species inhabits the dense montane forests and limestone cliffs of China.  It is distributed widely in the country and is not in any danger of extinction.  In Taiwan they inhabit the island’s hardwood and conifer forests, nesting high in tree hollows.

They have small litters of only one or two infants and feed on a variety of nuts, fruit and vegetation.  They will also eat insects and larvae and have been spotted occasionally raiding bird nests for eggs when times are a little frugal.

Amung Feedjit