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Damselflies – The Killer Lips

Saturday 13 December 2014

Get up close and personal with the damselfly, thanks to director Hasan Samur.  Here he reveals that far from being identical, each damselfly has its own unique colorings and patterns – and they are striking to say the very least. Many carry the scars of battle – some blind, some missing legs. We also get to see some remarkable footage of damselflies mating which to our eyes may seem very strange behavior indeed.

Gorillas in the Crossfire

Andre Bauma works with orphaned gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Since the outbreak of civil war in 1996 the gorillas have been caught not in the mist but the crossfire.  The human cost is also staggering with 150 park rangers murdered trying to protect them. However, this vital job is carried on by a brave few as only about 800 gorillas survive in the wild. Created by Orlando Von Einsiedel of the New York Times, this moving video follows Andre and his group of orphans as they struggle through daily life in the Congo.

Watch Amazing Drone Footage of Humpback Whales Bubble Feeding

If you don’t have nets to use then you can always make your own.  This is what humpback whales do when they sense an opportunity to enjoy a feast and this behavior is only seen in Southeast Alaska where this rare and remarkable footage was taken by AkXpro Productions.  Other whales do use bubble feeding but this method is unique to the Alaskan whales. Anywhere from four to twenty whales will join in with the hunt.  One will release a ring of bubbles from its blowhole beneath the herring.  This curtain of bubbles acts as a wall which keeps the fish inside it.  Then another whale will produce vocalizations (which we can’t hear in this video, of course!) which makes the herring squeeze together in tight balls.

Then the whales lunge in unison.  Breaking the surface simultaneously with their mouths wide open, then roll over and down.  This captures as many fish as possible as well as forcing the water they take in out through their baleen plates.  With the water forced out they can then gulp down their prey.  Altogether, pretty amazing!

Dogs on Ice

Saturday 6 December 2014

Dogs like nothing better than when something a little out of the ordinary happens. So, when the world has turned white one morning and the water has gone hard and slippery, you can’t blame a dog for getting a little excited, can you?

At first you might be a little unsteady on your paws but when there is a new and interesting experience to be had then a few slips and slides hardly matter.

Save the Hedgehog: Help Harry!

Sunday 23 November 2014

It is a depressing fact that in just over half a century the number of hedgehogs in the UK has plummeted from 50 million to just one million.  So, instead of their being parity between the hedgehog and human populations, now there is less than one hedgehog for every fifty people.  This animation, directed by Kris Hofmann, highlights the plight of the hedgehog in the UK.  Find out how you can do more at the Wildlife Aid Foundation.

Odonates: The Lives of Dragonflies and Damselflies

Sunday 9 November 2014

Have you ever wondered how to tell a dragonfly apart from a damselfly?  That question and many others are answered in this delightful short documentary by Melissa Lesh.  We won't tell you here - watch the video. In fact if you are doing a school paper on odonates in general then you cannot go far wrong if you watch this film – and them watch it again making notes next time!

Byron Beholds Kona: Dolphins and Mantas Swim to Poetry

This is a rather lovely piece by Michael Maes – and the first in series which he calls Poetry eMotion.  It combines the profound emotion that poetry can engender with the motion of dolphins and mantas in Kona, Hawaii.  The contrast of the curious dolphins, soaring through the sea in the daytime to the roving, feeding mantas at night together with So We'll Go No More a Roving by Lord Byron is, quite simply, sublime.

Watch a Tiger Shark Attack a Turtle

Saturday 8 November 2014

This is extremely rare footage and was captured this year by the Undersea Hunter Crew.  The video might upset you if you are fond of turtles but you have to admire the little guy – he does everything in his power to get away, ducking and diving and trying to outmaneuver the shark.

Whether or not he gets away, you will have to watch this amazing video to the end.

Living with the Polar Bear

Our global climate is changing? That isn’t really a question for the Inupiat people of Northern Alaska.  The ice is retreating and as it recedes ever further that lives the polar bears living in the area with a challenge: adapt or perish.

Yet what is the perspective of the local people about the future of the polar bear? The answer may surprise you in this short film by Possberg Media.

The Mystery of the Missing Bees

Friday 31 October 2014

Where have the honey bees gone? Since 2007 beekeepers have been witnessing Colony Collapse Disorder.  It is more than a little worrying when you consider that due to pollination, honey bees indirectly provide us with over 30 percent of our food.

Here, the New York Times tells the story, which is a little more complex than you might have thought. Is there hope for the honey bee?

Darwin’s Dream – Galapagos Islands

When Charles Darwin arrived at the Galapagos Islands in 1831 he had no idea that what he would discover there would help him conceive his theory of natural selection.

Yet despite the many wonders he saw there was one thing he could not experience as we can: the sight of sharks, mola molas, turtle, iguanas, penguins and even orcas in their own habitat.  Thanks to Dustin Adamson of Ocean Shutter here is that underworld realm in all its startling and unusual beauty that Darwin could only dream about.

Watch a Platypus Walk between Creeks in Tasmania

Saturday 25 October 2014

You really don’t see this every day.  The platypus is usually considered nocturnal (even though it can also be seen in the early evening) yet sometimes, needs must.  This platypus (one of the few venomous mammals on the planet) wants to get from one creek to another in its Tasmanian home but with no streams to get it to its destination, it has been forced to walk. Its trek was caught on film by Max Moller of Black Devil Productions.

Hummingbirds: Little Jewels of Flight

Sunday 12 October 2014

I know that many people find the sight of a hummingbird hovering while it collects nectar the most entrancing feature about these proud little birds.  Yet for me it is a little different – the flight is spectacular, of course.

However, I love to watch their iridescent throat feathers appear to change color as they move and the light changes – it is just entrancing.  This has been caught beautifully by photographer and videographer Don DesJardin.  Just watch – you will be spellbound. Species seen in order of appearance are Allen's, Anna's, Black-chinned, Calliope, Costa's and my own personal favorite, the glorious Rufous Hummingbird (above left).

Schools of Fish Dance and Shimmer around Immense Goliath Groupers – An Amazing Sight

In September the Goliath Grouper gather around wrecks off the South Florida coast.  These immense fish which have been known to attack both divers and sharks bring with them a host of other, much smaller fish – including large schools of snappers and grunts.

The sight of these fish (metaphorically) dancing around the goliaths, beautifully reflecting light, was captured by photographer and videographer Lee Burghard – and it’s great to see someone filming these mysterious giants of the seas.  He called his short film Shimmer.  You will see why when you watch it!

These goliaths are part of a recovering population. Although they may not be, to our eyes, the most appealing of fish their meat is considered something of a delicacy.  Its downfall was its fearlessness and curiosity – it investigates new arrivals in the ocean (such as diving fishermen with spear guns) and as it is relatively slow moving and large was an easy target.  The species became critically endangered in the 1980s.

Fortunately, the US put a hunting ban on the species in 1990 and since then many other countries have followed its lead.  However, it is going to take a long time for numbers to recover – the goliath grouper is a slow grower and takes its time both to reach maturity and to start playing the mating game.  Perhaps our grandchildren will be able to witness oceans as full of goliath groupers as they were before we developed a taste for their flesh.

Watch a Dragonfly Nymph Shed its Skin

Although the final transformation in to a dragonfly is perhaps the most spectacular, a nymph will have moulted 12-15 times before it emerges from the water.

Andy Holt captured on of these moults – and it is an incredibly absorbing process to watch.  Note particularly the wing buds splitting and raising at the outset of the moult.  This is not something you see every day!

The Whales of Tonga

Saturday 4 October 2014

This is just beautiful work.  Filmed by Darren Rice, this video shows some amazing images of whales, shot from both above and below.  Foa Island Ha'apai, Kingdom of Tonga was the location where these whales were filmed. With a lilting piano accompaniment this shows the majesty of these amazing creatures perfectly. No need for narration, just sit back and take it all in.

Watch a Bowl of Baby Turtles Race to the Sea

Lankayan Island is a small strip of sand off the coast of Malaysian Borneo. Turtle conservationists there remove eggs from the sand and hatch the babies, keeping them safe from predators both before and after they hatch.  Then they are released – by the bowl full, in to the sea.  As well as giving some greater hope that the species will survive, it gives us a joyful vision of infant tenacity.  Filmed by Leon Duplay, these little guys were born to run!

Brown Wood Owl: The Juvenile’s Journey

Sunday 28 September 2014

The Brown Wood Owl has a special place in Sri Lankan folklore, known as the devil bird. So when filmmaker Thivanka Perera came across a pair in the crevice of a tree trunk he decided to monitor their progress.  The resulting short film tells the story of survival against all the odds and while the ending is not a completely one, this reflects the way that nature operates. This film officially selected for the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York.

Alentejo - The song of the Earth

Saturday 27 September 2014

Neves-Corvo, Alentejo is the most active mining region in Portugal, but the wealth of these lands is not just underground. On the surface, there is great biodiversity thriving between the cereal steppes and holm oak montado. This beautiful film by Daniel Pinheiro, voyaging through the various habitats of the region and revealing some of its most characteristic and charismatic animals and how they have adapted to an environment of extremes.

Swimming with Wild Dolphins

Mark Peters and friends encountered an unexpected surprise while albacore fishing off the coast of Santa Cruz, California –a pod of Pacific White Sided Dolphins which playfully hitched a ride behind their fishing boat.  The graceful ease with which the dolphins glide through the water is simply amazing.  Fortunately, Mr Peters had his camera on him and was able to catch this magical footage of something which most of us will never experience.

The Night of the Deer

Saturday 13 September 2014

Photographer Vincent Munier has caught the almost primeval nature of life in the European forest in his new book La Nuit du Cerf (Night of the Deer) and this short film has been released for its launch. 

It is stunning work: close your eyes and you can almost feel the cool night air, smell the scents of the forest and feel the tensions within this community of deer.

Canine Pool Party

Thursday 21 August 2014

So, just how many dogs can you fit in to a swimming pool?  Quite a few if this video is anything to go by.  Of course, you might just ask who let the dogs out (who, who?) but surely a cool dog is better than a hot dog?  Before this humor gets any cheesier, perhaps you should be left to enjoy this video in peace. OK, so at the end of the day it’s just a lot of dogs in a swimming pool, but if this doesn’t lift your heart just a little then what will?

Amazing Spy-Cam: Unique Technical Solutions in Wildlife Film-making

Wednesday 20 August 2014

As camera technology has developed over the last few years it has meant that those filmmakers who would ordinarily have been labelled amateur in the past can now create amazing footage. 

The playing field between the amateur and the professional has been leveled out, so to speak.  Now, award winning wildlife filmmaker like John Downer must be ever more resourceful to produce something better than your average ten year old with a camera (yes,  that was probably a slight exaggeration).

Spy-cams have been used in wildlife film-making for a number of years but the secret in creating astounding footage like the above is in truly understanding how the animals behave.  From that outset point, involving research and  great deal of dedication, new ways to capture amazing moments have been devised which, through the sheer inventiveness of their technical solutions, enable filmmakers to tell their subject’s story in new and enthralling ways.

Watch What Happens When a Gorilla and the Man who Raised and Released him Meet Again after Five Years

Monday 11 August 2014

Damian Aspinall has a goal – to raise gorillas and to release them back in to the wild. A self-made business man, he started the Aspinall Foundation with that intention and so far has released over fifty gorillas in to secure areas in Africa.

So, it is only human to want to find out how your former wards are doing.  Venturing deep in to the Gabon jungle, Aspinall went in search of Kwibi, who he had hand-reared and nurtured up to the point where he was released in to the wild five years previously.

They say that elephants do not forget but one thing we now know for sure – the same can be said about gorillas.  When he eventually found Kwibi, Aspinall was in for a surprise.  Not only did Kwibi recognize him, once the re-introductions were over it was obvious that his old friend really didn’t want to part company with him ever again! 

Although the debate continues about the pros and cons of what is effectively zoo-based conservation, Aspinall has proven that gorillas at least can be successfully reintroduced in to the wild despite massive contact with and care from people. 

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.

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.

Frostie the Snow Goat

Monday 26 May 2014

Frostie has been taking the internet by storm, to say the least. 

He was recently taken in by Edgar’s Mission a farm sanctuary in Willowmavin, Kilmore, in the state of Victoria, Australia.

When young Frostie was taken in he had the worst case of lice that the folks at the farm have ever seen.  He was severely dehydrated too.  Yet these two conditions could be dealt with quite easily.

Frostie also had something far more serious. 

He also had a condition called joint navel ill an incredibly nasty infection which enters the body via the umbilical cord soon after birth.

The bacteria had spread through Frostie and had made its home in the joints of his hind limbs.  This meant that the little guy could not work – and his body was full of horrible toxins.

In order to flush them out he was pumped with antibiotics but a way had to be found to help the blood circulate.

As you can see, necessity is the mother of invention and this remarkable wheeled contraption now helps the wheelie kid get about.

He was soon ready for a big adventure!

The Sausage Thief

Wednesday 14 May 2014

An important part of every dog’s training is learning how to wait.  Here three dogs are being taught to wait until they are told they can have their treat – a cold sausage.

The dogs patiently wait until permission is given – but what happens next will have you laughing out loud.  Little Elmo, a Staffy and Chihuahua mix isn’t happy with his allotment.

Humpback Whale Performs Amazing Act of Appreciation After Being Freed From Nets

Sunday 11 May 2014

Michael Fishback and his family visit the Sea of Cortez, photographing whales to track them and observe their behaviors.

However, on one of their trips they had the opportunity to help save a trapped humpback whale.   They took this incredible footage which shows you exactly what happened.

The young whale at first appeared to be dead.  The group floated next to it for a few minutes and saw no signs of life until it exhaled.  Michael eased in to the water to assess the situation and found that the whale was terribly tangled in fishing net.

Both pectoral fins were pinned to its body and it looked as if the whale would probably die unless something was done soon – and there was no time to waste.  When you watch this amazing film you will see what happens next – and this time it is a happy ending.  Once the whale is free though, it does something amazing – it shows its appreciation of the family and their endeavors to save him by giving them a show they will never forget.

The Raspberry Rabbit

This isn’t a long video but we felt that we had to share. One little rabbit has a taste for raspberries so when he is presented with one he tucks right in. However, the juices flow and he ends up looking as if he is wearing lipstick – some kind of drag act bunny perhaps? This may only last about thirty seconds but we thought it might make it up to those of you who say that this site spends too long focusing on the grisly and the gruesome!

Charlie and the Seal!

Saturday 12 April 2014

When photographer Charlie Bird decided he wanted to photograph seal pups he decided to get as close up to them as possible.  One of the elephant seal pups became rather inquisitive and before Charlie knew it he was getting more attention than he had bargained for.  Not only that, one of the pups friend’s decides to join in too.

Good job for Charlie that it was just an elephant seal pup.  If dad had decided to show interest too, he would have been in trouble. Southern elephant seal bulls typically reaching a length of 16 ft (4.9 m) and a weight of 6,600 lb (3,000 kg).

Nudibranchs of Anilao

Sunday 16 February 2014

The nudibranch is a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage.  They have astonishing colors and striking forms. There are more than 3,000 described species of nudibranchs.  This short film by Dustin Adamson of Ocean Shutter focuses on the nudibranchs of Anilao in the Philippines.  The close-up macro shots are simply stunning. Enjoy!

Dawn the Rescue Fox Wags her Tail and Makes Happy Sounds

This is Dawn – a rescued fox.  She was very young when she was discovered by members of the public and they took her to a dog rescue center.  By the time it was realised she was, in fact, a dog she had become too tame to be ever put back in the wild.

However, she was taken to the Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary in the UK where she quickly made herself at home with the five other resident foxes there.  In this video one of her carers enters her enclosed area and the sounds of welcome – together with the amazing wagging of her bushy tail – are a joy to behold.

Despite the fact that the video is not high resolution this has gone viral.  Yet we wouldn’t be a responsible site about animals if we didn’t slip in a quick statement.  Foxes are not animals which can be domesticated – although they can bond with individuals they are way too volatile to be around strangers.  In other words, pet foxes are pretty much a recipe for disaster. So, while Dawn is cute and adorable she would have had a much better life in the wild.

What One Dog Gets up to When Home Alone

Sunday 12 January 2014

Dogs like food – that’s a well-established fact.  Some, however, are willing to go to great lengths to get to their between meal snack.  Take Lucy for example.  Her human, Rodd Scheinerman had caught her with her head in his oven on a previous occasion and decided to catch her red handed if she tried to do it again.

He put some chicken nuggets in the oven and left the house.  His cam secured in the kitchen area, this very funny piece of film was waiting for him on his return.  Lucy had heard the oven alarm indicating that the chicken nuggets were ready.  What she does next is ingenious, funny, charming and just a little bit naughty all at the same time!

If you are a dog lover I am sure you will enjoy this home movie which no doubt will (like Lucy) be treasured for many years to come by Mr Scheinerman and his family.

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