This video of a baby short-tailed fruit bat and his human caretaker will make you see bats in a whole different light. Who knew a bat could be as cute as a kitten . . . ?
Hairy Frogfish Hunts. Watch!
The hairy frogfish lives in tropical and subtropical waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It hunts shallow, sandy areas by disguising itself as a weed-covered rock. As you will see from the video, the hairy frogfish is a voracious predator capable of swallowing prey as large as itself.
Baby Gorilla Gets Tough
Adult male mountain gorillas drum their chests with their open hands in order to make a popping noise that resounds through the forest. This drumroll warns other male gorillas to stay off their territory and away from their families. Young gorillas also drum in an attempt to show how tough they are. In this video, a baby mountain gorilla in Rwanda fails hilariously when he tries to prove himself to a group of tourists. There are fewer than 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the wild.
World's Weirdest Creature?
Nto only are naked mole rats naked, but even though they are mammals, their family structure more closely resembles that of bees, ants, wasps, and other social insects. All the mole rats living in each underground mole rat colony serve the needs of their giant mole rat queen—who, like a queen bee or a queen ant does all the reproducing and is therefore the mother of all her subjects. Naked mole rats are native to the grasslands of East Africa.
Honeybees: Bugs That Give Directions
We all know that insects can't talk. However, some species can communicate nonetheless. Ants for instance lay down a trail of chemical markers called pheromones to tell other members of their colony where to find a food source. Because bees fly to and from their food, a chemical trail is not an option for them. Instead, honeybees are able to give their hive mates precise directions to a distant patch of flowers using an amazing form of dance. In this video, scientists tell us exactly how the bees accomplishing this incredible feat of nonverbal communication.
Ooctopi are widely know to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They can learn such relatively complex tasks as undoing latches and opening jars—and they are infamous for their ability to escape from tanks and other enclosures. But the recently discovered mimic octopus of the South Pacific adds a strange, new twist to octopus intelligence with its ability to disguise itself as any number of other sea creatures in order to scare off would-be predators.
Baby Kangaroos: Born Twice
A baby kangaroo first leaves its mother's body while it is still an embryo. It doesn't even have fully developed hind legs at this stage. The hairless, jellybean-sized creature makes its way to its mother's pouch, where it develops into a real kangaroo—and the first time it jumps from the pouch is almost like a second birth.
Deadly Aim With A Stream Of Water
The archer fish, which is native to southern Asia, Polynesia, and Australia, employs one of the world's most unique methods of hunting. The fish knocks bugs off of overhanging vegetation by blasting them with a powerful stream of water from its mouth. Once the insect falls into the water it's helpless, and the archer fish can eat it at its leisure. These amazing fish can spit water up to two meters (six feet), and they almost always hit their mark.
Ants That Make Slaves Of Other Ants
It's one of the weirdest things that happens in nature: One species of ant making slaves of another. The slave-makers are known as Polyergus ants, and they are native to North America. Periodically, Polyergus will raid the colonies of another species, where they use an array of deceptive chemical signals to overcome the other ants. They then carry eggs of the conquered species back to their own colony, where they they raise them and put them to work. One of the most interesting aspects of this slaving behavior is that, not only does the Polyegus queen participate in the raid, but she is key to its success. The queens of all other species of ants never leave the nest. . . .
Deep Sea Anglerfish: DON'T Go Into The Light!
Deep sea anglerfish live so far down in the ocean that there is very little light in their environment. Creatures at that depth are drawn to any illumination, and the anglerfish takes advantage of that fact by using its natural headlamp to attract prey. But that's not the weirdest thing about the anglerfish: Wait till you see how they mate!
Blood Lust And The Vampire Bat
Vampires are real—but they're only as big as your thumb. In Central and South America, vampire bats emerge at night to sneak up on mammals such as cattle, shave a little skin off of them while they sleep, and drink their blood. In fact, vampire bats at the only mammal species that subsists entirely on a blood diet. Although few vampire victims die of blood loss, some do get rabies from these furry parasites.
The Interior Decorator Of The Bird World
Some animals go to great lengths to attract a mate. But no creature puts more effort or artistry into courtship than the male bowerbird of New Guinea. Not only does this amazing avian acquire hundreds of objects of art in order to impress the female of his species, but he builds an entire structure in which to house his collection.
The Father That Gives Birth
In most animal species, it is the female that carries and gives birth to the young. Seahorses, however, are different. The male seahorse sports a pouch like a kangaroo's, and during mating the female deposits her eggs in it. The male carries the eggs until they hatch, after which he gives "birth" to a brood of young seashores.
A Spider That Fishes
Most species of spiders are insectivorous, meaning that they survive by catching and eating insects. The European fishing spider, however, is piscivorous, which, as its name implies, means that it prefers prey with scales and fins. Watch as this spider detects and then attacks an unwitting stickleback that's unlucky enough to swim by.
Gibbons: The Apes That Swing
Although they might remind us of monkeys, the 16 species of gibbon are apes—a family of higher primates that also includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas, and humans. Gibbons are entirely arboreal, which means that they live in trees. Because they seldom descend to the ground, gibbons travel through the rainforest treetops of Southeast Asia and Indonesia using their incredibly long arms rather than their legs, swinging from branch to branch in a form of locomotion called brachiation. As jungle acrobats, gibbons put most kinds of monkeys to shame.
Almost Unbelievable: The Bird of Paradise
Like the bower bird, most of the 42 bird-of-paradise species are found on the Island of New Guinea. Compared to male bower birds, male birds of paradise employ an equally elaborate, though completely different, strategy for attracting mates. They rely not only on their spectacular plumage, but also on their dancing ability in their attempts to convince females to mate with them. In fact, you wouldn't be wrong to call birds of paradise the exotic dancers of the animal world.