Tag Archives: animals

Horse-Drawn Boats

Before diesel and electric engines made sailing convenient, boats and barges had to be either rowed or pulled. In many European countries such as the Netherlands and the UK, and to some extent in France, Germany, and Belgium, horse-drawn boats were common. Horses and sometimes mules and donkeys would walk along the canal on a towpath pulling behind a small tow-boat loaded with goods or passengers. Because the cargo moves on water, friction is minimal, allowing the horse to pull fifty times as much weight as it could pull in a traditional cart on road.

horse-drawn-boats-3

A vintage English narrow boat being pulled by a horse, on the Cromford Canal, near Matlock, UK. Photo credit: david muscroft / Shutterstock.com

Read more »

The Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre

That night was the most horrible that any member of the motor launch crews ever experienced. The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left…. Of about one thousand Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about twenty were found alive.

The above extract, describing the horrific events of the night of February 19, 1945, is taken from the 1962 book “Wildlife Sketches Near and Far” by eyewitness Bruce Stanley Wright, who was one of the participating … Read the rest

Rat King: The Mysterious Conjoined Creature

On a cold January morning in 2005, in the village of Saru in southern Estonia, farmer Rein Kıiv and his son made a curious discovery. On the sandy floor of their shed, they found a cluster of 16 rats with their tails inexplicably tangled into a knot. The rats were squeaking and struggling to escape but the harder they pulled the tighter the knot became. The animals were apparently trying to dig themselves out of a narrow burrow but in the struggle some of them got buried under the sand. Seven of the rats in the tangle were already dead. Rein’s son decided to put the diabolic little scene to an end, and picking up a stick, killed the rest of the wretched animals.

Rein Kıiv … Read the rest

Honoring Animals Used in Research And Testing

The United States’ National Academies of Sciences estimates that as many as 22 million vertebrate animals are used every year in the United States alone for research and testing. About 85 percent of these animals are rats and mice. These tiny, furry creatures have been one of the go-to animals for biomedical researchers around the world for studies relating to everything from cancer to the effects of space travel on the human body. The scientific community is well aware of the invaluable role these rodents have played in the development of modern medicine and the lengthening of the average human lifespan from just 40 years at the turn of the 20th century to over 70 years today.

monument-lab-mice-1

Monument to lab mouse in Novosibirsk, Russia. Photo credit: Read the rest

The Fainting Goats of Tennessee

Unlike humans, animals rarely faint from surprise, panic attacks or any other strong emotional stress. But there is a breed of goat that appears to do so.

When startled, the so-called “fainting goat” collapses on its side. They fall over, often with legs comically raised towards the sky. After laying motionless on the ground for a few seconds, they recover and bounce back on their feet as quickly as they fell. This curious reaction to fright has made fainting goats the popular subject for many viral, and often humorous, internet videos.

fainting-goat-3

Photo credit: www.kidsdiscover.com

Read more »

Read the rest

These Massive Tunnels Were Dug By Giant Sloths

Across northern South America, there are hundreds of colossal tunnels large enough for humans to walk through, but they weren’t dug by men. Nor they were formed by any known geological process. But their creators have left evidence all around the walls and ceilings—giant claw marks.

Geologists call these tunnels “paleoburrow,” and they are believed to have been dug by an extinct species of giant ground sloth.

paleoburrow1

A large paleoburrow in Brazil. Photo credit: Heinrich Frank

Read more »

Read the rest

A Parisian Artist Draws Where’s Waldo-esque Labyrinths Full of Robots

Whether he’s drawing a suburban neighborhood, a day at the zoo, or an industrial robot assembly line, French artist Theo Guignard’s illustrations are easy to get lost in. His drawings are dense, often packed with characters Where’s Waldo-style or maze-like geometric shapes. Guignard pulls in work for magazines like Usbek & Rica, and created a short animated film for Lyft last year. His true fascination seems to lie with robots, including multiple sci-fi worlds in his 2015 book Labyrinths, and tiny androids in several Adventure Time-esque commissions. He also released intricate illustrations of giant robots to tease a new book called Titans, out later this year. Check out his work in the Instagrams below.

Follow Theo Guignard’s work … Read the rest

The Wild Burros of Oatman, Arizona

Positioned in the ancient part of old Route 66, in the US state of Arizona, Oatman is full of wild burros —an old Spanish term which means donkeys— roaming the streets. This town with an old western appearance has been an enjoyable place and a tourist attraction for the burros wandering around with springiness. The wild donkeys can be hand-fed with ‘burro chow’, naturally known as hay cubes, which are readily available in the town. Although they gently behave with tourists, still you will find several signs posted in the town which asks the public to maintain caution.

burros-oatman-4

Photo credit: Joshua Noble/Flickr

Read more »

Read the rest

Freakishly Huge Chicken Frightens and Confuses the Internet

Usually when we talk about giant chickens, it’s the nine billion or so big, fat broiler chickens killed every year for our consumption.

And while we usually picture these animals as being too fat to walk and cooped up in their coops being exposed to unnatural light patterns, there is another breed of oversized chickens out there—and it’s even scarier to the unacquainted.

A recent video uploaded to Twitter by @LifesBook_Ceo shows what looks like to be a fairly normal chicken peering out of its chicken house. But once the chicken steps down the stairs of its coop, it looks more like a two-foot tall Tony Soprano walking down the driveway to get his morning paper with a feathered housecoat on.

The answer to your … Read the rest