Archive for the ‘animal behavior’ category

Deer Motorists…

February 2, 2017

 

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It’s an all-too-familiar scenario; out driving late at night, when suddenly deer appear on the road, blundering into the way with negative consequences to both the deer and the vehicle.  Since turnabout is fair play, we are shown a reverse case safety promo where two deer are motoring when a clueless human walks onto the road, totally absorbed in his texting.  The deer are forced to brake sharply, and honk their horn.  The clueless human looks up from his texting, startled, and hastens to finish his transit across the road.  The deer couple look at one another, and shake their heads.  A moment later, a trio of texting humans perform the same stunt before the now-stopped vehicle. They often travel in groups, you know…

“Don’t text while on the road,” the public service announcer then intones.  “It’s bad for deer, and for humans”.  Some humans are every bit as self-absorbed, location inappropriate, and clueless as those portrayed, too…

“Scariest Moments” on Mountain Monsters

February 24, 2016

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I, for one, am generally not keen on “Greatest Hits” episodes of any series as they are usually thinly veiled efforts to repackage old material and stretch out a season.  The “Scariest Moments” installment of Mountain Monsters (S4/Ep05) was no different, being essentially a brief synopsis of six different and unrelated previous episodes.  I’m not going to comment on the episodes as I have previously posted on many of them.  For the sake of reference, however, the episodes covered were on the Hellhound, the Cherokee Death Cat, the Cave Creature, the Bear Beast, the Shadow Creature, and Hogzilla.

The summaries provided by these episodes may be helpful to viewers trying to get a brief feeling for the creature involved, or a general sense of what the show itself is about.  It can be striking how similar the episodes really are, both in terms of the methods involved, the flow of the action, and the outcomes.  In only one of the six episodes profiled was the creature being pursued actually captured, that one, Hogzilla, turning out to be a rather large but perfectly ordinary pig.  

The scariest incident I can remember in the time period covered involved team leader Trapper using self-dentistry to extract an aching tooth using pliers!  The series will return to new episodes this upcoming weekend with one called, the Great Fire Ape.  It will probably be at best a mediocre ape, but one that makes a monkey of them all…

…and by the way, the theme song for this show is called Mountain Man Town  by the Last American Cowboys…  

Not Bad for a Beach Ape!

July 21, 2015

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Dang, these Aussie guys are tough!  When a cheeky bull shark tried to blindside Australian surfing champ Mick Fanning during a live televised competition, the blighter got a bit more than he bargained for.  Spectators thought that they were about to see someone eaten alive before their eyes, but despite being caught off guard and lacking the formidable choppers of his impromptu opponent, Mick slugged the shark in the back and retreated with all of his body parts intact!

I think we’ve found a worthy successor to  Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee!  (Film producers, take note!)  Pretty soon sharks will be watching Human Week on the tube to see if we’re as tough as they’ve heard…

James Patterson’s “Zoo” is Coming!

June 26, 2015

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When the revolution comes, mammalian furries of different species will work together, communicate over distances, and intelligently coordinate devastating attacks upon humans that will utterly overwhelm and decimate them!

So is the general premise of Zoo, a popular 2012 novel co-authored by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. That novel is soon to become a television series on CBS, beginning this upcoming Tuesday evening.  Thirteen episodes are assured, with perhaps additional ones to follow should the series catch on.  Zoo will be set in a variety of different locations around the world rather than in a single unchanging site.  Lion attacks in Los Angeles, California will apparently be featured early on, but we will also see domestic cat attacks.

A renegade zoologist called Jackson Oz is a featured character, with such lines as “Animal behavior is changing!”  Will the humans listen in time? – – Don’t bet on it!  The novel was generally well-received by most, despite some junk science in it. While thus far I’ve only been able to view previews and trailers, you can bet that I’ll be glued to the tube this upcoming week to cheer for the home team!

 

When Turkeys Attack!

November 27, 2014

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The Destination America channel treated us to some strange, tongue-in-cheek fare the evening before Thanksgiving with a special styled somewhat like numerous others airing on that network, and called “When Turkeys Attack!”  The show used home video footage depicting wild turkeys chasing children, grandmothers, and grown men; one chased and kept up with a bicyclist for a short distance, while others attacked mail delivery vehicles in a territorial frenzy.

Now wild turkeys should be distinguished from domesticated turkeys genetically engineered to be walking hunks of meat; these are the descendants of theropods, a carnivorous dinosaur.  A wild tom turkey can stand about waist high on a human, and can drop kick you in the head.  This could be a bad encounter as the males have razor sharp spurs on the back of their legs that are 1-1/2″ – 2″ long.  They can flog you with their wings.  Turkeys will try to strike at your head, have acute hearing, and can read subtle behavior rather well.

How then does one defend against a wild turkey attack?  It was suggested that you don’t run and flee from them, but rather try to put a physical object between yourself and the offending turkey.  Don’t try to fend one off with a flipped jacket, which they may interpret as an invitation to attack. Cover your head, and try to kick at them.  In the words of one expert, “Some turkeys are territorial, some defend their women, some are just crazy!”  

Life Imitates Art…Again!

August 25, 2014


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In a memorable 2009 commercial for Sears Optical that we’ve posted about much earlier , a woman in dire need of an eye exam invites a raccoon inside her house, thinking that the raccoon was her cat.  In that commercial, the raccoon happily complies with the woman’s invitation to ‘snuggle with Momma,’ and pads into the house.

Real life encounters with a raccoon inside human habitations have not been so harmonious, however.  In February of 2014, a woman in Hingham, Massachusetts was attacked by a raccoon that entered her house through a door flap that her cat used to get inside the dwelling, biting and cutting the 73-year-old resident .   More recently in Hamden, Connecticut an 88-year-old woman was attacked August 24th by a raccoon she accidentally let into her house and then tried to pet, thinking that the animal was her cat.  The raccoon had followed the woman’s cat into the house, making scratching sounds outside a sliding glass door that the woman had thought emanated from the cat.  Thinking little of the woman’s affections, it bit her on the elbow, hand, forearm, lip, and chin.

The encounter didn’t go well for the raccoon, either. When police were summoned to the residence, it gamely charged two officers, who caught and euthanized the animal.  The outcome could have been vastly different with Rocket Raccoon, however, who could have taken those guys out without breaking a sweat, demonstrating his profound mastery of weaponry in the process! – – Oh, yeah!

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Woman Devoured by Vultures…

May 7, 2013

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture (Gyps rueppellii) perched– – The following story I forewarn you is not for those of delicate sensitivities, good readers…but if you enjoy a good gross-out and are not yourselves eating, read on!

Nature can be cruel but it is efficient, and wastes nothing…and so it was that when a woman in France fell to her death off a cliff in mid-April, her body was devoured by vultures in just 45 minutes, before rescue workers were even able to reach the remains. The 52-year-old woman was hiking with two friends in the French Pyrenees when she plunged more than 980 feet to her death. By the time rescuers reached the body, there were only clothes, shoes, and bones left on the ground…

Griffon vultures were the species involved, and they are protected by law. The gruesome incident may further the cause of area farmers who want permission to shoot the vultures, claiming that the ban has led to a swelling in their population with livestock being threatened. Vultures have been deprived of animal carcasses due to a European law requiring farmers to burn the bodies of dead animals. In effect, this has turned the griffon vultures from scavengers to predators in regions of southern France and Spain, with livestock animals literally being eaten alive…