Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vacation Linkarama: Bad taste videos

Finally, revenge for millennia of pooping birds, by comic Demetri Martin.

From the blog Neurotopia, an extremely not safe for work video of a chimp that brings together several of the themes of this blog, including the fact that primates can use tools to behave badly, and that animals don't only have sexual pleasure for the purpose of reproduction, and that's all I am going to say.

Photo of a species famous for pooping by the bird-obsessed misterqueue.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Unclear expectations down under

If there's one thing that's important in training dogs (or any other animal), it's consistency. Maybe it's not their fault that dogs in New Zealand are going off the deep end if these two stories are any indication of how they enforce the laws around there.

One dog was given a parking ticket for being tied up outside a shop, an activity that even we here at this blog think is not much of a threat to the general peace.

But elsewhere, another dog drove a car into a store:
Wilco's owner had stopped his ute to buy beer, leaving the motor running. The dog jumped up on the column gear stick.

"Once Wilco had knocked it from park into drive, it would have been just a slow walking pace up to the front door," says (police constable) Chambers.

In the liquor store the beer had just gone on the counter.

"A lady...ran through the doors and said 'did you know that your dog's just driven through the cafe doors'. So yeah, we popped out there and it was definitely right, it was sitting in the driver's seat," says Terry Fox, store manager.

This dog was let off with only a warning! Is it any wonder animals have no idea how to behave? Sometimes, people, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bug got your tongue?

We don't usually cover the world of parasites on this blog. Certainly, living inside another animal's body without permission is, at minimum, rude. But parasites are so disgusting, really, they seem like an easy mark.

However, a creature that's been going round the internet lately takes rude parasitism to such a level that I cannot ignore it. It is so disgusting that I'm putting the photo at the bottom of this post so if you're squeamish, I warn you, don't scroll down.

The creature is an isopod, which is normally a kind of crustacean that's inoffensive and sometimes even cute. Those roly-poly potato bugs are isopods:

And isn't this T-shirt illustration of the more awful giant isopod funny?

(buy the shirt here)

OK, we're just postponing the inevitable, a creature which the BBC describes as "A rare parasite which burrows into host fish before eating and replacing their tongues with itself."

Yes, it EATS the TONGUE of the living fish and then LIVES there in place of it. And the marine biologist who found a specimen off the Jersey coast calls it:
"Really quite large, really quite hideous - if you turn it over its got dozens of these really sharp, nasty claws underneath and I thought 'that's a bit of a nasty beast'.

This inexcusable behavior yields the situation in the following photo (and don't say I didn't warn you):

By the way, Americans, don't feel like you're safe because this was found in Britain (where earlier specimens were found in fish bought in fish markets, quite a lovely surprise at dinnertime no doubt.) In fact, the reason British biologists were so excited about this find is that normal habitat of this creature is the coast of California.

Roly-poly pillbug from Wikipedia; despite searching, I'm unable to credit the horrific photo of the tongue-eating monster, possibly because no one wants to admit being responsible for such a hideous, awful thing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Worse than sloth

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, so I was particularly annoyed when I came across this table of, basically, animals that get more sleep than you do.

Never mind the sloth, which is in eleventh place on the list and sleeps a mere 14.4 hours per day on average, and as we've seen before is not nearly as slothful as it would like you to think. Seethe, instead, at the following numbers:

Brown Bat 19.9 hr
Giant Armadillo 18.1 hr
Opossum 18 hr
Python 18 hr
Owl Monkey 17.0 hr
Tiger 15.8 hr
Tree shrew 15.8 hr

As you'll see if you click on the link, that is, for example, 75% of the day for the python. And there's lots more. Even a gerbil sleeps thirteen hours a day. Thirteen hours! What's so hard about being a gerbil that makes them tired enough to need thirteen hours of sleep? What kinds of ideas do gerbils have to come up with? What kind of deadlines do stupid little rodents have to meet? Seriously. Gerbils.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Rarely are the animals whose offenses are reported on this blog ever punished. But the monkey who peed on the president of Zambia, and his entire monkey tribe, are paying for their crime by being banished!

LUSAKA (AFP) – Zambia President Rupiah Banda has ordered scores of monkeys removed from the grounds of his official residence, after one urinated on his head during a press conference, a parks official said Tuesday.

More than 200 monkeys live on the State House grounds, but Banda has asked the Munda Wanga Botanical Gardens to relocate most of them to its parkland outside Lusaka, the gardens' director Bill Thomas said in a statement.

"The president recently requested to the Munda Wanga Botanic Trust to remove and relocate some of the monkeys, and so far 61 monkeys have been humanely captured and translocated to the gardens," Thomas said.

OK, so they're still going to be living in a park, and humanely captured instead of slapped around a little. But given the stuff that animals usually get completely away with, we'll take what we can get.

That perfect peeing primate once again from Flickr user dornfeld.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Not exactly "accidents"

Vote for worst behaved pet! OK, not exactly, but pet insurance company VPI is currently holding an online poll for the Hambone Award, given to the most unusual insurance claim in the past year. They say "every now and then a claim comes by that reminds us all just how unexpected unexpected pet accidents can be." But many of the claims are due to events that seem not exactly accidental:

-The French Bulldog who ate a corndog stick;
-The Lab who ate a sock, threw it up, and ate it again, this time requiring surgery;
-The bulldog who ate FIFTEEN baby pacifiers.

Honestly, anyone could make the mistake of eating ONE pacifier, but when you get up into the double digits, there is clearly some deliberation involved. And even the accidents are due to, to put it frankly, dogs acting like idiots in their usual ways. My award for Best Quote from Owner goes to this one:

For Rider, the Belgian sheepdog, the problem was a wild squirrel chase which became a reckless mission that ended in a wheelbarrow.

“It’s a decorative wheelbarrow filled with flowers next to a tree,” said Rider’s owner Joyce Biethan of Ridgefield, Wash. “The squirrel ran up the tree and I don’t know if Rider zigged when he was supposed to zag or what, but he ran right into the wheelbarrow at full speed. He broke his scapula and a rib, which punctured a lung. He was pretty miserable for a few weeks, but he’s getting better now. I wish I could give other pet owners some advice, but my dog chased a squirrel and ran into a wheelbarrow. How are you supposed to prevent that?”

There's still time to vote, till September 14th, at VPI Hambone Award.

Photo of Jean Pierre, the wild-eyed French bulldog with a taste for fair food, from VPI.

(If this post makes you want to run right out and buy pet health insurance, shop around... you can also check out ASPCA.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Macaque maligns movie

This blog has seen many animals that encounter politicians and other management types and who don't hesitate to express their opinions in the ways that are available to them.

But this is the first time we've seen a monkey who might be a movie critic. The Telegraph reports that actor Jason Biggs was attacked by a Barbary macaque on a visit to Gibraltar:

He was visiting the disputed territory at the foot of Spain with friend and American Pie co-star Eddie Kaye Thomas when the pair came face to face with one of Gibraltar's mascots.

"Jason and Eddie decided to go on the trip to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Pie," a source told US media.

"They were hiking in the woods when this monkey suddenly leapt on Jason from a tree and tried to bite his face off.

"Jason's travelling companions managed to fend the beast off and Jason thankfully wasn't seriously hurt, just shaken up."

The actor abruptly ended his holiday as a result of the attack and returned to the US early.

This blog ordinarily holds the view that an animal has some nerve to knock any product of the uniquely human genius for storytelling. Who are they to talk? Show me the ape Jane Austen or the dolphin Dante, the kangaroo Kubrick or even the woodchuck Woody Allen, and then we'll talk about your furry opinions about the arts.

But, although we have never seen the film that this actor is famous for, we can't help but think that this macaque may have a point, after reading bits of a few reviews such as:

The dumbest and horniest is Jim (Jason Biggs), a compulsive onanist who resembles a younger, more addlebrained Adam Sandler with a roll of baby fat. Poor Jim's experiments in self-pleasure, which include a bout with one of Mom's freshly baked apple pies...

We'll leave it at that.

If you'd like to hire some nonhuman primates who seem to think they are qualified to make their own movies, contact the chimps in the photo at Boone's Animals for Hollywood.