So three ants come into my room to investigate and I accidentally squish two and the remaining one is running around freaking the fuck out and keeps going back towards his dead comrades with an expression of “Ohmygod Fred! George! Noooooooo!!!! Get up!!!” And now I feel depressed cause I’m a murderer…
Actually ants can’t tell other ants are dead until about three days after they die (because they start giving off an odor). So she’s probably trying to stimulate her comrades into helping her and doesn’t understand why they aren’t responding to her signals.
Also, if a living and active ant is experimentally doused with the scent of dead ants, her nestmates will carry her off to discard her with the rest of the corpses even though the ant is clearly still moving. After they dump her in the trash heap, she’ll leave and try to rejoin the rest of the colony, only to be carried away again.
Ants can perform impressive feats of collective intelligence, but individually they can be impressively stupid.
Actually, the reverse is true — individually ants can be very intelligent (the only non-human animals capable of bidirectional learning, in which teacher and student adjust to each others’ teaching/learning styles), and herd mentality can cause them to be stupid (death spirals).
The thing is, many ants are mostly blind (being burrowing animals), and rely on smell above sight. This can make them seem stupid to an animal that can see well (“haha can’t she see that ant is obviously crushed”), but can also make them seem positively magical in other ways (“omg how do the ants know where I keep the sugar”).
Though honestly, even if she couldn’t verify that her sisters were dead, I’m going to guess that the ant in question could smell organs being burst open and mingling with each other and did panic accordingly =P Also, they were probably letting out a shitload of alarm pheromones in their final moments.
(Also if an ant smells like death, that’s a very specific pheromone that would never pop up otherwise, and to an ant is the equivalent of a person shambling toward you looking like they’re decaying and missing parts of their torso. There’s an old horror story about a man coming out of his grave to hassle his wife and her new lover, and he has to be convinced that he’s dead and needs to go back. That’s basically all the ants are doing — trying to convince the “dead” ant to go back where she belongs.)
Here’s some more animals that you might not expect to eat meat. There are no rules in nature!
I once talked to someone who used squirrels’ carnivorous habits as “proof” that vegetarianism was a natural thing found in the harmonious creatures of nature because squirrels were able to eat meat, but chose not to. I-I.. well um.. I don’t think that’s exactly how it works.
Vampire finch (Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis)
Vampire finches are called vampire finches because they’re little finchy bloodsuckers, just in case you guys were thinking they got that name ironically or something. Nope. They drink blood. It’s not obligate, like vampire bats or vampire moths or vampire dogs, and most of their diet is composed of normal-bird stuff like seeds and bugs. It probably got its start grooming ticks and other ectoparasites off boobies.
Scientists think this because the boobies will sit there and put up with it. Scientists also probably think this because there’s a tick-eater in Africa that “helps” giraffes in roughly the same way, except that it still does eat ticks while it’s at it. It just will also make the tick-bites worse to get more blood or open old sores if there aren’t enough ticks.
There’s not enough fresh water on Wolf and Darwin Islands, where these birds do their birdy thing, so their substantially liquid diet is likely an adaptation that helps them deal with this.
Above: Vampire finch vampirizing some nectar.
Above: Vampire finch vampirizing a booby’s egg in a super-dignified and really well-thought-out way. Eventually this will get the egg close enough to some rocks that this weird little maneuver will break it open.
Vampire finches feed on any Nazca or blue-footed booby who’s handy, either by pecking directly at the skin or by biting a hole in a blood-feather. They’ll also steal eggs from boobies with poorly prepared or non-existent nesting sites. These are usually inexperienced, first-time nesting couples, and the finches will gang up and roll eggs out of the clutch. It’s hard to think too poorly of the move, even though it’s a really dickish one, because look at them.
They are tiny, and they barely know what they’re doing with this. They’re like drunken frat boys trying to steal a triceratops skull.
I have strong feelings about vampire finches, guys.
BBC Natural World - The Unnatural History of London
The lack of fucks given here is extraordinary
holy shit dude
If you don’t know Alex, I suggest you read up on him. Because yeah, sure, any parrot can mimic, but Alex was one of the first to prove on many occasions that he understood the meaning behind the words he said.
With that in mind, just think about what he said for a sec. Alex had to understand on some level that death means leaving. That’s fucking mindblowing.
Alex also was shown to have the intelligence of a young child, anywhere from 3 to 5 years old. He could do basic addition and subtraction, and independently taught himself the concept of zero (something that most CIVILIZATIONS couldn’t do!) He had a vocabulary of thousands of words, some of which he made up himself, and had deep interpersonal bonds with many scientists and trainers, as well as other parrots.
Alex the parrot is basically the coolest bird ever.
animals are often smarter than you think. There is/was a gorilla they taught sign language to. And one day she asked for a kitten. they gave her a stuffed animal but she signed sad. She wanted a real one. She was allowed to choose one from a litter.
She named it All Ball and she loved it.
Except one day All Ball escaped from the cage and was hit by a car. And this shows you just how much animals can understand. They signed what had happened but didn’t think the gorilla would understand. But she started making weeping, howling/crying sounds and the signs for bad, sad, etc.
And then “Sleep, cat”. She understood death.
She’s had two kittens since then.
Animals understand more than you think. Depends on the animal, yes.
If you listen to the interview (which is great btw) Alex died quite suddenly and his caretaker only heard about it through an e-mail, so this fact is a little misleading but still very sweet. Alex sounds like a totally amazing parrot, especially the joke he pulled with the five coloured cubes, what an adorable little shit xD
Tired swimmer rescued in Finland
During the first weekend of November, a Finnish man was kayaking on a lake in a thick fog. He saw something floating in the water, and when he got closer he saw that it was a Northern Hawk-Owl. It was clearly exhausted and the man lifted it out of the freezing water onto the tip of his kayak. The owl then crawled to his lap for warmth and burrowed under his lifejacket.
Since his original destination was too far away, the man decided to head for a nearby art museum on the lake shore. Once there he was eagerly assisted by both visitors and a museum guide, who took the bird in to rest and dry up next to a warm stove. At the end of the day the owl had recovered and was released back into the wild.
How the owl ended up in the lake in the first place remains a mystery. It may have got lost in the fog, or have been driven out to the lake by Hooded Crows (if a flock spots a predatory bird they tend to chase it away quite aggressively).
(This is my summarized translation of the article which is only available in Finnish. No copyright infringement is intended, only sharing this to celebrate the brave little owl and all the people who helped him.)
Oh my god, that is a “I’ve seen some SHIT dude” face if I ever saw one
CAT IN A BATH AND LAUGHING RUSSIANS WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT
Look oh my god.
He just keeps swimming. And swimming. Look at that cat go.
Look at him stretching his little paws look at h i i ii m.
AND HIS TAIL!
"…is there a problem?"
Lion Gets Stuck In A Tree Before His Brother Helps Him Down. All photos by Carters News via The Huffington Post ~ Please click through to see the gif they made of this hilarious incident. It was too big for me to post it here for you. :D
The brother on the ground is displaying the most perfect face of “This asshole got stuck up a fucking tree again” I think I’ve ever seen.
in the third one he’s like I’M SLIPPING I’M SLIPPING CATCH ME CATCH ME CATCH ME OH GOD
I showed my mother this video and now she’ll periodically be like “Make the Weddell seal noises” and I do.
those seals are dropping some sick ass beats
unreleased Burial rough cuts found
I fucking love these animals.
This is one of the purest and goodest videos that exists on the web
human mans making music for me!! for only me, a beluga?? music just for me, me, a beluga whale????
I love how there are three very clever thought processes going on here but all of them ended up being for naught:
- The mirror is solid, but you can clearly see the cat, therefore it must be glass
- The cat must therefore be in the cupboard
- If the mirror is solid, you must go around it to enter the cupboard
oh no that’s adorable
Willie Wagtails are also that sort of small songbird that will reckless attack anything they consider a threat.
It is not happy
It is doing it out of defense and submission
It is afraid of the thing touching it, and wants it to stop
I realize it’s cute because it looks happy, but it’s not
Crocodiles are very susceptible to stress, and being forced into a submissive defensive behavior is bad for it’s health
For those lucky enough to interact with these amazing reptiles, please remember this. If it’s rolling it’s eyes back and pulling them in, or crying when you’re making contact with it, it is not a happy animal and you are upsetting it.
For those who just admire them, you can spread this info in hopes that others will educate themselves a bit more on Crocodilians. No animal should have to be put in such stress just because ”its cute”.
And perhaps stop tagging these stressed out upset crocodilians as being ‘cute’ which just further encourages more people to do the same.
Just a tiny rant I suppose. Crocodilians are easily the favorite of the Herps I’ve had the joy of working with, and always seeing these videos and gifs of them so upset just kind of gets to me.
oh man, good to know!