Animal Kingdom

China discovers world’s largest bug – grab something and hold on tight!

Scientists in China, ever eager to freak us out, have discovered what they believe is the world’s largest aquatic insect. With a wingspan of nearly a foot, the enormous new insect is part of the Megaloptera group which includes dobsonflies, fishflies and other similar species. It’s as big as a sparrow bird and if its size doesn’t give you the shivers, it’s horn-like jaws will set you to quivering. Standard warning/disclaimer: Reeko takes no responsibility for children’s nightmares. Any resemblance between the character in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle (and anyone resembling said character is better off moving to an isolated island and spending the remainder of their lives in solitude). Said insect has been known to carry off…
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Animal Kingdom

Watch as this whale surfaces for food nearly swallowing the photographer (video)

It’s not every day that you get to see a whale coming up to feed on a massive glob of sardines and an even rarer day when you get to see a whale nearly swallow a man. In the video below, a diver, we’ll call him “Jonah”, was filming the whale as the giant beast rose to feed on a huge school of sardines during the annual sardine run, from May through June when millions of sardines travel north along the South African coastline to reproduce. “Jonah” saw the whale coming up and knew he was a goner. According to the diver/photographer: “The diameter of his mouth was big enough to swallow a car. He would have barely felt me going in.” Fortunately for the…
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Animal Kingdom

Rising global temperatures is turning all the sea turtles into girls

Scientists have always known that reptiles, such as snakes, lizards, and turtles, are very sensitive to temperatures of the area that they live in. In fact, temperatures affect reptiles before they are even born and help determine whether the baby reptile will be born a boy or a girl. 84 degrees F is the preferred temperature for reptiles and if it gets hotter than that, the babies begin to be born as girls. At around 87 degrees F, all baby reptiles will be born girls (any hotter and they die altogether). Scientists have found that global warming, the continuing rise of the Earth’s temperature, is impacting the gender of baby sea turtles, warming their environment and causing more girls than boys to be born. Right…
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Animal Kingdom

A deer no bigger than a hamster? Meet the tiny Java mouse-deer

A rare mini-Bambi born in a Spanish zoo in 2014 has put the tiny Java mouse-deer on the front page and in everyone's mind! Seldom seen in zoos, the miniature Java mouse-deer starts off the size of a hamster, weighing less than ¼ lb. When full grown, the tiny-hoofed critter will grow no bigger than a small Chihuahua dog, with legs the size of pencils, and weigh no more than 2 lbs. The tiny Java mouse-deer is extremely shy, intelligent, and although it has no antlers or horns, it does have cute little tusks sticking out from its upper jaw to help protect itself from terrifying beasts such as rabbits and house cats. The Java mouse-deer can be seen running around the tropical rainforests (they travel in herds just…
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Animal Kingdom

Rare (and super ugly) goblin shark caught in Florida

When shrimp captain Carl Moore caught it, he didn’t know what it was – and looking like a creature from the movie “Alien”, he refused to go near it. Luckily, he snapped a few photos before tossing the ugly Goblin shark back into the water so it could resume its primary objective of confusing scientists and terrorizing fishermen throughout the world. Moore was about half way through his 18-hour workday when he made the bizarre catch. He had just begun carrying a camera on his fishing expeditions, wanting to share what he does with his 4-year-old grandson Keaton.  What he didn't want to do however, was give his grandson nightmares so he instead took the pictures of the Goblin shark back to shore and handed…
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Animal Kingdom

Lowly cheetah hides its head in shame – it may no longer be the fastest animal on earth

Never run behind a car (you’ll get “exhausted”). And it goes without saying that you should never run in front of a car either (you’ll get “tired”). And if you think you can outrun a car, Reeko has news for you – you’re not as fast as you think – and neither is the speedy cheetah who, depending on your definition of “fast”, may have just lost its throne as the fastest animal on earth. Using high-speed cameras to capture it in motion, scientists in California have discovered a tiny little mite, called Paratarsotomus macropalpis, that they say holds the record for the fastest land animal. This little guy is able to run 322 body lengths per second. If you were to scale this up to…
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Animal Kingdom

Don’t worry kids – it’s only a huge venomous snake that attacks you while you sleep

Reeko doesn’t want to make any kids have bad dreams but figures most people would like to know that the Australian mulga snake has been found to attack people in their sleep. Besides, most kids don’t live in Australia, where this sneaky snake lives, and for the Australian kids, well, Reeko figures Australians are so tough their parents will probably use this news as a bedtime story to help their little ones fall asleep. The Australian mulga snake is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and can grow up to 10 feet in length. The mulga, also known as “Pilbara cobra” or the “king brown” lives in woodlands, grasslands, and sandy deserts – just about everywhere except for the rainforest. It not…
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Animal Kingdom

Do animals use tools? Dolphins do. They use sponges gripped in their mouth to catch fish.

Long known to be among the smartest members of the animal kingdom, researchers have discovered that dolphins, like people, use tools to help them hunt and capture their food. Researchers studying dolphins in Shark Bay off the coast of Australia, noticed that more than half of the dolphins hunted for food while holding sponges in their mouth. After capturing a sample collection of dolphins to study, they found that dolphins who used sponges to hunt for food had different diet profiles than dolphins who hunted the good old fashioned way (with bows and arrows). Apparently the dolphins prod the ocean floor with the sponge in order to stir up special types of fish. “We were blown away as to how strong the differences between tool…
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Animal Kingdom

Huge 17-foot great white shark photographed and tagged by brave scientists

Brave scientists in Australia captured this picture of one of the largest great white sharks ever tagged. The shark was tagged by the brave scientists after less-brave swimmers complained about the 17-foot shark hanging around their beach (presumably it was feeding off of a dead whale that had beached itself). While the brave scientists tagged the shark and the less-brave swimmers hid on the beach with their hands covering their eyes, the city of Albany (in Western Australia) closed the beach and had the whale carcass removed. Once the scientists determined that the shark was not a species that would respond to the command “roll over”, they hooked the great white and flipped it on its back. This paralyzes the shark by putting it into…
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Animal Kingdom

Killer sponges from the deep sea – they’re real and growing in numbers!

It was only about 20 years ago that scientists discovered that some sponges are carnivorous, meaning – they eat other animals! Since then, scientists have identified about a half-dozen of the squishy little slayers. Today, we add four new species to the list. The newly discovered carnivorous sponges live on the deep seafloor in the Pacific around California. At the moment of discovery, the scientist attributed with the amazing new find, was reported to have said, with great excitement and zeal, "Where's my finger?!?" Sponges are usually filter feeders, meaning they live off of bacteria and other single-celled organisms that are found in the water. They trap the little critters using bazillions of special cells called Choancytes. Choancytes have whip-like tails which swirl the water…
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