7 Funny Animal Fails

Reader Danielle wrote to us to tell this isn’t necessarily a fail. The ad says “listen to your nose” in German, and those ads were made to be scented so dogs (notice they are at dog height) would go up to them and smell them.

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Cougar Declared Extinct In Eastern United States

The eastern cougar has just been declared extinct. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has recommended that it be taken off the endangered list as no extinct species should appear on it. This beautiful, tawny colored cat is also known as a catamount, puma or mountain lion. Last seen in 1930, all other sightings have turned out to be South American cats released by people after being bought as pets. The eastern cougar had a range of 21 states, none of which it exists in now. In the 1700s and 1800s it was hunted, with bounties put on its head.

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There is a little bit of hope, an asterisk if you might, after the news of the cougar’s extinction. Scientists did a genetic study and believe that it is possible that it was wrongly classified as a subspecies of the western cougar. If that is the case, they could perhaps be reintroduced. But as it stands now, driven to extinction by hunting throughout its vast range, there is no longer an eastern cougar in the 21 eastern states.

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“It’s extinct,” said Mark McCollough, a wildlife biologist with the FWS’s offices in Maine, referring to the official determination by his agency. “But it’s not?” he was asked. “But it’s not,” he confirmed. “It may well return to part of its range.”

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Amazing Snapshots Of Wildlife Caught On Camera Traps

Most of the animals scientists want to learn about in the wild aren’t going to come when called or stand still. So, researchers rely on camera traps, cameras with motion sensors that take the picture as the animal passes by. It is quite literally candid camera for wildlife. The Smithsonian has put together a magnificent project for the public, placing more than 202,000 photos online for people to go through and see exactly what the animals look like as they activate the camera. Not only that; the Smithsonian have provided links so that readers can learn about the different animals, many of which you will never have heard of – like the tayra, a mammal from Peru. We are going to look at some of the animals here; follow the links to explore the rest!

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The snow leopard is one of the most beautiful endangered cats. The one pity about this image is that you can’t see the snow leopard’s eye color, which unusually for big cats will often be gray or green. Snow leopards also can’t roar – missing some essential parts of the larynx – and so hiss and mew instead. Wikipedia has a few stunning pictures of them if you are interested in seeing more.The Asian black bear is also called the moon bear, and we are lucky to see these alive in the forest. So many of them are kept captive and in effect tortured for their body parts, specifically for bile. They are kept in terrible conditions inside crates with a metal shunt inserted into their gall bladder. You can see an image of one of these bears here. They are also killed for their paws.

This very shy deer gets its name from the sound it makes when alarmed. It is the oldest deer species, and fossils have been found from the Miocene era. It is also very ununsual in that it has tushes or mini tusks with its long canines. When males fight, they use the tushes more than their small antlers.

The Smithsonian has put together an exciting and really valuable research tool for everyone – from students and scientists to people just interested in wildlife and what they do when out in the wild. The place to explore all the 202,000 images is siwild.si.edu

Is Having Pets A Good Thing?

Some people argue that in this day and age, pets are a frivolous luxury and that it is unethical to spend money on free-loading animals when environmental resources are scarce, and there are people who go without decent living standards. Others say that we learn a lot about compassion and responsibility by having pets, and that sometimes pets fulfill needs other humans can’t. Does having a pet make you a better person? Is it simply a luxury? Do you haven any other arguments in favor or against having pets?

cute cats Is Having Pets A Good Thing?

Would not having a pet today help increase resources or resolve inequitable living standards? It’s true that we sometimes need to re-frame how we relate to pets today versus 100 years ago, and that some people shouldn’t have pets (and some animals shouldn’t become pets). But having a relationship with another animal, learning to communicate and interact with other animals, makes humans more humane.