How hippos live, video


This January 2020 video from Botswana in Africa says about itself:

Inside NATURE – Hippos: Africa’s River Giants

Follow director Brad Bestelink as he captures the lives of hippos, a task that few filmmakers have attempted before.

Lions attack giraffe, video


This video from South Africa says about itself:

Giraffe Kicks Lions To Defend Itself

In the human world, we can get away with saying “Pick on someone your own size”, but in the animal world, it’s fair game. If a predator can bring it down, no matter the size, they’ll go in for the chase. This is exactly the case when a pride of lions try and take down a huge giraffe.

Thokozani Phakathi visited the Kruger and sent us his footage of a pride of lions trying to take down a giraffe. He told LatestSightings.com that he never would have thought that he’d see anything like this with his own eyes, until he did!

“We were driving south on the H4-2, on our way back from Crocodile Bridge Camp when we spotted a giraffe being held hostage by a pride of approximately 8 lions. We stopped to see how the hunt would play out. They made several attempts to bring down the giraffe, but it was firing kicks from hell!”

“The lions were very cautious and didn’t want to risk injury or death, particularly because they were all females and the fact that lionesses are usually the ones to secure a meal. This makes them a valuable asset to the pride. It seems that part of their strategy was to exhaust the giraffe and finish the business after dark, taking advantage of their good night vision, and probably when the males are back from patrolling duties so they could add their strong muscle and hefty bodies.”

“The lions were taking turns in harassing, scaring and exhausting the giraffe for a few minutes. As each lioness ha her turn, they’d lay down and pant for a while and then start the process all over. This process insured that there was no escape route for the giraffe as they lay in solid walls around it. We could only count up to 8 lions as they were scattered all around and in between the thickets of the bush.”

“Unfortunately, due to gate time, we had to abandon the breath-taking sighting and never saw the final outcome. It was an absolute thrill to witness how lions coordinate and deploy their strategy to intimidate, frustrate and exhaust their potential prey. I’d normally see such events on National Geographic, but I never even had the thought that I would see something like this with my naked eye.”

“It’s memorable sightings like these that make Kruger National Park such a special place and the ultimate safari adventure destination in South Africa!”

Rare albino seal freed after convalescence


This 15 January 2020 video from Texel island in the Netherlands shows the freeing of two seals who had been ill after convalescence: one ‘normally’ coloured harbour seal, and the albino seal Snow White.

Snow White had been the first albino seal ever in Texel’s Ecomare museum rehab.

Snow White had been ill when he was found last October. Now, he has an electronic tracker on his back for studying his movements.

Top 5 silliest animals on BBC video


This 11 January 2019 video says about itself:

Top 5 Silliest Animal Moments! | BBC Earth

The mighty polar bear, the tenacious penguin and majestic lion. Some of the most impressive creatures in the natural world – and at times, the most ridiculous. Join us as we recount the endearing capers of these incredible animals!

Canadian flying squirrel flies to bird feeder


This 9 January 2020 video from Canada says about itself:

Incredible Flight and Landing by Flying Squirrel on the #OntarioFeederWatch Cam | Cornell Lab

In this short clip, a flying squirrel perches some distance from the feeder and is viewable in the background before making an impressive leap onto the feeding platform. After foraging on the platform for a few minutes, the squirrel departs, jumping off onto the ground and out of sight.

How prehistoric whales fed, new research


This 2014 video says about itself:

Morphed: When Whales had Legs

Examine the environmental pressures that turned a wolflike creature that hunted in shallow waters into a leviathan of the seas. We witness the ancient turning points in the whales’ evolutionary journey, and how the ice age became its unlikely savior.

From Nagoya University in Japan:

A ‘pivotal’ moment for understanding whale evolution

January 9, 2020

Scientists could soon better investigate the feeding behaviors of extinct dolphin and whale species. A third-year student at Japan’s Nagoya University has found that the range of motion offered by the joint between the head and neck in modern-day cetaceans, a group of marine mammals that also includes porpoises, accurately reflects how they feed. The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Anatomy, suggest this method could help overcome current limitations in extrapolating the feeding behaviors of extinct cetaceans.

Taro Okamura of Nagoya University and Shin-ichi Fujiwara of the Nagoya University Museum examined the skulls and cervical skeletons of 56 cetaceans that are still in existence, representing 30 different species. They assessed the range of motion of the ‘atlanto-occipital joint’ in each skeleton, a joint that forms between the base of the skull and the first cervical vertebra. They then categorized each cetacean according to their well-studied feeding behaviors, including how they approach their prey, move it within their oral cavities, and swallow it.

“We found that the range of neck-head flexibility strongly reflects the difference of feeding strategies among whales and dolphins,” says Okamura. “This index can be easily applied to reconstruct the feeding strategies of extinct whales and dolphins,” he adds.

Cetaceans are known for their diverse behaviors, physiologies, ecologies and diets. Some cetaceans feed on organisms in the open water, while others feed on those found near the ocean floor. Some whales are ram feeders, widely opening their mouths to gather zooplankton and other actively swimming organisms into their mouths while moving forward. Other whales, like the sperm whale, suction their prey into their oral cavities. The orca whale and some dolphins bite the fish they catch into smaller segments, a process that may require head movement. Other dolphins swallow their prey whole.

Until now, scientists have used the structures of teeth, throat bones and lower jaws in cetacean fossils to develop an idea of what their feeding behaviors might have looked like. But these individual features can’t accurately predict the behaviors of extinct cetaceans. For example, the teeth of some suction feeders, like those of the sperm whale, aren’t suggestive of this kind of feeding. Okamura and Fujiwara propose that using a combination of features, which include the range of motion of the atlanto-occipital joint, could help to develop more accurate descriptions of extinct cetacean feeding behaviors.

In prehistoric times, many different types of cetaceans existed, including ones with walrus-like tusks, extremely long snouts, and an ancient sperm whale with huge predatory teeth. The ancient baleen whale had teeth, whereas modern-day baleen whales have ‘baleen’, or fringed plates, in their place. This has created much interest in how baleen whale feeding, for example, has evolved from catching prey with teeth to filtering it with baleen.

The two researchers next plan to determine the atlanto-occipital joint range of motion in some of these cetacean fossils to attempt to develop reconstructions of how they used to feed. Answering these questions could help reveal the evolutionary process of the diverse feeding behaviors among cetaceans.