Posts tagged predation
Posts tagged predation
The Blue Rush | by: Alexander Safonov
Heron tries to swallow giant lamprey. Chokes. Dies. Second heron tries same trick. Also chokes. Also dies.
Original Tet. Zoo article HERE.
Higher Res version of comic HERE.
This is great. Also, I’m curious what will happen to the resolution when I re-blog this.
Be my Valentine, for I give you my heart (mine because I ripped it off someone else, of course).
Will probably do a short story about this sometime in the future.
(Also sorry for being late for actual Valentine’s Day)
Oh and then there’s this… nice catch, Momma!
i thirst for blood and cubes
It’s a fragment of a larger work, but somehow I don’t feel like finishing it anymore.
Whenever the subject of hyenas come up, there’s always someone itching to debunk their “negative” stereotype as “mere” corpse-eaters, pointing out that they’re actually the savannah’s top predators, and even lions, they say with at least a hint of smug satisfaction, are more likely to pick at carrion, even frequently stealing the kills from poor, misunderstood hyenas.
Now, this is all certainly true, for spotted hyenas. They are the largest of the three “true” extant hyenas, and they are extremely effective hunters.
Being a hunter, however, is not a “superior” or more “honorable” way of existence. It’s just a different one. There’s nothing shameful or disgusting about being a scavenger; we’re just culturally trained to romanticize killing and naturally turned off by the idea of eating anything too rotten, since we aren’t generally adapted to handle that ourselves.
The two other hyena species (not counting the Aardwolf) are the brown hyena - Hyaena brunnea - and the striped hyena - Hyaena hyaena. Both of these smaller, shyer animals are regular carrion eaters. When they hunt, they hunt smaller animals, such as lizards and rodents, depending heavily upon stronger predators to bring down larger meals for them and well adapted to consume even the most rancid offal without getting sick.
Hyaena hyaena even has some further specialization for eating pure bone; once meat-eaters are done picking a carcass, they can still make use of the skeleton, and consume so much bone, so often, that their feces in the wild is often white and powdery.
Don’t sweep these little guys under the rug just to make hyenas out to be more “noble” hunters; we shouldn’t even have that concept in our heads. There are no “lower” and “higher” life forms in nature. It’s not “powerful” to be a killer, it’s just one of many survival options all with their own share of advantages and risks.
Once upon a time, there was a fetching young wolverine who, wearing her favorite red hood, went skipping through the fields, on the way to her grandmother’s house, carrying a basket of tasty goodies.*
A wolf, who was lurking at the edge of the woods, descended upon the young wolverine and said “Hello, little red riding wolverine, and where are you going in such a hurry?”
"To visit my grandmother," said the young wolverine, as demure and maidenly as a gravelly wolverine baritone can be.
"To visit your…to…grand…to..my goodness, what big teeth you have…" said the wolf, who seemed to have lost his train of thought somewhere.
The wolverine nodded.
"And what…big…claws…you have…" said the wolf, in much the same tone as General Custer commenting on the surprising number of locals at Little Bighorn.
The wolverine nodded.
"I’ll just bugger off, shall I?" said the wolf.
The wolverine nodded.
The wolf slunk gratefully back into the trees and hyperventilated quietly, and the little red riding wolverine skipped merrily through the woods to her grandmother’s house and they ate assorted rodents and watched cartoons and baked cookies happily ever after. - Ursula Vernon
*Pepperidge Farms’ Mixed Rodent Party Assortment, to be precise, a pretty good value for the money, although everybody always picks through and eats the gerbils first.
Awwww! Thanks, guys!
Lions are fed frozen blood during the heatwave in Melbourne
that’s so sweet and so gross
Dinosaurs Eating CEO, 2013. Oil on canvas.
They have feathers. And colouring. And upper arm positions. And and and yes.
Feathered dinosaurs can’t be scary they said
They’re just cute and fluffy they said
Dolphin - Spy in the Pod (BBC, 2014)
Adolescent male dolphins play passing around a pufferfish which they hold by the fins. When attacked, pufferfish release a neurotoxin which is lethal in high enough concentrations, but at lower levels is a narcotic, which clearly effects the dolphins. This is the first filming of apparent recreational drug use amongst the species. [clip]
Quilled triceratops vs feathered tyrannosaurus
Helicoprion by Steve White
"I have drawn the bizarre whorl-toothed shark, Helicoprion, a couple of times, but felt compelled to take another shot at it after reading the studies published recently. I used the reconstructions by the wonderful Ray Troll as the basis and wanted to show it eating squid, based on information that Helicoprion’s 100 or so teeth seemed to be fixed, suggesting it ate soft prey. The whorl and the slot in the upper jaw also reminded me of the way a sperm whale’s lower jaw fitted into its upper. I imagined therefore that it may have hunted like a smaller sperm whale, diving deep to slash in amongst shoals of squid, perhaps hunting larger cephalopods. With this in mind, I pictured Helicoprion bearing wounds like those of a sperm whale, tentacle slashes and sucker marks; previously I had modeled scarring on the shark like that on a great white. I was also interested to note that the shark was apparently closely related to Chimaeras and ratfish; both these have only one gill slit so I have alluded to that. In this image a Helicoprion is feasting on a gathering of mating squid; these usually happen in the dark but for the sake of artistic expediency, I have inferred many of the squid still being up near the surface at daylight.”
AWESOME SHARK. Hunting with tail!
Veo muuuchos documentales y nunca antes había visto este tiburón, increíble. (Cazando con la cola)
It’s incredible how many different adaptations sharks have come up with to maximize their hunting success!
WORK IN CURRENT HERPETOLOGY:
Tool use in crocodylians: crocodiles and alligators use sticks as lures to attract waterbirds
by Darren Naish
In recent years it has – I really, really hope – become better known that non-bird reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, alligators and so on) are not boring dullards, but behaviourally complex creatures that get up to all sorts of interesting things. Play behaviour, complex social interactions, gaze recognition, pair-bonding and monogamy, social hunting, speedy learning abilities and good memories have all been demonstrated across these groups. And another interesting and unexpected bit of complex behaviour has just been published. It’s so interesting that I feel compelled to write about it today. It concerns what seems to be tool use in crocodiles and alligators.
As described by Dinets et al. (2013), Mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris in India and American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in the USA have both been observed to lie, partially submerged, beneath egret and heron colonies with sticks balanced across their snouts. Birds approach to collect the sticks for use in nest building and… well, let’s just say that it doesn’t end well for the birds. If the crocodylians really are using the sticks as bait to attract their bird prey, this is tool use, since the sticks are objects that are being employed for a specific function…
(read more: Tetrapod Zoology blog - Scientific American)
photos from Dinets et al. (2013): T - Mugger Crocodile, by Vladinir Dinets; B - American Alligator, by Don Specht