Animal Martial Arts: 11 Techniques

Slightly distressingly, no real Panda has ever been known to master Kung Fu, although who knows what those crazy bears get up to when no-one is watching. While there probably aren’t any Mr Miyagis of the animal world, many creatures do have some awesome defense tactics. In this article we will have a look at a selection of them to see what defiant moves these dudes pull to escape their hunters.

All animals will make a choice from three options if under threat. To flee, freeze or fight. However, many have evolved some pretty sweet ways to help protect themselves from predators. In some cases animals aim to avoid detection, for example by camouflage. They may have built in defense like armour or poison, or they can behave in a way to startle or distract the predator. Some of the techniques are described below.

Continue reading

Where can I see… Leatherback Turtles

Sea turtles are some of the most wonderful animals you can see in action in the wild, as you are able to get up close to them and observe various stages of their life cycle without disturbing them. The most obvious way is to grab your snorkel set and swim with them.  The Green Sea Turtles are relatively easy to find as they tend to live in shallow lagoons. Sea turtles also nest on land, favouring particular beaches to bury their eggs and then leave them to hatch themselves a couple of months later. This gives you the opportunity to observe them at close quarters and watch their fascinating behaviour.


Continue reading

Related Images:

Are Mammals Cold-Blooded?

The term Ectothermic is sometimes used interchangably with the term Cold-blooded. However, ectothermic comes from the greek meaning outside (ectos) and heat (thermos), i.e. describing animals that get heat from their surroundings. Cold-blooded however, isn’t really a great term as creatures that only use their surroundings to control their temperature could just as well have blood that is too hot as too cold. Reptiles are a perfect example of an ectothermic animal, basking in the sun to raise their temperature, and seeking shade when it all gets too hot!


Continue reading

Related Images:

Where can I see… Whale Sharks

Whale Sharks are amazing creatures. Growing to be over 12 meters long and over 20 tonnes these monsters are surprisingly timid. They are the largest shark, and therefore the largest fish in the world. Despite being a shark, they don’t live up to the usual expectations of violent killers associated with some members of the Chondrichthyes (Sharks and others) class. They are filter feeders, and trundle along with their mouths wide open, eating large volumes of mainly plankton, krill and some small fish.

Continue reading

Related Images:

News: 7 Terrific Toad Survival Tactics

Do you want to know why Toads have spread all across the world? They’re all over the place. For example the Cane Toad was introduced into Australia from Costa Rica about 75 years ago to combat beetles that were destroying the Queensland cane plantations. However, it didn’t work as there wasn’t enough shelter from the sun during the day, so they went elsewhere. Just over 50,000 were introduced back then, but due to the phenomenal survival skills of the Cane Toad, it has flourished in Australia, causing massive problems to local biodiversity. There are now over 200 million of the little hoppers!

Continue reading

Related Images:

Hammer Time!

This fish looks funny. Why oh why is there such a peculiar protrusion sticking out from its head with an eyeball at each end? Obviously it has an advantage in head butting competitions outside the Friday night local but other than that, what could that head possibly be good for?

Many variations for the use of the ‘hammer’ have been dreamt up over the last few hundred years ranging from aerodynamics, hunting techniques and prey manipulation to improved eyesight. Well actually all these are quite sensible suggestions it turns out, and all have some degree of credibility. The Hammer on the head is officially called a Cephalofoil.  Indeed the unique shape of the head provides lift and improves swimming abilities making them surprisingly agile. For many years the main plausible explanation for this obscure growth is that it aids in electroreception where the large area of the sharks’ head improves the speed and efficiency of locating and catching prey.

Continue reading

Related Images:

The Chuck Norris Of The Animal Kingdom

If Chuck Norris was an animal, there is only one he could be. The Honey Badger. While sounding like a sweet and friendly cuddle-buddy, the Honey Badger is actually an short-tempered, mean, stubborn, no-nonsense creature, and definitely one you don’t want to mess with. They’ve been seen attacking lions and killing snakes. In fact, this tough guy is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most fearless animal.


Continue reading

Related Images: