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[Video] Slow-Mo of an Eagle-Owl

So apparently I have a thing for slow-motion predators, like last week’s shark video. This one is an eagle owl coming in for a landing, and at first it’s a little slow but don’t worry, the video is playing right. I prefer it with dramatic music in the background so if you have a favorite tune, play it while you watch. Pay particular attention to the incredible use of wings and tail for steering, and the beautiful ruffling of the wing tops as she comes in for a landing. After working for years with raptors, I could literally watch this all day…and then daydream about having one of my very own. So. Awesome.

(Check out vurtrunner’s youtube channel for more freaking awesome highspeed vids!)

[Video] Great White Shark Jumping

I have been totally channeling my inner 8 year old lately and can’t get enough of the wonderful world of sea creatures. Sharks, jellyfish, octopus, you name it – I’m doodling it, imagining it, crafting it in the studio.

This isn’t like the world’s greatest shark video or anything, but just phase out your monkey brain for a minute and watch this incredible predator leaping out of the water like a gymnast. When I lived in South Africa I was fortunate to get to see these creatures in real life. They weren’t leaping out of the water and they weren’t nearly as large as this guy, but I distinctly remember being in awe of their subtle beauty and the incredible, fluid grace with which they cruise through the water.

Sharks rule.


Predator Quiz

Okay friends, I need your help. All of you.

I’m developing a program on predators and I want some unbiased feedback. Throw me some answers to the following questions in the comments section. It will only take a few minutes and I would be so greatly appreciative! Pass it along to friends, colleagues, students, etc; the more, the merrier!

1. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear the word “predator”? (If the movie “Predator” comes to mind, that’s okay.)

2. What kind of feelings do you have when you hear or read the word “predator,” or think about predators?

3. How educated do you feel about predators in general? Have you ever sought to become more educated?

4. Do you think predators are important/beneficial, or do you think they’re inconsequential?

5. What kinds of words come to mind when you think about predators?

6. Name five to ten predators that you are most familiar with off the top of your head.

7. Do you think it’s necessary to teach kids about predators? What about adults?

8. Would you like to learn more about predators, their natural histories, and their effect on the environment?

9. Do you have hobbies or a profession that predisposes you to information about predators?

10. Do you think the media (news, movies, TV) provides an accurate portrayal of predators?

To show my heartfelt thanks, here’s a photo of a baby numbat being hand-fed. GOO.

Baby Numbat, via Click to be taken to the awesome article (and more photos!).

No wolves, no water.

So I’m cheating here by only giving a smidge of the article and not bothering to interpret it, so I’ll give you the link here, and leave you with this mind-blowing snippet.

As it turns out, wolves are critical for water. And, as any ecologist with half a brain will tell you, removing a predator is not as simple as “no more predator.” There are effects all the way down the line – no wolves means no beavers means no macroinvertebrates, etc. Doesn’t make sense? Then please, for the love of all things holy in this world, read the rest of this article and educate yourself.

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