12 of the best animal videos

By on September 6th 2011 in Animals

Best animal videos - squid

For you to enjoy on this rainy autumn day, some of the best animal videos on the web. This is the third (Part 1, Part 2) in a series of posts on nature and animal videos that feature some interesting, fascinating, weird and beautiful videos on the web. Go to Mudfooted’s youtube channel to see more!

The Indonesian Mimic Octopus. This fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia and is the first known species to take on the characteristics of multiple species.

Exotic creatures lie at the bottom of Japan’s Suruga Bay, including spider crabs, chimeras and lantern sharks.

Dancing Dog Doing The Merengue. Read mudfooted post here

Anthology of Deep Sea Squids

A seagull that developed the habit of stealing Doritos from a nearby convenience store!

Watch how ants create a lifeboat in the Amazon jungle

An octopus escaping through a 1 inch hole!


Chimpanzees performing very well in a memory test

Informative video about the dark side of male pregnancy

Meet the water bear, the world thoughest animal. Measuring only some 0.1 to 1.5mm, this tiny creature resembles a minature bear. Read all about it here

The bluefin tuna is a hunter swifter than a dolphin and as bold as a great white shark. National Geogrpahic joins the feeding frenzy as a group bluefin tuna feed on a giant baitball of mackerel.

10 of the best animal videos

By on April 16th 2011 in Animals

Best animal videos howler monkey

For you to enjoy on your relaxed saturday afternoon, 10 of the best animal videos! This is the first in a series of animal video posts that feature the most interesting, fascinating, weird and beautiful videos on the web. Go to Mudfooted’s youtube channel to see mudfooted’s favorite animal videos!

The cute pygmy jerboa, read more about it here

Two crows seem very interested in anoying one of two cats fighting on the street

Howler monkeys announcing themselves

Fantastic video of dogs in slow motion catching treats! Unfortunately, it’s for Pedigree – a company that still conducts animal testing, so I can not take their love for animals as a true sentiment. More info: here.

Scientists describe for first time how octopuses use coconuts as shelter. Read more about it here.

David Attenborough presents the amazing lyre bird, which mimics the calls of other birds – and chainsaws and camera shutters – in this video clip from The Life of Birds.

The amazing barreleye fish with transparent head! Read more about it here.

A video of new caledonian crow showing meta tool use

There is a horse in that car!

Crazy goats climb almost vertical dam in Northern Italy to lick salt of the stones. Read mudfooted article about them here!

Video of a dancing dog doing the merengue

By on April 13th 2011 in Animals

Dancing dog video

I simply had to share this amazing video featuring a dancing dog doing the merengue. Not only is it very funny, it is very fascinating how the dog learned how to pull off this feat!

A crazy video of an amazing feat, but even when your dog would be able to do these amazing moves and be a dancing dog, you just shouldn’t dress it like a person. Go here if you want to learn the Merengue yourself!

For more than three minutes the dog seems to successfully perform a line of dance moves as if it is the most normal thing in the world – and all that just on its hind legs! Is the dog just reacting to subtle movements of its ‘dance partner’ with individual behaviours learned to perform in response or does it actually know different sequences of dance moves and how they possibly can be connected? Even walking on hind-legs for a dog is a very unusual feat that takes a lot of training, not even talking about the ability to walk backwards or sit just on its two hind legs!

Update: An important point was raised in the comments by Linda, that it might be harmful for the dogs hips to spent so much time on its hindlegs. I think indeed a dogs hips are not meant to bear the whole weight of the dog. I expect the dog has been trained from a young age which would mean that the dogs muscles will have developed in a slightly different way which makes it better able to walk on its hind legs, but at the same time it also means that the dog will probably wear through its hip muscles at a much earlier age. Especially since I think this breed of dog is more susceptible to hip injury.

Octopus arms or legs?

By on February 21st 2010 in science

Octopus arms: ask anyone how many arms an octopus has, and the answer will probably be eight. However, marine experts revealed this may be wrong as two of their long limbs function more as legs.

Octopus legs

Octopuses actually seem to have 6 arms and two legs which they use for propulsion

Although all the limbs basically have the same capabilities, the study by scientists at Sea Life centres across Europe found that the two rearmost octopus arms are largely for moving across the sea bed, leaving the other six free for feeding and exploration.

The octopuses were found to favour their front two limbs the most for exploratory work, while if further investigation was needed, those immideately behind them were also used. In this context, it is important to note that the limbs of the octopuses are not tentacles, which are much larger and have suckers at their tips only.

It may indeed be that the rear octopus arms are used more for propulsion, while the front legs are more for exploration. I think however that since all limbs are used for propulsion and for exploration, see the earlier post tool-using octopus, its too clear-cut to say octopuses have six arms and two legs.

Octopus rubix cube

A giant octopus solving a rubix cube?

Originally the study was designed to investigate if these fascinating invertebrates have a preferred arm. The octopuses were given a Rubix cube to explore. It was found that octopuses are ambidextrous, thus showing they are neither left- nor right “tentacled”. Interestingly, the giant pacific octopus, the largest species in the world (see this video) had the ability to move sections of the Rubix cube.

Octopus intelligence: octopuses use coconut as tool

By on December 24th 2009 in science

Octopuses have been shown to be remarkable intelligent animals regarding they are invertebrates. Now Australian scientists discovered a new side to octopus intelligence, showing that some octopuses carry coconuts to later use as shelter which may indicate tool use. This is surprising as tool use is generally considered a sophisticated behaviour that is limited to mammals and birds. This unusually sophisticated behaviour for an invertebrate animal was published last week in the journal of Current Biology.

Cephalopods (octopuses, squid and cuttlefish) are widely regarded as the most intelligent of the invertebrates. Not only do they have their dramatic and complex colour and shape change abilities, recent observations show unexpected behavioural flexbility and the capacity to physically manipulate their environment

Octopus intelligence - octopus hiding in shelter

An octopus hiding in between the two halves of a coconut. Photo by Roger Steene

Recently, Australian scientists observed soft-sediment dwelling octopuses carrying around coconut shell halves assembling them as a shelter only when needed. Whilst being carried, the shells offer no protection and place a requirement on the carrier to use a novel and cumbersome for of locomotion whereby the octopus sits on top of the shells and extends its arms around the outside and walks using the arms ar rigid limbs.

This ‘stilt walking’ is a unique and previously undescribed form of locomotion. It is much more costly in terms of energy and increased predator risk compared with normal walking or the faster jet swimming escape. The only benefit is the potential future deployment of the shell(s) as a shelter or as a ‘buried encapsulating lair’ (see movie).

Octopus intelligence - octopus carrying coconut

An octopus carrying the two halves of a coconut. Photo by Roger Steene

The authors argued that this sophisticated behaviour is a form of defensive tool use, which has not been shown before in invertebrates. Although invertebrates have often been documented to manipulate objects, such as rocks being used to barricade lair entrances, this is the first proof of invertbrates actually using objects for future use rather than as part of a specific task.

Finn, J.K., T. Tregenza and M.D. Norman. (2009) Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus. Current Biology 19(23): R1069-R1070. (15 December 2009)