Let’s Talk About: Naked Mole Rats

(cc) Tim Evanson, cropped

Right off the top, here’s the deal with naked mole rats- they’re gross.  I know that the Disney channel has made you love ’em, and Rufus is the best, and Kim Possible was awesome, and blah blah blah early 2000s nostalgia (cause bullshit nostalgia’s a thing).  But seriously, they’re gross.  Fortunately, being gross doesn’t mean that they are not super interesting and pretty damn cool.  So today, let’s talk about naked mole rats! Continue reading

March Mammal Madness 2017 Update

As I’m sure you all know (cause you routinely read our articles, like this one), I’m a big fan of March Mammal Madness.  Or at least have been ever since I first heard about it almost three weeks ago.  Either way, I love it.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to keep up with it as regularly as I hoped.  So today I’ll fix that.  Here’s everything that has happened over the past two and a half weeks. Continue reading

Get Ready For March Mammal Madness 2017

Holy shit I think I just found the greatest thing ever- March Mammal Madness (MMM).  Now, I know you’re probably sitting there saying to yourself, “but Thomas, what about sliced bread, or electricity, or those extra long shoe horns from Ikea (aka the OMSORGs, only $1.99)”, and while, yes, the OMSORG is probably the greatest modern invention, it can’t hold a light to MMM.  In honour, or maybe as a parody, of the NCAA March Madness Tournament, the MMM was created four years ago by Katie Hinde, an Associate Professor at Arizona State University School of Human Evolution & Social Change.  The MMM is a competition where mammals duke it out in simulated battles, with outcomes based on temperament, weaponry, armour, body mass, running speed, fight style, physiology, and motivation, all supported by scientific literature. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: November 13-19

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Welcome back to the Weekly Round Up, where we’ve decided to adopt the new headlines format (Yaaaaay!).  You’ve all spoken over the last few weeks, so it’s been decided that sharing the headlines of the articles that caught our attention over the week, is the best way to go.  This week had a lot of stuff.  Unfortunately, it’s mostly just people complaining about what a Trump presidency will mean for the environment (it’s bad) and how he’s going to put the worst people in charge of running environmental policies (not a surprise at all).  So we’re not including any of that.  We’ve talked about it before, the internet won’t stop talking about it now, and we would just be shouting into the void.  So instead, here’s the rest of the news that turned our heads this week.  Let’s dive in! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Binturongs

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Oh man do I have a fun one for you guys today.  So, in case you weren’t in the know, there exists a marvel of the animal world that smells like buttered popcorn.  Man, is this exciting!  Called the binturong, or bear cat, this weird creature is essentially the platypus of the land, as it looks like a cat traded heads with a bear (even though it’s closest relative is neither of those species).  All in all, this Southeast Asian mammal is pretty darn cool, on top of that whole popcorn thing- although I’m definitely bringing that up again- so let’s talk about binturongs! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Ocelots

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I’ve been rewatching Archer, as I fervently wait for some news about when the next season will start, and just realized something (or maybe remembered something):  Babou is awesome.  For those of you not in the know, he’s one of the character’s pet ocelot, and Archer’s favourite thing in the world after alcohol and Burt Reynolds.  Anyways, because of that I thought I might as well share some pretty sweet ocelot knowledge with the internets, to hopefully convince anyone who dislikes Babou how great he is, and remind everyone else why he’s so special.  Let’s talk about ocelots. Continue reading

8 Animal Babies That Are Better Than Human Babies

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As a species, humans are pretty shitty.  Even at our strongest we’re not really that gifted at anything.  Sure we’ve got a super powerful brain, but ignore that and we’re really just sacks of meat and blood.  We’re not fast, our eyesight is awful, as is our hearing and sense of smell, we don’t have a tough skin, and we really have no inherent way to protect ourselves.  Honestly, it’s kind of surprising that we’ve made it this far with just a good brain.  But we’re not really going to talk about that today.  Instead, so that we can all feel really awful about ourselves as a species, we’re going to talk about how even as babies, we’re comparatively awful.  So here are 8 animal babies who are, in no particular order, just better than us. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Hippos

giphy-hippoHippos.  Hippos are interesting animals.  On the one hand they seem peaceful, slow, hungry, and the perfect Christmas gift, but then on the other hand they’re actually terrifying and speedy (also 30 km/h on land).  Hippos kill about 500 people a year, and are some of the scariest things you could be in the water with.  But even still we seem to love hippos– just look at the view count!  So let’s take a look at the enigma that is the teen ‘stached hippo- full disclosure, there will be shit.  Let’s talk about hippopotamuses!  Full Disclosure: unfortunately house hippos apparently still don’t exist, but I’m waiting on the discovery. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Tapirs

 

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Sure tapirs might look like the product dropping an inbred elephant baby on its head a few times, and in Brazil the word “tapir” might be synonymous with “jackass”, but don’t let that fool you, because they’re actually quite cool.  In fact, people love them.  Not only is there a World Tapir Day (April 27th), but there’s also a yearly International Tapir Symposium, and they can dance!  So in case you missed boarding the tapir fan train, here’s a few reasons why you should jump on board.  Let’s talk about tapirs! Continue reading

Marvel’s Next Superhero Inspiration?

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You thought Ant-Man was badass? Well … neither did I. Marvel really should have taken inspiration from this sucker instead, and here’s why:

If you live in Eastern North America this little guy could be crawling under your feet right now. No, it’s not a mouse that didn’t learn about firework safety, or that weird hand-eye thing from Pan’s Labyrinth– it’s a star-nosed mole! These wetland creatures may look like the victim of a cruel evolutionary joke, but these rodents are actually tiny superheroes. Continue reading

March Conservation Series: How to Help

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For the past three weeks we have taken a look at large cat conservation around the world. First, we looked at the current populations of large cats. Then we focussed on the main threats that these species face, finally, putting a focus on the key contributors to these issues. Well today we are rounding out this month’s conservation series by putting all of our attention on how we can do something to help these species. Even though these animals are found all over the world, we can still make a positive difference in making sure that they stick around for a long time. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Wolverines

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Well guess what bub, it’s time to talk about one of the coolest animals out there.  Wolverines.  While everyone’s probably most familiar with wolverines as the cigar smoking, self healing, mutant hero of Marvel comics, or how Hugh Jackman pays his bills/ the love of his life, the animals themselves are worth noting.  They might not be able to reach the same level as Wolverine himself, considering the Hulk ripped him apart into two pieces, and he spent 3 years climbing to the top of a mountain to get his legs back, but this Arctic critters are pretty amazing none the less.  So let’s talk about wolverines. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Virginia Opossums

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Virginia opossums, or North America’s kangaroos, are probably one of the most confusing animals out there.  Not necessarily because of anything they do, but because some genius decided to give two species, similar names.  While the two species look as similar as Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne (not similar at all), people continuously confuse opossums with possums.  This is, however, hundreds of times better than confusing an opossum for a cat.  All in all though, opossums shouldn’t be confused for anything else, as they’re quite the incredible little guys.  So let’s talk about them. Continue reading

March Conservation Series: Large Cats!

Every month at Earth Unfiltered we’ll be tackling a different conservation issue that we’re facing today.  To kick off our monthly conservation series, we’re starting with big cat conservation. As top predators, large cats play an important role in managing prey population sizes and ecosystems through top-down effects. This week we wanted to highlight the five large cat species that are in the world today. In the upcoming weeks we will be focussing on the threats that these species face and what you can do to help preserve these incredible species.

Lion, Panthera leo

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Lions are found in most sub-Saharan African countries in only 22% of their historical range. Historically, lions ranged as far as Northern Africa and Southwest Asia, where it disappeared in the last 150 years. They also ranged as far west as  Europe, but have been estimated to have become extinct in that area 2000 years ago. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Narwhals

Narwhals, or earth’s unicorns, are badass, simple as that. They live in the arctic ocean, they’re massive, and they have a friggen horn. Think of everything you could do with a horn: impale your enemies, push buttons that are really far away, and make shish kebabs. Who doesn’t love shish kebabs. If that’s not enough, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, do you not like happiness, you probably hate watermelon as well? Just in case this isn’t enough for you though, narwhals have a lot more going on. So lets talk about that. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Red Pandas

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Everybody seems to love red pandas.  They cute as hell when they’re kids, as they roll around, stand, and exist, and then when they’re adults they’re just bigger than cats and still look loveable.  Hell, even when they’re jerks they’re cute.  So what’s really going on? There’s got to be more going on with them… or at least that’s what I thought.  Turns out apart from some overgrown wrist bone, there’s not a lot going on with them.  These little tree livers from Nepal and China, don’t do a whole lot.  So why is everyone in love them?  Let’s talk about that. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Echidnas (Warning, Gross)

If you’re anything like me, you know about echidnas for two reasons: 1. Knuckles the echidna from the Sonic the hedgehog series, and 2. that one biology quiz from highschool where you had to know which mammals lay eggs.  The problem with that is, while they do in fact lay eggs, they are not red, and don’t glide- but they can climb trees, so that’s something.  On top of laying eggs, however, echidnas are one of the oldest unchanged mammals on the Earth, and they’ve got a pretty funky looking penis.  Oh, and baby echidnas are called puggles!  So let’s talk about that. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Sloths

Sloths.  What’s going on there and why are they still around?  Unlike most creatures, that have evolved to become fast or dangerous in order to survive, these South American creatures did a complete 180, and said screw it, let’s sit around and do shit all.  Amazingly, though, this works for them.  Sloths have evolved to perfect the art of staying motionless, and doing things very slowly.  So let’s talk about that. Continue reading