Archives for June, 2010

At the cosmic big-picture level, io9 blog’s “Ask A Physicist” feature follows the same basic structure as the Elmo’s World “Ask a Baby” routine that so amused you as a preschooler. That leads to this week’s fascinating question: Do we live in a multiverse, and if so, does that mean that somewhere out there in…

They’re familiar, friendly, even somewhat fancy. But beneath the gnawing, snorting, fluttering, and plain ol’ monkey business, there’s genius. From 620 pounds of piggy intelligence, down to cunning little critters. The expected, to the absolutely unexpected, these guys take the game of physical and mental prowess to an extraordinary new level. Video Preview: This rescued…

Once considered a culinary delicacy, Diamond-backed terrapins are now listed as “near-threatened” by the IUCN. And some habitats in their extensive range – such as brackish marshes near the Gulf of Mexico – are at risk from oil pollution. Recently I connected with Dan Palmer, Supervisor of Aquarists at Marineland’s Dolphin Conservation Center in Florida, to…

Sawfish Rostrum

While they might be confused with swordfish, the sawfish species is actually related to the ray. Their distinct long, flattened rostrum – which lends the “saw” reference in their moniker – makes them a prized target among international curio collectors. Both largetooth and smalltooth sawfish have a distinct rostrum that extends from their bodies, much like a…

Escaping the Monkey Catcher

The central fruit market is completely out of reach for the Splinter group of teenage monkeys, as city macaque heavyweight Fang defends his territory more fiercely than ever. Desperate for a meal, the group invades a suburban school playground and raids kids’ packed lunches. And, still in search of a new place to settle, the…

A dog’s skin and coat are visible manifestations of nutrient needs, overall health and weather changes. If a dog has a poor appetite or eats low quality pet food, supplements may be necessary to help boost the vitality of her skin and coat. Are you helping your furry friend put her best face forward? Dogs…

Dog Whisperer Voting!

Vote for your favorite episodes of Dog Whisperer every week! Each week the episode you choose will air the following Friday at 8P et/pt.Every two weeks, starting with Season One, we will feature all the episodes from a season of the Dog Whisperer and each week, a favorite will be selected, giving us two top…

Dog Whisperer Voting!

Vote for your favorite episodes of Dog Whisperer every week! Each week the episode you choose will air the following Friday at 8P et/pt. Every two weeks, starting with Season One, we will feature all the episodes from a season of the Dog Whisperer and each week, a favorite will be selected, giving us two…

Dog Whisperer Voting!

Vote for your favorite episodes of Dog Whisperer every week! Each week the episode you choose will air the following Friday at 8P et/pt. Every two weeks, starting with Season One, we will feature all the episodes from a season of the Dog Whisperer and each week, a favorite will be selected, giving us two…

Holographic Universe

photo credit: Eric Leiser Remember that classic exchange between two stoned college students in the movie Animal House, in which one of them comes to the startling epiphany that the solar system could be “one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being”? Well, this idea is even more mind-blowing, and you even don’t…

Taking Lethal Action

For those sworn to serve and protect, a shootout is a last resort against criminals bent on doing harm. But sometimes, action must be taken. In “Lethal Action,” we’ll go inside three high-profile shootouts to see how split second decisions and twists of fate determined who lived, and who died. From a bank heist in…

Planet Carnivore delves into the cold waters of South Africa’s False Bay where a 2,000 lb great white shark called Haai, the Afrikaans word for shark, stalks her prey as she has done successfully for the past 15 years. In the False Bay neighborhood, there is one master rule: eat to live. Join us as…

You may have missed this, but last summer, it was big news in Malaysia. Villagers who live along Kenyir lake reported that that its waters seemed to be inhabited by an immense predatory fish with a penchant for leaping high out of the water. Locals called it kan naga, after a mythical dragon, while the…

Lots of veterinarians have fascinating case stories. So recently I connected with some graduates of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Science and obtained radiograph images of objects swallowed by dogs they had treated. Think you can identify the things they found in the dog’s bellies?         ANSWERS: Photo #1: Fish…

Mysterious Wolf Attack

Was it the first ever recorded fatal wolf attack in North America? On November 8, 2005, a 22 year-old student is found dead from an apparent attack by wild animals in Canada. Did grey wolves kill him or merely scavenge his remains? If so, what would cause the normally shy wolves to attack? Join NGC…

Den-Decorating Octopus

The giant Pacific octopus is a fascinating eight-legged sea creature. Most people know that he can camouflage his coloring, release a cloud of black ink, squeeze through tiny spaces and even regrow a lost limb. But here’s a lesser-known fact: both captive and wild octopuses decorate their front yards. He tracks prey at night and…

Hot Dogs

Credit: Patrick J. Kiger Of my three dogs, I think my basset hound-pit bull mix Madge is definitely the smartest, at least when it comes to coping with the high 90-something, high humidity weather that we’re currently enduring. She’s retreated to the doggie bed in my son Minh’s bedroom, prudently close to both the window…

Leopard vs. Baboon

Eye of the Leopard tracks one cat for a remarkable three years in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. She’s called Legadema, or “Light from the Sky,” and we follow her from the first vulnerable days as a cub, through the development of her hunting instincts, to her later triumphs that make her one of the most feared…

The Peculiar Platypus

A half-ton tiger and lion hybrid. A 55-pound salamander. A spider the size of a dinner plate. Animal Oddities traverses the globe to examine some of the world’s most extraordinary animals. and researches these bizarre creatures and other unique species to give viewers an up-close look how they live, thrive and survive. Video Preview: One…

Living on a Stealth Sub

by the “21st Century Stealth Sub” production crew Long before I ever set foot on a submarine — or had any notion that I’d ever get to — I had decided that it was not someplace I’d ever like to be. All I knew of submarines was what you seen in the movies, and it seems like…

In a previous blog, we looked at Iowa Congressional hopeful Dr. Pat Bertroche’s proposal that the federal government begin implanting radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in illegal aliens apprehended by immigration authorities, so they could be detected if they tried to cross the border again. “I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it.…

Step into the shoes of big cat keepers at the Philadelphia Zoo and learn what it takes to care for these fascinating felines. A few minutes before eight o’clock in the morning, Philadelphia Zoo employees begin streaming through a back gate. Each person flashes photo identification to security, then taps a card on a machine…

Dog Photography 101

Everyone should have at least one high-quality photograph of their dog. But capturing the perfect pic of your beloved furry friend can be a complicated and frustrating task. So I approached top commercial photographer Anthony Tortoriello for some advice. Anthony is the official photog of the famous two-legged dog Faith (maybe you recognize this photograph, named…

Walking Through Fire

Fire is one of Earth’s greatest gifts to humanity. Humans, uniquely among all the animals of the world, managed to master it and utilize it to drive every major stage in the development of our civilization. In “How the Earth Changed History: The Gift of Fire,” Professor Iain Stewart dives directly into the flames —…

Giant Python on the Loose

Reptile Expert Brady Barr approaches seven of the world’s most dangerous and venomous snakes to determine which snake is the deadliest. He will scientifically investigate each species of snake by grading them on five basic criteria: size, volume and toxicity of venom, personality, and number of human deaths. Video Preview: Brady Barr hunts for a…