I’ve got a severe case of bloggers block (today has not been a good day, let me tell you), so until I find something that inspires long-winded discussion, here’s some neat video footage of my favorite mammal order, the Carnivora. First up, some video footage of the recently (re)dubbed Bornean Clouded Leopard;
The distinctive double stripes running along its back are especially visible as it crawls down the tree, and it is exceedingly apparent that this is one stealthy jungle predator.
Wolves also rank among my favorite carnivores, and while everyone knows they can take down large prey, it’s often difficult to get a mental picture of how a group of small animals can take down something as large as, say, a bison. This video (although edited for TV) shows a pack doing just that;
Buffalo elsewhere (specifically Cape Buffalo in Africa) are far more dangerous than anything we may encounter in North America, yet lions in the Okovango Delta of Botswana specialize in taking down these animals. Taking down an adult cape buffalo, however, isn’t easy and many lions are injured or killed attempting to take down the huge animals, one such case seen in this video (although I don’t think these are Okovango lions, but it still illustrates the point);
Other carnivores are not so charismatic, i.e. coyotes. I personally love the little guys, but they’re largely considered a nuisance in urban areas, running through pet doors to disembowel poodles, eating trash, catching rides on subways, inhabiting graveyards in New York, and even making it into elevators in skyscrapers. When I was younger I heard rumors of coyotes in Moutainside, NJ, but I thought coyotes lived out west (just like mountain lions). What’s interesting now is that much like red foxes in London, coyotes have been making a living in cities and suburbs and would quite like to stay. Here’s some amateur video of one in a Fairfield, CT backyard;
Along the same lines (although not related to mammalian carnivores), urban crows have an ingenous way of cracking nuts, showing us that behavior can make up for morphological deficiencies when it comes to food;