Thursday, April 17, 2014

Adam Summers' Amazing See Through Fish on NatGeo

I felt so lucky to get to interview the University of Washington's Adam Summers, not only a brillian 'fish guy,' but a consultant on Finding Nemo - what an awesome job!

And what awesome fish! Learn about his background and technique in Amazing See-Through Fish on National Geographic's Weird & Wild blog.

More anime than animal (almost): Meet the Jerboa

Just when you think you've seen all the cutest pets on the web, up pops a viral video of the jerboa, a desert rodent that looks more anime than animal. You can see the video and read all about the little cutie on 5 Jerboa Facts: Explaining the Cute Jumping Rodent, a NatGeo post from February (Yes, I'm still playing blog catch-up! But that means I'm busy and busy is great).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Steve Harvey might be looking for you & your pet!

Got a nice email from NBC's Steve Harvey Show - they do a segment called "Is it weird?" where ask experts if their peculiarities are, well, really weird. They're are looking for people who do weird things with their pets (sing duets? dress them up as holiday decorations? let them drive?) for their April 29 show. If that sounds like YOU, email Jessica Smedick at and maybe you'll get on TV! One caveat: they've already got enough dogs, so you and your weird cat, bird, fish, ocelot, elephant, hedgehog, etcetera, check into it!

Below is a clip from the bedroom edition of "Is It Weird?" so you can see what it's like - a fun but also thoughtful and informative (and hopefully the folks at the Steve Harvey show are reading our awesome NatGeo Weird & Wild blog!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Your Weird Animal Questions Answered: Is Your Dog Part Coyote?

Your Weird Animal Questions Answered: Is Your Dog Part Coyote?    I was so pleased to find an answer for a NatGeo reader who thought his dog might be half coyote! Many vets will do a DNA test but not necessarily one that will identify coyote DNA, but after some research I found a place that will. Check out the link to the Weird & Wild blog to find out more! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I saw Animal fly out of a trash can

   The brick roads in Orlando are picturesque but every time I drive down one in my rattle trap car I feel like the dice in the Pop-o-Matic of a Trouble game. Today it was worse as I ended up not just on a brick street but behind a garbage truck, going bump-pop-stop-start-bump-pop-stop-start, on one of those ten minute trips that turn into half hour ruminations on what you’re doing with your life. But just as I saw an opportunity to make a getaway, something escaped from one of the garbage cans:  a Mylar balloon with a picture of Muppet drummer Animal on it. 

Some days you just really need to see something escape from the dumpster and fly away so  you know it can be done. 

I know a lot of people would say The Universe put me behind that truck so I could see that uplifting, Muppet-ry when I needed to, to which I say The Universe could just have easily put me on a free two-week Alaskan cruise, which makes you realize exactly how lazy The Universe actually is.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the sight of Animal slipping his earthly bonds and flying away. I like to imagine him flipping off both the garbage men and whoever put him in the trash (and who puts a fresh helium balloon in the trash unless they’re looking to scare the bejesus out of the next poor slob who lifts the lid? What is wrong with people?). In the coming days I’ll think of him floating up into the clouds and my mirror neurons - brain cells that fire whether you're doing something or just watching someone else do it - will make me feel like I’ll get my chance too, one day. We all feel that way when things get a little too grounded. 

The Universe. Sometimes it's all in your head. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Animal Valentines: 5 of Nature’s Best Flirters

Still trying to catch up with blogging! But I'm so glad I get to look at Animal Valentines: 5 of Nature’s Best Flirters at the moment. I need a cheer-up and nothing cheers me up like Pedrita.

At least I'm pretty sure this is Pedrita. Pedrita is the poster girl for a new behavior in a group of bearded capuchin monkeys who has decided that throwing rocks at boys you're interested in is a good way to get their attention. You can read more about them in the story - Pedrita is responsible for the bulk of the rock throwing and the very sight of her cheers me up.

I shared the capuchin story with a girlfriend who said "Why do they do it? Do they hit them with rocks and then use that as a reason to comfort them?" I love how different her take was than mine, which was "Oh really? I don't have you're attention yet? WHAM! HOW SEXY AM I NOW?"

Check her out: the windup before the pitch.....atta girl....

Thursday, March 27, 2014

No kids, no regrets

Now that I'm pushing 50, my friends who had kids are watching them leave the nest. But far from making me feel weird about not having a kid of my own to unleash on the world, it made me realize  I'm 100% sure I made the right decision in not Xeroxing myself.

My Alternet story 9 Reasons Not Having Kids is the Best Decision I Ever Made tells at least a little bit of why.

This is the first time I've returned to my columnist/commentator roots and done a non-science/weird animal story in awhile and it was really fun. Hope you enjoy it!

PS: I know it's a terrible recording but the only kid I could ever imagine having was Azrael Abyss (Chris Kattan's character on SNL's Goth Talk. Remember Goth Talk? Tampa Bay Public Access presentes...) :)