Is it a bird, is it a plane…No, it’s superman squirrel! Rare red rodent caught on camera making huge leap between branches

By Daily Mail Reporter


They have become one of Britain's rarest animals but this spritely red squirrel looks like he is ready to fight back.

Taking on the pose of superman this bright-coated mammal has been spotted zooming across the Scotland sky much like the man of steel would himself.

In a series of pictures taken in Loch Awe, Scotland, the flame-red rodent was spotted athletically hurling himself between branches by photographer Philip Price.

Is it a bird? is it a plane? Nope, it is one of Scotland's finest red squirrels hurling himself through the sky like superman

And in many ways he looks like he may be off to rescue his own squirrel-version of Clark Kent's love interest Lois Lane, save people from a fire or prevent a train crash.

Although,he's probably just looking for something to eat.

The bushy tailed critter - which is native to the UK - is one of just 120,000 reds left in the wild.

It is estimated that 75 per cent of the red squirrel population reside in Scotland like this one.

But their numbers have been blighted by the introduction of the grey squirrel in Britain and also a lack of forests, which they used to thrive in.


Is that Lois Lane I hear screaming? The red rodent readies himself to jump spectacularly to another tree near Loch Awe


Getting his breath back: The squirrel stops for a bite to eat and to build up some energy before starting to fly off again in search of food or perhaps someone to save

Hungry work: Reds can live for up to 5 or 6 years in the wild - and feast on spruce and pine seeds, acorns, berries, fungi, bark and sap tissue in their bid to survive

Red squirrels are widespread in Europe, but have largely been replaced by the North American grey in England and Wales.

They can live for up to five or six years in the wild - and feast on spruce and pine seeds, acorns, berries, fungi, bark and sap tissue to give them energy for leaping all over the place.

In the autumn they store surplus food either just below the ground or in the gaps in tree trunks.

They have four fingers and an astonishing five toes - and can swim.


Beautiful: The Red Squirrel is a rare species in Britain and this photo captures its lovely red coloured body and bushy tail



source:dailymail

He's NOT Bad! Watch incredible video of walrus dancing to Michael Jackson classic

8:22 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Damien Gayle


Aquariums the world over are famous for their set piece shows, where captive sea creatures put on fabulous displays for the paying public.

But this one from an aquarium somewhere in Russia may well be unique.

It shows a full-grown, adult male walrus dancing to the classic Michael Jackson single Bad. And, to be honest, he's not bad.


I'm bad: This walrus wows the crowd in a Russian aquarium somewhere by doing an amazing synchronised dance to the Michael Jackson classic single with his trainer


Really, really bad: In perfect synchronisation with the female keeper, who dressed in a red outfit similar to the kind Jackson wore in the Smooth Criminal video, the walrus rolls and slides his way around the dancefloor

You know it: The walrus recreates many of Jacko's signature flowing dance moves - albeit adapted to make the most of his fin-focused physiology

In perfect synchronisation with a female keeper, who dressed in a red outfit similar to the kind Jackson wore in the Smooth Criminal video, the walrus rolls and slides his way around the dancefloor.

To begin with the marine mammal seems to be taking cues from his dance partner, but as the track builds he really gets going.

He must be a bassline lover, since as the track drops into its famed breakdown the walrus, whose name is not known, responds by pumping his head back and forth, keeping more or less good time.

What follows is a remarkable routine in which he recreates many of Jacko's signature moves - albeit adapted to make the most of his fin-focused physiology.


And the whole world has to answer right now: As the keeper flicks her leg, the walrus simultaneously flicks his fin; as she pumps her head, he does likewise


Just to tell you once again: He must be a bassline lover, since as the track drops into its famed breakdown the walrus, whose name is not known, responds by pumping his head back and forth

Who's bad? There are estimated to be up to a quarter of a million walruses living in the wilds of the Arctic, but because of their remote habitats scientists cannot be sure

As the keeper flicks her leg, the walrus simultaneously flicks his fin; as she pumps her head, he does likewise.

Then, for his finale, she merely points his way as he continues the routine before finally rolling from the dancefloor and back to the water as the crowd cheers.

Posted to YouTube on March 22, this video has already had nearly 130,000 views.

There are estimated to be up to a quarter of a million walruses living in the wilds of the Arctic, but because of their remote habitats scientists cannot be sure.

While they do face a struggle for survival due to climate change and competition against humans for fish there is not enough information about their exact numbers to know whether their population is currently increasing or decreasing.




source:dailymail

He won't forget that fall! Baby elephant helped up by his mother after taking a nasty tumble

By Sara Malm


A little elephant is clinging on to its mothers trunk as it tries to climb up a steep bank - but slips through its mothers grasp and end up with all four legs and trunk flailing in the air.

The youngster had been lifted into the air by his mum when he struggled to scale the tricky obstacle but fell into the dust rather unceremoniouslty.

Eventually, it stumbled back up on its feet and the mother elephant led it to a smaller and more manageable part of the bank to climb.

Rumble tumble: The calf is falling with its legs in the air helplessly looking up towards its mother

The extraordinary scene was captured on camera by Brit Mark Bowler in the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.

Mr Bowler, a conservation biologist from Edinburgh, Scotland, was just two feet away when the calf fell.

The 37-year-old said: 'There were about 50 in the herd. They were running as they crossed the road and went up the bank, which was about waist high.

‘The babies struggled to get over and the mothers started to get a bit concerned - there was lots of deep rumbling and ear flapping going on.


The little calf reach for its mother as she wraps her trunk around it to carry it up the bank when it struggled to scale the tricky obstacle.

Slipping: Even with its mothers extra help, the little elephant calf loses its footing and slides down the bank

‘I admit I was scared but there was nowhere I could go - my car was surrounded.

‘There was a very small elephant, which needed help getting up the bank. The mother tried pulling the calf up from the top but she then dropped it.

‘At one point the baby was with all four legs in the air, mouth open and trunk flailing. It was certainly struggling but after it fell the mood seemed to change and it looked sulky rather than excited.

The calf looks a bit dazed as he lays in the dirt after falling over following his climbing. The scene was captured in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.

‘After this the mother became more concerned with comforting her offspring than the rush to get up the bank.

‘She eventually changed her tactics and led the baby to a less steep route.’

He added: ‘It all happened very fast and the adrenaline was pumping. I have never seen anything quite the same before or since.

‘I can almost feel the deep rumble and my own heart rate going up even when I look at the images now.’


After giving up on pulling her baby up the bank, the mother steps down and takes the calf around to an easier route


source:dailymail

Flipping amazing: Bottlenose dolphins put on a stunning aerial show as they arrive in British waters

•Dolphins delighted to be in British waters as they put on a stunning aerial display
•Numbers are on the rise with reports of 20 individuals seen in one day


By Sarah Johnson


These incredible pictures show wild bottlenose dolphins flipping and diving in the air and frolicking in the sea off the coast of Inverness in Scotland.

They look like they’re delighted to be in British waters as they nudge and compete with each other in a playful display of animal gymnastics.

And, they have got plenty to celebrate. This year, more Bottlenose dolphins have been spotted in British waters than at any other time since the mid-1990s.

Show off! Two adult Bottlenose dolphins display to each other

Twenty individuals including seven youngsters were seen in one day by conservation officers from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) at the Kessock Channel near Inverness. Usually, only six would be seen on a summer’s day in the area.

Photographer and WDCS officer , Charlie Phillips, explained why dolphins put on dramatic aerial performances.

He said: ‘The dolphins are engaging in energetic behaviour. They do this as part of socialising and it can take many forms.’

‘In these pictures we see a young dolphin that is back flipping over the top of two adults. Youngsters often do this to get attention or just sheer play.’


A young Bottlenose dolphin leaps backwards over two adults in the Kessock Channel

Sea who can go higher: Two young Bottlenose dolphins try to outjump each other

Bottlenose dolphins are one of the most northerly living members of the dolphin family and there are thought to be about 200 living in the North Sea at any one time.

Marine scientists believe population numbers are stable or perhaps on the rise.

Mr Phillips believes that the increase in numbers could be due to the explosion in fish numbers in recent weeks.

He said: ‘The earlier part of the season was poor for dolphin sightings because of a bad run of salmon.’

‘But both the salmon and mackerel numbers have increased rapidly in the last week or so.

‘This has a knock on effect with the amount of dolphins that we see.

‘If the dolphins feed well during the summer and sustain this, then this will have the females in great condition for giving birth.

'It will also mean that the dolphins will have a bigger fat reserve to carry into the leaner, winter months.’


Two young Bottlenose dolphins get up close and personal as they frolic off the coast of Scotland


source:dailymail

Paw-trait photographer fit for a King Charles Spaniel: The stunning (and strange) pictures of dogs by five-times champion pet snapper

8:37 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Helen Lawson


A British man's hilarious doggy snaps are so picture paw-fect they've scooped him a coveted pet photographer of the year prize for a record fifth year running.

Paul Walker, 40, captures even the naughtiest pooches on camera - spending days with his four-legged models to document their mischief in charming photos their owners are sure to treasure for life.

Mr Walker, who lives in Ayr, Scotland, said: 'It’s become my speciality to capture that one hundredth of a second and get that picture that many people find impossible.


Cheeky! Is this Diddy-er Dogba taking a chunk out of Johan Crufts to tackle the size difference in this not-so friendly football match?

This golden doodle can walk on water - or at least that's what this well-timed photo would suggest

'People always come to me and say my dog’s badly behaved or doesn’t like people - but I see it as a challenge to get the best images of these lively animals.'

Since taking up pet portraiture when he was just five years old, Mr Walker has made a name for himself as the top dog when it comes to tackling canine terrors.

These photos here show a cheeky chihuahua taking a bite of a much bigger chum during a not-so friendly football game, and patient boxer balancing a tennis ball on the tip of his snout.

Mr Walker even gets the badly-behaved pups to show off their talents by apparently walking on water and playing the piano.

The snapper's record-breaking winning streak began in 2008 when he claimed his first Scottish Master Pet Photographer title.


This gullible pup heard the rumour about the moon being made of cheese


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier doubles match got competitive


Thankfully this Lakeland terrier tinkled the ivories, not the upholstery

A dancing border collie reaches for the stars, left, while an innocent-looking whippet eyeballs the camera, right

He also added this year's first place in global photography magazine Range Finder's international animal humour competition to his pack of prizes - proving he really is best in show.

He said: 'I’m incredibly privileged to have won the titles I have done.

'I’ve turned what started as a hobby as a child into my job - I love doing what I do.'


Two adorable west Highland white terriers are dwarfed by silage bales


A border collie puts his best paws forward...


What a wag: This boxer takes a cheekier approach by sticking his tongue out


A chihuahua bounds through a bed of daffodils in the bright spring time shot


A Staffordshire bull terrier takes a flying leap


The eyes have it: This boxer dog looks like it's begging for a treat


source:dailymail

Hamster bites off more than it can chew as it scurries across cemetery with food stored in its cheek pouches

By Graham Smith


This cheeky hamster looks as if he has bitten off a little more than it can chew.

But the rodent is actually transporting food in its bulging cheek pouches across a cemetery in central Vienna.

The industrious European hamster is an increasingly rare sight in the wild and is considered critically endangered in many countries on the continent.


Fat face: A European hamster transports food across a Vienna cemetery in its bulging cheek pouches

Industrious: The breed is an increasingly rare sight in the wild and is considered critically endangered in many countries on the continent

This is largely due to the fact that it is considered a farmland pest by many and has been widely trapped for its fur.

It has also been the victim of a leap in intensive farming and increased building.

European hamsters eat a diet of seeds, legumes, root vegetables and grasses and also insects.

This food is often transported in their elastic cheek pouches back to a special underground food storage chamber.

These pouches are big enough to hold 30g of food and carry air when the animal, which can grow up to 12 inches long, is swimming.

Their size means they are bigger than the typical domestic hamster.


The European hamster eats a diet of seeds, legumes, root vegetables and grasses and also insects


The animal transports food in its elastic cheek pouches back to a special underground food storage chamber

As it normally looks: The European hamster is concentrated in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and north-east France

From October and March the hamster will hibernate, waking every five to seven days to feed from carefully stored food.

Also known as black-bellied, or common hamsters, the breed originated in eastern Europe and Russia.

They are now concentrated in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and north-east France.

Such is the threat to their number in recent decades, that in 2001 the European Commission ruled that the German authorities were not doing enough to protect its natural habitat.

The then-Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstroem said at the time: 'We must take our legal safeguards seriously or we face the wipeout of endangered species through the creeping loss of habitats.'


source:dailymail

Anyone for 'I am the Walrus'? Listen to one zoo's famous resident celebrate his 30th birthday by showing off incredible vocal range

8:47 PM Posted by ms.tk 0 comments
By Daily Mail Reporter


Most of us enjoy a bit of a party on our birthday and it seems this giant Walrus is no different.

When E.T. the Walrus celebrated his 30th recently, he decided to have a bit of sing-song.

And as this YouTube video shows, he certainly has a voice to be proud of.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO


Fun: E.T. the Walrus celebrated his 30th birthday recently at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington and decided to have a bit of a sing-song

Celebration: As one of the keeper's at the zoo shouted out instructions for different vocal styles, the happy Walrus gladly obliged

As one of the keeper's at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, shouted out instructions for different vocal styles, the happy Walrus gladly obliged.

His styles ranged from long low bellows, to growls and even a whistle at one point.

One of E.T's more bizarre noises comes from him repeatedly shaking his head while letting out a loud bellow. The talented animal also manages to make a strange noise from his throat.

Unsurprisingly, E.T. is one of the star attractions at the zoo.


Talented: The walrus showed off a variety of different styles, including long low bellows, to growls and even a whistle at one point

Unique: One of E.T's more bizarre noises comes from him repeatedly shaking his head while letting out a loud bellow. He also manages to make a strange noise from his throat

He was found as a pup by oil workers in Alaska in 1982, starving and orphaned and was given the name - taken from the famous film.

The Walrus was taken to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium where he was raised and he now weighs a healthy 3,400 pounds.

He currently shares his living space at the zoo with female walruses Basilla and Joan. It is hoped they will establish a breeding group.

Lets hope they like his singing.


Rescued: E.T. was found as a pup by oil workers in Alaska in 1982, starving and orphaned and he was given the name - taken from the famous film




source:dailymail

Going fur gold: Guinea pigs take inspiration from London 2012 and take part in their own version of the Olympics for new calendar

-Furry rodents put into humorous sporting positions to celebrate Olympics
-No animals were hurt in the making of this 2013 calendar
-Designers used digital tricks to make the guinea pigs look like athletes


By Richard Hartley-parkinson


As London makes its final preparations ahead of Friday's Olympic opening ceremony, it appears that it's not just humans getting into the Games spirit.

This set of guinea pigs show that they also want a piece of the action as they take to the track, field and pools for a funny calendar to celebrate the event.

Maverick Arts Publishing created a calender called the 'Guinea Pig Games - Going for Gold' and shows what our furry friends would look like if they took part in sporting events.


This picture shows Paula Ratcliffe running over Tower Bridge and is taken from the calendar's month of June

Hopefully Team GB's Olympic sailing team will fare better than these guinea pigs who feature for July


Passing the baton: These furry creatures, featuring in December, appear worn out as they take part in the Olympic relay

Forget Eric the eel, we've got Derek the squeel(er) featuring in the swimming for the month of May

The side-splitting Guinea Pig Games 2013 calendar features the furry creatures competing in major sports events including rowing, track cycling and javelin.

They are also seen rowing, tackling the marathon and sprinting in a close-run relay race.

And the competitive critters aren't afraid to get their paws wet in synchronised diving, swimming and open-water sailing.

But animals lovers need not fear that the furry creatures were made to compete for real, the humorous calendar was created using clever image manipulation techniques.

Digital tricks allowed designers to make the guinea pigs appear to form sporty poses.


Matthew Pigsent? The calendar has been produced by Maverick Arts Club and includes this image of rowing guinea pigs in January


Bradley Piggins can be seen leading a group of track cyclists for the calendar's month of March

Maybe he's called Spike? This guinea pig has a go at javelin for the month of October

In fact, they were photographed in a comfortable studio for no more than five minutes at one time and with plenty of treats.

The guinea pigs were loaned by a animal rescue centre and a trained handler was on hand to make sure the photoshoot stars were looked after.

Steve Bicknell, owner of publishers Maverick Arts, said: 'Guinea Pig Games is one of our most successful calendars. This year we have created a stunning array of guinea pig images, showing our little furry friends competing in all the major events.

'We hired the guinea pigs from Palace Piggie Rescue in Crawley in exchange for a donation. The owner of the rescue site handled the guinea pigs.'

The £9.99 Guinea Pig Games 2013 calendar is available now.


A guinea performs a slam dunk during a game of basketball during the Guinea Pig Games for August


Rat-a-twirly: In April the calendar celebrates gymnastics (left) while September took a Tom Daley twist with the guinea pigs performing in the diving discipline


November seems to take a bit of a surrealist turn as this guinea pig takes to show jumping


I guess it makes a change from a running wheel: For February these rodents took part in the hurdles


source:dailymail