Just when you thought the most competitive sport in Dubai couldn’t get any more exciting, the owners of purebred racing camels have gone and invented remote-control jockeys to whip their dromedaries to victory.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
A late-afternoon sandstorm had descended on the Al Marmoom racetrack, some 40 kilometers outside of Dubai, and dust swirled everywhere. But even with the harsh desert weather, the races went ahead as planned.
The camels—many of them owned by the royal families of the United Arab Emirates—galloped along a five-kilometer track, with the fastest ones zipping past the finish line, like clockwork, on or near the 7:40 mark. Stamped with electronic chips for identification, the animals are presented by their owners, along with parentage certificates specifying their breed and age, before every race. Afterwards, the top three finishers are taken to a nearby center to test for doping—routine fare for Dubai’s multimillion-dollar camel racing industry.
In front of visitors.
On Sunday afternoon, while horrified visitors watched, a lion bit and killed a lioness in the exhibit. The lioness, five-year-old Johari, died quickly after being bitten in the neck by one of the male lions. One onlooker said the lion bit her “for, like, 10 minutes...waiting until it quit moving.” Zoo officials could not explain the attack but said it is rare. Another witness to the grisly scene described it unfolding, saying, “At first you think they’re playing, and then you realize he’s killing her, and...you’re watching it and you just can’t believe your eyes.” For now, officials say the male and female lions will not be placed in the same exhibit.
After mass escape from Ohio farm.
More than three dozen horses escaped from a family farm in western Ohio during the night Friday and caused a cascade of car crashes that left six horses dead and two drivers injured. The horses were involved in at least five crashes, the first at 3:30 a.m Friday as they roamed through the forest and wandered into roads. They may have escaped through a hole in the fence, the the owners have not been reached for comment.
Were the first domesticated animal.
It’s mystified scientists for years, but a new study may help solve the puzzle of where man’s best friend first emerged. The large DNA study, published in the journal Science, shows that dogs originated in Europe somewhere between 19,000 to 32,000 years ago. The earliest known fossils came from Europe, but other DNA studies have suggested Asia and the Middle East. Scientists generally agree that dogs descended from wolves to become the first domesticated animal. They theorize that wolves developed a symbiotic relationship with humans after being attracted to the garbage groups of people discarded, and people found them useful for hunting and protection.
Right tail wag means happy. Left means nervous.
There may be more to Fido’s tail-wagging than just him telling you he’s happy. According to a study published in the journal Current Biology, dogs wag their tails more to the right when they are happy and, conversely, swish to the left when they are nervous—and not only that, but other dogs can read and respond to these signals. That last bit of new information comes from researchers working with Georgio Vallortigara, a neuroscientist from the University of Trento, who said, “It is very well known in humans that the left and right side of the brain are differently involved in stimuli that invokes positive or negative emotions. Here we attempted to look at it in other species.”
Jason Marsden, the voice of Binx, talks about the cult classic on its 20th anniversary. He’s also starred in Full House, Boy Meets World, and just about every show millennials love.
Halloween movies are supposed to be terrifying. Gory. Filled with blood-curdling screams and face-eating zombies and hatchet-wielding villains played by Hollywood’s most menacing actors. They’re not, traditionally, supposed to feature a choreographed musical number, endear audiences to a precocious talking cat, or star a villain played by…Bette Midler.
(From left to right) Sarah Jessica Packer as 'Sarah,' Bette Midler as 'Winifred' and Kathy Najimy as 'Mary' in the 1993 film "Hocus Pocus." (Buena Vista/Everett Collection )
Yet Hocus Pocus, which was released twenty years ago this year, features all of those things and has, implausibly, become a cherished entry in the Halloween-movie canon. (Just ask Buzzfeed...)
It’s an utterly silly movie, which should surprise no one who learns that it stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. They’re sister witches by way of Larry, Curly, and Moe—decked in hideously fun costumes, campy personalities, and, on Midler at least, glorious fake teeth. (All the better to chew scenery with.) There’s an endearingly complicated mythology to track, with the sisters on a mission to devour the souls of children—only after performing a production number, naturally—as an intrepid teen (Omri Katz), his crush (Vinessa Shaw), his sister (Thora Birch), and a talking cat named Thackery Binx team up to stop them.
A pair of giant, bony fish—one 18 feet long—have washed up on California beaches this week. Are they climate change victims? Prophets of doom? Scientist Kevin Bailey on what we know.
Two sea serpents washed ashore in southern California shores last week, startling local beachgoers, puzzling marine biologists—and giving rise to countless creepy conspiracy theories.
This Friday Oct. 18, 2013 image provided by Mark Bussey shows an oarfish that washed up on the beach near Oceanside, Calif. This rare, snakelike oarfish measured nearly 14 feet long. (Mark Bussey/AP)
The first sighting of the oarfish was an 18-footer that surprised a diver off Catalina Island. She dragged the dead beast, estimated to weigh 400 pounds, out of the water with the help of friends on October 13. The second, logging in at 14 feet, washed up at Oceanside Harbor five days later.
Beaching of the oarfish is a very rare occurrence—the last time it happened was 2010—so two in one week is certainly an oddity. In fact, the creatures dwell so deep in the ocean that they’re rarely seen at all. (One eerie video which surfaced in June was something of a viral hit.)
Discovery made by science instructor.
Who says the Loch Ness monster isn't real? A snorkeling marine science instructor made the discovery of a lifetime on Tuesday when she discovered the carcass of an 18-foot-long oarfish, a serpent-like creature. "We've never seen a fish this big," said a senior captain of a sail training ship at the Catalina Marine Institute. "The last oarfish we saw was three feet long." Sightings of the oarfish, which can grow up to 50 feet, are extremely rare since the animal dives more than 3,000 feet deep into the ocean. The fish appears to have died of natural causes and will be buried in the sand to decompose then its bones will be reconstituted for display.
This is a chihuahua who likes to sing-along to a Vampire Weekend song. And it's totally adorable.
Baxter is a full-grown long-haired chihuahua who likes howling along to Vampire Weekend's 2008 hit song "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa." Baxter's owner, Geoff Stockton, says he discovered the pooch "has a serious passion for singing" a few months before posting the video. "High pitched vocals and/or harmonica provide all the inspiration he needs," Geoff writes. Baxter was unavailable for comment.
The National Zoo removed its panda cam from the Web, so we did what had to be done. World, meet our panda cam.
The dreaded government shutdown has claimed its tiniest, most beloved victim: the National Zoo's panda cam.
The live streams, which require federal resources to run, were deemed not essential during a shutdown, according to the zoo. But we don't want you going panda-less.
We went out to the Petco in New York City's Union Square, picked up a spectacular little fish, named him Panda, and turned on a webcam. World, it's time you meet your newest star: Panda Fish! He'll be swimming live for the cameras as long as the National Zoo's pandas are sleeping in the shadows.
The annual Kitty CATure Fashion Show, which took place in New York this weekend, featured fashions for dogs and cats of all sizes. From "doggles" (dog goggles) to kitty tutus, Lori-Lee Emshey reports from the runway.
A few blocks north of Pier 59—a popular venue during New York Fashion Week—a very different kind of fashion show took place this weekend. And no one seemed to mind that the models had a bit of fuzz on their legs—or that none of them wore any pants.
The fashion show was, of course, the Kitty CATure Fashion Show, courtesy of The International Cat Association at the American Kennel Club Meet the Breed showcase. This year marked a momentous event in the event's five-year history: it was the first year that dogs were allowed to walk in the show.
This year's show, which featured clothes by designers named Ada Nieves of Ada Nieves for Pets and Katherine Golden of Golden Couture, opened with an emcee introducing his cat, a brown spotted Bengal named Poet. But despite the fact that he was a central character in the day's event, Poet kept to a chair beside the stage, where he spent much of the event fast asleep.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty
Weighs less than a pineapple.
Look who nose what's up! The National Zoo’s giant panda cub, resembling little more than a noggin meant for snoggin’, has received a clean bill of health just days shy of her 4-week birthday, zoo officials say. The daughter of giant panda Mei Xiang already “has the signature black markings of a giant panda” and weighs slightly less than a pineapple. The little looker, whose birth was streamed live on the Web, stretches 10.6 inches from tip to tail, has a heartbeat of 130 beats per minute, and has yet to open her eyes. Immediately after her exam, panda mom Mei Xiang returned to the den and “immediately picked up her cub and began grooming her.”
Watch out humans, the cat invasion has begun. On one island off the coast of Japan, four-legged felines outnumber residents and are driving the tourist trade. Nina Strochlic reports.
On one idyllic Japanese island, there's no such thing as a dog person.
Tashirojima is a dwindling two-port, 100-person fishing community where cats outnumber humans many times over. It's a real-life cat haven, where dogs are reportedly banned from entering and monuments to the feline overlords are plentiful. The story goes that cats first prospered on the island back when occupants raised silkworms and enlisted their four-legged friends to help keep the destructive mice away. Later in the 1800s, when Tashirojima's fishing grounds became popular, fishermen came to believe that the island’s cats gave hints about weather patterns and the day's catch. They doted upon the strays that would wander into their inns and thought that feeding them would guarantee prosperity.
A resident of the island feeds some of the cats. (Sankei/Getty Images)
A few years ago, a documentary crew filmed a TV segment on the cats of Tashirojima, focusing on one black-and-white male with a droopy ear. He was dubbed Jack the Lop Ear and has become somewhat of a local celebrity. Not long after, the famous feline residents found themselves attracting a much-needed rush of tourism to the island, drawing in curious camera-and-treat-wielding visitors on the slow ferry that connects Tashirojima to the mainland. The cat population has inspired novelty souvenirs, including calendars.
Welcome to BeastBeast! Feed this, pet that.
These animals can help you out. Do: copy this adorable dog's 'feel better' eyes. Don't: whine like this irritated frog.
Baxter is a chihuahua who likes to sing-along to a Vampire Weekend song. And it's totally adorable.