Meet Spitfire, the Michael Jordan of Dock Diving Dogs

To a regular person, Spitfire the dog may look like just another Whippet, but to connoisseurs of the dock diving circuit, he is an incredible athlete in the same league as icons like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or Babe Ruth.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, eight year-old Spitfire and his 16-year-old handler, Sydney, dominated the dock diving circuit like never before in the history of the sport. If you’re unfamiliar with the sport of dock diving, it’s essentially canines running on a wooden dock and jumping as far or as high as possible before diving into a pool of water. And no dog does this better than Spitfire. Between 2016 and 2019, he broke a whopping 21 world records, jumping farther and higher than any other competitor and securing his status as the GOAT of dock diving.

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The Malayan Leaf Frog Lives Up to Its Name

The Malayan leaf frog, a.k.a long-nosed horned frog, is one of the most remarkable creatures on Earth, at least in terms of natural camouflage.

We’ve featured some truly impressive masters of camouflage in the past, from the dead leaf butterfly to a plant that evolved to mimic the rocky terrain it grows on, but the Malayan leaf frog is definitely up there with the best of them. As an ambush hunter that waits for unsuspecting prey to cross its path, this amphibian needs to remain unnoticed for as long as possible, and what better way to do that than blend into the leaf-covered forest floor it calls home? Its unique physical features make it almost impossible to visually detect in its natural habitat, and looking at the photos below, it’s easy to see why.

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Remarkable Slug Can Sever Its Own Head and Grow a New Body

Japanese researchers recently the incredible ability of a sea slug to basically sever its own head and simply grow a new body, complete with fresh vital organs.

Autotomy, the behavior whereby an animal sheds or discards one or more of its own appendages, usually as self-defense mechanism, only to grow them back later, is well documented in the animal world. However, autotomy usually involves limbs or tails, appendages that don’t feature vital organs, whish is why a sea slug that can apparently sever its own head and then grow a new body complete with these vital organs has stunned scientists.

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Natural Sharpshooter – Archerfish Uses Its Mouth as a Water Gun to Hunt Prey

The archerfish is famous for its ability to accurately shoot prey from several meters away with a powerful jet of water generated from its mouth.

Toxotes jaculatrix, commonly known as the archerfish, lives in the in mangroves of southern and southeast Asia, where they spend much of their time stalking prey from beneath the surface of the water, ready to hit it with a powerful jet of water, knock it out of the sky or whatever surface it’s sitting on, and then swallow it whole. The incredible accuracy of the arrow fish has long fascinated scientists, especially as studies have shown that it can adjust for various factors, like gravity, or the distance its target is at, to maximize its chances of success.

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Cat Survives Three-Week Journey Locked in Shipping Container With No Food or Water

A resourceful feline has surprised the workers of a shipping company when it emerged from a locked container after spending three weeks at sea with no food or water.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian logistics company Star Shine Shipping LTD took to Facebook to report a rather unusual tale of survival involving a curious feline. When opening a sealed container that had traveled over two thousand kilometers from Ukraine to Israel, over a period of three weeks, the company’s staff found a grey cat inside. The animal looked a bit scared, but was otherwise in good condition, despite having endured a long journey without any food or water.

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Gravity-Defying Ibexes Climb Vertical Walls in Search of Precious Minerals

The Alpine Ibex is a species of big mountain goat-like herbivores that inhabit the highest peaks of the European Alps, using their pincer-like hooves and impressive agility to climb up even the steepest cliffs, thus avoiding most predators. But it’s their ability to climb even vertical walls that has made ibexes famous all over the world.

The Cingino Dam, located in Italy’s Piedmont region is one of many masonry dams in the European country, but it became somewhat of a tourist attraction a few years back, after photos of ibexes climbing the vertical damn all the way to the top went viral online. And looking at these photos, or watching the videos of the herbivores expertly traversing the seemingly unclimbable structure, it’s easy to see why millions around the world declared themselves fascinated. Somehow, the ibexes are able to grip any rock that protrudes from the dam ever so slightly, which allows them to scale the 50-meter-high wall and reach the mineral they so desperately crave – salt.

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Born to Fly – The Bird That Spends Up to 10 Months Without Landing

Scientists have long suspected that some species of birds can eat drink, mate and even sleep while flying, but even they were stunned when data showed that one such species could go up to 10 months without landing.

As its name suggests, the commons swift (Apus apus) is a common bird that lives all across Europe and much of Asia, but their flight time is anything but common. This medium-sized bird currently holds the record for the most time spent in the air per year, with data showing that some specimens can spend up to 10 months out of 12 without landing even once. They drink and eat in the air, feasting on any insects that they can capture in flight, they can mate in the air as well, and, like the much larger frigate birds, they can also sleep in the air by gliding on warm air currents known as “thermals”.

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World’s Smallest Bird Lays Its Eggs in a Nest the Size of a Quarter

Only slightly larger that the insect it’s named after, the Bee Hummingbird weighs no more than two grams and lays eggs roughly the size of coffee beans. It is officially the world’s tiniest bird.

Found only in Cuba, the Bee Hummingbird is extremely small even for a hummingbird, so much so that people often mistake it for an actual bee when they see it hovering over flowers. But this tiny flier not only looks like an insect, it also competes against them for resources. It is the result of a phenomenon scientists call “island dwarfism”, where certain species have problems competing against larger species for resources, so they get smaller and smaller over evolutionary time to avoid running out of food and start competing against other categories of organisms.

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This Lizard Shoots Blood Out of Its Eyes to Keep Predators at Bay

We’ve featured some interesting animal defense mechanisms in the past, from moths that camouflage as two flies feasting on bird poop, to caterpillars that mimic snakes, but this horned lizard’s secret weapon is on another level of weirdness.

The regal horned lizard is a small reptile native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. Their main habitat is  the Sonoran Desert Mountains, where they spend most of their time eating harvester ants and other small insects. They can eat up to twenty five hundred ants in one meal, but if you think that’s impressive, you’ll love its most unusual self-defense mechanism – squirting blood out of its eyes.

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Adorable Pooch Assists Street Artist in His Living Statue Routine

A street artist performing on the streets of Fortaleza, in Brazil, has made quite a name for himself thanks to his adorable partner, a pet dog, who assists him when he does his realistic living statue routine.

Yorge Luís Ruiz is a young Venezuelan street artist who immigrated to Brazil in search of a better life. He settled in Fortaleza, in the northeastern state of  Ceará, and started performing his living statue routine to entertain passers by in the city’s busy Ferreira square. He’s not the only street artist working that area of the city, but he stands out thanks to his adorable partner, a cute canine named Jaspe. The pooch not only accompanies Yorge whenever he goes to work, but she actually assists him in his routine, resting on his bent arm and standing as still as she possibly can.

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Police Dog Hailed a Hero for Performing CPR on His Human Partner

Poncho the police dog recently became famous online, after the Madrid Municipal Police shared a video of him on Twitter in which he is performing CPR on a fallen colleague.

Despite being only a training simulation, Poncho’s life-saving skills and quick reactions left a lot of people impressed. As soon as his human partner collapses to the ground and remains seemingly unconscious, Poncho springs into action, running to him and jumping with his front legs on the man’s chest, while also laying his head on the man’s mouth to check his breathing. He doesn’t stop until the collapsed trainer gets up. The video has so far been watched by over 2 million people on Latino social media alone, most of whom can’t stop praising his performance.

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Clever Dog Figures Out How to Use Money to Pay for Treats, Sort Of

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s a dog in Colombia that would certainly argue with that. The clever pooch started paying for biscuits with tree leaves after seeing students pass banknotes to a food stall attendant in exchange for the tasty treats. He decided to try it for himself one day, and after getting the result he wanted, he’s been doing it ever since.

Negro recently became a social media sensation after a teacher at the Diversified Technical Education Institute of Monterrey Casanare, in Colombia, shared some photos and a video of the clever dog paying for treats with tree leaves. Students had apparently been buying the pooch biscuits from an on-campus food stall for a while, and after observing humans handing out money in exchange for the tasty treats, he decided to try it out for himself. Only instead of actual money, he used a much more accessible currency – fallen tree leaves.

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Loyal Dog Waits 12 Hours at Subway Station Every Day for His Owner to Return from Work

A 15-year-old dog in in Chongqing’s Yuzhong district has been dubbed the ‘Chinese Hachiko’ for patiently waiting up to 12 hours a day outside a local metro station until his owner returns from work.

Xiongxiong, which translates as ‘Little Bear’, has reportedly been waiting outside the Liziba metro station, in Yuzhong district, every day for the past eight years, ever since his current owner started looking after him. The pooch is well-known by locals who often stop to pet him, but after a recent video of him patiently waiting for his master recently went viral on social media, Xionxiong has become a national celebrity, with people travelling to Chongqing from all over China, just to see him.

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Loyal Dog in Argentina Has Been Waiting By His Owner’s Grave for 10 Years

It’s been five years since we featured the touching story of Capitan, a loyal German shepherd who refused to leave the side of his owner, even though he had been dead for nearly six years. Well, believe it or not, the old dog still spends his days waiting by his deceased owner’s grave, 10 years after he passed.

Capitan’s undying loyalty for his master first made headlines in 2012, when local papers in the Argentinian town of Villa Carlos Paz reported that the dog spent every day waiting by the grave of his owner, Miguel Guzmán, who had died in 2006. The dog disappeared from the family home a few months later, and Guzmán’s widow, Veronica, was shocked to find him by her late husband’s grave, when she went to visit him at the cemetery. She and her son, Damian, tried taking him home several times, but he always ran back to be by Miguel’s side. Eventually, they understood that nothing they did could ever fill the void in Capitan’s heart, so they let him be with his beloved master.

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“Miracle Puppies” Somehow Survive 25 Days Sealed in Shipping Container Without Food or Water

Vets in Chennai, India, were recently stunned to discover two “miracle puppies” that had survived a 25-day, 3,000-kilometer journey from China to India, sealed in a shipping container without food or water.

When workers at the Salcomp electronics factory in Sriperumbudur opened a sealed container on Friday, they found an unexpected surprise – a couple of frightened puppies hiding behind the spare parts that they had ordered from China. Seeing that the animals were in bad shape -dehydrated famished and sick – and realizing that the container had been sealed in China on September 5th, security at Nokia telecom park quickly contacted a local animal shelter.

The puppies ended up at The Blue Cross of India animal shelter, where it was determined that they were about three months old. They both had fever and required serious medical attention. However, everyone agreed that the mere fact that they were still alive after their long journey was a miracle. Upon searching the container the puppies arrived in, workers and animal activists found no trace of food or water, which makes their survival a medical impossibility, especially at such a young age.

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