Plastic-Free Challenge

Will you help protect the ocean?

We all love the weird animals of the ocean, but they won't always be there if we don't help protect them from our fellow humans and, yes, our own actions. This World Ocean Day, we need to take a deeper look at what's happening. Did you know that enough plastic to fill a garbage truck is dumped into the ocean on a daily basis, and that it's estimated that we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050? This just isn't acceptable.

We all know that corporations are damaging the environment on the largest scale, but this waste is coming from households across the country, too. We need to significantly reduce what we are using and throwing away. Will you take the seven-day challenge to stop using plastic and see if you might be able to even extend it further?

My kiddo was born in the NICU and needed oxygen for months. I'm not saying we need to get rid of plastic altogether. But we can definitely stop using it when it's not needed, look for better alternatives and reuse everything before thinking about throwing it away. Are you with me?

Really Strange Animal Facts

Did you know that giraffes can hum?

While we often focus on generally weird animals here at Weird Animal Report, we can't ignore the animals we all know about that still do some pretty odd things, especially for animals. For example, the fact that giraffes can hum is delightful to me. I love the idea of them going about their day just humming along. It feels like we have more in common when we learn facts like that.

One really strange fact is that axolotls never make it to adulthood without human interference. They require hormones to do so! I love those little creatures and never knew that about them.

What is the oddest animal fact you've heard lately? Share it in the chat.

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AI Is Useful In Studying Animal Behavior

This tech can also free up researchers for more work

When I read that artificial intelligence is having an impact on animal behavior studies, I immediately felt wary because it seems like everyone is experimenting with A.I. lately and I didn't want to read about rat cyborgs. Luckily this wasn't the case! Instead, this is about how using A.I. software is helpful in tracking animal behavior with more precision.

This A.I. software helps to eliminate tedious manual scoring when it comes to tracking animal behaviors, not only reducing human work but also gaining a more precise measure, which could be very helpful to scientists in these studies. Humans have to watch hours of videos to do this kind of work, so implementing the technology could free up researchers for other work while data is collected and analyzed.

What other science and animal related breakthroughs have you noticed this week? Share them in the chat.

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Escaped Goats Have An Adventure

This herd is living their best life

There are so many fun stories about animals and their adventures while humans were under quarantine. It's fun to notice that these stories are still occurring; where I live, there have been more bear sightings than usual, which kind of makes me nervous just because I have nightmares about bear attacks sometimes.

Did you hear the story about the 200 escaped goats last spring that just had the adventure of a lifetime in San Jose while the humans were sheltering in place? If not, definitely check out these videos, especially if you love goats!

What is the oddest animal story where you live, especially since quarantine? Share it in the chat.

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Weird Animal Sightings

What's going on where you live?

It seems like everywhere you look, there are wild animals unexpectedly popping up everywhere. Did you hear about the tiger and alligator sighting in Houston? There was also a cow-involved traffic incident, although that is a little more understandable.

It's not only in Houson. Where I live in the Missouri suburbs, black bears are being spotted--and I don't mean in the country or woods, but in busy intersections. A few years ago we had a bear attempt to enter a Wal-Mart and I tend to have nightmares about bears, so you can bet it's something I think about regularly. I think there have been three bear sightings this spring alone.

What about where you live? Are the animals just as unpredictable? Do you think the pandemic has something to do with it?

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Top Marine Discoveries of 2020

These blew my mind!

At risk of sounding like a cliche or an uninformed popular celebrity, I tend to get more excited about findings in the ocean than I do in space. I guess it's because I expect space to be vast and filled with everything we never knew about, including different types of life, so when we find something totally new here where we live, where it's even close enough to touch... it's just incredible. To be fair, I get excited by both.

When I dug around looking for any new creatures found last year in the ocean, I saw this list of 10 cool finds that had me saying "Wow!" over and over again. A coral reef the size of a skyscraper? The Ram's Horn Squid and Pacific Blackdragon? The whale holding its breath for almost four hours was incredible! And perhaps the most bizarre thing I learned about wasn't from 2020 but this year (it's only new to me; scientists have known about it for a while). The bigfin squid is definitely something I won't forget soon.

What is the most incredible sea creature or story you've read about recently?

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Let's Build A Zoo

Create Your Own Weird Species

Have you ever wanted to invent your own species by splicing together different animals to create something new? My fellow Xennials who watched Wuzzles know what I mean! There's a new game coming this summer called Let's Build a Zoo that will let you do just that. It's like Zoo Tycoon and it will be available on Switch, Xbox and Playstation.

The sim lets you manage your own animal empire but you have to breed animals to do it. There are over 500 animal options available so it should be interesting for people who have always wanted to invent or discover a new species. Of course, it also makes you wonder what scientists might be up to already...

Will you be playing Let's Build a Zoo? Are there any other animal species development games that you enjoy? Share them in the chat.

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Croissant Critter

Has this ever happened to you?

A woman who called animal control over a croissant she mistook for a weird animal sitting in a tree for two days is all over the Internet right now, and all I can do is feel solidarity with her. The woman, who is from Krakow, Poland, called Krakow Society for the Protection of Animals when not only she but the whole neighborhood worried about the creature. 

At least multiple witnesses corraborated her story. When I once thought I saw a snake in my doorway and called my husband home from work, I had only my sleep-deprived brain and my missing glasses to blame; it was his silver flip-flop all along!

Have you ever had a case of mistaken identity with an animal? Share your stories in the chat.

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Three-Eyed Creature of TikTok

What would you call it?

TikTok is a really fun app, but it's home to just as many conspiracies, hoaxes and goofy stories as YouTube is. Take this weird animal that users are arguing over, for example. They are joking that it's part squirrel, part rat, and that it has three eyes, but is it even a real creature?

My guess is that's not. If it is, it's going to have a really simple explanation. These days there are so many filters and ways to fake videos that it's hard to trust a lot of what you see in the first place, even without the knowledge of so much "fake news" being spread on social media. 

Do you think this animal is legit? Any other weird ones you've seen this week? Share them in the chat with your thoughts.

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Snake Found In Dryer

What's your strangest animal encounter?

Recently someone in Florida found a snake in their dryer, and that just makes me so sick to my stomach. It's not snakes I have an issue with but creatures making their way into my home! We had a snake in our garage once and that was more than enough for me. Where I live, when the copperheads start hatching they're found everywhere. I read about someone finding them under their sink and some people find them in their lawnmowers!

For these Florida residents, running into snakes isn't even the least of it. Nope. They also have shark and alligator run-ins. Everybody jokes about Australia but I think Florida has some major animal dangers! 

What is the strangest animal encounter you've ever had? Share it in the chat.

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