Tag Archives: amazing animal videos

Koko, the Gorilla Who Uses Sign-Language, Mourns the Death of Her Friend Robin Williams

In 2001, Robin Williams traveled to the headquarters of the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California after taking a personal interest in ape conservation.

While there, he met the famous gorilla Koko, who was taught American sign-language at a young age.

The two were made for each other. Koko quickly took a liking to Williams’ kind heart, and almost immediately he was one of the ape’s closest friends.

Koko kisses Williams’ hand during their first meeting. Click to enlarge (Courtesy of the Gorilla Foundation)

When she met Williams, Koko had been going through a bout of depression following the death of another gorilla that had been her good friend.

At the same time, Williams was battling the issues of depression and addiction that plagued him throughout his life.

Williams made Koko laugh for the first time in six months, granting her requests to be tickled and letting her try on his glasses as the two unlikely friends bonded. It was obvious to anyone watching that Williams enjoyed the experience just as much as Koko did.

You can watch some video of the pair becoming friends below:

The meeting changed the lives of both man and ape alike:

“Not only did Robin cheer up Koko, the effect was mutual, and Robin seemed transformed,”

Koko’s caretaker Dr. Penny Patterson said while reflecting on the meeting.

So when staff at the Gorilla Foundation used sign language to tell Koko of Williams’ passing, it was no surprise that she was visibly upset.

She sat hunched over, her bottom lip quivering as she mourned the passing of her friend.

Koko was visibly upset by the news of Williams' passing. Click to enlarge (Courtesy of the Gorilla Foundation)
Koko was visibly upset by the news of Williams’ passing. Click to enlarge (Courtesy of the Gorilla Foundation)

Koko’s bond with Williams and her grief at his passing serve as a powerful reminder that a truly kind heart can transcend all differences. Even the differences between man and animal.

Read the original story from the Daily Mail here.

In This Small Brazilian Town, Dolphins and Fishermen Work Together (Video)

On the Brazilian coast, a couple hundred miles south of São Paulo, lies the small town of Laguna.

Laguna is very much like most other small coastal towns in Brazil, with many people relying heavily on fishing to provide both food and income.

However, the fishermen of Laguna have a truly remarkable secret weapon: a pod of about 20 bottlenose dolphins. Check it out in this awesome video from the BBC series Human Planet:

This interaction is a beautiful example of a symbiotic relationship, one in which both species benefit from cooperation.

The dolphins help the fishermen by herding fish into shallower waters along the shore. Once the fish are bunched, the dolphins use specialized head or tail slaps to show the fishermen where to cast their nets.

Not only does it make fishing much easier and more effective, it also saves the fishermen the trouble of having to go out into deeper waters to find fish.

A fisherman responds to a dolphin’s cue by casting his net. Click to enlarge (Photo: Fábio Daura-Jorge)

When the fishermen cast their nets, it startles the schools of fish, causing them to split up and swim in random directions. This makes it much easier for the dolphins to pick them off as they try to escape.

The dolphins help provide fish to over 200 families in Laguna who have no other source of income.

Over the years, the fishermen have become  intimately familiar with many of the dolphins, even naming them. Some of the most skilled dolphins, like “Scooby” and “Caroba”, have been working with the fishermen for more than 15 years.

The dolphins herd schools of mullet towards the shore where they can be easily collected by the fishermen. Click to enlarge (Photo: Fábio Daura-Jorge)

Recently, a group of researchers decided to study the unique interactions.

Fábio Daura-Jorge, who works at the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, was one of the leading researchers.

He pointed out that although this relationship is very unique, it’s not altogether surprising when you consider how social dolphins are as a species:

“Dolphin societies are very complex, and social interaction seems to drive foraging behavior…

It might be that the development of specialized foraging behavior occurs in small tight-knit resident coastal communities because there is a high degree of social interaction between the animals.”

Fábio Daura-Jorge played a key role in the study of Laguna’s dolphins, and also did some photography while he was there. Click to enlarge

He also stressed just how important the dolphins are to the way of life for the fishing families of Laguna:

“The fish provided from the cooperation with dolphins has an important economic and social value that has to be considered…

Essentially, if we lose the cooperative dolphins, we lose this unique traditional way of life and vice versa.”

Read more from Live Science here.

These Guys Were Just Enjoying a Day of Surfing When a Playful Seal Pup Decided to Join (Video)

Matthew and his friend Andrew like to shred a couple waves every now and then.

Recently, they were enjoying the waves off the coast of England when they had an unsuspected visitor. Matt describes the event:

“Me and my friend Andrew were out enjoying some summer waves when this little guy came along and scared the hell out of Andy because we didn’t know what it was! It nudged his foot from underneath.”

The next hour was filled with fun for both the surfers and the seal. Check out some of the footage below:

When the pair finally decided to call it a day, the seal pup followed them to the beach, and even  tried following them up the beach.

As a precaution, Andy called the local wildlife authority to inform them of the strange behavior when they got home, in case there was something wrong with the pup. But he did however add that,

“He didn’t seem unwell when he was surfing in like a pro!”

Although a representative from a local sanctuary said that they had never heard of seals jumping on surfboards before, it’s most likely that the young pup was just enjoying a new play experience with its new friends.

(h/t IFL Science)

BONUS: If you’re a fan of seals, you’ll probably love this video of a sea lion jamming out to Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” at various different tempos.

The sea lion, whose name is Ronin, was the first non-human mammal proven to keep a beat.

The World’s Fastest Animals, In Super Slow Motion (Video)

When you think of the fastest animals in the world, you probably don’t think of salamanders or crabs. Surprisingly however, these two unassuming creatures top the list of the world’s fastest animals.

Both share the ability to make lightning-fast movements with different parts of their body. The hydromantes salamander takes the top spot with the animals kingdom’s fastest tongue, and the mantis crab comes in second with a hammer claw that moves so fast it actually creates a compression wave that boils water in front of it.

Check out the video below to see these two amazing creatures in action:

For everyone who came here to see a cheetah in super slow-motion, don’t worry, I got you- watching cheetah videos has been a favorite activity of mine since I was a kid.

Cheetahs, the fastest land animals on our planet, are capable of reaching speeds up to 75 mph. When chasing prey at these extremely high speeds, cheetahs use their tails as a rudder to help steer:

The peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest bird, and the fastest animal if we’re talking about moving the whole body.

These fighter-pilot like falcons assault their prey (almost exclusively other birds) from above, reaching a terminal velocity of 200 mph as they dive-bomb from sky (terminal velocity is the point at which air resistance stops an object from accelerating during free fall).

The falcons strike with a clenched fist which either stuns or kills their prey. The falcon then twists in midair to snare the other bird.