Wildlife: Jaguar throwback

McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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I'm probably going to change this into a general wildlife thread later but for now, here are Herons (well underestimated) scoffing rats.


Rats are so utterly badass, every bit as tough as the hyena I reckon, but the fucking heron just bodies the fuckers, obviously it's got the size and weaponry to make it non-competitive, but the remorselessness of it..I found it hypnotic. And sometimes swallowing them whole and alive! Just gently rinsing the bastards off before they swallow them, clean it off a little bit, get the fur all nice and slick for sliding down the gullet.

I thought this maybe was a specialisation thing with the heron learning some rough trade up and down a particularly ratty riverbank, but nope, here's a heron in Amsterdam scoffing a rat on dry land:


Mad how the rat gets a sense of pavement it's ready for bombing on despite the awful trauma he's undergone, and equally impressive that the heron is never within a second of losing him - you can see in the longer video above one rat get dashed on rocks and still escape and survive. Impressive stuff that. Tough animal.

But the star of the show is the heron. In the Amsterdam video, you can see the bird is disappointed when the rat has finally been brained and can't try to escape any more. Sinister batstard. All the usual hollow bone stuff, tiny weight, six foot wingspan, can reach speeds of 30mph and they enter into dust-ups with arch nemesis fish eagles - that's eagle - on a regular basis:
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The fish eagle gets the best of those match ups most of the time, but the heron, especially the goliath, is no joke.


Impressive rat-catching beasts.
 

Haggis

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May 16, 2013
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Tremendous opening post. Enjoyed the words and the videos very much. I hope this becomes a long running and fascinating wildlife thread (why don't we have one of those already?)

:hat
 

McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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Few more photoss of confrontations between herons and eagles, because they are awesome confrontations.

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Bald eagle:
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It's weird how niche environment throw up these weird thrilling confrontations, these 60/40 run ins where boss herons make their names.

Rats, 100% pulling for the eagles :lol:
 
Jun 5, 2013
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I live near a lot of marsh land and a nature reserve and often seen Herons, some are absolutely huge. The Wife said she was going out to the car the other day and heard this awful shrieking and looked up to see a fucking squirrel being flown away in the beak of some monster bird. I’m guessing it was a Heron, it traumatised her .
 
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McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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I live near a lot of marsh land and a nature reserve and often seen Herons, some are absolutely huge. The Wife said she was going out to the car the other day and heard this awful shrieking and looked up to see a fucking squirrel being flown away in the beak of some monster bird. I’m guessing it was a Heron, it traumatised her .
Yeah, they give the squirrels the same treatment as the rats. Don't seem as bothered about killing them before they swallow either.

 
Jul 24, 2012
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I was waiting on the thing choking to death... I wouldn't like to see the mess when it comes out the other end.
 
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McGrain

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LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL EATING PIGEONS.

This kind of thing is fascinating to me.

The below film is a short (9 minutes) and it covers off the Hyde Park blackback gull scoffing pigeons. What is interesting about it is he seems self-taught. Although he's a big boy, I wonder if this is how animals "leap" into new forms of hunting. Is he observed and then suddenly pigeon numbers plummet? That doesn't seem to have happened here, but he still seems an outlier.

Fascinating is 2:15 when after two failed attempts, the gull does the lion and goes belly to the ground, making himself as inconspicuous as a killing machine can be. The killing strategy - severing the spine with the beak and accidental drowning (Don't see him try to drown it like you sometimes see African animals do) - is as vicious as might be expected from what is as violent an animal as lives in mainland Britain.


In the end, it looks like the hit-rate is pretty low. This is likely a bird with a taste for flesh/violence and therefore his peers just haven't seen the need to take up the cudgel. Interestingly enough though, he is very successful in his territory and has produced numerous offspring.

Here's one with his leftovers:


Very interesting to see this youngster drive off a fully adult blackback. Obviously the violence and self-confidence runs in the family.
 

McGrain

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I did try to post some other pictures but got sick of "Oops! We ran into some problems!"

Anyway you get the idea!
 

McGrain

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Here's some brief gull-on-gull violence:


They do occasionally kill or blind each other and they are hell on one-another's offspsring.
 
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Dazl1212

Ripley, strong independent woman who don't no man
May 16, 2013
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I remember the video of some bird eating a Penguin by pulling its insides out through its arsehole. That was messed up.

Great thread.
 

McGrain

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OK, i haven't been looking into either of these animals, learned anything interesting about their backgrounds, nor do I bring knowledge of how they normally interact.

But holy fuck though?

Carpet Python pulls in currawong by its fucking head and scoffs it, all while dangling off a tv antena beaming something way less interesting to whoever is watching the telly within.



 

CamelCase

Teak Tough
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May 21, 2013
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I remember the video of some bird eating a Penguin by pulling its insides out through its arsehole. That was messed up.

Great thread.
Managed to find the video but be warned it’s a tough watch, nature really is horrific at times.

 
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Jul 24, 2012
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I saw a horrendous video of some guy feeding live mice to his snapping turtle ... horror show.

Not gonna repost if it's still floating about, it's like something you'd see on LiveLeak.