Wildlife: Jaguar throwback

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
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The Shrike Bird

Look at him! Isn't he cute?
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Yes, he is, but he's also, arguably, the most homicidal creature in the entire animal kingdom.

There are lots of different varieties of this species - loggerhead, bayback, lesser grey, many others for a total weight of between 21g to above 60g, and I'm not going through all of that here, but trust me, they are all total lunatics.

Shrike birds prey upon small animals and other birds, and the method is brutal. Have a closer look at the cute picture above; see that adorable little overbite? It's a hook that the shrike uses to crack the skull and break the neck of its victims. The below is a bit fucked up.


Once brained he decides whether or not he wants to eat it.

If he's not feeling peckish, it flies the very dead prey to the nearest bramble bush.
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There, he hooks him to a spike and flies off. This bird, which is thriving in Eurasia and Africa, will return to the site of the grizzly larder as much as two weeks later to scoff up the snack he casually lifted two Sundays ago.

So far, so leopard. What's disturbing about the shrike is how his almost unique method of storing dead animals is that it's grown to become a wider part of his culture.

Animals who hate one-another are kind of rare, we've seen lion v hyena which is genuinely dark, but it's all but unheard of because it brings no evolutionary benefit. It's fine to want to fight over territory and hyenas and lions operate within that same territory and scoff the same dead creatures. But that's the key. There's a day-after advantage for hyenas when they kill lions, for all that the energy spent and the peril involved probably isn't worth it. With shrikes, its reptiles. They hate reptiles, or appear to.

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They kill them, store them, and then they don't eat them. They murder them, then hang them high on a bramble bush and leave them to it. They don't come back two weeks later, they don't come back at all; they just leave the lizards, snakes and other reptiles they come across in their day and leave them uneaten and gruesome.

There are two schools of thought here. One, that the homicidal shrike bird just loves to kill reptiles. They hate reptiles for some unknown, mis-understood reason. The second school of thought is even more grizzly; that shrike birds kill and impale these animals as a territorial marker - like a head on a pole warning invading tribesman that a serious individual lives here. It would thereby serve as an attractor for mates (problematic because shrikes of both sexes do this - although the male shrike does sometimes "dress up" these kills, adding credence ) and a warning to rivals.

Whether senseless killing is more or less disturbing than killing things for an "i live here" decorative affect, i'm unsure.

 
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Jun 3, 2013
911
654
The Shrike Bird

Look at him! Isn't he cute?
View attachment 4501

Yes, he is, but he's also, arguably, the most homicidal creature in the entire animal kingdom.

There are lots of different varieties of this species - loggerhead, bayback, lesser grey, many others for a total weight of between 21g to above 60g, and I'm not going through all of that here, but trust me, they are all total lunatics.

Shrike birds prey upon small animals and other birds, and the method is brutal. Have a closer look at the cute picture above; see that adorable little overbite? It's a hook that the shrike uses to crack the skull and break the neck of its victims. The below is a bit fucked up.


Once brained he decides whether or not he wants to eat it.

If he's not feeling peckish, it flies the very dead prey to the nearest bramble bush.
View attachment 4502
View attachment 4505

There, he hooks him to a spike and flies off. This bird, which is thriving in Eurasia and Africa, will return to the site of the grizzly larder as much as two weeks later to scoff up the snack he casually lifted two Sundays ago.

So far, so leopard. What's disturbing about the shrike is how his almost unique method of storing dead animals is that it's grown to become a wider part of his culture.

Animals who hate one-another are kind of rare, we've seen lion v hyena which is genuinely dark, but it's all but unheard of because it brings no evolutionary benefit. It's fine to want to fight over territory and hyenas and lions operate within that same territory and scoff the same dead creatures. But that's the key. There's a day-after advantage for hyenas when they kill lions, for all that the energy spent and the peril involved probably isn't worth it. With shrikes, its reptiles. They hate reptiles, or appear to.

View attachment 4503

View attachment 4506

View attachment 4507

They kill them, store them, and then they don't eat them. They murder them, then hang them high on a bramble bush and leave them to it. They don't come back two weeks later, they don't come back at all; they just leave the lizards, snakes and other reptiles they come across in their day and leave them uneaten and gruesome.

There are two schools of thought here. One, that the homicidal shrike bird just loves to kill reptiles. They hate reptiles for some unknown, mis-understood reason. The second school of thought is even more grizzly; that shrike birds kill and impale these animals as a territorial marker - like a head on a pole warning invading tribesman that a serious individual lives here. It would thereby serve as an attractor for mates (problematic because shrikes of both sexes do this - although the male shrike does sometimes "dress up" these kills, adding credence ) and a warning to rivals.

Whether senseless killing is more or less disturbing than killing things for an "i live here" decorative affect, i'm unsure.

My new favourite animal.
 
Jun 4, 2012
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18,360
Great thread. I like Herons a lot more now, as I have a lot of time for killing rats. The Shrike bird was featured on an episode of Africa by David Attenborough. However, from what I knew they impale as a storage system for food. They don't eat tons in one go as they are small, but by impaling the bodies they have a sort of cupboard of food that is out of reach from ground scavengers.

Apparently the loggerhead shrike in Florida feeds a lot on lubber grasshoppers which are poisonous. The shrike cannot eat them fresh as the poisons would kill them, but after a couple of days on a spike, the toxins degrade and the grasshopper becomes edible.

 
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McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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It's actually reassuring to know shrikes impale small animals on spikes, just in case I ever wander across a bush with impaled animals all over it and assume there's a deranged psychopath nearby
There would be though...it's just that he'd be a tiny little bird.
 

McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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Wild dogs are such great animals. Their kill rate is through the roof, it's mad. See lionesses, worry, see these bad boys, forget it, you are lunch.
 
Apr 10, 2016
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Actually a very good thread nice 1 fellas.

Once saw a snake eagle in kenya whilst on safari didnt know at the time but the guide pointed 1 out.

Its a marvel on the things birds can do
 

Tuff Gong

SUN's OOT GUNS OOT
May 22, 2013
15,641
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home
The Shrike Bird

Look at him! Isn't he cute?
View attachment 4501

Yes, he is, but he's also, arguably, the most homicidal creature in the entire animal kingdom.

There are lots of different varieties of this species - loggerhead, bayback, lesser grey, many others for a total weight of between 21g to above 60g, and I'm not going through all of that here, but trust me, they are all total lunatics.

Shrike birds prey upon small animals and other birds, and the method is brutal. Have a closer look at the cute picture above; see that adorable little overbite? It's a hook that the shrike uses to crack the skull and break the neck of its victims. The below is a bit fucked up.


Once brained he decides whether or not he wants to eat it.

If he's not feeling peckish, it flies the very dead prey to the nearest bramble bush.
View attachment 4502
View attachment 4505

There, he hooks him to a spike and flies off. This bird, which is thriving in Eurasia and Africa, will return to the site of the grizzly larder as much as two weeks later to scoff up the snack he casually lifted two Sundays ago.

So far, so leopard. What's disturbing about the shrike is how his almost unique method of storing dead animals is that it's grown to become a wider part of his culture.

Animals who hate one-another are kind of rare, we've seen lion v hyena which is genuinely dark, but it's all but unheard of because it brings no evolutionary benefit. It's fine to want to fight over territory and hyenas and lions operate within that same territory and scoff the same dead creatures. But that's the key. There's a day-after advantage for hyenas when they kill lions, for all that the energy spent and the peril involved probably isn't worth it. With shrikes, its reptiles. They hate reptiles, or appear to.

View attachment 4503

View attachment 4506

View attachment 4507

They kill them, store them, and then they don't eat them. They murder them, then hang them high on a bramble bush and leave them to it. They don't come back two weeks later, they don't come back at all; they just leave the lizards, snakes and other reptiles they come across in their day and leave them uneaten and gruesome.

There are two schools of thought here. One, that the homicidal shrike bird just loves to kill reptiles. They hate reptiles for some unknown, mis-understood reason. The second school of thought is even more grizzly; that shrike birds kill and impale these animals as a territorial marker - like a head on a pole warning invading tribesman that a serious individual lives here. It would thereby serve as an attractor for mates (problematic because shrikes of both sexes do this - although the male shrike does sometimes "dress up" these kills, adding credence ) and a warning to rivals.

Whether senseless killing is more or less disturbing than killing things for an "i live here" decorative affect, i'm unsure.

We have the Butcher Bird here in Australia which does exactly the same.

My missus had some canaries in a cage outside our back door & we thought it was cute that this little bird with a hooked beak was visiting her canaries & singing sweet, hypnotic songs to them from outside their cage until we came home one day to find one of the canaries dead on the bottom of the cage with a stab wound on its neck & the other canaries flying about in absolute terror inside the cage.
 
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McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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The poor old Saiga Antelope is on his way out by the looks.

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You know you're in trouble when having a freakishly deformed cock for a face isn't your biggest problem.

Rated "critically endangered" by unwashed types, there are fewer than 50k in the wild, which is normally not the end of the world, but consider: their impressive horns are highly desired in traditional Chinese medicine, aka, mad Chinamen rubbing wild stuff on their balls to make them "more potent." It probably spells curtains. In China itself they've been hunted to zero, and they happen to live in territories that are hard to get working conservation going in:

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Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and one or two other pockets here and there. Places with neither the money to launch their own meaningful programmes nor the pull to attract foreign investment exhibited by African territories. Better to be born lucky than good, because the saiga seems totally viable - it used to live basically everywhere - were it not for the people scoffing them, eating them, and feverishly rubbing their bones on their gentiles. It's the rate of the kill though that is staggering. With 50,000 remaining they were being killed in the hundreds of thousands five years ago, down from millions. So teetering.

Here they are moving about, they look mad as fuck:


They can travel significant migratory distances, are strong swimmers and can scoff plants which are poisonous to other animals, all great adaptions. No climbing skills though so you're not going to see a 2.0 living on high ground. It's plains or bust. The mad nose is the best adaption of all though. It filters dust as efficiently as any animal on earth, cools the animal's blood in the arid summer and heats up air before it is delivered to the lungs during desert nights. These specialised adaptions are as appealing to me as anything in the sea where most of the coolest adaptions reside, but theses are nice-to-haves whereas wider adaptability rather than specialised adaptability is the order of the day.

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They're badass though; topping out at 135lbs, they're one of he most vicious duellists of all the herbivores, killing each other with numbing regularity, which is ridiculous, because the males are overwhelmingly the target of those who hunt them.

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The woman who does these videos is pretty annoying, but she's generally solid on the science:

 

Deebo

"Messkin" Deebo
Jun 5, 2013
14,908
10,877
Show dem balls bro
The poor old Saiga Antelope is on his way out by the looks.

View attachment 4852

You know you're in trouble when having a freakishly deformed cock for a face isn't your biggest problem.

Rated "critically endangered" by unwashed types, there are fewer than 50k in the wild, which is normally not the end of the world, but consider: their impressive horns are highly desired in traditional Chinese medicine, aka, mad Chinamen rubbing wild stuff on their balls to make them "more potent." It probably spells curtains. In China itself they've been hunted to zero, and they happen to live in territories that are hard to get working conservation going in:

View attachment 4853

Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and one or two other pockets here and there. Places with neither the money to launch their own meaningful programmes nor the pull to attract foreign investment exhibited by African territories. Better to be born lucky than good, because the saiga seems totally viable - it used to live basically everywhere - were it not for the people scoffing them, eating them, and feverishly rubbing their bones on their gentiles. It's the rate of the kill though that is staggering. With 50,000 remaining they were being killed in the hundreds of thousands five years ago, down from millions. So teetering.

Here they are moving about, they look mad as fuck:


They can travel significant migratory distances, are strong swimmers and can scoff plants which are poisonous to other animals, all great adaptions. No climbing skills though so you're not going to see a 2.0 living on high ground. It's plains or bust. The mad nose is the best adaption of all though. It filters dust as efficiently as any animal on earth, cools the animal's blood in the arid summer and heats up air before it is delivered to the lungs during desert nights. These specialised adaptions are as appealing to me as anything in the sea where most of the coolest adaptions reside, but theses are nice-to-haves whereas wider adaptability rather than specialised adaptability is the order of the day.

View attachment 4855

They're badass though; topping out at 135lbs, they're one of he most vicious duellists of all the herbivores, killing each other with numbing regularity, which is ridiculous, because the males are overwhelmingly the target of those who hunt them.

View attachment 4854

The woman who does these videos is pretty annoying, but she's generally solid on the science:


One strange observation one may make is these kinda look like the human population from around that region also. :think1
 
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May 8, 2013
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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:

I had a house down in Florida that was on a medium-sized freshwater lake. My back yard was lakefront, with a private boat dock, etc. Anyway, the nature show on that lake was awesome. We had Great Blue Heron and Bald Eagles for part of the year (the Heron seemed to be around most of the year, whereas the Bald Eagles were migratory). I would watch both species fish by diving into the water, and catch small pest game on the shore. I saw a few confrontations between the species, and in my experiences, never saw a Heron come away from a full-grown Bald Eagle victorious. The Bald Eagle is a huge fucking bird, hard to realize how big until you see one up close in captivity (usually injured bird that cannot be released back into the wild). The Heron would scare away other raptors at times, but the Bald Eagle? I personally never saw that. Now a bull alligator would make all the birds move away if he was on the hunt.
 

McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
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3,600
Kangaroo Rats practising martial arts.

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Look at his little rat face! But note those elongated back legs.

Kangaroo rats live in the old American west and sport perhaps the most astonishing non-behavioural adaption in all the rodent kingdom. The tiny little creatures top out at 170g, a good dunt less than a sewer rat but they have steel springs for supporting legs which can propel them an astonishing nine feet in the air. This grants them the highest jump in the mammal kingdom relative to body size. Only insects and shit can outjump them.

So far, so niche, but this is evolution at its very best. Kangaroo rats share an environment with all kinds of horrible snakes, chief among them the rattler. Rattlers live off rodents. But they generally don't live off the kangaroo rat.

Snakes lie absolutely still in the desert night, fangs and venom poised; the kangaroo rat cannot see them, but he doesn't need to. His other great advantage is his hearing. And this springs from another beautiful evolutionary adaption. Most animals have small air filled chambers in their ears that interrupt very low frequency sounds. The kangaroo rat's are huge and they can hear these sounds. Interestingly, it is believed this adaption is geared more towards evading swooping owls which make a low frequency sound at the very last moment of their swoop; but it serves them magically with the snake too, literally hearing a strike they can't see. The strike approaches three metres a second for speed. It's one of the fastest strikes in the animal kingdom.

This is worth watching:


Did you see the kick on each strike? That kick is crucial and maybe the most amazing aspect of the whole thing. The kick is designed to dash off a snake that has already bitten the kangaroo rat but hasn't yet injected its venom. You can see that happen in the above video - the snake lands fangs but gets kicked off before it can inject. Wee kangaroo rat then hops away. I love it. I've never seen anything quite like it to be honest. It's predation solution at its very finest and one of the great salutes to evolution ever.

All the while they're hopping around the desert gobbling little seeds and storing them in its adorable little cheek pouches.

Here's David Attenborough trying to trick one and getting no play. It then proceeds to literally kick sand in the face of snake he's made until it skins out:


A splendid and brilliant little creature.

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Made animal.
 
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McGrain

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Jul 6, 2012
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The Hairy Frogfish, or Striated Frogfish has the fastest bite in the animal kingdom. It's also got a forwardly flexible mouth and a flexible body, which allows it to swallow prey as big as itself, which is terrifying. Imagine a jaguar that could swallow you whole in the blink of an eye and you have grasped just how terrifying this 9 inch devilfish must be to the creatures it shares an environment with.

They're also a weird and wonderful collections of colours. This is because the brute changes colours when he moves into a new environment, not in an instant like the octopus, but over a period of a couple of weeks. Check out the fleek:

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The horrible cunt then blends into the coral reef/rock formation/whatever and does the business.

It's so fast, it can't properly be captured in slow motion. In slow motion, it's still to fast to see. You don't have to blink to miss it, you'll just miss it:


Quicker, even, than Andy Ruiz. Even in a frame-by-frame breakdown, it's still a three frame job, though you can see the insane mechanics:


He's so fast that the other fish in the shoal don't even seem that arsed apart from the poor victim's immediate neighbour. They literally don't know anything happened, that's how fast he is.

Theses guys hate each other; they can hardly tolerate each other and being all aproximtely the same size, they occasionally scoff each other when the meet to fuck. Bad break. Their method of propultion is a trip, too. They scoop in water through their mouths and then spit it out their ass to scoot about. It's a throwback to another era but is to efficient and outright lightning fast to fail.

They are extensively preyed upon, of course, it's the ocean, but not by anything in its own weight class.

Made animal.

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McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
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Jaguar crushes Leopard.

I was very distrubed - very, very disturbed - to hear on an episode of Joe Rogan this year that a "leopard is bigger than a jaguar."

A leopard is not bigger than a jaguar. In fact, the leopard is a jaguar's little bitch - or to put it in the parlance of Darwin, a jaguar is a leopard in Africa.

This is another way of saying that if the Jaguar lived in Africa it would be the leopard because it would have to bow to the lion - but, facts are facts. And i the interim, the jaguar has become so beastly as to overtake the lion - or at least the lioness - in certain aspects. This is because it has reigned supreme in arguably the second most difficult environment of all, the south american jungle. Whether or not you like the SA aspect, follow him in Mexico where he shows up, or see the African environment, reasonably, as #1, Jaguar is boss of one tough spot.


As usual, the perfect picture is available (linked above) but can't be posted on the forum because...i forget why. Anyway, if you open it the biggest difference is literally staring you in the face. Jaguar has a much wider, deeper head which houses some badass jaw muscles - it's not the jaw. The two skulls weigh about the same, though the Jaguar i the bigger, it's the muslces. These muscles sit so impressively that the Jaguar actually has the most powerful bite of any big cat - and it's not close. Lions manage a piddly 650 pounds per square inch; tigers are much more impressive at about 1000. Leopard has double that psi at around 2000. In the entire animal kingdom, only crocodiles rank higher consistently. There's an actual argument that goes on as to whether or not the Leopard or the Hippo has the harder bite.

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In terms of size, too, it's a no contest. The largest recorded Jaguar was 350lbs; the largest leopard 305lbs. What even more amazing is that the biggest Jaguars are bigger than most lionesses. A very large male Jaguar would be more than a match for any lioness and would be a very serious proposition for most lions and tigers. 210lbs is more like the normal side of large though and these would tend to get bodied; not that they're still much larger than the leopard though.

The Jaguar's extra weight means it's less agile than the leopard but it's name is still a derivation of a native word meaning "kills with one pounce". It's crazy stealthy and blessed with great timing on the "go". Note, also, the way it manhandles this 150-200lb boar:


Turn the volume up for the "That was nice" guilty middle-class styling of the amateur camera-man.

This is a traditional cat kill, but the Jaguar also mixes it up a bit in that its bite is so powerful it is capable of breaking the neck and skull of its prey, so it often doesn't bother with the throat and kills its prey from the rear.


As observed by this more sanguine gentleman, these creatures are very very at home in water and more so than they are in the trees. That's probably the real reason the leopard didn't get as big as the Jaguar. He doesn't want to lose his ability to skite about the trees which is what makes lions and hyenas that bother him look so dumb. Also, if he'd taken the Jaguar route, he'd still be getting out-muscled by packs of hyenas, lionesses and individual lions just like he is now, and he's not turning the above trick against nile crocs. Elephants would still terrify him.

That doesn't change the fact that the Jaguar is way bigger, way badder and the daddy of a deep meta. Here's one on DMT to celebrate:


Made animal.
 
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McGrain

Diamond Dog
Jul 6, 2012
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One rather odd thing about the Jaguar is the fighting style.


The above is pretty bizarre. I can't figure it. You see three attacks and multiple feints. All the attacks and a couple of the feints are about exposing throat and stomach to the opponent. I can't decide about this? Could it be that the relative speeds of the opponent is what matters most here?

What I mean is, is the Jaguar so fast that he could get away with these moves against a lioness or a leopard? Or is its speed only relative to other meaty bastards like itself? Jaguar doesn't have to worry about fighting any other cats; has this led to a fighting style that would actually make it really really vulnerable against faster cats like the leopard? For all that it is bigger, with the baddest bite, arguably the p4p strongest of the cats, would the style it learned in one-on-one encounters against the only other cat it had to worry about - another Jaguar - cost it?

Would the leopard actually dust the Jaguar?

Either way, above video is very cool.

Quick note about Jaguar territorial disputes: they're very rare apparently. Jaguar's don't defend their territories like African cats, they happily overlap for the most part, but they all have small "core" territories, much smaller than their wider territory, and that they defend to death.