Weird Animal News

Orange Raccoons, Dover Demons & Green Eyes

It’s been called an “orange,” a “blond,” and a “red” raccoon. Certainly, it is a rare color phase of a common raccoon that was trapped in Greene County, Indiana, late in February and then again in March 2008. It is slowly getting more and more attention. It’s been featured in the local media in Indiana, and I heard a short story about it on Field and Stream radio last weekend. I think people are catching and releasing the same little tan-color-phase raccoon or its relatives. It got me to wondering, how would have people described this if it hadn’t been [...]

Elephant Artist Paints An Elephant

This is amazing, if it is true: Credit Cory Dortorow. Boing Boing had earlier dealt with elephants as artists and linked to the National Geographic article on elephants as musicians.

What’s Killing The Bats?

According to a new article, “Biologists seek clues as bats die off,” by John Richardson, in the Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, March 27, 2008, a mystery exists due to thousands of deaths this winter throughout the Northeast. These little brown bats, a species common to Maine, show symptoms of white-nose syndrome – rings of white fungus around the noses of hibernating bats. Courtesy New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Something is killing bats as they hibernate in parts of the Northeast, and biologists in Maine and other states are worried about what it could mean for natural systems that [...]

Pelicanism 1897

Pelicans historically have held a bizarre place in animal folklore. The Physiologus says of the pelican that it of all birds loves its young the most. The young pelicans in the Pieter van der Borcht (1545-1608) copperplate engraving (above) appear to be about to drink the blood of their mother; some versions of the story say that she feeds them her blood. The pose of the mother bird is known as “The Pelican in her Piety.” Another illustration of this pelican tale is shown in a woodcut (above) from Rome, 1577. “Pelicanism” is a term I wish to borrow from [...]