Wild Side

WEIRD AND WILD: THE ANIMALS WE SHARE THE WORLD WITH

There are roughly 9 million species of animals that we share this world with. Some are cute and cuddly, and some are the things that make up nightmares. With 9 million species on this planet and with more being discovered daily there is no doubt that some of these animals that walk alongside us go unnoticed, But at Wild Side we embrace those freaky, funky, and awkward animals and want to share our love for them with you.  We are going to share some of the most unique animals that roam the earth today. Mother nature hardly ever repeats its self so the fact that we share the world with some of these species today is amazing and the fact that we can learn about them is even more outstanding. These are just a handful of the 9 million species that live amongst us, but a weird and wild hand full it is.

 

 AXOLOTL

            The Axolotl also referred to as the Mexican salamander or a Mexican walking fish, is an amphibian from Mexico. These wild little creatures are amazing in so many ways but the one attribute that sticks out most is their ability to regenerate. Most axolotl never reach full maturity. Leaving most of their cells in a juvenile state allowing them to regenerate parts of their bodies that were injured or removed. These smiley little healers have largely influenced the scientific community not only for their ability to grow new cells and body parts but also for their resistance to cancer. Axolotls are one the most cancer resistant animals known today. But regardless of all the amazing qualities that these amphibians have, and what they have inspired in the medical field, these damn things sure are weirdly cute.    

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GERENUK

            The Gerenuk looks like it would be the love child of a Giraffe and a Deer, but these long-necked animals are actually considered Gazelles. They live in the savannahs of Kenya where they have adapted well to their surroundings. Gerenuk’s where built for the droughts of Kenya with being able to go months without water and their long necks allowing them to reach the higher leaves on the local tree’s giving them a cutting edge on other plains animals. They may look a little odd but these things sure are tough.

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LAMPREY

            Lamprey are the things nightmares are made of. At Wild Side we believe in embracing all things wild but these hell sent creatures send something fierce down our spine. The Lamprey is said to be around 300 million years old, and with populations in the healthy numbers found all over the globe it doesn't look like they are going anywhere soon. Lamprey has also been deemed the silent invader due to their ability to move through rivers and into lakes killing the native species in a very violent blood sucking way. The great lakes that border U.S.A and Canada, had such a large problem with Lamprey killing off the fish that they had to create a Lamprey repellent that would kill the larva of the demon leech allowing the fish population to rebound.

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SAIGA ANTELOPE

Looking like an alien straight from a Star Wars film the Saiga Antelope is a very unique animal not just because of what they look like but because of how short and odd their lives are. These long-nosed animals come from Central Asia, mostly residing in Kazakhstan. Since the day they are born Saiga are put to the test, a newborn calf will go from female to female in search of its mother facing rejection from each one until the calf is able to find its mom or dies. If these animals pass the first test of finding their rightful mother they now must walk hundreds of miles each year in search of water with 50 % of the animals dying in the first 6 months, and for the lucky survivors, they can look forward to a short-lived life of only 4 years on average. If all this death was not depressing enough the Saiga Antelope had its population whipped out by 50% in 2015 due to an unknown epidemic. These animals for some reason have adapted to die very easy and very fast, but who knows maybe their bodies are feeding the soil for some future life…

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RED LIPPED BATFISH

        The Red-lipped batfish kind of looks like a cross between your grumpy neighbor and a freaking fish. This weird little creature uses its feet like fins to walk instead of swim they live off the shore of a Galapagos Islands in about 3-6 meters in depth. The Red Lipped Bat Fish is an aggressive hunter feeding on smaller prey, so they look and act the part. Definitely only a face a mother can love.

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GOBLIN SHARK

            Goblin Sharks are rare species of shark said to be about 125 million years old giving them the name "Living fossil". Even with the rarity of these animals, they are found in depths 100 meters below the surface in many parts of the world. With the Goblin shark having such deep living conditions and being so rare studying, them is some difficulty leaving us with a lot of unanswered questions, but what we do know certain is that jaw sure is wild.

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BARRELEYE FISH

            The Barreleye Fish is an alien looking fish with a transparent head, and the reason why they got their name is because of those large barrels like eyes. The eyes on this animal point straight up giving scientist the thought that it lives below its prey, and its transparent head is said to help it see its food. The Barreleye Fish is thought to eat jellyfish and other deep-dwelling creatures, a fluid around the Barreleye fish's head protects it from stings and attacks from other fish. This fish lives in depths around 600- 800 meters, and just like many of the weird and wild creatures that live in those depths, they become very hard to study and observe.

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WATER BEARS

        Water bears, or called Tardigrades, are microscopic animals about 1mm in size, but don't let their small size fool you these things are as tough as they come.  Water bears have been found on every corner of the earth and can survive practically every single condition. These little brick shit houses have survived the pressures of the deep ocean, boiling hot conditions of active volcanos, even survived the vacuum of space. There are about 900 known species of water bears and each one of them is amazing in their own way, some are cannibals and some can survive 10 times the x-ray radiation a human can. Yup these little bears can pretty much withstand every condition that is thrown at them and are thought to be from out of this world if you believe in evolution it is kind of exciting to see what the future holds for these things.  

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With these not even being a small percentage of the many amazing animals it is no shock that mother nature is full of surprises even with everything we know about the world our search to learn more continues. With every new species discovered it only raises a million more questions keeping our undying need to know more alive the world is truly wild and wonderful and the fact that we are all here right now is undoubtedly amazing.

 

STAY WILD AND STAY WEIRD.

 

HOW TO AVOID GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED BY A MOOSE

Moose are found all over the northern ranges of North America. From the shores of Nova Scotia, through the plains of Saskatchewan, right to the secluded mountain ranges of Alaska.  With all the hype and fear being about bears and wolves (With good reason) the moose is often over looked as a threat. And with having such a diverse living area, and out populating most of your typical “aggressive wild animals” by 5X in some areas it is important to talk about ways to avoid getting attacked, how to look for some aggressive moose signs, and what to do when the moose starts laying the hooves to you. Because if you do anything out in the bush or live in a city/town with a moose population in the surrounding area you are going to run into one of these Frankenstein wildlings sooner or later. 

 

First let’s start with how dangerous moose actually are.  Moose have been deemed the gold medal champions in human ass whooping’s with more attacks on humans than bears and wolves combined annually, these animals sure don’t take much crap. Moose attack more people in North America than any other wild animal (let’s not forget that crocodiles, bears, wolves, cougars, and many other “aggressive” animals live amongst us here in the Americas) and are said to be second next to the hippo world wide for attacks on humans. With only 3 reported deaths caused by a moose stomping these animals are more likely to leave you with a few broken bones a black eye, fat lip, and the feeling of what the hell just happened. But don’t underestimate these heavy weight brutes, many fish and wildlife reports and animal protection books have named the moose the most dangerous animal in the woods. You might be thinking well if I am not in the woods I should be okay right? Sorry to rain on your parade, but the most dangerous place to run into these animals is in your car on the high way.  Transport Canada has reported between 1999-2003 there where 9,740 moose related vehicle collisions, 105 of them being fatal. With bears on average killing 3 people a year due to attacks, the moose might not finish you on the trail but he might just get you on your drive home.

 

 So what do you do if you run into a moose on the trail? Well first things first keep your distance just like any other wild animal, they are unpredictable, and you can’t ask them nicely how there day is going. If you do come face to face with a moose it is always nice to have some tricks in your artillery. “Know some of the signs of an irritated/aggressive moose.”

·         If the moose is eating and stops and looks at you (they don’t like changing their                          behaviour)

·         When the lay back their ears or raise the hair on there hump, neck, or hips

·         If they smack their lips or chat their teeth

·         Lowers its head and starts walking your direction

·         Urinates

·         Opens its eyes wide enough to see the whites

·         Whips its head back like a horse

If you see a moose showing any of these signs its probably best you high tail it out there. These animals can run up to 30mph, now that’s a lot faster than you. So if you do find your self getting chased down, you got to get out of there and try a find a tree or some sort of barricade to put between you and the moose (They are very large so moving around big trees is hard). But if you cannot move fast enough and you find your self getting hoofed by a 1200 lb moose, just get into the tightest fetal position you can and try not to make noises or move. Once the moose feels like you are no longer a threat it will most likely move on.

 

Why do moose attack? Moose attack mainly out of protection. Weather it is a cow protecting her calves or a big bull moose defending his territory, the main reason is because you got to close to them and they must stop what ever their doing to eliminate the problem (you) and like stated before moose do not like changing their behaviour. With that being said, there has also been a lot of reported random moose attacks mostly coming out of the Alaskan city Anchorage (they have a very high moose population). Another reason they attack is when people feed them. Moose eat lots of food and when you tease them with a couple of handfuls of willow bush then walk away they get pissed off. So its better to just not feed them at all. But just like anything out there in mother nature it is very unpredictable so its just better to choose your battles wisely and don’t start a fight you can’t finish.

 

STAY WILD AND STAY SAFE

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://beprepared.com/blog/15573/7-signs-youre-going-to-be-attacked-by-a-moose/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose_attack

https://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/dangerous-moose1.htm

Alaska Department of Fish and Game http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=livewith.aggressivemoose

Glacier National Park Travel Guide http://www.glacier-national-park-travel-guide.com/moose-attack.html

Appalachian Mountain Club http://www.outdoors.org/publications/outdoors/2010/learnhow/responding-to-moose-encounters.cfm

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/moose.html

Moose Safety University of Alaska at Anchorage http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/upd/prevention/moosesafety.cfm