A Woodpecker and Weasel Ride-Along
Did we miss the memo about woodpeckers becoming the Uber of the animal kingdom?
This weasel, or as we’ll be referring to him as, Mr. Lucky, somehow managed to get himself planted squarely on Woody here while strolling around Essex, England.
Now, weasels don’t have thumbs for hitchhiking. They can’t whistle to flag down a lift, so how did Mr. Lucky manage to turn Woody into his own personal horse?
Odds are on Mr. Lucky actually being a bit of a jerk.
Here’s the scenario: Woody makes a soft landing to check out an ant buffet. It’s all you can eat, so of course he’s not paying attention to what’s going on behind him.
Mr. Lucky comes along, sees Woody as a meal dropped right in his lap, and makes his move.
Come Fly With Me
How often do you get to see a sand wasp nestling a hoverfly mid-flight in its bosom?
Not often, mainly because sand wasps and hoverflies don’t really get along that well. They’re like oil and water. Rocky and Clubber Lang. The president and CNN.
As maternal as this visual might appear, we see before us a wasp that is actually bringing its take-out meal home to its offspring.
There’s no inter-species motherly or fatherly love on display here. Just a hungry wasp trying to beat rush hour traffic to get dinner on the table before it gets cold and the larvae start whining about it.
Octopus Rides Dolphin All Over the Internet
There’s a reason why everyone loves dolphins — they’re all brains and personality.
Octopuses, on the other hand, tend to elicit the opposite reaction. Tentacles and oil bursts are a harder sell.
Now, combine the two beasts hanging out riding the waves together on the Hastings River in Australia and you’ve got a real dilemma on your hands.
It’s like a good cop/bad cop buddy movie, except in this instance one of the detectives might be attempting to eat the other.
Chances are good this octopus caught a break and landed on the dolphin’s back while being pursued as a meal by his photogenic friend.
Either that or it’s the much darker scenario of it going straight for the blowhole…
Paging Doctor Pecker. Doctor Ox Pecker
For the sake of these birds, we really hope this giraffe did a pre-appointment brushing.
Oh, that’s right — the oxpeckers basically act as the giraffe’s toothbrush and dentist at the same time.
Like an elderly man who has decided that in order to get the most bang for his buck out of his homecare nurse by making them scrub his teeth every morning, giraffes use oxpeckers to keep their teeth in good shape.
The trade-off is a simple one: pick the scraps of food out from between the teeth, keep whatever you find.
Definitely not the way any homecare nurse would want to get paid.
An Antelope With Earrings
This portrait shot shows a young bull with a very unique set of earrings — two red-billed oxpeckers.
Oxpeckers have a thing where they prefer their meals served to them off the faces, backsides and ears of larger mammals.
Unless it happens to be the Lichtenstein’s hartebeest or a topi, which oxpeckers liken to eating at a McDonald’s after being accustomed to five-star culinary experiences.
This image of a kudu bull was captured in South Africa’s Kruger National Park by snapper Eben Wouter Van de Vyver. And the age-old adage that timing is everything proved true for the 42-year-old, who said it was a case of a split second that meant he got the perfect shot.
“It was a thing of being in the right place at the right time, with my camera in hand.”
You just can’t disagree with anyone who has such an awesome surname.
It’s one thing to have ants in your pants, but imagine having ants in your pants that want to dance.
That’s a mouthful.
Chances are good that if the insects that crashed your backyard barbeque over the long weekend and your first-date picnic in the park were this photogenic, you’d have thought twice before breaking out the Raid.
But here we are, with a lovely image taken in East Jarva, Indonesia.
The big question is, which tune was playing to entice these ants into getting their groove on?
Ants are busy-bodies, so we know it’s nothing slow.
As long as it’s not #Selfie, we say good for them.
The irony of having an elephant as an absentee father is that Loxodonta africana are so massive they’re impossible to miss, yet they’re such jerks to their offspring their kids will never get a chance to see them.
This little gaffer and his trunk are far better off with mom, anyway.
Yes, it is possible he’ll get some teasing from the rest of his baboon troop. Baboons are already known for their overt bullying tactics, so it’s to be expected.
Here’s the thing — baboons can be incredibly dense. They’re vocal (“Hey hyena! Do the rest of the savanna a huge favor and just leave!).
If anything, the troop won’t even put two and two together to figure out this nose is a little larger than normal. They’ll probably just mock him for having a tail face,
The Early Bird With Mad Skills Gets the Worm
Look at this picture of a roadrunner about to gobble a worm whole.
The look in its eyes almost resembles the glare your neighbor gives you when you put your garbage on the curb the night before pick-up rather than in the morning.
This is nature’s equivalent of tossing a peanut in the air and having it make a perfect landing in your mouth.
The big difference here is you didn’t pick the peanut up off the ground with your yapper and then throw it, which is what happened here when this roadrunner’s photo was taken at a Santa Clara Ranch in Texas.
Magpies Know No Mercy
The Swooping Magpies. Great band. Saw them once at the Sydney Opera House and they opened with ‘Dive Bomb.’ The place went crazy.
And now back to reality.
Magpies are a bit of a terror across Australia come August when breeding season starts and males start to get a little ornery.
We get it — magpies don’t like anyone wandering too close to their offspring.
Or cycling in their general vicinity.
Or sneezing three blocks away while mowing the lawn.
What you’re witnessing here is a magpie in the midst of an aerial temper tantrum looking to unleash some avian thunder not knowing their victim was going to post its photo on wanted posters across the Internet.
Sharks Love Nose Rubs
Is it possible that these two are just horsing around?
If we had $1000 (US) to spare, we’d bet no. Every time.
Chances are good this cousin of Jaws happened along his doe-eyed frenemy while on patrol and decided to make a dinner-hour move.
It would be fantastic if the scenario was playing out in a completely different way and what is being witnessed was a couple of buddies hanging out in the ocean and catching some rays together.
Unfortunately, chances are good that the seal’s name is Ray and he’s the only thing this shark is concerned about catching.
You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a squirrel offering up some serious jazz hands.
Or maybe this moment is showing this nut loving spokesperson trying to calm down an unruly mob of his fellow forest friends after they found out their holiday bonuses were being canceled because somebody (*cough* humans *cough*) clear-cut a few hectares of their woodland home.
The truth of the situation isn’t nearly that exciting or factual (well, maybe the clear-cut part might be), but what you see here is probably this fella getting ready to make the leap to a nearby branch.
We’re not saying he doesn’t have what it takes to speak for every creature in the forest; we’re simply trying to be honest.
When Goats Get Cheesed
There is only one way to combat a flying goat.
With the Force, duh.
This is, of course, a bit of an assumption with this photograph.
When it comes to strategic attack plans, goats can really only do two things:
If there’s danger from behind, starting kicking. Anything from the front should expect to be walloped with a head.
Nature never planned on the Force, though, and neither did this poor animal. We do have to give it a round of applause for the height it managed on this frontal assault. It just never prepared for encountering a shirtless Jedi in a coastal village.
Ready. Aim. Fire!
There is a time and place for everything, but if you’re going to launch a wee poopsy with a full view of your derriere you damn well gotta make sure there are no photographers around.
Now, it’s impossible to tell exactly what this particular bird had eaten over the past day or so.
As it appears in this photo, whatever it was seems to have caused our feathered friend to expel its solid waste at an impressive velocity.
People are used to being surrounded by photographers, so maybe we should give this gaffer a bit of a break for being spied on by some creep in the bushes with a telephoto lense.
What's Wrong With This Picture
You’re in trouble in the giraffe world if your legs are longer than your neck.
It’s a thing, yes. It can have devastating psychological effects and pretty much wipes out any hope of ever finding a mate.
You also never get to be the flag bearer at any of your tower’s sporting events.
It’s a very short straw to draw from the genetic pool.
There’s the spoon feeding. When you can’t tongue your own dinner off the ground, it’s embarrassing.
The worst part is the nicknames: Stump. Short Stuff. Sir Gerry No-Neck.
Until neck extension surgery comes along it’s a cruel life to live.
Wasp Crashes the Party
This Cooper’s hawk looks a wee stunned at the nerve of this wasp daring to perform a fly-by right in the middle of his photo shoot in Seattle.
It shows the gall of wasps in general, don’t you think?
Karma might be about to show up and teach this yellow-and-black-striped pest of the sky a lesson, however.
Wasps have the tendency to make a feast of their neighbors, which always makes life in the nest a little edgy.
It’s one of the many reasons why some people like to refer to these things as cannibal wasps.
So, as this particular wasp zips through thinking he’s all that and more, this hawk is probably about to snap and show it who’s boss by having itself a winged snack.
There’s no doubting this tandem would be a force to be reckoned with out in the wilderness.
We’re going to assume the trout seen here is the brains of the operation, the slightly immobile Professor X to his osprey carrier’s Wolverine.
Or maybe that assumption is completely off-base, considering the osprey eagle has a knack for fishing in shallow waters and every inch of its body is designed to swoop from the skies to airlift its catch of the day back to its nest.
At least it would be a hell of a last ride for the trout.
Does This Selfie Prove Monkeys Are Devolving?
It used to be that selfies were a very human thing.
When digital and photographic technology finally caught up to our somewhat self-centered fascination with staring at ourselves in the mirror, the world changed.
Some selfies are better known than others, depending on who took it, where they took it and how inebriated they were at the time.
Whether or not there’s a reality show in the mix also affects that basic equation.
And then Naruto the Sulawesi crested macaque came along and crashed the party, grinning all the way.
Naruto here stumbled across photographer David Slater’s gear lying unattended in the jungle. Being the jokester this particular macaque is, the opportunity to snap a self-portrait couldn’t be passed by.
A Monkey and Capybara Love Fest
Meet the capybara, known as nature’s rodent minivan.
These squirrel monkeys were spotted clambering aboard this huge capybara as he slowly plodded along. As it happens with humans, one of these cheeky monkeys took up the role of backseat driver.
The hilarious scene was caught on camera by Corey van Loon, who was visiting the Beekse Bergen Safari Park in the Netherlands when she spotted the unusual behavior.
The Dutch photographer said the monkeys were so close to their barrel-shaped friend that they ate, slept, played together — and even helped groom one another. You don’t see that courtesy being extended by human backseat drivers
The Problem is You Said, "Cheese!"
There’s an unwritten rule for harvest mice to follow and that’s to shun human contact at all costs.
Lay low, avoid trouble, just carry on staying out of the way and then nobody gets hurt. Especially any mice.
Rules, even unwritten, are made to be broken, which is why we’re all looking at this picture of a harvest mouse hanging out inside a camera lens.
Skeptics might say this is simply a promo shot for Nikon.
Others might claim the mouse was planted there as blurry symbolism by the photographer, illustrating how when you focus on something too closely don’t be surprised if it just looks like a Snickers bar that needs a shave.
Stingin' It to the Man
Bees can be jerks with horrible tempers sometimes.
Who wouldn’t be a little on the cranky side with a sharp object stuck up their tush, even if its purpose is purely for self-defense?
This particular bee might actually have a good reason for sticking its little version of Excalibur into someone’s arm, especially considering how much damage humans have done to bee colonies across the globe.
The truly sad part of this public display of despisement is this bee probably doesn’t know that along with its stinger, it’s leaving behind part of its abdomen.
So, on the commute back to the hive this bee will bleed out, bringing to an end what most of us stinger-survivors would classify as a lousy day.
A Shark Loses a Tooth
This is the cringe-inducing moment a great white shark was spotted quite literally fighting tooth and nail for its lunch.
Captured in the waters off Cape Town, South Africa, the deadly predator was sure to wake up with a nasty toothache after losing one of its pearly whites in a surprise attack on a seal.
Despite the dental disaster, the hardened hunter proved it was still a chip off the old block by successfully catching its prey with one single bite.
The breathtaking moment was snapped by photographer David Jenkins, who had been sailing from dawn till dusk for weeks in search of the perfect shot.
A Rhino Playing Dress-Up
Every rhino needs a decent tutu in their closet.
This greater one-horned rhinoceros (you might know them as the Indian rhino) is doing its best to look fashionable during a stroll through Gorumara National Park in West-Bengal, India.
In most cases, an animal such as this would be trying a little harder not to stand out but sometimes a little flare can go a long way — especially on the flatlands.
Or this might also be a perfect perspective shot thanks to a peacock being in the ideal position to make this animal that weighs as much as a SUV feel like, if nothing else, they’ve got a feathered friend watching their back.
But it might also be this peacock is a stalker. A really bad stalker, but sneaky nonetheless.
Just a Frog and Bug
If this is a competition to see who can hold onto more of the leaf for longer, we all know who the winner will be. Of course, it’s the bug — because that’s kinda their thing.
Everyone expects to see a bug hanging off a leaf, but a frog? This is one reptile trying to prove a point.
This is all about showing off with a display of brute strength in the name of claiming some personal space.
However, this frog is showing its skills in the wrong place and against the wrong opponent. We don’t want to call the frog fat (fat shaming is not cool — period) but its girth is much more substantial than its leaf mate. Sorry, froggy — this a standoff you’re going to lose.
The Hopping Penguin
When all you can do on land is waddle like a slightly inebriated miser leaving his favorite watering hole after six whiskey sours, wanting to show off on the water can be forgiven.
Bonus marks for doing it as the perfect photobomb in the midst of a group of kayakers.
It is hard not to feel a little bad for the one individual in this picture who just happens to be looking the wrong way when all of this fun took place, mere feet in front of them.
Maybe there was another penguin over there giving everyone the finger. Er, flipper.
Joseph and the Amazing Techicolored Tailcoat
What is it with peacocks hanging around the tail end of large wild animals? Is this their version of the Tide Pod challenge?
We can’t say for sure — none of us speak peacock.
This spotted deer (also called a chital), found in the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, certainly doesn’t seem to mind sticking out like a sore thumb and completely negating the appearance nature has worked extremely hard on to make it more difficult to see by its predators.
The peacock, meanwhile, can’t wait to get this picture uploaded to Twitter for his buddies to see.
The Good Ship Hippopotamus
There’s nothing more humiliating than getting swarmed by some of the slowest creatures on the planet and losing the battle.
To be fair to this hippo, turtles do move a little faster in the water.
We’re told the hippo, which was hanging out near Lowveld, South Africa, did make a half-hearted attempt to give his shelled (and probably ticketless) passengers the slip by going underwater for a moment.
Hippos aren’t the brainiest of creatures, and all these terrapins had to do was hang out until their ride resurfaced right underneath them.
Perhaps this was a charitable gesture on the part of the hippo who, seeing the turtles headed his way, thought any animal that ridiculous looking deserves a break now and again.
Egg Shell Tortoise Cracks a Smile
If you were stuck in a windowless, slightly slimy ball for three months with no legroom, you might muster a little smile when you finally found a way out.
Using that rationale, this tortoise must’ve been beside itself when it made the slow escape from its egg.
The grin is undoubtedly coming from the first view this shelled wonder of the sea had in front of it: the beach.
As if releasing yourself into the world isn’t a big enough deal, imagine also having sand as the first thing you touch as a free amphibian.
Monkey Saddles Up a Giraffe
Photographer Dirk-Jan Steehouwer captured the moment a giraffe decided to hog the spotlight and move into the frame whilst he was photographing monkeys playing on a tree in the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.
This cute little monkey appears to be taking a ride on the back of a giraffe after being caught in this perfectly timed photo.
Photographer, Dirk-Jan Steehouwer, 48, who lives in a small coastal village called Noordwijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, was at the Murchison Falls National Park, in Uganda, when he lucked into this opportunity to snap the perfect photo.
Dirk said: “On this safari day we first spotted the male and female giraffe on a nice hillside in the beautiful grass. Just a bit further some monkeys were playing around a small termite hill with some bush and a dead tree branch.”
And voila. Monkey rides a giraffe off into the sunset.
A Bee Goes on Pee Patrol
We’ve all had it happen to us.
You’re in the middle of a long road trip coming back from that Neil Diamond concert three hours away you saved up for months to buy tickets.
Suddenly, your bladder decides it’s time to unload the gallon of water you drank before hopping in the car and there’s nary a rest stop in site.
What would you do?
This bee publicly displays his response to that question with this uric acid deposit while in mid-flight.
Maybe it’s time for Depends to start offering a teensy, tiny, Bee Pee garment?
Big Mouth Strikes Again
Let’s take a vote. Would you rather:
a) have to eat Jell-O for the rest of your life
b) watch the episode of the Kardashians where Kim brags about schtupping Kanye 500 times a day
c) turn around while scuba diving only to face this massive open shark mouth and, fearing inevitable death is headed your way, think the one thing you’ll be known for in life is getting a “Can you smell… what the Rock… is cookin’?” tattoo on your abdomen
It’s a hard choice to make, we know. Is having a catchphrase screamed by a half-naked Dwayne Johnson perma-etched on you really that bad?
We guess it might come down to the font you would choose.
Fox Taking a Dive
How far would you be willing to go to catch a mouse?
For this fox, taking a plunge through a few feet of snow seems pretty reasonable. Jon Albert, 41, from Beirut, Lebanon, captured this image in Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.
Albert, a neuroscience and psychology researcher, had this to say of this foxy bum sticking out of nature’s chilly white stuff:
“As I like to photograph wildlife, I traveled to Yellowstone National Park last winter as I heard about an unusual number of red fox sightings being reported, but I did not expect to obtain photos of a fox mousing.”
He’s forgetting about the unwritten fox mantra: When it’s time to eat, it’s time to mouse.
The Panda Pusher
Planning a getaway is no easy task. Anyone who has attempted one will testify to that, especially those busted fleeing an election sign grab-and-run or have ended up in prison following a hot dog stand robbery-gone-wrong.
This looks like it’s the standard hoist and heave move, and appearances seem to suggest at least one of these pandas is going to make it.
The other might be more of a sacrificial lamb than anything else.
Pandas aren’t very good at lifting heavy objects from tall heights, and we think the bottom half of this equation knew that.
It would have been a very Hollywood moment as the two said their goodbyes, one from above and the other from below.
“I’ll never forget you. Remember what I told you — don’t eat yellow snow and never take bamboo from a stranger.”
Big Cat Sibling Rivalry
Now this is what you call a royal rumble. These energetic (or should we say spastic?) lion siblings take advantage of a lovely photogenic sunset to partake in some old-fashioned wrastlin’.
Flying through the air like superheroes minus the usual requisite capes, these two (really) wild cats can’t get enough of slam dunking each other between the reeds.
Swiping her opponent mid-air, the lioness bares claws in an attempt to win this sibling showdown before collapsing on top of her exhausted brother to re-energize.
Irish photographer David Jenkins witnessed the rare 20-minute display of lion-on-lion face slapping in Antelope Park, Zimbabwe.
The Slo-Mo Birth of a Caterpillar
This is what happens when a butterfly has a BUG in the oven as this incredible picture reveals the moment a caterpillar is born.
Feel free to add a rimshot to the above pun.
This beautiful close-up of an orange-tipped butterfly egg reveals how the tiny insect emerges into the world after 10 days just like a chicken, minus the feathers. Unlike a young chick’s experience, the egg acts as a first meal, delivered right to the newborn’s mouth.
The minute youngster is smaller than a baby’s little fingernail but will soon balloon into a much bigger caterpillar before it changes into a pupa.
Chickens just get a little smellier and learn about pecking the ground to eat.
It will remain dormant over the winter months, going into hibernation before transforming into a beautiful butterfly. All of this hard work pays off with the power of flight. Chickens? Grounded for life.
The Two-Bodied Stag
Behold, living proof with stag-gering implications that some deer have two bodies.
It might be that this photo, taken by Lauren Cresser, somehow managed to catch the exact moment two stags looked directly at her camera to create this somewhat freaky (but stunning) optical illusion.
Cresser took the photo in Bushy Park in Richmond, Greater London, just days after getting her first professional camera for Christmas, 2015.
Call it beginner’s luck if you will, but if we were Lauren we’d totally be playing the ‘I meant to do that’ card.
It's Rude to Stick Your Tongue Out
This isn’t a giraffe sticking its tongue out at an oxpecker doing a fly-by.
No, it’s a dental patient trying to psych itself up for its appointment just as its dentist comes running past after getting caught in traffic because a cheetah was spotted in the area.
Everyone has seen the photos and footage of giraffes grazing away while small birds perch on their backs and basically turn it into a very tall carriage ride.
Those birds would be oxpeckers, as you see here.
They might not look like much, but when it comes to dentistry they’re what a giraffe has on speed dial. Just check out the next photo for the proof.
Never Pick a Fight With a Praying Mantis
This praying mantis clearly has a monster appetite, as this unfortunate gecko found out the very hard way.
Despite normally surviving on a diet of insects, the mantis clearly had no trouble finishing off his new culinary treat. The poor reptile didn’t have a prayer of surviving once in the clutches of this alien-like lethal harbinger of doom.
The rare episode was captured by Dutch photographer Jim Hoffman. The Spain-based professional artist travels around the world capturing the minutia of the insect and reptilian worlds.
In this case, the scene unfolded in his own backyard. Coincidentally, his neighbor’s pet gecko disappeared that same afternoon.
Killer Whale Flips a Seal Like a Pancake
A mighty killer whale was snapped tossing a seal high into mid-air with a flick of its huge tail fin as it toyed with its prey off the Scottish coastline.
Anyone who witnessed the assault is asked to contact Scottish authorities immediately.
This killer whale, who also goes by the street name ‘orca,’ belongs to the oceanic dolphin crime family, of which it is the largest member.
As the photograph clearly shows, the hapless victim appears to be suspended in the sky after being flung out of the water by means of ‘tail-flipping,’ a rarely seen ambush tactic.
Billy Arthur caught the perfectly-timed pic of the poor seal near Levenwick, Shetland Islands, on a Monday evening in July. Please, help justice be served and come forward with any information you might have.
The Sinister Dracula Duck
A snapper’s birdwatching expedition took a spooky turn when he captured a fowl in mid-flight and suddenly plunged into a living nightmare upon discovering he might have discovered a vampire duck.
Retired biology teacher John Gawthrope took the photograph of the colorful shelduck coming into land at Martin Mere near Ormskirk, Lancashire.
With no mirror handy to check for certain if this potential steely-eyed flying Dracula had a soul or not, we’re presuming Gawthorne had to instead rely on the Twilight rule of digital vampire photography and assume this was an eternal bloodsucker.
Wait — ducks don’t have teeth, right? How would this thing feast on the blood of the living if it can’t even break the skin with its beak?
The Eagle Head Landing Pad
Eagles are the Ferraris of the sky, a magnificent, soaring display of all-natural engineering that has stacked the odds in their favor for just about any challenge they might face.
Crows trash talk constantly and poop everywhere.
It’s hard to tell if this particular crow is offering up a Fijian foot massage or if it’s been misinformed that walking on an eagle’s head is good luck.
The eagle is wishing it had worn its top hat instead of going au naturel on this day.
What might really be going on here is much less complicated, with the eagle having perched a little too close for comfort to the crow’s nest and getting a little feather ruffle as a result.
Think of the worst thing a fish could ever do to a bear.
It’s a short list.
It’s how nature works that fish generally don’t do that well against the animals that patrol on dry land.
It’s especially the case if it’s one of the animals that no other animals want to go anywhere near.
After months in the ring training with one of the best boxing instructors in the land (er, river), this Alaskan salmon finally saw all of their hard work pay off when they got to Clubber Lang this unsuspecting brown bear who was out for a casual lunch.
Are You Going to Tell This Elephant the Mohawk Isn't Working?
There’s only so much an elephant can do to gussy up its appearance.
Pierce its ears a few times, get a huge ‘Boomer Lives!’ tattoo on its side or start draping hand-woven scarves along its trunk.
None of them are very practical.
The next natural step is getting sized up for a decent wig, so why not go full-punk and become the talk of the herd with a mohawk?
This elderly female appears to have made that great big leap into uncharted territory but has really just been caught giving herself a dust bath.
If only it were a real mohawk…
Make My Breach a Double
You know humpback whales are completely in sync when they manage to breach at the same time and give a wave to a boat of whale watchers.
But here’s the thing — what you see here is a perfect example of one whale thinking they’re about to get their moment in the spotlight only to have it yanked out from underneath them by their best friend who’s a master of photobombing.
Maybe it’s karma for this particular whale since upon closer review you might notice these fins aren’t giving a wave.
It’s a one finger salute.
Geez, whales — we know humans are destroying the oceans and destroying your habitat, but you don’t have to be jerks about it.