Original image

9 Awesome Videos of Animals Discovering Cameras

Original image

When animals discover unfamiliar objects in their vicinity, the results can be hilarious—or kind of scary.

1. Owls

These little owls (Athene noctua) don't quite know what to do when they discover a GoPro outside their burrow in France. After some investigation, the birds—which eat meat and, occasionally, plants and berries—try to make it a snack.

2. Pallas' Cat

Otocolobus manul is a rarely seen cat that lives in the steppes and grasslands of Central Asia. They're about the size of a domestic cat, but their long, dense fur makes them look much larger. Also interesting: Their pupils contract into circles, unlike other cats', which are vertical slits. This particular video was shot at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, England.

3. Grizzly Bear

This video, filmed on the Alaskan peninsula, is probably as close to a grizzly's mouth as you'll ever want to get.

4. Chimp

When just looking won't suffice, this chimp uses a stick to investigate a trail camera.

5. Prairie Dog

These prairie dogs, residents of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, seemed weirded out, then intrigued, by the presence of a GoPro outside their mound.

6. Fox

"I went to Round Island, Alaska, to film wildlife with the University of Alaska Anchorage," the GoPro's owner writes on his YouTube page. "My friends were photographing and filming sea lions when I spotted this fox come along. So I stupidly put my GoPro on the ground in hopes of getting a close-up. When the fox ran off, I thought I'd never see my camera again. For about 8 minutes we looked for it, then there it was!" The camera does turn on and record, but the fox ripped the face of the camera off. Thankfully, it didn't swallow anything.

7. Elephant

A curious elephant in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park picked up a trail camera and took it for a walk.

8. Squirrel

Sorry, squirrel—this camera won't love you back.

9. Cheetah

This cheetah takes just a little taste of safari guide Matthew Copham's GoPro before backing off.

Original image
Focus Features
25 Shelter Dogs Who Made It Big
Original image
Focus Features

If you’ve been thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your brood and are deciding whether a shelter dog is right for you, consider this: Some of history’s most amazing pooches—from four-legged movie stars to heroic rescue dogs—were found in animal shelters. In honor of Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, here are 25 shelter dogs who made it big.

Original image
This High-Tech Material Can Change Shape Like an Octopus
Original image

Octopuses can do some pretty amazing things with their skin, like “see” light, resist the pull of their own sticky suction cups, and blend in seamlessly with their surroundings. That last part now has the U.S. Army interested, as Co.Design reports. The military branch’s research office has funded the development a new type of morphing material that works like an octopus’s dynamic skin.

The skin of an octopus is covered in small, muscular bumps called papillae that allow them to change textures in a fraction of a second. Using this mechanism, octopuses can mimic coral, rocks, and even other animals. The new government-funded research—conducted by scientists at Cornell University—produced a device that works using a similar principle.

“Technologies that use stretchable materials are increasingly important, yet we are unable to control how they stretch with much more sophistication than inflating balloons,” the scientists write in their study, recently published in the journal Science. “Nature, however, demonstrates remarkable control of stretchable surfaces.”

The membrane of the stretchy, silicone material lays flat most of the time, but when it’s inflated with air, it can morph to form almost any 3D shape. So far, the technology has been used to imitate rocks and plants.

You can see the synthetic skin transform from a two-dimensional pad to 3D models of objects in the video below:

It’s easy to see how this feature could be used in military gear. A soldier’s suit made from material like this could theoretically provide custom camouflage for any environment in an instant. Like a lot of military technology, it could also be useful in civilian life down the road. Co.Design writer Jesus Diaz brings up examples like buttons that appear on a car's dashboard only when you need them, or a mixing bowl that rises from the surface of the kitchen counter while you're cooking.

Even if we can mimic the camouflage capabilities of cephalopods, though, other impressive superpowers, like controlling thousands of powerful suction cups or squeezing through spaces the size of a cherry tomato, are still the sole domain of the octopus. For now.

[h/t Co.Design]


More from mental floss studios