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Watch This Rare Footage of a Moose Shedding Its Antlers

While spending the day together in a cabin in Wyoming, the Eberhart family noticed an unexpected visitor: a bull moose, walking among the trees nearby. One of the family members grabbed a camera to record it, but he didn't expect to capture something even more startling—as he filmed, one of the moose’s antlers fell off. National Geographic obtained the home video and posted it online with annotations that narrate the family’s reaction and explain what they witnessed.

As the video above points out, moose antlers are deciduous—they are meant to be shed. This particular moose lost his antlers around Thanksgiving, while National Geographic writes that the process typically happens around January. Kim Eberhart, one of the family members present for the event, told National Geographic that after the antler fell, the moose “looked a little scared and stunned and was shaking his head and made a really mournful sound afterwards.” Still, moose biologist Bill Samuel reassured readers that the natural event was likely a relief for the animal (a moose's antlers can weigh as much as 40 pounds).

Watch the clip above and listen as the family expresses excitement and shock when the antler suddenly breaks and falls into the snow.

Banner image via YouTube

[h/t Nerdist]

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technology
This High-Tech Material Can Change Shape Like an Octopus
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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]

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Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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