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18 Matching Halloween Costume Ideas for You and Your Dog

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Amazon

Halloween is coming up, and you’re going to want to pick the perfect theme for you and your date—your date being your dog, of course. (Last year, it was estimated that Americans would spend around $350 million on their pets’ costumes. We know you were one of those people.) Make sure you and your furry friend have an on-point theme when you start trick-or-treating. We have some ideas that are pretty easy to assemble yourself, but we also included some links to pre-made costumes, since we know your dog is just useless with the sewing machine.

1. POKEMON

My dog Teddy & I cosplay together - here we are at Pop Expo as Ash & Pikachu!!

Name a more iconic duo than Ash and Pikachu… we’ll wait. Dressing like the Pokemon character Ash Ketchum might be a decent costume on its own, but it really comes together if you carry around a tiny Pikachu.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

2. GHOSTBUSTERS

If there’s something strange in the neighborhood, it’s probably your dog. Mischievous pets will look great dressed in a green Slimer costume. Grab your best pair of tan coveralls and try to keep your furry ghost in line.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

3. KATY PERRY AND LEFT SHARK

OK, this reference is a little old, but it’s possibly old enough to be a fun throwback idea. Besides, can you imagine anything better than a dog dressed like Katy Perry? Such a cute pup deserves the right backup dancer to move just out of time with the beat.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

4. FAST FOOD

When you hit the Halloween party, people are going to be like “who is that hot dog?” They might also ask about that intriguingly tall sleeve of French fries. “Calm down, everyone,” you’ll say. “There’s plenty of fries to go around.”

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

5. LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AND GRANDMOTHER

Grandma, what big teeth you have! Dress your dog up like a grandmother, and they'll look just like the Big Bad Wolf. With a Red Riding Hood outfit, you two will be a fairytale couple.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume (cap) (sweater)

6. SNOW WHITE AND THE POISON APPLE

Dogs and Snow White actually have a lot in common: They’re both great with other animals, and they’ll eat food from strangers without a second thought. While your dog wears the iconic Disney outfit, you can be the poison apple that does her in.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

7. PILGRIM AND TURKEY

Once Halloween ends, it's time to get into the Thanksgiving spirit. If you can't wait even one extra day to jump into Fall, dress your dog like a turkey and gobble up all the treats you get together.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

8. UNICORN AND RAINBOW

Every unicorn needs a rainbow to leap over. You can wear this comically large rainbow on your shoulders while your dog tries not to look too embarrassed in this purple unicorn getup.

Find it: Human costume; Dog costume

9. 1920S DUO

Relive the glitz and glamor (and organized crime) of the '20s with a flapper and gangster outfit. Your pooch will look dashing in a pinstripe suit that would make even Al Capone envious.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

10. KETCHUP AND MUSTARD

Ketchup and mustard are great together, just like you and your dog. You'll be the big bottle of ketchup to your dog’s small mustard packet. Now you just need to find that duo dressed like the hot dog and fries ...

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

11. TOURISTS

You and your pup can pretend to be heading straight to a tropical vacation after the party. Your dog can wear this fun tourist costume and you can create your own with a Hawaiian shirt, lei, and beachcomber hat.

12. MAGICIAN AND RABBIT

What’s a magician without a beautiful, furry assistant? You can wear a hat and cape to create the look of a magician while your dog begrudgingly dons a pair of floppy ears. Just don’t try to pull Fido out of a hat.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

13. HAMBURGLAR HEIST

The Hamburglar would be just a regular crook if it weren't for his precious, tasty loot. This time the stolen burger is actually your dog, but the love connection is just as strong.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume 

14. UPS DELIVERY

Get this costume for a reliable child in your life and this costume for a dog to keep them from eating all the candy. If you’re looking for an adult option, try these brown coveralls and sew on a UPS patch.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

15. DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

Every princess needs a fierce dragon around, right? This pink princess outfit and dragon onesie will be the perfect ensemble for parties, trick-or-treating, or Renaissance fairs.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

16. DEVILED EGGS

Get it? OK, it’s a weak pun, but you’ll definitely be a cute duo dressed as a devil and an egg. At least it’s a slight step up from those non-punny bacon and egg couple costumes.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

17. SKELETON CREW

The beauty of this costume is the simplicity—just pick up a couple of skeleton suits, and you and your pup are good to go. You can also include other friends (human, canine, or otherwise) to create a whole boney crew.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

18. JFK AND JACKIE O

You and your dog can emulate this presidential power couple pretty easily: All you need is a canine suit and a pink skirt suit with a pillbox hat.

Find it: Human costume, Dog costume

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Animals
14 Bold Facts About Bald Eagles
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Bald eagles are powerful symbols of America—but there’s a whole lot more to these quirky birds.

1. YOUNG BALD EAGLES AREN'T BALD.

A young bald eagle with a brown head on a beach.
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So obviously adult bald eagles aren't really bald, either—their heads have bright white plumage that contrasts with their dark body feathers, giving them a "bald" look. But young bald eagles have mostly brown heads. In fact, for the first four or five years of their lives, they move through a complicated series of different plumage patterns; in their second year, for instance, they have white bellies.

2. BALD EAGLES SOUND SO SILLY THAT HOLLYWOOD DUBS OVER THEIR VOICES.

A red-tailed hawk.
A red-tailed hawk's screech is usually dubbed over the bald eagle's weaker scream.
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It's a scene you’ve probably seen countless times in movies and on TV: an eagle flies overhead and emits a rough, piercing scream. It's a classic symbol of wilderness and adventure. The only problem? Bald eagles don't make that sound.

Instead, they emit a sort of high-pitched giggle or a weak scream. These noises are so unimpressive that Hollywood sound editors often dub over bald eagle calls with far more impressive sounds: the piercing, earthy screams of a smaller bird, the red-tailed hawk. If you were a fan of The Colbert Report, you might remember the show's iconic CGI eagle from the opener—it, too, is making that red-tailed hawk cry. Listen for yourself and decide who sounds more impressive.

3. THEY EAT TRASH AND STOLEN FOOD.

Two bald eagles guard their prey against two magpies on a snowy field.
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Picture a majestic bald eagle swooping low over a lake and catching a fish in its powerful claws. Yes, bald eagles eat a lot of fish—but they don't always catch it themselves. They've perfected the art of stealing fish from other birds such as ospreys, chasing them down until they drop their prey.

Bald eagles will also snack on gulls, ducks, rabbits, crabs, amphibians, and more. They'll scavenge in dumpsters, feed on waste from fish processing plants, and even gorge on carrion (dead, decaying animals).

4. BALD EAGLES USUALLY MATE FOR LIFE.

Two bald eagles perched on a tree.
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Trash and carrion aside, they're pretty romantic animals. Bald eagles tend to pair up for life, and they share parenting duties: the male and the female take turns incubating the eggs, and they both feed their young.

5. … AND THEY LIVE PRETTY LONG LIVES.

Two bald eagles sitting on a rock.
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Those romantic partnerships are even more impressive because bald eagles can survive for decades. In 2015, a wild eagle in Henrietta, New York, died at the record age of 38. Considering that these birds pair up at 4 or 5 years of age, that's a lot of Valentine's Days.

6. THEY HOLD THE RECORD FOR THE LARGEST BIRD'S NEST.

Two bald eagles in their large nest.
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Bald eagles build enormous nests high in the treetops. The male and female work on the nest together, and this quality time helps them cement their lifelong bond. Their cozy nurseries consist of a framework of sticks lined with softer stuff such as grass and feathers. If the nest serves them well during the breeding season, they'll keep using it year after year. And, like all homeowners, they can't resist the thought of renovating and adding to their abode. Every year, they'll spruce it up with a whopping foot or two of new material.

On average, bald eagle nests are 2-4 feet deep and 4-5 feet wide. But one pair of eagles near St. Petersburg, Florida, earned the Guinness World Record for largest bird’s nest: 20 feet deep and 9.5 feet wide. The nest weighed over two tons.

7. FEMALES ARE LARGER THAN MALES.

Two bald eagles in their large nest.
iStock

In many animal species, males are (on average) larger than females. Male gorillas, for example, dwarf their female counterparts. But for most birds of prey, it's the opposite. Male bald eagles weight about 25 percent less than females.

Scientists aren't sure why there's such a size difference. One reason might be the way they divide up their nesting duties. Females take the lead in arranging the nesting material, so being bigger might help them take charge. Also, they spend longer incubating the eggs than males, so their size could intimidate would-be egg thieves.

If you're trying to tell male and female eagles apart, this size difference may help you—especially since both sexes have the same plumage patterns.

8. TO IDENTIFY THEM, LOOK AT THE WINGS.

A bald eagle flies across the water.
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People often get excited about a big soaring bird and yell "It's an eagle!” just before it swoops closer and … oops, it's a vulture. Here's a handy identification tip. Bald eagles usually soar with their wings almost flat. On the other hand, the turkey vulture—another dark, soaring bird—holds its wings up in a shallow V shape called a dihedral. A lot of large hawks also soar with slightly raised wings.

9. THEY'RE COMEBACK KIDS.

Baby eagle chicks in a nest.
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Before European settlers arrived, bald eagles were abundant across the U.S. But with settlement came habitat destruction, and the settlers viewed the eagles as competition for game and as a threat to livestock. So many eagles were killed that in 1940 Congress passed an act to protect the birds.

Unfortunately, another threat rose up at about that time. Starting after World War II, farmers and public health officials used an insecticide called DDT. The chemical worked well to eradicate mosquitos and agricultural pests—but as it traveled up the food chain, it began to heavily affect birds of prey. DDT made eagle eggshells too thin and caused the eggs to break. A 1963 survey found just 471 bald eagle pairs in the lower 48 states.

DDT was banned in the early 1970s, and conservationists began to breed bald eagles in captivity and reintroduce them in places across America. Luckily, this species made a spectacular recovery. Now the lower 48 states boast over 9700 nesting pairs.

10. THEY'RE UNIQUELY NORTH AMERICAN.

An African fish eagle flies over the water.
The African fish eagle is a relative of the North American bald eagle.
iStock

You've probably heard of America's other eagle: the golden eagle. This bird lives throughout much of the northern hemisphere. But the bald eagle is only found in North America. It lives across much of Canada and the U.S., as well as northern parts of Mexico.

Though it may be North American, the bald eagle has seven close relatives that are found throughout the world. They all belong to the genus Haliaeetus, which comes—pretty unimaginatively—from the Latin words for "sea" and "eagle." One relative, the African fish eagle, is a powerful symbol in its own right. It represents several countries; for example, it's the national symbol of Zambia, and graces the South Sudanese, Malawian, and Namibian coats of arms.

11. THEY'RE AERIAL DAREDEVILS.

A bald eagle carries a fish off in its talons.
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It seems too weird to be true: While flying, bald eagles sometimes grab each other's feet and spin while plummeting to the Earth. Scientists aren't sure why they do this—perhaps it's a courtship ritual or a territorial battle. Usually, the pair will separate before hitting the ground (as seen in this remarkable set of photographs). But sometimes they hold tight and don't let go. These two male bald eagles locked talons and hit the ground with their feet still connected. One subsequently escaped and the other was treated for talon wounds.

12. THEIR EYES ARE AMAZING.

Close-up of a bald eagle's face.
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What if you could close your eyes and still see? Besides the usual pair of eyelids, bald eagles have a see-through eyelid called a nictitating membrane. They can close this membrane to protect their eyes while their main eyelids remain open. The membrane also helps moisten and clean their eyes.

Eagles also have sharper vision than people, and their field of vision is wider. Plus, they can see ultraviolet light. Both of those things mean the expression "eagle eye" is spot-on.

13. THEY MIGRATE … SORT OF.

A bald eagle sits in a snowy tree.
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If you're a bald eagle that nests in northern Canada, you'll probably head south for the winter to avoid the punishing cold. Many eagles fly south for the winter and return north for the summer—as do plenty of other bird species (and retired Canadians). But not all bald eagles migrate. Some of them, including individuals in New England and Canada's Maritime provinces, stick around all year. Whether or not a bird migrates depends on how old it is and how much food is available.

14. THEY CAN SWIM … SORT OF.

A bald eagle
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There are several videos online—like the one above—that show a bald eagle swimming in the sea, rowing itself to shore with its huge wings. Eagles have hollow bones and fluffy down, so they can float pretty well. But why swim instead of soar? Sometimes, an eagle will swoop down and grab an especially weighty fish, then paddle it to shore to eat.

Note that the announcer in the video above says that the eagle's talons are "locked" on a fish that's too heavy to carry. In fact, those lockable talons are an urban legend.

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How Bats Protect Rare Books at This Portuguese Library
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Visit the Joanina Library at the University of Coimbra in Portugal at night and you might think the building has a bat problem. It's true that common pipistrelle bats live there, occupying the space behind the bookshelves by day and swooping beneath the arched ceilings and in and out of windows once the sun goes down, but they're not a problem. As Smithsonian reports, the bats play a vital role in preserving the institution's manuscripts, so librarians are in no hurry to get rid of them.

The bats that live in the library don't damage the books and, because they're nocturnal, they usually don't bother the human guests. The much bigger danger to the collection is the insect population. Many bug species are known to gnaw on paper, which could be disastrous for the library's rare items that date from before the 19th century. The bats act as a natural form of pest control: At night, they feast on the insects that would otherwise feast on library books.

The Joanina Library is famous for being one of the most architecturally stunning libraries on earth. It was constructed before 1725, but when exactly the bats arrived is unknown. Librarians can say for sure they've been flapping around the halls since at least the 1800s.

Though bats have no reason to go after the materials, there is one threat they pose to the interior: falling feces. Librarians protect against this by covering their 18th-century tables with fabric made from animal skin at night and cleaning the floors of guano every morning.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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