Unusal animal behaviors that you have experienced.

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
NSASpook's post on the seals going up river and my follow up post made me think of some strange animal behaviors I have experienced. I thought it might be a fun idea for a thread.

Every one has a cute story about their pets so unless your pet story is very unusual let's try to keep those stories out of the thread. Please confine your stories to wild animals, in or outside of captivity. Non pet but domesticated animals could be considered in bounds.
 

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Years ago I visited Monterrey. They had taken over a dock in town. It was a floating dock that was half sunk. There was a pecking order among the seals. The old and the young were in the water. There was a group in the submerged part of the dock, another on part of the dock that was a big awash. A couple of large males were in the totally dry section. Every once in a while, a male would challenge another male in the next section up. The loser got booted back into the water and had to start all over again. The old ones would stay in the water and did not seem to bother with any more challenges.
 

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
When I was a young lad, I worked as a diver in the shark tank of the Pittsburgh zoo. I had to walk past the elephant exhibit to and from the aquarium.

The elephants were my favorite animals in the zoo. Just a few minutes of observation and you could tell they are extremely intelligent creatures.

Our exhibit is an open air natural exhibit. It has a pond center front and a pile of logs that divide the exhibit into two sections. The logs act as a tool to challenge the elephants both intellectually and physically. At the time there were 2 sisters in the exhibit.

One sister as in the front of the exhibit on one side of the logs, the other sister in the rear at the other side of the logs. Th one in the front started swaying. We were told this behavior is used in the circus to make it look they are dancing. But what it is in real live is a behavior due to stress. The circus teaches this behavior on command.

The sister in the front continued to sway. It seemed catch the attention of the sister in the rear of the exhibit. I thought it was my imagination but it looked like she was getting annoyed. She started by snorting, then giving her sister the evil eye. Stomping of feet, more snorting more nasty looks. Sis was still swaying. It just got too much. Sis in the rear carefully picked her way through the field of logs to get to the swayers part of the exhibit, Walked up to her, slammed her in the shoulder, gave out another loud snort, turned around picked her way back through the log field went over to her side, a couple more stomps, a snort and an evil eye and that was the end of the swaying.
 

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I did not actually see this happen but it was an amazing story all the same.

At the time this story occurred, the elephant exhibit was an elephant's stones throw to the employee parking. The vet would park in the employee lot.

The elephants HATED the vet but at the same time no once in all of the years did they harm him. The reason they hated him you might ask? Well there is no oral thermometer for elephants.

One day one of the elephants spotted doc leaving his car. She knew what was coming. She picked up a rock and tossed a perfect pitch right through the windshield of docs car.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
22,386
The two recent episodes that were aired recently begs the question of how much can some animals reason.
One was a couple of scuba divers were swimming among wild dolphins, one came right up to one of the divers and placed one of his pectoral fins next to his hand, the diver noticed that the fin had fishing line around it, the dolphin remained still until the diver removed it, whereon he shook his tail and off he went.
The other was four fishermen were out in a their small boat when a small whale came up and kept nudging the boat, one guy noticed a plastic bag caught around its fin, he leaned over and pulled it off, the whale swam a few feet away and gave a slap of its tail on the water and swam off.
Max.
 
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#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
I don't think I have any, being a city boy, but my puppies taught me a lot. Unfortunately, that is not the subject of the Thread.:(
Wait. Here's one. How does a Dachshund mate with a Great Dane?:rolleyes:
By standing on top of a tractor tire.:D
That actually happened (on the family farm).:)
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
10,915
One day I heard a lot of bird squawking and I went to a window to see what was going on. There was a rook in my neighbours apple tree that was doing the squawking and it was bouncing up and down on a branch. Another rook was sitting quietly on a higher branch. My neighbours cat was making its way carefully up the branch toward the squawker. The cat was climbing up onto thinner and thinner branches and getting more wobbly. Eventually the cat decided he wasn't going to be able to get to the bird and climbed down and left the scene. Now the two birds flew away.

It is clear what the cat was after - breakfast. But what were the birds up to? Just having a bit of fun at the cats expense? I think they were hoping that the cat would fall and injure itself and then the birds could have breakfast!
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
FISH
I was out fishing in my canoe and I saw a bass jump near the Lilly pads so I let the boat coast into the area as I prepared a floating lure for my fishing pole. As I was quietly tying the line, a noise and movement in the corner of my eye startled me. I looked up to see an (about) 18" largemouth bass bounce bounce off the side of my canoe. Not exactly a "behavior" (more of an accident) but memorable.

DEER
One morning last spring, my neighbor was spraying weeds on her fence line. She was looking down and spraying as she came to an outside corner of the fence, she stood up and looked down the next property line and was surprised by a big deer just 5 feet away. Before she could step back to "hide" behind the fence, the deer jumped forward to head-butt her. He got her pretty good on the side of the head and a hoof-sized bruise (kick or stomp) on her hip. This was kind of natural (fight or flight) behavior but an amazing interaction with a wild animal. She felt very lucky she didn't meet the deer in the previous Autumn when they have antlers.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
22,386
It is clear what the cat was after - breakfast. But what were the birds up to? Just having a bit of fun at the cats expense?
Scientific tests have shown that some birds, particularly a specie of crows show the ability to reason, I watched a PBS documentary a while ago, it was amazing.
They have been observed in some areas 'holding court' a flock has been seen at the top of a tall tree while a sole crow is perched in an a adjacent tree, after much cawing on one occasion they dived on the sole member and killed it, on another, they just all rose up and flew off, and left the sole crow to go free, in each case it looks like they were presiding over some misdemeanor.

During last winter here a budgerigar escaped his owner and flew out the window, he was later seen in the company of a flock of sparrow's which over-winter here, it was observed he had learned to speak 'sparrow', of course all the do-gooder's want to return him to captivity.
Whether he would have lasted the winter as the sparrows do is moot, but at least he would know, even for a short time what it was like to be free and have friends for company.
IMO they should have left him, if he had preferred to return to captivity, I am sure he would have sought some human refuge.
Parrots are one of the most gregarious birds and to keep a lone one in a cage, in some cases for 100yrs of life, is cruelty.
Max.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,337
It's said cats a dogs don't get along. My wife lives outside a small city taking care of her mother. A lot of unwanted cats get dropped off in the area. She has a pet chihuahua that she took in when it was dropped off too. She feeds the cats so they stick close to the house until one of the 3 red foxes in the woods catches and eats them. Any how, the cats all let the dog when he is outside hump them, they actually line up for their turn.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
22,386
A recent incident here was the killing of a young girl on an Indian reserve where stray dogs turn feral, up to packs of a hundred.
Evidently she was walking home after dark and they ambushed her.
They have now got around to culling them for obvious reasons.
Feral cats are thought responsible to killing and placing some song birds on the danger of extinction list.
Max.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,217
I remember one!
I was fishing for bait in a small canal while a large white bird which reminds me of a heron watched me. When I had as much as I needed, I threw the next fish to the bird. He ate 3 fish in a row. When I threw him a 4th fish, he picked it up with his mouth, walked to the canal, and dropped it back in the water.

That was all I needed to decide he had eaten as many fish as he wanted, so I left.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,203
For those living at Puerto Madryn, it is common but unusual for you when going there with your vessel for the first time.

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Just at the end of the pier, adults stay sunbathing while young ones must keep swimming because they cannot jump high enough. And then is when they start yelling, it seems, with little success. You hear them from a long distance.

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This one seemed angry with me when I approached her.

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Meantime the laziest one remained here as this for hours.

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And then you have the whales....
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,203
Some 40++ years ago, in one of my two campaigns in Antartica, I had the chance of seeing two or three times a bunch of penguins aligned along the edge of a flat / low piece of ice (bandejón in our jargon) while a seal was stalking close to them.

Not sure if they did on purpose but they kept pushing sidewards each other until one of them did fall into the water. The seal and those still up there seemed quite satisfied with the result.
 
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