Page 5 - Animal Facts

Frank Oz, the actor most famous for playing Yoda from the Star Wars films, also performed as at least NINE different Muppets!

Frank Oz, the actor most famous for playing Yoda from the Star Wars films, also performed as at least NINE different Muppets!

Believe it or not, Oz was born to a pair of puppeteers, and was honing his craft as part of the Oznowicz Family Marionettes troupe by the age of 12! Oz first crossed paths with Jim Henson at the age of 17 at a national puppetry convention, and he joined the Muppets, Inc. company just two years later, first performing as Rowlf the dog’s right hand. Frank invented the Sesame Street characters of Bert, Grover, and Cookie Monster and performed this trio exclusively for nearly 30 years! He was also offered the role of Big Bird, but turned it down because he hated full-body puppet performance. On The Muppet Show, Oz’s Fozzie Bear was originally intended as a main role, while Miss Piggy was supposed to be more of a secondary character. Oz’s portrayal gave such life to the character that she became one of the stars of the show, and he went from splitting time on her to playing Piggy full-time!

Frank also played Animal, Sam the Eagle, and lesser-known characters like George the Janitor and Marvin Suggs. Over the years, Oz and Jim Henson were quite the dynamic duo, collaborating on famous puppet pairs such as Bert (Oz) and Ernie (Henson) and Kermit the Frog (Henson) and Miss Piggy (Oz)...Oz even did the hands of the Swedish Chef while Henson worked the voice and body! These sketches were even more hilarious because Oz would typically do something unexpected with the hands without telling Henson ahead of time!

Three hunters were found dead around a campfire with no marks on them and no sign of a struggle. What could have killed them?

About 50 years ago three guys went out for a hunt in Oregon. At some point they built a campfire and brewed some coffee.

All three were found dead around their campfire with not a single mark on them and no sign of an attack or a struggle. Nothing was stolen.

The only thing out of the ordinary on the scene was the newt that lay curled up in the coffee pot. To be specific, it was a rough-skinned newt.

These little newts are not just poisonous, they're pretty much walking little death machines. They produce tetrodotoxin (TTX for short) under their skin and it is 10,000 times more deadly than cyanide!

TTX blocks signals in the nervous system, leading to a very speedy death.

The rough-skinned newt has a rather dull-looking brown back, but when the little guy gets upset, it folds its head backwards to reveal the most brilliant yellow underside. In nature, bright colors are often a warning of toxicity.

Although it has never been established what exactly killed the three Oregon hunters, what is known is that the newt in the coffee pot could have effortlessly produce enough TTX to kill them and a dozen more men.


Japanese pufferfish make the most amazing geometric designs on the ocean floor to attract mates

Japanese pufferfish are the artists of the ocean, and sculpting beautiful circles in the ocean floor is their specialty.

It's actually the male of the species that has a flair for creating beautiful, multi-purpose designs in the sand.

The pufferfish is only a few inches long, but the geometric circles it creates are nearly sixty feet in diameter!

The little guy swims tirelessly, day and night, creating these big circular sculptures using the movement of a single fin to ‘carve’ the flowing design in the sand. The more hills and valleys he can create, the better.

He does this for a couple of reasons, but the most important one is to find a mate. The female of the species likes hills and valleys in the sand and the more his design has, the better his chances are with the ladies. If she likes it, she swims through the furrows in the circle to find him.

After they mate, she lays her eggs in the center of the circle. The grooves in his design buffer the ocean currents and protect their fragile little offspring.

The Japanese pufferfish is probably the only fish that spends so much time on the design and creation of a home for his lady.


Some awesome lists!

The first animal to ever become 'un-extinct' was a Pyrenean Ibex. Unfortunately it was extinct again within 7 minutes!

When a species used to become extinct, there was not much that could be done about it except put its picture and maybe some of its bones or fossils in a museum.

When the Pyrenean Ibex, a species of wild goat, became extinct in 2000, scientists decided to try and ‘de-extinct’ it.

They had some DNA from one of the last females named Celia, and they decided to attempt to clone the animal.

In January 2009, the cloned female Pyrenean Ibex was born alive and the Pyrenean ibex became the first taxon ever to become ‘un-extinct’ for a very short time. The little Ibex survived for only seven minutes before she died from lung defects. It had a extra lobe in the left lung and the lungs collapsed.

Scientists believe this happened because the DNA for the clone was taken from an aged individual. Celia was already 13 years old.

Aged DNA usually cause problems for clones and leads to a shorter lifespan. Even if the cloned Ibex survived, it would not have lived very long.


The Turkey Vulture’s primary defense is to vomit on its predators!

Typically found throughout the Americas, the Turkey Vulture is the most widespread of all New World vultures. Although it is generally at the top of the food chain, it does have some threats such as golden eagles, bald eagles, and great horned owls. 

However, the threat to the vulture is often not directly to the bird itself but rather to its eggs. The Turkey Vulture, when threatened, has one primary defense mechanism. It will regurgitate semi-digested meat, which smells absolutely rancid and will deter most any animal.

If the smell doesn’t drive predators away, the vomit will actually sting if it comes in contact with another animals face or eyes. While this is incredibly useful when dealing with threats, the Turkey Vulture will actually quickly vomit if it needs a quick take off and hasn’t digested its food! If only human vomit was as useful! 



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