TIME animals

Here’s What It’s Like to Fly From the Top of the World’s Tallest Building on an Eagle’s Back

That's a 2,722 feet drop captured on video

An eagle flew 2,722 feet from the top of the world’s tallest building in Dubai on Saturday with a camera strapped to its back, and the video is amazing.

The eagle, named Darshan, flew from the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to its trainer on the ground as part of a public awareness campaign for endangered species led by the Freedom Conservation group. Freedom Conservation has publicized other videos with eagles flying from famous locations like the Eiffel Tower and St. Paul’s Cathedral in Paris. The flight in Dubai now holds the record for “highest-ever recorded bird flight from a man-made structure,” the group says.

“We know that people love these types of videos. It’s a great way for us to attract the public’s attention to endangered animals and to the fact that humans need to learn how to share their space with these animals,” Freedom Conservation Director Ronald Menzel told NBC News.

Read next: So This Baby Weasel Decided to Hitch a Ride on a Flying Woodpecker’s Back

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TIME animals

When Adorable Dachshunds Play a Game of Ice Hockey, Everyone Wins

These dogs totally deserve to win the Stanley Cup

These dachshunds named Ernie and Max are really good at being cute — look how long and low to the ground they are! — but they’re also pretty skilled at playing ice hockey. Their owner made use of some backyard snow and built a custom goal for the pups to play with.

Ernie and Max primarily play defense, working to protect the goal as their owner attempts to score. Well, Ernie mostly plays defense while Max just hangs out and gets in the way and sniffs things.

Obviously these dogs deserve to win the Stanley Cup.

TIME animals

This Giant Sea Creature Was Once Earth’s Largest Animal

An artist's rendering of a filter-feeding Aegirocassis benmoulae from the Ordovician Period feeding on a plankton cloud.
Marianne Collins—ArtofFact/Reuters An artist's rendering of a filter-feeding Aegirocassis benmoulae from the Ordovician Period feeding on a plankton cloud.

This 480-million-year-old Aegirocassis was 7 feet long

The newly pieced together skeleton of Aegirocassis benmoulae, a 480-million-year-old sea creature, looks a bit like a cross between a shrimp and a lobster. But at 7-feet-long, this animal was no shrimp. In fact, it was likely once the largest animal on earth.

The fossil’s discovery in Morocco, outlined in a Nature article last week, sheds new light on arthropods from the palaeozoic era, or from about 542 million years ago to 251 million years ago. The Aegirocassis has a second set of fins unlike previously thought, and while many similar arthropods would actively seek out prey, the Aegirocassis captured plankton through a net-like appendage.

But don’t worry: Its method of feeding likely made the Aegirocassis relatively easy going, despite its size, researchers told Reuters.

“Given the huge size of Aegirocassis and its very alien appearance, I assume most people would probably be terrified if they’d encounter it while swimming,” said Yale University paleontologist Peter Van Roy, a study author. However, contrary to almost all other anomalocaridids which were active predators, our animal would have been a very peaceful guy.”

TIME animals

Watch 2 Koalas Embroiled in a Herculean Wrestling Match

The video was taken by an unsuspecting man walking his dogs

Those who thought koalas spend all day eating and lounging in trees in a eucalyptus-induced sleepy stupor are in for a surprise.

“On my daily walk with the dogs when I unexpectedly got front row seats to a koala wrestling match,” Victoria, Australia, resident Ashton Webster wrote on YouTube.

And my, was the the intense wrestling match (grunting and all) a sight to behold.

The koalas are so consumed by their grapple, they aren’t even disturbed when Webster’s dog Lucy pokes in her nose to see what’s going on.

“Lucy, get out of it!” the concerned Webster warns.

Can you guess what happens next?

Read next: Enjoy These 10 Videos of Cute Animals Snoozing in Honor of World Sleep Day

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TIME animals

Chinese Man Gets Attacked by a Wild Panda, Sues Government for $80,000

Panda resting in a tree
Jay Schipper—Flickr RF/Getty Images

It must have been sheer pandamonium

A man in China has been awarded more than $80,000 in compensation from the government after a wild panda bit him on the leg, his lawyer said Monday.

Local officials had tried to capture the panda after it wandered into Liziba village in China’s northwest Gansu province, but ended up chasing it onto Guan Quanzi’s land, reports Agence France-Presse.

“I saw a panda jump out in front of me, its body completely covered in mud,” he told local paper the Lanzhou Evening News.

Guan endured seven hours of surgery after the incident, which happened in March last year. The panda managed to escape.

Guan’s son sued local forestry officials who now have agreed to pay $83,000, which will cover the man’s ongoing medical bills.

Though pandas are known for being pretty easygoing bamboo eaters, they are part of the bear family and can deliver a fierce bite. They’ve also been known to attack humans.

[AFP]

TIME animals

Enjoy These 10 Videos of Cute Animals Snoozing in Honor of World Sleep Day

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Getty Images He's so tired! Look at him!

From a very sleepy pug to a tuckered out red panda, these animals recognize the importance of some quality shut-eye

Today, March 13, is World Sleep Day. Organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine, it’s an annual event that’s both a celebration of sleep and “a call to action on important issues related to sleep.”

Though education about sleep disorders and problems caused by lack of sleep is very important, we’d like to focus on the first part of the event: celebrating sleep. Sleep is a very wonderful thing — and nobody sleeps better (or cuter) than animals. Especially baby animals.

So, in honor of the blissful phenomenon that is sleep, here are 10 videos of cute animals snoozing. Grab your pillows and blankets and get some inspiration.

1. A pug

Quentin falls asleep sitting up and then keeps falling over but then sitting back up because he’s just a pug and he doesn’t know any better:

2. A little baby chick

It takes a quick snooze under the chin of a cat who is also taking a snooze:

3. A Shiba Inu puppy

This very precious, very fluffy little pup barks gently during what appears to be a great dream:

4. Baby pandas

They sleep peacefully even though one rogue cub keeps crawling all over them:

5. A baby sloth

This impossibly cute little guy goes for a big ol’ yawn before nodding off into dream-land:

6. A red panda

He’s clearly had a tough day and could really use some shut-eye if you’d be kind enough to leave him alone:

7. A kitten

He’s so talented he can sleep and purr all at the same time:

8. An owl

His name is Claude and he enjoys a nice massage before saying bonne nuit and drifting off:

9. A pig

This guy knows the only reason you should ever wake up is so you can eat a delicious cookie:

10. A corgi

Everyone knows that being this cute is simply exhausting, so this corgi should enjoy an extremely well-deserved nap beneath a cozy blanket:

Happy World Sleep Day to us all.

TIME animals

3 Million Whales Were Killed in the 20th Century

Kate Westaway—Getty Images

Researchers call it "the largest hunt in human history"

Moby Dick got lucky.

A total of nearly three million whales were killed in the 20th century, according to a new estimate—a number driven by rapid advances in hunting technology and illegal catches by nations like the Soviet Union. And the full number of whales killed may be even higher in what researchers call “the largest hunt in human history.”

The study attempts to tally the number of whales that were killed as whaling transformed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from an enterprise carried out by men with rowboats to an industrialized effort capable of processing…

TIME animals

Meet the Blind Dog Competing in the Iditarod

Mark Thiessen—AP Musher Kelly Maixner, of Big Lake, Alaska, and an auction winner who rode in his sled, during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 7, 2015.

Her handlers say the pup is a cheerleader for the whole team

A musher from North Dakota, Kelly Maixner, is banking on a blind dog to help finish in the top 10 at the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in western Alaska, the Associated Press reports via KTUU-TV.

Five years old and weighing 50 pounds, the Alaskan husky named Laura has a cornea disease called pannus, which a veterinarian diagnosed two years ago when the dog’s eyes started to look cloudy, according to the Anchorage news station.

“Sometimes I have to throw snacks on the ground extra hard so she can hear where it falls,” Maixner told the news channel.

 

TIME animals

This Is What It Looks Like When 152 Black Cats Audition for a Movie

“As far as anyone could remember,” LIFE wrote, “it was the biggest invitation to bad luck ever seen in one place.”

When it comes to four-legged thespians, canines have generally achieved a greater level of fame than their feline rivals. We fondly remember Lassie, Benji and Toto, but cats seem to face a steeper path to Hollywood stardom. Blame it on the lack of good roles.

One role, however—the title character in Edgar Allen Poe’s 1843 short story The Black Cat—offered theatrically inclined kitties a chance to break through. In the story, the cat’s owner plasters him into a wall, along with his murdered wife. Eventually, the animal’s mewing from beyond the grave leads investigators to the woman’s body. The film adaptation, which would appear in the 1962 horror compilation Tales of Terror, adjusted the storyline by weaving in elements of another Poe tale.

Exactly 152 cats showed up for the audition, all of them “considerably less nervous than their owners.” Several were disqualified thanks to white paws or noses, but even for those left in the running, the day left dreams largely dashed. The lead role, it turned out, had already been filled by “a well-known professional cat.” Seven lucky extras, selected on account of having the meanest looking faces, were chosen as understudies.

Their owners, whose ambitions for their pets might just have exceeded those of the pets themselves, couldn’t help but let superstition get the best of them. Although they acted naturally around their own cats, “many took pains not to let any strange black cats cross their paths.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME animals

What’s This? Just a Poodle Walking Like a Human and Wearing Human Clothes

Its owner spent two months training the dog to do that, and it can allegedly walk up to a mile.

A poodle wearing human clothes and walking on its hind legs has raised eyebrows in China’s Sichuan province.

CCTV footage captures the one-year-old dog, dressed like a school girl—backpack and all—walking down a road in what looks like a park. NBC reports that its owner spent two months training the dog to do that, and it can allegedly walk up to a mile.

The sight even confused other canines, for at one point in the video, a small dog tries to sniff it, but a man takes the poodle by the paw and drags it away.

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