Sunday, June 21, 2009

Resplendent Owl Bear

Oh, the Resplendent Owl Bear! What an amazing creature. Let's delineate the zaniosity:

1. Blind in one eye (genetics determine which one).
2. A beak that glows in the dark.
3. Diet made up entirely of insect wings.
4. Upside down mating ritual that culminates with the female eating the male's beak.
5. Head capable of swiveling 360 degrees like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
6. The Bear's marsupial pouch is located at the very end of its tail.

The Owl Bear is native to Australia, home to a number of other bizarre creatures. Distantly related to the Koala Bear, the Resplendent Owl Bear differs from its more famous, more cuddly cousin in a number of distinctive ways. One major difference that results in some wacky behavior: while Koala Bears sleep most of the day, Resplendent Owl Bears can stay awake for weeks at a time and often do.

In fact, a commonly observed activity is a murder of Owl Bears gathering to feed on the leaves and flowers of the Spotted Emu Bush, a plant that is poisonous to humans but tends to make the Owl Bears severely intoxicated. In 2003, Scientists in Adelaide observed a large group of male and female Owl Bears embark on an incredible non-stop six-week binge of Spotted Emu Bush partying that resulted in twelve pregnant females, two deaths, nine severe head injuries, and virtually non-stop high-altitude arboreal fornication and vomiting.

It's not uncommon for Owl Bears to become addicted to the Emu Bush leaves and give up all social contact, choosing instead to spend all their time on the ground lying on their back staring at the sky and chewing slowly on the plant's dead leaves until eaten by a wandering Dingo. This strange case of animal addiction is being studied closely by scientists from Johns Hopkins University for clues to alcohol and heroin addiction in humans.

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