The Sideshow
  • (AP/M. Spencer Green)Last week on the Sideshow, we told you about this video purporting to show a Woolly mammoth crossing a Siberian river. And just as we speculated, the video has been debunked as a hoax.

    What we didn't realize at the time is that apparently the entire video is fabricated, according to Life's Little Mysteries. There were several flags raised when I first watched the video: The creature looked more like a bear, there were no accompanying tusks and the supposed trunk looked more like a disproportionately large fish hanging from the "mammoth's" mouth.

    Well, all the rampant speculation has grinded to an abrupt halt now that the original video's author has stepped forward. Writer and videographer Ludovic Petho shot the footage (minus the mysterious creature) while traveling through near the Kitov River in Siberia's Sayan Mountains last summer.

    Ironically, Petho was shooting the footage while working on a project about his grandfather's escape from a Siberian POW camp and his long walk across Siberia to Budapest, Hungary. I saw ironic, because a film tackling similar subject matter, The Way Back, has itself been at least partially debunked as a work of fiction.

    "I'm the guy that filmed the river footage in the Sayan Mountains that now hosts a fake woolly mammoth," Petho writes on his YouTube page. "It was taken in the summer of 2011, the river is the Kitoy river and I don't recall seeing a mammoth; there were bears, dear and sable to name a few mammals but no woolly mammoths. I had no idea my footage was used to make this fake sighting and question if a law was broken here."

    Read More »from Woolly mammoth video a hoax (Video)
  • Photo courtesy Tom Mannering

    National Geographic has released this soon-to-be classic photograph of one shark eating another shark whole.

    The photo comes from Daniela Ceccarelli, of Australia's Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.  Ceccarelli was working with fellow researcher David Williamson on conducting a "fish census" off Great Keppel Island, part of the country's Great Barrier Reef. That's when Ceccarelli thought she spotted a brown-banded bamboo shark hanging out near the ocean's floor.

    "The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark," Ceccarelli told National Geographic in an email. Instead, as Ceccarelli moved in for a closer look she noticed a camouflaged wobbegong shark emerging from seclusion with the same bamboo shark partially wedged inside its jaws.

    "It became clear that the head of the bamboo shark was hidden in its mouth," she said. "The bamboo shark was motionless and definitely dead."

    As the New Scientist explains, Wobbegongs, aka carpet sharks, are silent predators, waiting at the bottom of the ocean floor for their pray to pass by. And as stunning as this photo may be, it's not uncommon for Wobbegongs to devour such large meals. Like several kinds of snakes, the Wobbegong has a dislocating jaw and rearward-pointing teeth that help it consume disproportionately large prey.

    Although Wobbegongs bite humans with some regularity, these usually aren't actual attacks where the shark is hunting for prey. Rather, these bites tend to be more of a defensive reflex after the shark itself has been assaulted, usually by someone unintentionally stepping on it.

    Read More »from Shark devours another shark whole (Photo)
  • Animal photographer Seth Casteel has been getting a lot of attention for his series of pictures depicting dogs underwater While all of the photos are impressive, what's most interesting (or disturbing) is how the photos combine the childlike delight of these dogs with what looks like terrifying scowls on their faces as they hone in on their play toy targets. But as great as those pictures are, there's an accompanying video posted online that might be even better.

    Read More »from Underwater dog photography reveals new animal perspectives

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