The last two weeks saw a number of unusual events take place in the animal world. A new species was discovered off the coast of California’s Monterey Bay, dubbed the “Harp Sponge.” According to OurAmazingPlanet, this carnivore is shaped like a candelabra, with Velcro-like barbed hooks covering its limbs.
Another California creature made news when a white millepede was named the “animal with the most legs.” The lllacme plenipes boasts a record 750 limbs. This seems to be an exceptionally astonishing feat since it only measures 1-3 centimeters long. According to Paul Marek, a postdoctoral entomologist at the University of Arizona who led the study, "it basically looks like a thread."
In Macedonia, panic broke out at the circus when a lion escaped its safety enclosure. Although children were crying and some women reportedly fainted, the lion was taken down by a tranquilizer gun before anyone was injured.
This past week was Polar Bear Week 2012, and a number of bloggers penned thoughtful essays on the endangered animal. Dr. Tom Smith wrote about his years spent observing polar bear denning, while Dr. Steven C. Amstrup, Cecelia Bitz and Dr. Andrew Derocher all blogged about the loss of sea ice, and how climate change is seriously depleting polar bear habitats. Polar Bear Week was introduced by Charles Annenberg Weingarten, who not only recognized the plight of the polar bear, but also the majesty of the mysterious animal.
A white humpback whale was spotted near Norway this week, which is an incredibly rare sight to behold. A video was captured of the Norway whale frolicking with its pigmented pals. The first all-white humpback sighting was first reported in 1991, since which time only a few others have been spotted.
Looking for some added cuteness to wrap up your week? Check out these adorable baby animals from the new ZooBorns book.
Find some of the week's best animal photos below: