WATCH: Our Top Ten Animal Videos For 2014

With 2014 coming to a close, we wanted to review some of the year's best animal footage. From nail-biting lion encounters and unnervingly large gatherings of snakes and gnats to a laser gun-imitating lyrebird and land-lubbing octopus, animals are still surprising us with their remarkable behaviours.

SCIENCEALERT STAFF
9 DEC 2014
 

Young elephant fights off 14 lions

Surrounded by 14 lions after being separated from its herd, this little elephant put on one hell of a brave fight - and won! We just wish it didn't keep running out of the water, our nerves are shot.

 

 

One porcupine fends off 17 lions

Imagine if you were surrounded by 17 fully grown lions in the dead of night - how do you think you'd fare? This little porcupine is an inspiration to us all, never once losing its cool and proving that size doesn't always matter, as long as you've got a whole lot of spikes.

Lyrebird perfectly imitates laser gun sounds

Not only can this bird imitate the sound of TWO kookaburras at the same time, but his laser gun impression is so good, we took cover behind the couch - twice.

Inside the world's largest gathering of snakes

Want to know what the world's largest gathering of snakes looks like? Here's some footage of 75,000 male red-sided garter snakes desperately looking for love.

This 'snake' is actually hundreds of fungus gnat larvae

From afar, the object in this video looks like a double-headed snake. But it’s not until the camera zooms in that you realise it’s a slimy mass of hundreds of fungus gnat larvae. And we can’t stop watching.

Watch an octopus walking on land

This video is from 2011, but it's still so awesome. An octopus walks out of the water at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, drops a crab shell at the feet of some humans and ambles back to its watery home.

The fastest animal in the world vs a skydiver

If you think the cheetah is the fastest animal in the world, you're not even close. Peregrine falcons have been known to clock speeds of up to 389 km/h, which is just mind-meltingly fast. Watch a plumeting skydiver race a peregrine falcon.

Why dogs are messier drinkers than cats

Research has finally described in detail why dogs are so much sloppier than cats when it comes to lapping up liquid.

Ants use undocumented ‘daisy-chaining’ technique to haul food

Video footage has revealed an ant behaviour that has never before been documented - a group of ants 'daisy-chaining' their bodies in a series of organised lines to drag a large millipede to their nest. 

Worm-eating leech feeds in world-first footage

The species is not yet known to science, but it's one of the biggest, reddest leeches in the world. Here it is, filmed for the first time by a BBC film crew, hoovering down a worm.

Special bonus footage: It didn't come out this year, but with all the lion-thwarting that 2014 brought, we thought it would be a good opportunity to bring this classic out of the vault. I don't know what they're feeding that baby buffalo, but kid's got so much heart:

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