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Lifespans of the Animal Kingdom. Animals Rule Chernobyl 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster. Marina Shkvyria watches for animal tracks as she walks toward an abandoned village in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the area sealed to the public after a nuclear power plant exploded here 30 years ago, on April 26, 1986.

Animals Rule Chernobyl 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster

Spotting one, she crouches and runs her finger over the toes of a wolf print in the loose sand. It may seem strange that Chernobyl, an area known for the deadliest nuclear accident in history, could become a refuge for all kinds of animals—from moose, deer, beaver, and owls to more exotic species like brown bear, lynx, and wolves—but that is exactly what Shkvyria and some other scientists think has happened. Without people hunting them or ruining their habitat, the thinking goes, wildlife is thriving despite high radiation levels. Wildlife is absolutely thriving at Chernobyl disaster site. It's hard to find a bright side to the world's worst-ever nuclear disaster, but wildlife may beg to differ.

Wildlife is absolutely thriving at Chernobyl disaster site

After the 1986 fire and explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released radioactive particles into the atmosphere, everyone left, never to return. But now researchers studying animal populations have made a seriously counterintuitive discovery: CRACKED: The 5 Strangest Felonies Ever Committed by Animals. The best thing about being a wild animal, aside from being able to shit wherever you want, is that crimes that would get a human put away for decades are written off with a comical headline.

CRACKED: The 5 Strangest Felonies Ever Committed by Animals

What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough. Zoo Animals and Their Discontents. Photo Dr.

Zoo Animals and Their Discontents

Vint Virga likes to arrive at a zoo several hours before it opens, when the sun is still in the trees and the lanes are quiet and the trash cans empty. Masters of Disguise. By Wil Longbottom Updated: 07:29 GMT, 8 December 2011 Stare at these pictures for long enough and you might just spot some clever creatures playing the ultimate game of hide and seek.

Masters of Disguise

This Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko is barely visible against the leaves in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar. These amazing animals are true masters at blending effortlessly into their environment as a means of survival in the natural world. CRACKED: The 6 Most Terrifying Pets Humanity Has Bred Into Existence. It's common knowledge that, through selective breeding, humanity can artificially encourage certain traits in animals and plants over very long periods of time.

CRACKED: The 6 Most Terrifying Pets Humanity Has Bred Into Existence

What is less common knowledge is that there are absolutely no qualifications needed to start screwin' with the very foundation of an entire species, and the chief motivator for many selective breeders is apparently "I thought it would be funny. " #6. The 10 weirdest animal discoveries of 2012. As the year comes to an end, it's time to look back at the grossest, oddest and simply most fascinating animals to make the headlines in 2012.

The 10 weirdest animal discoveries of 2012

There were zombie worms and penis fish, not to mention turtles with a strange way of getting rid of urine. Animal Mind Control. Scott Youtsey/Miracle studios A normally insatiable caterpillar suddenly stops eating. A quick look inside its body reveals the reason: dozens of little wasp larvae gnawing and secreting digestive enzymes to penetrate its body wall. They have been living inside the caterpillar for days—like little vampires, feeding on its “blood”—and are finally making their exodus to build their cocoons on its bright-green exterior.

In the caterpillar’s brain, a massive immune reaction is taking place—the invertebrate equivalent of a cytokine storm—and among the factors being released is an invertebrate neurohormone called octopamine. Camoflauge in Animals. Mimicry Some animals and plants look like other things -- they mimic them. CRACKED: The 6 Weirdest Ways Wild Animals Are Having to Adapt to Us. Humanity's track record with animals has never been stellar.

CRACKED: The 6 Weirdest Ways Wild Animals Are Having to Adapt to Us

After centuries of ocean dumping, worldwide deforestation, domestication and overhunting, it's safe to say we've got a greasy, opposable thumb in every one of Mother Nature's pies. That's not to say that humanity's only effect on the animal kingdom is pure destruction; in fact, sometimes our ecological footprint looks more like a clown shoe. #6. Talking Birds Are Teaching Each Other to Swear. Animal Groups. Animal did you knows. The World's Smallest and Deadliest Animals. CRACKED: 5 Lovable Animals You Didn't Know Are Secretly Terrifying. If there’s two things Cracked is all about, it’s fucked up animals and dongs.

CRACKED: 5 Lovable Animals You Didn't Know Are Secretly Terrifying

And since they won’t let me write “The 7 Most Fucked Up Animal Dongs,” (Editor's Note: Only because it's been written already) I had to settle for focusing on just the animal stuff. Vetpaw. 21 More Strange Animals You Didn’t Know Exist. You might think you’ve seen the world over, under, around and through, but there will still be wonders that will make your eyes pop.

21 More Strange Animals You Didn’t Know Exist

Even if you’re a dedicated animal enthusiast, you can’t honestly expect to know all of the 1,367,555 non-insect animal species, that are identified on the face of Earth today! CRACKED: The 7 Most Impressive Examples of Animal Architecture. We have a pretty good idea about what sets humanity aside from the animals.