Dr Oz: Tarantula, Stingrays, Ground Hogs & Owls Save Lives

Dr Oz: Wild Animals That Can Save Your Life

In this segment, Dr Oz introduced Julie Scardina, the animal ambassador of Sea World and Busch Gardens. Julie brought out 3 animals that you would never think in a million years could actually help save your life. Michelle, an audience member, was the brave soul who volunteered to be Doctor Oz’s and Julie’s assistant. (Personally, I’d have to see the animals first, before volunteering.)

Dr Oz Tarantula & Muscular Dystrophy

1. Tarantula-Goliath bird eating tarantula: Dr Oz Wild Animals These tarantulas are fairly benign animals in nature. (Fairly?!?!) The hair is the tarantula’s defense mechanism. (My defense mechanism is to run!) Julie picked up one of the fuzzy little guys and handed it to Michelle, who was at the very least, hesitant to take it. Dr Oz helped out Michelle and held it with her. Julie stated that these tarantulas have been studied by science because of their venom and that one day it may be used to cure irregular heartbeats and help with muscular dystrophy. Julie noted that tarantulas were not harmful to humans.

Dr Oz: Stingrays Heal Infections

2. Sting Rays: Studies have found stingrays can heal quickly and withstand a lot of infections. They are being studied to figure out what antibodies they contain that can hopefully be transformed to humans. Specifically, they are looking to helping soldiers who had gotten wounds out in the field. (That’s definitely a good cause.)

Dr Oz: Ground Hogs & Weight Loss

3. A Ground Hog (Finally, a cute one!): Ground hogs are one of the true hibernators. This ground hogged, named Digger, could reduce his heartbeat and temperature. Because of that, they gained weight. Digger was a chubby little guy because he was about to go into hibernation. Julie stated that Digger was fed the same diet year round, but only put on weight in the fall and lost it in the summer. (Maybe he was getting ready for bathing suit season, like the rest of us.) Studies of groundhogs researched what is was about a groundhog that allowed them to change their bodies dramatically. This was something scientist were trying to figure out to help weight loss in humans. (Well, when you figure that one out, give me a call!)

Dr Oz: Owls & Hearing Tests

4. Owls: They had to put on the heavy-duty gloves for this one. Julie brought out an owl named Cupid. She held a piece of meat over Dr Oz’s arm and Cupid flew over. An owl’s hearing is incredible. They can hunt in absolute darkness and triangulate to where the prey is, up to 75 feet away. Scientists discovered the owl dilates their pupils in relation to frequency and loudness of the sound. Humans do that as well. Owls are being studied to help figure out a hearing test for babies, young people and people who have been injured.


  1. Michelle Meyer says

    Can you send me the episode from November 21, 2011. The Sea World trainer brings on tarantulas, stingrays, hedgehog, and an owl. A guest named Michelle Meyer is on..

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