Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Saddleback Caterpillar – Be Careful When Taking A Closer Look

saddleback-caterpillar-e28093-be-careful-when-taking-a-closer-lookAbout this Caterpillar:

Though the bright green “saddle” makes you want to take a closer look at the saddleback caterpillar, don’t be tempted to pick it up. The saddleback’s spines protrude in nearly every direction. The caterpillar will arch its back to get as many spines into you as possible. The young caterpillars feed together in a group, but as they get larger they begin to disperse. Continue Reading »

Idiacanthus Atlanticus – Also Known As the Black Dragonfish

idiacanthus-atlanticus-e28093-also-known-as-the-black-dragonfishIdentification

The Black Dragonfishes (Family Idiacanthidae) are long, slender fishes.

These fishes are sexually dimorphic. The top two images show a female with its small eyes, chin barbel, and long fang-like teeth. The male is much smaller. It lacks teeth, lacks the chin barbel, has a non-functional gut, and is dark brown rather than black. Continue Reading »

The Bizarre and Horrifying Helicoprion

the-bizarre-and-horrifying-helicoprionIf you thought the fictional Ningen was bizarre, behold the Helicoprion. And this horrifying sea creature is, or actually, was very real, as evidenced by their peculiar lower teeth, fossils of which have been found. It may have grown up to 20 feet long. Continue Reading »

Interesting Facts About Hallucigenia Sparsa

interestin-facts-about-hallucigenia-sparsaWhen originally discovered and prepared, fossils of the animal Hallucigenia appeared to have preserved two rows of spines on one side of the animal and one row of tentacles on the other. Identifying its head was a problem - the fossil showed only a rounded, dark stain at one end and a narrower, dark stain at the other. Continue Reading »

Star-nosed Mole

star-nosed-moleTHIS weird and wonderful creature is the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata), a small, semi-aquatic mammal which inhabits the low wetlands of eastern North America. Like other moles, it ekes out an existence in a network of narrow underground tunnels, and digs shallow surface tunnels where it forages for insects, worms and molluscs. Living as it does in almost complete darkness, the star-nosed mole has poorly developed eyes, and is virtually blind. Instead, it relies heavily on its remarkable star-shaped nose. This organ enables the star-nosed mole to decide whether something is edible with astonishing speed - in fact, it recently entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s fastest forager - and also to sniff out food underwater. Continue Reading »

Death’s Head Hawk-moth – a.k.a Acherontia atropos

deaths-head-hawk-moth-e28093-aka-acherontia-atroposDescription: Wingspan 102-135mm. The forewings are mainly black suffused with brown with some patches of lighter scales. The abdomen has a wide dorsal stripe with yellow patches on the sides. The thorax is marked with the skull-shaped marking from which it takes its name. The hindwings are bright yellow with two thick, black crosslines. Continue Reading »

Gulper Eel – a.k.a Eurypharynx Pelecanoides

gulper-eel-e28093-aka-eurypharynx-pelecanoidesThe gulper eel, known scientifically as Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is one of the most bizarre looking creatures in the deep sea. Its most notable attribute is the large mouth. This enormous mouth is much larger than the eel’s body. The mouth is loosely hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow an animal much larger than itself. The hapless fish is then deposited into a pouch-like lower jaw, which resembles that of a pelican. In fact, this eel issometimes referred to as the pelican eel. The gulper’s stomach can also stretch to accommodate its large meals. This giant mouth gives the eel its other common name of umbrella mouth gulper. Continue Reading »

Caecilian – Large Worms from Tropics

caecilian-e28093-large-worms-from-tropicsLegless amphibians

Caecilians (pronounced seh-SILL-yens) are tropical amphibians that look like large worms or slick snakes. They have no arms or legs, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which end is the head and which is the tail! Their shiny skin is ringed with skin folds called annuli, and they usually come in shades of gray, brown, black, orange, or yellow. Some species have tiny, fishlike scales within the rings. Continue Reading »

Tardigrada – also known as Water Bears

tardigrada-e28093-also-known-as-water-bearsWhat Are They?

Water Bears belong to a lesser known phylum of invertebrate animals, the Tardigrada. The first tardigrades were discovered by Goetz in 1773. Over 400 species have been described since that time. Continue Reading »

Phronima – Coming from Alien Environment

phronima-e28093-coming-from-alien-environmentImagine that you’re diving in an alien environment — a few feet down in the middle of the ocean — when you come face to face with a creature with giant eyes, big claws, and a mouth that rips apart its prey. You’ve just met phronima, a marine creature that may have inspired the design for the monster in the “Alien” movies. Fortunately, though, you’re not in any danger, because Phronima is no more than an inch long. Continue Reading »

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