Spanish dancer in Red Sea (by newsonbijou).
Eloquence in motion: the Spanish Dancer, (Hexabranchus sanguineus), is an amazing creature - a large nudibranch, or sea slug, notable for its flamboyant coloration and hypnotic method of locomotion. While, like most nudibranchs, H. sanguineus spends the majority of its time crawling along the seabed, it is also a strong swimmer, capable of moving from place to place in a series of showy rippling, swirling motions, reminiscent of the movement of a Flamenco dancer’s skirt.
Kunstformen der Natur (German for Art Forms of Nature) is a book of lithographic and autotype prints by German biologist Ernst Haeckel. Originally published in sets of ten between 1899 and 1904 and collectively in two volumes in 1904, it consists of 100 prints of various organisms, many of which were first described by Haeckel himself. Over the course of his career, over 1000 engravings were produced based on Haeckel’s sketches and watercolors; many of the best of these were chosen for Kunstformen der Natur, translated from sketch to print by lithographer Adolf Giltsch.
Asked by well-lit-room
Wow, I have not been on tumblr in forever; sorry! Yes, you did! I still have that, actually, alongside The Science of Hypnotism.
So, after years and years of never seeing a single mushroom in my yard, (apart from the odd Panaeolus foenisecii), I find myself suddenly overrun with some very peculiar specimens. I’m weak on fungi, and identification sites have been no help, thus far, so I’m hoping that someone out there might recognize them. For reference, I live in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley region.
These grow in an aligned cluster, sort of like fingers on a hand. They’re about an inch to two inches tall, and the cap of each is a half-inch wide, or less.
This picture might be a bit too “arty” to be of any use; sorry. Stemmed, obviously, with lavish gills and an overall frilly appearance, between two and three inches tall.
The world’s least appetizing bowl of spaghetti. Grows on or close to the ground near a tree stump, and is currently about three inches in diameter.
Any clues you can provide as to what these might be would be appreciated!
One of my, and the internet’s, favorite animals.
[Photo credit: Wikipedia]
B. giganteus, or the giant isopod, is a deep-sea benthic, carnivorous, scavenging crustacean that can grow to a length of 79cm, (30in). As you can see from the photo, it sort of resembles a massive wood louse/pill bug - unsurprising, as wood lice are also isopods, and are considered something of a “cousin” to the sea-dwelling varieties. In fact, like terrestrial isopods, the giant isopod can curl up into a ball when disturbed or threatened.
[Photo credit: SeaPics.com]
B. giganteus is found worldwide, typically from the sublittoral zone, (170m/550ft), to the lightless bathypelagic zone, (2,140m/7,020ft). Its impressive size - most isopod species, marine or otherwise, rarely grow larger than 5cm - is an example of a phenomenon known as abyssal or deep-sea gigantism, the tendency of deep-sea dwellers to grow to much larger sizes than their shallower-dwelling relatives, the reasons for which are still not fully understood.
[Photo credit: Wikipedia]
Giant isopods are described as being pale lilac in color - a surprisingly delicate hue for something that a lot of people consider to be high octane nightmare fuel. Maybe the innocuous color just makes it more unsettling? I don’t know. Personally, every time I see one of these, I am struck by an overwhelming urge to pet it. If you feel the same way, the internet offers countless ways to show your isopod love, (though my favorite one is no longer in production).
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this:
Oh, it’s real.
[Image credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; source]
South American armored catfish appear to be South Florida’s newest non-native headache. Given that various species of the family Loricariidae are popular algae-cleaners, (sold as “plecos”), in the aquarium trade, this is hardly surprising. In absence of environmental restrictions, this type of catfish has no fixed growth limits - many a hobbyist has started out with a specimen of about an inch or so in length, only to wind up with a two-foot monster, just a few years later. Releasing an animal one can’t handle - and, arguably, one shouldn’t have in the first place - into the wild is no solution, however, as it results in exactly this problem. Although they lack the vicious reputation of America’s favorite invasive fish species, the Northern Snakehead, (C. argus), Florida’s Locricariidae - which are estimated to number in the millions and have no natural predators in Florida lakes - are causing coastal erosion and destroying native plant life, which means diminished food reserves for native fish species. Additionally, according to a 2010 paper published by the Sea to Shore Alliance, (click here for a .pdf), a specific species of Locricariidae - P. disjunctivus, or the Vermiculated Suckermouth Sailfin Catfish - has been attaching itself to manatees and causing disruptions in their normal behavioral patterns. That fish of the Locricariidae family are also extremely difficult to catch - their sucker-like mouth parts make them impossible to hook on a traditional fishing line - further complicates the problem, as removal of the non-native fish from Florida’s lakes at a rate faster than they can reproduce is highly unlikely.
“This photo comes from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It show a school (?) of nautiluses devouring some chicken. Allen owns a large yacht called the Octopus, which has a couple of ROVs on board. This photo was taken by one of the ROVs at a depth of 876 feet, near the Pacific island of Palau.”
Cool shot of very focused Nautiluses munching on chicken seen from Octopus ROV at a depth of 876 feet off Palau. http://pic.twitter.com/8l33KOxY
Ah the elusive deep sea chicken…. a natural prey of the Nautilus. Lucky it wasn’t a piece of chemical ridden terrestrial chicken brought to depth by the ROV for our viewing pleasure right?
From National Geographic daily news:
Critically endangered African antelope is last species of its kind.
Photo credit: John Warburton-Lee, Alamy
For the first time in 75 years, an entire genus of mammal may go the way of the dodo—unless a new conservation effort shepherded by Somalian herders succeeds.
The hirola, a large African antelope known for its striking, goggle-like eye markings, is the only remaining species in the genus Beatragus—and its numbers are dwindling fast, conservationists say. [full story]