life, biology, fandom, rants

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Box Jellyfish, also known as Sea Wasps, are members of the class Cubozoa who are distinct from all other jellyfish.

They’re much faster and more manoeuvrable than other jellyfish, so much so that some of them can actively chase their prey.

Their tentacles are situated on each corner of the four corners of their lower surface. Some species have one, solitary tentacle per corner, others have bundles of over a dozen tentacles per corner.

The weirdest thing about them has to be their eyes. They have 24 of them! 8 of their eyes even have retinas and lenses! These are the best eyes in cnidaria, and they STILL don’t have brain.

All this eyesight may well take it’s toll, one species was seen spending 15 hours per day asleep.

Filed under sea wasp cubozoa box jellyfish jellyfish optics in cnidarians

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Coral reef in Komodo National Park in Komodo, Indonesia. The reefs in Komodo are among the richest in the world and home to over 1,000 types of fish, nearly 400 varieties of coral, 70 kinds of sponges and several types of whales, sharks, turtles and dolphins by Michael Patrick O’Neill

ETA: those are the densest local feather star populations I’ve ever seen!
— okay, maybe not the densest I’ve ever seen in photos, but still remarkable.

(via enchantedlyre)

Filed under coral reef komodo komodo national park indonesia michael patrick o'neill

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Flock of Ancient ‘Butterfly-Headed’ Flying Reptiles Discovered

by Tia Ghose

An ancient flying reptile with a bizarre, butterflylike head has been unearthed in Brazil.

The new-found pterosaur species, Caiuajara dobruskii, lived about 80 million years ago in an ancient desert oasis. The beast sported a strange bony crest on its head that looked like the wings of a butterfly, and had the wingspan needed to take flight at a very young age.

Hundreds of fossils from the reptile were unearthed in a single bone bed, providing the strongest evidence yet that the flying reptiles were social animals, said study co-author Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist at the Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil…

(read more: Live Science)

illustration by Maurilio Oliveira/Museu Nacional-UFR; photos: Manzig et al, PLOS ONE 2014

(via lostbeasts)

Filed under caiuajara dobruskii pterosauria archosaur pterosaur tapejarid

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Paleontologists found this sweet whorl of teeth called a Helicoprion, but really didn’t know how it might have been situated in a fish’s mouth. 

There were many theories postulated about how the teeth fit in the animal’s mouth (fourth image). When another specimen was found, it was determined that the owner of this strange jaw (not a shark, but a ratfish) had no upper teeth at all.

Ladies and gentlemen, the most metal fish.

(via Laelaps/National Geographic) Art by Ray Troll.

(Source: strangebiology, via lostbeasts)

Filed under helicoprion ratfish ray troll

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Bowmouth guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma)

The bowmouth guitarfish is a species of ray. This rare species occurs widely in the tropical coastal waters of the western Indo-Pacific.

This large species can reach a length of 2.7 m (8.9 ft). The jaws are heavily ridged with crushing teeth arranged in wave-like rows. Usually found near the sea floor, the bowmouth guitarfish prefers sandy or muddy areas near underwater structures.

It is a strong-swimming predator of bony fishes, crustaceans, and molluscs. This species gives live birth to litters of two to eleven pups, which are nourished during gestation by yolk. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the bowmouth guitarfish as Vulnerable because it is widely caught by artisanal and commercial fisheries for its valuable fins and meat.

The bowmouth guitarfish, often described as prehistoric in appearance, is considered by some scientists to be the ‘missing link’ between sharks and rays based on the ray-like placement of the mouth and gill openings, and disc shape of the front part of the body and the shark-like streamlined appearance of the rest of the body and the powerful tail.

photo credits:Brian Gratwicke, Jason Isley, planetearth, link

(via rhamphotheca)

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The Traveller’s Palm tree (Ravenala madagascariensis) produces stunningly blue seeds as seen in top photo. In its native Madagascan rainforest habitat, the seeds are dispersed by lemurs, which are able to see the seed’s unusual coloration.

The palm - a misnomer, since the plant is not actually a palm, but rather a relative of bananas and heliconias - is a popular landscaping accent in the tropics due to its iconic fan-forming giant petioles and banana-like leaves.

Top photo by Rick Hederstrom

Bottom photo source

Further reading

Filed under ravenala madagascariensis ravenala strelitziaceae zingiberales madagascar lemur blue zoochory seed dispersion botany traveller's palm tropical plants

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Also today’s gunnerkrigg update hits me far too close to home. Annie’s reaction is too relatable, painful to see for me.

I can’t even handle seeing the page for more than a few seconds.

Also I hope to death that girl isn’t Zimmy.

Filed under gunnerkrigg court gunnerkrigg spoilerkrigg

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Hi there people, sorry for the lack of posts and answers. Been lurking for months for some reason.

Be returning to the usual schedule