Wednesday 30 November 2011

Robber Fly

Image: Wikipedia
I've always sort of liked Robber Flies. I knew a bit about their predatory nature and strangely chunky legs, but I never knew much more than that.

It's a bit like being aware of a movie that was out when you were a child, you never saw it but you know you would've really loved it if you had.

Well, I'm glad to finally find out some more about this formidable, aerial predator. And I must say, I'm impressed!.

Sunday 27 November 2011


Image: Wikimedia
The Pangolin! Like a walking pinecone! Like an animate artichoke! Like an already strange looking animal fell into a barrel of gigantic fingernails and became even more strange looking!

Friday 25 November 2011

Greater Adjutant

Image: Wikipedia
The Greater Adjutant is a huge, shockingly unattractive stork from parts of India and south-east Asia. Being a close relative of Africa's Marabou Stork, it seems this particular brand of ugly has gone global!

Wednesday 23 November 2011


Image: Adrian Glover, Natural History Museum
We've seen some really weird annelid worms in our time. Ones with tentacles. Ones with powerful jaws. Even ones with gigantic floating buttocks.

It's amazing what the kin of the humble earthworm is able to get up to!

Here, however, is something a little different. Alongside the weird appendages and sticky-out bits, Boneworms, members of the genus Osedax, have also lost some stuff. Important stuff. Stuff like a mouth and stomach.

Sunday 20 November 2011


Image: Wikimedia
Monkfish! Goosefish! Headfish! Mother-in-law fish!

Whatever you call these monsters in your part of the world, it's ever apparent that we're talking about some kind of fish!

Friday 18 November 2011

Giant African Millipede

Je t'aime...
There are a number of related species that get called African Giant Millipedes. They all share a lot in common, not least being great, big millipedes from Africa. Hence!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Red Eyed Crocodile Skink

Image: Henk Wallays
I remember mornings when I felt like how the Red Eyed Crocodile Skink looks.

Dragging myself out of bed, joints cracking with every move, my back so stiff it felt like it was made of a single plank of wood.

Monday 14 November 2011

Microscopic Worlds, a great video!

I saw this and just had to share, it's amazing!

In the original post you can find out all the labours that went into making it. There were many! Also, the galleries at Microworlds Photography have lots of incredible microscope images to gawp at.

The video features several familiar characters, like Copepods, Water Bears and the squishy, all-conquering tower of malice that is the Hydra. There are also a whole lot more we'll have to get round to!

Sunday 13 November 2011


Image: California Academy of Sciences
Sponges are some 5 or 10,000 members of the phylum Porifera, meaning "pore bearer". They really are full of holes, which I guess is why they're called Sponges, too. But we'll get to that!

Friday 11 November 2011

Microwhip Scorpion

Yet another arachnid that gets called a scorpion but isn't a scorpion at all! This time we're discovering one of the most overlooked and unknown of them all. You might need a magnifying glass for this one.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Honduran White Bat

Image: Wikimedia
BATS! What does that make you think of? A dark, creature of the night, perhaps? Wings of skin stretched across grotesquely extended fingers? Grim beasts roosting in dank caves, amassing a gigantic heap of dung so vast the very air is a defensive fortification?

For the most part you'd be right, but the Honduran White Bat is a little different.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Swamp Eel

Image: Wikimedia
Swamp Eels seem to have taken the "less is more" thing to an extraordinary degree. Apparently, great success and durability can come from simply ridding yourself of various body parts.

Friday 4 November 2011

Bobbit Worm

Image: Wikipedia
Bobbit Worms are massive, nocturnal polychaete worms whose front end is dominated by a pair of astonishingly cruel jaws. Most creatures have their implements of death hidden beneath cheeks, lips or friendly smiles, but the Bobbit Worm has them right out on show. It's like if deer used their antlers to capture and kill struggling prey.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Upside Down Jellyfish

Image: Lyndi&Jason via Flickr
OK, Cnidarians. So you got your polyps which are like the Sea Anemones. You turn it upside down and you got a medusa, which is like a jellyfish. But what happens when a medusa goes upside down again and tries out the polyp life without actually being a polyp? You just got yourself an Upside Down Jellyfish!