Saturday 31 March 2012

Pink Parasol Coral

Image: NOAA
Oh. My... I think I'm in love!

Friday 30 March 2012

Snake Star

Image: NOAA Photo Library
So obscenely wrong it's deliciously right!

Thursday 29 March 2012

Mushroom Soft Coral

Yeh, this place could definitely do with a little jazzing up.

So we have our weird pink cactus and our weird pink tree, but what about a weird pink mushroom? Where can we find one of those?

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Bubblegum Coral

Image: NOAA
Do you remember how the Giant Tree Sponge brought a bit of weird looking fun and levity to the serious business of surviving in the deep sea? Well check out their partners in sublime!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Flamingo Tongue Snail

Image: laszlo-photo via Flickr
We saw the Gorgonian and said hello to their little friends. This time, we learn that those magnificent corals don't have it all their own way.

Monday 26 March 2012

Gorgonian Goby

Image: PacificKlauss via Flickr
Remember how Gorgonian corals grow in the currents so that their polyps can collect food as it washes past them? Well what if you eat the same stuff the polyps do? If you ended up sitting on a Gorgonian, why would you ever need to leave?

Sunday 25 March 2012


Image: AleŇ° Kocourek
The Gorgons (from the Greek for "dreadful") were the three sisters Stheno ("forceful"), Euryale ("far roaming") and Medusa ("guardian"). Terrifying women with snakes for hair and a gaze that could turn anyone into stone.

Friday 23 March 2012

Umbrella Crab

Image: Ken-ichi via Flickr
It's Cryptolithodes sitchensis! The Umbrella Crab! Turtle Crab! Helmet Crab! I think it's pretty clear where they got their names from!

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Brittle Star

Image: Moorea Biocode
Brittle Star? Or a close-up of a star?
I'd long thought that Brittle Stars were basically really thin starfish. Turns out I wasn't doing them justice at all. And it's not just because they're even thinner than I thought.

Sunday 18 March 2012


Image: National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors
Bryozoa, sometimes called Ectoprocts or Moss Animals, is an entire phylum of some 5,000 species that are probably life's only chance against the all-conquering weirdness of Cnidaria.

Friday 16 March 2012

Glass Octopus

Image: Richard E. Young
The Glass Octopus! So called because it's transparent. Not because it's made of glass. It's actually soft and gelatinous. Ice Jelly Octopus!

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Crab-like Spiny Orbweaver

Image: Sam Fraser-Smith via Flickr
It's Gasteracantha cancriformis again! We were first introduced to her at the Gasteracantha party, so let's take the opportunity to find out a little more about her.

Sunday 11 March 2012

How The Lizard Lost Its Legs

Image: Armandkok via Flickr
Cape Legless Skink
Do you remember how the Slow Worm was a lizard with no legs? And Bill was like "how's that"? It was over a year and a month (and a week and a day) ago now but as an example of just how much of my mind this blog occupies, let's look at some Skinks!

Friday 9 March 2012


Image: Wikipedia
I had no idea this was possible! There's fruit on them thar tree trunks!

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Bearded Pig

Image: Wikipedia
Look! It's a pig with a beard! A great, big, pig beard! Not quite mutton chops, but almost!

Sunday 4 March 2012

What is the Biggest Insect in the World?

You gotta love insects, right? They're all over the place so if you don't want your life to be a solid mass of annoyance and fear you really ought to love 'em.

And of course, the only thing better than an insect is a really big insect. And the only thing better than a really big insect is one so big it can bite a man's arm off and fly away with his car. That's my dream, anyway.

Friday 2 March 2012

Blobfish Sculpin

Do you remember the poor, old Blobfish and how it was fished up and left on a counter to collapse like a gigantic mound of wet tissue paper? Well then check out their close relative, the Blobfish Sculpin! This is what that soft, gelatinous body looks like when it's supported by the appropriate water pressure. It's as if the entire ocean was one, big girdle.