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  • November 23, 2014
  • 10:52 AM
  • 46 views

Ampulex compressa: The Wasp That Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies

by beredim in Strange Animals

Jewel WaspBy Muhammad Mahdi Karim (Own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: InsectaOrder: HymenopteraSuborder: ApocritaSuperfamily: ApoideaFamily: AmpulicidaeGenus: AmpulexSpecies: Ampulex compressaCommon Name(s): Emerald cockroach wasp or jewel waspThe Emerald cockroach wasp is best known for its unusual parasitoid reproductive behavior, which among other includes stinging and injecting a cockroach with mind controlling toxins and using its ........ Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 10:32 AM
  • 69 views

Hammerhead Slug: World's Largest Flatworm

by beredim in Strange Animals

Bipalium kewenseNotice the distinctive hammer-like headBy Ajaykuyiloor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: PlatyhelminthesClass: TurbellariaOrder: TricladidaSuborder: ContinenticolaFamily: GeoplanidaeSubfamily: BipaliinaeGenus: BipaliumSpecies: Bipalium kewenseCommon Names: Hammerhead slug, Greenhouse PlanarianNicknamed as the "hammerhead slug" due to its half-moon shaped head, Bipalium kewense is not your ev........ Read more »

  • November 19, 2014
  • 10:33 AM
  • 100 views

Video: Seals Caught Raping Penguins !

by beredim in Strange Animals

Someone's having a really bad day!In a study published a few days ago, researchers from the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria, South Africa reported three incidents of fur seals (Aptenodytes patagonicus) sexually harassing and coercing with king penguins!The authors even took footage of the large mammals forcefully putting the birds to the ground and attempting to mate with them! The incidents took place at the sub-Antarctic Marion Island, on Goodhope Bay and Funk beach.The........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 01:17 PM
  • 80 views

The Dancing Kiwa Puravida (Yeti Crab)

by beredim in Strange Animals

Kiwa PuravidaCredit: Andrew ThurberKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaSubphylum: CrustaceaClass: MalacostracaOrder: DecapodaInfraorder: AnomuraFamily: KiwaidaeGenus: KiwaSpecies: Kiwa puravidaConservation Status: Not assessedCommon Name: Yeti crabMeet Kiwa puravida, a recently discovered deep-sea dwelling decapod and one of three species informally known as "yeti crabs". The other two are kiwa hirsuta and a creature commonly known as the "Hoff cr........ Read more »

  • November 9, 2014
  • 06:12 AM
  • 79 views

Sunday's Nudibranch: Jorunna funebris

by beredim in Strange Animals

 Jorunna funebrisPhoto by © Mark Rosenstein  [CC BY-NC-SA 3.0]Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: MolluscaClass: GastropodaSuperfamily: DoridoideaFamily: DiscodorididaeGenus: JorunnaSpecies: Jorunna funebrisCommon Name: Dotted nudibranch, Polka DotWhen I was writing my "14 Most Amazing Nudibranchs" post I had a really hard time choosing which species to include and which not.This animal group is very diverse and full of beautiful, alien-like or simply weir........ Read more »

Pattira Kasamesiri, Shettapong Meksumpun, and Charumas Meksumpun. (2012) Observations on Embryonic Development of Black-Spot Jorunna, Jorunna Funebris (Kelaart, 1859) (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) . Journal of Shellfish Research, 33(2), 111-117. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.2983/035.031.0114

  • November 6, 2014
  • 04:04 PM
  • 88 views

Researchers Design Cyborg Cockroaches for Search and Rescue Missions

by beredim in Strange Animals

Cyborg CockroachCredit: Eric Whitmire.Researchers at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) issued a press release today announcing that they have developed "cyborg" cockroaches with electronic circuit boards strapped to their backs. The cyborg cockroaches (or biobots) can be used to pick up sounds with their attached microphones and seek out their source.Hopefully, the technology will one day help emergency personnel to find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of disasters, like earthquak........ Read more »

Tahmid Latif, Eric Whitmire, Tristan Novak, and Alper Bozkurt. (2014) Towards Fenceless Boundaries for Solar Powered Insect Biobots. Aug. 28 at 36th Annual International IEEE EMBS Conference, Chicago, Illinois . info:/

  • November 6, 2014
  • 01:10 PM
  • 79 views

Silky Anteater

by beredim in Strange Animals

Silky AnteaterCredit: Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad Costa Rica (INBio) (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaSuperorder: XenarthraOrder: PilosaSuborder:  VermilinguaFamily: CyclopedidaeGenus: CyclopesSpecies: Cyclopes didactylusConservation Status: Least Concern (Not Threatened)Common Name(s): Silky anteater, Pygmy anteater, Dwarf anteater, Two-toed anteaterThis cute, squirrel-sized critter is a silky anteater, the world’s smallest ante........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2014
  • 05:42 AM
  • 132 views

Strange, Vampire-like Deer Still Alive in Afghanistan

by beredim in Strange Animals

Musk deers use their distinctive fungs tusks during the rutting season  to compete with other males.Photo shows a Siberian musk deer, a similar and closelyrelated species.Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCSIt's been more than 60 years after the last confirmed sighting of the Kashmir musk deer in Afganistan, a strange deer with vampire-like fangs native to Afghanistan, Republic of India, and Pakistan.Now, a new study appearing in the latest edition of the journal Oryx reveals that the Kas........ Read more »

  • October 24, 2014
  • 12:50 PM
  • 143 views

The Pig-like Aardvark

by beredim in Strange Animals

Adult and juvenile AardvarksCredit: By Scotto Bear from North Beach, MD, USA (aardvarks) [CC-BY-SA-2.], via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: MammaliaSuperorder: AfrotheriaOrder: TubulidentataFamily: OrycteropodidaeGenus: OrycteropusSpecies: Orycteropus aferConservation Status: Least Concern (Not Threatened)Common Name(s): Aardvark, African antbear, Cape anteaterMeet the Aardvark, a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal from Afri........ Read more »

Taylor, W., Lindsey, P., & Skinner, J. (2002) The feeding ecology of the aardvark Orycteropus afer. Journal of Arid Environments, 50(1), 135-152. DOI: 10.1006/jare.2001.0854  

Mutlow AG, & Mutlow H. (2008) Caesarian section and neonatal care in the aardvark (Orycteropus afer). Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 39(2), 260-2. PMID: 18634220  

Tabuce, R., Asher, R., & Lehmann, T. (2008) Afrotherian mammals: a review of current data. mammalia, 72(1). DOI: 10.1515/MAMM.2008.004  

White, J., Williams, G., Samour, J., Drury, P., & Cheeseman, P. (1985) The composition of milk from captive aardvark (Orycteropus afer). Zoo Biology, 4(3), 245-251. DOI: 10.1002/zoo.1430040305  

  • October 23, 2014
  • 07:38 AM
  • 146 views

Four Solar-Powered Animals

by beredim in Strange Animals

Photosynthesis, a process used by plants and some bacteria to convert light from the sun into chemical energy which can be later released to fuel their activities. Animals on the other hand, have to consume other organisms in order to cover their energy needs. But every rule has an exception.In recent years, researchers have discovered a small number of animals that much like plants have found a way to directly harness and feed off the Sun’s energy.1# Oriental Hornet (Vespa orientalis)Typicall........ Read more »

Rumpho ME, Worful JM, Lee J, Kannan K, Tyler MS, Bhattacharya D, Moustafa A, & Manhart JR. (2008) Horizontal gene transfer of the algal nuclear gene psbO to the photosynthetic sea slug Elysia chlorotica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(46), 17867-71. PMID: 19004808  

Plotkin M, Hod I, Zaban A, Boden SA, Bagnall DM, Galushko D, & Bergman DJ. (2010) Solar energy harvesting in the epicuticle of the oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis). Die Naturwissenschaften, 97(12), 1067-76. PMID: 21052618  

Valmalette, J., Dombrovsky, A., Brat, P., Mertz, C., Capovilla, M., & Robichon, A. (2012) Light- induced electron transfer and ATP synthesis in a carotene synthesizing insect. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00579  

Kerney, R., Kim, E., Hangarter, R., Heiss, A., Bishop, C., & Hall, B. (2011) Intracellular invasion of green algae in a salamander host. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(16), 6497-6502. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1018259108  

  • September 28, 2014
  • 04:54 AM
  • 212 views

Andinobates Geminisae: New Fingernail Sized Poison Dart Frog from Panama

by beredim in Strange Animals

This is the hololotype specimen that the researchers used to describe the newly discovered Andinobates geminisaeCredit: Cesar Jaramillo, STRIA team of scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia recently announced the discovery of a new bright orange poison dart frog. The new species is so small that it can fit on a fingernail and was found in a rain forest near the Caribbean coast, Do........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 05:57 AM
  • 220 views

Turritopsis Dohrnii - Is It Really Immortal?

by beredim in Strange Animals

The "Immortal" JellyfishCredit: Peter Schuchert/The Hydrozoa DirectoryKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: CnidariaClass: HydrozoaOrder: AnthoathecataFamily: OceaniidaeGenus: TurritopsisSpecies: Turritopsis dohrnii (formerly classified as T. nutricula.)Common Name: The immortal jellyfishMost of the animals featured on the site are chosen based on their unusual looks. However, this not the case with Turritopsis dohrnii, which seemingly has no notable morphological characteristics. On the outside, i........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2014
  • 07:42 AM
  • 209 views

Indian Purple Frog (Pignosed Frog)

by beredim in Strange Animals

Indian Purple FrogCredit: Karthickbala at ta.wikipedia (CC-BY-SA-3.0)via Wikimedia CommonsKingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: AmphibiaOrder: AnuraFamily: SooglossidaeGenus: NasikabatrachusSpecies: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensisConservation Status: EndageredCommon name(s):  Indian purple frog, Pignosed frog, Indian purple frogMeet the Indian puple frog, an endangered and odd-looking species of frog from the mountains of India’s Western Ghats.The species was formally described o........ Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 04:32 AM
  • 209 views

Strange Deep Sea Mushroom-Shaped Animals Discovered

by beredim in Strange Animals

Photos of the newly discovered, mushroom-shapedDendrogramma enigmaticaIn a paper that appeared this week on PlosOne, researchers from the University of Copenhagen announced the discovery of two new strange, deep sea and mushroom-shaped animals. The two species were identified from a collection of specimens that were collected back in 1986.The authors assigned the newly described Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides under the animal kingdom, however they couldn't classify them into ........ Read more »

  • September 4, 2014
  • 06:59 AM
  • 236 views

Syringammina fragilissima: World's largest unicellular organism

by beredim in Strange Animals

Syringammina fragilissimaCredit:  Andy GoodayKingdom: RhizariaPhylum: ForaminiferaClass: XenophyophoreaOrder: PsamminidaFamily: SyringamminidaeGenus: SyringamminaSpecies: Syringammina fragilissimaCommon name: NoneHard to imagine that the sponge-like thing in the photo is actually comprised of just one cell, right? Meet Syringammina fragilissima, the world's largest unicellular organism, with a maximum diameter of at least 20 cm (~8 in)!Discovery & HistoryThe species was first descr........ Read more »

Laureillard, J., Méjanelle, L., & Sibuet, M. (2004) Use of lipids to study the trophic ecology of deep-sea xenophyophores. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129-140. DOI: 10.3354/meps270129  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 215 views

New Clues Revealed about the Longevity of Naked Mole Rats

by beredim in Strange Animals

Naked Mole RatCredit: UT Health Science Center at San AntonioThe hairless, odd-looking creature in the photo is a naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber).Among many weird traits, the species also holds the record for longest living rodent. For comparison, the house mouse (Mus musculus) has a maximum lifespan of just 2-3 years, whereas naked mole rats have been recorded to live as much as 32 years!The exact mechanisms behind the species remarkable longevity have yet to be clearly unveiled, ho........ Read more »

  • August 29, 2014
  • 06:38 AM
  • 226 views

Fish with Lungs Gives Clues to the Origin of Tetrapods

by beredim in Strange Animals

Juvenile Polypterus senegalusAbout 400 million years ago, fish left the water and began to evolve into land-living creatures. But how did this transition happen? In a new and unusual study, researchers from the McGill University took a fish species known to be able to occasionally walk using its fins and raised it on land. The scientists found that when raised on land, this primitive strange fish with lungs, walks much better than its water-raised friends. The experiment could she........ Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 06:08 AM
  • 294 views

The Mata mata turtle

by beredim in Strange Animals

Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ChordataClass: ReptiliaOrder: TestudinesFamily: ChelidaeGenus: ChelusSpecies: Chelus fimbriataConservation Status: Least ConcernCommon Name(s): Mata mata, Mata mata turtle, Matamata and other similar variationsMata mata, a strange name for what is sure one of the world's strangest turtles! This large, South American river turtle is the only surviving species of the genus Chelus and is easily one of the most unusual creatures you are likely to encounter in the Amazon........ Read more »

  • August 8, 2014
  • 08:01 AM
  • 238 views

Researchers Uncover Stem Cell Behaviour of Human Bowel

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

For the first time, researchers say they have uncovered new information on how stem cells in the human bowel behave, revealing vital clues about the earliest stages in bowel cancer development and how we may begin to prevent it.The research, led by Queen May University of London (QMUL) and published yesterday the journal Cell Reports, discovered how many stem cells exist within the human bowel and how they behave and evolve over time.Read More... Read more »

Quantification of Crypt and Stem Cell Evolution in the Normal and Neoplastic Human Colon. (2014) Ann-Marie Baker, Biancastella Cereser, Samuel Melton, Alexander G. Fletcher, Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, Paul J. Tadrous, Adam Humphries, George Elia, Stuart A.C. McDonald, Nicholas A. Wright, Benjamin D. Simons, Marnix Jansen, Trevor A. Graham. Cell Reports. info:/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.07.019

  • August 7, 2014
  • 01:06 PM
  • 250 views

Researchers Grow Human Gastrointestinal Cells Using Epithelial Stem Cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Kelli L. VanDussen, PhD, and Matthew A. CiorbaA method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient's gastrointestinal (GI) tract may one day help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI-related conditions.Reporting online recently in the journal Gut, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said they have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks.They have created more than 6........ Read more »

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