62 posts tagged awesome

28th October 2013
"Lost World" Discovered in Remote Australia
Three new species were found on a recent expedition to the Cape Melville mountain range in northeastern Australia. The newly found Cape Melville leaf-tail gecko (Saltuarius eximius), Cape Melville shade skink (Saproscincus saltus), and blotched boulder-frog (Cophixalus petrophilus) are three herps previously undiscovered by science among several other animals found on the expedition that may be new to science. These species are expected to have existed in isolation for millions of years.
Read the whole story here. "Lost World" Discovered in Remote Australia
Three new species were found on a recent expedition to the Cape Melville mountain range in northeastern Australia. The newly found Cape Melville leaf-tail gecko (Saltuarius eximius), Cape Melville shade skink (Saproscincus saltus), and blotched boulder-frog (Cophixalus petrophilus) are three herps previously undiscovered by science among several other animals found on the expedition that may be new to science. These species are expected to have existed in isolation for millions of years.
Read the whole story here.

"Lost World" Discovered in Remote Australia

Three new species were found on a recent expedition to the Cape Melville mountain range in northeastern Australia. The newly found Cape Melville leaf-tail gecko (Saltuarius eximius), Cape Melville shade skink (Saproscincus saltus), and blotched boulder-frog (Cophixalus petrophilus) are three herps previously undiscovered by science among several other animals found on the expedition that may be new to science. These species are expected to have existed in isolation for millions of years.

Read the whole story here.

5th August 2013
Like crocodile ice fish, Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) produce special  proteins in their tissues and blood that behave as an antifreeze. They grow slowly, reaching sexual maturity between eight and ten years and growing up to 2.2 m in length. They’re typically found on the seabed, but will swim up to feed on a range of prey items from fish to prawns. Because it grows so large, it doesn’t have many natural predators outside of some toothed whales and elephant seals. Antarctic toothfish do not have swim bladders, rather they have light bones and high body fat contents, allowing them to achieve neutral buoyancy (their density matches the density of the water they inhabit).
(Photo source)

Like crocodile ice fish, Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) produce special  proteins in their tissues and blood that behave as an antifreeze. They grow slowly, reaching sexual maturity between eight and ten years and growing up to 2.2 m in length. They’re typically found on the seabed, but will swim up to feed on a range of prey items from fish to prawns. Because it grows so large, it doesn’t have many natural predators outside of some toothed whales and elephant seals. Antarctic toothfish do not have swim bladders, rather they have light bones and high body fat contents, allowing them to achieve neutral buoyancy (their density matches the density of the water they inhabit).

(Photo source)

3rd August 2013
People often classify anything small and crawly on land with more than four legs as an insect. In fact, there are plenty of non-insect arthropods that are quite common. Springtails (class Collembola) are a frequently overlooked class of arthropods. They have six legs and a fork-shaped jumping organ called a furcula that can be used like a spring to propel them away from predators. The family Poduridae encompasses the water springtails, the most common species of which is Podura aquatica, a minuscule little creature that may gather on the surface of water in such numbers that they appear to change the color of the water.
(Photo source)

People often classify anything small and crawly on land with more than four legs as an insect. In fact, there are plenty of non-insect arthropods that are quite common. Springtails (class Collembola) are a frequently overlooked class of arthropods. They have six legs and a fork-shaped jumping organ called a furcula that can be used like a spring to propel them away from predators. The family Poduridae encompasses the water springtails, the most common species of which is Podura aquatica, a minuscule little creature that may gather on the surface of water in such numbers that they appear to change the color of the water.

(Photo source)

4th April 2013
"Shark-tooth weapons once used for warfare in the Central Pacific suggest that two extinct shark species used to populate the area, a new study says.
Joshua Drew from Columbia University in New York and colleagues from the Field Museum in Chicago scoured natural history museums for the spiky swords, as well as clubs, daggers, lances and spears. The teeth lashed to this sword with coconut fibers and human hair offer evidence of past ecosystems, before written records….”
“‘Had we never done this work, nobody would have ever known that these things ever existed there. It had been erased from our collective memories that these sharks once plied these waters,’ said Drew. 
'I just wanted to do something cool and different,' said Drew, now at Columbia University. 'I just wanted to go down and look at really cool stuff. We were just going to see what was there.'”
(Article)

"Shark-tooth weapons once used for warfare in the Central Pacific suggest that two extinct shark species used to populate the area, a new study says.

Joshua Drew from Columbia University in New York and colleagues from the Field Museum in Chicago scoured natural history museums for the spiky swords, as well as clubs, daggers, lances and spears. The teeth lashed to this sword with coconut fibers and human hair offer evidence of past ecosystems, before written records….”

“‘Had we never done this work, nobody would have ever known that these things ever existed there. It had been erased from our collective memories that these sharks once plied these waters,’ said Drew. 

'I just wanted to do something cool and different,' said Drew, now at Columbia University. 'I just wanted to go down and look at really cool stuff. We were just going to see what was there.'”

(Article)

3rd March 2013
Belonging to the subclass Branchiura, members of the family Argulidae are commonly called fish lice. Their mouth parts are modified for sucking, enabling these parasites to feed on marine or freshwater fishes. A fish infested by them may get fungal infections or even die. Fish lice have a cephalothorax (the head fused with the first thoracic segment), a three-segmented thorax, and a two-lobed abdomen. Pictured is Argulus foliaceus, belonging to the largest genus in the family.
(Source)

Belonging to the subclass Branchiura, members of the family Argulidae are commonly called fish lice. Their mouth parts are modified for sucking, enabling these parasites to feed on marine or freshwater fishes. A fish infested by them may get fungal infections or even die. Fish lice have a cephalothorax (the head fused with the first thoracic segment), a three-segmented thorax, and a two-lobed abdomen. Pictured is Argulus foliaceus, belonging to the largest genus in the family.

(Source)

16th February 2013
The picture on top is a male strepsipteran, a type of parasitic insect. So why are there arrows in the second picture pointing to a wasp’s butt? Those little black bumps that the arrows are pointing to are the grub-like female strepsipterans, which use bees, wasps, and other bugs as their hosts. The females never leave their host; eggs hatch while still inside the female and exit her through a passage in the mother’s body that allows them to be deposited on flowers to await their own hosts. There are 8 families and approximately 580 species in this order, all of which undergo complete metamorphosis.
(Photo(s)) The picture on top is a male strepsipteran, a type of parasitic insect. So why are there arrows in the second picture pointing to a wasp’s butt? Those little black bumps that the arrows are pointing to are the grub-like female strepsipterans, which use bees, wasps, and other bugs as their hosts. The females never leave their host; eggs hatch while still inside the female and exit her through a passage in the mother’s body that allows them to be deposited on flowers to await their own hosts. There are 8 families and approximately 580 species in this order, all of which undergo complete metamorphosis.
(Photo(s))

The picture on top is a male strepsipteran, a type of parasitic insect. So why are there arrows in the second picture pointing to a wasp’s butt? Those little black bumps that the arrows are pointing to are the grub-like female strepsipterans, which use bees, wasps, and other bugs as their hosts. The females never leave their host; eggs hatch while still inside the female and exit her through a passage in the mother’s body that allows them to be deposited on flowers to await their own hosts. There are 8 families and approximately 580 species in this order, all of which undergo complete metamorphosis.

(Photo(s))

9th February 2013
Pictured is an artist’s rendition of the animal that is believed to be the common ancestor of all mammals (including humans). After an extensive six-year study, it has been discovered that this animal is at the top of the mammalian tree of life. It thrived shortly after the demise of non-avian dinosaurs and the knowledge of its existence has ruled out a previous hypothesis that there were a number of placental mammals prior to the extinction of 70% of the planet’s species (including non-avian dinosaurs).Outside of this discovery, the study is also helping inform scientists about how mammals have historically adapted to climate change; this knowledge can help us understand how to address the rapid climate change currently facing the planet.
Photo/Article

Pictured is an artist’s rendition of the animal that is believed to be the common ancestor of all mammals (including humans). After an extensive six-year study, it has been discovered that this animal is at the top of the mammalian tree of life. It thrived shortly after the demise of non-avian dinosaurs and the knowledge of its existence has ruled out a previous hypothesis that there were a number of placental mammals prior to the extinction of 70% of the planet’s species (including non-avian dinosaurs).
Outside of this discovery, the study is also helping inform scientists about how mammals have historically adapted to climate change; this knowledge can help us understand how to address the rapid climate change currently facing the planet.

Photo/Article

5th February 2013
Remoras, also known as shark suckers, are a family of eight species of fish that have sucker disks positioned above their heads that let them attach to moving objects to hitch a ride. They attach to sharks, turtles, ships, divers, and just about anything they can latch onto. Scientists have now discovered that the sucker disks of remoras are actually highly modified dorsal fins that expands during their development.
(Photo © Dave Johnson)(Source)

Remoras, also known as shark suckers, are a family of eight species of fish that have sucker disks positioned above their heads that let them attach to moving objects to hitch a ride. They attach to sharks, turtles, ships, divers, and just about anything they can latch onto. Scientists have now discovered that the sucker disks of remoras are actually highly modified dorsal fins that expands during their development.

(Photo © Dave Johnson)(Source)


I am Ashley, an incredibly introverted 21-year-old environmental enthusiast.
I'm studying to be a marine biologist, but I live near the Great Lakes rather than the ocean.
I have a fierce love for all living things, a very broad sense of humor, and I'm probably too passionate for my own good.
Herein you'll find animals (especially creepy-crawlies), nature, science, art, some of my own photography, and probably more things about my personal life than you would care to know.
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