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Amazing animals


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#1 Orpheus

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:30 PM

On Shattered Corpse we have a thread on new animal discoveries, and I keep polluting it with animals that may not be new discoveries, but bave a bit of "wow: factor to them. I've decided to post those here, instead.

CAUTION: you may be bored by my version of "wow" -- or occassionally disgusted by some of the creepy-crawlies. I'll try to hide/spoiler anything I think is potentially too gross, and I hope each of you will, too.

My first one, on the subsurface locomotion of the sandfish skink, isn't perhaps the best example to start the thread with, but I happened across it today and found the video fascinating, especially when they labeled some key vectors. The team later used its findings to build a robot that swims in sand. Imitation may not be the highest form of flattery, but it often suggests a keener understanding. Consider how long we imitated birds without learning to fly.

I've always been more than a little curious about sand-swimming, or even the burrowing of the lowly earthworm (Sorry, dude/ttes! It must suck to perpetually have the adjective "lowly" attached to to you, like it was a job description or something), but surely anyone who has ever read the Dune series has at least given it *some* thought and had some questions, with no one to ask.

#2 D.Rabbit

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:07 PM

^I'm not surprised by it's locomotion, it moves similar to the genre of snakes that live in the desert, called side winders.

I spent some time in the Toronto library for kids recently and picked up a fairly current copy of the Star Trek magazine to read.
It's mostly a science journal for young readers, but there was enough to keep me entertained.
There was an article on this interesting creature.
loriciferans2-100407-02.jpg
This microscopic organism, the Loriciferans can live in highly oxygen depleted mud.

They belong to this group of newly discovered critters.

An Introduction to Loricifera, Cycliophora, and Micrognathozoa


Less Technical Information on the Loricifera
7 verses I know you're there behind the veil.

#3 Orpheus

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 02:36 PM

Actually, the sidewider moves in a completely different way. While the sandfish moves generally in the direction that its head is pointed ("forward") and can only move this way while completely enveloped by its medium (like a fish), the Sidewinder moves at right angles to it's tail->head direction ["sideways"], and relies on being at the interface of air and land to achieve this. For some reason, they were a favorite of our "American Folklore" modules in Reading class.



Don't be put off by the bioluminescent fish at the start of this video (IMHO, such sea creatures are over-exposed ...so to speak... because they show up so well on a television screen), this is one of my favorite animal videos to show people. Even if you are pressed for time, defusing a bomb or somesuch, make sure to watch the last 30 seconds of this video. You'll never forget it. We could fill do an entire thread on the amazing things common octopi can do, and never repeat ourselves.



#4 M.E.

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:16 AM

Not 100% sure if I understand your premise so, if I am off base or "polluting' please let me know and I will stop.  This creature is definitely new to me.  I don't even know it's name.


It's difficult to tell what this is at first glance. But if you take a closer look you will  understand everything pretty soon.










#5 Orpheus

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:57 AM

"Polluting" was just my self-deprecating term for my off-topic posts. It has no official status, on that board or this one.

As far as I am concerned, if it's an animal and it amazes you, it belongs here. I wouldn't even care if it wasn't strictly an animal. There are amazing members of the Kingdoms Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Archaea, Bacteria ... and any others they've come up with since I last looked (and the Brits/Aussies/South Americans often use different names, like Prokaryota or Monera) In fact, I once posted an inorganic phenomenon in that thread, and it was well-received.

In fact, here's an "Amazing Animal" that is probably not an animal but an amusing hoax! The Rock Nest Monster (Cryptogorgo petronidus) [slide show] [more info] has never been reliably sighted, though its sole known remaining habitat is in a residential area by a major US city. It is only known by its gorgeous eggs and its nests, reportedly first photographed 70 years ago.

I always knew I'd end up a "Bad Boy of Science", but I thought it'd be more than posting off-topic on a BBS!

Edited by Orpheus, 07 March 2011 - 03:22 AM.


#6 M.E.

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:12 AM

One more question.please.

I do understand that it would best to post the name of the species along with some information.  I will try to do that but, if I can't is it okay to just post a picture or video?

#7 Orpheus

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 03:17 AM

Sure, that's fine by me. If someone asks what the species is, another EIer may be able to answer.

For example, I have a rarely-used program on my computer which is pretty good at doing photo identifications automatically if I click on a pic (I just keep forgetting it's there) It says your spider is Cyclocosmia ricketti, a Chinese species of trapdoor spider. Armed with that information, I was able to find more pictures like these from a person who keeps one as a pet -- and these <- Caution: potentially freaky! The pattern of ribs, the hardened rear disk and the spikes around it together form a protective door within the burrow. Who knew?

The way I see it: when you bring something amazing to our attention, everyone benefits.

#8 Captain Jack

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:19 PM

Check out this very smart Border Collie:



My mom had a Boxer that understood two languages.
Posted Image
689 Reasons to Defeat Barack Obama in 2012:

https://www.national...at-barack-obama

#9 M.E.

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:56 PM

:( I can't get it to play/work, Captain Jack. :(

#10 Captain Jack

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:11 PM

View Postmichael elizabeth, on 08 March 2011 - 08:56 PM, said:

:( I can't get it to play/work, Captain Jack. :(

Click again on "Watch on YouTUbe" on the center of the screen. :)

Or click on the top header in the box that says "The Dog That Knows 1,000 Words"

Edited by Captain Jack, 08 March 2011 - 09:12 PM.

Posted Image
689 Reasons to Defeat Barack Obama in 2012:

https://www.national...at-barack-obama

#11 M.E.

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:11 PM

Giant Huntsman Spider - Heteropoda Maxima

http://en.wikipedia....teropoda_maxima



Quote

It was recently discovered in Laos, and it's the largest spider in  the  world. It is a member of the Huntsman Spider family (all of which  are  frighteningly large,) which are found around the globe – from Japan  to  Africa, South America to Florida. They're frequently housed in  such  exotic places as garages, woodsheds, or firewood piles.

When  provoked, they will attack. And since they have a 'clinging  reflex'  when surprised, which causes them to seize onto the offending  entity,  (like your hands or face,) they're pretty much always going to  'be  provoked,' because once you see the world's largest spider hugging  your  limbs, it's a safe bet that said limb will soon be shaking,  punching and  flailing in desperation. They also travel with incredible  speed, and  can cling to walls or ceilings just like their smaller  counterparts.

Which is why sometimes people wake up to see this:



At which point they instantly die from shock, if there is any mercy in  the world. In Africa, they're also called Rain Spiders because, when it  rains, they seek shelter inside houses and other dwellings.

(As you have probably already guessed.  I'm scared of spiders.)

Edited by michael elizabeth, 13 March 2011 - 06:13 PM.


#12 Orpheus

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:53 AM

I'm sure they're nothing to worry about.

After all, if they are found all around the globe, and were only "recently discovered", it's a fair bet there are even larger unknown spiders out there.

*Those* might be worth worrying about. Who knows where *they* live? Ever seen a West Canadian Bed Spider? Imagine something like that, but twice as large! Where's the Screaming Heebie Jeebie emoticon?

#13 M.E.

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:01 AM

Did you have to share this with me at bedtime?!?!??!?!

Brat.  :p~

#14 M.E.

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:55 AM

I tried using TinEye but it came up - 0 results found.

What is this?



#15 Cybersnark

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:12 PM

That's a New Zealander.

( :hehe: )
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#16 M.E.

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:13 PM

The most amazing animal I can think of, also my absolute favorite! :D



It's a long read.  I think it's worth everyone's time but just in case ya'll are busy with RL, here's a little preview sample.  ;)

Quote

  • Elephants are very long-lived and exhibit a high degree of social  complexity. Their social network is unusually large, radiating out from  the natal family through bond groups, clans, and independent adult males  and beyond to strangers. The close and enduring cooperative social  relationships operating between in dividuals and families within this  fluid multi-tiered society is rare in the animal kingdom.Posted Image
  • Elephants have very large and complex brains. At an average of 4.8  kg the elephant brain is the largest among living and extinct  terrestrial mammals. Elephants have the greatest volume of cerebral  cortex available for cognitive processing of all land mammals. The  neocortex, which in humans is the seat of enhanced cognitive function  such as working memory, planning, spatial orientation, speech and  language, is large and highly convoluted.
  • Elephants have unusually good memory. They accumulate and retain  social and ecological knowledge, remembering the scents and voices of  scores of other individuals and places for decades.
  • Elephants are able to make subtle discriminations between predators,  even between different groups of people, showing that they comprehend  the different levels of threat each poses.
  • The behavior of elephants both in the wild and in captivity suggests  that elephants are able to use their long-term memories to "keep score"  and to extract "revenge" for wrongs done.
    Posted Image
  • Elephants can discriminate between the bones of elephants and those  of other animals, and they respond to the bones of elephants with  special contemplation.
  • Their development includes social learning and behavioral  innovation, which is manifested in the use and modification of  rudimentary tools and in vocal learning.
  • Mirror self-recognition suggests that elephants are self-aware and  numerous observations of empathetic and other behavior suggest that  elephants have a rudimentary theory of mind.
  • Elephants are renowned for their memory, intelligence, and  sociality, and, as with humans, these traits make them particularly  vulnerable to stress and to trauma and its longer-term psychological  consequences.
  • Elephants produce a wide range of vocalizations, many of which  contain frequencies below the level of human hearing. Elephants use some  of these powerful low frequency calls to communicate with other  elephants over long-distances.Posted Image
  • Elephants can also detect the vocalizations of their companions  seismically. When an elephant vocalizes an exact replica of this signal  propagates separately in the ground. Elephants are able to discriminate  between these vocalizations through their sensitive feet. The can detect  earth tremors, thunderstorms and the hoof beats of distant animals in  the same manner.
  • Elephants have an extraordinary sense of smell, which is said to be more discriminating than that of a bloodhound.
  • While many other species may rival elephants in one capability or  another, there are few that equal or surpass elephants in the totality  of their social and behavioral complexity.
  • Posted Image  Elephants are a keystone species - meaning that they play a pivotal  role in structuring both plant and animal communities, contributing to  biodiversity through seed dispersal and the creation of habitat mosaics.
  • They are a flagship species - in other words being such "charismatic  mega-vertebrates" elephants play a role as a symbol for the need for  conservation of wildlife and nature.
  • Elephants are significant contributors to tourism revenue in many  countries in Africa and Asia, they are a substantial part of our  cultural and historical heritage and they give us pleasure to behold.
  • Elephants are valuable in their own right!

http://www.elephantv...ant-basics.html

#17 Orpheus

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:27 AM

I thought you sci-fi fans might enjoy this creature found in a sewer near Raleigh, NC:



#18 M.E.

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:08 AM

What is it?  It is really difficult to see what shape it is because the camera is too close.  Was that it's tongue, or eyes, or mouth?

#19 Cybersnark

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:04 AM

Tubifex worms. Or possibly Covenant Hunters.
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#20 Orpheus

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:17 PM

Too easy? I thought so. Try this one. I subtitle it "Why the Aliens will destroy us"



Due to the edits, I think it is a scene from a film, but...


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