Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:30 PM
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.
Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:07 PM
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.
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
Posted 05 March 2011 - 02:36 PM
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.
Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:16 AM
It's difficult to tell what this is at first glance. But if you take a closer look you will understand everything pretty soon.
Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:57 AM
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.
Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:12 AM
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?
Posted 07 March 2011 - 03:17 AM
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.
Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:11 PM
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.
689 Reasons to Defeat Barack Obama in 2012:
Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:11 PM
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.
Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:53 AM
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?
Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:01 AM
Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:55 AM
What is this?
Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:12 PM
Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:13 PM
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:27 AM
Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:08 AM
Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:17 PM
Due to the edits, I think it is a scene from a film, but...
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