Category Archives: invertebrates

Gorgeous sea slugs from southeast Asia

Reader Brian called my attention to a beautiful collection of sea slugs (nudibranchs, or shell-less marine gastropods) at EarthTouch News Network. It’s likely, but not certain, that the striking appearance of many species, as you see here,  are aposematic: they advertise the fact that they’re toxic, distasteful, or dangerous (stinging cells) with their easily-recognized patterns and […]

Here’s the organism (well, sort of. . . .)!

Did you guess what organism made the pattern below, found on a recent dive around the hydrothermal vents off Tonga? Here’s the answer in the second tweet: For comparison here is a live "Paleodictyon" from the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Pic from Paper by Rona et al. #UnderwaterFire Tonga — Polychaeta Species (@WPolyDb) December […]

Earthworms, look away now

by Matthew Cobb Jerry sent me this link, which is to a video that has been seen a staggering 25,817,000 times. It’s pretty gruesome, even if you aren’t an earthworm: As the title indicates, it’s taken from a BBC series called Wonders of the Monsoon, and features two annelids at war – an oligochaete (earthworm) […]

Pond update

It’s time to buy more frozen corn, as I now have two ducks to feed, and I have to keep them apart. It’s tsouris to help foster ducks!  Here are Honey (rear) and Daisy (front) at teatime yesterday afternoon. Note the goldfish clustered around Honey, waiting to eat any bits of corn she misses. Sometimes I […]

A crustacean whodunit: which sea creature attacked an Aussie teen?

by Greg Mayer Appropriately following upon Jerry’s monstrous, triffid-like seed pod,  an attack by tiny monsters on an Australian teenager has been splashed across world media, including the BBC and the New York Times. The victim, Sam Kanizay was cooling off after a football match by wading in the sea near Melbourne. After a half […]

Australia’s (semi)terrestrial octopus

This new video, from Attenborough’s BBC Earth series, shows an octopus taking to land to hunt animals in tide pools. As usual, it’s a really nice clip, but is lacking one bit of information. The YouTube notes say this: “This extraordinary species found in Northern Australia is like no other Octopus, and land is no […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Kurt Helf sent some photos and captions (the latter indented): This past spring the family and I went to Destin, FL for my daughter’s last cheerleading competition.  I visited Gulf Islands National Seashore and took the first two snaps. These smooth goose barnacles (Lepas anatifera) had colonized a long piece of wood drifting in the […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Divy F sent some photos from Puerto Rico; her notes are indented: Hi! You posted some pics I submitted a few months ago, of the fauna my husband saw on his trip through the Indonesian isles. We recently visited our island home of Puerto Rico with a couple of friends who had never been. […]

Cuttlefish mimics hermit crab

I talk a lot about mimicry on this site, and I’ve explained why: it’s good evidence for natural selection, poses testable hypotheses, and, not least, provides some amazing examples of the power of natural selection—especially because in many cases of mimicry we can identify the “target of selection”: the optimum phenotype that provides the greatest fitness. […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Because it’s World Biodiversity Day, I thought I’d show a diversity of photographs, each from a different reader. Most of them, of course, will be birds! Readers’ notes are indented. Oh, and keep those photos coming in, folks. I can never have too many. First up is by Brianna Ernst, daughter of Darrell Ernst: This is […]