Category Archives: invertebrates

A spotting of the spectacular and rarely seen “dumbo octopus”

“Dumbo octopuses” are in the genus Grimpoteuthis (there are 31 species) and, for cephalopods, are pretty damn cute. They’re named after the fins on the mantle that make them look like Walt Disney’s flying elephant Dumbo They propel themselves by flapping these fins, as you’ll see below. The species are cosmopolitan but aren’t often seen […]

The “headless chicken monster”, a bizarre creature just filmed off Antarctica

I saw this beast on the NBC Evening News last night, and was blown away. At first I thought it was a nudibranch, a member of a group of free-swimming gastropod molluscs (sometimes called “sea slugs”) whose colors and movements have entranced biologists for years (see here for a video). But the beast on the […]

ZeFrank on bobbit worms

I leave in haste, but will be back tomorrow. In the meantime, have a look at the latest “True Facts about Bobbit Worms and Pals”, which shows these amazing and lovely invertebrates. It’s almost like a Whack-A-Worm show. Read about Bobbit Worms here, and be sure to see the anecdote about Barry the Worm. Despite […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

I have both domestic and foreign wildlife photos from reader Joe Dickinson, but let’s look at some pictures from his recent trip to Australia and New Zealand. His notes are indented. Here is a first installment from my recent trip to Australia and New Zealand.  One of the most remarkable wildlife sightings I’ve ever experienced […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we’ll do a cleanup of those photos I have as singletons or pairs. I have a decent backlog, especially since I’m leaving on Friday for two weeks, but keep sending your photos in. First, Stephen Barnard reports that his two American kestrels (Falco sparverius) seem to have adopted the nest box he built for them, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Jacques Hausser from Switzerland. You can also see the first installment published on March 21: These photos (of animals brought in the lab for identification) were taken during the two weeks internship on coastal ecology and faunistics we organise each spring for our master students in ecology and evolution, at the Biological Station of Roscoff in Britanny, France. […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have two contributors today. First, some marine lovelies from Jacques Hausser in Switzerland. His notes are indented: I’m just back from Britanny. Switzerland is a landlocked country and we lack close contact with the sea. Thus each spring we organize an optional two weeks internship on coastal ecology and faunistics at the Biological Station […]

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) […]