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The Amazing Glass Katydid [Aug. 25th, 2014|06:33 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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It would seem that something so seemingly fragile cannot feed on anything other than dew and rose petals, but in fact Glass katydids are agile, powerful predators. Unlike most of neotropical katydids, the genus Phlugis includes many diurnal species that use their excellent vision to find prey, and their hunting technique is very clever. Glass katydids are sit-and-wait predators who spend most of the day sitting upside down on the underside of large, thin leaves, usually at the edge of the rainforest or in open, shrubby habitats. They prefer leaves that are fully exposed to the sun so that any insect landing on its upper surface will cast a dark, sharply defined shadow. And that shadow is what Glass katydids are waiting for – it tells them whether the insect is a hard beetle (not good) or a soft fly (excellent), and if the insect looks like a good meal they launch themselves from under the leaf and onto its surface, and capture the victim with their long, very spiny legs in a blink of an eye.
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Brain of World's First Known Predators Discovered [Jul. 18th, 2014|06:00 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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The fossilised brain of "the Cambrian T-rex" is not only fascinating in itself, but is also futher evidence that the Velvet Worms are the last living relatives of the Anomalocarids.

image

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Shit! [Jul. 18th, 2014|05:53 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz


Sale NH1407 Lot 340

ENORMOUS AND RARE COPROLITE

Miocene-Oligocene

Wilkes Formation, Toledo, Lewis Co., Washington

This truly spectacular specimen is possibly the longest example of coprolite - fossilized dinosaur feces - ever to be offered at auction. It boasts a wonderfully even, pale brown-yellow coloring and terrifically detailed texture to the heavily botryoidal surface across the whole of its immense length. The passer of this remarkable object is unknown, but it is nonetheless a highly evocative specimen of unprecedented size, presented in four sections, each with a heavy black marble custom base, an eye-watering 40 inches in length overall.

Estimate $8,000-10,000
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Helicophile [May. 24th, 2014|05:08 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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Gwen Pearson on Adorable Bees That Live Inside Snail Shells

Osmia bicolor is one of the first bees of spring, emerging as early as February in their native range of South England and Wales. As solitary bees, there are no queens and workers; females build their nests alone. Males emerge, mate, and then die.

What makes these little bees so captivating is where they make their nests. They repurpose empty snail shells, belonging to a small group of bees known as “helicophiles” (snail-lovers).  As a single mom, letting a snail do all the construction work for a home seems much more sensible than building your own from scratch.

It is the fussy nesting behavior of these bees that makes them so delightful to watch. Here is a female arranging her nursery shell just so; it wouldn’t do to have the opening pointing upwards and letting in rain.




more at the link :)
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Weird-Ass Teroids [Apr. 24th, 2014|09:03 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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A composite post I've been thinking about for a while, and finally got off my asteroid to assemble.

Most recently - the discovery that the centaur (icy asteroids orbiting out past Saturn) Chariklo not only has two rings, but most likely a moon.

And the asteroid that sprouted six tails, each pointing in a different direction.



Astronomers think light pressure spun it faster and faster - the so-called YORP Effect - until after millions of years it's now spinning fast enough that loose gravel is being flung out into space. It may is be the way small rubble-pile asteroids die. See this swarm, discovered in September. It's currently gracefully flying apart.

And off course the bizarre debris from a deep-space collision back in 2010



Quite a few asteroids are oddly shaped, as well. eg: Astronomers Bounce Radar Off Monster Space Peanut
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Ridiculously Awesome [Apr. 24th, 2014|08:33 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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Fire Tornado with hundreds of tumbleweeds.



Interestingly enough, the classic tumbleweed isn't even an American native - it's an invasive Russian plant, first described from Australia. But the tumbleweed method of dispersing its seeds is shared by many plants.

That said, what could possibly make this video more awesome? How about radioactive tumbleweeds?
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(no subject) [Apr. 15th, 2014|12:17 pm]
WTF_Nature

lishd




There goes nature being incredibly awesome again. You may think you’re looking at a couple dried leaves, but you aren’t. These astonishing beauties are moths, specifically Uropyia meticulodina, from the family Notodontidae. Found in parts of China and Taiwan, the patterns on their wings mimic dead leaves so convincingly that they are considered to be one of the finest examples of camouflage in the animal kingdom.

Click here to watch brief video footage of Uropyia meticulodina in the wild. You still won’t believe your eyes.

Photos taken by Bettaman and enyagene respectively.

(originally seen here.)
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Sure, Australia has 9 out of 10 of the world's deadliest snakes. We also have these. [Apr. 14th, 2014|08:24 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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Fraser’s Delma, Delma fraseri. One of Australia’s legless geckos, family Pygopodidae. AKA Flap-footed Lizards, or Snake-lizards, and found here and in Papua New Guinea



more photosCollapse )
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Purple Tassled Rhino Scorpionfish [Mar. 27th, 2014|08:01 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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via Real Monstrosities

Source: projectnoah.org





Weedy Scorpionfish, Rhinopias frondosa | ©Albert Kang  (Batangas, Philippines)</p>

Commonly known as Weedy Scorpionfish, Popeyed Scorpionfish or the Purple Tassled Rhino Scorpionfish, Rhinopias frondosa (Scorpaenidae) is a spectacular fish, very rare, but once found, can be easily located again as they tend to stay at the same place unless disturbed.

The colors will vary but they’re generally in red, purple, orangish hues. The specimen shown is purple variation.

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TA-DAAAH! [Mar. 19th, 2014|02:53 pm]
WTF_Nature

drhoz
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The OP didn't have a source, or ID, alas. If it doesn't have a common name, "Golden Snitch" seems appropriate

EDIT:alopex tracked down the photo to the Japanese NatGeo site here

It's a Hybosorid scarabaeiform, or Scavenger Scarab. In particular it's the Brassy, or Golden-Green Pill Scarab Ceratocanthus aeneus, or a close relative.
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