April 17th, 2008


the peanuthead bug!

I have to apologize for constantly posting things that piggyback sort of off of previous posts. But you guys always post some really interesting things and it reminds me of other cool stuff that I then have to share. Anyway:

This wiley critter is the Peanuthead Bug:

If you're wondering which end is up, then that means that evolution has done it's job. The giant formation on it's head (the peanut) is meant to confuse predators and hopefully have birds pecking either at the peanut or at its butt instead of the important bits. Its real head is back by it's front legs. Being a resident of a place that has a huge variety of predators in a small space, it requires many protective adaptations (fake head, poison spray, absorbs poison from food it eats, blends in with trees) and so its wings are pretty cool too:

Now the only reason I know about this critter is because when I went on a student trip to Costa Rica, we got to play with these guys (gently). Our guide warned us that in Costa Rica, they say that if the Machaca (p-nut bug) bites you, the bite will be fatal! The only thing you can do to cure it is... um, have sexual intercourse within 24 hours. Makes sense, right? Big ugly bug, Costa Rica being full of poisonous things to begin with, etc.

The funny thing about this insect is that it eats mostly sap from trees, by landing on one and simply sticking its sucking tube (technical term) in to the bark. It actually has no biting mouth parts and couldn't bite a human if it tried, so even though they do often absorb the poison from the plant juices they consume, the fatal bite thing is just made up by Central American/South American guys just to try and get some.

Also, those big heads are hollow, and they can often be heard loudly drumming their heads against trees. It's kind of hilarious to watch, but as we were told to remember, that's yet another warning sign to predators. So if the peanuthead bug is a-drummin' don't go near it unless you want a face full of poison spray. It is cute though, heh.

I am not a geologist, nor do I pretend to be one.

So, I know very little on the veracity of the research going into The Earth's Hum

Earth's Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever

Charles Q. Choi
Special to LiveScience
LiveScience.com Wed Apr 16, 9:11 AM ET

Earth gives off a relentless hum of countless notes completely imperceptible to the human ear, like a giant, exceptionally quiet symphony, but the origin of this sound remains a mystery.

Now unexpected powerful tunes have been discovered in this hum. These new findings could shed light on the source of this enigma.

The planet emanates a constant rumble far below the limits of human hearing, even when the ground isn't shaking from an earthquake. (It does not cause the ringing in the ear linked with tinnitus.) This sound, first discovered a decade ago, is one that only scientific instruments - seismometers - can detect. Researchers call it Earth's hum.

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Creepy Shape

Marsupial Mole

The two species of marsupial moles are rare and poorly understood burrowing mammals of the deserts of Western Australia.

Marsupial moles spend most of their time underground, coming to the surface only occasionally, probably mostly after rains. They are blind, their eyes having become reduced to vestigial lenses under the skin, and they have no external ears, just a pair of tiny holes hidden under thick hair. They do not dig permanent burrows, filling the tunnel in behind them as they move.

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Something that lives in Australia that is actually completely harmless!

haven't seen it here yet...


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They have been reintroduced very succesfully by Connecticut DEP.

but problems are starting to crop up with their rapidly expanding population and range.

"West Greenwich, RI

Sep 11, 2007
Report: Fisher Cat Attacks Dog

Another fisher cat has been spotted in West Greenwich. The Coventry Courier reported that a fisher cat attacked a German shepherd on Jennifer Lee Court on Wednesday."

man attacked by fisher cat contracts first case of rabies in New Hampsire in 15 years.

Major incidents aside, many residents are bothered by the animals.

The urban legends of them are growing as quickly as the animal's population! i.e. my relatives from Connecticut recounted a story of a fisher cat attacking a preschooler on a field trip and the teacher strangled the creature so that it could be tested for rabies after the attack.
  • pegla

Brazilian wandering spider

Recently in a Supermarket in the Province of Friesland (The Netherlands, and no, it is not a themepark with curry mountain and such), a spider came along with a shipment of banana's (Source:Fok.nl). What caught my attention is that besides that the Brazilian Wandering Spider is one of the most deadly spiders, its bite also causes Priapism.

In other words, when you are bitten, you will die with an enormous boner*

* = May not apply to members of the female gender.