June 4th, 2008

Creepy Shape

Blue WTF

Well, having been with wtf_nature since the beginning, I, too, see a definite decline in quality. 8|

To make up for the "blue-footed booby" post (P.S. there is also a red-footed booby and a brown booby and several other types of boobies, all of which stopped being WTF when I read about them in 3rd grade), here is something that is blue, in nature, and also WTF.

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    blah blah
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Potato bug/Jerusalem Cricket

I was out on a hike yesterday when my friend's and I saw a most peculiar insect - the Jerusalem Cricket or the Potato Bug. When we first say it, we had no earthly idea what it was. After describing it to a friend, she said well, "It's probably x." Google verified it was indeed what we had seen.

"Despite their name, Jerusalem crickets are neither true crickets nor true bugs and they do not prefer potatoes for food."

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[comics] bump

Giant Fish

Not sure if this fish has been posted yet; I saw a giant catfish, but it was a different kind of catfish from the looks of it. Either way, I'll delete it if you're sick of nubcakes reposting. :3;

The Wel's Catfish. Yeah, it's big.

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  • Current Music
    The Killers - Smile Like You Mean It
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featherless chickens

It turns out that some smaller types of chickens carry a genetic mutation that prevents them from growing feathers. They're good for making eggs but they're too puny to make a meal. A genetics professor in Israel cross bred the tiny naked chickens with robust broilers and ended up with a featherless chicken that can be mass-produced for the poultry industry.

more info

I've know about these guys for a while, but I just recently found out that they're not genetically modified. I thought it was pretty interesting.
MOD :: Listen up maggots!

so hey guys.

Because the other mods are doing their own RL things and I don't want to have to babysit this community 24/7 while they do, I turned on moderated posting. Things are getting out of hand.

If they want to turn off moderated posting when they get back, go for it.

* I'm only weeding out retardo trolls.
* I will not be checking for doubleposts, sry babies. I know you like your snark way too much and if I did that, we wouldn't have any fun around here.

The end.

edit: PS, if you have any problems (that aren't concerning your stupid ass getting flamed because you reposted something), my email is penguinsane@yahoo.com.

I'll be approving the moderated posts as they come unless I'm sleeping.

edit2: PPS, jakiwrg has been banned. Report any potential sockpuppets to me, pls 'n thx.

(no subject)

I checked the tags and saw nothing of the sort for this. However, pardon my first post.
This was caught in the Rostov region of Russia after a storm in the Sea of Azov. Fishermen videotaped on a cell phone camera and thought it to be an alien at first. However, before investigation could take place, a man decided that he was not scared of this creature, had it for dinner, and said it was delicious.
I didnt know how to put a video up(more or less a pic in the right size), so heres my best and a link to the cell phone footage.

alien-monster.jpg picture by emilyasanepidemic
Vine snake

WTF now with extra science

Because there have been a lot of posts complaining about how they're "not learning anything" from posts here, I decided to make a community that was more geared towards those with a genuine interest in science and learning about it: wtf_science

What it is
wtf_science is designed to be a place for science writing to be posted. Anyone can post, but they must discuss the things that they are posting, rather than just posting a picture or asking for a species ID -- the idea is that you'll be learning something cool, not just looking at ugly pictures. The focus is not only on natural sciences, but on all scientific disciplines, so wtf_sociology or wtf_linguistics is just as welcome as wtf_brain parasites. Minimal citations are required, so that people who want to explore more can. It's designed to be a more serious sort of forum, where we can get together and share sciencey awesomeness.

What it isn't
It's not designed to be a replacement for wtf_nature at all, but rather a place for those who are interested in scholarship beyond the initial WTF level. The trolling wanking and random pictures of birth defects make wtf_nature fun, and that's not what we're seeking to replace. What we're looking to do is to create a place where you can find out why the two-faced calf on WTF_Nature had two heads, other examples of two-headed beasts and how to genetically engineer your very own two-headed goldfish.

That being said, I do expect there to be some overlap between my community and this one, and that's okay. I mean, the only thing cooler than a botfly in the brain is two botflies ...

Also, if you like the idea, have some science background and want to contribute a little more, I could use all of the moderator volunteers I can get.

Mods, feel to delete this if it's inappropriate. There just seemed to be a need for an alternative, more science-oriented community.
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Brain parasite

Are brain parasites, specifically Toxoplasmosis gondii, a significant factor in human culture and behavior?  Could be.  Has your personality been influenced by a brain parasite?  If you have a cat and you live in a warm climate, it's actually a good possibility.  This definitely made me go "WTF", and being a zoo curator, nature doesn't tend to make me do that any too often.  This is kind of like the Pod People in real life.

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buffy girls and toys

Lemon Ants, or as I like to call them, Lemon-butts

I came here before the spotlight, but I'm still fairly new. I did check the "ants" tag, and this never came up.


According to local belief, the strange open space in the middle of the dense jungle is the home of a malignant forest spirit. In the local language, it’s called a “devil’s garden” and they are fairly common in parts of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian rainforests. If you’re with a local guide, however, he or she will not avoid the spot: instead, he or she may break a twig off the tree, split it open to reveal dozens of tiny brown ants … and invite you to eat them!

The ants are, in fact, edible. They are called “lemon ants” because of their vague tangy, lemony taste. Feel free to have a try: it won’t hurt you and is likely to become one of your most memorable experiences in the rainforest. But the ants are more than a tasty jungle treat: together with the lone tree in the middle of the clearing they make up one of the most remarkable symbiotic relationships in nature.

Pictures at the article.

My own experience with lemon ants wasn't in the rainforest of Ecuador, but in the rainforests of Kuranda in Australia. They really did taste like lemon. And go me for trying it, too, since I'm afraid of ants. :)

The Potoo (TOTALLY A FUCKING REPOST!) - Also: Eroy

Ok guys, I have been part of the community since the day it was made. Today I have decided to bring back our beloved mascot and shed light on him since everyone in this community fucking FAILS to read the tags and check the memories etc etc.

I am going to combine the entries for this guy and place him on this page. Tet, Blash, and whoever the other mod is, I do hope you allow this as this has NOT been reposted since 2007 and I am fucking awesome.

First off: The Potoos (sometimes called Poor-Me-Ones) are large a family of near passerine birds related to the nightjars and frogmouths.

These are nocturnal insectivores which lack the bristles around the mouth found in the true nightjars. They hunt from a perch like a shrike or flycatcher. During the day they perch upright on tree stumps, camouflaged to look like part of the stump. The single spotted egg is laid directly on the top of a stump.

There are seven species in one genus in tropical South America.

The babies look like this:

And the adults look like this:
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ANOTHER EDIT: I have since gone over some things and have come to the conclusion, with the help of nosyparker Eroy shall hence have a middle name. He will now be called Eroy Archimedes the 3rd.

Thank you.
Red dress

Skippy the bush kangaroo

These are Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fulginosis). They are an extremely common and iconic animal in Australia. And yes, they are capable of killing you (via those foot claws to your belly resulting in disembowelment, but honestly, they're more likely to hop away if you scare them/piss them off). They are also tasty when served rare.

Anyway, none of that is WTF. But the 'Roo is capable of a few amazing things.

Kangaroos do a nifty thing known as embryonic diapause. Once a joey is born, the mother roo mates again immediately. By the time this second joey is born the first is hopping around out of the pouch a lot of the time and the new joey (at this stage just a "jellybean") is locked onto a teat in the pouch. Mama Roo mates once again, but this one she pauses at the embryonic stage. It sits in a kind of suspended animation. If conditions are hard and one of the two joeys she already has dies, she'll start the internal one developing again - it's a kind of insurance policy. If it's a good year and both first joeys survive, she reabsorbs the embryo.

Kangaroos also produce different "flavours" of milk, actually different constitutions of milk to be fed to joeys at different stage. One teat is secreting a suitable milk for the pinkie in the pouch, while another teat is giving milk that's good for a joey at foot. Nifty!


A recently discovered rodent, thought to be the ancestor of modern rodents, the loatian rock-rat or kha-nyou.
How this is the ancestor of one of the most prolific and adaptable mammals I'll never know, as it can barely even walk. They waddle like a duck almost.
They are eaten as a delicacy in Asia.
dog ball
  • alopex

The dunnock

I did a search through the tags and could not find this anywhere, my apologies if it's already been posted! I'm hoping maybe we can get this community back on track?

The dunnock is a small brown and grey bird, nothing WTF there.

Their breeding habits however are pretty odd.

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aye aye captain
  • drhoz


Because of this post - http://community.livejournal.com/wtf_nature/256537.html - (my, the comm has been busy today!) and because I haven't posted another horrifying cancer post recently.

No pictures this time - frankly, do you *really* want me to?

Choriocarcinoma - a malignant and aggressive germ cell cancer of the placenta, that spreads rapidly to the lungs. Happily, it's highly responsive to chemotherapy.

On the other hand, Testicular choriocarcinoma is very difficult to treat, especially, if as this stupid bastard did, you wait until the primary tumour weighs 5 kilograms.

Testicular choriocarcinoma starts off as a small tumour in the testes that promptly starts throwing out pluripotent stem cells. These stem cells get spread through the body, implanting all over the place and like teratomas - another germ cell cancer - then differentiating into a startlingly wide range of tissues. One of the tissues it emulates is placental tissue, and even tho you're male your brain, kidney, lungs or whatever tissue it's landed in happily try to treat it accordingly. Having dozens of ersatz ectopic pregnancies appearing in your vital organs is rapidly fatal - indeed, according to the Theodore Sturgeon story I was reading this in, it was originally regarded as a deadly lung disease with testicular tumours as a side effect. Altho quite often the original tumour has starved itself to death long before you notice anything wrong elsewhere. ( This was the story "When You Care, When You Love", which features a desperate attempt to raise a fetus to maturity from one of these stem cells, in an incubator made from chamois and Bakelite ).

Hopefully awareness of this and the many other varieties of testicular cancer will ensure you remain alert for them. Altho, as 2 the Ranting Gryphon points out, men are often promptly aware that something's gone wrong with their balls....


From the breeder's site:

"I'll call this the 'Cannibal Corn', though since it's dead and frozen, naming it is hardly a concern.  I found this baby amelanistic corn this way in its individual shoebox cage, so it was not due to a struggle with a cagemate.  I hadn't fed it recently either, so the centrally located lump was not a mouse.  Maybe that's where its own rear end was curled (doubled over), because its tail was obviously folded over."

I've heard of ophiophagy/cannibalism in corn snakes before, mostly from herp horror stories where amateur owners housed two reptiles one day and returned to find one fat one the next, but this is something else!  I guess corn snakes just dropped a couple ratings on the intelligence scale.

Cross posted to wtf_stupid.

(no subject)

Hey, I'm new to this community. Name's Viv =)

I read a few pages back and I don't think anyone's posted anything about this little critter. Apologies if they have! Personally I'm a bit squeemish with spiders but I can't stop staring at this little guy, he's simply facinating! "Recently discovered..." read just over a year ago.

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EDIT: I'm really sorry, this one has already been posted and I didn't realise! It's a different picture though, this one has a neck...*shudder*

(no subject)

Long-eared Jerboa


"The Mickey Mouse of the desert" - mouse-like rodent with a long tail, long hind legs for jumping, and exceptionally large ears. The jerboa, found in the deserts of Mongolia and China, is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.