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Fluorescent Pink Slugs! Cool!

giant-pink-slug

Article and picture taken from HERE.

It would seem to be something you’d see only in a cartoon or at a Phish concert, but according to park rangers in New South Wales, Australia, dozens of giant, fluorescent pink slugs have been popping up on a mountaintop there.

“As bright pink as you can imagine, that’s how pink they are,” Michael Murphy, a ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “On a good morning, you can walk around and see hundreds of them.”

The eight-inch creatures have been spotted only on Mount Kaputar, a 5,000-foot peak in the Nandewar Range in northern New South Wales.

Scientists believe the eye-catching organisms are survivors from an era when Australia was home to rainforests. A series of volcanoes, millions of years of erosion and other geological changes “have carved a dramatic landscape at Mount Kaputar,” the park service wrote on its Facebook page, and unique arid conditions spared the slugs from extinction.

They “probably would have long since vanished, if a volcano had not erupted at Mount Kaputar about 17 million years ago,” Ben Cubby wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald. “The result of that eruption is a high-altitude haven for invertebrates and plant species that have been isolated for millions of years, after Australia dried out and the rainforests receded.”

And they’re not the only unusual inhabitants on the mountain.

“We’ve actually got three species of cannibal snail on Mount Kaputar, and they’re voracious little fellas,” Murphy said. “They hunt around on the forest floor to pick up the slime trail of another snail, then hunt it down and gobble it up.”

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in animals, bugs, nature, weird news

 

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TROGLORAPTOR SPIDER DISCOVERED

A new family of spider was discovered in a cave in Oregon, called the Trogloraptor (Cave Robber) due to its front claws. It’s the first new spider family discovered in North America since the 1870s and about the size of a half dollar. Nobody knows what it eats yet as it is very shy.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in animals, geekery, weird news

 

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FRANKENSTEIN MUMMIES!

Some scientists in Scotland just discovered some 3000-year-old mummies that are composed of up to 6 different bodies! That is so cool! Now they just need to figure out WHY. Here’s the article, the photo links to the original page.

Researchers say that a pair of 3,000-year-old mummified corpses that were recently discovered in Scotland are actually composed of body parts originating from six different people.

The mummified corpses were discovered in Cladh Hallan, an archaeological site on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. It is the only location in Great Britain where prehistoric mummies have been discovered.

National Geographic reports that isotopic dating and DNA experiments revealed the unusual pairing of body parts. The tests also revealed that the body parts were assembled and buried together more than 600 years after death, meaning that the assemblage was almost certainly deliberate.

However, it remains unclear exactly why the Frankenstein-like pieces were put together. The merging of mummies and Frankenstein sounds like something out of an unproduced 1930s Universal horror film. But lead researcher and University of Manchester professor Terry Brown says the answer could be simple and somewhat morbid: The original body parts may have simply been plugged in as a convenience to replace missing pieces.

“Maybe the head dropped off and they got another head to stick on,” he said.

Meanwhile, fellow researcher and University of Sheffield professor Mike Parker Pearson tellsLiveScience the parts could have been more specifically put together to show the connected lineage between families other time.

“Rights to land would have depended on ancestral claims, so perhaps having the ancestors around ‘in the flesh’ was their prehistoric equivalent of a legal document,” Parker Pearson said.

“Merging different body parts of ancestors into a single person could represent the merging of different families and their lines of descent,” Parker Pearson said. “Perhaps this was a prelude to building the row of houses in which numerous different families are likely to have lived.”

Brown tells National Geographic he believes researchers will discover more composite-like bodies on the island. In fact, he said such mummified corpses may have already been discovered but can only be verified by comparing the DNA of various body parts.

“I think you’d have to go back to a time when the rituals were more bizarre,” Brown said of finding similar corpses. “You’d have to go back to the mists of unrecorded time.”

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in geekery, weird news

 

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RARE ALBINO CYCLOPS SHARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only is this dusky shark fetus albino, which is very rare, but it is a “cyclops”. The fisherman who caught it (below), Enrique Lucero Leon, has preserved it in alcohol and considers it a prize. The woman standing next to him is researcher Marcela Bejarano-Alvarez. Nature is cool. The full story is at National Geographic (see link below pictures).

The cyclops shark is pictured above with ‘normal’ examples of its species. That is so funky! Scientists also say because it’s albino and it had several deformities, it wouldn’t have survived long in the wild anyway.

 

Pictures: Rare “Cyclops” Shark Found.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in animals, nature, weird news

 

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I THINK I’M TURNING VEGETARIAN

Last week Hubby and I watched a documentary called Food Inc. Let me warn you, if you are at all squeamish or sensitive to horrible animal cruelty, do not watch this. Or at least skip the first 10 minutes. It will make you never want to eat mass-market meat again. It’s absolutely disgusting. So after I watched it I decided to be vegetarian, with the exception of eating meat when I know that the source is sustainable and humane, like meats from Niman Ranch or Whole Foods Market. So for the most part I eat no meat.

I feel kind of sheepish about this, no pun intended. I make fun of my vegetarian friends, in a good natured way. And now I am one, sort of. I need to find a name for a vegetarian that only eats humanely raised and slaughtered meat.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2010 in animals, food and drink

 

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PITCHER PLANT OR TOILET?

I just read this cool article about a pitcher plant in Borneo that survives not only on insects but on the poo of shrews. It has evolved into a toilet! Darwin would be so proud. Here is a picture with the acompanying article.

Pitcher plants are carnivorous and usually eat insects for nutrients and nitrogen. But in the highlands of Borneo there are not enough for it to survive on insects alone, so the pitcher plant evolved into a toilet plant, complete with standing lid that serves an unusual purpose.

Dr. Jonathan Moran, Assistant Professor at the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Road University in Victoria, described it to Bob McDonald of Quirks and Quarks, a Canadian science radio show. It is really quite amazing.

The plant is big, almost the size of a football, The lid is covered in nectar, which attracts the tree shrew with a yummy snack; the bowl is shaped precisely to catch the shrew’s poop. There is even some thought that the nectar might have laxative properties, because it certainly collects a lot of the stuff, which provides needed nitrogen for the plant.

McDonald calls it “an unusual example of mutualization.” The shrew is common at all altitudes, but the adapted plant is found only at the high altitudes, so all of the adaptation has been by the plant.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2010 in nature, weird news

 

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IT’S POO-TASTIC!

Husband saw this in the coupons yesterday. I think whoever approved this ad was insane. It’s from a diaper or baby wipe ad.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2010 in weird news

 

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