Posts tagged: animals
I couldn’t help it - here are some more jeweled caterpillars
I just posted about a particularly awesome jeweled caterpillar, but I had to have some more. The above caterpillars were photographed by Dan Janzen (except for the turquoise one). One question you may ask is, what is the purpose of the gummy spikes? There is some evidence that they make it harder for the larvae to be eaten, since ants placed in the same container as the caterpillars find their mouths gummed up. Here’s more from the SciAm blog Observations:
Biologists do have some ideas about the function of larvae’s gumdrop spines, however. The glutinous cones break off extremely easily—one can gently tweeze them off or even pull them off by accident—suggestive of the way some lizards’ tails snap off in a predator’s mouth. Janzen says this trick might help the larvae escape from hungry insects and birds, but researchers have not yet confirmed this.
Coconut Octopus - Imgur
Chicks in Hats by Julie Persons
The Internet was pretty much invented so that we could look at pictures of animals in funny hats, but Julie wants to help you cut out the middle man by offering specially designed hats for baby chickens at her etsy, though you’ll have to procure the chicks yourself.
Peek inside a Leatherback Turtle’s (Dermochelys coriacea) mouth: How to eat jelly fish when your mouth is an exquisitely evolved jellyfish deathbed.
We know turtles like to eat jellyfish, and the Leatherback likes them most of all. However, this is the biggest turtle, consuming a prey that extremely low nutritional value, therefore it has to nom on a lot of them. As it does so, it takes in saltwater as well. The jellies and the saltwater get stored in the esophagus.
What happens next you ask? Is it to do with the horrific looking backwards facing spines that don’t look comfortable in anything’s mouth?
But of course! Because that is the beauty of evolution, the refined logic of adaptation.
The muscles of the esophagus squeeze the seawater out of the mouth and the spines, which get progressively larger down the esophagus, hold the jellyfish in place. Once all the water is gone, the jellies are passed into the stomach.
This is one of the many *awesome* characteristics of the leatherback turtle - trawling for jellyfish on this earth for over 90 million year.
Trawling for fish/shrimp (by humans, not leatherbacks), is one of the reasons Leatherbacks are classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List.
Source: Evolution FB