Month: October 2010

It’s Halloween Hermit Crab Time Up in Here

image credit: artour_a Copyright holder: Brian Mayes, © All Rights Reserved  image credit: hawaiian-reef.com image credit: Dana DordaHabitat: Indo-Pacific watersStatus: No conservation concerns Happy Halloween everyone!Here’s to the last day of creepy, scary, ugly animals for a while.*Cheers* This unusual hermit crab is known as a Halloween Hermit Crab and October 31st isn’t the only day this creature gets all the attention. It’s extremely popular among aquarium enthusiasts for its striking coloration. But the Halloween Hermit Crab isn’t prized just for its looks. The crab is used to clean the aquarium by removing unsightly algae growing on the glass and eating bits of leftover food. But don’t let its seemingly helpful nature fool you; the crab has been known to attack other members of the aquarium and eat them for dinner. Would you want one of these in your aquarium? Does anyone have...

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Giant Isopods of the Deep

image credit: sharenator.com image credit: boncherry.com image credit: insectsgalore.blogspot.com image credit: guildofscientifictroubadours.com image credit: telegraph.co.ukHabitat: cold, deep waters of the AtlanticStatus: No conservation concerns Many of you have probably heard about the Giant Isopod before (and if you haven’t I sincerely apologize for giving you nightmares tonight) but I just had to write about it since this truly is the face of evil. These guys reach a length of 7-14 inches, making them a prime example of deep sea gigantism. Most isopods only reach a length of 1 to 5 centimeters! As scavengers of the abyss, Giant Isopods are carnivorous creatures that will feast on anything they can get their spiny claws on including dead whales, fish, and squid. They also devour slow moving prey like sea cucumbers and sponges. Here’s a video of them (as well as a few other deep sea denizens) going to town on a dead...

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Real Life Skeksi: The Waldrapp

image credit: sulla55 image credit: milesmilob image credit: Jsysco image credit: M.Maurice2009 image credit: Luke Robinson image credit: WoodpeckarHabitat: Morocco & SyriaStatus: Critically Endangered It’s important to protect even the ugliest of mother nature’s babies, including the Northern Bald Ibis or Waldrapp as it is more commonly known. There are only around 500 birds remaining in the wild due to hunting, loss of habitat, and pesticide poisoning. Unlike most ibises, these birds don’t prefer wetland habitats but instead dwell in barren, semi-desert, or rocky habitats. They also aren’t nearly as attractive as their relatives with their naked, cracked skin encompassed by long feathers that jet out in different directions. If anyone remembers the movie The Dark Crystal (which scared me half to death when I was younger) I think the Waldrapp was the inspiration for the Skeksis. What do you...

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A Face Only A Mother Could Love: Wrinkle-Faced Bat

image credit: livescience.com image credit: asnyder5 image credit: Evets Lembek Habitat: Central America Status: Least Concern If you ever questioned what I meant when I said I would be posting about “scary ugly” animals, then I think this Wrinkle-faced Bat should clear things up for you.Possessing a hairless face covered in wrinkly skin flaps, the Wrinkle-Faced Bat uses its ugly mug to help it direct its sonar more easily. The intricate grooves and crevices act as resonating chambers (much like blowing into a set of clarinets can produce deep, resonant tones) which allow the frequencies to focus different ways and thus aid it to “see” in the darkness. These bats also have an unusually short and wide skull which allows them to produce bite forces up to 20% greater than other bats of similar sizes. Luckily, the Wrinkle-Faced Bat only eats fruit… for...

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Where are you Ghost Pipefish?

image credit: BrianMayes, via Flickr image credit: a.j.mck image credit: The Very Lonely Traveller image credit: samuie image credit: ScubaJo image credit: symbion1Habitat: Western Pacific and Indian OceanStatus: Not Evaluated Again, not scary but the name fits the theme! The Ornate Ghost Pipefish is a master of disguise, able to camouflage itself so well that I even had a hard time finding it in some of these pictures! They come in a variety of colors including red, black, yellow, and white and all of them are basically transparent. Of course the name “Ghost Pipefish” doesn’t come from its desire to go around scaring the neighborhood guppies, it’s the fact that it’s able to blend into its background so well that its virtually undetectable – like a ghost. I guess it could give you a bit of a scare if you picked up a clump of seaweed unsuspectingly only to find this guy staring back at...

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About Carly

about-carly

I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).

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