Month: November 2010

“New” Squat Lobsters Discoverered!

Here’s an article from National Geographic detailing several species of Squat Lobster that have just been discovered off the coast of Australia. I always find it incredibly interesting that there still are so many species we have yet to identify! This squat lobster may look already cooked, but don’t break out the garlic butter. Unlike the greenish-brown American Lobster, this species, Galacantha subspinosa, is bright red even while alive. (See a picture of an American lobster that was caught “half cooked.”) The tiny crustacean, which can fit in the palm of a hand, is one of ten lobster species collected off the western coast of Australia during research missions in 2005 and 2007. Six of the lobsters—including G. subspinosa—are new to Australia, researchers recently announced. Two more are entirely new to science. Hundreds of known species of squat lobster are found in oceans worldwide at depths ranging from six feet (two meters) to three miles (five kilometers). Squat lobsters, also known as squatties, are distinguished by their large front claws and compressed bodies. The creatures are more closely related to hermit crabs than true lobsters. As for G. subspinosa, “this genus is one of the most colorful of all squat lobsters,” said marine scientist Joanne Taylorof Museum Victoria, who co-authored a paper describing the new lobsters published in the October 12 issue of the journal Zootaxa. Wood Munching Lobster...

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Asian Golden Cat Saved from the Cooking Pot!

image credit: dfg photography image credit: image credit: dfg photography image credit: kaeryn image credit: sparky2000Habitat: Southeastern Asia, from Tibet to SumatraStatus: Near Threatened I only just recently found out about the Asian Golden Cat or Temminck’s Golden Cat from an article on RedOrbit in which an Asian Golden Cat had been rescued from a snare in Malaysia. The poor creature had been destined for the cooking pot! Apparently locals find their meat quite tasty and this is one of the reasons why the number of Asian Golden Cats have declined so sharply (though habitat loss is also an extremely important factor). Some countries use the name “firecat” for the animal due to its reddish-brown, and sometimes sandy-gold, coloring. Officials are unsure just how many of these creatures remain in the...

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Behold the Flying Buttocks: The Pigbutt Worm

image credit: image credit: image credit: deepseanews.comHabitat: the deep sea at around 3,000 to 4,000 ft downStatus: Not evaluated Okay I know what you’re thinking – THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN! Right, that’s what you were thinking, right?! Well because I sure was. The most bizarre worm I’ve ever seen award definitely goes to the Pigbutt Worm, otherwise known as a FLYING BUTTOCKS (!!!) Discovered in 2007 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the worm is only about the size of a hazelnut and resembles a “disembodied pair of buttocks;” god Wikipedia is so poetic sometimes. Nothing is really known about these things but honestly I’m satisfied by just knowing they...

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New Week Nudi: Elysia chlorotica

image credit: image credit: image credit: image credit: image credit: gawker.comHabitat: along the east coast of the United StatesStatus: Not evaluated Now here’s an interesting nudi for ya! Elysia chlorotica, commonly known as the Eastern Emerald Elysia, is one of a few “solar powered sea slugs” that utilize solar energy via chloroplasts from its main food source – algae. It’s even shaped like a leaf! Here’s what the article from the New Scientist had to say: “Elysia chlorotica is a lurid green sea slug, with a gelatinous leaf-shaped body, that lives along the Atlantic seaboard of the US. What sets it apart from most other sea slugs is its ability to run on solar power. Mary Rumpho of the University of Maine, is an expert on E. chlorotica and has now discovered how the sea slug gets this ability: it photosynthesises with genes “stolen” from the algae it eats. She has known for some time that E. chlorotica acquires chloroplasts – the green cellular objects that allow plant cells to convert sunlight into energy – from the algae it eats, and stores them in the cells that line its gut. Young E. chlorotica fed with algae for two weeks, could survive for the rest of their year-long lives without eating, Rumpho found in earlier work. …the gene [for algal photosynthesis] is taken into its cells...

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Abandoned Appendage or Giraffe Weevil?

image credit: Axel Strauß  image credit:  image credit: image credit: Hesperia2007 image credit: Habitat: Madagascar Status: No conservation concerns The giraffe necked weevil is a funny bug that is easily distinguishable by its obviously long neck. I’m sure back in its evolutionary history this poor fellow was made fun of by all the other bugs.The giraffe weevil is sexually dimorphic, meaning the neck of the male is 2 to 3 times longer than the female’s. The extended neck is used to aid the male in nest building. When it comes time to breed the weevil dad-to be rolls a leaf up and then has the female lay a single egg in it. I can’t decide if the Giraffe Weevil really resembles a giraffe or actually looks more like a spider leg that snapped off and decided to wander around on its own. Just sayin’…. image credit: weirdbugladyOh and here’s a fabulous stocking stuffer for the kids!! Who wouldn’t want this thing peakin’ out behind the...

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It’s Not a Party Without a Lumpsucker!

image credit: image credit: image credit: Charlene-SJ image credit: image credit: image credit: Shaun Killen Habitat: cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, but mainly the North Pacific Status: No conservation concerns These funny little fish are known as Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers. At less than 3 inches long, these bizarre fish are the size of a baby carrot (or not even)!Lumpsuckers get their name from their modified pelvic fins which have evolved into an adhesive pectoral disc that allow it to attach itself to whatever its teeny-tiny heart desires. Typically they can be found in...

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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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