Vampire moth. (Calyptra thalictri)
So this may be the most
terrifyingly wonderful moth I have ever seen. Brace yourselves, people.
The “Vampire moth” mainly feeds on fruit, using its proboscis to drink the juice within. Pretty standard, right? He’s just a little beige cutie pie? NOPE. NOT ONE BIT MY FRIEND.
Apparently fruit isn’t good enough for these guys. The males of the species will also use their proboscis to pierce the skin of vertebrates and drink their blood.
ALSO; the proboscis itself is barbed. It’s like some crazy nightmare super-straw.
AND IT DOESN’T END THERE. Other species of Calyptra are known to suck tears from the eyelids of cattle.
THESE MOTHS ARE SO HARDCORE I CAN’T DEAL WITH IT.
THEY DRINK BLOOD. AND TEARS.
SO. HARD. CORE.
Hooded pitohui. (Pitohui dichrous)
A poisonous bird? Rad.
The hooded pitohui - alongside its two other close relatives (Variable pitohui & Rusty pitohui) - was the first ever bird to be documented as poisonous.
This bird is seriously so awesome. Its feathers and skin contain the exact same poison that is found in Poison Dart Frogs. This chemical is actually the most powerful natural toxin known to man. It’s not present in very high quantities though, so for the most part these birds will only cause numbness, tingling and other minor symptoms when touched (basically they’re not deadly unless you got like 50 of them and rubbed them all over your face).
It’s thought that the bird gets its poison from its diet; which is mainly Choresine beetles.
Things learnt today:
- Birds are rad on so many levels.
- Do not cover your face in Hooded pitohuis.
- Anyone who tells you that birds are boring is wrong and clearly just jealous of the majestic wonder that is the Hooded pitohui.
Image: Mark Harper
slihgtlydyslexic said: Hi there! I've been doing my own research on a possible future in studying Zoology at University and thankgod I found the 'zoological' side of tumblr, and I was just wondering how did you prepare yourself for your studies at College/Uni during your highschool years? I think I have tried to apply at every Department of Conservation and Zoo in my area for conservation work for some extra experience and we have a law where there is an age limit(18), what would you recommend I do to prepare myself?
Hello! I’ve actually only just finished high school myself, so I don’t find out whether or not I’ve gotten into university until the 14th of August - a date that I am dreading.
The main advice I would give is to just continue being as proactive as you currently are! I managed to get offers from all 5 of the universities I applied to, and the main thing they all said made the biggest impact was me getting actively involved in the zoological community.
I did a lot of volunteer work at zoos, and still currently do work at my local nature reserve and london wildlife trust as a whole, which definitely helped a lot with firsthand knowledge on conservation, and people skills (which oddly enough, is needed an awful lot for work in zoology). I know zoos may seem way more exciting, but never underestimate nature reserves!!! A lot of my best memories have been whilst working at my nature reserve, and I’m pretty sure it’s what gave me the most experience.
Most of all, stick around in the ‘zoological side of tumblr’. I don’t think there is any other place in which such an amazing group of people all come together sharing one common interest. You’ll observe and be a part of debates and discussions on important zoological and biological matters with people that are seriously high up in their field; and that’s something that I don’t think you’ll get anywhere else.
YOU GOT THIS.
Hey look I disappeared again
Yes, I disappeared once again without explanation.
Yes, I am writing another apology post.
I had exams, which were hell, but they’re over now so LETS DO THIS.
ZoologyBro on twitter?!
I MADE A PROPER TWITTER. I’ll be doing the Garden Bio Blitz during my revision breaks today and tomorrow so make sure to go and follow!
Pen-tailed treeshrew. (Ptilocercus lowii)
Do not let the adorable fluffyness of this guy fool you. He is HARD. CORE.
The pen-tailed treeshrew is the only known wild mammal that chronically (i.e., on the reg.) consumes alcohol. OH and not just a quick sip and he’s heading back home, OH NO NO NO MY FRIEND - a study of the treeshrew in Malaysia found that it spends several hours consuming the equivalent of 10 to 12 glasses of wine with an alcohol content of up to 3.8% every night drinking naturally fermented nectar of the bertam palm.
AND IT DOESN’T END THERE. After it’s night of INSANE drinking, you’d obviously expect it to be a tad wobbly to say the least…
THIS GUY AIN’T NO LIGHTWEIGHT PAL. The pen-tailed treeshrew shows no signs of intoxication. At. All.
At only 13cm high, the pen-tailed treeshrew could - pound for pound - drink most humans under the table. EVERY. NIGHT.
Slow clap it out, guys. Slow clap it out.
Anonymous said: Heyhey! I was wondering, do you have any pets?
HEYHEY! Yes I do! I have snails! - 3 garden, and 1 strawberry.
This is Marvin, named so because he’s ALWAYS eating (Hank Marvin… Starving…Cockney rhyming slang… no? okay..), he’s a garden snail (Helix aspersa).
He’s literally the stupidest little dude ever.
Next up we have Humphrey, also a garden snail (Helix aspersa)
He is also a daft little noot, but far less daft than Marvin.
Last in the terrible trio of garden snails is Gerard.
He’s old. He’s grumpy. He’s fabulous.
And the last of my snails isn’t actually a garden snail, but a Strawberry snail (Trochulus striolatus). His name is Franklin. He is the most adorable little thing in the entire world.
LOOK AT HIM. LOOK.
Ugh he’s just so precious.
Does anybody know what’s up with the notes on tumblr? It’s saying I have 4 notes on my bearded vulture post, but when you click on it it goes back to 114…
Check yoself tumblr.
EDIT: Actually quite a few of my posts are doing it. Welp.
EDIT 2 (EDIT HARDER): Tumblr support have been very helpful and informed me that they are fixing the issue. GO TEAM.
Saddleback caterpillar. (Acharia stimulea)
Look at this little dude. Just look.
Isn’t he just the most adorable little guy ever? It’s like someone put a sweater vest on a swiss roll. I bet you just want to pick him up and give him a pat on the back for being such a cutie pie, right? …Right?
DO NOT DO THAT. DO NOT. NOPE.
Do not let the sweater vest fool you, this guy does NOT MESS AROUND. You see all those spines? They are jam PACKED with venom and will break off and lodge into whatever was daft enough to touch it. It will even arch is back around to get as many spines into you as possible.
The venom in the spines can cause migraines, nausea and a painful, swollen rash. Which is never something you want.
Native to the eastern USA, the saddleback caterpillar also secretes a semi-fluid silk, providing a super-adhesive bond to what it’s standing on.
So, a) It won’t budge from whatever it’s on, and b) It will literally turn around and stab you with venomous spines if you try.
These caterpillars are pretty intense. Do not touch them, because nobody wants to explain to their friends that the reason their hand has blown up like a balloon is because a caterpillar (wearing knitwear) stabbed them.
Image: Mary Keim
Anonymous said: me and my friends refer to you as the "excited animal girl from tumblr", and I kind of want it to be a thing
Well you and your friends are the best people ever oh my god CAN THIS BE A THING I THINK SO MY GOOD MAN
Sorry for the lack of posts in the past few weeks! I’ve been stupidly busy over the past few weeks with school and my EPQ and life in general, but I am trying to get more stuff queued up so it doesn’t happen again.
Hopefully everything should be back up and running soon, sorry again!
Bearded Vulture. (Gypaetus barbatus)
Look at the majesticness that is this bird. IT’S SO GRAND.
Let’s talk about how kick-ass the bearded vulture is.First up, the natural diet of these birds is BONES. Now, I know what you’re thinking, "Yeah, bones, but small ones right?"
NO. THIS BIRD WILL PICK UP MASSIVE FREAKING BONES, FLY UP INTO THE SKY AND REPEATEDLY DROP THEM UNTIL THEY BREAK. THIS BIRD IS SO PUNK ROCK.
Secondly, you see that beautiful red colouring in the second picture?Makeup.
According to biologist Antoni Margalida of Spain’s Bearded Vulture Study and Protection Group, “It is the only bird that utilizes cosmetics to dye its plumage.” At about age 7 (the vulture equivalent of a teenager), the birds begin to use red, iron-rich mud pits to dye their naturally white breast, neck, and head feathers.
It’s believed that the colour is used as a status symbol. Females, the dominant sex, are brighter than males. Colour intensity also grows with age. They will also handle conflict by struttin’ their stuff and displaying their snazzy new feather do in the process.
So this is a bird with a 2.5m wide wingspan, a diet that is 85-90% bones and LIKES TO WEAR MAKE UP.
If you don’t think they are the greatest thing ever then get out of my face.
Also known as: Lammergeier.
Anonymous said: (not of the same anon ^_^) I'm also really interested in learning about animals, what are books or documentarys that you would recommend? (sorry for my English!!)
Hello! Oh gosh there are so many (ALSO YOUR ENGLISH IS FANTASTIC DON’T WORRY)!
On the book front; I have a whole bunch more (far too many) downstairs, but these are the ones on my current reading list that I keep up in my room…
Anonymous said: this is probably a weird question, but how do you know so much about these animals?
It’s not weird at all! Learning about animals is what I love, so a lot of my free time is spent reading about, watching stuff on, or observing them (if I’m lucky).
I guess it’s mainly from reading that I learn about the animals I write about, but also documentaries and anything else I can get my hands on :)
Frilled shark. (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)
THIS GUY IS SO RAD.
LOOK AT ITS MOUTH. LOOK AT IT. Those impressive jaws are armed to the teeth (ba dum tshh) with multiple rows of super sharp, kickass, three-pronged porcelain plaques of bright and glorious wonder. Even though the teeth are kind of small, there are more than 300 of them, making that just under one thousand sharp hooks for any unfortunate prey to get past. Yikes.
Because of its deepwater habitat, very few observations of the frilled shark have been made in its natural environment. Looking at it’s stomach contents however, indicates that it mostly preys on deep water squid and a variety of fish, including other sharks. While it is unclear exactly how the frilled shark feeds, the fact that its jaws can open extremely wide suggests that it may actively take prey over one and a half times its own length.
SO NOT ONLY DOES THIS GUY HAVE WHAT CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A NIGHTMARE CHEESE GRATER FOR A MOUTH, BUT IT TAKES ON OTHER SHARKS THAT COULD BE ONE AND A HALF TIMES ITS OWN BODY LENGTH.