Anonymous asked: 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 asked: 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 asked: (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 asked: 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.
Ladybird spider. (Eresus sandaliatus)
Just look at this fabulous little fellow.
The ladybird spider is one of the rarest spiders found in the UK, but are also found scattered across the rest of northern and central Europe.
The males are just unbelievably snazzy (he looks like he’s got a teeny tiny apron on). They have a bright orangey-red back with four large black spots just above two smaller ones - hence where they get their
Females and juvenile males are all black and quite a bit larger. Although the females may not be as flashy as the adult males, they deserve an award for mum of the year without a doubt.
The female will rarely leave her burrow and the male only emerges for two weeks in May to breed. After mating, the female lays up to 80 eggs in an adorable little cocoon and guards them until the spiderlings (cutest name for a baby animal EVER) hatch in July or August. She feeds them entirely on her regurgitated food, until finally the spiderlings eat their own mother.
So, just to clarify, she sits and guards her eggs for two/three months in a dusty burrow, then gives them all of her food,
THEN LETS THEM EAT HER.
Female ladybird spiders - taking one for the team.
Satanic leaf-tailed gecko. (Uroplatus phantasticus)
Everybody stop what you’re doing and look at this sneaky little son of a gun.
First up; what a name. I mean, seriously, satanic? Most badass name in the history of names.
Second of all, 11/10 for disguise, my good sir. How it’s possible for a lizard to resemble a dead leaf so perfectly is beyond me.
The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is endemic to Madagascar, and although individuals vary in colour, it is often mottled brown. Small black dots on the underside help distinguish it from similar species.
Not taking into account their impressive mimicry, the satanic leaf-tailed gecko is somewhat of an expert at avoiding predators through a number of other behaviours. They can completely flatten their body against whatever they’re sitting on to reduce the body’s shadow, open their jaws wide to show a frightening, bright red mouth (I’ve seen it, and yes, it is actually quite frightening), and voluntarily shed their tail in order to trick a predator.
What a top notch little guy.
Image: Ryan M. Bolton
Zoology BRO. turned 1 today!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BLOG!
Thank you all for putting up with my excitement for a whole year, here’s to the next one!
Slave-making ant. (Harpagoxenus sublaevis)
I have legitimately never been so
terrified in awe of an ant in my entire life.
Harpagoxenus sublaevis, commonly known as the slave-making ant, is an ant species found across Europe, that literally enslaves ants of other species to provide workers for it’s own colony.
To begin the whole enslaving shenanigan, a queen will locate the nest of some Leptothorax ants, and releases a sexual pheromone which attracts males of her species, stimulating them to mate. Once mated, the queen will invade the nest, and literally decapitate any worker ants that try and stop her. She also secretes a sticky substance which, when smeared on Leptothorax workers, causes the defending workers to attack each other.
And because the stuff is so sticky, it quickly spreads from worker to worker - so the queen can just casually stroll on through all the insanity and chaos she’s created, and begin her final assault on the Leptothorax queen.
Once all adult Leptothorax ants have been killed or driven away, the Harpagoxenus sublaevis queen remains with the Leptothorax brood. When they hatch, these new workers accept the Harpagoxenus sublaevis queen as their own, and start undertaking all routine tasks such as foraging, nest building and caring for the queen’s new brood.
But wait, it goes on..
The Harpagoxenus sublaevis workers that hatch from this brood will then go on to in raid new nests to keep replenishing the ‘slave’ worker force.
I’m really not sure what to even do with myself now.
Image: Bernhard Seifert
Grey slender loris. (Loris lydekkerianus)
The grey slender loris is a pretty odd looking primate, with its big ol’ eyes and weirdly lanky limbs.
Despite its name, this loris is not always grey and some individuals can appear quite reddish (surprise, surprise - humans mess up on the naming, AGAIN). The eyes are surrounded by a black ring, and a white line that extends down onto the nose separates the eyes.
The grey slender loris is a tree-dwelling species that moves along branches on all fours. It has
adorable tiny hands, that enable it to grip the smallest of branches. It also has a special network of blood vessels in the wrists and ankles allow it to grip tightly for a few days without suffering anymuscle cramp. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
The gray slender loris occurs in southern and eastern India and Sri Lanka, in a range of habitats including forest, plantations, and dry shrub jungles. It appears to prefer degraded forests, rather than primary forest, and is often associated with areas near human habitations
Largetooth sawfish. (Pristis pristis)
Okay so bear with me on this one.
I find it very hard to take these animals seriously a lot of the time; I know from above they’re really impressive and “scary” and like WOAH DUDE. But the second you see them from below…
They’re all like OH HEY NEIGHBOUR HOW’S IT GOING I BROUGHT TACOS!
I mean, seriously guys. Just look at that face. Look at the wave.
I feel like he should be called Herman, or something.
Anyway, back to the post, (incase you hadn’t noticed) the largetooth sawfish gets its name from its long, flattened, snout, covered in a series of long, thin teeth. This may measure up to a fifth of the total length.
Sawfish are classed in the same group as sharks, skates and rays (the elasmobranchs), and despite their appearance, are actually more closely related to rays than sharks, having their gills located on the underside of the body and not on the sides.
Sawfish generally feed on small schooling fish, but are also reported to feed on crustaceans and other bottom-dwelling animals. They attack fish by slashing their ‘saw’ sideways through schools, impaling fish on their teeth (not so friendly now…).
The largetooth sawfish is found in the tropical eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of California to Ecuador; the western Atlantic, from Florida to Brazil; and the eastern Atlantic, from Portugal to Angola. It is classified as critically endangered.
Images: Baltimore National Aquarium