The lanternfly (Phrictus quinqueparitus), family Fulgoridae, Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica
(photo: Geoff Gallice)
Pretty in Pink
Extending its arms 8 inches (20 cm) across, a pink crab perches on a bed of soft coral 2,310 feet (740 meters) deep in the Sangihe Talaud region off of Indonesia. The Little Hercules ROV captured this image of the colorful critter during a 2010 ocean expedition. Crabs like these are only found living on soft coral.
Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010
(via: Live Science)
Eastern hog-nose snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in northern Michigan
(taken by me)
The Amazing Athletic Flea
Where do fleas get their incredible jumping abilities? Look no further than these massive hind legs. Although fleas only get about 1/8 of an inch (3 millimeters) long, they have a horizontal jump range of up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) — that’s more than 1,000 times their body length.
Credit: Janice Haney Carr/CDC
(via: Live Science)
This sweet little guy is the newly discovered ‘Chewbacca bat’ from Mozambique. Scientists have come out of a month-long survey of the Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique having discovered hundreds of new species including a cave-dwelling frog, farting bombardier beetles, and a tiny elephant shrew.
Read more: http://bit.ly/18LMOSS
Image credit: Piotr Naskrecki
Spiders: Capturing Prey in Silken Netting and Sticky Hairs
by Science Daily staff
The great ecological success of spiders is often substantiated by the evolution of silk and webs. Biologists of the Kiel University and the University of Bern now found an alternative adaptation to hunting prey: hairy adhesive pads, so called scopulae.
The scientists published their results in the May issue of the scientific journal PLoS One.
“More than half of all described spider species have abandoned building webs. They seize their prey directly and have to be able to hold and control the struggling prey without getting hurt themselves,” explains Jonas Wolff, PhD student in the working group…
(read more: Science Daily) (image: Jonas Wolff)
“Here’s the horned lizard I caught (the prettier of the two)” -tothedarktower
I love these! As you know, I had a similar encounter with one in Death Valley. I recently had to stop my car on a secluded road while doing field studies to wait for one to pass. Thankfully, I saw the little guy in time. Lovely photos!
Of all bony fish, the oarfish, Regalecus glesne, is the longest. It is suggested that oarfish can reach up to 15 meters (49 feet) in length but actual recorded lengths put them at still impressive 8 meters (26 feet). Oarfish will often was ashore or caught by fishermen. Yet, much like the giant squid, observations of oarfish alive in the wild are rare and video of them alive in the wild are even rarer. Until now.
Taka-she the Takahe Ruffles a Few Feathers
by David Benson
Birds of a feather flock together.
Resident takahe Quammen and his new female friend from Kapiti Island, Paku, spent the past three weeks in a pen getting on beaking terms and were released into the 307ha sanctuary at 11am yesterday.
”We hope they’ll be one of the stars of the show at Orokonui, along with the kaka,” conservation manager Elton Smith said…
(read more: Otago Daily Times) (photo: Stephen Jaquiery)
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii
(photo: Duncan Wright, USFWS)
Amazonian Treasure Trove Yields 15 New Bird Species
by Nadia Drake
The Amazon rainforest, a well-known epicenter of biodiversity, has offered up another trove of riches. The treasure takes the form of 15 newly described bird species. Some are tiny. One has a long, curved bill. Another is super fluffy. All live in the southern Amazon, most of them in an area known as the “arc of deforestation.”
It’s been 140 years since as many new Brazilian bird species were described at one time. In 1871, 40 new species were described by Austrian August von Pelzeln in Zur Ornithologie Brasiliens.
Discovered mostly within the last five years, in southern swaths of forest, many of the birds live near rivers. Eleven can only be found in Brazil; four of the species have also been seen in Peru and Bolivia. Most are Passeriformes, belonging to an order that includes ravens, sparrows, and finches.
They were spotted on various expeditions that included ornithologist Luis Silveira, of the University of São Paulo, and his students, as well as collaborators from three additional institutions. Together, they noticed that these strange new birds didn’t quite fit in…
(read more: Wired Science) (photos: Vitor de Q. Piacentini)
Never give up
by Geo Messmer