Monthly Archive: November 2013

Nov 29

Do Fish Drink? (and other mini questions)

In September, I published a post entitled ‘Why are moths attracted to flames? (and other mini questions)’, which aimed to answer questions about the natural world that were neither large nor detailed enough to have their own entries. But one post certainly wasn’t enough to answer the myriad of mysteries concerning the animal kingdom, so …

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Nov 24

Animal Relationships: Oxpecker and Large African Mammals

The buffalo, chewing the cud on the African savannah, is a walking menagerie. So, too, is the giraffe, and the elephant, and all the other large mammals on the grassland. What on first glance appears to be a single individual is just an illusion, for all of these animals are ecosystems in their own right. …

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Nov 19

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Strepsiptera

You know you’ve got a major problem when you have another organism living inside your body, eating your innards, controlling your growth and sticking out of your rear end. If that isn’t worthy of an emergency trip to the hospital, I don’t know what is. But wasps don’t have hospitals, so if this sort of …

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Nov 11

Animal Record Holder: Fastest Land Animal

On the grasslands of the world, there is a premium on speed. The lack of dense vegetation or large bodies of water allows animals to run across this landscape without being slowed down. Natural selection favours those predators that are fast enough to catch food, and those prey animals that are fast enough to escape. …

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Nov 08

Beautiful but Deadly: Poison-Dart Frog

What is the most dangerous animal in the South American rainforest? Is it the top predator, the jaguar? Perhaps the highly venomous Brazilian wandering spider? How about a large caiman, lying in wait just below the surface of the water? Or maybe a huge column of a million army ants? All of the animals above …

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Nov 05

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Sacculina

Barnacles lead mundane lives. They spend their time attached to old piers and sunken ships, waving their tiny arms about all day to grab edible morsels from the water. But one barnacle decided that arm-waving just wasn’t for it and it turned down a more sinister route. It’s the body-snatching barnacle known as Sacculina. As …

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