Category Archive: Invertebrate

Nov 18

Blast From the Past: Nautilus

Some of the most numerous fossils that have survived into the modern age are those coiled shells left behind by the prehistoric ammonites. When Pliny the Elder first examined the remains of these ancient marine cephalopods, he called them ammonis cornua (‘horns of Ammon’) because the Egyptian god Amun was typically depicted wearing ram’s horns. …

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Feb 14

The Spider’s Guide to Not Being Eaten During Sex

Imagine the scenario: you’ve just got a new girlfriend and you’re heading over to her place for the very first time. After some pleasant conversation and a romantic, candlelit dinner, you both head to the bedroom to get intimate. Then, just as things start to heat up, your new girlfriend pounces on you and starts …

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Dec 15

Big Question: Does Incest Occur in Nature?

Incest in humans is, and almost always has been, one of the most common of all cultural taboos. Most modern societies have laws regarding incest, not least because children born of close incestuous union have a greatly increased risk of disorders, death and disability because they are more likely to be affected by recessive or …

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Dec 04

Formicarium: Sneaky Spiders, Exploding Ants & More

I’ve recently been informed about a new strategy/simulation game called Formicarium that is in development. The aim of the game seems to involve taking control of an ant colony, building a nest, collecting sufficient resources, and protecting it from enemies (you can see their Kickstarter page here or their official website here for more information). It’s certainly an …

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Nov 13

What if… Krill suddenly disappeared?

There can be few animals whose importance to the Earth’s ecosystem is as great as the Antarctic krill. The animal itself doesn’t look that impressive – it’s a small crustacean that looks rather like a shrimp – but what it lacks in its unassuming appearance, it more than makes up for in sheer abundance. In fact, …

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Oct 02

Bizarre Animal of the Week: Tongue-Eating Louse

The tongue-eating louse is the ultimate uninvited guest. It turns up unannounced, eats everything in sight and then vastly overstays its welcome. In fact, it doesn’t actually leave until the day it dies. Hopefully you’ve never had a guest quite like that. The picture above seems to depict a fish that is in the process of eating …

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Sep 17

The Worm Within Us: Tapeworm

The majority of us don’t find nature disagreeable. The common consensus is that it is perfectly acceptable, even beautiful… in its right place. But its right place, we feel, is rarely in our homes, and almost never inside our bodies. The human body is, in fact, a seething mass of other creatures, from microscopic bacteria …

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Feb 03

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Bird Fluke

The humble garden snail has a nemesis. No, it’s not a bird, or a clumsy gardener, or even the French. It’s not even something that the snail can see (assuming, of course, that they actually had decent vision) because this threat lives inside its body. It’s called a trematode, or bird fluke, and it’s a …

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Jan 19

Into the Abyss Part 3: A Monstrous Miscellany

Welcome to the final article of Deep Sea Week. To round off this celebration of the weird, wild and wacky denizens of the deep, it’s time for a monstrous miscellany – a look at some of the animals cut from previous articles that were just too downright extraordinary and intriguing to ignore. Blobfish The infamous …

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Jan 17

Into the Abyss Part 2: Deep-Sea Monsters

‘I cannot think of the deep sea without shuddering at the nameless things that may at this very moment be crawling and floundering on its slimy bed.’ So wrote H. P. Lovecraft, American horror author who created the infamous Cthulhu and other monstrous creatures. And if he had ventured to the ocean abyss, he wouldn’t …

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