Un(fore)seen consequences

March 21st, 2014

Power lines look like terrifying bursts of light to animals:

What does a power line look like? To humans, they don't look like much – just strands of metal draping from towering poles. But for many animals, they're terrifying.

They see power lines as lines of bursting, popping lights. That's because they can see ultraviolet light that's outside the spectrum of human vision. […]

[Via jwz]

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Jellyfish, humans – what's the difference? From a machine's point of view…

October 6th, 2013

First SkyNet came for the jellyfish…

[This] is a team of unmanned swimming robots designed to scour an area and grind up all the jellyfish they find. And they've got the chops (literally) to suck up jellyfish at a rate of 900 kilograms – nearly 2,000 pounds – an hour.

The invention comes from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Engineer Hyeon Myeong and colleagues developed it to help clear fishing waters of jellyfish blooms. […]

[Via jwz]

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World of Change

September 29th, 2013

NASA's Earth Observatory posted a slideshow depicting Devastation and Recovery at Mt. St. Helens:

The 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, which began with a series of small earthquakes in mid-March and peaked with a cataclysmic flank collapse, avalanche, and explosion on May 18, was not the largest nor longest-lasting eruption in the mountain's recent history. But as the first eruption in the continental United States during the era of modern scientific observation, it was uniquely significant.

In the three decades since the eruption, Mt. St. Helens has given scientists an unprecedented opportunity to witness the intricate steps through which life reclaims a devastated landscape. […]

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WildHelp App

August 26th, 2013

The WildHelp App is a really nice idea:

Every day, people encounter wild animals in need of help. Animals are found sick, injured, displaced, trapped, entangled, and in serious trouble, but, the task of finding help can be arduous.

Too often, finders must make multiple phone calls, using critical minutes, even hours, in search of the right person or organization that can help.

Delays in finding qualified help is one of the greatest, most pervasive issues faced by wildlife casualties and the people who find them.

There is a missing link. WildHelp is the missing link.

The WildHelp mobile application will streamline the reporting process, expediting aid to wild animals in need and the people who find them, helping save thousands of lives every year!

[Via Chuq Von Rospach]

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WTF, Evolution?

March 15th, 2013

WTF, Evolution? (a.k.a. nightmare fuel.)

The hairy frogfish cannot believe what you've done…

Hairy frogfish

… or …

I really don't want anyone to eat this wattle cup…

Hairy brown moth

[Via Schneier on Security]

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WWF Pandas

December 9th, 2010

WWF Pandas. Very silly.

[Via MeFi user jewzilla, posting to this thread]

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Vicious beastie

November 28th, 2010

Beware the Sufi crocodile.

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November 7th, 2010

ZooBorns. So much cuteness it hurts. (Some are less cute, but still interesting.)

[Via slipstream]

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Giant Octopus Cake

September 14th, 2010

A Giant Octopus cake: far too good to eat.

[Via jwz]

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August 16th, 2010

How The Male Angler Fish Gets Completely Screwed.

[Via LinkMachineGo!]

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1.6 million? 1.6 MILLION!

August 4th, 2010

Scary statistic of the day:

The Lord God first divided the darkness from the light. Then he divided the heavens from the earth and the earth from the sea. Evolution did the rest: It divided the earth between humans and ants, and in so doing created another fundamental dichotomy. There are billions of humans on earth, and trillions upon trillions of ants – an estimated 1.6 million for every human being. If the earth were a scale, and all the humans were placed on one side and all the ants on the other, it would not budge. Ants have answered the ever-expanding human biomass with an ever-expanding biomass of their own, so that the planet is poised, teetering between its two most successful civilizations – each of which is social, aggressive, expansionist, and well suited for war.

(Emphasis added)

[Via kottke.org]

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The Horse of Sagas

July 18th, 2010

The Horse of Sagas.

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Socotra Island

July 18th, 2010

Socotra Island might well be the most alien-looking place on Earth:

Imagine waking up on the Socotra Island and taking a good look around you […] After a yelp of disbelief, you'd be inclined to think you were transported to another planet – or traveled to another era of Earth's history.

The second would be closer to the truth for this island, which is part of a group of 4 islands, has been geographically isolated from mainland Africa for the last 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic, i.e. found nowhere else on Earth.


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I was an extra in 'Lion Disembowels Gazelle.'

February 19th, 2010

Coming to the extras disc of the next David Attenborough box set?

Moderator: Before we begin this panel discussion, I'd just like to say that it's always a pleasure to witness great artists collaborating together on film, and with this film in particular, the result was a remarkably profound experience. So without further ado, please welcome the stars of the film: Lion, Wildebeest, and the Hyenas.

[Audience applauds.]

Moderator: Lion, let's start with you. What did you see in this project that made you want to be a part of it?

Lion: When I learned that British Human Who Smells Like Ham was going to direct I immediately knew this was something I wanted to do. Whenever I get an opportunity to participate in what I believe will gratifying work, I leap at the chance.


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Moth Trails

February 13th, 2010

A gallery of Moth Trails.

[Via MetaFilter]

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National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009

November 23rd, 2009

It's hard to pick a favourite from this selection of images from National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009, but if pressed I'd probably go for #12 or #23.

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November 14th, 2009

Andrew Zuckerman's Bird: stunning.

[Via kottke.org]

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Howlett's Newt

September 28th, 2009

This seems to be turning into Weird Creatures Week. Yesterday it was the freaky-looking leopard gecko, today it's the turn of the Spanish ribbed newt:

Like the X-Men's Wolverine extending his claws, the Spanish ribbed newt slashes through itself with its sharp rib bones to create defensive spines, according to a new study.

Now I'm afraid to look at the internet tomorrow, for fear of what hideous, spiny creature I'm going to read about next…

[Via kottke.org]

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Goniurosaurus catbaensis

September 27th, 2009

Is it just me, or does this newly-discovered variety of leopard gecko look like something that should be starring in a low-budget horror movie?

You know the sort of film: in the opening scene, some luckless bastard with very few lines stumbles on their lair and before he can react he finds himself buried under a swarm of carnivorous1 reptiles.

Next thing you know, they've acquired a taste for human blood and a wave of them is sweeping down on the nearest town…

  1. According to Wikipedia, although leopard geckos primarily subsist on a diet of insects, they can and will eat mice if they can manage to bring them down.

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Meet 'Barry'

March 26th, 2009

Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium had an uninvited guest:

Curator Matt Slater said: As part of our tropical marine displays we have been painstakingly propagating a variety of corals. They are extremely slow-growing and every one we have lost to these attacks was a major blow.

In the end it got so bad that I decided to literally take the display apart to find out who was responsible. I could hardly believe my eyes when I finally caught sight of the culprit. […]

It's the photograph of the coral-eater that sells the story. Are we sure this whole story isn't a viral ad for the new season of Primeval?

[Via jwz]

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