rhamphotheca:

A Ray of Light Thrown on 60 Year Mystery

The unexpected capture of a rare ray found only in a small region off South Australia could help marine scientists validate the existence of the elusive Magpie fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina melaleuca).

The species is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  as Endangered, but until now its very existence has rested on a single specimen found nearly 60 years ago off Kangaroo Island. That specimen is stored at the South Australian Museum and was used to describe the magpie fiddler ray species in 1954.

“This ray, caught by fisher John Marsh from the Adelaide Game Fishing’ Club, is pretty much considered the ‘Holy Grail’ specimen,” says Paul Rogers, a researcher with SARDI Aquatic Sciences Threatened, Endangered and Protected Species program. “This is because the species has been described based on one specimen only and up until now, scientists have not been able to study another specimen of the magpie fiddler ray.”…

(read more: Sardi)

(photos: Brett Williamson, ABC Adelaide; Brad Smith)

compendium-of-beasts:


Die Entwickelung des Hühner-eies. (the development of a chicken) (1886-1887) 
via NYPL

compendium-of-beasts:

Die Entwickelung des Hühner-eies. (the development of a chicken) (1886-1887)

via NYPL

cyanobacteria:

[Image: A rabbit skeleton that has various bones labelled.]
From: Biology: an introductory study for use in colleges by Herbert W. Conn

cyanobacteria:

[Image: A rabbit skeleton that has various bones labelled.]

From: Biology: an introductory study for use in colleges by Herbert W. Conn

A scorpionfish (Rhinopias eschmeyeri) in Bali, Indonesia, by Rockford Draper of University of Texas at Dallas.

A scorpionfish (Rhinopias eschmeyeri) in Bali, Indonesia, by Rockford Draper of University of Texas at Dallas.

A 5-day old zebrafish head at 20x magnification, by Hideo Otsuna, of University of Utah. This image won 2nd place in the 2010 Nikon Small World Competition.

A 5-day old zebrafish head at 20x magnification, by Hideo Otsuna, of University of Utah. This image won 2nd place in the 2010 Nikon Small World Competition.

arizonanature:

Gila Monster (by cameronrognan)

arizonanature:

Gila Monster (by cameronrognan)

rhamphotheca:

insectlove:every-organism-is-amazingLuna Moth Caterpillar and what it looks like after metamorphosis. They are a beautiful creature in both forms.

serotoninsynapse:

The swimming lizard by mtchm on Flickr.
The Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is an iguana that has the unique ability among modern lizards to live and forage in the sea. It is found only on the Galapagos Islands, but has spread to all the islands in the archipelago, and is sometimes called the “Galapagos marine iguana”. It mainly lives on the rocky Galapagos shore, but can also be spotted in marshes and mangrove beaches. On his visit to the islands, Charles Darwin was revolted by the animals’ appearance, writing:

The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3 ft) most disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them ‘imps of darkness’. They assuredly well become the land they inhabit.

serotoninsynapse:

The swimming lizard by mtchm on Flickr.

The Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is an iguana that has the unique ability among modern lizards to live and forage in the sea. It is found only on the Galapagos Islands, but has spread to all the islands in the archipelago, and is sometimes called the “Galapagos marine iguana”. It mainly lives on the rocky Galapagos shore, but can also be spotted in marshes and mangrove beaches.

On his visit to the islands, Charles Darwin was revolted by the animals’ appearance, writing:

The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3 ft) most disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them ‘imps of darkness’. They assuredly well become the land they inhabit.

These are Atlantic wolffish, residing off of rocky coasts in depths up to 1,600 feet below the ocean’s surface. They can reach up to five feet long, with crooked teeth highly suited for crushing their prey of mollusks, shellfish, and sea urchins. It’s a face only a mother could love.

(via)

These are Atlantic wolffish, residing off of rocky coasts in depths up to 1,600 feet below the ocean’s surface. They can reach up to five feet long, with crooked teeth highly suited for crushing their prey of mollusks, shellfish, and sea urchins. It’s a face only a mother could love.

(via)

This pram bug, an inch-long, translucent Phronima crustacean, may look cute, but it certainly packs a vicious punch. Upon catching their usual prey of a small marine animals called salps, females feast by utilizing their mouths and claws to devour the salp’s insides and then hollowing out the corpse. To add insult to injury, the female then proceeds to lay her eggs inside the victim’s body cavity to create a mobile, gelatinous nest for her young. (via)

This pram bug, an inch-long, translucent Phronima crustacean, may look cute, but it certainly packs a vicious punch. Upon catching their usual prey of a small marine animals called salps, females feast by utilizing their mouths and claws to devour the salp’s insides and then hollowing out the corpse. To add insult to injury, the female then proceeds to lay her eggs inside the victim’s body cavity to create a mobile, gelatinous nest for her young. (via)

Anglerfish

The anglerfish is so called because of its method of predation. This is the fish that goes fishing. It has a long, modified dorsal fin spine sprouting from the middle of its head that ends in a fleshy growth that can move and wiggle to resemble another animal. In some deep sea anglerfish this deadly bait can even emit light (a characteristic called bioluminescence). Passing predators who think they’ve found an easy meal only need to touch the bait to find out they’re the main course. Having been lured inside the anglerfish’s wide mouth, the long pointed teeth snap shut and the creature is devoured whole. There are more than 300 species of anglerfish worldwide. They are found in open water and on the sea bed. Some of the bottom dwellers have modified fins that let them walk along the ocean floor.

Anglerfish

The anglerfish is so called because of its method of predation. This is the fish that goes fishing. It has a long, modified dorsal fin spine sprouting from the middle of its head that ends in a fleshy growth that can move and wiggle to resemble another animal. In some deep sea anglerfish this deadly bait can even emit light (a characteristic called bioluminescence). Passing predators who think they’ve found an easy meal only need to touch the bait to find out they’re the main course. Having been lured inside the anglerfish’s wide mouth, the long pointed teeth snap shut and the creature is devoured whole. There are more than 300 species of anglerfish worldwide. They are found in open water and on the sea bed. Some of the bottom dwellers have modified fins that let them walk along the ocean floor.

While these images may seem like simply a cute photoset of a bear scratching an itch with a rock, it is actually the first observation of a brown bear using a tool. Volker Deecke, a researcher at University of Cumbria, managed to capture several images of this bear using a barnacle-covered rock back in 2010, in Glacier Bay, Alaska. (via)

Doomsday Seed Vault in Norway. This week is a big week for this particular doomsday vault, as it is scheduled to receive almost 25,000 additional seed samples from all over the globe. (via)

Doomsday Seed Vault in Norway. This week is a big week for this particular doomsday vault, as it is scheduled to receive almost 25,000 additional seed samples from all over the globe. (via)

This sea snake pictured above is a newly-discovered species of highly-venomous sea snake found off of the coast of northern Australia. While this in itself wouldn’t be too newsworthy, the fact that it is covered from heat to tail in very spiny scales is quite fascinating. Here’s a close-up:

Very little is known about this creature, now named Hydrophis donaldi, as of yet, and it is likely to remain that way, as according to Bryan Fry, of University of Queensland:


Field observations are impossible, because the water is very murky and filled with lots of very large bull sharks and saltwater crocodiles, in addition to [highly poisonous] box jellyfish. If we tried to dive there, our life expectancy would be measured in minutes. The only question is which animal would kill us. My money is on the bull sharks.

Read More at National Geographic 
And thanks to xradicald for showing me this article!

This sea snake pictured above is a newly-discovered species of highly-venomous sea snake found off of the coast of northern Australia. While this in itself wouldn’t be too newsworthy, the fact that it is covered from heat to tail in very spiny scales is quite fascinating. Here’s a close-up:

Very little is known about this creature, now named Hydrophis donaldi, as of yet, and it is likely to remain that way, as according to Bryan Fry, of University of Queensland:

Field observations are impossible, because the water is very murky and filled with lots of very large bull sharks and saltwater crocodiles, in addition to [highly poisonous] box jellyfish. If we tried to dive there, our life expectancy would be measured in minutes. The only question is which animal would kill us. My money is on the bull sharks.

Read More at National Geographic 

And thanks to xradicald for showing me this article!