Animal things

“Across the animal kingdom, males can be brightly colored to attract females. Vervet monkeys also fall into this category, but only with their scrotums which are bright blue. However, this coloring comes with a catch: if a male falls in social standing, the color begins to fade. Thus, the females can easily identify the most dominant males and choose their mate.” Elise Andrew
More info:
Photo by: Gijs Joost Brouwer, via Frans de Waal – Public Page


“The ever popular Venezuelan poodle moth was first discovered and photographed in 2009 and is believed to be a new species. It’s thought to belong to the lepidopteran genus Artace.”


The Emei moustache toad fights off romantic rivals with “nuptial spines” that grow on its upper lip during the breeding season (A) and fall off after the breeding season is over (B)
Cameron M. Hudson and Jinzhong Fu, PLOS One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067502

The Scientist


The shame-faced crab makes you feel bad for it even before you see it, based on name alone. Found in tropical waters around the globe, they get their namesake from the fact that they hide their face behind their large claws. They grow to be about 9 cm in length, 12 cm in width and feed on mollusks.
More info: Real Monstrosities
Photo credit: Alison, Crete Aquarium

 Elise Andrew


The giant leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus fimbriatus), largest of the 12 known Uroplatus species. It’s a nocturnal animal and reaches approximately 11 inches in length. It’s found only in Madagascar.  Elise Andrew


There are many beautiful marine creatures who seem to glide effortlessly through the water, inspiring a sense of awe and wonder. Unfortunately, the red-lipped batfish is not one of them.
Red-lipped batfish do not swim very well, so they use their pectoral fins to walk around the sea floor. Their dorsal fin is not needed for balance, so before reaching adulthood it changes to a single projection over their head. This structure, known as an illicium, attracts prey.
The red-lipped batfish live in the waters around the Galapagos Islands and are found about 30.5 m (100 ft) below the surface.
More info:
Photo via: Birgitte Wilms, National Geographic

 Elise Andrew


If you were to list the most fearsome body parts of a wild animal, teeth and claws would probably be at the top of the list. I doubt elbows would even crack the top 10, but that’s exactly where the slow loris gets its venom. When threatened, the loris licks a gland on its elbow, and the saliva activates the venom. The loris then bites, delivering the venom and deterring the predator. The loris is unique in how it gets its venom and also the fact that it is the only venomous primate.  Elise Andrew
More info:
Image via: David Haring / Duke Lemur Center


What’s going on here? This photograph does the rounds pretty regularly, and it’s usually described as showing the parasitization of a Cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) by Tetrastichus julis, a parasitoid wasp. They eggs are laid within the beetle, where the hatch and feed on it while it’s alive. Eventually they burst out, killing the beetle.
Now, all this is true. However, the beetle isn’t quite as full to the brim with parasites as it looks. The truth, believe it or not, is even stranger. There’s just ONE parasitic larva in this photo, and you can clearly see it at the front. The rest of that squirmy mass inside the beetle? That’s its fecal shield.
Yes, you read that correctly. A shield of fecal matter. Believe it or not, this is pretty common in leaf beetles. They deposit their fecal matter on their own backs. There, it acts as a deterrent to predators, prevents desiccation and provide camouflage.
More information, including more photographs of “fecal shields”:
Photograph by Giles San Martin

Elise Andrew


Well, what did you expect? Funny puppies videos?

Animal things | The Dancing Rest:

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