Archive for the ‘Animal’ Category

New Species: Two New Freshwater Stingrays Identified

Monday, April 4th, 2011

An entire new genus has been identified with the discovery of two barb-free freshwater stingrays fished out of a river deep in the Amazon near Iquitos, Peru. Heliotrygon gomesi and Heliotrygon rosai can grow up to 1/2 a meter long and have eyes adapted for living at murky depths. The scientist speculate that these rays lost their ability to sting because they do not contend with any serious predators. Biologist Nathan Lovejoy had this to say about the find:

“The most important thing this discovery tells us is that there are quite likely to be other large fishes in the Amazon yet to be discovered and described.”


Chicken Undergoes Natural Sex Change

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Skitched 20110401 132742

Gertie the hen is now Gerry the cockerel.

Well… we don’t know if they call him Gerry but this chicken certainly did have a sex change. Which is apparently normal amongst some chickens.

The first sign that something was afoot with Gertie was that she stopped laying eggs, her owners, Jim and Jeanette Howard of Huntingdon, England, told the local media. Next, she began strutting around their garden and crowing like a rooster. Over the next few weeks, Gertie put on weight and developed wattles beneath her chin, a feature normally exhibited only by males. She also grew dark brown plumage and a scarlet cockscomb atop her head, both male traits.

”I know it sounds ridiculous but I can assure you it’s all true,” Jim Howard told “People think it’s a bit weird but
apparently its one of those things that does happen.”

“Sex reversals do, in fact, occur—although not very frequently,” states a 2000 report published by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “To date, however, spontaneous sex reversal from male to female has not been reported.”

This is not an April Fools day prank. We just want to make that clear. This is an actual science fact. A science fact we like to refer to as the +1.

[Live Science]

Creature Washes Up On Long Island

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

A strange corpse washed up recently on Long Island and a number of pictures were submitted to Phantoms and Monsters. What kind of animal do you think this is?

[Phantoms and Monsters]

The Octopus And The Beer Bottle

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

So many questions…


Subway Surprise

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Rise and shine!

[Animal Planet]

Orange Alligator Spotted

Friday, January 7th, 2011

That is all.


Clusterwink Snails Use Bioluminescent Shell-Flashing Defense

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Located off the eastern coast of Australia, the clusterwink snail (Hinea brasiliana) uses a luminescent shell-flashing defense when its shell is tapped or when it detects predators nearby. Scientists think that this could either be a technique for attracting predators of the predator or perhaps a trick to scare them away. Recent experiments have shown that some crabs are frightened away by bioluminescent glowing creatures.

“When threatened, fingernail-sized H. brasiliana generates pulses of bioluminescent light from a single spot on its mushy body. The light pulses are variable, lasting as short as 1/50th of a second to as long as a few seconds. But the opaque shell diffuses only the blue-green color of light it generates — and no other color — like a highly selective frosted light bulb.”


And Now: Killer Whales Surfing

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

That is all.

[Adventure Journal]

Behold the Amazing Mimic Octopus

Monday, November 8th, 2010

This awesome octopus is known to mimic at least 15 known creatures; my personal favorite is the “furry turkey with human legs”.  Check out the video.



Credit due to EbonNebula for pointing this out 4 months ago. Thanks!

Record Breaking Florida Gator

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Anybody up for waterskiing this weekend?

[Orlando Sentinel]

And Now… A New Species Of Bat That Looks Like Yoda

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen… please make your introductions to a new species of fruit bat found near Papua New Guinea. He also looks like Yoda.

On a clerical note, this was sent to me within an hour by both of my Weird Things podcast co-hosts Andrew Mayne and Brian Brushwood. For the record, Andrew was first.

[Daily Mail]

Ocean Census Catalogues 80% Of The.. WTF A See-Through Sea Cucumber!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010


The last time we saw census results this weird, Betty White was talking about swapping out calculator batteries to power a crotch massager.

Marine scientists have announced the 80% completion of a comprehensive ocean census and the results are predictably freaking bizarre. Check out a full slideshow at Discover Magazine’s 80beats blog.


145 Bizarre New Animals Found Including Dracula Fish

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010


The kids love vampires, the kids love pet fish. Is it any wonder that the World Wildlife Foundation has found a Dracula Fish along with 144 other insanely weird animals surrounding Southeast Asia’ Mekong River in 2009.

Here are a few of the others:

Cuter by far is the lipstick gecko, barely big enough to perch on a finger, with a dark barred pattern across its lips suggestive of cosmetics.

Other featured creatures include a fangless snake, a frog that chirps like a cricket, and a pitcher plant that traps insects and grows to a height of over seven meters.

“This rate of discovery is simply staggering in modern times,” said Stuart Chapman, Conservation Director of WWF Greater Mekong, in a statement.

By random happenstance, we have some more Weird Animals coming your way today. Hold on to your butts.


Insurance of the Weird

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Worried about abduction? Worried about Spot getting sick? Like to race on your Segway? Don’t want an to be on the hook for your ransom payment? Check out this handy infographic to find out exactly what you can expect to pay for your weirdest insurance needs:

Weird Insurance


We’ve Been Living A Lie: Blind Mole Rats Not Actually Blind

Monday, August 16th, 2010


They even see colors, those lying little vermin. Impostors!

[Live Science]

You Will Believe A Squid Can Fly…

Monday, August 2nd, 2010


Want to hear something awesome? Squids can squirt their way out of the water engaging in what many marine biologists classify as flight. The phenomenon was so random that little photographic evidence existed of the practice. New proof seems to confirm the notion that squids fire themselves above out of the water and use some combination of their fins and tentacles to stabilize and increase distance.

The 2004 paper’s authors argue that “gliding” is too passive a term to describe what squid do when they leave the ocean for the air: “flight” is more fitting.

“From our observations it seemed like squid engage in behaviors to prolong their flight,” Maciá says. “One of our co-authors saw them actually flapping their fins. Some people have seen them jetting water while in flight. We felt that ‘flight’ is more appropriate because it implies something active.”

This article also contains my favorite first five words of a paragraph ever: “On a LISTSERV dedicated to mollusks…”

[Scientific American]