astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Heamadispa picta

…sometimes known as the “Tiger Leech” Heamadipsa picta is a species of terrestrial Haemadipsid leech that is native to Borneo, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Unlike other tropical leeches H. picta is typically found on high brush in moist forests, lying in wait for a mammal to pass so it can attach and feed.

Classification

Animalia-Annelida-Clitellata-Hirudinea-Haemadipsidae-Haemadispa-H. picta

Images: ©Stepanka Nemcova and Geichhorn2000

rhamphotheca

rhamphotheca:

Fighting Weeds to Save Seabirds

Albatrosses are reclaiming nesting areas on Midway Atoll Refuge as a plant pest yields to assault by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

For the first time in years, choking mats of an invasive plant pest are receding from Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, opening critically needed nesting space for rare seabirds like the albatross. As cornstalk-high stands of Verbesina encelioides, or golden crownbeard, yield to an assault by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hope for the birds is rising.

More seabirds nest and more chicks survive in Midway’s native grass than in non-native Verbesina, finds the Service, which is conducting the Verbesina eradication with a $1 million National Wildlife Refuge System grant and matching funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Laysan and black-footed albatrosses nested at near-record levels in 2012-2013 at Midway Atoll in the Pacific, though biologists will need three or more years to know if the rise is due to Verbesina control. Another potentially promising sign: the January hatching of a short-tailed albatross chick, one of the world’s most endangered seabirds. The hatching was only the third in recorded history outside of three small islands near Japan; the earlier hatchings also occurred on Midway after plant control efforts began.

In addition to the three albatross species, the endangered Laysan duck and 18 other seabird species are expected to benefit from Verbesina’s removal…

(read more: USFWS - National Wildlife Refuge System)

Photos: Albatross in a verbesina-free area. (John Klavitter/USFWS). Next photos: Before and after.

griseus

mucholderthen:

WONDERS OF EVOLUTION:
This tiny planktonic animal builds a new fishing factory every four hours.
The protein and cellulose ’House’ of an Oikopleura, a Larvacean Tunicate 

Drawing based on the work of Dr. [Hans] Lohmann, a German planktologist who discovered the feeding apparatus.

  • The red line shows the water flow (through one entrance) created by the undulating tail of the Oikopleura. Large particles are blocked by protective grids. 
  • The filters on the left filter tiny organisms from the water which are then passed to the mouth. The filters are so fine-meshed that they can filter out particles as small as 1/1000 of a millimeter, finer than any plankton net. 
  • The opening at the front (bottom right) of the house is an emergency exit.

Source: microscopy-UK 
____________________________________

Oikopleura is a genus of Tunicata (sea-squirts) in the class Appendicularia, also known as Larvacea. 

Oikopleura illustrate neoteny, an evolutionary form in which the adult retains juvenile traits. Like a common tunicate larva, the adult larvacean form has a discrete trunk and tail.

Abandoned tests [the mucus houses] sink into the depths of the ocean, collecting organic particles during their descent, making an important contribution to the marine snow that is the basis of the food web in the abyssal zone.

Species of Oikopleura have the smallest genomes in the animal kingdom, only about 75Mb.  

Sources:  [Wikipedia] and [Wikipedia]
___________________________________________

UPPER IMAGE: Atlantic Ocean. Darkfield, LM X100 || Photographer: Wim van Egmond ||| Source: Visuals Unlimited and Voyage of the Beagle 

LOWER IMAGE: Wim van Egmond, “Oikopleura’s fishing house

@rafaqh 

cat-attack-attack

broliloquy:

painted-bees:

Penh was eyeing up my lollipop something fierce. 


Expecting her to be repelled by it, I let her check it out.
She wiggled her antennae all over it before shoving her face right into it with the fervor of a five-year-old sugar addict. Sean managed to snap a shot of the moment! 

Apparently it’s not “bad” for her, but too much sugar can’t be very ‘good’ either! Though, I’m have a feeling that she would insist otherwise if she were capable of doing so.

nom nom nom

A mantis eating a lollipop

A MANTIS EATING A LOLLIPOP

dendroica
dendroica:

Breathtaking Microscope Photos of Moth & Butterfly Wings

The thing about nature is that, if you look close enough at just about anything, you’re bound to find a beauty and symmetry that defies description. In the case of Linden Gledhill‘s microscope photos of butterfly wings, he simply discovered another level of beauty in something that already captures many of our imaginations. A rainbow of colors and myriad textures greet you in Gledhill’s Butterfly wings Flickr set — each photograph more ethereal and alien than the last.

(via  PetaPixel)

dendroica:

Breathtaking Microscope Photos of Moth & Butterfly Wings

The thing about nature is that, if you look close enough at just about anything, you’re bound to find a beauty and symmetry that defies description. In the case of Linden Gledhill‘s microscope photos of butterfly wings, he simply discovered another level of beauty in something that already captures many of our imaginations. A rainbow of colors and myriad textures greet you in Gledhill’s Butterfly wings Flickr set — each photograph more ethereal and alien than the last.

(via PetaPixel)