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So SOMEONE (*cough* me) was bad and came home from the reptile fair with a new baby noodle. Say hi to Coraline, my Western Hognose!


We’ve never called a photo of a spider “adorable” before, so this is a first!

This photo of a jumping spider carrying her baby was taken by Jong Atmosfera.

(via exploratorium)


Spiders with water droplet hats are something I really needed to know about.

(via misstransatlantic)

I was curious, I often think of sharks as instinct-driven. Is there any evidence of learning or distinct individual behavior?

Asked by princessennui


Wow, I have no idea how I didn’t see this until now! Sorry about that!

This is actually a really, really interesting question. Scientists had, for a really, really long time, basically assumed that sharks were mindless, instinctual killing machines.

However, in the 1950s, Eugenie Clark, my favorite scientist ever, did some experiments where she actually trained lemon sharks to respond to a stimulus. Basically, the sharks learned to press a target and ring a bell in order to get food.


This awesome lady also trained nurse sharks to distinguish between different colored targets to get food.

There have also been studies that have shown scalloped hammerheads, which travel in large schools, actually have pretty complex social structures! There are established hierarchies based on size and gender.

There was even a recent study that suggested that sharks have “friends”- that is, other sharks that they prefer to spend time with! AND that sharks are actually able to learn behaviors from the sharks they spend a lot of time with! (This study is actually really, really cool, and you can read an article about it here!)

So, yeah. Sharks don’t really have “thoughts” or “feelings” like humans do, but they’re definitely way smarter than most people think! They sort of do have different personalities (some tend to be more aggressive, some individuals more mellow, some more adventurous, more social, etc).

Of course, they are really driven by their instincts, but then, so is everything. But that definitely doesn’t mean they aren’t smart, or capable of some really amazing behaviors!!

Western Yellow-Bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) - Santa Cruz, CA

I was at the lab hosing down our equipment from fishing, and two people who were cleaning up nearby called us over and asked if we knew anything about snakes. Of course I was VERY interested and ran over, along with the other lab people that were still there. The two people that found the snake were pretty upset, saying “We think it’s a rattlesnake!” and pointing to the teensiest most adorable baby racer ever. He was very angry and bite-y, but we managed to pick him up and move him to some bushes.


Mangrove snake ~ Boiga dendrophila

(via snakesdrinkingwater)



This is Iceberg, the first white orca whale on earth. Scientists studying a pod of orcas saw his pure white dorsal fin breaking the surface and followed him, thinking that this was a trick of the eye. But Iceberg is the first reported albino killer whale, living in a large pod. Behavioural experts believed that orcas would exile a whale that did not look like the rest of the pod, but since Iceberg was born, his pod has accepted him and he is living a happy and healthy life.

Proving that whales are smarter than people.

Technically, dolphins are whales! They’re all in a group called cetaceans, which is divided into toothed whales (Odontoceti) and baleen whales (Mysticeti). Dolphins, orcas, sperm whales, and beaked whales are toothed whales, while the giant filter feeders like blue, gray, and humpback whales are baleen whales. Basically orcas are dolphins AND whales!

(Source: flightofmeraxes, via beyonceprivilege)


double crested cormorant

photo by amy marques

(via koryos)


Anurognathids-as-potoos by Maija Karala:

Anurognathus ammoni, the tiny Jurassic tree monster, momentarily perching on a branch and giving you a curious look before flying off to catch another mayfly.

Anurognathids had a wide, frog-like mouth, very big eyes for their size and peculiar tufts of pycnofibers (that is, the pterosaur version of feathers) on the trailing edges of their wings. They might have worked like the serrations on owl wing feathers that enable them to fly soundlessly.

I gave this Anurognathus a lichen-toned coloration for camouflaging on tree branches. I suppose it wraps its wings around itself and closes its eyes to slits when sensing danger. Perhaps suddenly opening those huge, bright yellow eyes would also work as an intimidating gesture for predators, much like the eyespots of many butterflies.”

(via koryos)