Pom-pom Crabs are tiny crabs who carry a pair of even tinier sea anemones in their dainty claws.
They really like to have TWO sea anemones. If they only have one, they’ll rip in two and carry one half in each claw.
The sea anemones soon heal up because they can do that kind of thing,.
Is it a Pokemon or something???
Edit: what the fuck, it’s an entire species of crab that specifically uses another species as a TOOL?! INSTINCTUALLY? Or is it a learned behavior? What kind of intelligence does this crab have?
Lots of animals do thing where they take body parts, behaviors or secretions of other animals and use them. Sometimes they use the ENTIRE other organism without resorting to outright parasitism.
Birds build nests with snake skins to frighten off chick-eating predators who are preyed upon by snakes.
Owls will abduct LIVE mite-eating blind snakes and put them in their nest that prevent pests from infecting their chicks.
Certain other birds will piss off acid-spitting ants and allow the ants to shower them, killing off parasites on their feathers.
Types of assassin bugs will kill ants and wear their corpses to confuse predators who have no idea what to make of this ridiculous ant-necromancer mobile charnel house trudging around.
Speaking of ants, ants can and will enslave other ants from completely separate genuses. Leafcutter ants have cultivated a species of fungus that grows nowhere else but in cutter ant nests as a food source. They have effectively completely domesticated an entire species. Some also rear aphids.
Many non-vertebrates are also ‘smart’ in our eyes due to their ability to use tools and react to different organisms in a way we think of as ‘higher-brained.’
On the topic of arthropod intelligence, Portia spiders are a type of jumping spider that displays a very peculiar mixture of ingrained instinctive intelligence and an ability to learn. They are instinctively recognize various species they naturally prey upon through sight alone and instinctively know what kind of predatory strategy to engage. And yet they can even learn to attack new species that they have not encountered before in order to eat them.
They mainly prey on other types of spider and will do everything dropping down on their quarry Mission Impossible style after learning their blindspots, using various rhythms of web-tapping to manipulate the behavior of web-building prey close, or disguising themselves by adjusting their body shape.
Portia spiders are so intelligent that they time their tapping traps with wind patterns that make them more difficult to see - they camouflage with foliage and if the foliage is moving, it is impossible for poor-sighted web builders - who depend on the differentiation between stillness and movement to discern visual stimulus - to see their outline against the patterns of the moving leaves. The poor web-building spider can not tell who is tripping their web and thus approach the area but can not see what they are supposed to be attacking, leaving them opened to attack themselves.
siryl said: You haven't said much about the aliens of Star Trek. I'm guessing that's because most of the sentient races are 95-100% human. But are there any creature designs in that universe that you're fond of?
I am extremely fond of the salt vampire, but my very favorite thing in Star Trek canon has never even really appeared in the flesh in any of the shows, the Denebian Slime Devil
Artwork by Don Ivan Punchatz, creator of the Doom logo and original box art. This illustration appears in Star Trek: Worlds of the Federation by Shane Johnson, and formed the basis for a graphic by Michael Okuda and Doug Drexler that appeared in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “A Man Alone.”
Lubricant Found to Oil Micromechanical Systems
One major hurdle that scientists faced with creating moving and functional micromechanical devices was the inability to properly lube the system, which inevitably lead to a mechanical breakdown.
Nature is reporting that the dilemma may have been solved:
Now researchers say they have found a fix. By saturating devices with argon gas containing a small amount of alcohol vapour, they can make microscopic machines run at least 100,000 times longer without failing.
“We’ve found a chemical that really works,” says Seong Kim of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, who has been working in a collaboration with Michael Dugger of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He reported their latest results on 6 April at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Micromachined silicon surfaces can easily stick together through capillary forces, chemical bonding and other interactions. To prevent lock-up, engineers spray MEMS with fluorine-bearing silane to create a single-layer coating. But any contact between machine parts can easily rub this thin layer off and cause parts to stick.
arnold-gutierrez said: Have you read Lluisot's Necronomicon? There are some really mind blowing monster designs in that book.
Wow yeah, this guy gives Mythos monsters way more personality than most artists, and the cartoonish, humorous touches make them a hell of a lot scarier, too. Are these demented bunny things the Dark Young?! Vastly creepier than their usual look.
Beneficial Bug of the Day: American Burying Beetle: Nicrophorus americanus
This is one of my favorite beetles. It is a fascinating animal for many reasons. These beetles not only are one of a few insects to engage in parental care, they are even more remarkable as both parents work together to care for their young.
The adults have a highly sensitive sense of smell which they use to find small dead animals, most often rodents. They then bury the dead carcass underground. They then chew the rodent into a meatball, and lay their eggs onto it. Once their larvae hatch, they protect them, and even feed the young chewed up bits of the carrion…much like that of bird parents! Their rather gross habits rid the environment of disease carrying dead rodents. They also decrease fly populations, as many of the adult beetles carry phoretic mites on their bodies which will eat any fly eggs that the dead rodents may contain.
This particular species is endangered. Habitat destruction and an increase in competition from increased population of scavengers (coyotes, raccoons, etc have increased lately due to their generalist lifestyle. A decrease in apex predators, such as mountain lions and wolves, also led to an increase in mesopredators). The beetle is Federally protected, and many breeding programs are in place to help their conservation effort.
getting some earthwar alien reference together. Pictured here - the qid-pids, one of the most widespread former slave races of the earth empire
…is a species of Ascalaphine (Split-eyed) owlfly which occurs throughout parts of Europe and Asia. Like other owlflies L. macaronius is an insectivore and will feed on a variety of flying insects. L. macaronius larvae, on the other hand, are antlion-like ambush predators.