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Inca Terns. With top hats and monocles because they already have the freakin' 'stache.
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In our corner "Things that are not yet PokeMon but certainly should be!" we've already discussed the rather Grass-Type-like symbiosis of Salamanders and algae and of the Kleptoplasty phenomenon by which the sea slug Elysia chlorotica yoinks chloroplasts from its prey and utilizes them to photosynthesize. Today we will cover something I never thought I'd hear of - an IRL Steel-type PokeMon.

Crysomallon squamiferum, also known as the scaly-foot gastropod, is a deep-sea snail living at the foot of 'black smokers' in the Kairei hydrothermal vent field in the Indian ocean. Why is it called Scaly-foot? Because... look at it.



The snail's 'foot' is entirely protected by small scales (called sclerites) up to 8mm long. These things are mineralized - they are composed of Iron Sulfide minerals - pyrite and greigite. No other animal uses these materials in its skeleton.

In addition to this, the snail's shell has a three-layered structure: its internal layer is aragonite, a calcium mineral, with a thick intermediate organic layer above it, followed by an external layer of the same iron sulfide mineral.

All this renders this snail's defense stat ridiculously high against whatever predators (including the infamous cone snails) may attack it. The origin of the minerals appears to be from the hydrothermal vents rich in these minerals - and supposedly the military is looking into ways of developing new forms of armor based on this structure.

Dayum, nature, you awesome.
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As envisioned by my twisted mind. Apologies to the Chinese. No offense intended.

Kess: Pekiwhattens were bred to look like lions, because it's a sacred animal and the Chinese couldn't have lions. So they made "lion-dogs".

Me: They don't look like lions, though. they look like... Punched-in-the-face little fucks.

Kess: I think the people whom bred Pekinese hadn't ever seen a lion.

Me: Or maybe they were too busy getting in the car to get a good look...

Kess: Or doing monk-kung-fu.

Me: "Today, we tlavel to the Aflican Savannahs to captule a glimpse of the sacled lion, so that we may bleed a bleed of dog that would look like one! Can you imagine the excitement? ^_____^"

"RAWR I'M A LION! >:3"

"HOLY YING-TING-TONG, IT'S A LION, GET IN THE CAL!"

... Imagine a lion running majestically through the savanna, looking all RAWR, charging blindly into a small compact Chinese bootleg of a Hummer.

SPLAT!

Kess: Ying ting tong. XD

Me: By the time it peels its face off the windshield, sliding off cartoonishly, the mental image was forever burned into the mind of our intrepid Shaolin explorers.... and thus was the Pekinese dog born. By breeding tiny little fuckers and running them over with bootleg Hummers.

... they were probably foot powered. Like in the Flintstones.



BEHOLD, THE CHINESE HUMMEL, A MALVEL OF MODELN SCIENCE!
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The cat in question is a Manx cat named Sable and belongs to an Australian friend of mine. Some of the best expressions ever seen on a feline.

Captions by me obviously. Posted with permission. XD



These speak for themselves. >>;

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Well, this has been a fascinating and insect-rich week at the base for yours truly. ^_^

It started with me catching sight of a really nifty looking insect that looked somewhat like a mosquito with jet boosters. Except when it took off, it revealed itself to look somewhat more butterfly-like. Looked it up today and it revealed itself to have been a plume moth of some sort. I'll be damned if I know what sort.

Also, among the hordes of generic grasshoppers (earth colored thingies with translucent wings and short antennae), I've spotted a largish, green Acrida Ungarica (or slant-forehead grasshopper). Freaky little creatures, these... It regarded me rather nonchalantly for a while before hopping away.

Yesterday evening I've noticed a large, reddish-pink moth standing on one of the metal panels that run along the walls of the department. I approached slowly for a closer look - and suddenly and abruptly the thing leaps at me, crashes into my forehead, lands on my nose, then flies off in a drunken daze around the entire department and finally lands on the tool cabinet. And that's one fucking big moth, for Israeli standards. A quick check when I got home Identified it as a Lasiocampa Grandis (which looks somewhat like a Lasiocampa Triifoli). Having a moth land on you feels wierd. Especially when it's a cold fuzzy one. xD

Today however was an event to top it all - I saw a smallish green mantis catch a large housefly about the size of its head and thorax put together and subdue it (it was struggling for a long while, beating its wings frantically) then eat it. Mantises are absolutely nifty. And it was eating that fly like a human would eat corn on the cob. Or like a typewriter. >>

Also:

Best pic on dA. Evar.

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StellarWind Elsydeon

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