May 31, 2007

Big in Oklahoma

Chris came across this tarantula while walking the wilds of Oklahoma. I knew that state has some big weather systems, but I didn't know it has some big arachnids too. The blue tint isn't from the l.e.d. flashlight Chris was using. No, it is the evil radiating from the spider.

Any of you spider lovers care to ID this critter for us?

Thanks for the photo, Chris from Oklahoma City.

May 30, 2007

So Much in Common

Fish-namers the world over tend to be petty good at naming their discoveries. This particular catfish species, asterophysus batrachus, is commonly known as the ogre fish. Very nice.

These South American denizens will try to eat just about anything, and that wide jaw enables its undiscriminating pallet. I never thought I could have so much in common with a fish.

Thanks for the link, Rasmus.

Photo source: Planet Catfish

May 29, 2007

An Over Abundance of Nasties

Did you know that there are over 5,000 species of predacious diving beetles worldwide? Honestly, what good does that kind of variety offer us? We only get a handful of varieties of great apes, and mother nature gives us an over abundance of these nasty insects (I've been bitten by one, so if I sound bitter, that's why).

These photos were taken by the amazing photographer, Igor Siwanowicz, who emailed me to let me know of their presence. Check out more of his work here.

Thanks for the photos, Igor. You've got talent, no doubt.

Photos (1 and 2) source: Igor Siwanowicz

May 28, 2007

A Fruitful Life

I know, I know. I shouldn't be posting on a dead critter, but I couldn't pass up on this dead wasp. I'm sure he lived a long, fruitful life full of paper nest making, drinking nectar or caterpillar blood, and menacing me with that stinger.

Thanks for the link, Kristene.

Photo source: Morgan (QuestingBeast)

May 27, 2007

Camel Thoughts

I don't know what's going through this camel's mind (that's a call to leave a comment...). But in spite of the smile, I doubt it's anything pleasant.

Photo source: Mahmood Al-Yousif

May 26, 2007


I wonder if my parenting would change if my kids came covered in scraggly down. It would wreak havoc on my vacuum cleaner at least. Also, the whole head-turning talent that owls have would make feeding a bit more troublesome.

Photo source:

May 25, 2007

Time for an Eelpout

The Finnish make for some great fishermen, and have the honor of coming across some of the ugliest fishies out there. Janne, of Espoo, Finland, pointed me in the direction of the Burbot (lota lota) fish. Their size is directly proportionate to their ugliness.

These fish can't be had in Scandinavia, however. No, their home lies in the northern reaches of North America. So if any of ya'll Canadians or Minnesotans want to host an eelpout, here's your fish.

Thanks for the link, Janne.

Note: This fish is not in its natural environment. That is an apartment, not the bottom of a Canadian lake.

Photo source: Keijo Lehtinen

May 24, 2007

Proud Mommy-pede

I think Jade has been making some offerings to a fertility god or two. Not only has one of his scorpions recently reproduced, but check out the proud mommy centipede below!

Jade reports that since this photo the eggs have hatched, leaving the mom with a brood of pede-lings to care for, which she'll do for several months. I just have one question: what about daddy centipede? Dead beat.

Thanks for the photo, Jade.

May 23, 2007


Here is a grab bag of a post. Take what you like!

Find out more about eel pouts. Very interesting stuff. Believe me, you'll want to attend the next festival near you. Thanks for the link, you good folks at the Sons of Norway.

Or, if you were hoping to be grossed out, read this article about a boy who got more than he bargained for when he went in to get his ear ache examined. Here's a hint: it's spider-iffic. Thanks for the link, Denita.

And last but not least, here is a video that shows what happens when a giant centipede meets up with a monster tarantula. Don't click the video if you don't want to watch one arthropod get the better of another. As I watched it, I wondered who Jade would root for ...

May 22, 2007

Feathers and Hair

Phlimm sent me a couple of beauties. This first one comes from the good peeps over at Zooillogix. Check out neocrinus decorus - better known as the sea lily or feather star. "See feather star crawl. See feather star come for your soul. Crawl feather star, crawl." That's the latest in a children's book series I am working on.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicPhotos from Zooillogix.

This last one is known as a hairy crab or the teddy-bear crab. Not only is this crab 'hairy', but it's also poisonous. Wow, talk about a crustacean that's got nothing to offer (not even teddy-bear hugs!), unless you are in the market for surliness.

Photo source: Labrador Park

May 21, 2007

One Chunk at a Time

This one threw the zoo staff in Patok, Albania for a loop. They had themselves a wolf they wanted to feed, so they threw a donkey in for food. But the wolf would not partake. Instead, the two 'have become attached to each other' and have been cohabiting for days now.

I don't know that the wolf is so much attached to the donkey as he is afraid of it (look at its face!). I imagine the wolf would have been happy to eat the donkey had the zoo keepers fed it to him one chunk at a time.

Thanks for the link, Alma!

Photo source: Yahoo!

May 20, 2007

Grubby Kids

Thought y'all could use a pair of glistening caterpillar shots. If there is one thing I'm happy about, it's that we humans don't go through a larval phase in our early childhood. Parenting is hard enough with kids being adorable. If they looked like this?

Photo source: Ben Francis

Photo source:

May 19, 2007

Harry and Fuzzy

Sharla and Steven are two pet owners who know exactly what this blog is about. They love their hairless guinea piggies - named Harry and Fuzzy - and are proud to share them here, with you.

So say hello to these two new residents of Ugly Overload. You will never meet another pirate / cowboy combo quite like them.

Thanks for the photos, Sharla and Steven.

BTW, these two hail from Hawaii. Is there some sort of hairless gene running rampant over there? Between these critters and the kohona cats, I'm beginning to see a disturbing trend.

May 18, 2007

Peek-a-bo Hairdo

If I were wandering the wilds of Africa and I spotted a hairdo like this peeking at me from behind a rock, I'd clap my pith helmet back on my head, hike up my khaki shorts, and flee in the opposite direction.

Photo source:

Diving Mantis

Here's a bonus for you. In a beautiful fusion of two of my more recent posts, Linda (you know her as 'bats') presents you with this.

Given what I have learned of mantids recently, I wouldn't put this kind of stunt past them.

Thanks for the photo, Linda. You've got some mad 'shop skills.

May 17, 2007

Kosher Pig?

I thought I had pretty well tapped out the swine family in terms of species covered, but how wrong I was. Anne emailed me this photo to let me know about the babirusa.

This endangered pig kin is native to Sulawesi and other islands around Indonesia. An interesting note on this beast is that there was some debate as to whether it was a pig, and whether it could be considered kosher or not. You see, the babirusa is split-hoofed, with a three-chambered stomach and was thought to be a ruminant. But, alas, it was eventually determined no to be a ruminant, and therefore not kosher. So close!

Thanks for the photo, Anne.

May 16, 2007

Even Among Scorpions

Our good buddy Jade has sent in several more delectibles for our enjoyment. This particular photo is meaningful to me, seeing as my wife is pregnant.

I'm just glad that my wife isn't equipped with 'hot venom' like this red bark scorpion (babycarus jacksoni), because that would make the delivery process much more dangerous for me, seeing as I am her coach. I'm not going to touch the whole twenty-babies-at-a-time thing.

As a side note, these babies were born live, not hatched, and crawled right on to mommy's back. Even among scorpions you can find better maternal instincts than among some human females.

Congratulations, Mrs. Red Bark Scorpion (and you, too, Jade).

May 15, 2007

Check Your Skimmer

There seems to be a growing collection of freaky, underwater photos of white tigers on the web. Here is this week's installment. Just watch out for any white fur in your pool's skimmer. You never know where one of these might show up.

Photo source:

May 14, 2007

Evolutionary Success

Some frogs make this blog too easy, such as this glyphoglossus molossus (balloon frog from Asia). Frogs come in such variety and are found in so many habitats, yet they seem to be such an unlikely candidate for evolutionary success.

If I were asked to design an animal that could thrive in almost any terrestrial environment, it sure wouldn't look anything like a frog or a toad. Mine would look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Thanks for the link, Rasmus.

Photo from:

May 13, 2007

Straight from the Tap

Remind me never to drink straight from the tap in India. I'll succumb to water snobbery instead and bring some glacier-filtered H2O from Iceland.

Photo source: Yahoo

May 12, 2007

Same Loathing

I abominate standard poodles. Partly because they always seem to win Best in Show (sour grapes), but mainly because of the grooming they receive. I know its not fair to the dog, and I have no problem with poodles that haven't been buzzed to look like they have taken a run through the carwash. But there it is anyway.

I am beginning to associate alpacas with that same loathing. This one, named Truffles, just got sheared, which probably explains her less-than-pleased expression.

Photo source: Yahoo!

May 11, 2007

Watch Where You Step

Umm, er. Anyone know what these are? They look like squidlings that have been nibbled on, but I'm not sure. Any beach combers or marine life experts care to take a stab at this one?

In the meantime, I'll watch where I place my feet in the surf. A romantic stroll down the beach would take a turn for the worse if one of these got squeezed between your toes.

Thanks for the photo, Megan.

Photo courtesy: Megan Deroche

May 10, 2007

For All you Mantis-o-philes

I know there are a lot of mantid lovers out there (Arachnophile comes to mind), and I thought you might appreciate the scrappiness of this specimen. I'd still place my bet on the dog (not that I condone insect/canine fighting...) but there is something inspiring in this photo.

Photo source:

May 9, 2007

Spiders of a Feather

What makes this photo particularly awful (as if a spider killing a hen weren't enough) are the chickens in the background going about their day. Maybe they're even happy that the gray chicken got taken out. What bigoted featherists!

Photo courtesy: Althouse

May 8, 2007


You know those inspirational posters you see on the wall in your boss's office, or in the break room? Well, here is a submission to the folks who have the corner on that market. I call it: Ambition.

Photo courtesy: Amit Upadhyay

May 7, 2007


Contemplating the divine navel can lead to great insight and revelation. Contemplating one's insectoid reflection in a dew drop is bound to be...revealing as well. His angry expression is no doubt quite justified.

Photo courtesy: Lord V

May 6, 2007

Set the Catfish Down

Wow. That's some catfish. And the man seems very happy to be holding it.

There's a reason why we don't wear short shorts, even while fishing. There are just some places fish slime wasn't meant to ... slime.

Photo courtesy:

May 5, 2007

Lying in Wait

It's been far too long since the matamata turtle reared its ugly head here. Everybody say hello and then let him get back to lying in wait.

Photo courtesy: Frank Wouters

May 4, 2007

An Unpleasant Transition

I really don't know what to make of this photo. At first I thought it was a lovely shot of an egyptian vulture caring for its egg. Then I saw that the egg had been cracked open, with some of the yolk spilled out. A tender moment had turned into a horrific one (not a pleasant transition). Is mama looking for vengeance on whoever cracked the egg? Or is birdie enjoying an afternoon snack?

Photo source: David Small

May 3, 2007

Handling Roaches

Cockroaches are so versatile. Not only will they be one of the few animals to survive a nuclear holocaust, but they can also be fashion accessories (see Brigette's hand below).

What's more, they can also wear accessories themselves (see freak model below)!

And they're mighty tasty. Or so I've heard...

Thanks for the photo, Brigette. I hope you don't walk around in public like that.

Photo source:

May 2, 2007

Nasty Combo

Behold the maw of the lamprey. The whole eel-like body / blood-sucking combo makes for a nasty fish. That reminds me, I need to contact my lawyer about some copyright infringments.

Photo source:

May 1, 2007

Demon Dog

Dogs tend to be attractive animals (save for the individuals found on this site). But every so often you catch one on film that is snarling, cross-eyed mad. And so you have demon dog below. Demon dog isn't the best advocate for pet ownership.

Photo source: Eddie