Apr 27, 2012

Happy World Tapir Day!

Did you forget that today is World Tapir Day? If so, that tapir is showing exactly what he thinks of you. Maybe he'll forgive you if you have a party this weekend instead. Do it!

-Wombat (No Relation)

Apr 23, 2012

So Helpful

In case an elephant seal on its own isn't gross enough for you, here's one with a bird picking its nose. According to The Telegraph,this Striated Caracara "explored the elephant seal's nose for three minutes, feeding on parasites." Lovely, yes?

 -Wombat (No Relation)

Apr 20, 2012

The ugliest baby bird in the world?

I'm familiar with the kea parrot for its bad behavior, but I've never before had the decidedly queasy pleasure of seeing a baby one.

Is it in fact the ugliest baby bird ever, as theorized by news sources from the The Independent to the Daily Mail? I don't know, but this is something I've been meaning to do research on, and it's definitely a start.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Apr 15, 2012

Your Monday ugdorable

I was writing a post about manatees for my other blog and I came over here to see if we had any good photos I could borrow. To my surprise I found that we have never posted about manatees here - we've only had a brief look at its relative the dugong. There's no doubt that this gray, globular, floppy-lipped, sunken-eyed, wrinkled sea mammal belongs on this blog, but just that closeup of its whiskery snout probably doesn't convince you that it falls in the "ugdorable" category, so check these out:

Come on: AWWWWW, right?

Thanks to Flickr users Andy Bernay-Roman, Pollen, windy, and Joseph A Ferris III and if you want to help conserve these very not-conventionally-attractive sea mammals, check out Save the Manatee.

- Wombat (No Relation)

Apr 9, 2012

Ugly Song and Dance

I've been saving this for a special occasion. I wasn't sure what that occasion would be, but now I know: it's to wipe from your mind the horrifying image of that wasp in the last post.

These are some Japanese children singing about the aye-aye. I'm not sure what they're saying other than some stuff about its long tail and round eyes, but I know that it's perfectly charming and innocent and there are no giant insects involved whatsoever.

You're welcome.
-Wombat (No Relation)

Apr 3, 2012

Komodo Dragon of Wasps

Joan brings us this beauty, via Dailymail. Behold this newly discovered species of wasp, found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. 

This two-and-a-half inch monster has mandibles so large that when closed they wrap around its head. When opened, they are larger than its front legs. This specimen is a male warrior, which Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, describes as the komodo dragon of wasps.

What good are those mandibles for? Well, the obvious answer is that they would be good in defending the nest, as all good warrior wasps do. But they also aid in reproduction. Those mandibles wrap around a female wasp's thorax perfectly to hold her in place while they do their business.

How handy would it be if I, a self-styled warrior human (by virtue of the fact that I have a nest to defend and there are no other of-age males available to fulfill the role) came equipped with such mandibles? I wouldn't have need of my blunderbuss, moat, and hounds to ward off invaders. 

Alas, I don't think my wife would be impressed by the mandibles. 

Thanks, Joan!