Feb 21, 2011

Your Monday ugdorable

It's a baby aardvark! It's naked and wrinkly! It has a long snout with a piggy nose on the end! It has ears too big for its head! It's thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and thin again at the far end!

From the Colchester Zoo thanks to Zooborns.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Feb 17, 2011

Ugly communication

Remember our old friend the streaked tenrec? Tenrecs are a family of insectivores that occur only on Madagascar, where they've evolved to fill all sorts of ecological niches and developed into forms that look like all those other insectivores that are absent from the island. So you get tenrecs that look like hedgehogs, shrews, and, as in the case of this species, a scrub brush having a bad hair day.

The streaked tenrec has a very special feature of its own, though. It can make a sound by rubbing its quills together. In this picture you can see the special quills it uses for this purpose:

Making a sound by rubbing body parts together, called "stridulation," is familiar in creatures such as crickets. But apparently it had never been filmed in a mammal before, and now, in this clip from the BBC, you can not only hear it, but see it close up, and I have to say, it is actually kind of creepy. Go check it out.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Feb 14, 2011

Your Monday ugdorable

It's a baby echidna!

Unlike its cousins the long-beaked echidnas,the short-beaked species is in decent shape conservation-wise. But that doesn't mean that individuals aren't subject to both man-made and natural peril. This baby is in a wildlife rehab center because its mother was injured. Others are in trouble due to the recent massive floods in Australia.

Check out some more stories and photos of rescued echidna babies here (and for some less family-friendly information on echidnas, check out today's entry on my other blog.)

Feb 8, 2011

And speaking of ants

I was thinking it was wrong to post about ants twice in a row, but I just stumbled upon the amazing blog Myrmecos, which you all need to know about.

I can have my cake crumbs and eat them too, though, because - and I am about to blow your mind - that picture is NOT an ant. It's an ant mimic which is actually a crab spider (which, while not a crab, is a spider. Thank goodness there's one thing we can count on here).

There's actually a lot of cool not-ant stuff on the blog, like the Friday Beetle, and a recent guess-the-species that featured this amazing stick insect:

But there's no shortage of ants - get over there right now for Army Ant Week. You won't regret it.

-Wombat (No Relation)

Feb 1, 2011

Rest in Ugly Peace

The world recently lost an man who may have done more than anyone else to spread the word about ugly animals - and was well paid back for his efforts.

Milton Levine invented Uncle Milton's Ant Farm in the 1950s. Since then, over 20 million have been sold, introducing countless children to the joys of creepy crawly creatures.

Levine, who died last week at the age of 97, sold his company last year for more than twenty million dollars. He once told the New York Times about one unique way he personally appreciated ants: “Their most amazing feat yet,” he said, was that “They put three kids through college.”

With sympathy,
Wombat (No Relation)