These are diamond-tipped indenter heads. They are used to inflict ludicrous pressure upon various shit in order to measure the hardness of said shit. Recently, one of these was used to measure the hardness of a certain animal’s shell, and, instead of crushing the ever-loving fuck out of it, it found serious resistance.
The aforementioned animal is a snail.
Let me spell this out for ya. There is a snail that can resist the onslaught from an industrial-grade diamond applied with the pressure of several metric fucktonnes. A. Snail. That. Can. Resist. A. Diamond. Indenter.
Just imagine stepping on one of these guys. Instead of breaking their shells like those of usual snails, you’d break your own fucking ankle.
Jesus trilobitic Christ.
Today’s Episode: the Scaly-Foot Gastropod
Just look at this little piece of shit. Look at it and say to my face it doesn’t look like a tank.
What we’ve got here is the rather lamely-named scaly-foot gastropod, also known by the considerably more badass-sounding names of iron snail and
Chrysomallon squamiferum. The SFG hails from the deep-sea thermal vents known as black smokers, deep-sea vents from which water gushes constantly. That water, by the way, originates from below the mantle.
The proximities of black smokers are perfectly lightless, unforgiving badlands, with water rich enough in poisonous sulphuric chemicals to perform the chemical equivalent of curbstomping on any “superior” lifeform that dares stick it’s overspecialized, prissy ass down there, heat up to 450 degrees Celsius (one thirteenth of the temperature of the Sun’s surface) and pressures that could turn any land-dwelling scum into a Flatlander within seconds. If creatures want to survive here, they must either be hyper-effective murder-machines, or damn nigh unkillable.
The SFG’s predators, such as venomous, killer cone snails with bionic harpoon guns evolved from their own “teeth”, and car-wrecking carnivorous crabs that kill snails by pressing down on their shells for days with jagged ultra-hard pincers specifically designed to do this belong in the first category.
The SFG itself belongs in the second.
Hoooly shit does it ever.
The unkillability itself is obtained by using the chemosynthetic bacteria lurking in its glands to absorb and mineralize the poisonous iron-sulphides the water is overabundant with, making them non-poisonous for the snail. It then coats its shell with the minerals, constructing an unique three-layer structure no other gastropods possess. None.
To sum it up, the outer layer, used to block the bulk of the attack, is made up of greigite (Fe3S4), a ridiculously hard mineral. Then comes a middle layer of squishy organic matter purposed to absorb the shock of impacts, dents and blows. Finally, an inner layer of aragonite (CaCO3), designed to prevent asshole crabs from sticking their nasty claws into the shell and picking it apart splinter by splinter.
How effective is it? Well, this armor is so much better than what we puny humans possess that the U.S. Army is actively conducting research about it with the hope of developing new armor using the same build. Yes, this shell is so unbreakable that it caused the a military to lose their heads over a goddamn sea snail. Go figure.
Also, according to biologists researching the SFG, if we covered oil pipes with the stuff, they could easily shrug off damage done by such trivial things as fucking icebergs,
Not bad from a snail, I say.
But that’s not all! Look at it again.
There is a reason it’s called Scaly-foot Gastropod.
Those are scales. Made out of iron minerals.
Iron minerals that are poisonous and magnetic.
The scales are there because of the tooth-harpoon-hurling killer snails. Namely, they serve to deflect the harpoons entirely. Deflective iron scales. On a snail.
So let’s sum it up, shall we? There exists a snail that forges itself a magnetic armor made out of poisonous iron ore to fend off killer crabs and venomous sniper snails that hunt it in its habitat of a vent leading to the Earth’s mantle.
Oh, and they don’t really eat anything, relying on their chemosynthetic bacteria for sustenance instead. In layman’s terms, that means that the snail keeps itself running by oxidating the sulphides in the water, all of which are lethally poisonous to most lifeforms, including the snail itself. The only reason it survives is that the bacteria chemosynthetize the sulphides, enabling the snail to quite literally live off of poison.
This molluscoid tank is ridiculously metal in more ways than one.
The tiniest of traveling companions: Here, a small school of fish (and even a tiny shrimp!) hitch a ride through the blue with a jellyfish in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.
Some juvenile fish can live amidst a jelly’s tentacles without being harmed. In doing so, they gain protection from predators and the opportunity to feed on the jelly’s leftovers. Plus, they gain a new buddy to swim with!
Spotted salamanders and green algae make for an odd couple, but they share a close bond that begins when the algae start growing in the salamander’s egg. Just because it’s an intimate arrangement, though, doesn’t mean it goes smoothly for both parties, a new study by Museum scientists shows. While salamanders seem to take the connection in stride, it leaves algae cells struggling to get by.
This rare “cellular roommate” relationship between two very different species—which you can learn about in this episode of the Museum’s Shelf Life web series—has intrigued scientists for decades. That’s in part because, while algae are known to form similar relationships with invertebrates like corals and cicadas, this is the only algae symbiosis that involves a vertebrate species.
“Science shows us the many ways that life is interconnected, especially on the microscopic level, where we see how many organisms depend on close contact with or internalization of other species for food, defense, or reproduction,” said lead author John Burns, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology. “But the relationship between this particular alga and salamander is very unusual.”
What’s a coral, anyway – animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Though they look like plants, corals are actually animals. Coral colonies are made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny creatures called polyps, which have tentacles that they use to capture food from the water. These polyps secrete a hard skeleton of limestone. Most corals also harbor an algae called zooxanthellae, which produce oxygen and food for the corals through photosynthesis. These zooxanthellae are also what give corals their vibrant colors.
Look closely here and you can see the individual polyps on this coral in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa!
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After witnessing her partner Mochizuki Meiko is hurt by a mysterious man who dresses like Gennai, Meicoomon begins to rampage once again.
“It would have been great if you weren’t born…”
Meicoomon disappeared into the Real World, who’s the distorted itself. With her holding such overwhelming power, it’s the key to destroy the world…
Hackmon appears in front of Nishijima Daigo and Professor Mochizuki, and reveals the truth.
He says Homeostasis itself is trying to maintain the harmony of the worlds, it considers Meicoomon has become way too strong, a very dangerous existence right now, they are trying to cut it down.
As the rampaging Meicoomon appeared, the count down to collapse of the Real World has begun.
Everywhere has incidents occuring one after another. Digimon who appears through the Distortion has been waiting for that time to come…
The Chosen Children return to the Real World, alienated the abnormal state of the Digital World, but they and their partner Digimon are being chased by people. While they are isolated with no support from people and desperately looking for breakthroughs, Meiko continues to worry alone.
For a girl who’s overloaded with too much burden, the voices of her comrade and the Digimons can’t reach to her.
Then harsh fate approaches to Yagami Hikari, who has the lightest and most delicate soul than anyone…
Torterra practically has a whole ecosystem on its back. It grows trees, moss, and bushes; small pokémon build nests and sometimes spend their whole lifetimes on Torterra’s back. According to the pokédex, herds of Torterra are mistaken for “moving forests”, and that’s fairly accurate.
So how, and why, does Torterra do this? A close relationship between species, like the organisms thriving on Torterra’s back, is known as symbiosis. This kind of relationship benefits at least one of the species involved.
Sloths in our world have a relationship similar to Torterra’s. Sloth fur is long, thick, coarse, and slow-moving, making it an ideal environment for species to live. Algae, fungi, moths, beetles, and cockroaches all commonly make their homes in the fur of a sloth.
The sloth gains the benefit of camouflage: the green color of the algae and fungus help it hide among the trees that it lives in. The small organisms get shelter, water, and safety.
The interesting thing is that the type of algae that grows on sloths, Trichophilus welckeri, only grows on sloths. This algae is not found anywhere else in nature besides on sloths’ backs. Biologists theorize that this is because this algae needed that kind of environment to evolve and grow: the sloth and the algae evolved together.
This fits Torterra rather well; the plants on his back grow starting on young Turtwigs. It may very well be that the plants and trees on Torterra’s back are only found on Torterra’s back. They have a co-evolutionary relationship like the sloth and the algae.
The tree benefits by getting nutrients and water from Torterra, and it also no doubt helps transport the tree’s seeds around, particularly to other turtwig. The fact that Torterra moves also might be beneficial to the plants: it doesn’t have to worry about dry seasons or cold seasons, since Torterra would migrate to avoid those, too.
Torterra, in turn, gains camouflage. It also gains an easy food source: tortoises are herbivores, and so if they can’t find food elsewhere there’s always a supply on their backs.
The small pokémon that live on Torterra gain shelter, protection, and food from the small ecosystem. They might help Torterra by eating pests or parasites, or by helping the natural processes that make the tree grow well.
In any case, it seems to be a good situation for most if not all of the pokémon involved. The giant Torterra hosts a variety of plants and animals on its back.
Torterra has symbiotic relationships with all of the plants and animals that live on its back. Torterra benefits from camouflage and food, and the rest gain shelter and protection.