The Alien World of the Cambrian

If you were to wake up one day and find yourself surrounded by these amazing creatures, after first freaking out, you would probably come to the conclusion that you were on some alien world.

But in actuality these are all real organisms from earths distant past - the Cambrian period. Artists and animators have joined forces with paleontologists to produce these visualisations of the various fossils found all over the world.

It is likely planet earth will never see a period like this again, and however horrifying it may have been, that is disappointing.

I have listed the names of the arthropods in the captions of each photo.


“Cordyceps fungi invades its hosts (mainly arthropods), and eventually replaces the host’s tissue with its own parasitic tissue. Once the arthropod is dead, cylindrical or branching growths emerge from the creature’s dead body. These “fruiting bodies” that sprout out of the dead arthropod then spew out more spores to infect a new host. Some species also have mind-control capabilities, convincing the host to travel to a place where the fungus will find optimal growth conditions before the host dies.”


And here is the video actually showing this in action.


During the day, the Motyxia sequoiae looks like your standard type of millipede, but at night, when threatened, these anthropods become bioluminescent. In other words, they glow-in-the-dark like a firefly.

Sometimes a little light isn’t enough to keep the bad guys away, though. When disturbed further, the millipedes ooze toxic cyanide and foul-tasting chemicals from small pores running along the sides of their bodies as a pretty effective defense mechanism.

Scientists are still baffled as to exactly why these creatures are glow-in-the-dark. It is believed that these poisonous millipedes are thought to display bright colors to warn predators that they possess toxins and to steer clear. (Source)


Lime Nail Gall

A ‘gall’ on a leaf is a microhabitat of a small herbivorous organism; these nail-shaped galls on a Linden (Tillia sp.) are caused by Eriophyes tiliae, a mite.

This mite exclusively lives on Lindens, spending winters in the bark of the tree, and crawling out to the leaves to feel on sap in the summers.

Only 2 mm long, E. tillae lives inside the galls (sometimes called shielings or huts) for the duration of the growing season. The mites are protected from predators, and do little to no harm to the tree itself.

The galls aren’t ‘built’ by the insect, so much as they result from a chemical reaction in the plant tissues that is induced and controlled by the mite, which affects the tissue to blow up in colourful tubes.

Insects have a more regimented social structure than primates, with individuals having specific tasks. Social insects, such as termites and ants, live everywhere in rainforests. They create colonies of varying sizes, some containing just a few individuals, while others have millions. The ants of every colony are classified by caste, and each caste is allowed a job within the colony, dependent upon its ability to reproduce. Ants that build permanent nests in trees have a symbiotic relationship with their host. The tree provides shelter and nectar from special glands on leaves, and the ants rid the tree of pests. Green tree ants (Oecophylla smaragdina), pictured above, build nests from living leaves. The workers position the leaves, and bind them with silk squirted out of their larvae. 

Text by Thomas Marent; Photo by Ptygmatics


Garden Spider Babies: Took this on June, and now they should be hanging around everywhere in England, in their adult form. 

#Read more about garden spiders @ Wikipedia
#Full size images are available on my FLickr: [1], [2].

HH: I am always freaked out by horseshoe crabs. They just seem alien, primeval, and too much a strange hybrid of things wierd gone wrong.  

I know all creatures, large and small, have a right to respect, but they still freak me out.

The guy, on the other hand, does not freak me out at all if he would lose that crab.


What Is a Horseshoe Crab?

The horseshoe crab belongs to the large group of invertebrates (animals without backbones) called Arthropods. This group also includes lobsters, crabs, insects, spiders, and scorpions. Even though it looks crab-like, with a hard shell and claws, the horseshoe crab is more closely related to scorpions and spiders.

External image

There has been a sudden increase in spiders in the UK recently, something to do with the weather apprently.

But i question why people get so scared of spiders? They really are no harm! Don’t get me wrong i wouldn’t like one crawling on me, because the only thing i’d accept crawling on me is 12 puppies or baby chicks! I guess sometimes being scared of spiders is a fashion girls thing… when girls do it for attention to fit the ridiculous stereotype is sickening, they really cannot hurt you, the ones in the UK anyway! Maybe its because spiders are of different classification to us? We are Mammals, they are Anthropods. I mean they don’t have the same characteristics, for example.. with dogs… its easy to tell what they want and are thinking… but with a spider you can’t tell if its peckish or not! But spiders kill flies! and flies are cunts! More importantly, they kill Mosquito’s, and i tell you one thing, Mosquito’s are the biggest cunts of the world! even more cuntish than David Cameron… and he’s a real cunt! (cunt.)
Understandably, there are real phobia’s to spiders, but when the issue of being Arachnophobic is chucked around these days, i think it takes away the actual genuine phobia that some people have. I wouldn’t call yourself a Arachnophobic if your just a person who screams at spiders like a munter for attention, its not fair on the people who have a genuine phobia who probably have been near some of the deadliest spiders in the world and have like… been beat up by one or something.

They really are not that bad.