biology animations

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closely related to sharks but with long, flat bodies and wing-like pectoral fins, mobula rays are ideally suited to swooping through the water - here off the gulf of california - yet seem equally at home in the air, so much so that they have earned the name “flying rays”. mobula rays can reach heights of more than two metres, remaining airborne for several seconds. 

mobula rays are quite elusive and difficult to study, so biologists are not quite sure why they jump out of the water. theories vary from a means of communication, to a mating ritual (though both males and females jump), or as a way to shed themselves of parasites. they could also be jumping as a way of better corralling their pray, as seen with them swimming in a circular formation. 

what is known about mobula rays is that they reach sexual maturity late and their investment in their offspring is more akin to mammals than other fishes, usually producing just a single pup after long pregnancies, all of which makes them extremely vulnerable to commercial fishing, especially as a species that likes to come together in large groups.

EVIL SOCK PUPPETS OF THE SEA

it’s time to talk about weird animals again here at bunjywunjy.tumblr.com, and today our topic is Predatory Tunicates, which are a species of evil sock puppet that lives on the sides of deep sea canyons.

wokka wokka wokka!

they function pretty much exactly like you’d think they would, behaving much like a venus flytrap. 


fish goes in, fish DOES NOT COME OUT

the Predatory Tunicate is also the only tunicate known to be carnivorous. other tunicates are content to drift in the currents like lonely plastic bags, lacking the drive and ambition of the Predatory Tunicate.


role model!

also, like most deep sea creatures, Predatory Tunicates are massively improved by the addition of googly eyes.

it’s a true science fact!

Mauritius ornate day gecko (Phelsuma ornata)

Mauritius ornate day gecko is a diurnal species of geckos. It occurs on the island Mauritius and some surrounding islands and typically inhabits different trees and bushes. The Mauritius ornate day gecko feeds on insects and nectar. This Gecko is one of the smallest day geckos. It can reach a total length of about 12 cm. The body colour is quite variable. It can be bluish green, green with a blue area on the front back, or completely blue.

photo credits: S Molteno

Did you know? When octopuses are caught in the act of moving rocks and destroying the hard work of their aquarists, they drop everything and slowly back away like nothing happened.

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The Okeanos Explorer has discovered a very cute octopus at a depth of 4,290 metres.

This is the deepest an octopus of this particular sub order of octopus has ever been seen. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted this is a completely unsubscribed species and perhaps not belonging to any specific genus. Highlighting how little we still know about the creatures in the depths of our oceans.

(Ocean Explorer)

Animals, especially mammals, need oxygen to keep their bodies and brains humming along.

But leave it to the African naked mole-rat to buck that trend. The rodents are bizarre in just about every way. They’re hairless, ground-dwelling and cold-blooded despite being mammals. Now, scientists report in the journal Science that the animals are capable of surviving oxygen deprivation.

“They have evolved under such a different environment that it’s like studying an animal from another planet,” says Thomas Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Researchers Find Yet Another Reason Why Naked Mole-Rats Are Just Weird

Photo: Roland Gockel/Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine