birds and insects

7

BIG UPDATE!

I’ve finally finished my biological patches set! After many months of designing, editing, and trial and error, I’m proud to post up photos of the final products!

They are woven with bright, beautiful colors that will endure many washes and adventures to come. They’re only $8 in my store:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Monsternium



Here are the first five patches in my biological patch set. Once all ten are made, the rainbow of studies will be complete! Each one is illustrated, digitized, and embroidered by me. Stay tuned for more! Next up is herpetology ;)

5

hello everyone, today I’m bringing you: a Fantastic Beats AU where everything is the same except everyone has a dæmon

disclaimer: this AU is very self-indulgent and I haven’t thought out all details and impracticalities of it, so please don’t nitpick. anyway,

- only witches and wizards are born with dæmons, muggles don’t have them

- a lot of dæmons settle as birds seeing as it’s more convenient form that can follow its human when they travel via flying objects like broomsticks

- both Grindelwald and Graves have large birds of prey as their dæmons; the birds are different, but look similar enough to be mixed up by anyone who doesn’t pay too much attention (this is another reason for Graves to be extremely salty once they find him after the whole Grindelwand infiltration incident; “I can’t believe you fools couldn’t tell one bird from another,” he keeps saying. “Maybe I should summon that Scamander guy back in America and ask him to give you all a few zoology lessons.”)

- Tina’s dæmon is an english setter, Queenie’s is a dove

- Credence’s dæmon is a black cat, for two reasons, one of them being me finding it aesthetically pleasing, and the second is that it’d probably piss Mary Lou off even more because there’s a lot of superstitions around black cats plus all that stuff about them being familiars of witches

- when Credence was a child, and his dæmon could still change its form, it took shape of small animals/birds/insects so that Credence was able to hide it from Mary Lou in his pockets; then it settled as a black cat and Credence started having a really hard time keeping it from Mary Lou’s eyes

- I wasn’t sure about Newt’s dæmon, only knowing that I wanted it to be an animal he can carry around on his shoulder so it’d constantly pick fights with Pickett much to Newt’s agitation; then someone I was discussing this AU with suggested an occamy and I ran with it. maybe it doesn’t exactly fit him personality-wise, but it’s my favourite magical creature so I just kind of. put two of my faves together. personal bias much? why yes, absolutely

- (or, you know, Pickett himself could be Newt’s dæmon instead, now that I think of it; those drawings can be read as either of these two options)

- yes, magical creatures can also be dæmons, because why the hell not; I guess it’s just not that common, and if your dæmon settles as one it’s a sign that you’re most likely an eccentric and unpredictable person (and isn’t that what annoys other people)

okay I’m done and please for the love of god don’t delete this long ass comment

10

Revealing the Hidden Patterns of Birds in Motion

Dennis Hlynsky, a film and animation professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, creates videos at the intersection of art and science. Hlynsky transforms ordinary footage of birds and insects into ethereal illustrations by digitally tracing the paths they travel. 

Hlynsky’s work is typically featured in galleries, where the video is projected on large screens with recorded sound. To see more videos from Hlynsky, please visit his Vimeo channel

GIFs by ARCHatlas Text + video via

anonymous asked:

Why are there no flightless bats?

I discussed this in a lot more detail in my article on the pekapeka (a bat from New Zealand that spends about half its time on the ground), but in general, here are the reasons:

1. Compared to other flighted animal groups like birds and insects, bats are relatively new on the scene evolutionarily. They evolved flight about 52 million years ago. Compare that to birds, which have had about 150 million years to get comfortable with flying- only a few have ever lost it in that time.

2. Flying is a powerful antipredator defense and allows bats to get at resources they wouldn’t normally get, like flying insects and high-hanging flowers and fruit. This means there is currently strong evolutionary pressure for bats to retain flight in most parts of the world. One example where there was not was New Zealand (until recently). Even then, the pekapeka and its relatives retained the ability to fly.

3. Compared to birds, bats may simply be too specialized for flight to go back to being completely terrestrial. All living bats have modified hindlimbs and pelvises for flight, because their legs actually make up part of their wings.

It may be difficult to tell from that picture, but a bat’s hind legs are rotated at 90-180 degrees (depending on the species) around from where an ordinary mammal’s would be. In other words, their knees point backwards.

(This is different from a pterosaur, by the way- pterosaurs had wing membranes that attached to their hind limbs as well, but retained forward-pointing knees.)

This makes walking on the ground very difficult for them, and is related to why they roost upside-down. (In fact, some species of bats CAN’T walk on the ground at all!) Even when bats have regained the ability to be good walkers, like the vampire bat has, the style of locomotion is very different from all other living animals, like so:

Originally posted by bundyspooks

It’s not a BAD way to get around, but energetically, it’s not as efficient as regular quadrupedal walking.

So, for a bat to “de-specialize” from flight completely might require extreme evolutionary pressures that don’t exist on earth right now. Not that I don’t think they could do it- but a flightless bat would end up looking really, really weird, compared to the mammals we’re used to.

the world has been alive for billions of years. indigenous peoples have lived for thousands of years without destroying the earth. they recently found that a type of caterpillar can eat through plastic (PLASTIC!!!). a mushroom scientist grew mushroom on a pile of non- biodegradable trash and grew a damn ecosystem that attracted bees, birds, flowers, insects. some scientists are trying to pull carbon dioxide out of the air.
the solution is out there. it is out there.

anonymous asked:

Helloooo. 1. Do you run the ScientificPokedex blog? and 2. Do you think there could be an actual scientific explanation for Zoroark's illusion ability?

 Hellooo! Number 1, No I do not run the @scientificpokedex blog but they do an amazing job, big props to them!

Number 2. Hmm that’s tricky, so we want a real life example of an animal convincing another animal that it is something it’s not, so not clever camouflage and accurate visual mimicry, as with a stick insect for example, but rather where one animal has been tricked, it is under the illusion that another animal is something it is blatantly not. Well then, we need to talk about

  p h e r o m o n e s 

alrighty, so pheromones are defined as a chemical secreted by an organism that triggers a social/behavioural response in another organism, usually of the same species. They are used everywhere in nature, from tiny single celled prokaryotes up to big lumbering mammals such as ourselves. Uses of pheromones include territory marking, avoidance of inbreeding with close relatives, alarm signals, and advertising sexual availability and fertility. Specialised pheromones called ‘necromones’, released by the decomposing bodies of certain animals, repel living animals of the same species so that they don’t go near the bodies and potentially catch the disease that killed the dead dude. 

Those are just a few of the uses nifty chemicals, but as usual insects one up other animal groups in the diversity of ways in which they use them. The highly sophisticated and complex societies of eusocial hymenoptera (bees, ants, and wasps) are only possible through the use of pheromones, for example from coordinating colony activities e.g. defending the colony from predators, to exchanging information,  allocating tasks to different castes, social policing, regulating reproduction, and the use of trail pheromones, e.g. when ants lay a path of pheromones towards a food source, and then lay over a repellant pheromone over that trail, cancelling the message once the food source is gone. 

Because these social insects are so reliant on pheromones, they are ripe for abuse from other animals who can exploit their chemical society, and this is how I am going to lead it back to Zoroark. 

Meet Phengaris alcon, or the Alcon Large Blue butterfly

 Yes a very pretty looking butterfly, but don’t let appearances fool you. It’s caterpillars hatch on leaves like regular caterpillars, and stay there for a few weeks, munching away and growing, but after a certain point, they just drop off the leaves and onto the ground. There they release a pheromone which smells exactly like the pheromone released by the larvae of certain ant species. When these ants come across the caterpillars, they are fooled into thinking that these caterpillars are indeed their own larvae, despite being a different colour and much bigger than the ant larvae, i.e. they look completely different. 

The ants bring the caterpillars back to their nest, where they clean, feed, look after and protect the caterpillars, sometimes even at the expense of their own larvae when food is short. The caterpillars feed and grow in a safe environment, eventually metamorphosing into a chrysalis, then into an adult butterfly, where they then crawl out of the nest scot-free and begin life in the skies, having had a great start in life all down to some smelly trickery and illusion. 

(see below, Phenagris chrysalises next to ant larvae, with the ants none the wiser!)

Other Phenagris species will mimic the Queen ant rather than the larvae, and thus get a more royal treatment (though the true queen is never convinced so this is a more risky strategy), or some instead of just getting fed by the ants like a cuckoo will ravage and eat all the ant larvae when it gets in the nest, without retribution by the ants. 

(this video is fantastic and shows the whole lifecycle, plus a bonus pheromone related plot twist near the end!)

Basically using pheromones in this manner is a way of mimicking something you’re not despite looking nothing like your subject. The ants are under the complete illusion that these huge caterpillars are their own tiny young, despite input from other senses. So… what I am saying is that perhaps Zorua and Zoruark are very proficient chemical mimics and can emit strong pheromones that convince you that you are seeing a different pokémon than what’s standing in front of you. Maybe that, mixed with a hallucinogenic compound, neurotoxin, or other mind altering druggy substance (heck even laughing gas lol) to make you more suggestive. I dunno, it’s a huge stretch, but it’s an excuse to talk about Phenagris lol

Originally posted by axew

5

Flowers of The Night Oracle Unboxing

“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise to perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”     -Sarah Williams

I ordered this deck back in November of last year from Etsy, before the decks had printed, but after the Kickstarter had ended. It was a lovely surprise to come home to, today.

Cheralyn Darcey, the deck’s creator, is a pure ray of sunshine. If you watch even half a minute of any of her YouTube videos, she’ll have you smiling from ear to ear. She’s a lovely human being, and you can see the goodness radiating from her. I love her, and she is precious. Protect her at all costs.

That being said, I turn my attention back to the deck. I’m quite surprised this deck hasn’t been catching more attention from the Tumblr community… As soon as I saw it on Etsy, it was an instant attraction. My first inclination, is that this will be a good oracle deck for shadow-work and introspective meditations. The poem that I placed under the heading for this post is from the guidebook, and I think it beautifully characterizes the deck.

“Come into the Night Garden and explore your powers and passions with this dedicated oracle deck of flowers coupled with the animals, insects, birds and places their original environments.”   -Descriptor on the deck box.

The deck consists of 44 Flower reading Oracle Cards. Some cards also feature an animal or insect along with its flower. The guidebook is conveniently sized, with well-thought descriptions and meanings. Each card also has the proper name of the flowers and animals that appear on them.

The box is excellent! The lid is hinged and sturdy… I don’t think I’ll be making a wallet for these cards, but rather let them live in their original, beautiful home.  As you could guess, the deck comes with a guidebook and a post card where Cheralyn wrote a thank you. 

I really love this deck, and I can’t wait to start working with it!

If you think you might want one of your own, I suggest you head over to Etsy and secure one, as this is a one time run deck… after they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

Etsy listing –> Here <–

10

Zhao Shao'ang (Shaoang, Shao-Ang, 趙少昂) (1905-98, China)

Bird-and-flower paintings 2

Zhao Shao'ang was a Chinese artist and exemplar of the landscape, and bird-and-flower painting traditions, as well as a noted painter of cicada. His style is that of the Lingnan School, which formed the basis for the modernisation of 20th century Chinese art.

seasons

Gryffindors are summer, when it’s the best time of the year to stay outside all day, the cloudless skies, birds chirping and insects buzzing, hanging out with your friends, every refreshing wind blow and the short summer showers, bathing in the river, the adrenaline of doing sports and staying up all night to have parties and fireworks.

Slytherins are autumn, the crisp, but not freezing evenings, the fog that’s lying like a coat over the streets, the leaves that are turning from their usual colour to a flashing yellow and orange, the good smell of the forest after a long, soothing rainfall, being excited for Halloween and going trick-or-treating, even if you’re probably already to old for it.

Ravenclaws are winter, staying in your warm, cozy home, reading alone in front of a crackling fireplace, being wrapped in your favourite blanket, reading a good book and have a warming drink, the aesthetic feeling of making the first steps in fresh snow, the sharp, keen feeling of a cold breeze hitting your skin, the freezing nights with clear skies and sparkling stars.

Hufflepuffs are spring, watching the snow melting away, when the animals wake up from their winter sleep, plants and flowers grow and bloom, being playful, the air smells like earth and new life, the refreshing spring showers that remember you that you’re alive, the bright, warm sunlight tickling your skin after a way too long winter.