Shout out to blue spotted salamanders

 Say hello to the blue spotted salamander (Abystoma laterale).

Just… wow.  I don’t even know where to begin with these animals.  I am just IN LOVE (and pretty miffed at laws for not letting me keep several dozen).   There are actually all-female populations of these beauties and they don’t just clone themselves.  Technically, these all-female populations are hybrids. It’s just.

Look, it’s honestly the weirdest form of reproduction I’ve ever come across so obviously i gotta tell tumblr about it: when  one of these hybrids wants to make salamanderlings, she has to find a male of a different species ( the species she’s related to) and breeds with him.  And guys?  Guys?  She doesn’t even USE THE SPERM’S GENETICS.  That’s almost always just discarded.  Instead, the sperm simply helps her eggs develop in the first place.

like damn.  That’s COLD.  It’s called kleptogenesis.

This doesn’t always happen though.  Although the sperm technically STILL doesn’t fertilize the egg, the genetics are used anyway, which is how we get hybrids.  This is part of the reason why ALL Abystoma are banned from California: they’re just too damn good at stealing manly lizard genes and creating hybrids all over the place.

Entire new SPECIES have been created like this, and are still reproducing like this now. The Tremblay’s salamander (Abystoma tremblayi) is a hybrid between the blue spotted above and Jefferson salamanders (Abystoma jeffersonianum).  The SAME COMBINATION of A. laterale and A. jeffersonianum has ALSO created the Silvery Salamander (Abystoma platineum).  Just.  How amazing is that?  Same species go in, entirely new thing comes out.  The Tremblay’s and Silvery also contain THREE sets of chromosomes instead of just two.

to use a game reference, I’m pretty sure these guys are basically the Asari from Mass Effect.

UPDATE REGARDING UPDATES: February’s been a bit ROUGH for me to say the least, so comic updates have suffered a bit. Scalie Schoolie will be back March 2nd and will begin updating twice per week on Monday and Wednesday. Death By Misadventure will still update on Fridays, and should update once more before the end of February.

Also here’s an Amber I guess.

Symbiosis Explainer

In the latest episode of the web series Shelf Life, we learned about the surprising symbiotic relationship between spotted salamanders and algae.
Symbiotic relationships are common in nature, and can take on a wide variety of different forms. While this relationship can play out in many surprising ways, there are three main types of symbiosis seen in nature. Here’s how to tell them apart.

Mutualism: Mutualism is one of nature’s best examples of teamwork. In a mutualistic symbiosis, both parties get something out of the deal and are better equipped for survival because of their arrangement. Take for instance the live sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates), a species of fish that attaches itself to sharks, whales, and other marine animals and keeps them clean by eating smaller parasites. In exchange for its hygienic help, the sharksucker is protected from predators wary of getting too close to its larger hosts.

Commensalism: In commensalism, one species benefits while the other isn’t harmed. In fact, commensal symbiotes can often be overlooked by their hosts. Take for example, Demodex folliculorum, a tiny species of mite found on almost all human faces. These microscopic creatures live out their three-week or so lifespans in your pores and hair follicles. There’s not a lot to recommend them, exactly, but they also don’t bother anyone except in extreme cases, where they can contribute to skin problems. To learn more about the microscopic creatures living in and on your body, visit the special exhibition The Secret World Inside You.

Parasitism: Parasites live off of a host, causing irritation and distress while contributing nothing in return. Blood feeders like the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius) are some of the most easily recognized parasites, but blood is far from the only way they parasites take from their hosts. While it’s not noble, parasitism is an effective way of making a living, so much so that nearly every animal species is the host to at least one kind of parasite. Even parasites themselves host free riders, like the bacterium Wolbachia, which lives in bedbugs, though new research suggests it may play a more complicated symbiotic role than once thought.

Watch the new episode of Shelf Life to see symbiosis in action. 

OOC: Something i just had to do

Ok so im coming OOC for the moment to address something that has seriously irked me this morning. Apparently crystal-the-vixen is accusing the TMNT producers of stealing her OC’s design and making Mona Lisa’s. First off let me ask you all something and honestly i dont care if she gets pissed because this HAS to be set straight simple because its all a lie. 

How does this

look anything like this

And Mona Lisa is Salamandrian which is the same alien species as the Newtrilizer. 

Her character is a lab creation by Baxter Stockman. Her Spieces: Spotted Salamander, Bull Shark, Angler Fish, Black Wolf, Human, Herrerasaurus, Albino Rabbit, Mudskipper MUTANT.

So please before you accuse the writers of stealing your characters design actually LOOK at the characters.