Aw shit son, is that some beech litter? Yeah it is.
ACTIVATING DEATH RAY
When scared, pinecones puff up to make themselves look larger to predators.
Hoh Rainforest, Washington, USA.
Wee man’s all grown up, need to find him a date soon.
Avicularia versicolor, mature male. Raised from a 1cm legspan sling. Feel proud.
Rehoused my Holothele incei commune the two days ago, already seeing webbing.
There are four spiders in there, though I can only find 3 right now, but that’s normal. Two already have burrows with loads of webbing, one was trying to make its home in the lid though, and would not budge. Hopefully it’ll web up a more sensible area next.
Plant in the corner is a Maranta leuconeura I’ve had for ages. It lost all its leaves due to drying (cannot let the soil dry out, and the leaves do best at higher humidities) so I thought inside a humid tank might be good for it. I also threw in some yellow pituhaya seeds and there’s some Tillandsia ionantha seed on a stick in there, see if I can take advantage of the high humidity and warmth as they’re a bugger to germinate.
Some old pictures of my old Avicularia sp. "Kwitara" I thought I’d upload as I’ve not uploaded any original content in ages.
Taken with my shitty old compact digicam but still, none too shabby.
Scottish Wildcat from Calderglen Zoo.
They may look superficially like a kinda fluffy housecat, and are of the same species, but European wildcats are not your pet. House cats are Felis sylvestris cattus, while wildcats are Felis sylvestris sylvestris. Your cat is however descended from North African Felis sylvestris lybica.
Scottish and European wildcats are larger than domestic cats, with a rounded tail instead of a pointed one, and often more rounded ears it seems, being adapted for colder environments than the ancestors of domestic cats. They also have an attitude that is less “kittenlike joy/lazy sleeping” and more “industrial blender with a vengeful streak”. Shy and solitary, you’ll rarely see them in the wild as they’re rare, hold large territories and avoid humans. If you do come face to face with a wildcat that can’t escape, prepare to lose a significant amount of skin though. A wildcat kitten raised by humans or a domestic cat mother may be sweet for a few months, but it lacks the domesticated brain that we bred into housecats. As they grow up they will always become death on legs. Ever tried to give a domestic cat a pill? Imagine that strength and violence, amplified, and 24/7. Leather gauntlets don’t do much to protect you… Which is a shame in some ways as they’re beautiful animals.
Large toms may reach 130cm nose to tail tip (up to 90cm of which is just head and body), they’re impressive creatures, but alas highly endangered in Scotland. Some people consider the Scottish cats to be a separate subspecies from the mainland European ones, which, due to cats short generational times and the fact that Britain has been separate from the European mainland for ~8500 years (so potentially over 8000 generations independent of their mainland counterparts). Sadly, they may not be a separate species for long as they’re on the brink of extinction. Human interference, centuries of active trapping and killing and interbreeding with domestic cats means that, according to a 2012 report by the Scottish Wildcat Association there may be as few as 35 purebred wildcats left in Scotland.
However, there are many hybrids, and while the carry genes from domestic cats, and may not be “pure” they are the future of the species. Their genes from feral and domestic cats may confer some advantages in disease resistance etc. Species purists will argue that they’re not the same, but at the end of the day, the loss of a species is sad because of the loss of its genes, and hybridisation will help those live on, in Scotland’s feral cats and remaining “wildcats”. Species move around, colonise, become locally extinct and hybridise with formerly separate populations on occasion, humans may be the reason in this case, but it’s still a natural process. And the phenotype and genotype are well adapted to Scotlands wilds, in more remote areas natural selection may boost the number of wildcat genes that survive each generation, the risk being that F. s. cattus numbers could swamp the wildcats, but they’ll still be there, if just as a genetic memory.
Known only from a single text dating back to 1935, this species of moss-mimicking mantis has been rediscovered living in the jungles of Costa Rica. Experts believe it is Pogonogaster tristani.
For the first time (potentially EVER) there’s video footage of this incredible creature.
Article and video can be seen here: http://www.thefeaturedcreature.com/2013/11/first-ever-video-footage-of-rediscovered-moss-mantis-species.html
Found during a hike in Gunung Tujuh, Kerinci national park, Sumatra, Indonesia.