You can call me Mono - it's a pleasure to meet you. Here you'll find updates from a Master of Science (Zoology) student at Melbourne University, Australia. This is a mismatch of a place; expect updates from within Uni and from out of it. I post about both zoology and its domestic cousin, animal science, and mix photos and pictures with lengthy discussions.

  1.  

    buggirl:

    This was probably one of the crazier things we saw in Santa Lucia, Ecuador.  It was one big honker of an Earthworm that would squirt water out its ass when you bothered it.  Of course I had to hold it.

    *Edit:  In response to a comment-  No, you’re right- I’m not absolutely SURE it was an earthworm, being worms are not my expertise, although I’m fairly certain it was some species of annelid, and as much as I know about annelids, “earthworm” is a pretty general term applied to most of them.  I do believe there are species that come this large- and no I’m not sure if it was water- could have been some waste product in there as well that it squirted out its bum- but I don’t know.  Please if anyone can tell us more about this creature it would be greatly appreciated! 

    Okay, I’ve had a bit of a look around, had a bit of a think, and I would have the following things to say:

    • Yes, earthworms can become this big, and even much larger! My part of Australia has the Gippsland Giant Earthworm, which easily cracks the two metre mark.
    • It’s almost certainly an annelid, based on the external segmentation.
    • I would probably even guess it’s an earthworm, but potentially a juvenile - the photos don’t seem to show it with a clitellum, which is the reproductive, non-segmented part of adult earthworms.
    • It may be of Genus Rhinodrilus, which are large South American earthworms, but I wouldn’t know enough to say for certain.
    • Several earthworm species eject fluid when stressed - it’s coelomic fluid! They normally use it for things like locomotion and fluid transfer across segments. I would say this worm was doing exactly this - it was startled, so it sprayed coelomic fluid. Very cool!

    That said, I’m not an expert in earthworms or annelids or anything either, but using some small things I do know, I would guess these things.

    Source: buggirl

  2.  

    Check out these awesome Google Doodles for Earth Day, 2014!

    Earth Day is on 22/04 (or 4/22 if you’re in the US), first celebrated in 1970 and now an annual event celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

    For a few years now, Google has updated their doodle in celebration, and this year’s slideshow of little animated logos is incredible!

    Here you can see stills, celebrating the rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata), the moon jelly (Aurelia aurita), the veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus), a dung beetle (Superfamily Scarabaeoidea), and a puffer fish (Family Tetraodontidae).

    Go to Google’s front page now, where you can click the links to watch the animations and click the links to find out more information about these super cool animals!

    Image Credit: NDTV

  3.  

    Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata) are the most northern, cold-climate living primates other than humans. They live in matrilineal societies (females inherit high positions from their mothers) where males move out of the family group.

    Shown above, Japanese Macaques enjoy the waters of a hot spring to escape from the snowy chill. You can see more photos at The Guardian.

    Source: theguardian.com

  4.   Deer over Boulder, Colorado. If I had to guess, I would say these ladies are Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), which display larger ears than the similar white-tail deer, and a black-tipped tail.
Photo Credit: Brennan Linsey - AP | The Guardian

    Full image link →

    Deer over Boulder, Colorado. If I had to guess, I would say these ladies are Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), which display larger ears than the similar white-tail deer, and a black-tipped tail.

    Photo Credit: Brennan Linsey - AP | The Guardian

    Source: theguardian.com

  5.  

    well-thats-fantasmic-08:

    well-thats-fantasmic-08:

    well-thats-fantasmic-08:

    Guys i’m doing a research paper whether or not livestock animals should be treated humanely if we’re just going to butcher them and eat them anyway. I say yes, but I need an article on the opposing view. Can y’all help me find an…

    This might actually work! Thank you!

    Oh sweet! You’ll also be able to find heaps of evidence showing the benefits of cage hens over free-range hens (for example, cage hens display little to no feather-pecking and cannibalism versus free range), but cages are considered less humane in many other respects, so that’s another couple of things you can look into.

    Hooray! :D

    Source: well-thats-fantasmic-08

  6.  

    well-thats-fantasmic-08:

    well-thats-fantasmic-08:

    Guys i’m doing a research paper whether or not livestock animals should be treated humanely if we’re just going to butcher them and eat them anyway. I say yes, but I need an article on the opposing view. Can y’all help me find an article, preferably from a credible…

    Well it needed to be related to food so I don’t think that would work but thank you for the help, nonetheless!

    Ah, blast.

    I think you’ll be hard pressed to find something advocating rough treatment in terms of an animal’s emotional state, but there are some studies that suggest that meat quality isn’t reduced under “less favourable” housing conditions, which you may be able to use?

    This study finds that conventional housing for pigs doesn’t affect meat quality, suggesting that there’s no benefit on that side of things for upgrading to more humane housing.

    Haha, sorry, I’m not really helping at all! Best of luck!

    Source: well-thats-fantasmic-08

  7.  

    well-thats-fantasmic-08:

    Guys i’m doing a research paper whether or not livestock animals should be treated humanely if we’re just going to butcher them and eat them anyway. I say yes, but I need an article on the opposing view. Can y’all help me find an article, preferably from a credible source, that says that livestock animals shouldn’t be treated humanely, please????

    Have you considered using papers advocating tail docking or mulesing in sheep? Or advocating the lack of anesthetics in cattle surgical procedures?

    There’s a lot of argument about whether these practices are humane or not, you could potentially use these as advocating “non-humane” practices.

    I won’t go into my beliefs on it, but here are some helpful links:

    Source: well-thats-fantasmic-08

  8.   clusterpod:

Short-beaked Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus.
Australia’s most widespread native mammal, the echidna is a monotreme, an egg-layer. It is found in an amazingly wide variety of habitats, from above the snow line to deserts, anywhere there are ants or termites for food.
This individual photographed outside Omeo, Victoria.

Hey, check this out, I learnt something today!
I assumed the Common Brushtail Possum would be the most widespread native mammal, but no! Five years living in the city and I’ve already forgotten all the wee beasties we would see near the bush.
It’s very cool that the Short-beaked Echidna takes that title, I like that.

    Full image link →

    clusterpod:

    Short-beaked Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus.

    Australia’s most widespread native mammal, the echidna is a monotreme, an egg-layer. It is found in an amazingly wide variety of habitats, from above the snow line to deserts, anywhere there are ants or termites for food.

    This individual photographed outside Omeo, Victoria.

    Hey, check this out, I learnt something today!

    I assumed the Common Brushtail Possum would be the most widespread native mammal, but no! Five years living in the city and I’ve already forgotten all the wee beasties we would see near the bush.

    It’s very cool that the Short-beaked Echidna takes that title, I like that.

    (via libutron)

    Source: clusterpod

  9.  

    Why you don't need to worry about giant, invincible man-eating super-rats →

    Name: The super-rat.

    Age: As old as rats.

    Appearance: Take a wild guess.

    Like a rat? Congratulations.

    And what are its super-powers? It doesn’t have super-powers as such, but – and I don’t mean to alarm you here – there are reports that a plague of invincible giant super-rats is taking over Liverpool.

    Argh! You have alarmed me! They’re larger than average, apparently, and are proving difficult to kill with standard poisons, such as warfarin and bromadiolone.

    Someone at The Guardian has been dying to write this story.

  10.  

    WOMBATS!

    Infraclass: Marsupialia —> Order: Diprotodontia —> Family: Vombatidae

    They’re cute, they’re fuzzy, they’re brutal as hell!

    What, you weren’t expecting that last part?

    Wombats in captivity are often super cuddly (you’ve probably seen pictures of people holding them like babies, or of them on their backs on someone’s lap). But go out into the bush, and you’ll find a very different set of behaviours. Those of us who go camping know not to cross a wombat.

    Wombats can average about 1 metre in length. The three subspecies range from 20 to 35 kg - and they are all surprisingly impressive runners, reaching speeds of up to 40km/hr (25 mph), and being able to maintain that for up to 90 seconds!

    Wombats are well known to tear into (and tear down) tents at night to get to the food that careless campers leave out (I and my friends have been surprised by a wombat on our sleeping bag more than once!). Humans have been seriously injured by bites, clawings, and broken bones after being bowled over - wombats are serious creatures.

    Photo Credits: (1) (2) (3)