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.  

    Anonymous said: Hi! Thank you for the answer! They weren't nearly as long as the crab in the picture you added. I found another one of the same kind today. Spread out, the one I saw would have been 7cm. One might say the were avrage in length (compared to the little crabs that hid in the sand, they seemed long). I'll take a picture next time when I'm walking along there and take my phone along.

    Ooh, please do! I’m really curious to see this now, and hopefully try and identify it.

    Thanks!

  2.   Two new jellyfish species have been described!
Okay, you guys probably have seen by now that I get super excited about new jellyfish species, so it’s a lucky day for me when I hear about two. And even cooler, they’re both Irukandji jellyfish - which are my favourite kind!
Previously, only two Irukandji species were known in Western Australia. Recently, two more have been found, and have now been described. And with their addition, a total of sixteen species are known or believed to be causes of the agonizing (and potentially fatal) Irukandji syndrome.
In the photos above, you can see the most impressive of the two new finds, Keesingia gigas. Photo A shows the lateral (side) view, photo B shows the subumbrella (underneath, looking up) view, and photo C shows another lateral view.
What’s amazing about K. gigas is, first, it’s size - the body is between 30 and 50 cm, not including the tentacles. And speaking of tentacles, that’s the second thing - the specimens found so far (first in the 1980s and sporadically until 2013) haven’t actually had any. Researchers suspect this is simply because they’ve been lost at some point (perhaps during netting), because K. gigas has indeed been linked to stings that have caused Irukandji syndrome.
The second species is Malo bella, and has a mature size of only 20 mm (the smallest in its genus). It has thus far not had any recorded stings attributed to it, but its phylogenetic relationship to M. kingi and M. maxima suggest it is able, and is currently also considered potentially dangerous. 
I find this all very exciting!
You can read The Guardian article here, and the ABC article here.
I also encourage you to read the actual paper, as it has some incredible photos of the new holotypes!

    Full image link →

    Two new jellyfish species have been described!

    Okay, you guys probably have seen by now that I get super excited about new jellyfish species, so it’s a lucky day for me when I hear about two. And even cooler, they’re both Irukandji jellyfish - which are my favourite kind!

    Previously, only two Irukandji species were known in Western Australia. Recently, two more have been found, and have now been described. And with their addition, a total of sixteen species are known or believed to be causes of the agonizing (and potentially fatal) Irukandji syndrome.

    In the photos above, you can see the most impressive of the two new finds, Keesingia gigas. Photo A shows the lateral (side) view, photo B shows the subumbrella (underneath, looking up) view, and photo C shows another lateral view.

    What’s amazing about K. gigas is, first, it’s size - the body is between 30 and 50 cm, not including the tentacles. And speaking of tentacles, that’s the second thing - the specimens found so far (first in the 1980s and sporadically until 2013) haven’t actually had any. Researchers suspect this is simply because they’ve been lost at some point (perhaps during netting), because K. gigas has indeed been linked to stings that have caused Irukandji syndrome.

    The second species is Malo bella, and has a mature size of only 20 mm (the smallest in its genus). It has thus far not had any recorded stings attributed to it, but its phylogenetic relationship to M. kingi and M. maxima suggest it is able, and is currently also considered potentially dangerous. 

    I find this all very exciting!

    You can read The Guardian article here, and the ABC article here.

    I also encourage you to read the actual paper, as it has some incredible photos of the new holotypes!

    Source: museum.wa.gov.au

  3.  

    Anonymous said: Hi! I'm in Queensland (1-2 hours drive from the Gold Coast) at the moment. Yesterday I found a small crab washed up ashore, which I brought to a rather deep rock pool (the crab hid under a rock straight away(safe from the seagulls!)). It was dark gray with a green lining pattern on it's back and had long legs with small pincers. Can you help me identify it? Or do you know a site? I've been looking for a site that'll help me identify the crabs I find at the beach...

    Hi there!

    Without a photo, it’s really hard to identify your crab. Australia has about 1,000 crab species, and many of them are found in Queensland, and many of these can be small greyish variants with greenish lines.

    When you say it was small, with long legs and small pincers, do you mean something that has weirdly long legs, like this:

    image

    (Source: Zoological Catalogue of Australia)

    Or do you mean more that the legs are pretty long, and the pincers are small compared to what we imagine crab claws should be like, like this Cleft-fronted Bait Crab?

    It might even be a “freshwater” crab - the Inland Freshwater Crab, for example, can be found in coastal Queensland, and might be found in the colours you’ve described.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! I don’t have one particular site or even book I looked at that might help you identify the crabs you find, and unfortunately without photos it’s a difficult task indeed to definitively name a species (and even with photos it can be tough, haha!).

    Best of luck with your crab-watching, though. If you do happen to have a photo, I’d love to give it another crack, of course.

  4.  

    notexactlyblue said: your blog is AWESOME. I wish I would've found it last semester when I was taking mammalogy; an Australian point of view probably would've helped with learning all the marsupial orders! anyways i love it, keep it up.

    Aw, thank you! I’m glad you like it! ((Sorry if this message finds you late, I tend to notice tumblr doesn’t like telling me I have messages and I admittedly don’t expect them!))

    I wish I’d been able to take a subject like mammalogy - I don’t think my Uni offers something like that. Best of luck to you this semester!

  5.  

    So you saw the pictures of a croc and a python going at it - well here’s a croc and a bull shark!

    In the Northern Territory, photographer Andrew Paice witnessed a skirmish between a crowd-favourite crocodile, nicknamed ‘Brutus’, and what appears to be a bull shark. Brutus is reported to be around 5.5 metres long, and easily won out over the shark, who ended up being what I imagine to be a very tasty meal.

    Source: theguardian.com

  6.   lifeunderthewaves:

Deadly Beauty by emilytong Indonesian Sea Nettle, one of the deadliest creatures of the ocean :: Monterey Bay Aquarium, California :: July 2014

This is a really beautiful image of Chrysaora chinensis, but they’re not one of the deadliest creatures of the ocean (unless you’re a zooplankton).
The Indonesian Sea Nettle does sting, don’t get me wrong, and it hurts, and healing may take several weeks, but they don’t typically kill humans unless you’re allergic (and many jellyfish can cause anaphylaxis if you’re allergic).
Sure, you should always have a healthy appreciation and respect for these animals, because again, their sting does hurt a lot. But you’ve got other sea creatures out there that are more dangerous, like stonefishes, or the blue-ringed octopus, or a different jellyfish, the Irukandji. You don’t have a lot to fear from dear old Chrysaora chinensis.

    Full image link →

    lifeunderthewaves:

    Deadly Beauty by emilytong Indonesian Sea Nettle, one of the deadliest creatures of the ocean :: Monterey Bay Aquarium, California :: July 2014

    This is a really beautiful image of Chrysaora chinensis, but they’re not one of the deadliest creatures of the ocean (unless you’re a zooplankton).

    The Indonesian Sea Nettle does sting, don’t get me wrong, and it hurts, and healing may take several weeks, but they don’t typically kill humans unless you’re allergic (and many jellyfish can cause anaphylaxis if you’re allergic).

    Sure, you should always have a healthy appreciation and respect for these animals, because again, their sting does hurt a lot. But you’ve got other sea creatures out there that are more dangerous, like stonefishes, or the blue-ringed octopus, or a different jellyfish, the Irukandji. You don’t have a lot to fear from dear old Chrysaora chinensis.

    (via scienceyoucanlove)

    Source: lifeunderthewaves

  7.  

    Say hello to the Colossus Penguin!

    Palaeeudyptes klekowskii is the most complete fossil ever discovered in Antarctica. The bones, found at La Meseta, Seymour Island, are 37 million years old and include the longest recorded fused ankle bone and parts of a wing bone. From these bones, researchers are able to estimate that the species weighed as much as 115 kg, and measured 2 metres from beak tip to toe (1.6 metres when standing normally). The second image above compares it to the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), the largest living penguin today.

    Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche of the La Plata Museum in Argentina uncovered the bones, and says that a penguin of this size could probably spend up to 40 minutes submerged in water hunting for prey, which is a great advantage for animals that huge!

    You can read more about this at The Guardian and New Scientist.

    And you can read the actual published research paper here.

    Source: theguardian.com

  8.  

    sdrawdenna:

    Where do hippo tusks go when they close their mouth? - Yahoo Answers

    As far as I’m aware, their tusks are literally held underneath their upper lip, against their gums.

    So, this is technically a pygmy hippo, but the same rule applies. See where I’ve circled on the photo? There’s a gap between the roof of the mouth and the upper lip, which looks like the perfect spot to hide those impressive tusks. When the hippo closes her mouth, they’ll just naturally sit in there, and under the thick skin you’ll never know they’re even there.

    Original photo credit: Imgur

    Source: sdrawdenna

  9.  

    MACROPODIDAE

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

    Ah, here we are, at long last. Some of the most recognisable marsupials, and some you might think are recognisable but whose names might surprise you!

    Macropodidae includes animals like kangaroos and wallabies (and their allies like dorcopsises), tree-kangaroos, pademelons and everyone’s favourite smiling animal, the quokka. They range in size from the red kangaroo (which can reach a standing size of more than 5’9”), to the small pademelons (which might only reach 69 cm plus a 51 cm tail).

    The hopping action of larger macropods like kangaroos is linked to breathing - when their feet leave the ground, air is expelled from the lungs, and bringing the feet forward again refills the lungs. It’s such an energy efficient process that, beyond the original minimum energy required to begin hopping, increased speed requires very little effort (certainly far less effort than the same speed increase in humans, horses, or dogs, for example).

    There are so many different species of macropods that it’s impossible to go into them all in one post, as they are very diverse and each has it’s own little quirk or bit of trivia that makes it even more interesting.

    Photo Credits: (1: Female Red Kangaroo) (2: Swamp Wallaby) (3: Red-necked Pademelon) (4: Quokka) (5: Goodfellow’s Tree-Kangaroo)

  10.  

    MUSKY RAT-KANGAROOS!

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

    Musky rat-kangaoos (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) are the only living species in this Family. Some scientists argue that it should simply be a sub-family within Potoroidae, but current classifications keep it here, with ancestral rat-kangaroos.

    Despite its name, the musky rat-kangaroo is actually quadrapedal - that is, it walks using all four limbs. It’s also diurnal, so it’s mostly active during the day, and is the smallest macropod (one of the sub-orders of Diprotodontia including kangaroos, bettongs, potoroos and wallabies, etc.) to have these characteristics. Its quadrupedal movement involves it stretching its body out, then bringing both hindlegs forward, similar to the small hops of a rabbit.

    The musky rat-kangaroo displays a few very cool traits that are believed to link it to more primitive ancestral marsupials. It has, for example, gripping grooves on its foot pads, scales on its tail, and five digits on its hind feet.

    Photo Credits: (1) (2)