Animal Kingdom

Scientists photograph and capture rare, odd looking melanocetus (“the Black Seadevil”) deep-sea fish

Researchers with the Monterey Ray Bay Aquarium Research Institute acquired footage of the rare Melanocetus fish, more affectionately known as “the Black Seadevil”. These creepy critters are rarely seen in their natural deep-sea habitat. Scientists who captured the wonderful new footage of the Black Seadevil told reporters that the first thing they thought when the spotted the unusual species was “Aaaaagggghhhhh!!!!” As you can see, the Black Seadevil is very, ah, different looking. The shining spot at the end of the “fishing pole” that protrudes from the fish’s head is a glowing lure. The anglerfish uses the light to attract prey in its deep, dark habitat. The pictures of the Black Seadevil were taken from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at a depth of 1,900…
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Animal Kingdom

Countdown to extinction – Suni the white rhino dies. Only six white rhinos remain on the planet.

Calling it a “sorry testament to the greed of the human race”, rangers found the lifeless body of Suni the white rhino in his hut on a Kenyan wildlife conservancy this week. Suni was 34 years old when he died and was one of only seven northern white rhinos left on the planet. That leaves six white rhinos on Earth, only one of which is a male, so sadly, the countdown to extinction has begun. The northern white rhinoceros is also called the “northern square-lipped rhinoceros” .  The northern white rhinoceros is one of two subspecies of white rhinoceros. Poachers hunting the animals for their horns reduced the population to 15 white rhinos by the 1980’s. They are extinct in the wild and only live…
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Animal Kingdom

Lowly cheetah hides its head in shame – it may no longer be the fastest animal on earth

Never run behind a car (you’ll get “exhausted”). And it goes without saying that you should never run in front of a car either (you’ll get “tired”). And if you think you can outrun a car, Reeko has news for you – you’re not as fast as you think – and neither is the speedy cheetah who, depending on your definition of “fast”, may have just lost its throne as the fastest animal on earth. Using high-speed cameras to capture it in motion, scientists in California have discovered a tiny little mite, called Paratarsotomus macropalpis, that they say holds the record for the fastest land animal. This little guy is able to run 322 body lengths per second. If you were to scale this up to…
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Animal Kingdom

Killer sponges from the deep sea – they’re real and growing in numbers!

It was only about 20 years ago that scientists discovered that some sponges are carnivorous, meaning – they eat other animals! Since then, scientists have identified about a half-dozen of the squishy little slayers. Today, we add four new species to the list. The newly discovered carnivorous sponges live on the deep seafloor in the Pacific around California. At the moment of discovery, the scientist attributed with the amazing new find, was reported to have said, with great excitement and zeal, "Where's my finger?!?" Sponges are usually filter feeders, meaning they live off of bacteria and other single-celled organisms that are found in the water. They trap the little critters using bazillions of special cells called Choancytes. Choancytes have whip-like tails which swirl the water…
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Biology

Six new species of Dracula Ants discovered (and that’s six too many if you ask Reeko)

Scientists from California say they have discovered six new species of Dracula Ants (which the big scientists call Adetomyrma), those strange blind ants with big fangs that get their name from their bizarre habit of sucking the insect blood out of the colony’s own baby ants (called larvae).  Scientists say that although it really creeps them out, sucking the insect juice out of the babies doesn't seem to hurt the baby ants (although they noted the babies fight like crazy to escape the bigger Dracula Ants which indicates it must not be a pleasant experience for them). Here’s a picture of the ants sucking the insect goo out of a larvae. Dracula Ant colonies can contain as many as 10,000 blood suckers.  The worker ants…
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