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California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)_22


True story time.


The National Zoo is weird. It doesn’t so much have hours of business so much the animals have hours for which they work. Since the zoo is, in some ways, a National Park, it is functionally open really early to really late. It’s just that if you get there early, the buildings are closed, but the grounds are open. Basically, all the animals are still having their morning coffee and reading the comics, so you don’t get to see much.


However, the sea lions don’t really go “home” for the night, so they’re out (in as much as sea lions get an “out”). They’re also extremely bored. Now, I’m not crazy enough to throw anything into the pool for them (seriously, don’t do that). However, what I did do was set my hat down on the ground up near the glass and this little guy had all sorts of fun trying to bite it or bubble it away. In the process, I got a decent little portrait here, but feel free to click through and see the other “playing with my hat” photos.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi)_4


Do you think snakes can be right- or left-tongued?




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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African Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator)


Scorpions begin to ripen from the stinger end.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)


Lady Deathstrike’s powers seem remarkably unwieldy, but it does mean that she need not carry sharpies to keep track of Silence sightings.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)_5


The invention of the cotton gin not only increased production of cotton, but it saved lives by reducing the number of people required to harvest cotton from the mouthes of these snakes.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Boulanger (Rhynchophis boulengeri)


To hunt at night, many snakes have evolved the ability to sense heat via infrared radiation. However, those that lack this capability have learned to tie lanterns to their heads to aid in nighttime hunting. Sadly, they have found that the string either chafe their mouths or prevent them from opening their jaws to their full capacity.


Thus, a small number of snakes have evolved protuberences on the front of their faces to which they may attach their lanterns without reducing their predatory efficacy.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium)_1


This salamander is offended at your photos, political posts, games invites, friends’ comments or sheer quantity of posts. There is a reason that salamanders did not invent the Internet.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Solomon Island Leaf Frog (Ceratobatrachus guentheri)


Turns out all frogs aren’t smooth and smiley.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Slipper Lobster (Parribacus antarcticus)_7


Back when these creatures were discovered, someone looked at them and thought “slipper!”.


Exploratory biologists got rather homesick at times.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Poison Frogs_4_1


Rapunzel has been awaiting her rescuer for quite some time and is starting to think that she might have to rescue herself.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Kiwi

Jun. 15th, 2015 02:01 pm
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Kiwi_8


Kiwi have evolved a tripod structure for maximal species stability.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Emperor Newt (Tylototriton shanjing)


Tonight on the Nightly New(t)s, this emperor newt explores an economic environment in which television networks make their money by selling shows about poor people to other poor people, making the first group of poor people ever richer the poorer they can get them to act.


Fortunately he concludes his analysis with the observation that, though such a system would make the network quite rich, it is too transparent and cruel of a ploy for anyone to really fall for.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Green and Black Poison Frog (Dendrobates auratus)_1


Though normally quite meticulous, you can when frog painters are working on a Friday afternoon.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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White Spot Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis)_1


When making a shrimp, you pretty much just poke a bunch of little sticks into the body until it doesn’t look like a shrimp anymore. Then you take that last one out and call it done.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)_5


“Yo pretty snakiess ’round the worldss

Got a weird thingss to show yass

So tell all the lil snakeletss

Tell your brothersss, your sistersss and your mammasss too



‘Cause we’re about to go downss

And youss knows just whatss to do

Wave your tonguesss in the air like yousss don’t care

Glide by the peoplesss as they startsss to looksss and staresss



Do your squeezesss, do your squeezesss, do your squeezesss quick mammasss

Come snakeletsss tell me what’s the wordsss


Wordssssss upssssss.”




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Bicolor Poison Frog (Phyllobates bicolor)_5_1


Some frogs will move their young from pond to pond or up trees to small pools of water in bromeliads. They do this by sticking them on their back and carrying them one-by-one to where they need to go.


This process can take a long time, so these frogs don’t see many movies until their brood has grown up.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Peacock Mantis Shrimp 2 (Odontodactylus scyllarus)_2


The peacock mantis shrimp has the most interesting eyes anywhere in the animal kingdom. If you don’t believe me, ask The Oatmeal: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca_7


Once they become successful with using two sticks in two hands, they progress with two in one. Then, they practice with smaller and smaller sticks. Eventually, when the sticks become sufficiently small, pandas may begin to to eat rice, greatly expanding their possible range.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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Oriental Fire-fellied Toad (Bombina orientalis)_1


Sometimes it can be hard to tell where the frog ends and the pond begins. This is why we have biologists.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

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