whatsbelowthesurface

whatsbelowthesurface:

Heniochus acuminatus (Pennant coralfish)
Pulau Sulug, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Kota Kinabalu, 10m

The pennant coralfish is a species of butterflyfish. Also known as the longfin bannerfish, it gets its name from its elongated dorsal fin. They are gentle, social fish and are often found in groups or pairs on the reef.

I came across this pair sharing a tasty snack! H. acuminatus feeds mainly on plankton and will supplement their diet with coral and small invertebrates, so this relatively large jellyfish must have been quite a feast.

Classification
Animalia - Chordata - Actinopterygii - Perciformes - Chaetodontidae - Heniochus - H. acuminatus

happybirthdaytigergirl
sixpenceee:

Here is something phenomenal, I have to share with you all: 
A mother cichlid keeps her babies in her mouth to protect them. Sometimes she let’s them out as shown above. Her mouth serves as a nest and nursery. 
It may seem like a good system, but it’s not exactly.
Let me introduce these guys: 

These catfish are notorious parasites. The catfish try and pick up a few of cichlid eggs. The mother defends her station, while the catfish drop a few of their own eggs. They know the cichlid mother will pick them up and think of it as her own egg.

So the cichlid become a surrogate mother for the offspring of their enemy. The catfish take off soon, not knowing what’s becomes of their young. The cichlid mother does her job, letting her brood grow in her mouth. 

Like in a horror movie, the catfish eggs hatch first. The baby catfish gobbles up every single one of the cichlid babies.

The cichlid mother releases, not her own babies, but the killer catfish baby that ate of all her own children.

The cichlid mom doesn’t realize the switch and treats the catfish baby as if it were her own.

A morbid, ironic twist. Here’s the video for this
Another interesting science post: How the Mokin Children Are Able to See Crystal Clear Underwater

sixpenceee:

Here is something phenomenal, I have to share with you all: 

A mother cichlid keeps her babies in her mouth to protect them. Sometimes she let’s them out as shown above. Her mouth serves as a nest and nursery. 

It may seem like a good system, but it’s not exactly.

Let me introduce these guys: 

These catfish are notorious parasites. The catfish try and pick up a few of cichlid eggs. The mother defends her station, while the catfish drop a few of their own eggs. They know the cichlid mother will pick them up and think of it as her own egg.

So the cichlid become a surrogate mother for the offspring of their enemy. The catfish take off soon, not knowing what’s becomes of their young. The cichlid mother does her job, letting her brood grow in her mouth. 

Like in a horror movie, the catfish eggs hatch first. The baby catfish gobbles up every single one of the cichlid babies.

The cichlid mother releases, not her own babies, but the killer catfish baby that ate of all her own children.

The cichlid mom doesn’t realize the switch and treats the catfish baby as if it were her own.

A morbid, ironic twist. Here’s the video for this

Another interesting science post: How the Mokin Children Are Able to See Crystal Clear Underwater

sinobug

sinobug:

Stinging Nettle Slug Caterpillar (Cup Moth, Limacodidae)

These caterpillars are custom built with every conceivable self-protection device imaginable. Bright, garish colors which are like danger signs in nature saying “I taste awful” or “I am loaded with poison; multiple stinging barbs which inflict painful and persistent burning rashes (on humans anyway); false eyes pointing in every direction to say ” I see you, you can’t surprise me”; a head end that looks the same as the rear end so there can be no potential surprise attack from behind; and specific to the Limacodid caterpillars (who actually have no true legs, hence the slug in their name), a sticky adhesive underside that makes them very difficult to prise off their food plant. With that in mind, stinging nettle caterpillars are often not hard to find. They don’t conceal themselves day or night and will often be in the most conspicuous of locations. Basically, they have little to fear.

Pu’er, Yunnan, China

View my other images of Limacodid Caterpillars from China (Beijing and Yunnan) in my Flickr set, Limacodid (Cup Moth) Caterpillars.

earthstory
earthstory:

Evolution in actionThe poaching of elephants for ivory is simply deplorable. Even since the banning on the trade of ivory in 1989, we’re still losing around 8% of elephants to illegal poaching- nothing we have implemented has stopped this cruelty. So, elephants have taken the matter into their own hands. Elephants all over the world have begun selecting against having tusks. Previously, Asian male elephants were born without tusks in only around 2% of cases. By 2005, this figure had grown to between 5 and 10%. In Africa, one national park estimated the number of their elephants born without tusks was as high as 38%. What we are seeing here is natural selection in action. It is uncertain whether female elephants are choosing to breed with non-tusk bearing elephants more frequently or simply that elephants without tusks have a greater chance of reaching the age of breeding- probably a combination of both.There are many horrible aspects to this story, but perhaps the most appalling is the fact that tusk are important; they are weapons and tools that benefit elephants. Losing them means that nature has decided that poachers are a greater threat to the elephant’s existence than its diminished ability to fight and forage. Sad. -Jean image: African elephants on the safari by CorbisFor further reading: (BBC) British Broadcasting Corporation. 1998. World: Africa Elephants ‘ditch tusks’ to survive.<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/180301.stm.>Whitehouse, A.M. 2002. Tusklessness in the elephant population of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. J. Zool. 257: 249-254. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=108817&fileId=S0952836902000845Steenkamp, G., S.M. Ferreira, and M.N. Bester. 2007. Tusklessness and tusk fractures in free-ranging African savanna elephants (Loxodonta Africana). J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. 78: 75-80 http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication_article/savet_v78_n2_a6.

earthstory:

Evolution in action

The poaching of elephants for ivory is simply deplorable. Even since the banning on the trade of ivory in 1989, we’re still losing around 8% of elephants to illegal poaching- nothing we have implemented has stopped this cruelty. So, elephants have taken the matter into their own hands. 

Elephants all over the world have begun selecting against having tusks. Previously, Asian male elephants were born without tusks in only around 2% of cases. By 2005, this figure had grown to between 5 and 10%. In Africa, one national park estimated the number of their elephants born without tusks was as high as 38%. What we are seeing here is natural selection in action. It is uncertain whether female elephants are choosing to breed with non-tusk bearing elephants more frequently or simply that elephants without tusks have a greater chance of reaching the age of breeding- probably a combination of both.

There are many horrible aspects to this story, but perhaps the most appalling is the fact that tusk are important; they are weapons and tools that benefit elephants. Losing them means that nature has decided that poachers are a greater threat to the elephant’s existence than its diminished ability to fight and forage. Sad. 

-Jean 

image: African elephants on the safari by Corbis

For further reading: 

(BBC) British Broadcasting Corporation. 1998. World: Africa Elephants ‘ditch tusks’ to survive.
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/180301.stm.>

Whitehouse, A.M. 2002. Tusklessness in the elephant population of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. J. Zool. 257: 249-254. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=108817&fileId=S0952836902000845

Steenkamp, G., S.M. Ferreira, and M.N. Bester. 2007. Tusklessness and tusk fractures in free-ranging African savanna elephants (Loxodonta Africana). J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. 78: 75-80 http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication_article/savet_v78_n2_a6.