Did some nature prints today. It’s hot as balls.

@2 weeks ago with 1 note
#photography #cyanotype #nature #blue 
thatssoproblematic:

pymparticles:

Scientists have discovered the animal kingdom first female penis.
They have also discovered a new way to make me say “Well, goddamn”.

“Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male.”
“Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male.”
"Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male."
YO CISSEXISTS WHO LIKE SCIENCE SO MUCH. CHECK THIS OUT.

thatssoproblematic:

pymparticles:

Scientists have discovered the animal kingdom first female penis.

They have also discovered a new way to make me say “Well, goddamn”.

Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male.”

Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male.”

"Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male."

YO CISSEXISTS WHO LIKE SCIENCE SO MUCH. CHECK THIS OUT.

(via magneticmotif)

@3 months ago with 11300 notes
#biology #mating #sex #gender #science #nature 

noxfae:

Floating Light - credit

(via smallworldsyndrome)

@6 months ago with 12302 notes
#forest #nature 
wolveswolves:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOLVES AND RAVENS
Ravens and wolves form social attachments with each other and take huge advantage of each other.
Both animals eat meat. When wolves killed a prey, ravens eat from the left over cadaver and scavenge it. Also, ravens lead wolves to preys or cadavers. The ravens fly and the wolves follow. Ravens also alert wolves to dangers.
They also play with each other. For example the ravens dive at the wolves and then speed away or peck their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them, or wolf cubs chasing after teasing ravens.
Dr. L. David Mech wrote in ‘The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species’: "It appears that the wolf and the raven have reached an adjustment in their relationships such that each creature is rewarded in some way by the presence of the other and that each is fully aware of the other’s capabilities."
Also very interesting: Bernd Heinrich wrote in ‘Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds’: "Ravens can be attracted to wolf howls. The wolves’ howls before they go on a hunt, and it is a signal that the birds learn to heed. Conversely, wolves may respond to certain raven vocalizations or behavior that indicate prey. The raven-wolf association may be close to a symbiosis that benefits the wolves and ravens alike. At a kill site, the birds are more suspicious and alert than wolves. The birds serve the wolves as extra eyes and ears."
Some videos: - Raven Dances with Wolf Pup - Ravens taking a bath in the snow after stealing food from wolves- Crow teasing a wolf
(Picture by Michael S. Nolan)

wolveswolves:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOLVES AND RAVENS

Ravens and wolves form social attachments with each other and take huge advantage of each other.

Both animals eat meat. When wolves killed a prey, ravens eat from the left over cadaver and scavenge it. Also, ravens lead wolves to preys or cadavers. The ravens fly and the wolves follow. Ravens also alert wolves to dangers.

They also play with each other. For example the ravens dive at the wolves and then speed away or peck their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them, or wolf cubs chasing after teasing ravens.

Dr. L. David Mech wrote in ‘The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species’: "It appears that the wolf and the raven have reached an adjustment in their relationships such that each creature is rewarded in some way by the presence of the other and that each is fully aware of the other’s capabilities."

Also very interesting: Bernd Heinrich wrote in ‘Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds’: "Ravens can be attracted to wolf howls. The wolves’ howls before they go on a hunt, and it is a signal that the birds learn to heed. Conversely, wolves may respond to certain raven vocalizations or behavior that indicate prey. The raven-wolf association may be close to a symbiosis that benefits the wolves and ravens alike. At a kill site, the birds are more suspicious and alert than wolves. The birds serve the wolves as extra eyes and ears."

Some videos: 
Raven Dances with Wolf Pup 
Ravens taking a bath in the snow after stealing food from wolves
Crow teasing a wolf

(Picture by Michael S. Nolan)

(via newyorketc)

@7 months ago with 39470 notes
#nature #animals #ravens #wolves 
oosik:

Olinguito, the newest mammal recently discovered on Earth.
In an age when 100,000 species become extinct each year, sometimes it seems that all there is left to do is to count up the losses. But as it turns out the age of discovery might not yet be over. In August of this year, Smithsonian scientists announced that they had discovered a new species of mammal: the raccoon-like Olinguito. 
Although the discovery of new species of invertebrates or amphibians isn’t unusual, the discovery of a new species of carnivorous mammal is. Especially since a mammal hasn’t been discovered in the Western Hemisphere since 1978. The last, most recent discovery of a mammal on Earth was in 2010 with the discovery of the Durrell’s Vontsira in Madagascar.  
According to Smithsonian zoologist Kristofer M. Helgen, who led the effort to identify the Olinguito, “The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed.”  
The newly discovered Olinguito was found in the cloud forests of South America, in the western Andes of Colombia. A full-grown Olinguito, which has been described as “a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat,” is said to grow up to 14 inches long. These animals eat mostly fruit and only have one baby at a time. Their long claws and padded feet help them grip branches as they walk among trees in the cloud forest. 
Fortunately, unlike so many other species, Olinguitos are not at risk of extinction any time soon. Enjoy the pictures of this cute little creature below.

oosik:

Olinguito, the newest mammal recently discovered on Earth.

In an age when 100,000 species become extinct each year, sometimes it seems that all there is left to do is to count up the losses. But as it turns out the age of discovery might not yet be over. In August of this year, Smithsonian scientists announced that they had discovered a new species of mammal: the raccoon-like Olinguito.

Although the discovery of new species of invertebrates or amphibians isn’t unusual, the discovery of a new species of carnivorous mammal is. Especially since a mammal hasn’t been discovered in the Western Hemisphere since 1978. The last, most recent discovery of a mammal on Earth was in 2010 with the discovery of the Durrell’s Vontsira in Madagascar. 

According to Smithsonian zoologist Kristofer M. Helgen, who led the effort to identify the Olinguito, “The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed.” 

The newly discovered Olinguito was found in the cloud forests of South America, in the western Andes of Colombia. A full-grown Olinguito, which has been described as “a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat,” is said to grow up to 14 inches long. These animals eat mostly fruit and only have one baby at a time. Their long claws and padded feet help them grip branches as they walk among trees in the cloud forest.

Fortunately, unlike so many other species, Olinguitos are not at risk of extinction any time soon. Enjoy the pictures of this cute little creature below.

(via tightleash)

@9 months ago with 4470 notes
#animals #nature 
thejunglenook:

Pop-Science’s Penis Fixation 

Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science
Annalee Newitz
Earlier today [4/17/14], scientists announced they’d discovered an insect with a new kind of female sex organ. It looks a bit like a penis, and is called a gynosome. But almost every news outlet covered the story by describing the insects as “females with penises.” This isn’t just painfully wrong — it’s bad for science.
From reading the science news today, you’d assume that we’d found female bugs with penises, or organs that penetrate and inseminate their partners during sex. “In this group of insects, females wear the penises!” Discover magazine trumpeted. “In this insect, females have penises and males have vaginas,” National Geographic elaborated. The Verge declared that scientists had found a “female penis,” while Scientific American informed us that this female insect uses her “spiky penis” to “take charge.” Even the original scientific article’s headline included the phrase “female penis, male vagina.”
Except the gynosome isn’t a penis. As Jason Goldman explains in an article about the gynosome, this is a hitherto unknown form of sexual organ in the animal kingdom. When female members of the Brazilian bug species Neotroglamate with males, they insert their gynosomes into the male’s sexual organ. Once inside the male’s body, the gynosome inflates and grows spines, then absorbs both sperm and nutrients from the male for several days.
I’m sorry, but does this sound like a penis to you? When was the last time you found a penis that grew spines, absorbed nutrients, remained erect for 75 hours, or allowed its owner to get pregnant? Pretty much the only thing this organ has in common with a penis is that it’s used to penetrate a partner during sex. (continue reading)

* I highly suggest you all read the entire article I linked above as it is a splendidly executed editorial piece, the like which I have not seen in quite some time. *
I’ve seen a number of posts on this topic going around. All proclaiming the awesomeness of this female penis. The thing is, Neotrogla has a gynosome and not a penis. So why should you care?
 New things don’t always fit into the old boxes, and that’s ok.The gynosome is new. We’ve never seen anything like this before and that is a BIG FRICKING DEAL! So when we change the language from gynosome to penis, we essentially strip this discovery of its fascinating new-ness. Instead of encouraging readers to learn more about this new type of sex organ, this penis talk allows readers to cling to their preconceived notions regarding sexual selection and sexual behavior. One penis to one vagina. Safe. Familiar. Normal.NO. Science is all about understanding the world around us and sharing that knowledge with others. Science isn’t about encouraging (inadvertently or not) misconceptions because new language / discoveries might make some people a bit uncomfortable. 
Chicks with dicks. How original.You’re making a dick joke. I get it, but I’m not laughing. The whole basis of this joke is that it is funny because it is different. I mean, why on earth would a female animal have a protruding genital organ? It’s not like spotted hyenas have an enlarged clitoris and fused labia to produce what is commonly referred to as a pseudo-penis. Oh wait…Geoffory’s spider monkeys have enlarged labia which form a pendulous, which is larger than the male’s flaccid penis. And let’s not forget the seahorse females who use an ovipositor to deposit her eggs into the male’s brood pouch for fertilization and gestation.(x)The animal kingdom is filled with structures that may look and function differently than our own. If you’re stuck snickering over a penis joke you won’t find out what natural and sexual selection forces lead to this astounding variety.
Stop trying to qualify animal behavior along human-centric perspectives.Sexual selection is a weird branch of Ethology. An awesome one, but a weird one, and courtship behaviors/ mating systems/ sex organs you find in the animal world rarely line up with human textbook notions of reproductive sex.  Now this isn’t any surprise to those of us in the scientific community, but what about the average person?  Are they going to want to conduct some further research or will they simply take the pop-sci version as fact? These are the same type of people who believe in domineering and aggressive alpha males, in timid females, and in animals that are strictly business when it comes to sex. (HAH! Tell that to the bonobo!).With so many media sources jumping on this ‘female penis’ train (snicker), why would the average person have any reason to doubt this claim. After all, the internet never lies.Sexual “roles” (which may also be referred to as gender roles in humans) are incredibly complicated when we’re discussing our own species… So why would we ever try to apply such binary logic to EVERY ANIMAL IN THE WORLD? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not saying that every article that used the penis terminology is guilty of this, but a lot of them are.
Of course, not everyone agrees with this perspective. Ed Yong of National Geographic wrote a response to the article above defending his use of the term “female penis”. What do you guys think? Is this this just a metaphor used for simple explanation, or a penis game that has gone too far? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

thejunglenook:

Pop-Science’s Penis Fixation 

Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science

Annalee Newitz

Earlier today [4/17/14], scientists announced they’d discovered an insect with a new kind of female sex organ. It looks a bit like a penis, and is called a gynosome. But almost every news outlet covered the story by describing the insects as “females with penises.” This isn’t just painfully wrong — it’s bad for science.

From reading the science news today, you’d assume that we’d found female bugs with penises, or organs that penetrate and inseminate their partners during sex. “In this group of insects, females wear the penises!” Discover magazine trumpeted. “In this insect, females have penises and males have vaginas,” National Geographic elaborated. The Verge declared that scientists had found a “female penis,” while Scientific American informed us that this female insect uses her “spiky penis” to “take charge.” Even the original scientific article’s headline included the phrase “female penis, male vagina.”

Except the gynosome isn’t a penis. As Jason Goldman explains in an article about the gynosome, this is a hitherto unknown form of sexual organ in the animal kingdom. When female members of the Brazilian bug species Neotroglamate with males, they insert their gynosomes into the male’s sexual organ. Once inside the male’s body, the gynosome inflates and grows spines, then absorbs both sperm and nutrients from the male for several days.

I’m sorry, but does this sound like a penis to you? When was the last time you found a penis that grew spines, absorbed nutrients, remained erect for 75 hours, or allowed its owner to get pregnant? Pretty much the only thing this organ has in common with a penis is that it’s used to penetrate a partner during sex. (continue reading)

* I highly suggest you all read the entire article I linked above as it is a splendidly executed editorial piece, the like which I have not seen in quite some time. *

I’ve seen a number of posts on this topic going around. All proclaiming the awesomeness of this female penis. The thing is, Neotrogla has a gynosome and not a penis. So why should you care?

  1. New things don’t always fit into the old boxes, and that’s ok.

    The gynosome is new. We’ve never seen anything like this before and that is a BIG FRICKING DEAL! So when we change the language from gynosome to penis, we essentially strip this discovery of its fascinating new-ness. Instead of encouraging readers to learn more about this new type of sex organ, this penis talk allows readers to cling to their preconceived notions regarding sexual selection and sexual behavior.
    One penis to one vagina.
    Safe. Familiar. Normal.
    NO.

    Science is all about understanding the world around us and sharing that knowledge with others. Science isn’t about encouraging (inadvertently or not) misconceptions because new language / discoveries might make some people a bit uncomfortable.

  2. Chicks with dicks. How original.
    You’re making a dick joke. I get it, but I’m not laughing.
    The whole basis of this joke is that it is funny because it is different. I mean, why on earth would a female animal have a protruding genital organ?
    It’s not like
    spotted hyenas have an enlarged clitoris and fused labia to produce what is commonly referred to as a pseudo-penis. Oh wait…
    image

    Geoffory’s spider monkeys have enlarged labia which form a pendulous, which is larger than the male’s flaccid penis.
    image

    And let’s not forget the seahorse females who use an ovipositor to deposit her eggs into the male’s brood pouch for fertilization and gestation.
    image
    (x)

    The animal kingdom is filled with structures that may look and function differently than our own. If you’re stuck snickering over a penis joke you won’t find out what natural and sexual selection forces lead to this astounding variety.


  3. Stop trying to qualify animal behavior along human-centric perspectives.
    Sexual selection is a weird branch of Ethology. An awesome one, but a weird one, and courtship behaviors/ mating systems/ sex organs you find in the animal world rarely line up with human textbook notions of reproductive sex.  

    Now this isn’t any surprise to those of us in the scientific community, but what about the average person?  Are they going to want to conduct some further research or will they simply take the pop-sci version as fact? These are the same type of people who believe in domineering and aggressive alpha males, in timid females, and in animals that are strictly business when it comes to sex. (HAH! Tell that to the bonobo!).

    With so many media sources jumping on this ‘female penis’ train (snicker), why would the average person have any reason to doubt this claim. After all, the internet never lies.
    image

    Sexual “roles” (which may also be referred to as gender roles in humans) are incredibly complicated when we’re discussing our own species… So why would we ever try to apply such binary logic to EVERY ANIMAL IN THE WORLD? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not saying that every article that used the penis terminology is guilty of this, but a lot of them are.


Of course, not everyone agrees with this perspective. Ed Yong of National Geographic wrote a response to the article above defending his use of the term “female penis”. What do you guys think? Is this this just a metaphor used for simple explanation, or a penis game that has gone too far? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

(via magneticmotif)

@3 months ago with 881 notes
#science #penis #genitalia #gender #sex #insects #biology #nature 
a-heart-of-calcifer:

ehlnofey:

When Ken Morrish picked this apple off a tree in his garden, he thought a prankster had painted half of it red.
But after inspecting it closely he realised that the remarkable split colours on the fruit were a natural phenomenon. And the bizarre apple turned Mr Morrish into something of a celebrity in his village with scores of neighbours queuing up to take a photograph of it.
Experts say that the odds of finding an apple with such a perfect line between the green and the red are more than 1million to one. [source]

My Biology major boyfriend got a scholarship for excellence in Botany as well as a scholarship for excellence in Biology and Zoology
I asked him if this his possible and all he said was “I don’t know, plants are fucking weird”

a-heart-of-calcifer:

ehlnofey:

When Ken Morrish picked this apple off a tree in his garden, he thought a prankster had painted half of it red.

But after inspecting it closely he realised that the remarkable split colours on the fruit were a natural phenomenon. And the bizarre apple turned Mr Morrish into something of a celebrity in his village with scores of neighbours queuing up to take a photograph of it.

Experts say that the odds of finding an apple with such a perfect line between the green and the red are more than 1million to one. [source]

My Biology major boyfriend got a scholarship for excellence in Botany as well as a scholarship for excellence in Biology and Zoology

I asked him if this his possible and all he said was “I don’t know, plants are fucking weird”

(via magneticmotif)

@6 months ago with 165606 notes
#food #nature #science 

trevlee:

For those who don’t know me, I currently live and work in Yosemite National Park.  During the government shutdown I didn’t have to leave the park, so I had the whole park to myself, and I took full advantage of it!  There were no tourists, hardly any rangers, it was just me and my fellow employees.  The first day of the shutdown Melissa and I hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and went to Eagle Peak to Camp.  **Click on images to see the caption and larger view.** 

(via pixibutt)

@7 months ago with 17538 notes
#yosemite #landscape #camping #nature 

Someone Recorded Crickets then Slowed Down the Track, And It Sounds Like Humans Singing - Enpundit 

blackblobyellowcone:

I am fascinated by all insects. We think they are disgusting, alien, dirty creatures, but they don’t have to be. The more I learn about them the more wondrous they become. Their world is so hidden from us yet without them we could not live. 

(via fyeahcutebugs)

@8 months ago with 339 notes
#crickets #nature #sounds #awesome 
stuckinabucket:

The bullhorn acacia is kind of sad as acacias go.  You know how most acacias produce alkaloids that taste nasty and keep things from eating them?  Well, bullhorn acacias don’t.  It’s like, get on the bus, bullhorn acacias.
Of course, bullhorn acacias are not hearing your noise, because they’re thinking outside the metabolically-expensive-poison box.
And what they’re thinking is that maybe if you like eating them, you’re really gonna like this face full of motherfucking ants they’ve got for you.
Yes, you read that right.  Instead of playing fair and making their own toxins to keep everything and their brothers off of their leaves, this plant outsourced that shit to ants.  Presumably this is because ants are easily bribed with food, generally looking for a fight, and, most importantly, can run really fast.  Acacias in general, while also easily bribed and kind of ornery, are not known for their speed and mobility.
You’re probably looking at that picture and going “Man, I am just not seeing a real place for those ants to live.  This plant is a terrible employer if it’s not even going to provide housing.  Also, those thorns are kind of nasty-looking, but they’re awful big.  I bet I could just avoid them and not step on the ant mound and be fine.”  And this is not an unreasonable thing to think!  Which is probably why the acacia already thought of it, and decided to keep its ant legions in its thorns.

Yup.  This plant has evolved a way to shoot stinging insects out of its thorns, just in case stabbing you didn’t get the point across.  This is because this plant is hardcore.
Now you may be sitting there going “I don’t know, ants are pretty metal, and that ant looks pretty metal even by ant standards.  Maybe they just really liked the idea of living in hollowed-out thorns and did this all on their own.”  And I can see why you’d say that, because it totally sounds like something ants would do, but you’d be tragically wrong.  You know how some ants will properly farm or half-assedly shepherd aphids because they suck out plant juices and process and concentrate the sugars in their waste, which the ants then treat like gatorade?  
The acacia tries to cut out the middle man there.  They produce little bundles of protein and fat called Beltian bodies and then stick them on their leaflet tips, which is basically just mocking herbivores at this point, and then on the leaf stalks they’ve got these fancypants glands that produce nectar, to further rub it in.  I mean, seriously.  This plant is just hanging out going “Oh, yeah, my leafy greens taste like cake, assholes.  You want this?  Hope you like ants, too, because that’s what else is there.”
So the ants are getting a super fucking sweet deal here, and it’s like, man, this plant is going way out of its way to keep these sons of bitches around.  Is it sure it wouldn’t be easier to just pony up with the alkaloids and taste gross?  Because it seems like it wouldn’t be nearly so cool, but it would be way simpler than growing these ant apartments and ant cafeterias and whatnot, and this plant probably isn’t vain enough to evolve based on sheer coolness.
Well, ants aren’t stupid, but they are pretty fucking territorial.  Remember how acacias are generally just not capable of getting up and wandering around?  The ants do that for them.  Any vines and shit trying to climb on the acacia get ant-murdered the same way herbivores trying to eat it get all face-stung, and the ants will go the extra distance of killing anything that tries to grow around the base of the tree.  They send out fucking ant doom-patrols looking for weeds.  And then they kill the shit out of them.
So, fucking bullhorn acacias, right?  They really hit on a cool scheme.  Surely they are the only plants that could pull this off.  Nope!  There’s a bunch of plants that have figured out how to make deals with ants, to the point where there’s a name for them: myrmecophytes. (“Myrmecophyte” is Greek for “Yo, dawg, there may have been a slight miscommunication after you said you liked plants.”).  Some of them don’t even do anything for ants except make a nice living space, because that way when the ants die and start their little ant graveyards in random unused spaces, the plant can use their little tenant corpses as fertilizer. (Note: Do not trust plants.  Ever.)

stuckinabucket:

The bullhorn acacia is kind of sad as acacias go.  You know how most acacias produce alkaloids that taste nasty and keep things from eating them?  Well, bullhorn acacias don’t.  It’s like, get on the bus, bullhorn acacias.

Of course, bullhorn acacias are not hearing your noise, because they’re thinking outside the metabolically-expensive-poison box.

And what they’re thinking is that maybe if you like eating them, you’re really gonna like this face full of motherfucking ants they’ve got for you.

Yes, you read that right.  Instead of playing fair and making their own toxins to keep everything and their brothers off of their leaves, this plant outsourced that shit to ants.  Presumably this is because ants are easily bribed with food, generally looking for a fight, and, most importantly, can run really fast.  Acacias in general, while also easily bribed and kind of ornery, are not known for their speed and mobility.

You’re probably looking at that picture and going “Man, I am just not seeing a real place for those ants to live.  This plant is a terrible employer if it’s not even going to provide housing.  Also, those thorns are kind of nasty-looking, but they’re awful big.  I bet I could just avoid them and not step on the ant mound and be fine.”  And this is not an unreasonable thing to think!  Which is probably why the acacia already thought of it, and decided to keep its ant legions in its thorns.

Yup.  This plant has evolved a way to shoot stinging insects out of its thorns, just in case stabbing you didn’t get the point across.  This is because this plant is hardcore.

Now you may be sitting there going “I don’t know, ants are pretty metal, and that ant looks pretty metal even by ant standards.  Maybe they just really liked the idea of living in hollowed-out thorns and did this all on their own.”  And I can see why you’d say that, because it totally sounds like something ants would do, but you’d be tragically wrong.  You know how some ants will properly farm or half-assedly shepherd aphids because they suck out plant juices and process and concentrate the sugars in their waste, which the ants then treat like gatorade?  

The acacia tries to cut out the middle man there.  They produce little bundles of protein and fat called Beltian bodies and then stick them on their leaflet tips, which is basically just mocking herbivores at this point, and then on the leaf stalks they’ve got these fancypants glands that produce nectar, to further rub it in.  I mean, seriously.  This plant is just hanging out going “Oh, yeah, my leafy greens taste like cake, assholes.  You want this?  Hope you like ants, too, because that’s what else is there.”

So the ants are getting a super fucking sweet deal here, and it’s like, man, this plant is going way out of its way to keep these sons of bitches around.  Is it sure it wouldn’t be easier to just pony up with the alkaloids and taste gross?  Because it seems like it wouldn’t be nearly so cool, but it would be way simpler than growing these ant apartments and ant cafeterias and whatnot, and this plant probably isn’t vain enough to evolve based on sheer coolness.

Well, ants aren’t stupid, but they are pretty fucking territorial.  Remember how acacias are generally just not capable of getting up and wandering around?  The ants do that for them.  Any vines and shit trying to climb on the acacia get ant-murdered the same way herbivores trying to eat it get all face-stung, and the ants will go the extra distance of killing anything that tries to grow around the base of the tree.  They send out fucking ant doom-patrols looking for weeds.  And then they kill the shit out of them.

So, fucking bullhorn acacias, right?  They really hit on a cool scheme.  Surely they are the only plants that could pull this off.  Nope!  There’s a bunch of plants that have figured out how to make deals with ants, to the point where there’s a name for them: myrmecophytes. (“Myrmecophyte” is Greek for “Yo, dawg, there may have been a slight miscommunication after you said you liked plants.”).  Some of them don’t even do anything for ants except make a nice living space, because that way when the ants die and start their little ant graveyards in random unused spaces, the plant can use their little tenant corpses as fertilizer. (Note: Do not trust plants.  Ever.)

(via magneticmotif)

@9 months ago with 2434 notes
#plant #ants #nature #bugs #awesome 
2 weeks ago
#photography #cyanotype #nature #blue 
thejunglenook:

Pop-Science’s Penis Fixation 

Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science
Annalee Newitz
Earlier today [4/17/14], scientists announced they’d discovered an insect with a new kind of female sex organ. It looks a bit like a penis, and is called a gynosome. But almost every news outlet covered the story by describing the insects as “females with penises.” This isn’t just painfully wrong — it’s bad for science.
From reading the science news today, you’d assume that we’d found female bugs with penises, or organs that penetrate and inseminate their partners during sex. “In this group of insects, females wear the penises!” Discover magazine trumpeted. “In this insect, females have penises and males have vaginas,” National Geographic elaborated. The Verge declared that scientists had found a “female penis,” while Scientific American informed us that this female insect uses her “spiky penis” to “take charge.” Even the original scientific article’s headline included the phrase “female penis, male vagina.”
Except the gynosome isn’t a penis. As Jason Goldman explains in an article about the gynosome, this is a hitherto unknown form of sexual organ in the animal kingdom. When female members of the Brazilian bug species Neotroglamate with males, they insert their gynosomes into the male’s sexual organ. Once inside the male’s body, the gynosome inflates and grows spines, then absorbs both sperm and nutrients from the male for several days.
I’m sorry, but does this sound like a penis to you? When was the last time you found a penis that grew spines, absorbed nutrients, remained erect for 75 hours, or allowed its owner to get pregnant? Pretty much the only thing this organ has in common with a penis is that it’s used to penetrate a partner during sex. (continue reading)

* I highly suggest you all read the entire article I linked above as it is a splendidly executed editorial piece, the like which I have not seen in quite some time. *
I’ve seen a number of posts on this topic going around. All proclaiming the awesomeness of this female penis. The thing is, Neotrogla has a gynosome and not a penis. So why should you care?
 New things don’t always fit into the old boxes, and that’s ok.The gynosome is new. We’ve never seen anything like this before and that is a BIG FRICKING DEAL! So when we change the language from gynosome to penis, we essentially strip this discovery of its fascinating new-ness. Instead of encouraging readers to learn more about this new type of sex organ, this penis talk allows readers to cling to their preconceived notions regarding sexual selection and sexual behavior. One penis to one vagina. Safe. Familiar. Normal.NO. Science is all about understanding the world around us and sharing that knowledge with others. Science isn’t about encouraging (inadvertently or not) misconceptions because new language / discoveries might make some people a bit uncomfortable. 
Chicks with dicks. How original.You’re making a dick joke. I get it, but I’m not laughing. The whole basis of this joke is that it is funny because it is different. I mean, why on earth would a female animal have a protruding genital organ? It’s not like spotted hyenas have an enlarged clitoris and fused labia to produce what is commonly referred to as a pseudo-penis. Oh wait…Geoffory’s spider monkeys have enlarged labia which form a pendulous, which is larger than the male’s flaccid penis. And let’s not forget the seahorse females who use an ovipositor to deposit her eggs into the male’s brood pouch for fertilization and gestation.(x)The animal kingdom is filled with structures that may look and function differently than our own. If you’re stuck snickering over a penis joke you won’t find out what natural and sexual selection forces lead to this astounding variety.
Stop trying to qualify animal behavior along human-centric perspectives.Sexual selection is a weird branch of Ethology. An awesome one, but a weird one, and courtship behaviors/ mating systems/ sex organs you find in the animal world rarely line up with human textbook notions of reproductive sex.  Now this isn’t any surprise to those of us in the scientific community, but what about the average person?  Are they going to want to conduct some further research or will they simply take the pop-sci version as fact? These are the same type of people who believe in domineering and aggressive alpha males, in timid females, and in animals that are strictly business when it comes to sex. (HAH! Tell that to the bonobo!).With so many media sources jumping on this ‘female penis’ train (snicker), why would the average person have any reason to doubt this claim. After all, the internet never lies.Sexual “roles” (which may also be referred to as gender roles in humans) are incredibly complicated when we’re discussing our own species… So why would we ever try to apply such binary logic to EVERY ANIMAL IN THE WORLD? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not saying that every article that used the penis terminology is guilty of this, but a lot of them are.
Of course, not everyone agrees with this perspective. Ed Yong of National Geographic wrote a response to the article above defending his use of the term “female penis”. What do you guys think? Is this this just a metaphor used for simple explanation, or a penis game that has gone too far? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
3 months ago
#science #penis #genitalia #gender #sex #insects #biology #nature 
thatssoproblematic:

pymparticles:

Scientists have discovered the animal kingdom first female penis.
They have also discovered a new way to make me say “Well, goddamn”.

“Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male.”
“Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male.”
"Contrary to popular belief, the presence or absence of certain sex organs isn’t the determining factor when deciding which animal of a species is female and which is male."
YO CISSEXISTS WHO LIKE SCIENCE SO MUCH. CHECK THIS OUT.
3 months ago
#biology #mating #sex #gender #science #nature 
a-heart-of-calcifer:

ehlnofey:

When Ken Morrish picked this apple off a tree in his garden, he thought a prankster had painted half of it red.
But after inspecting it closely he realised that the remarkable split colours on the fruit were a natural phenomenon. And the bizarre apple turned Mr Morrish into something of a celebrity in his village with scores of neighbours queuing up to take a photograph of it.
Experts say that the odds of finding an apple with such a perfect line between the green and the red are more than 1million to one. [source]

My Biology major boyfriend got a scholarship for excellence in Botany as well as a scholarship for excellence in Biology and Zoology
I asked him if this his possible and all he said was “I don’t know, plants are fucking weird”
6 months ago
#food #nature #science 
6 months ago
#forest #nature 
7 months ago
#yosemite #landscape #camping #nature 
wolveswolves:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOLVES AND RAVENS
Ravens and wolves form social attachments with each other and take huge advantage of each other.
Both animals eat meat. When wolves killed a prey, ravens eat from the left over cadaver and scavenge it. Also, ravens lead wolves to preys or cadavers. The ravens fly and the wolves follow. Ravens also alert wolves to dangers.
They also play with each other. For example the ravens dive at the wolves and then speed away or peck their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them, or wolf cubs chasing after teasing ravens.
Dr. L. David Mech wrote in ‘The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species’: "It appears that the wolf and the raven have reached an adjustment in their relationships such that each creature is rewarded in some way by the presence of the other and that each is fully aware of the other’s capabilities."
Also very interesting: Bernd Heinrich wrote in ‘Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds’: "Ravens can be attracted to wolf howls. The wolves’ howls before they go on a hunt, and it is a signal that the birds learn to heed. Conversely, wolves may respond to certain raven vocalizations or behavior that indicate prey. The raven-wolf association may be close to a symbiosis that benefits the wolves and ravens alike. At a kill site, the birds are more suspicious and alert than wolves. The birds serve the wolves as extra eyes and ears."
Some videos: - Raven Dances with Wolf Pup - Ravens taking a bath in the snow after stealing food from wolves- Crow teasing a wolf
(Picture by Michael S. Nolan)
7 months ago
#nature #animals #ravens #wolves 
Someone Recorded Crickets then Slowed Down the Track, And It Sounds Like Humans Singing - Enpundit→

blackblobyellowcone:

I am fascinated by all insects. We think they are disgusting, alien, dirty creatures, but they don’t have to be. The more I learn about them the more wondrous they become. Their world is so hidden from us yet without them we could not live. 

(via fyeahcutebugs)

8 months ago
#crickets #nature #sounds #awesome 
oosik:

Olinguito, the newest mammal recently discovered on Earth.
In an age when 100,000 species become extinct each year, sometimes it seems that all there is left to do is to count up the losses. But as it turns out the age of discovery might not yet be over. In August of this year, Smithsonian scientists announced that they had discovered a new species of mammal: the raccoon-like Olinguito. 
Although the discovery of new species of invertebrates or amphibians isn’t unusual, the discovery of a new species of carnivorous mammal is. Especially since a mammal hasn’t been discovered in the Western Hemisphere since 1978. The last, most recent discovery of a mammal on Earth was in 2010 with the discovery of the Durrell’s Vontsira in Madagascar.  
According to Smithsonian zoologist Kristofer M. Helgen, who led the effort to identify the Olinguito, “The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed.”  
The newly discovered Olinguito was found in the cloud forests of South America, in the western Andes of Colombia. A full-grown Olinguito, which has been described as “a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat,” is said to grow up to 14 inches long. These animals eat mostly fruit and only have one baby at a time. Their long claws and padded feet help them grip branches as they walk among trees in the cloud forest. 
Fortunately, unlike so many other species, Olinguitos are not at risk of extinction any time soon. Enjoy the pictures of this cute little creature below.
9 months ago
#animals #nature 
stuckinabucket:

The bullhorn acacia is kind of sad as acacias go.  You know how most acacias produce alkaloids that taste nasty and keep things from eating them?  Well, bullhorn acacias don’t.  It’s like, get on the bus, bullhorn acacias.
Of course, bullhorn acacias are not hearing your noise, because they’re thinking outside the metabolically-expensive-poison box.
And what they’re thinking is that maybe if you like eating them, you’re really gonna like this face full of motherfucking ants they’ve got for you.
Yes, you read that right.  Instead of playing fair and making their own toxins to keep everything and their brothers off of their leaves, this plant outsourced that shit to ants.  Presumably this is because ants are easily bribed with food, generally looking for a fight, and, most importantly, can run really fast.  Acacias in general, while also easily bribed and kind of ornery, are not known for their speed and mobility.
You’re probably looking at that picture and going “Man, I am just not seeing a real place for those ants to live.  This plant is a terrible employer if it’s not even going to provide housing.  Also, those thorns are kind of nasty-looking, but they’re awful big.  I bet I could just avoid them and not step on the ant mound and be fine.”  And this is not an unreasonable thing to think!  Which is probably why the acacia already thought of it, and decided to keep its ant legions in its thorns.

Yup.  This plant has evolved a way to shoot stinging insects out of its thorns, just in case stabbing you didn’t get the point across.  This is because this plant is hardcore.
Now you may be sitting there going “I don’t know, ants are pretty metal, and that ant looks pretty metal even by ant standards.  Maybe they just really liked the idea of living in hollowed-out thorns and did this all on their own.”  And I can see why you’d say that, because it totally sounds like something ants would do, but you’d be tragically wrong.  You know how some ants will properly farm or half-assedly shepherd aphids because they suck out plant juices and process and concentrate the sugars in their waste, which the ants then treat like gatorade?  
The acacia tries to cut out the middle man there.  They produce little bundles of protein and fat called Beltian bodies and then stick them on their leaflet tips, which is basically just mocking herbivores at this point, and then on the leaf stalks they’ve got these fancypants glands that produce nectar, to further rub it in.  I mean, seriously.  This plant is just hanging out going “Oh, yeah, my leafy greens taste like cake, assholes.  You want this?  Hope you like ants, too, because that’s what else is there.”
So the ants are getting a super fucking sweet deal here, and it’s like, man, this plant is going way out of its way to keep these sons of bitches around.  Is it sure it wouldn’t be easier to just pony up with the alkaloids and taste gross?  Because it seems like it wouldn’t be nearly so cool, but it would be way simpler than growing these ant apartments and ant cafeterias and whatnot, and this plant probably isn’t vain enough to evolve based on sheer coolness.
Well, ants aren’t stupid, but they are pretty fucking territorial.  Remember how acacias are generally just not capable of getting up and wandering around?  The ants do that for them.  Any vines and shit trying to climb on the acacia get ant-murdered the same way herbivores trying to eat it get all face-stung, and the ants will go the extra distance of killing anything that tries to grow around the base of the tree.  They send out fucking ant doom-patrols looking for weeds.  And then they kill the shit out of them.
So, fucking bullhorn acacias, right?  They really hit on a cool scheme.  Surely they are the only plants that could pull this off.  Nope!  There’s a bunch of plants that have figured out how to make deals with ants, to the point where there’s a name for them: myrmecophytes. (“Myrmecophyte” is Greek for “Yo, dawg, there may have been a slight miscommunication after you said you liked plants.”).  Some of them don’t even do anything for ants except make a nice living space, because that way when the ants die and start their little ant graveyards in random unused spaces, the plant can use their little tenant corpses as fertilizer. (Note: Do not trust plants.  Ever.)
9 months ago
#plant #ants #nature #bugs #awesome