Meet the Aye-aye

Daubentonia madagascariensis, also known as Aye-aye is a strepsirrhine endemic to Madagascar. Acording to the UICN Red List, it is endangered. They usually weigh between 2.5-2.7 kg and their life spectancy is about 24 years in captivity. SOME CURIOUS AND UNIQUE  MORPHOLOGICAL FEATURES They are the largest nocturnal primates. They have orange eyes surrounded by … Read more

An egg sack to take care of the offspring

The spider Agroeca brunnea makes a simple-looking egg sac and usually attaches it to an elevated site. But the curious thing is that it is bicameral, composed by the chamber of the eggs (1) and the chamber of molt (2). Eggs hatch in chamber 1 and newborn spiders pierce the cover plate, falling into chamber … Read more

The orangutans’ “trick” to ensure their reproductive success

Orangutan females reach sexual maturity at 11-15 years. Males reach puberty at 7-9 years and thereafter they have 2 possibilities : 1.Reach adult size with all its features (such as lateral facial pads -green arrow-). 2.Stay in an adolescent state (development interrupted) in terms of morphology, but still are fertile and reproductively active. Possible meaning? … Read more

How does the ogre-faced spider hunt?

These spiders of the genus Deinopis are weavers, but the web they manufacture consists of a few threads attached to the front legs. When prey (e.g. a moth) approaches, the spider separates the legs, extends the spiral and rushes over it to catch it. They’re called “ogre-faced” because of the “face” of the prosoma. They … Read more

Orangutans, the mammals that take the longest to have a calf

The intergenesic interval (the time from one birth to a potential next pregnancy.) of orangutans is the largest of all primates and mammals: 6-8 years. During all this time the offspring are very dependent on the mother because they need a long learning period in order to survive on their own. For instance, they learn … Read more

The hearing of snakes

serpientes-ofidios-reptiles-curiosidades-blog-audicion-anatomia-timpano-vibraciones

Snakes don’t have eardrums… HOW DO THEY HEAR THEN? What happens is that the lower jaw is connected to the columella (homologus organ to the mammalian stapes), a bone that connects to the oval membrane, which in turn connects to the inner ear. In this way, being in contact with the ground or water, the … Read more

An aquatic spider?

It is Argyroneta aquatica. This spider not only dive, but completes its entire life cycle underwater. How does it breathe? It produces an air bubble that envelops the opisthosoma (the “body” without the “head”). As the bubble consumes, the spider comes to the surface to add other bubbles and increase its supply of air. How … Read more

How do amphibians hear?

Amphibians have two ways to capture the vibrations of the medium and transform them into sound: In one hand, through their legs… What actually happens is that when the ground vibrates, vibrations are transmitted by the legs to the scapula of these animals, and  through the opercular muscle and opercular bone, reaching the oval membrane … Read more

Scorpions also shine

Scorpions emit fluorescence…when they are illuminated with ultraviolet light. It is supposed to be a kind of warning. The same happens with centipedes. In biology this phenomenon is called aposematism, that is, warning mechanisms to indicate that they are dangerous. There are several types of aposematism, especially in relation to color (intense colors such as … Read more

Syrphids. Camouflaged as wasps

Sirfidos-Avispas-Mimetismo-Batesiano-Zoología-Camuflaje-Naturaleza-Biodiversidad

Surely, many of you have seen these animals flutter in the field… And surely many of you have turned away when you saw them nearby and shouted: “Watch out, a wasp!” Well, they’re actually flies… yes, harmless FLIES known as syrphid flies, flower flies or hoverflies. They imitate the coloration of wasps, which warns of … Read more

Cobwebs: Architecture in miniature

Telarañas-Arañas-Naturaleza-Curiosidades-Zoologia-Increible-Construccion

There are up to 7 types of silk-producing glands (and each silk is different). But not all spiders have all those glands. Not all the spiders build cobwebs, but all of them have the ability to produce silk. The construction of cobwebs is genetically codified, it is not by learning. In addition, it is done … Read more

Awareness of death in non-human animals (Part 2)

muerte-capitan-etologia

In this second part we expand the range of animal species that have been shown to exhibit unique behaviors after the death of a relative or companion. In these new cases we will see how both domestic and wild animals react surprisingly to death. More examples which suggest that the human being is not the … Read more

Awareness of death in non-human animals (Part I)

conciencia_muerte

There are many documented cases in which different species of animals have shown different types of behaviors toward dead bodies. Although the cases can be considered anecdotal observations and involve small sample sizes, they induce to think that feeling pain for a loss and being aware of death is not unique to humans. In this … Read more

Koko: The gorilla that could communicate with humans

Gorillas share 98.6% of the genetic material with humans. Like other species of animals, they communicate orally, visually, olfactorily and tactilely. As for the first form, several types of vocalizations have been identified. However, the gorilla Koko was and always will be,famous for being able to communicate with humans through sign language Koko, a Western … Read more

Behavior manipulators. The organisms capable of breaking the will

Behavioral control has always aroused deep fears. For instance, the mere idea of the existence of institutions and projects that have tried to manipulate the most private and apparently untouchable aspects of an individual arouses evident uneasiness. However, the human being is not pioneer in behavioral control techniques. In nature, several species have been practicing … Read more

Can a Canarian volcano cause an international catastrophe?

Can you imagine a wave of biblical proportions capable of flooding and destroying part of Europe and West Africa and the eastern shores of America? This is predicted by a mathematical model published in 2001 by a couple of geologists. This study predicts that such an event could be triggered by a volcano on La … Read more