Category archives for Organisms

This could get interesting. I’ve seen a lot of stories about this recent paper on the tardigrade genome: Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the transfer of genes between species, has been recognized recently as more pervasive than previously suspected. Here, we report evidence for an unprecedented degree of HGT into an animal genome, based on…

Botanical Wednesday: Plants for dinner

I’m hearing occasional gasps of disbelief at the notion of a vegan Thanksgiving, so clearly I need to show you something to make you salivate. That’s just an example — we’re having something different — but honestly, you can have a tremendous variety of textures and flavors, all delicious, without killing an animal. Also not…

This is the sea slug Glaucus atlanticus, called the Blue Dragon. Isn’t it lovely? It gnaws on Portuguese Man O’ Wars (men o’ wars?), eating the nematocysts and concentrating the toxins in those many pointy dark blue frills. Look at them and admire their beauty, but do not touch.

Friday Cephalopod: Macabre

A dead pig was caged 300m beneath the sea, with a camera trained on it, as a subject in forensic research. It has a…visitor.

Suddenly, I have a favorite fungus

It’s beautiful: the devil’s fingers, AKA the octopus fungus. Even just the name is like a barbed hook calculated to draw me in. It has other interesting features, besides the awesome appearance. While unappealing to us humans, Stop right there. Am I not human? Did I not coo in delight when I first saw this…

My students told me today that instead of lecturing, I ought to show that video of drunk girls and puppies over and over. I didn’t. But apparently everyone needs some cuteness. Will this do?

Looking gloriously sexy for their partners and spearing prey with their tentacles. I can do neither. Way to make me feel inadequate, cuttlefish.