Zombie Birds, Astronaut Fish, and Other Weird Animals
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Take a walk on the weird side!
Astronaut fish swimming in zero gravity? Fluffy little birds hungry for brains? Transformer butterflies morphing in midair? It's either a bad trip or one crazy safari.
Becky Crew takes you on the latter by mixing serious scientific facts with lighthearted anthropomorphic stories. Each animal profile starts with a short, humorous day-in-the-life-of bit that leads into the real science of these really strange creatures. Becky keeps things fresh by mixing in her wit with the interesting facts.
From naked mole rat reproduction to the Wolverine-style defenses of Cameroon's hairy frogs, Zombie Birds, Astronaut Fish, and Other Weird Animals packs enough information for one heck of a nature walk.
their soft, dense fur. They are relatively small, never growing over 11 pounds, and agile, built to spend their days hopping between trees, using their long, slender tails for grasping and balance. When the females are sexually receptive, they will actively solicit a male, and previous studies had shown that when this happens, the selected male will step up his urine washing. “Every capuchin I’ve seen—in the wild and in captivity—has engaged in this behavior at some point,” says Phillips. She
have functioned as a channel for venom to pass from the animal’s skull into the flesh of its prey. A hollow pocket in the side of the Sinornithosaurus’ face, evidenced by the shape of its fossilized skull, was identified as a possible venom gland, and a pitted canal running between it and the base of the teeth could have acted as a venom-collecting duct. Modern venomous snake species can be separated into two groups, front fanged and rear fanged. Front-fanged snakes are the most common group—all
feature but what do you say about an assfish? You’d better have a cool job or something because that’s honestly the only way you’re going to get anyone to talk to you. Stop laughing, I’m trying to help you! Okay, say you meet someone: a girl, a prospective boss, a friend of a friend of a friend at a party, it doesn’t matter, Pearlfish. Here’s how I see your opening conversation going. Scenario 1 “Hi, I’m Robin.” “Hi, I’m Pearlfish.” “That’s a pretty name. Where do you live?” “In an anus.”
through the ship’s liquor supply. “Say, Lowy,” said Hadley, “would you mind offering your opinion on how I look in a number of suits? I’m polling the crew to see which would be the best for when we first go to air.” “Sure, whatever,” said Lowy, just as Captain Bsdot announced over the intercom that they had run out of fuel so were preparing to land on the unidentified rocky planet, where they would all surely die. “Ssssshtrap yourshelves in!” he added, before almost killing everyone with a
bright red, heavily armored abdomens and rich, brown cephalothoraxes, the area that combines the head and the thorax. Both species are extremely rare and nocturnal, so it wasn’t until February 2011 that researchers from the Czech Republic discovered exactly how they executed their hunt. “Ten years ago, I went to Israel to the Negev desert … and I came across a number of these peculiar spiders. With their huge forelegs they looked like wrestlers,” says lead researcher Stano Pekár, an assistant