Let’s Talk About: Hammerhead Sharks

Since Michael Phelps is apparently going to race a shark for Shark Week (which I assume will take 2 minutes, meaning we’ll have to sit through 28 minutes of stupid commercials and bullshit interviews about how Michael Phelps has a chance), I thought it might be an appropriate time to talk about hammerhead sharks, cause they’re kinda funny looking, but also kinda terrifying.  And sure, they aren’t the biggest sharks out there, and they sometimes get eaten by tiger sharks, but hey, who am I to judge.  At the end of the day, they are one of the most interesting looking species out there.  So let’s talk about hammerhead sharks. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Naked Mole Rats

(cc) Tim Evanson, cropped

Right off the top, here’s the deal with naked mole rats- they’re gross.  I know that the Disney channel has made you love ’em, and Rufus is the best, and Kim Possible was awesome, and blah blah blah early 2000s nostalgia (cause bullshit nostalgia’s a thing).  But seriously, they’re gross.  Fortunately, being gross doesn’t mean that they are not super interesting and pretty damn cool.  So today, let’s talk about naked mole rats! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Gharials

Sure, crocodiles and alligators might be the flashier, more popular crocodilian species- hell even caimans get their fair share of love- but instead I want to focus on this conundrum of a creature, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus).  Plus, if it wasn’t for the picture above, you’d probably have no idea what I was talking about today.  Honestly though, they look like an accident, one horrific accident.  I mean, their snouts alone look like someone was rolling cookie dough, then stopped after they were about 95% done.  Or like they’re perpetually balancing a cinnamon bun on their nose.  OR like someone took a shit on them.  But I digress, these guys are pretty cool, but too often forgotten.  It’s time to change that, so let’s talk about gharials! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Moose

I wish I had a good reason to want to write about moose today.  The reality of the situation is, however, that I just kinda am in the mood for it.  Sorry.  I could say that it’s in preparation for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, but honestly it’s just because they’re pretty damn cool, and I want to talk about them.  In case you didn’t know, Moose are from Canada (and parts of Eurasia), are sometimes named Elliot, and are larger than you’d expect a hooved mammal to be.  So if that whets your appetite, get ready, cause I’ve got more where that came from. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Poppies

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98 years ago today, the first World War experienced on our planet ended at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  It’s a day we’ll never forget.  Since 1921, the poppy has been used to honour fallen soldiers of any war since 1914 in Canada, the UK, and many other commonwealth countries.  In the US, poppies are used to commemorate the lives of fallen soldiers on Memorial day in May.  Poppies have been used to honour fallen soldiers due to the first few lines of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae’s WWI poem, In Flanders Fields- In Flanders field the poppies grow, between the crosses, row on row.  Today, let’s talk about the poppy. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Portuguese Man Of Wars

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Today I want to talk about something that I’m honestly surprised we’ve yet to discuss in the past: The Portuguese Man of War.  In case you haven’t heard of them before, Portuguese man of wars are a marine species infamous for their excruciatingly painful stings.  The Portuguese man of war, however, is more than just its sting (more specifically, three things more).  What’s really cool about them is that they are essentially just the Power Rangers of the oceans (just without the sweet guitar accompaniment).  So let’s talk about Portuguese man of wars. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About… Black Mambas!

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They say the best way to get over your fear is to learn and understand it. I used to have a major fear of snakes, but over time I have learned about just how cool snakes are, and now I’m not nearly as afraid of them. That’s because when you think of classic Hollywood movies like Snakes On A Plane or Anaconda, the species of snakes that are used in these films are usually not harmful to humans. Quite often they are a mixture of constrictors, which are not venomous at all. This is why it confuses me that a horror movie has never been created about the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis). This snake species is legitimately terrifying, so let’s talk about the black mamba! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Electric Eels

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Electric eels almost don’t seem real.  I mean, no living creature should be able to produce 600 volts of electricity, right?  We don’t even get that power from wall sockets!  Yet electric eels can, and do just that.  It’s pretty shocking- like, they can kill small caimans shocking. Most people, however, don’t know any more about them than that they can produce electricity and turn Jamie Foxx into a shitty Spiderman villain.  So to spread some knowledge about these pretty incredible creatures, today we’re about electric eels. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Hagfish

hagfish1Some people are scared of going into water because they might bump noses with a shark, but my biggest fear in the oceans is the hagfish! How they haven’t been featured as the villain in a horror movie is beyond me, because they drum up a certain kind of irrational fear in me that I can’t put into words. It was a wise person, most likely Oprah, who said that in order to face your fear you must first understand it, which is why this week we’re looking into all things hagfish! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About…Slime Molds!

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Fuligo septica By Siga – Own work, Public Domain 

Nature constantly amazes us here and so we had to spend an entire article on one of the most fascinating groups of organisms on the planet: slime molds! These guys are unlike anything else on planet Earth! At first these creatures were classified with fungi, and have gone through more names than P. Diddy, at times being called  Myxomycota, Acrasiomycota and Labyrinthulomycota. Thanks to genetic analysis technology, slime molds have been placed in several different groups, none of which relate to fungi.  Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Binturongs

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Oh man do I have a fun one for you guys today.  So, in case you weren’t in the know, there exists a marvel of the animal world that smells like buttered popcorn.  Man, is this exciting!  Called the binturong, or bear cat, this weird creature is essentially the platypus of the land, as it looks like a cat traded heads with a bear (even though it’s closest relative is neither of those species).  All in all, this Southeast Asian mammal is pretty darn cool, on top of that whole popcorn thing- although I’m definitely bringing that up again- so let’s talk about binturongs! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About… Giraffes!

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I have to be honest, I forgot that giraffes exist. It was a couple of months ago and we were talking about our favourite animals. My friend said hers was the giraffe, and my mind went blank. When I searched for photos what I saw was something that looked extraterrestrial. Of course I remembered at this point what a giraffe was, but I was seeing them with child-like eyes. How have we all just blindly accepted these massive, long-necked beasts as obvious members of the animal kingdom! They look unlike anything else on the planet! So I have since become acquainted with these magnificent creatures, and going to impart my knowledge onto you. So let’s talk about GIRAFFES! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About…Bombardier Beetles!!!

(cc) Photo by David Hill

(cc) Photo by David Hill

Bombardier beetles are by far my favourite insects! They are completely unassuming little critters. With over 500 species around the world, they seem to look like any other, run of the mill, beetle, but they are so much more. These guys have evolved an incredible defense strategy that makes them the Tony Stark of insects! So let’s talk about BOMBARDIER BEETLES! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About…Chameleons

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There are over 160 different species of chameleons and every single one is absolutely fascinating! The largest species of chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) can grow up to 27 inches, while the smallest species (Brookesia micra) only 0.6 inches. Most chameleon species are found in sub-Saharan Africa or the island of Madagascar, but you can also find them in India, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East. So let’s dive in and learn about these peculiar reptiles. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Ocelots

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I’ve been rewatching Archer, as I fervently wait for some news about when the next season will start, and just realized something (or maybe remembered something):  Babou is awesome.  For those of you not in the know, he’s one of the character’s pet ocelot, and Archer’s favourite thing in the world after alcohol and Burt Reynolds.  Anyways, because of that I thought I might as well share some pretty sweet ocelot knowledge with the internets, to hopefully convince anyone who dislikes Babou how great he is, and remind everyone else why he’s so special.  Let’s talk about ocelots. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Thorny Devils

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I don’t know if you’ve every heard of, or seen, a thorny devil before, but after today you’ll wish you had.  These guys are crazy- they’re pretty much how, as a kid, you pictured dinosaurs.  Covered in sharp spikes and tough skin, these guys look pretty fierce, and they’re from Australia, so you know they’re not to be messed with.  Really though, I almost solely want to talk about them because of their other name: the Moloch (unrelated to The Watchmen villain, sorry).  Never heard of the Canaanite god Moloch?  Well let me turn you towards Paradise Lost‘s description of him, ahem: a “horrid king besmeared with blood of human sacrifice”.  Yeah… let’s talk about the thorny devil. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: House Centipedes

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When I woke up this morning I had no idea what to write about today.  And then from above it came to me.  No, not in the biblical sense.  After I woke up and looked up, there on the wall was one of those awful creatures that can only come from the pits of hell.  You know the ones, those centipede looking ones that make you throw up a little in your mouth, and send convulsions throughout your entire body?  Ya, those bastards.  Well anyways, I saw one, and immediately died a little, but then I realized that the only thing I know about them is that the devil sends them into my house through drainpipes, and that got me thinking.  How can I hate something with every inch of my being without knowing a thing about them.  That changes now!  Get ready, cause we’re about to talk about house centipedes- that’s actually what they’re called, it’s not just me who’s unimaginative.  Full disclosure, the above picture is the only one of them you’ll see in this article, because I can’t take looking at them for too long, and because I thought I should put in at least one picture so you would know what I’m talking about. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Hippos

giphy-hippoHippos.  Hippos are interesting animals.  On the one hand they seem peaceful, slow, hungry, and the perfect Christmas gift, but then on the other hand they’re actually terrifying and speedy (also 30 km/h on land).  Hippos kill about 500 people a year, and are some of the scariest things you could be in the water with.  But even still we seem to love hippos– just look at the view count!  So let’s take a look at the enigma that is the teen ‘stached hippo- full disclosure, there will be shit.  Let’s talk about hippopotamuses!  Full Disclosure: unfortunately house hippos apparently still don’t exist, but I’m waiting on the discovery. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Sea Lamprey

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Lampreys, or the devil’s suction cups, are terrifying.  In fact they don’t even look real, and are a much better reason to never go into the ocean than sharks.  But what’s cool about them, other than the fact that they look like something out of a horror film, is that they actually pre-date sharks and other fish, breaking off of the tree of life first!  Oh and they’ve made they’re way into the Great Lakes water system all the way from the Atlantic Ocean.  Yeah, they’re pretty much in your backyard… So let’s talk about lampreys! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Venus Flytraps

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Are Venus flytraps still popular?  Cause if they’re not, they should be.  It’s like plants were tired of being made fun of, so they made a badass, meat eating anomaly to protect them in the playground.  Seriously, these plants kick some serious insect ass.  For those of you who don’t know about Venus flytraps, simply put they’re plants who got tired of just living off of sunlight, and decided that being carnivorous would be a lot more fun (I think that’s how evolution works…right?).  Anyways, if all plants were more like Venus flytraps I might actually have a garden, so let’s talk about them. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Tapirs

 

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Sure tapirs might look like the product dropping an inbred elephant baby on its head a few times, and in Brazil the word “tapir” might be synonymous with “jackass”, but don’t let that fool you, because they’re actually quite cool.  In fact, people love them.  Not only is there a World Tapir Day (April 27th), but there’s also a yearly International Tapir Symposium, and they can dance!  So in case you missed boarding the tapir fan train, here’s a few reasons why you should jump on board.  Let’s talk about tapirs! Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Dung Beetles

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Feeling down in the dumps?  Or maybe you’re just a little pooped today.  Well have no fear, today’s all about the dung beetle.  Not because they’re the coolest thing since sliced bread or because David Attenborough once spent almost two and a half minutes talking about the beetles, dung, and their martial arts abilities.  No, today’s all about dung beetles so that I can make countless amounts of shitty puns.  I’m about to drop some real knowledge on you guys, so let’s talk about dung beetles. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Tardigrades

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I LOVE TARDIGRADES! I love them for so many reasons! It wasn’t until I was in a zoology class in university that I was introduced to these real-life Carebears, but since then they’ve had my heart! These microscopic creatures were discovered in 1773 and given the name Tardigrada, which means “slow stepper” by Lazzaro Spallanzani. These guys have also been given a list of other names like water bears, sea sloths, and moss piglets. All of these names make this already adorable animal irresistible! So today we’re talking about tardigrades!
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Let’s Talk About: Emus

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When it comes to flightless birds, emus are top dogs.  It’s as simple as that.  Sure, ostriches are larger, and cassowaries know martial arts, but emus beat the Australian army back in 1932- seriously, I’m not kidding, the army lost to a bunch of emus.  They’re also more like velociraptors than actual velociraptors (don’t google this, it might just ruin you… Jurassic Park got it so very wrong).  None of this should really come as a surprise though, considering that they come from Australia, arguably the most dangerous place on Earth, thanks to its wildlife.  That being said, upside down people seem to fascinate them.  So sit ratite, (cause that’s the type of bird they are… get it), and let’s talk about emus. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About: Ants

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So there’s an ant colony that I now apparently share my bathroom with- which is just peachy- and before I decimate the entire ant hill using trickery and poison, I thought that I might as well take a page out of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and “know thy enemy”.  Now I don’t know what type of species of ant is living within the hidden recesses of my bathroom (which is actually a pretty major problem when it comes to the general taxonomy of ants, considering there are probably more than 10,000 species of them) so I’ll just generally know my enemy.  If A Bug’s Life is any indication though, the worst they can do is build a fake bird- and I’m not afraid of birds.  So, without further ado, let’s talk about ants. Continue reading