Eleanora of Toledo with Her Son Giovanni de Medici by Agnolo Bronzino - c. 1544-45 (detail)
The Golden Elephant Snail (Tylomelania zemis)
- Lake Poso in Sulawesi, Indonesia
Feast your eyes on the cutest snail that has possibly ever existed. This is the Golden Elephant Snail, otherwise known as a Rabbit Snail (Tylomelania zemis).
These snails walk sort of like lumbering elephants, pulling themselves along using their muscular foot while simultaneously sifting through the sand with their ‘trunks.’
They are one of only a few snail species who deliver 1-3 perfectly formed “babies” in individual milky-white egg sacs. Can you imagine how cute these guys must be as teeny-tiny elephants?!
Red Slug (Arion rufus)
Also known as the chocolate arion, large red slug or the European red slug, the reg slug is a species of “roundback slug” (Arionidae) that is though to be native to northwestern Europe. However, its distribution is unclear as it has bee widely introduced and is easily confused. For example despite being known as the red slug A. rufus also has a black morph and is almost indistinguishable from the Black slug A. ater. Red slugs typically inhabit wooded areas and dry coastal habitats. Like many other slugs A. rufus is an omnivore and will feed on a wide variety of foods including carrion, fungi, and vegetation.
The Queen’s Coronation 1953
Saturday, 27 July 2013 to Sunday, 29 September 2013
This summer marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most momentous occasions in 20th-century British history – the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To mark the anniversary of the event, a major exhibition for the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace will bring together for the first time since Coronation Day, a spectacular array of dress, uniform and robes worn by the principal royal party. Works of art, paintings and objects used on the day will also be on display to recreate the atmosphere of that extraordinary occasion.
Absurd Creature of the Week: Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola)
by Matt Simon
If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it’s that we may as well rename the clownfish “that Nemo fish.” Beyond that, it’s a great study in marine ecology: Nemo’s rescue party casts off from the safety of the reef into the perilous open ocean, where one must be fast, inconspicuous or untouchably enormous to survive. Our heroes are none of these, and thus hijinks ensue.
Millions of years ago a small fish embarked on its own Nemo-esque voyage, abandoning reefs in favor of open ocean. Over the millennia it lost its tail and grew absolutely immense; today it can reach more than 10 feet in length and 5,000 pounds, thus putting itself beyond threat of all but the mightiest predators.
The bizarre ocean sunfish is the world’s biggest bony fish. The Germans call it “the swimming head,” the Chinese “the toppled car fish,” and taxonomists Mola mola — which, ironically enough for something that floats, is Latin for “millstone.” And unlike Nemo’s compatriots, it is beautifully adapted to the high seas…
(read more/see video: Wired Science)
photos by Mike Johnson and Sandstein/Wikipedia