This image of baby leaf veined slugs, taken by evolutionary genetics Ph.D. student David Winter, is oddly adorable. And Winter's story of his quest to figure out what leaf veined slugs eat is oddly fascinating. Apparently, there's a surprising amount we don't know about slug behavior. Slug diets, in particular, are a black box about which very little is definitively documented.
Sure enough, searching through the literature on the 30 or so species of leaf veined slug in New Zealand, there is no indication of what it is that they eat. That was too depressing for me, we know so little about the biology of our native invertebrates, but this species (Athoracophorus bitentaculatus) isn't particularily rare, we should at least know what this one eats.
So, I took to stepping outside an night time, finding a couple of slugs, and placing them in a bucket. In the morning I'd move them back to the shrubs from which they'd been plucked and collect [from the bucket] a few fecal samples to inspect ...
The Atavism blog: The Sight of a Wild Slug Eating
SmarterEveryDay’s Destin Sandlin captured this astonishing video of the International Space Station transiting Monday’s solar eclipse. Fast forward to 3:50 for the magical moment. And in case you missed it, below is NASA’s still photo of the ISS transiting the sun at five miles per second.
The psilocybin in magic mushrooms is a potent psychedelic for animals. But what good is the psilocybin for the shrooms? New genetic research from Ohio State University suggests that the psilocybin might act as an insect repellant, protecting the mushrooms. From New Scientist: The gene cluster (linked to psilocybin production) is found in several distantly […]
In elementary school, I knew a boy who would impress us by pulling the legs off a daddy longlegs and popping the body in his mouth. I think he would appreciate this Deep Look video about how daddy longlegs can drop up to three of its limbs when threatened by a predator and still survive.
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Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]