Ernst Haeckel's 1904 bat drawings

Zoologist and artist Ernst Haeckel (1834 - 1919) had some odd ideas about the origins and evolution of life forms. That’s understandable, because at the time, scientists were just beginning to accept Darwinism. (Haeckel himself was a champion of Darwinism, but he added Lamarckism and some unpleasant conjectures about race into his philosophical worldview.)

This remarkable page of expressive bat face drawings was posted last week on Open Culture. It can also be found in the book, Art Forms in Nature, which was originally published as a series of portfolios between 1899-1904. This book of the same name compiles 100 color plates of Haeckel’s meticulously composed, obsessively detailed drawings of plants and animals arranged to show the similarity of different species. Haeckel’s lifeforms radiate vitality from the page and the peculiar way they are drawn seems to stimulate the same part of the brain that’s affected by psychedelic drugs.

The plates were intended to illustrate Haeckle’s ideas about life and evolution, but they ended up being more important to artists than scientists. His blend of crystalline geometric patterns and swooping organic curves feels very Art Nouveau, and in fact many Art Nouveau artists were influenced by Haeckel’s drawings. His work continues to inspire and amaze people today. Read the rest

Calf and piglet best friends

Adorable!

Interspecies friends.

[via] Read the rest

Baby emu excited to play with puppy

From YouTube description:

Sue's pet emu, Emee, was a lone hatch and has a purpose built pen at the end of the room for when her owner isn't home. The rest of the time though, she is treated as one of the family! This video shows her and a very welcoming pet dog named Molly playing together.

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Cockatoo solves puzzle box

According to this bird's human companion, Monty has not played with this complicated puzzle in over a year. He seems to know what he's doing. I'm impressed at how well he removed the nut from the bolt. Read the rest

Time-lapse videos of ants eating stuff set to stock music

Ants Eating Stuff to Stock Music is "Nothing more than oddly satisfying time-lapse videos of ants eating stuff all set to random stock music."

It's interesting how the ants covered the Rice Krispie Treat and McDonald's Hot Apple Pie with cut leaves. Why? Read the rest

Do not complain about bodega cats on Yelp

Keeping a cat in a NYC bodega is technically against the rules, but everybody loves bodega cats. Everybody but a certain Yelp review, who is now getting a lot of flak for complaining about a bodega cat at SK Deli in the East Village.

From Brokelyn:

The reviewer has been getting roasted by fellow Yelpers with comments like: “No one likes you. This deli has pretty much anything you might want out of a deli. Owner is a hard ass but the cat is awesome,” which is about the perfect description for most bodegas in New York.

From Gothamist:

Deli and bodega owners face fines of up to $3,000 for having a cat or cats in their establishments, but they also face fines of $300 for the discovery of rodent fecal matter. Lost inventory is another cost, as rats and mice like to chew through containers and eat the food that is left overnight on shelves like a rodent buffet.

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Greedy cats become altruistic

Welp those two...

Cats squabble over a saucer of milk, until they are both hit by a crisis of conscience. Read the rest

Monkey tries to teach human how to open a nut

Dangit human. put some muscle in it

This little monkey is trying her hardest to train a limp-limbed human how to crack open a nut with a rock. When she realizes the human isn't making much of an effort, she looks up with an expression that says, "Wtf‽ Help me out here, hairless ape covered in fibers!"

Similarly: Monkey teaches human how to crush leaves Read the rest

Watch this spider weave her web with great care

My friend Rachel shot this great video of a cute spider making her web. Anyone know what kind it is? Read the rest

Pigeons sink into grain

These birds seem calm about sinking into grain. Some of them even fly into the pit as if they want to be buried in grain.

[via] Read the rest

Man releases bag of snakes into wild

I think rubbing them was superfluous -- they seemed to be in a hurry to away. Read the rest

Incredibly aggressive squirrel tries to attack man through a window

This could be the beginning of a great "found footage" style zombie movie. Read the rest

Dog trolls its pal by playing dead

Sam says, "Jack has discovered that by playing dead he can scare the shit out of Archie." Read the rest

Interesting fish

Sea Monster

This is a photo of a prehistoric-looking predatory fish called a Longnose Lancetfish, taken by @skipperrutts. According to Wikipedia, "Very little is known about their biology, though they are widely distributed in all oceans, except the polar seas." Read the rest

Kid makes a diorama of her neighborhood disguised as an RPG rulebook

Jim Jones writes, "I have been playing The Warren, Marshall Miller's role playing game about being rabbits, with my three kids for a little over a month. We play in an area based on our suburban neighborhood. My second grade daughter chose to do a diorama of a suburb for school so she could talk about our game and we built it so that it appeared in the rule book for the role playing game itself." Read the rest

Rhino apes goat

[via] Read the rest

Baby snake enjoys sandbox

Waffle, a baby Shai-Hulud (terrestrial name: Kenyan sand boa), enjoys his new sandbox. His human companion, Jenny Gaines, says:

He's one of my "Reptile Ambassadors" in my educational reptile show business, Waffle & Friends Reptile Shows. My goal is public outreach to help spread understanding and appreciation of reptiles - especially snakes, who are so unfairly treated.
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