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"Mice Device" trap in action

The $13 Mice Device is a reusable trap that captures mice without harming them. After the trap catches a mouse, simply carry the trap to your neighbor's garage and release the rodent. (Via Dooby Brain)

Sponges sneeze

In Evolutionary origins of sensation in metazoans: functional evidence for a new sensory organ in sponges, Danielle A Ludeman and her team at the University of Alberta document the heretofore unsuspected phenomenon of sneezing in freshwater sponges. When these sponges are stimulated with damaging sediment, they close their chimneys and inflate themselves to bursting, then abruptly "sneeze" out the irritants -- a process that unfolds very slowly (documented above in timelapse). I found out about this thanks to a fascinating interview (MP3) with the researcher on CBC Radio's As It Happens.

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Planetary-scale chicken


There is a chicken lurking in the geography of our continents.

A giant chicken.

The world’s countries can be arranged to form a giant chicken. (via Making Light)

Assassin bug covers itself with a meat-shield of its victims


Singaporean macrofocus photographer Nicky Bay produces wonderful portraits of insects in their natural setting. Particularly fascinating are the photos of bugs eating each other, particularly the shot above of an assassin bug (Acanthaspis sp.) which "decorate themselves with the corpses of their consumed prey," forming a protective "meat-shield" as well as offering olfactory and visual camouflage to help it infiltrate ant-nests.

Engrossingly Gross Photos of Spiders and Insects Eating Each Other [Wired]

(via WTBW)

Dogs poop in line with Earth's magnetic field

A paper in Frontiers in Zoology claims that dogs can sense the Earth's magnetic field, and preferentially align to it when pooping. (via Sean Bonner) Cory 25

What's the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world up to?

TIL: The coconut crab can live for 120 years, likes to steal silverware, and eats kittens. Maggie 17

Dolphin teens get high by chewing pufferfish

A BBC nature documentary crew has captured footage of young dolphins passing around a pufferfish. They characterize the activity as "careful manipulation" and speculate that the dolphins are getting a small dose of the pufferfish's neurotoxin in order to enter a "trance-like state." The documentary was produced by John Downer, a highly nature documentarian, and a zoologist on the crew also confirms the "dolphins get high" hypothesis.

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Lizard's pixelated scales

I was at a reptile shop today (Scales N Tails in Burbank, a terrific place with a smart, friendly owner) and I took a photo of a crocodile monitor's scales because the pattern looked like an old school video game.

Sea-slug sex-life: love among forehead-penetrating, fork-penised hermaphrodites

Forget sea-slugs with detachable pensises: the Siphopteron species 1, recently discovered by the University of Tubigen's Rolanda Lange, has the most awesomely weird sex-life of any sea-slug heretofore known to sea-slug perverts.

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Chihuahua skeleton made from typewriter parts


Assemblage sculptor Jeremy Mayer (who makes pieces out of deconstructed typewriters) teases us with a single shot of his latest piece: a chihuahua skeleton made from a disassembled, ancient writing-machine.

Chihuahua skeleton. Proper studio photos in a day or two.

Does your cat love you?

Remember the rule - if a headline ends with a question mark, the answer is no. (Thanks, Matthew!)

Steve Albini reunites with Li’l Bub

In case you missed Steve Albini’s appearance on Li’l Bub’s show (above video), watch them meet again--this time at The Second City That Never Sleeps 2013: 24 Hour Improv & Music benefit. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, goes on at 2:00pm CST today. The improv cast has been at it since 6pm yesterday and will go until 6pm tonight. In between, watch the comedic gems performed by the Second City cast inspired by sleep deprivation. Watch it streaming live free here. Donations for needy families can be made here.

Cat fooled

Click image to see how the cat was fooled. (Via Bits and Pieces)

Rat trapped on an escalator

This poor rat got stuck on the escalator at the Civic Center BART Station, and there's something infinitely poignant about its treadmill race. Maybe it's the busker playing "And I Love Her" on a Erhu (or maybe a Kokyū?) in the background.

Rat Descending an Endless Staircase (via JWZ)

Moth displays relatively large protuberances

Click on this image of a moth to see it being prodded to deploy its glistening protuberances. (Via Fencehopping)