The Planet Zoo economy is broken and flooded with genetically mutated warthogs

Nate Crowley wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun about the broken (as of this writing) economy in Planet Zoo. The game allows players to raise animals and then sell them for money or the rare currency called conservation credits. But the economy is broken, and desirable animals are unobtainable to all but the early adopters:

In any case, the fact nobody is selling for cash has put CC at a massive premium: those who had got in early on endangered, prestige or hard-to-breed animals are now hoarding them, only selling them for wild sums. Prices have soared, making gorillas, tigers and the rest completely inaccessible to new players, while Pandas have become virtually mythical: beasts that might as well be made from pure diamond.

New players are forced to breed and sell just a few types of animals, like warthogs, to try to grind their way to a better future. As a result the market is flooded with low quality animals:

to make matters even more splendid, the animals people are selling on are the ones with genetic mutations that make them undesirable for further breeding – they might be highly susceptible to disease, tiny, incredibly short-lived, or even completely infertile. These sell for the lowest prices as well, naturally. Starting off as a new player, then, with your tiny pool of CC, you’re going to be spending a lot of time scrolling through pages and pages of dying mutants, desperately seeking something that won’t horrify your guests, and might have a chance of breeding.

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The first trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix is here

I enjoyed the first two movies from the current round of X-Men flicks. Mutants causing the Cuban Missile Crisis? Love it. Wolverine traveling back to the 1970s to try and stop a future holocaust AND contend with a waterbed? Totally enjoyable--although I far preferred Chris Claremont and John Byrne's Days of Future Past over what the film had to offer.

X-Men: Apocalypse? Eh, not so much. The pacing was weird as hell and I can't help but feel that Oscar Issac was wasted under way too much makeup.

I'm hoping that the latest installment in the series will be a return to form. For better or worse, this'll be the last X-Men movie we'll be able to lay our eyeballs on before Marvel Studios has a chance to bring their spin to the franchise. Who's in? Read the rest

Stillborn two-headed fawn discovered in the woods

Two years ago, a freshly-born two-headed fawn was discovered dead in a Minnesota forest by a mushroom hunter. It has now been confirmed, in a recently-published study in The American Midland Naturalist, that the specimen is the first known case of a "conjoined two-headed white-tailed deer brought to full-term gestation and delivered."

Fox News reports:

"It’s never been described before," said Lou Cornicelli, a co-author on the study and a wildlife research manager for the DNR. "There are a few reported cases of two-headed ungulate fetuses, but nothing delivered to term. So, the uniqueness made it special..."

..."Animals that are stillborn, they don’t last long on the landscape because of scavengers," said Cornicelli. "In our case, we were lucky that he found the fawn before it was eaten and turned it into DNR."

...Wild Images In Motion Taxidermy mounted the unique two-headed fawn on a bed of greenery, where it lies as though it is just waking from a nap. The mount will eventually be moved to the MNDNR headquarters in St. Paul, where it will be on public display.

"We all thought it was pretty neat and were glad to be able to show it to the public," said Cornicelli. "The taxidermists, Robert Utne and Jessica Brooks did a great job with the mount and treated it very respectfully."

Conjoined White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Fawns

screenshots via Prairie Sportsman

(Neatorama) Read the rest

25 years ago, a mutant American crayfish turned to asexual reproduction, and all of Europe's lakes are filling up with its clones

The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a mutant slough crayfish (Procambarus fallax) an American species; the mutation that allowed slough crayfish to reproduce asexually by cloning itself occurred a mere 25 years ago, and it came to Germany as an aquarium pet in 1995, sold as "Texas crayfish." Read the rest

Teenage Mutant Ninja Sofa

Spotted on the Pittsburgh craigslist, the future of law enforcement. Read the rest

Mysterious dead creature found near the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant

A woman in Sosnovy Bor, Russia found this mysterious, tiny, deteriorated creature on a river bank. She named it Kesha. Read the rest

Feather emerges from baby's neck

"No one knew what was bothering 7-month-old Mya Whittington. Her discomfort stumped her parents and doctors. She was finally hospitalized - and a 2-inch feather eventually poked its way out of her neck, shocking everyone." [ABC] Read the rest

Two-headed bull shark

A Gulf of Mexico fisherman opened the uterus of an adult bull shark and found a two-headed shark pup inside.

Zed Nelson photos of plastic surgery culture

Love Me is Zed Nelson's photographic tour of the culture of plastic surgery across 18 countries. Above:

"I’ve had three toes shortened – a portion of bone removed between the joints and fixed together with metal rods. I like to wear Jimmy Choo’s, three-inch heels with a pointy toe.”

Foot X-ray. Toe reduction surgery. Kristina Widmer, 36. New York, USA

Zed Nelson: Love Me (via Smithsonian)

Love Me by Zed Nelson (Amazon) Read the rest