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Getting to Know Whale Vaginas in 7 Steps

...the big baleen whales can be over 100 feet in length, so their reproductive tracts likely wind for several feet. That’s a vagina you could walk through. (SFW)
posted by viggorlijah on Aug 22, 2014 - 20 comments

“With animals, we often don’t know the reason for a behavior,”

Zoo Animals and Their Discontents [New York Times]
posted by Fizz on Jul 4, 2014 - 20 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Ovaries! Time MAchines!

British comedian Josie Long explores All the Planet's Wonders in a very short series on BBC radio: Collecting. Animals. Astronomy. Plants.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 comments

"aboriginal landscapes of fabulous hybrid creatures"

Marguerite Humeau is an artist who has made reconstructions of extinct creatures' vocal tracts, extrapolating from extant species and fossil remains. The Extinction Orchestra. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 12, 2013 - 5 comments

Be forewarned: sometimes (often?) there are guts

The Brain Scoop: Videos About a Zoological Collection. "I'm Emily, the volunteer Curatorial Assistant for the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at The University of Montana, and I'd like to share some of the amazing things we have in the collection with the Internet. Let's talk about your favorite animal."
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 15, 2013 - 8 comments

"In the future, everything will be terrifying."

Dougal Dixon is a scientist, author, and illustrator. While he is most famous for his work on dinosaurs, his books After Man: A Zoology of the Future and Man After Man: An Anthropology Of The Future attempt to explore what might happen in the far future. The Posthuman Art Of Dougal Dixon. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 30, 2013 - 26 comments

PhyloPic: an open database of life form silhouettes

PhyloPic is an open database of life form silhouettes. All images are available for reuse under a Public Domain or Creative Commons license. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Feb 4, 2012 - 20 comments

The story of one woman's quest to photograph spider genitalia.

The story of one woman's quest to photograph spider genitalia. By day, Nina is online operations manager for American Medical News, a newspaper published by the American Medical Association. But for 13 years, she’s devoted one day a week to behind-the-scenes work at the Field Museum in Chicago: sorting, identifying, and organizing spiders in the museum’s collections, and in the process turning an enthusiast’s knowledge about arachnids into a slightly demented personal project. [more inside]
posted by srboisvert on Nov 1, 2011 - 42 comments

Life Before the Dinosaurs

Art is seven years old and really likes life before the dinosaurs. And he thinks arthropods are really cool.
posted by silby on Aug 5, 2011 - 27 comments

First she rises, then she hops, and then she eats you.

(Sunday night arthropod terror filter): YouTube user memutic has uploaded several dozen high-quality backyard video recordings of exotic insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and millipedes native to Central America, Southeast Asia, and the US. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jun 26, 2011 - 20 comments

snail attack

Snail attack | The Savage Colors of Naked, Toxic Sea Snails . Bonus link: giant slug eats flower. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jun 26, 2011 - 24 comments

Victorian stuff in jars!

The Grant museum of zoology in London has been called "A restored Victorian treasure-house crammed with specimens from a bottle of preserved moles to extinct zebras and (just identified) the legs of a dodo. And all this was put together by the man that taught zoology to Charles Darwin"
The entire collection has been closed for almost a year as all 67,000 specimens were moved from a tiny (but charming) space to a new larger space.
The new Grant Museum and its reopening.
posted by vacapinta on Mar 15, 2011 - 9 comments

The Book of Imaginary Beings, Illustrated

Fantastic Zoology - A graphical interpretation of J.L. Borges "Book of Imaginary Beings" [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Aug 24, 2010 - 13 comments

What, if Anything, Is Big Bird?

Paedomorphic flightlessness and taxonomic affinities of an enormous Recent bird is a talk on the anatomy and evolutionary history of a certain flightless bird indigenous to New York City.
posted by CrunchyFrog on Jul 14, 2010 - 16 comments

Zoology, the final frontier

So this new critter, the Symbion pandora, has such a bizarre life cycle and is just so bloody weird -unlike anything we had come across before- that its discovery in 1995 lead to the creation of a whole new phylum in the Animal Kingdom. Meet the little monsters.

If your weird-o-meter is humming, keep reading Zoologger, a new column in NewScientist magazine that writes about about weird animals from around the globe. Selective abortion in pipefish, single-cell giants that enslave bacteria, amphibious cats, you name it.
posted by Cobalt on Apr 28, 2010 - 38 comments

I have no eyes and I must see!

Sea urchins do not have eyes, yet appear to be able to see where they are going. One posible answer: they may use the entire surface of their bodies as a compound eye.
posted by Artw on Feb 7, 2010 - 31 comments

The life of an ant colony, with a touch of poetic license

Trailhead, the life of an ant colony, as dramatized by E.O. Wilson.
posted by shivohum on Jan 27, 2010 - 15 comments

Mobile phones, medals, a doll's legs, an entire army... is there anything a gull won't swallow?

Overambitious eating: Tetrapod Zoology brings us a series of articles on overambitious gluttony by animals. seagull vs phone, small army, doll parts, a perentie trying for a spiky echidna, heron vs. lamprey, roadrunner vs. horned lizard, snake vs. centipede, and real lizard vs. plasic lizard. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Dec 22, 2009 - 13 comments

The Morae River

Brynn Metheny is a freelance illustrator based in Oakland, California who loves to draw imaginary creatures. Metheny has taken this fascination with made-up animals and extended it to the point of conjuring up an entire continent, Orcura, through which flows The Morae River. The river basin has a bestiary and a Classification of Species to describe the animals that inhabit it. (via) (speculative zoology previously)
posted by HumanComplex on Nov 9, 2009 - 9 comments

'The Human Animal,' by Desmond Morris

The Human Animal - a brilliant BBC mini-series documentary by zoologist Desmond Morris that takes an extended look at the curious creatures known as Homo sapiens. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on Google videos. Beautiful and fascinating.
posted by grillcover on Sep 19, 2009 - 38 comments

Giants and Spiders and Frogs, Oh My!

As many as 40 new species may have been discovered near the crater of a volcano in New Guinea. Not to alarm anyone but Fearless Giant Rats, Caterpillars that look like Snakes and Fanged Frogs have been spotted and are said to be at large. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Sep 6, 2009 - 49 comments

Life on Another World

"Everything begins with complex cladograms I scribble down on large sheets of paper. Before any pictures, these family trees serve as the 'backbone' of the project; allowing me to develop the relationships among different animals and derive ideas from one another." Welcome to the beautiful nonexistent world of Snaiad. Inhabitants include Titanoformes, Cardiocetes, Sprogophidians, and Blumbomeniforms. There are also maps and a timeline. Fantastic speculative zoology from Nemo Ramjet.
posted by HumanComplex on Apr 16, 2009 - 22 comments

Barbie Dolphin

Albino Dolphins are pink.
posted by - on Mar 6, 2009 - 27 comments

BIODIVERSIFY!

British scientists discover hundreds of new species in a remote forest in Mozambique using Google Earth. The pictures are the best part.
posted by auralcoral on Dec 23, 2008 - 37 comments

The hyena, "our favorite animal"

"With most animals, males duke it out and the winner gets the girls," says Holekamp. "But with hyenas, females have 100 percent say." They decide when and under what conditions they will tolerate deferential sperm donors. At age 2 or 3 a male leaves his natal clan and wanders off to beg acceptance into another clan. After vicious rejections, he eventually succeeds and reaps his reward: brutal harassment as the clan's nadir, one of the last in line for food and sex. This probation, which biologists call "endurance rivalry," is a test, Holekamp explains: "The guy who can stick it out the longest wins." The trial lasts about two years, after which some females may grant him access. "You do not want to be a male hyena," Holekamp says.
-From an article in Smithsonian Magazine, Who's Laughing Now? Professor Holekamp's hyena site. Also, hyena pictures and The Hyena Pages, a fine site about this fascinating animal.
posted by Kattullus on May 7, 2008 - 32 comments

Another day, another Ankylosaur

Tetrapod Zoology just celebrated Ankylosaur Week. Days 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 1.
posted by mediareport on Feb 25, 2008 - 11 comments

Ernst Haeckel's illustrations

Microorganisms as eye candy: A gallery of illustrations from the marvelous Artforms in Nature, Kunstformen der Natur 1899-1904 by Ernst Haeckel, an eminent, prolific and very controversial German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist, who named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms and coined many terms in biology, including phylum, phylogeny and ecology. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 8, 2007 - 19 comments

Why don't anteaters get sick? Because they're full of anty-bodies!

Taking care of an incredibly alien-looking, yet impossibly cute anteater isn't easy — in fact, it's a lot of aard verk!
posted by dmd on Oct 31, 2007 - 26 comments

Conrad Gessner's Historiae Animalium

A virtual copy of Historiae Animalium, the first pictorial catalogue of the animal world (lots of pretty pictures, but the text is all in latin). It was compiled in the 16th century by the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner, who is considered the father of zoology (and, incidentally, also the father of bibliography [Word Document]).
posted by Kattullus on Mar 6, 2007 - 29 comments

Indonesia - new species discovered

"Lost World" found in Indonesian Papua (with audio)
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 7, 2006 - 21 comments

Scavenger Filter

California Condors, including basic condor, condors in history, population history, and condor behavior.
posted by alms on May 27, 2005 - 4 comments

Fantasic Zoology

Fantastic Zoology: A graphical interpretation of Jorge Luis Borges' "Book of Imaginary Beings".
posted by hama7 on Jul 31, 2004 - 12 comments

COW! CUBE! COWUUUBE!

The Zoology Dragon. "Rather than, as has previously been thought, a slow process of evolution, we now know that all animals were created by the Zoology Dragon. Unfortunately, we also know that the current Zoology Dragon is a bit shit." [Flash.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 9, 2004 - 10 comments

Walton Ford

Walton Ford, 1,2,3: Nature Boy.
posted by hama7 on May 7, 2003 - 13 comments

Zoological Bloopers and Practical Jokes.

Zoological Bloopers and Practical Jokes. Strange Science is a great little page of missteps in the classification and illustration of exotic and extinct animals. It's hard to classify all the links; some are dinosaur screwups, some are just poor depictions of animals from the time before photographs. Most are fascinating. Although, they skip over one of my favorite examples, Michelangelo's Jonah and the Whale.
posted by condour75 on Nov 7, 2002 - 8 comments

always mount a scratch monkey

The iTunes article reminds me of an important lesson in computer work: always mount a scratch monkey.
posted by plinth on Nov 6, 2001 - 4 comments

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