“And today we are talking about the magellan with dark blue flagellum. But more on that later.”
- Small symmetrical slug that doesn’t look like your typical slug.
- It has a slender body with appendages coming off of each side that almost look like hands.
- Instead of fingers, they have Cerata, which are appendages found in nudibranchs and other sea slugs.
- They are ornately colored with a silver streak that goes down their back with black stripes on each side.
- They have shades from light to dark blue on the rest of their body.
- It is dorsal side is a light color while its belly (foot) is a darker color.
- Usually, it’s the opposite, especially in the ocean.
- Countershading is when an animal’s back is dark and its belly is light.
- Helps to camouflage. Seen from below blend in with the lit surface and sky, seen from above, blend in with dark sea depths or ground.
- It’s the opposite in sea dragons because the gas pouch that helps them float is located close to their foot, flipping them upside down.
Length – 3 centimeters (1.2 in) – How many blue dragons go into the total length of Smaug (18 meters or 59 feet) according to The Atlas of Middle Earth written by Karen Wynn Fonstad and published in 1981? – Hint: The only description of size given by Tolkien himself was that Smaug couldn’t fit through the secret passage even when he was young, which is five feet tall and wide enough for three people. Answer: 600 Blue Dragons (work: 1800 cm divided by 3 equals 600)
Cerata – The Blue Dragon can have as many as 84 cerata on its body. – How many blue dragon certa groups go into the total number of direct ancestors you have 20 generations ago (1,048,576)? Hint: 34 of 43 U.S. presidents are related to Charlemagne. Answer: 12,483
- They are pelagic, which means they like the open ocean.
- This also means they are found everywhere, and many believe they can be found throughout the world’s oceans.
- They prefer warm, temperate, and tropical waters.
- It’s been recorded off the coasts of Africa, Europe, India, Australia, and Mozambique.
- Like other snails and slugs, Blue dragons are both male and female.
- After mating both slugs lay eggs
“And today we are talking about the monarch butterfly, an insect that tastes so bad other bugs are trying to be her! But more on that later…”
She prepares for a journey she may never complete,
And from which she will never return.
No insect migration could ever compete
But it’s not the glory she seeks to earn.
Madam butterfly is a southbound bug,
In search of a kinder season.
Her children will sleep safe and snug,
In temperatures that are well within reason.
A haven she will never know,
Will save them from winter snow.
But a bittersweet journey is what she’ll need,
To make it in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Continue reading Episode 45: Monarch Butterfly: The 3,000 Mile Flutter
“And today we are talking about a dark and mysterious creature that’s the subject of frightening folklore and spooky stories. But more on the later.”
Creeping quietly through the night
A vampire finds its hearts delight
Breathing softly in its sleep
The prey knows not what’s in the deep
With slash and prick, the wound is cut
The sanguine morsel in its gut
Is not enough to satisfy
This parasite, the rat that flies
But those who trade in scarlet know
That darkness causes fear to grow
And rest extracts a heavy fee
In Life, Death, and Taxonomy
Fast Talkin by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Continue reading Episode 44 – Vampire Bat: The Spooky Sky Rat
“And today we are talking the lowland streaked tenrec, about a spiky mamma that looks like a cross between a hedgehog and a shrew but is actually neither.”
Lowland Streaked Tenrec Intro
The search is vast and they’ve got to be fast
To catch the worms in the twilight hours.
The moon is high and brief is the night
That conceals them from predatory powers.
Click click calls the spines of the Tenrec,
Stay together or become a casualty.
That’s the only way to make it to day,
In Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Sources and Credits:
Lost Frontier by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Music Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Episode Art: xnamaru
BBC Video: Attenborough and clicking tenrecs
Continue reading Episode 43: Lowland Streaked Tenrec: The Spiky Stridulator
“Today we’re talking about a fancy bird with a thousand words for romance.”
It’s a beautiful Australian morning, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and— what was that? Was that a chainsaw you just heard? Nope, it was just the song of the lyrebird, nature’s most complicated songwriter. By imitating other birds, animals, sound effects, and even humans, the lyrebird sings a weird and beautiful song to its one true love. But it’s not over until the lyrebird sings here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Music: Morning Mood – Edvard Grieg
David Attenborough Chats With a Lyrebird
Chook’s Superb Song
“And today we are talking about a large primate with orange hair whose bellowing can be heard for great distances… even without twitter.”
Life in the rain forests of Borneo may seem like a peaceful existence in paradise, but finding food and shelter requires the right tools and the brains to use them. It’s a good thing that the forest’s largest tree dwelling mammal has one of the largest proportional brains in the animal kingdom. But how do they use that advantage to survive 100 feet above the forest floor? These apes are truly living the high Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Continue reading Episode 41 – Orangutan: The Forest People of Borneo
“And today we are learning about a whale that’s as much a whale as they are Federal Aviation Administration approved pilots.”
Have you ever been sleeping? And during that sleep had a dream? And did that dream seem incredibly real? Well, you probably just ate too much sugar before bed, but this happens to the pilot whale all the time, and not because of late night snacks. Out sleeping cetaceous friend always sleeps with one eye open here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Continue reading Episode 40 – Pilot Whales: Enter the Sand Porpoise
Life is dangerous for a small arthropod. You might be on the menu for every animal from birds to mammals. But sometimes, you just have to let go of the stress of being small and learn to adapt to the changes as they come. For the harvestman, maintaining life might mean giving up some of your most precious tools. But that’s just what it takes to adapt to Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Art by: Xnamaru
When searching for the key to a long cancer-free life, there is one place that few people want to look—which is directly into the beady, unblinking eyes of a hairless underground horror. Enter the naked mole rat, the sort of cold-blooded super ugly mammal with cells that loath social contact. But hey, maybe we’ll find the cure to cancer here in Life Death and Taxonomy.
Continue reading Episode 38 – Naked Mole Rat: Wrinkly Pink Old Rat
“And today we’re talking about a strong independent gecko, who loves sailing and walks on the beach. But more on that later.”
If you found yourself all alone on a desert island, you might be pretty lonely. But what if you could make friends… literally! There’s one little lizard that has developed a way to populate islands in the South Pacific with unorthodox methods. But, sometimes, strange and amazing adaptations are what it takes to pass on your genes in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.
Continue reading Episode 37 – Mourning Gecko: A Lovely Lady Lizard