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DarthMetaKnight
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27 May 2018, 4:18 pm

Some prehistoric kangaroos were pretty freaking weird.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protemnodon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sthenurus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procoptodon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simosthenurus


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28 May 2018, 12:58 am

Birds of the charadriiformes order have special glands which allow them to safely drink salt water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charadriiformes


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DarthMetaKnight
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28 May 2018, 4:26 pm

Every beehive can only have one queen. If there are ever two, they must fight to the death!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlqenP2YG10


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DarthMetaKnight
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30 May 2018, 1:36 pm

It is "common knowledge" that mammals and birds are endothermic ("warm blooded") whereas all other animals are ectothermic ("cold blooded") ... but this is not always the case actually.

Some animals are mesothermic. Mesothermic animals have a body temperature which is partway between "warm blooded" and "cold blooded" levels. Some examples of mesotherms include, opahs, tuna, great white sharks, opossums and sloths. Non-avian dinosaurs and non-mammalian synapsids were likely mesotherms as well. Pterosaurs may have even been mesothermic.

Also, naked mole rats have a body temperature comparable to that of reptiles, despite the fact that they are mammals.

Also, some animals develop a body temperature as they grow older. For example, kittens are born without the ability to regulate their body temperature.


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DarthMetaKnight
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31 May 2018, 1:35 am

Some of the earliest synapsids (I.E. mammal-like Reptiles) resembled komodo dragons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiacodon


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31 May 2018, 7:01 pm

One of my favorite weird animals is the springhare. I like it because it is so full of contradictions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedetes

Despite its name, the springhare is not a lagomorph. It is, in fact, a rodent. It also is not a wallaby, despite its wallaby-like posture.

The closest living relatives of springhares are the anomalures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalure

Most anomalures are called "scaly-tailed squirrels" ... even though they aren't squirrels. There is another anomalure called the "long-eared flying mouse" ... and it's not a true mouse.


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DarthMetaKnight
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01 Jun 2018, 4:10 pm

Some Random Facts About Parrots:

- One of the earliest parrots known from the fossil record is Messelastur. Unlike most modern parrots, Messelastur was carnivorous. This may mean that the omnivorous New Zealand kea is not an evolutionary aberration, but a basal parrot.
- The Ancient Hindus believed that the gods created humans to teach parrots how to talk.
- Parrots can be taught the meanings of certain words, though this requires years of practice.
- Pet parrots often outlive their owners because they can live around 80 years.
- Parrots feel the urge to dance when they hear dance music. This is a very rare trait among non-human animals.
- A parrot's upper mandible is not connected to its skull, giving it tremendous biting power.
- Some parrots can reflect ultraviolet radiation with their feathers. In other words, they have bright colors that we cannot see.
- Parrots know how to remove poisonous seed coats from delicious plant seeds.
- Although parrots primarily feed on seeds, some parrots will also use their bills to crack snail shells.
- Social parrots will often preen one another. :)


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DarthMetaKnight
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04 Jun 2018, 1:14 pm

A lichen is not a single organism. It is formed when a fungus lives symbiotically with algae or cyanobacteria.


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DarthMetaKnight
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04 Jun 2018, 11:30 pm

The most primitive land plants alive today are the liverworts. They have been around for about 472 million years.

They don't even produce seeds. Like other primitive plants, they reproduce with spores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marchantiophyta


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05 Jun 2018, 12:11 am

Chlorobi (I.E. green sulfur bacteria) are photosynthetic, but they use sulfur, iron, or hydrogen gas instead of water in the reaction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_sulfur_bacteria


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05 Jun 2018, 1:08 am

AM fungi and cyanobacteria symbiosis? It was revealed that AM fungi have the bacterial type core enzyme (ribonuclease III) of sRNA processing mechanism possibly related with symbiosis, by the result of horizontal gene transfer from cyanobacterial ancestor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbuscular_mycorrhiza
During the Precambrian, stromatolite communities of microorganisms grew in most marine and non-marine environments in the photic zone. After the Cambrian explosion of marine animals, grazing on the stromatolite mats by herbivores greatly reduced the occurrence of the stromatolites in marine environments. Since then, they are found mostly in hypersaline conditions where grazing invertebrates cannot live (e.g. Shark Bay, Western Australia). Stromatolites provide ancient records of life on Earth by fossil remains which might date from more than 3.5 Ga ago, but this is disputed. As of 2010 the oldest undisputed evidence of cyanobacteria is from 2.1 Ga ago, but there is some evidence for them as far back as 2.7 Ga ago. Oxygen levels in the atmosphere remained around or below 1% of today's level until 2.4 Ga ago (the Great Oxygenation Event). The rise in oxygen may have caused a fall in methane levels, and triggered the Huronian glaciation from around 2.4 to 2.1 Ga ago. In this way, cyanobacteria may have killed off much of the other bacteria of the time.



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05 Jun 2018, 7:27 am

Lately, I have been reading about rays. I mean the fish. They are far more diverse than people give them credit for. Some of them have pretty wacky names too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skate_(fish)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaucostegus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedgefish
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortnose_guitarfish

A lot of people also forget that sawfish are a type of ray.

Oddly enough, angelsharks and carpet sharks are not rays. Convergent evolution gave them a ray-like appearance.


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05 Jun 2018, 10:55 am

Many primitive plants have a bizarre life cycle called the alternation of generations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternation_of_generations

Spores produced by these plants are dispersed by the wind. They eventually settle and grow into gametophytes. Gametophytes have haploid DNA. Gametophytes produce eggs and sperm, which find one another as the sperm are mobile. The resulting zygote grows into a sporophyte, which produces more spores. Oftentimes, the sporophytes look completely different from the gametophytes. To the untrained eye, they could be mistaken for separate plant species.

In primitive land plants, such as liverworts, the gametophytes are larger than the sporophytes. In plants that are somewhat more advanced, such as ferns, the sporophytes are larger than the gametophytes. In more modern land plants, pollen grains are actually heavily modified gametophytes. The female gametophytes are always encased within the sporophyte.


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05 Jun 2018, 12:53 pm

Geladas are the only primates that feed primarily on grass. They also chew more like a typical ungulate than like a typical primate.

They live primarily in the Ethiopian Highlands. Although they are herbivores, they have enlarged canine teeth, which they use for self-defense.

Geladas primarily live in troops consisting of several females and one male. Male geladas keep their females through social grooming, not the threat of violence.


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05 Jun 2018, 1:03 pm

The olive is a fruit.