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Presentation Transcript
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This is an image of Neonothopanusgardneri, a bio-luminescent mushroom. Last seen over 170 years ago they have since been rediscovered in a rain forest in Brazil. They were first described by an English botanist in 1840 after seeing some children playing with glowing material in a small village in central Brazil (Vila de Natividad).

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  • Glowing Blue Waves Explained: Pinpricks of light on the shore seem to mirror stars above in an undated picture taken on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives.
  • The biological light, or bioluminescence, in the waves is the product of tiny marine life-forms called phytoplankton—and now scientists think they know how some of these sea beasts create their brilliant blue glow.
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The embryos of tiger sharks fight each other while in their mother\'s womb; only the strongest one survives for long enough, feeding on it\'s less fortunate siblings. The young remains within the mothers womb for a year, eating new egg cases as they come down the oviduct. This bizarre pre-birth cannibalism was discovered when a marine biologist found himself bitten as he dissected a pregnant sand tiger shark.

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Some animals have amazing camouflage. Who can spot the Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko on this tree in Montagned\'Ambre National Park in Northern Madagascar.

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This little critter is known as a water bear or a Tardigrade. In 2008, water bears were the first animals demonstrated to be able to survive the vacuum of space. They are virtually indestructible and can survive being blasted with radiation, intense pressures and years of desiccation. Specimens were launched into space by Swedish scientists and they returned unharmed after eight days.

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A monster? An alien? Nope, this is a macroscopic image of a Polychaete, or bristle worm. They survive intense sea pressures and live around deep sea vents.

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Researchers in Indonesia have discovered what looks like a teeny tiny dragon. As yet, we have no information on whether they guard small piles of gold or attack miniature castles.This was a nesting female found in the Lambsuango Forest reserve and was immediately released after this photograph was taken

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Pygmy hippos can grow up to 83cm tall (at the shoulder) and up to 177cm long weighing between 180-275kgs. Unfortunately, due to hunting and destruction of habitat, there are only around 3,000 pygmy hippos left in the wild in their native habitats in Western Africa.

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Color-coded comparative view of bones of the shoulder, upper arm (humerus) in red, the forearm (ulna & radius) in pink, and wrist (metacarpal) with hand in yellow :

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The Blue Dragon

  • This is the GlaucusAtlanticus Sea Slug and it can grow up to 3cm\'s in length. It is found in tropical and temperate waters and floats upside down on the surface tension of the ocean. Despite being only 3cm\'s long it feeds on prey often larger than itself, including Man o\' War jellyfish, which can grow up to 30cm\'s.
  • Despite the Man o\' War being venomous, this isn\'t a problem for the sea slug. Not only is the sea slug immune to the venom but it actually stores the venom in specialised sacs called cnidosacs. Due to it storing the venom it is actually able to produce a more venomous sting than the Man o\' War it feeds on.
  • As with most sea slugs, the GlaucusAtlanticus is hermaphroditic, containing both male and female genitalia. Unlike other sea slugs, it mates with their ventral sides facing and both produce a string of eggs.
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I\'m sure most of you are aware that in some species of spider the female will devour the male after copulation. But did you know that some males not only do not fight against this cannibalization, they actively promote and facilitate it? The male Redback Spider performs a somersault after mating and literally jumps into the females mouth. But why? What possible evolutionary benefit could there be from enabling your mating partner to eat you?

  • Researchers discovered that the environment of these spiders was so hostile that it was highly unlikely that a male would be able to find another mating partner. Therefore it would be better for it to focus on ensuring that the female did not mate again. Mate guarding is a poor tactic for these spiders as the females are so much larger.
  • The researchers also found that if a female devoured her first mating partner she was much less likely to accept a second male. If she did not eat her first partner she would usually accept to solicitations of the next male that came along.
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Researchers in Madagascar have discovered one of the worlds tiniest lizards. This tiny chameleon reaches a maximum length of only 29mm.
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This, is the Brazilian Pygmy Gecko (Coleodactylusamazonicus). They range in size between 2 and 4 cm (0.8 to 1.6 inches) but most amazingly, are unsinkable! Despite being vulnerable to rain drops, this gecko has evolved a hydrophobic skin enabling it to to walk, and sit on water.

A video of one in action, courtesy of Life by the BBC here

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