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Flamingo hows, wheres and whys: Pink; erectile tissue; one leg

Flamingo hows, wheres and whys: Pink; erectile tissue; one leg

Credit: Tamar Assaf; Wikimedia Flamingos are a pretty underrated bird. But the more you dig, the more you discover how strange they are, from their limbs to their pigment to the erectile tissue in their mouths.One of the most recognisable traits of this leggy bird is how it seems to prefer to stand on one leg– even when asleep – with what appears to be its knee bent backwards.

August 14, 2012 — Becky Crew
If only you could see yourself, Atretochoana eiselti

If only you could see yourself, Atretochoana eiselti

Atretochoana eiselti. Credit: Juliano Tupan "What? What are you guys all laughing at? No, of course I don't have any idea what I look like. You're laughing because I'm so ridiculously good-looking, right?

August 9, 2012 — Becky Crew
Hitchhiking jellyfish, gonad-loving parasites and the skeleton shrimp

Hitchhiking jellyfish, gonad-loving parasites and the skeleton shrimp

Gonionemus vertens. Credit: Alexander Semenov I recently came across this incredible underwater photography by russian marine biologist and underwater photographer, Alexander Semenov - head of the White Sea Biological Station deep-sea diving team from the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

July 30, 2012 — Becky Crew
Get on your bike, Phallostethus cuulong

Get on your bike, Phallostethus cuulong

Phallostethus cuulong Credit: L.X. Tran Who says genitals have to be between your legs? A new species of fish has literally turned the genital game on its head and is quietly running with it in the murky Meking River.Discovered in 2009 by zoologist Koichi Shibukawa from the Nagao Natural Environment Foundation in Tokyo, Japan, and described in a recent issue of Zootaxa , Phallostethus cuulong is a small, near-translucent-skinned species from Vietnam.

July 25, 2012 — Becky Crew
Happy first birthday, SciAm blogs!

Happy first birthday, SciAm blogs!

It’s the SciAm Blog Network’s first birthday! Let’s stare inscrutably at things that move, cry till it hurts, throw up on ourselves a little bit  and whatever else one-year-olds do at their own birthday parties.

July 6, 2012 — Bec Crew
Glad you ditched the anal fork, Golden Tortoise Beetle

Glad you ditched the anal fork, Golden Tortoise Beetle

Charidotella sexpunctata Credit: Chimetsetan (projectnoah.org/users/chimetsetan) This pretty little molten gold beetle has been doing the rounds of the Internet lately, because not only does it look like nothing else on Earth, but it can also completely change colours.

July 4, 2012 — Becky Crew
A cat that can never be tamed

A cat that can never be tamed

This lovely little kitten with a head that looks just slightly too big for its face is a Scottish wildcat, a very rare type of wildcat that has dwindled to about 400 individuals living in Britain, mostly restricted to the Highlands of Scotland.

June 27, 2012 — Bec Crew
You'll have to be hotter than that, virgin moths

You'll have to be hotter than that, virgin moths

Credit: José Crespo, University of Utah Even moths can’t escape the tribulations of being a virgin. New research by scientists at the University of Utah has revealed that when a male virgin Helicoverpa zea moth picks up the scent of a female, it will stop at nothing to get to her as soon as possible, even if that means taking off before its body is ready for sustained flight.

June 11, 2012 — Becky Crew
It's not funny anymore, Golden Wheel Spider

It's not funny anymore, Golden Wheel Spider

The golden wheel spider. Credit: Wikimedia A spider has to work pretty hard to be considered almost cute, and one particular African desert spider is literally turning cartwheels to do it.The golden wheel spider ( Carparachne aureoflava) is a species native to the steep sand dunes of the Namib Desert in Southern Africa.

June 4, 2012 — Becky Crew

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