Violet Oil Beetle : The Hitchhiker From Hell

The violet oil beetle (Meloe violaceus) is our way into a discussion of leaky leg joints, toxic oil, aphrodisiacs, the cantharidin world, hitch-hiking, egg-laying on an industrial scale and hypermetamorphosism. There are not many animals that better illustrate just how weird and wonderful Nature can get …

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Read on for photos and links that’ll help you explore the weird and wonderful world of the oil beetles …

Australian Trumpet : Maximum Snail

The Australian Trumpet (Syrinx aruanus) is the biggest snail in the world, possibly the biggest snail in the history of life on Earth. It is the size and weight of a small child. It is also a highly specialized predator. But to get to that specialized predation, we’re taking a little journey through the interesting habits of bottlenose dolphins, a case of mistaken identity and a remarkable human culture that had some highly distinctive ritual practices …

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Read on for photos, video and links that expand on the world of Shark Bay’s dolphins, the Torres Strait Islanders and, of course, the biggest snail on Earth …