praguepride
 member, 1524 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 21:07
Bizarre Nature Facts
As part of running RPGs I end up researching the weirdest things. Tell me your favorite bizarre nature factoid!

The one I found out that prompted this is that spiders regularly eat their webs so they can then excrete them fresh again.
soulsight
 member, 291 posts
 Reality is 10% perception
 and 90% interpretation.
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 21:57
Bizarre Nature Facts
Yep. That's what happens. I recently discovered that most of the sandy beaches near coral reefs are parrot fish poop.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15818 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 22:19
Bizarre Nature Facts
In reply to soulsight (msg # 2):

Always good to remember when planning that vacation in the sun... :(
Korentin_Black
 member, 548 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 00:16
Bizarre Nature Facts

 Crocodiles don't only act socially to hunt fish but they'll do it to people too. And they'll use fallen twigs to attract birds to the edge of the water.

 The New Caledonian Crow is the only non-primate tool creator in the world, with a repertoire of tools manufactured and passed between birds. They also improvise, use these tools to investigate unknown objects and recognise themselves in mirrors.

 Catfish consume approximately 2-3% body weight per day, four to six days a week which gives you a baseline for how many child corpses they can be used to dispose of for a suitably inclined vampire. My search history is problematic. ^_^
phoenix9lives
 member, 983 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 00:58
Bizarre Nature Facts
Goldfish can see beyond the glass border of their bowls, and can even learn to recognize their owners' faces.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 172 posts
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 01:03
Bizarre Nature Facts
I was an Animal Science major in school. We learned a lot of interesting things, but my favorite for being straight-up bizarre was the day we learned that not only does a boar (male hog) have corkscrew-shaped genitalia, the reason for that is to *ahem* hold them in place because it takes them upwards of 15 minutes to ejaculate. Like, not getting there, but the act itself start to finish. (It's science, so that shouldn't get modded, but if it does - sorry!)

I decided that day that A) I did not want to specialize in hogs, and B) I felt every bit as sorry for the sows as I did for the poor human technicians that had to replicate that during AI sessions.
praguepride
 member, 1528 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 06:18
Bizarre Nature Facts
So not to go too deep down that rabbit hole (hay-oh!) having "entrapment" feature during the mating process is pretty common. Ducks and other birds have a similar shape for similar reasons, some species of worms or slugs actually detach to prevent other suitors and the male angler fish actually just embeds itself into the female's body like a tumor.
facemaker329
 member, 7136 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 06:35
Bizarre Nature Facts
Horses can also suffer from vitiligo (lack of pigmentation in skin).

Any time you put a group of horses together, they will busy themselves with sorting out the pecking order.  The 'boss' is almost always a mare, in any herd.

Sometimes the 'boss horse' will go after other horses for misbehaving.  It was the craziest thing to see my friend's mare run up and bite the bars of the pen of the horse she was working with...and it wasn't just a little nip...she flattened out a 2" steel fence tube.  Repeatedly.  What that other horse was doing in absolutely no way affected her...but she apparently realized he was acting up and she did NOT like it.
Fire-and-Bone
 member, 2 posts
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 16:04
Bizarre Nature Facts
Purring and Roaring are mutually exclusive in cats. So lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars are all incapable of purring.
phoenix9lives
 member, 984 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 23:46
Bizarre Nature Facts
But, mountain lions are fully capable of purring.  I got to pet one at a state fair about thirty years ago.  Still have the instamatic photo somewhere...  Mountain lions are more closely related to housecats that the other large cats.

This message was last edited by the user at 23:48, Fri 06 Dec 2019.

SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 173 posts
Sat 7 Dec 2019
at 02:34
Bizarre Nature Facts
Ruminants (like cows and deer) don't have upper teeth (and boy does it feel weird when they nibble you).

Also, domesticated sheep really are stupid. Adorable and sweet, but stupid. They're the only livestock animal that won't learn when it's time to be fed, and come back to the feeding location on their own (or be practically beating down the gate to get there, if unable to reach it directly). Every sheep flock I've ever encountered employed a nanny goat to "lead" the herd, because she was smart enough to take them out to the field in the morning and bring them home at night.

Horses can't see for approximately 4' right in front of their nose. They also can't (without a lot of training) stride beyond their nose. That's why they stretch their necks out when they run, and why those dressage horses in the Olympics that extend their hooves way out in front of their nose are so impressive.

If you're worried about being kicked by a horse, you're safer off if you're closer to it. From a D&D perspective, two squares behind a mount is in the kill zone (because you're far enough away their hoof can get to your head height). One square behind a mount is perfectly safe - at worst you'll get bruised in the thigh-to-rib area.

Horses' teeth never stop growing, and you really can tell their age by looking at them. Hence the phrase about not looking gift horses in the mouth.

Hogs don't sweat, that's why they like mud. It's for temperature regulation.
phoenix9lives
 member, 985 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Sat 7 Dec 2019
at 03:37
Bizarre Nature Facts
Never approach a herd animal such as a cow or a horse in a straight line if they do not know you.  To them, the only unknowns that approach in a straight line are predators, so you have to move towards them in a slow, zig-zag pattern.
facemaker329
 member, 7137 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sat 7 Dec 2019
at 08:41
Bizarre Nature Facts
On that same note, unless they are very familiar with you, don't look squarely at them.  It's a predatory signal, and if they're unfamiliar, it will make them nervous or even frightened.

The other thing about being safer closer to a kicking horse is that when you're right against the horse, they don't really have time to get their foot accelerated into a kick...it's more like a really aggressive push, and if you're right against them, they're hitting you with their whole leg, which spreads out the force of impact significantly.  The example used by the guy who taught me basic horsemanship was this--try punching a bag that's only a few inches in front of your shoulder.  Unless you're Bruce Lee or similarly trained, you can't get any force behind the punch...so you want to stay inside that 'restricted leverage' range working around a horse.

And horses have two blind spots...right in front of their nose, and right behind them (it's worse, if their head is down, like while they're eating).  That's why you're supposed to talk to them as you approach...if you walk into those blind spots and startle the horse, it can get ugly in a hurry.

On a different note:  Llamas 'adopt' whatever animals they're kept with, and guard them.  They're often used to guard sheep...but they'll do the same thing with horses, cows...my friends' llama even 'goes on alert' when minks, skunks, or raccoons start creeping around their henhouse.  And while llamas can lay on a nasty kick, they usually just crush the breath out of whatever they go after...they'll knock it to the ground and then drop to their knees (on their front legs) on it and just sit there, keeping it pinned and making it impossible for whatever it is to breathe.  I can tell you, from first-hand experience, it's a very disorienting sensation and pretty effective (there's a story behind that one, but it takes a while to tell...)
Varsovian
 member, 1491 posts
Sun 8 Dec 2019
at 21:34
Bizarre Nature Facts
One-word scary nature fact: cordyceps.

Seriously. Research it, then shudder.
ShadoPrism
 member, 1280 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 00:48
Bizarre Nature Facts
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 14):

Its a fungus used in medicine - parasitic one found normally only on certain catapillars in china. But they also grow them in labratories and can be bought as a supliment.
Don't know why you would shudder about it though.
Varsovian
 member, 1492 posts
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 05:18
Bizarre Nature Facts
Hm. Not sure if we're talking about the same cordyceps? I'm talking about the one that parasitizes ants and takes control of them...
Z.Dianli
 member, 4 posts
 What goes...
 ...in here?
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 05:23
Bizarre Nature Facts
You're talking about the same.
Manticore
 member, 438 posts
 Cthulhu gamed with me
 HE lost 2d6 SAN points
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 08:06
Bizarre Nature Facts
A few more...

Cymothoa exigua - a parasitic prosthetic tongue.

Sacculina - barnacles that eat gonads and take their place on the crab.

Kakapo - "You've been shagged by a rare parrot."

Hooded Pitohui - You do not want to touch these feathers!
NowhereMan
 member, 340 posts
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 09:10
Bizarre Nature Facts
ShadoPrism:
Its a fungus used in medicine - parasitic one found normally only on certain catapillars in china. But they also grow them in labratories and can be bought as a supliment.


Varsovian:
Hm. Not sure if we're talking about the same cordyceps? I'm talking about the one that parasitizes ants and takes control of them...


I find it rather amusing that a parasite that makes zombie ants is grown in labs to be used in treatments for erectile dysfunction. Talk about raising the dead...
Isida KepTukari
 member, 320 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 09:17
Bizarre Nature Facts
The Great Potoo not only looks like a Muppet, its call resembles that of a teenage boy who just got his X-Box unplugged - "Mooooooooooom!"
Brianna
 member, 2204 posts
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 11:25
Re: Bizarre Nature Facts
SunRuanEr:
Hogs don't sweat, that's why they like mud. It's for temperature regulation.


I believe that, given the choice, hogs would prefer to be clean, but usually their only option for temperature control is, or becomes, mud.
phoenix9lives
 member, 986 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Fri 13 Dec 2019
at 22:39
Re: Bizarre Nature Facts
Some bacteriophages are capable of surviving in volcanoes.
soulsight
 member, 292 posts
 Reality is 10% perception
 and 90% interpretation.
Sat 14 Dec 2019
at 06:30
Re: Bizarre Nature Facts
OK, I needed to know how many legs a centipede could have (varies from 50 to 354, never divisible by four) and discovered that they always have an odd number of pairs, therefore no centipede has one hundred legs.
ShadoPrism
 member, 1282 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Sat 14 Dec 2019
at 07:43
Re: Bizarre Nature Facts
In reply to soulsight (msg # 23):

On the wrong count of legs and names we have:
Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies with more than 20 segments, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball. Although the name "millipede" derives from the Latin for "thousand feet", no known species has 1,000; the record of 750 legs belongs to Illacme plenipes.

(Copied from the Google search on milipedes)
Varsovian
 member, 1493 posts
Mon 16 Dec 2019
at 21:50
Re: Bizarre Nature Facts
Speaking of insects and related arthropods: there's a species of spider that defends itself by losing its hair. Specifically, they rapidly shake off their body hair in the direction of the attacker, creating a small cloud of tiny hair. And these hair are actually very sharp.

And speaking of unusual weapons, there's a species of frog that, when attacked, actually breaks its front limbs and uses the jutting bones as stabbing weapons...

This message was last edited by the user at 22:13, Mon 16 Dec 2019.

phoenix9lives
 member, 987 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Mon 16 Dec 2019
at 21:59
Re: Bizarre Nature Facts
In reply to Varsovian (msg # 25):

Tarantulas.

And...

...OUCH!