Blue Ocean Slug (Glaucus atlanticus) - “The Blue Dragon”
Photograph by Daniel Coleman, My Shot
The blue ocean slug, a type of nudibranch, is a striking specimen with extraordinary hues that provide two types of camouflage. On the sea surface, the animal’s blue topside provides protection from hungry birds above, while its silver subsurface hides it from predatory fish looking up from below.
The blue ocean slug is itself a formidable predator that feasts on dangerous animals like the Portuguese man-of-war. Not only is the slug unfazed by the man-of-war’s stinging cells, it ingests them and transports the toxic weapons internally to the ends of its own appendages for self-defense.
(via: National Geo)
Volcano Erupts on Jupiter’s Moon Io
This five-frame sequence of New Horizons images captures the giant plume from Io’s Tvashtar volcano. Snapped by the probe’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter earlier this year, this first-ever “movie” of an Io plume clearly shows motion in the cloud of volcanic debris, which extends 330 kilometers (200 mi) above the moon’s surface. Only the upper part of the plume is visible from this vantage point — the plume’s source is 130 kilometers (80 mi) below the edge of Io’s disk, on the far side of the moon…
(read more: Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA)
(image: Johns Hopkins Univ./APL)
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, evolution. There’s no way that’s going to fit.”
“No, it won’t.”
“Yes, it will!”
“No, it won’t! You need to give the great blue heron some teeth or something if you expect it to eat fish bigger than its head.”
“Teeth on a bird? That’s ridiculous. It’s fine, it’ll fit.”
“It won’t. Don’t force it! What if the heron chokes to death?”
“Oh, come on. I made its throat a little stretchy; I’m sure it can deal.”