Kerengga Ant-like Jumping Spider

The Kerengga Ant-like Jumping spider (Myrmarachne Plataleides) is a very unique type of spider with some crazy cool adaptations.  This species of spider likes to mimic the Kerengga Weaver Ant (Oecophylla Smaragdina) on the accounts of both morphologies and behavior.  This particular spider can be found in India, China, Sri Lanka, and in Southeast Asia.

These ants are sexually dimorphic (have phenotypic differences).   The male ant looks like a large ant carrying a smaller one (pic above), whereas the females look like a single ant.  The males have the elongated chelicerae (mouthparts), which acts as the “smaller ant” that the “larger ant” is carrying.

These chelicerae are able to split, using this for secondary sexual characteristics and protection.  The males fight for their mate, which is quite a sight to see .

So why do they look like ants?  Really?  Wouldn’t you think that spiders are more threatening than ants? I would.  However, because the ants that they mimic are known for their powerful bites and terrible taste, these spiders like to live in range of the colonies of ants, within trees and bushes, in order to be provided with protection from predators.

But wait… this is a jumping spider… and ants don’t jump.  Again, these spiders mimic even the locomotion of their ant friends.  They only jump when they feel threatened.

Wow!  Aren’t these spiders incredible, who would have thought evolution could be so creative!  Simply SUBLIME!


The Dumbo Octopus

The Dumbo Octopus (Species: Grimpoteuthis) is know for it’s “Dumbo” like ears that protrude from their head-like bodies. (See images).  They can be found hovering the bottom floor of the ocean at depths up to 23,000 ft below sea level, making it one of the deepest living species known of octopus.  These small octopi have an internal shell and two fins on their “head” (suborder: Cirrate), unlike their sister suborder of Incirrina that live in the open ocean (pelagic).  Their diet consists of mollusks (bivalves) and crustaceans (Copepods) by consuming their prey whole, which is only done by this particular species.  The way they catch their prey, is they pulsate their arms in order to create a jet propulsion funnel by using their “Dumbo” like fins.

For reproduction, these Octopi are thought to have a constant breeding season, due to findings of eggs in almost all developments of their age.  The male Octopi have an enlarged segment on one the arms that transfers his spermatophores into the females during copulation.

The largest known Dumbo Octopus recorded was 6 ft long and 13 lbs in weight (about the size of an average size man and the weight of a very young infant).

So sublime… the Dumbo Octopus

Watch the Video!

What this blog is for.

I wanted to clarify what the purpose of my blog was.  As I explained in the previous post, I have an extreme passion for animals.  The thing is, it’s not only the cute fuzzy creatures that everyone falls in love with (how original would that be right?) that has consumed my love.  I tend to have an  obsession with the most bizarre…no, the ugliest… no, the trickiest… no, the coolest…  no the most extravagant… NO, the MOST SUBLIME creatures that ever roamed this earth. (Hence the Title of my blog :P)

So, this blog is NOT about the cute fuzzy creatures that everyone knows and loves (although how could I resist on throwing a few in there),  but instead, I wanted to share with the world the creatures that are rarely talked about, about the creatures that are sometimes too ugly to look at, the creatures that have the most interesting adaptations that not even an extraterrestrial with 1000000 years of advances in technology might even be able to even consider.  Yes, this blog right here is about the SUBLIME CREATURES of the world!

Hello world!

I am very excited to start working on my new blog.  First of all, let me start by telling you that I have never really been a “blog” person.  I always thought bloggers were people with no life, or would rather spend their lives mindlessly on the computer.  Well, with my hypercriticism, I apologize to my fellow bloggers, because I now realize that blogging is for those that have things that they want to share with the world… Oh yes, who I am?  I am getting ahead of myself….

My name is Caitlin.  I am a student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.  I am graduating with a degree in Zoology (almost there!!).  Ever since I was a youngster, I have always had a huge passion for animals.  Instead of barbies and playing house, I would play outside in the dirt playing Ocelots or rolling around in the mud.  I had never really gotten the memo that girls were supposed to play with dolls and stay away from the dirt.  I grew up dreaming of the day that I would one day be a vet, a dog trainer, a dog walker, Steve Irwin’s partner in crime, or even the next Jane Goodall.  Yes, I was full of dreams (still am) whether they are truly realistic or just pure fantasy, I guess we will see…

Anyways, when I got to highschool, I still had the same desire to work with animals, but I had found that my skills were more directed towards writing and reading, rather than science and math.  My mom continually pounded me with reminders that even though I planned on never doing math or science again, that it would be important topics to understand.  Of course she was right, mothers are always right. (Remember that!)

So what happens?  I get to college, and there I am, undeclared and confused as hell as to what I might just do with my life.  All I knew was I had a passion for art, writing, photography, reading, and animals.  What could I do with that?  Oh yes, right then and there I decided I was going to be one of the next photographers for National Geographic.  Photographic Journalism, that was my career path.

Well, I set out on my new dream, applying to photographer positions all over the place.  I got it!  I was one of the photographers for The Rocky Mountain Collegian (CSU’s school newspaper).  I was so excited, thrilled that my dream was on its way.  I was a photographer for all of my Freshman year.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved that job to death, as it led me to places I would have never gone before, and I met people I would never have dreamt of meeting.

I don’t know what it was, though, maybe my intense nature to be free, my never ending impulses to do something drastic, or maybe just my realization as to what my true calling was, but sophomore year, there I was, all of a sudden my dreams were changed, and now I was declared a ZOOLOGY major.

It made sense, though, I love animals, I love photography, I love nature, I love the outdoors, I am fascinated by the ethology of animals…and what a greater job than a field researcher zoologist where I can truly be the next Jane Goodall (for something other than apes).

So here I am, 3 and 1/2 years in to college, and I have so much information to share, it is spilling out of me like lava out of a volcano.

Is that too much info?  Well, I am sorry, but I thought in order for you to understand my blog, you might want to know me first.  So this is me, well just a few facts, but I hope you are becoming more interested in my new found blog, because I am excited to share the things that I learn with the rest of you!

Enjoy! And please comment!  :]

So, here it is… here I am… I have officially joined the world of blogging…