Nature Is Getting Weird – And Here’s The Proof!

Nature can be mind-bogglingly complex and truly fascinating. But even the most methodical scientists and jaded skeptics can’t help but be impressed by its awesomeness of nature. Whether it’s the messiness of cosmic goo, the intensity of jagged snow spikes, or the intricate beauty of a colorful crystal, the world around us really is incredible. But the craziest thing about nature is that there is always strange information to learn about and new sights to see. Check it out! Pieces of Proof that Nature is Getting Weird.

#1 Bat Facehuggers

Bat Facehuggers

The ancestor of Penicillidia flies probably looked something like modern tsetse flies, which also feed on blood. But after millions of years of co-evolution with their furry hosts, bat flies have become highly specialised parasites. For starters, their bodies became flattened and very hard, making it almost impossible for their hosts to squash them. Special “claws” at the end of each foot and hairs on the legs make it extremely difficult to dislodge them from fur. “These insects know the value of a good host and once they land on the furry back of a bat, they never leave it again,” explains Naskrecki.
“Female bat flies, like their relatives tsetse flies, are remarkably good mothers,” he adds. “The great majority of insects lay hundreds or thousands of eggs, betting on one or two of them making it to adulthood. Bat flies, on the other hand – like humans – prefer to invest a lot in a much smaller number of offspring, hoping that they will all make it to the reproductive age. Instead of laying eggs the female gives birth to a single, fully developed larva, which immediately turns into a pupa.”
In fact, because the parasites can’t survive for very long on their own, the only time a female bat fly will leave its host is when the time comes to drop her larva off in a safe place – usually the wall of the bat’s cave roost. Then, she’ll quickly rush back, guided by the smell and warmth of her host.
While most people view parasites as lowly animals, Naskrecki begs to differ. “If anything, parasites, including bat flies, are incredible examples of evolution at its best, organisms capable of both adapting to life in the most hostile of environments (the very substrate you live on wants you dead!) and resisting diseases that live inside your body.

#2 Glass Frog

Glass Frog

Two new species of glass frog were found living in the same 6,200-acre reserve, showing just how much is yet to be discovered in the tropical Andes. At first seeming perfectly identical to each other, the frogs were actually found to have very large differences on a genetic level, as well as different calls. The newly-discovered hyalinobatrachium mashpi lives on the southern side of the Guayllabamba river valley, which separates its territory from that of another frog species, hyalinobatrachium nouns. When biologist Juan M. Guayasamin and his companions entered the Guayllabamba area looking for species of glass frogs, they found several specimens that seemed to have all the same features.
They were both see-through, displaying their heart, liver, and GI-tract proudly through their translucent bellies. Beyond that, they had the same speckled patterns on their lime-green backs, and the same miniscule size of two centimeters.

#3 Devil’s Cigar

Devil’s Cigar

The Devil’s Cigar is an unusually shaped mushroom. It belongs to a fungal group that’s collectively named the earth stars. When immature, the fruits emerge from the ground, resembling a chunky black cigar. When the fungus becomes mature and ready to release the spores, it splits open like a banana. The spores diffuse into the surrounding air as if a puff of smoke. Following this, the mushroom takes its more mature form that has previously been described as a tan-coloured star.
It’s been named the worlds rarest fungi, where to date, it’s only been seen growing in parts of Texas and some remote parts of Japan. Another thing which makes this an interesting fungus is that it’s one of 15 species that emit an audible ‘hissing’ sound when it releases its spores.

#4 Umbrella Birds

Umbrella Birds

There are three different species of umbrellabird which are the Long-wattled umbrellabird, the Amazonian umbrellabird and the Bare-necked umbrellabird all of which live in slightly different areas. All three species are relatively similar in appearance with an umbrella-like crest on the top of their heads (for which they were named) and a pendant-shaped inflatable pouch on their throats. The Umbrellabird is found throughout the sub-tropical belt of Central and South America where they spend the majority of their time hopping between branches high up in the tree canopy. The Umbrellabird is generally a solitary animal that is known to co-inhabit areas with other birds including other Umbrellabirds, and similar species such as Woodpeckers. Although the Umbrellabird can indeed fly short distances, they tend to be relatively slow and clunky in the air. The Umbrellabird plays a vital role in their native eco-system as they distribute the seeds from the fruits that they eat across the forest. Monkeys and snakes are the primarily predators of the umbrellabird, along with large birds of prey such as hawks and eagles. All three species are under threat, mainly due to the loss of significant chunks of their natural habitats, with most of the remaining populations now found in protected areas.
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