Venomous Elbows

If you were to list the most fearsome body parts of a wild animal, teeth and claws would probably be at the top of the list. I doubt elbows would even crack the top 10, but that’s exactly where the slow loris gets its venom. When threatened, the loris licks a gland on its elbow, and the saliva activates the venom. The loris then bites, delivering the venom and deterring the predator. The loris is unique in how it gets its venom and also in that it is the only venomous primate.

Image via: David Haring / Duke Lemur Center


By springspacelli Posted in News

Albino Turtle

An albino turtle, living in a sanctuary in Sri Lanka. Albinos often struggle to survive in the wild, as their lack of pigment makes them an easy target for predators.

By springspacelli Posted in News

RSC Bill Bryson Science Competition


Want to win 100GBP and be famous? 

If you like SCIENCE, ART, and MONEY then you should create a piece of work answering the ONE of the following questions:

‘Where is the science in art?’


‘Where is the art in science?’

Entries can be in any format, including magazine article, poster, video, animation, web page, song or game. REGISTER your entries here.

DEADLINE for submission —>   MARCH 31ST, 2014

For more information ask your science teachers or click here.

Snotty Sea Jelly

Giant Jellyfish: Author Lisa Winter: Feb. 6th, 2014

Jellyfish that inhabit tropical waters, like those surrounding Tasmania, are typically on the smaller end of the spectrum. So the size of this giant jellyfish that washed up on the southern shore in Howden where it was discovered by a family enjoying a day at the beach was quite a surprise. While this type of jelly has been seen before, they have not been documented in scientific literature and so technically they are new to science.

The bell of the jellyfish is 1.5 meters (5 feet) wide. Though there is no official word on the length of the tentacles, estimations going off of similarly sized jellies puts the tentacles up to 24 meters (79 feet) long. The discovery was made by the Lim family, out enjoying the beach and collecting shells during the southern hemisphere’s summer. Twelve-year-old Xavier spotted the beached jellyfish. Because approximately 94% of a jellyfish’s body is water, the remaining 6% just looks like a big puddle of snot on the beach.

Xavier says he did touch the jellyfish and reported that it was “pretty cool.” Fortunately, he did not get stung. Many jellyfish have the ability to sting for some time after they have died, which makes it important to be vigilant while walking on beaches. This species of jellyfish is likely not incredibly venomous and though the sting would not be life-threatening, it would definitely hurt. This jellyfish is likely related to the Lion’s Mane jellyfish, which is possibly the largest species of jellyfish in the oceans.

Jellyfish expert Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) collected the specimen, that she says is one of the biggest ever seen in Tasmania and could rival the largest ever discovered in other Australian states. She has already picked out a name for the jellyfish, but will withhold the announcement until it is officially classified; a process that can take months of peer review.

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By springspacelli Posted in News

Cat’s Tongue

Have you ever wondered why a cat’s tongue feels so rough? Check out this close up shot.

A cat’s tongue is covered in backwards facing spines, about 500 microns long. These are called papillae and they contain keratin (the same stuff your fingernails and hair is made of) making them quite rigid. These are used in grooming and act almost like a hairbrush.

I won’t show you a photo of this, but a cat’s tongue isn’t the only body part to have spines. The penis has a band of about 120–150 backwards-pointing penile spines, which are about one millimeter long. These rake the inside of the females vagina, triggering ovulation.

So there you go. Now you know why a cat’s tongue feels like sandpaper, and why female cats make such a loud noise when mating!

By springspacelli Posted in News

Pink Dragon Millipede

The shocking pink dragon millipede (Desmoxytes purpurosea) is brightly colored to warn predators that it knows how to fight back. The millipede produces hydrogen cyanide when threatened, which also makes it smell like almonds.

Photo credit: Greater Mekong Programme/WWF International

By springspacelli Posted in News