Not a mushroom!
It’s a crab, discovered back in 2010 in Taiwan, similar to Neoliomera pubescens. 
- M

Not a mushroom!

It’s a crab, discovered back in 2010 in Taiwan, similar to Neoliomera pubescens. 

- M

Clathrus ruber
From the Bay Area Mycological Society:
"Talk about unwanted neighbors. A seductively beautiful, but devilishly foul-smelling fungus may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you. She’s a real hottie, a heat-seeking Mediterranean redhead, spreading north in Europe, and traveling across the seas to hospitable new homes on both coasts of North America.
Meet Clathrus ruber, or as intimates call her, the “Basket Stinkhorn.” And stink she does, like rotten meat on a hot day. Repugnant to you, perhaps, but the smell is catnip to flies. They flock to her foetid scent, feed upon the spore-impregnated greenish-black gleba, and soar off, spreading stinkhorn spores in their wake.”
read more here:
http://www.bayareamushrooms.org/mushroommonth/clathrus_ruber.html

Clathrus ruber

From the Bay Area Mycological Society:

"Talk about unwanted neighbors. A seductively beautiful, but devilishly foul-smelling fungus may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you. She’s a real hottie, a heat-seeking Mediterranean redhead, spreading north in Europe, and traveling across the seas to hospitable new homes on both coasts of North America.

Meet Clathrus ruber, or as intimates call her, the “Basket Stinkhorn.” And stink she does, like rotten meat on a hot day. Repugnant to you, perhaps, but the smell is catnip to flies. They flock to her foetid scent, feed upon the spore-impregnated greenish-black gleba, and soar off, spreading stinkhorn spores in their wake.”

read more here:

http://www.bayareamushrooms.org/mushroommonth/clathrus_ruber.html

This cute little critter is an impending ecological disaster

I saw this on a recent trip to Jamaica State Park in southern Vermont. I am not sure what species it is, but it looks very similar to the infamous Rusty Crayfish, native of the Ohio River Valley. This little guy looks harmless but is stirring up some serious silt in the rivers of Vermont and New Hampshire.

According to Northern Woodlands Magazine:

"The rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus, has hitchhiked as far as Ontario, New Mexico, and Maryland, and is now found in more than a dozen states, including every New England state but Rhode Island. Having first been recorded in Vermont in the 1970s, Matthews says that it is now “widely distributed in the Connecticut River and its tributaries and is dominant in the White River.” It is also found in Lake Morey in Fairlee and in Lake Carmi in northwestern Vermont.

“Only three species of crayfish are native to Vermont,” says Matthews, “but another five species have been introduced. In 2010, for the first time, the big water crayfish (Cambarus robustus) appeared in the White River. This crayfish species appears to have been introduced very recently, which suggests that people are still moving crayfish around and releasing them in the water. Therefore, the threat of the spread of rusty crayfish, as well as potential for other invasive introductions, continues to be high.”

Once a plant or animal is removed from its indigenous habitat and dropped into a new environment, it escapes the normal checks that keep it in balance with its surroundings. Most such species don’t survive in the new location, but those that do can create an ensuing “invasion” whose effects range from a slightly skewed food chain to the complete elimination of some native species.

For more info see the article:

http://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/big-bold-and-rusty-invasive-crayfish-has-claws

-M

Insect Mug Shots

From top to bottom:

A coloured scanning electron micrograph of a wasp’s head (order Hymenoptera), A coloured scanning electron micrograph of the head of a soldier turtle ant (Cephalotes sp.) from the Amazonian rainforest, A coloured scanning electron micrograph of the head of a honey bee (Apis sp.)

These were my favorites, you can see more here:

http://oddstuffmagazine.com/miniature-photography-insects-and-fly-under-the-microscope.html

-M

"Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

For the first time, researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water that is left to dry, bacteria manipulate the sodium chloride crystallization to create biomineralogical biosaline 3-D morphologically complex formations, where they hibernate. Afterwards, simply by rehydrating the material, bacteria are revived. The discovery was made by chance with a home microscope.”

From Science Daily: 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725080316.htm

"Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

For the first time, researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water that is left to dry, bacteria manipulate the sodium chloride crystallization to create biomineralogical biosaline 3-D morphologically complex formations, where they hibernate. Afterwards, simply by rehydrating the material, bacteria are revived. The discovery was made by chance with a home microscope.”

From Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140725080316.htm
Hydrothermal Vent Worms

"Hydrothermal vent worms are so tiny that you can’t see them. They live around the hydrothermal vents on the abyssal plain of the ocean floor. Fortunately, its mouth is less than a millimeter wide, but rest assured — if it could, that worm would devour everything you have ever loved."

http://www.cracked.com/article_19939_11-everyday-things-that-are-terrifying-under-microscope.html

Hydrothermal Vent Worms

"Hydrothermal vent worms are so tiny that you can’t see them. They live around the hydrothermal vents on the abyssal plain of the ocean floor. Fortunately, its mouth is less than a millimeter wide, but rest assured — if it could, that worm would devour everything you have ever loved."

http://www.cracked.com/article_19939_11-everyday-things-that-are-terrifying-under-microscope.html

Mouse embryo
“Image courtesy Celeste Nelson and Joe Tien, Princeton Art of Science    
Fluorescent light illuminates an embryo’s inner workings in “Baby Mouse.” The unborn mouse’s vascular system, usually red with blood, is rendered here in green. The blue coloring reveals its DNA.” 

http://tinyurl.com/opsckl8

Mouse embryo

Image courtesy Celeste Nelson and Joe Tien, Princeton Art of Science    

Fluorescent light illuminates an embryo’s inner workings in “Baby Mouse.” The unborn mouse’s vascular system, usually red with blood, is rendered here in green. The blue coloring reveals its DNA.” 

http://tinyurl.com/opsckl8

Q. Can you guess what this is?
A. Bubonic plague on a rat flee. Yup, how can something so beautiful be so bad?

Q. Can you guess what this is?

A. Bubonic plague on a rat flee. Yup, how can something so beautiful be so bad?

Flowers in Space
"tokyo-based artist azuma makoto in collaboration with john powell of JP aerospace have completed a botanical space flight, sending a japanese white pine bonsai suspended from a carbon-fiber frame, and an arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other plants into the stratosphere. launched with a specially equipped balloon from black rock desert in nevada, the mission, entitled ‘exbiotanica’, was conceptualized to let different plants step into the unknown, away from earth.”
Read more here:
http://www.designboom.com/art/azuma-makoto-exobiotanica-project-bonsai-tree-07-21-2014/

Flowers in Space

"tokyo-based artist azuma makoto in collaboration with john powell of JP aerospace have completed a botanical space flight, sending a japanese white pine bonsai suspended from a carbon-fiber frame, and an arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other plants into the stratosphere. launched with a specially equipped balloon from black rock desert in nevada, the mission, entitled ‘exbiotanica’, was conceptualized to let different plants step into the unknown, away from earth.”

Read more here:

http://www.designboom.com/art/azuma-makoto-exobiotanica-project-bonsai-tree-07-21-2014/

New Species Alert
This insect was found in Chengdu, Sichuan and now boasts the record as the world’s largest aquatic insect, with a wingspan of 8.3 inches!
-M

New Species Alert

This insect was found in Chengdu, Sichuan and now boasts the record as the world’s largest aquatic insect, with a wingspan of 8.3 inches!

-M