In order to grow, tarantulas must shed their exoskeletons every one to two years–and even more so when they are younger. Like most humans who are about to undergo a major and often uncomfortable change, before molting tarantulas tend to appear sluggish and refuse food. The process can last anywhere from 45 minutes to over 12 hours. In this video, though, it happens in under five minutes.
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Meerkats are pretty darn cute. With their tall, slender bodies and expressive faces, these critters are often caught perched on their two hind feet, scanning the savanna for predators. That being said, baby meerkats are even cuter. Photographer Will Burrard-Lucas recently traveled to the Makgadikgadi Pans region of Botswana to snap pictures of the beloved creatures. While there, Burrard-Lucas had the pleasure of capturing various images of a meerkat community that included some three-week-old baby meerkats. The resulting photos are playful, adorable and sure to brighten your day.
As you can see in this short clip, the baby meerkats enjoyed the photoshoot almost as much as Burrard-Lucas did:
While they seem somewhat benign here, polar bears are some of the Arctic circle’s most ferocious predators. Fun fact for context’s sake: polar bears’ fur is actually transparent. It only looks white because it reflects visible light. Their skin is actually black.
1. Some have “immortal” properties.
The immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) ages like Benjamin Button—when a crisis like starvation presents itself, the jellyfish’s cells transform and revert to their earliest form, a polyp, making this type of jellyfish potentially immortal. Keep reading for more incredibly bizarre facts about jellyfish!
2. They have no “sides”.
Jellyfish have no right or left side—only a top and bottom—as they are symmetrical around a central axis that runs the length of their bodies.
3. Jellyfish are a boon to cancer research.
Green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) from the Aequorea victoria jellyfish species have transformed bio-medical research. The glow-in-the-dark proteins can illuminate specific proteins within the human body to track microscopic activity (for instance, cancer growth).
Painted with cheetah spots and cotton candy pink fur, the polished pooches in photographer Paul Nathan’s “Groomed” series are better suited for a high-fashion runway than the pet store. New York-based Nathan provides a (colorful) look into the world of creative dog grooming, which is equal parts delightful and totally bizarre.
Of all the horrors of war, a destitute hippo is one of the last sights you’d expect to see. Translated directly from the source: “Belle survived the war thanks to her caretaker, Yevdokia Dashina. In 1941 water was turned off throughout the city and Belle’s pool was empty, so her skin began to dry out and crack. Every day, Dashina would drag a 40-liter barrel of water from the Neva river and rub the suffering hippo with camphor oil. Eventually, Belle’s skin healed and she was able to hide underwater through the air raids.”