“Alien” Has Nothing on This

Nature can be a real asshole. This video is not for the squeamish:

I’m pretty sure this type of wasp partly inspired the birth cycle of the creatures in the Alien movies. Nature takes it farther, though, in terms of being horrifying, albeit with a certain sense of karma. The narrator notes: “One of the greatest dangers the larvae will face is being themselves impregnated by other species of parasitic wasp.”

Then there’s this: Continue reading


Bob Marley honored with…..wait, what???

A scientist has decided to show his “respect and admiration” for the music of Bob Marley…


…by naming a parasitic crustacean after him.


The late Jamaican musician Bob Marley has joined the “I have a species named after me” club, as a parasitic crustacean has been donned Gnathia marleyi, researchers announced today (July 10).

This blood feeder infests certain fish that live among the coral reefs of the shallow eastern Caribbean Sea.

“I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music,” Paul Sikkel, an assistant professor of marine ecology at Arkansas State University, said in a statement. “Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley.”

Wikipedia doesn’t have much information on the species, no surprise, except for this tidbit:

It can be found hiding among sea sponges, algae, and pieces of dead coral.

The Yahoo! article mentions a few other newly-discovered species named for famous people, and I think the problem is that, by and large, all of the cool animals, plants, and fungi have already been discovered and named. I doubt anyone should read too much into the following:

A lichen named for Barack Obama, Caloplaca obamae.

A horsefly, native to Australia, named for Beyonce, Scaptia beyonceae.

A trilobite named for Mick Jagger, Aegrotocatellus jaggeri. Considering that the trilobites went extinct before the dinosaurs showed up, and the specimens we have today are dried-out, fossilized husks, let’s go ahead and read something into that. (I’m a little offended on Mick’s behalf.)

Gary Larson, cartoonist of The Far Side, has a “biting louse” that preys on owls named after him, Strigiphilus garylarsoni.

In addition to Gary Larson, Mental Floss has nine more animals/plants with celebrity namesakes, including Harrison Ford, Freddie Mercury, and Hugh Hefner.

Now I really have something to aspire to.

Photo credits: ‘Bob Marley’ by Eddie Mallin (Bob Marley) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons; ‘Gnathiid isopod’ by Y-zo (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons.