Octopuses are among the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom. In total, an octopus has 500 million neurons, located in both its brain and throughout its arms. In addition to grabbing onto prey and climbing rocky underwater structures, an octopus uses its suckers to taste and sense.
Having studied sharks, stingrays, and cetaceans across the globe, Dr. Gore has worked to gather information on these vulnerable gentle giants to better understand their migration patterns and decreasing populations, fueling conservation efforts to protect them.
Porpita porpita are hermaphrodites and have two main body structures. The first part is the float which is a round disc like shape and is a golden-brown color. It is typically 1.5 inches wide or less, and has a single mouth underneath the float which is used for both the intake of nutrients and the dispersal of wastes. The second part is the hydroid colony (jellyfish like tentacles) that are bright blue, turquoise or yellow. Each strand is covered in branchlets and end in knobs of stinging calls called nematocysts.
Porpita porpita stings usually do not hurt but can cause skin irritation. They have gaseous bodies which allow them to float on the surface and are propelled by wind and ocean currents.
This time-lapse video from LSA’s Museum of Zoology takes the bat species Artibeus jamacanensis from specimen to display. The process might be a little stomach-churning, but then again, good science isn’t always mess-free.
As one of the largest university museums in the world, the Museum of Zoology is a crucial resource for use in research, conservation, and education. Studying animals such as Artibeus jamacanensis allows scientists to craft a tangible record of life on Earth.
Paul Irven (1996) wrote that captive babirusas are ‘sensitive and responsive … with an endearing character’. They are also said to exhibit excitement and enthusiasm on greeting familiar people, engaging in tail wagging, head shaking and jumping and running about.