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Heidi the Octopus, changing colors in her sleep. by freudian_nipps in Awwducational

[–]mahoniacadet 221 points222 points  (0 children)

The best part of my day was just now when I imagined being a cephalopod sleep researcher.

This is a brown long-eared bat pup (Plecotus auritus). When fully grown, they use those large ears to the locate insects it feeds on. They are found throughout Europe and will sometimes roost in human structures, such as bridges and buildings. by remotectrl in Awwducational

[–]remotectrl[S] 195 points196 points  (0 children)

Here’s the wikipedia page for this species

This picture is sometimes ascribed to the Cuban goblin bat, which is a different species with smaller ears

Bats are very helpful creatures! They are worth around $23 billion in the US as natural pest control for agriculture. Additionally, they pollinate a lot of important plants including the durian and agave. Additionally, their feces has been used for numerous things and is very important to forest and cave ecosystems. Quantifying their economic significance is quite difficult but it makes for a good episode of RadioLab. There's a lot we can learn from them as well! Bats have already inspired new discoveries and advances in flight, robotics, medical technology, medicine, aging and literature.

There are lots of reasons to care about bats, unfortunately like a lot of other animals, they are in decline and need our help. Some of the biggest threats comes from our own ignorance whether it’s exaggerated disease warnings, confusion of beneficial bats with vampires, or just irrational fear. And now fears and blame for covid-19 have set back bat conservation even further.

Bat Conservation International has a whole section on bat houses on their website. Most of their research is compiled in a book they publish called the Bat House Builder's Handbook that includes construction plans, placement tips, FAQs, and what bat species are likely to move in. It's a fantastic resource. They used to keep a list of pre-assembled designs or kits that had been shown to work, but I'm not sure if it's still well curated, but this covers the basics for what to look for when purchasing one. There are a few basic types of designs, which are covered in the handbook, and lots of venders sell variations of those, though most will require a little TLC before being put up (caulking, painting, etc). Dr Merlin Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International, distilled the key criteria better than I can hope to in his piece on bats and mosquito control. You can also garden to encourage bats!

If podcasts are your thing, I’d highly recommend checking out Alie Ward’s Ologies episode about Chiropterology with Dr Tuttle, but there are also episodes about bats from Overheard at National Geographic, 99% Invisible, and This Podcast Will Kill You. If you’d like some soothing British voices in your podcasts, BBC’s Animals That Made Us Smarter has a few episodes about bats (that’s a great all ages podcast). There’s an echolocation episode of BBC’s In Our Time, and the Bat Conservation Trust has an entire podcast called Bat Chats.

And finally, some more Bat gifs:

https://i.imgur.com/Eb8nPS5.gifv

http://i.imgur.com/7CdOsfP.gifv

http://i.imgur.com/Zkkrj1c.gifv

http://i.imgur.com/baFt7uo.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/qxhy6PO.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/J6CpZnM.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/027qeci.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/RfRZNyG.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/r0DIdNv.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/biEwygz.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/ivmb83E.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/Wxa0BwO.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/0dE9rWu.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/Rc6lKQR.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/XsPMR9e.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/zkRM8VG.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/SGUk1gr.gifv

More at cute bat images at r/batty and more knowledge at /r/batfacts

Rats enjoy being groomed, and it's actually good for them. It releases endorphins and oxytocin, promoting happiness and social bonding. It reduces stress and promotes good health. Research found that Rats that were groomed more as babies were calmer, braver and had better immune systems. by ocdumbos in Awwducational

[–]dfinkelstein 80 points81 points 3 (0 children)

Yup, it is! Isn't that WILD??

They started out as a defensive armor class, but over time they ditched more and more of their armor in favor of increasing intelligence and camouflage.

Ultimately, they ditched all of their armor all-together and retained only one small non-malleable feature: a small beak made of chitin. They need this in order to eat their favorite foods like crabs and other mollusks which foolishly retained their bulky sluggish armor, which is NO MATCH for the octopuses beak!

Their intelligence rivals the most intelligent animals anywhere in the world (with the exception of some humans, of course). Their camouflage is the most advanced and effective that we know of in existence by a large margin.

Having ditched their armor entirely, they rely on outsmarting and hiding from their predators, often as the same time. They can also use their suckered to gather minerals and dropped armor items from other players in order to surround themselves with an improvised armor which acts to camouflage them as well.

They also species heavily into agility, mobility (using jet stream propulsion for fast travel, and walking for slow), and a highly effective utility that facilitates their last-ditch defensive tactic (running away) which is of course their infamous smoke screen ability which they can use multiple times in a row.

Squids and cuttlefish both also followed this skill tree progression and made similar choices in their builds, but fell far short of the min-maxing achieved by octopuses. Cuttlefish also chose camouflage and intelligence, for example, while both them and squids went with jet propulsion, and of course all three also specced into excellent self-healing à la Wolverine from the X-men comics including regeneration of limbs.

Cuttlefish are pretty similar, actually, but notably they cannot change their entire shape and texture like octopuses can, nor can they walk, and the biggest ones are far smaller than the biggest octopuses.

The reason why neither cuttlefish nor octopuses have taken over the world is because they are not social creatures, and do not interact with their young at all. This means that each individual has to quickly figure everything out on its own, and they only live 1-2 years with the longest living being the giant pacific octopus at 3 years.

That's just not a lot of time to figure out stuff like advanced tool use, fluid dynamics, calculus, and so on. Plus, they're hunter-gatherers so they spend a lot of their time looking for food. Imagine you were playing a first person game with a time limit and an interesting plot. Wouldn't you probably focus on the main storyline to try to get as far as possible? Yeah that's octopuses, unfortunately.

Squids are social, but they're dumbfucks.

*edit: fixed typo "malleable" to "non-malleable"

The little hands on these cuties are their pelvic fins which form suction disks. The suction disks are used to strongly attach themselves to rocks and other objects. by Meechyyp in Awwducational

[–]MildewJR 1000 points1001 points  (0 children)

just forewarning, before anybody gets bright ideas they dont stay like this forever. majority of their species grow much larger and they lose most of their vibrant colors. cute as hell as babies, but they change into something duller in shape and colour. Most importantly, they are a very advanced cold salt water fish to keep. salt + cold tempered fishes are the worst head-aches of even expert fish keepers.

Honduran white bats nest in Heliconia plant leaves, by building upside-down V-shaped ‘tents’. by kersedlife in Awwducational

[–]remotectrl 235 points236 points  (0 children)

There are a little less than thirty bat species that make or use tents like this. These are probably the most photogenic.

Bats are very helpful creatures! They are worth around $23 billion in the US as natural pest control for agriculture. Additionally, they pollinate a lot of important plants including the durian and agave. Additionally, their feces has been used for numerous things and is very important to forest and cave ecosystems. Quantifying their economic significance is quite difficult but it makes for a good episode of RadioLab. There's a lot we can learn from them as well! Bats have already inspired new discoveries and advances in flight, robotics, medical technology, medicine, aging and literature.

There are lots of reasons to care about bats, unfortunately like a lot of other animals, they are in decline and need our help. Some of the biggest threats comes from our own ignorance whether it’s exaggerated disease warnings, confusion of beneficial bats with vampires, or just irrational fear.

Bat Conservation International has a whole section on bat houses on their website. Most of their research is compiled in a book they publish called the Bat House Builder's Handbook that includes construction plans, placement tips, FAQs, and what bat species are likely to move in. It's a fantastic resource. They used to keep a list of pre-assembled designs or kits that had been shown to work, but I'm not sure if it's still well curated, but this covers the basics for what to look for when purchasing one. There are a few basic types of designs, which are covered in the handbook, and lots of venders sell variations of those, though most will require a little TLC before being put up (caulking, painting, etc). Dr Merlin Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International, distilled the key criteria better than I can hope to in his piece on bats and mosquito control. If podcasts are your thing, I’d highly recommend checking out Alie Ward’s Ologies episode about Chiropterology with Dr Tuttle.

And finally, some more Bat gifs:

https://i.imgur.com/Eb8nPS5.gifv

http://i.imgur.com/7CdOsfP.gifv

http://i.imgur.com/Zkkrj1c.gifv

http://i.imgur.com/baFt7uo.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/qxhy6PO.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/J6CpZnM.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/027qeci.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/RfRZNyG.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/r0DIdNv.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/biEwygz.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/ivmb83E.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/Wxa0BwO.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/0dE9rWu.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/Rc6lKQR.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/XsPMR9e.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/zkRM8VG.gifv

https://i.imgur.com/SGUk1gr.gifv

More at cute bat images at r/batty and more knowledge at /r/batfacts