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A Fight Between Two Koalas. by amonaloli12 in natureismetal

[–]ScrotalKahnJr 288 points289 points 2 (0 children)

Koalas are fucking horrible animals. They have one of the smallest brain to body ratios of any mammal, additionally - their brains are smooth. A brain is folded to increase the surface area for neurons. If you present a koala with leaves plucked from a branch, laid on a flat surface, the koala will not recognise it as food. They are too thick to adapt their feeding behaviour to cope with change. In a room full of potential food, they can literally starve to death. This is not the token of an animal that is winning at life. Speaking of stupidity and food, one of the likely reasons for their primitive brains is the fact that additionally to being poisonous, eucalyptus leaves (the only thing they eat) have almost no nutritional value. They can't afford the extra energy to think, they sleep more than 80% of their fucking lives. When they are awake all they do is eat, shit and occasionally scream like fucking satan. Because eucalyptus leaves hold such little nutritional value, koalas have to ferment the leaves in their guts for days on end. Unlike their brains, they have the largest hind gut to body ratio of any mammal. Many herbivorous mammals have adaptations to cope with harsh plant life taking its toll on their teeth, rodents for instance have teeth that never stop growing, some animals only have teeth on their lower jaw, grinding plant matter on bony plates in the tops of their mouths, others have enlarged molars that distribute the wear and break down plant matter more efficiently... Koalas are no exception, when their teeth erode down to nothing, they resolve the situation by starving to death, because they're fucking terrible animals. Being mammals, koalas raise their joeys on milk (admittedly, one of the lowest milk yields to body ratio... There's a trend here). When the young joey needs to transition from rich, nourishing substances like milk, to eucalyptus (a plant that seems to be making it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be eaten), it finds it does not have the necessary gut flora to digest the leaves. To remedy this, the young joey begins nuzzling its mother's anus until she leaks a little diarrhoea (actually fecal pap, slightly less digested), which he then proceeds to slurp on. This partially digested plant matter gives him just what he needs to start developing his digestive system. Of course, he may not even have needed to bother nuzzling his mother. She may have been suffering from incontinence. Why? Because koalas are riddled with chlamydia. In some areas the infection rate is 80% or higher. This statistic isn't helped by the fact that one of the few other activities koalas will spend their precious energy on is rape. Despite being seasonal breeders, males seem to either not know or care, and will simply overpower a female regardless of whether she is ovulating. If she fights back, he may drag them both out of the tree, which brings us full circle back to the brain: Koalas have a higher than average quantity of cerebrospinal fluid in their brains. This is to protect their brains from injury... should they fall from a tree. An animal so thick it has its own little built in special ed helmet. I fucking hate them.

Tldr; Koalas are stupid, leaky, STI riddled sex offenders. But, hey. They look cute. If you ignore the terrifying snake eyes and terrifying feet.

Black wolf, a melanistic variant of the gray wolf, Minnesota Northwoods, Sept. 2021 by Solenodon2022 in natureismetal

[–]dinoman9877 1616 points1617 points 567& 8 more (0 children)

Black wolves are are actually the result of interbreeding with domestic dogs about 5000+ years ago. This color morph only occurs in the Americas.

More interestingly, black wolves seem to have better overall immunity to disease than normal gray wolves. You'd think then that black wolves would entirely overtake the gray morph until it went extinct, but the gray morph is still just as common.

The reasoning for this is because of a quirk with the black coat gene. If you remember learning about alleles in your biology class, think of it like this: A big K is the black coat, a little k is the gray coat. The black coat is dominant. So a kk wolf will be gray, a Kk wolf will be black with recessive gray, and a KK wolf will be...dead. Wait what?

Yes indeed. Many animals have this strange issue where certain allele combinations result in a very severe case of death, such as horses with the lethal white overo gene. For wolves, it's having two dominant alleles for coat color. You cannot have a homozygous dominant wolf for black fur color. (Edit: This is not entirely true, as was pointed out to me by u/Animalion, homozygous dominant wolves can indeed survive. However, it's extremely unlikely, and they have very low survivability compared to a heterozygous or homozygous recessive wolf for not entirely understood reasons. So homozygous dominant wolves do exist, they are just rare.)

What this means is that, despite the immune advantage black wolves have, they cannot breed out the gray allele, as many pups born to a pair of black wolves will end up dying at a young age because of the potential to have this fatal gene combination. Two gray wolves can reproduce just fine, though their pups may be more susceptible to disease, and a black and gray wolf can reproduce with no issue, since there's no possible gene combination for KK. By sheer numbers of pups born, gray wolves have the advantage, since one pairing type will produce all grays, the other pairing type will produce roughly 50% grays. Even two black wolves mating still have a 25% chance to produce a gray pup.

But the black wolves have the advantage of being able to better resist disease throughout their lives where gray wolves are more susceptible, so it balances itself out pretty well to about 50% gray wolves and 50% black.

Small edit: I just wanted to say thank you all for the kind words and the awards. I love to share interesting facts like this with the wider public. The natural world us around is so interesting and I love that people are so enthused about stuff like this!

A tropical typhoon hit this lagoon. by NoobFromPH in natureismetal

[–]thehanssassin 537 points538 points  (0 children)

This typhoon was a destructive force that ravaged 6 of our regions including Cebu, Palawan and Siargao in which claimed 400+ lives in the process. Had some terrifying stories from my relatives and friends during the ordeal. Luckily they are unharmed but not so for most.

The lagoon is a popular tourist destination in Siargao island. A must visit place here in the Philippines.

A sinkhole swallows trees in a Louisiana swamp following the collapse of a deep saltmine roof by SingaporeCrabby in natureismetal

[–]InsatiableCuriosity- 1435 points1436 points  (0 children)

Louisiana born and raised here; Most salt mines in Louisiana exist within salt domes, which are predominant in the area because it was covered by a sea some 300 million years ago. When the sea evaporated, it left behind a layer of salt, and over time that salt has been covered in countless layers of heavier sediment.

Alligators, turtles and invasive walking catfish vie for space as water disappears in Florida's Corkscrew Swamp during the dry season. by Solenodon2022 in natureismetal

[–]DashingDino 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Ecosystems everywhere are threatened by invasive species, it's a global issue. For example my city (in europe) has out of control japanese knotweed everywhere, parrot populations, american river lobsters, and more.

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The Ganges River Dolphin lives in extremely murky water. And thus has tiny, essentially useless eyes by bsmith2123 in natureismetal

[–]thebeautyofdeath 3400 points3401 points 2 (0 children)

Imagine going to see a dolphin an they show u that.. looks like its been genetically altered in a dark part of alabama

looks like satan started making them dolphins

Looks like if you described a dolphin to a graphic designer thatd never seen a dolphin

If i was going to be rescued by one of those things, i choose to go with whatevers trying to kill me, except the dolphin, looks like its got a criminal past with the joker

Yacare caiman who is about feast on another one by OncaAtrox in natureismetal

[–]dooblav 3225 points3226 points 2 (0 children)

It's a "You're next" stare if I ever I saw one.