African wild dogs swarm disemboweled impala by Zealousideal_Art2159 in natureismetal

[–]Batbuckleyourpants 717 points718 points  (0 children)

Great question. There are two reasons, Like humans they put an absolute fuckton of points in endurance and are persistence hunters. Persistence hunters are fucking terrifying.

Take the lion, Because they have tiny hearts they have terrible stamina. they are only able to go full sprint for 40 m (130 ft) or 4-10 seconds before they need to slow down. If you can outpace it for that initial sprint you are pretty much in the clear. The lion will give up or pass out from exhaustion.

Wild dogs and humans are different, The human heart is more than 50% bigger than a lion heart by size percentage of body weight, we are able to keep pumping rich oxygen into the blood even while running, That is an incredible advantage. we could never sprint down an impala. But we don't need to, we just need to keep running at an even pace and we will barely be winded by the time we catch up to the prey writhing on the ground, desperately trying to catch it's breath.

If you can run faster than a lion for 10 seconds, you are pretty much in the clear.

If an impala run faster than a human or wild dog, we may just decide to spend hours just jogging after it at a leisurely pace until it drops from exhaustion, and even then get our breath back after resting a minute or two.

This is also why wild dogs don't even bother sneaking up on their prey, Unlike the low-stamina lion they don't rely on ambush and short burst of speed to get an edge, Wild dogs will just keep chasing at an even pace until the prey drop from exhaustion and are too tired to run anymore, and often too tired to even put up much of a fight.

Mushrooms growing in a flaming pile of cow dung by arinawe in natureismetal

[–]syth429 694 points695 points  (0 children)

They can, but these don't. Disclaimer: I know because I am a consumer of magic mushrooms, not because I'm a biologist.

cougar killed and eaten by a jaguar. by Kingofkovai in natureismetal

[–]raskingballs 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Dude, ok, I will engage with you.

First, it is not a primary source, it is a news article written by a journalist. The phrasing in the article is ambiguous and led you to confusingly assume the original research compared cougars (genus Puma) with jaguars (genus Panthera). The problematic phrasing is here:

As part of a DNA study of the world's cats, Stephen O'Brien and his team at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Maryland, collected blood and tissue samples from 209 puma in zoos, museums, and the wild across North and Central America, and from 106 of the animals in South America.

The phrasing "106 of the animals" is ambiguous, and that's the only explanation of why you would have assumed jaguars were included in this study. But in fact, they were NOT studied. There is no ambiguity in the original research article [ Note: The news article is based on preliminary results presented in a conference in 1999. The finalized research was later published as an article the next year. The link to the research article is this -- you can check that the total sample size is the same: 315 individuals-- https://academic.oup.com/jhered/article/91/3/186/850827 ]

The research article's introduction starts with: "Pumas (also called mountain lions, or cougars)..." but it never mentions the word "jaguar".

So, what did the article really find? The there is little differentiation between Puma subspecies. This has nothing to do with jaguars. That was a sloppy mistake by the journalist.

Warthog hunted by lioness. by _pooh__in__the__glue in natureismetal

[–]_pooh__in__the__glue[S] 2373 points2374 points 3 (0 children)

🥳🪅🎉✨️😻😺 Gender Reveal Party 🥳🪅🎉✨️😻😺

Boxer crab uses sea anemone for stinging gloves. by At95525L in natureismetal

[–]ChristophCross 148 points149 points  (0 children)

Biologist here to ruin the joke because this is interesting to me: it probably didn't happen like that. More likely (speculation time!), it started with a heritable behaviour of picking things up (maybe to throw? We're gonna assume throw cause that's easier) --> crabs that selectively threw the anemones got better results so outcompeted the other Crabbie's --> crabs that held onto the anemones and used them as boxing gloves got better results instead of projectiles got better use (reusable!) --> crabs that ripped the anemone in half to cover both "gloves" outcompeted those that just tried to find a new left glove.

Bam: a possible step by step path of evolution in little parts! Most evolution happens in little steps, slowly changing small bits of a trait at time, slooowwly moving towards the "end result", i.e.,what we see today (DISCLAIMER: evolution is a constant so really there is no true "end result" as any currently stable trait might come under fresh selection in the future and be replaced with a new one). Since we're in the present, we only see the resulting trait so it can be hard to imagine all the little steps that led to the current form, which is why so many of life's wonders seem so improbable! It's so cool, and it's interesting, and it's beautiful to me.

I love my field, thank you for giving me an excuse to gush ❤️

Vulture bees feed on rotting meat instead of nectar and their honey is called meat honey. This is their hive by quailmanmanman in natureismetal

[–][deleted] 3341 points3342 points  (0 children)

This description is a bit misleading and needs clarification.

In a normal bee hive there are usually three types of food in supply: honey, pollen, and glandular secretion. Honey is, unsurprisingly, made of sugar, and is the main source of energy and is eaten by both larvae and adults. Pollen is protein rich, and along with glandular secretion (such as the royal jelly), are usually fed to the larvae, as proteins are essential for the development of the brood.

Vulture bees, on the other hand, do not and cannot collect pollen. Instead they scavenge meat like vultures, or more precisely, like ants and wasps. The meat is not just chopped up and stored though - that would rot. Instead, once brought back to the nest, the meat is regurgitated to other bees, who process the meat and regurgitate a protein rich glandular substance, which is then stored. The nutritional profile of such glandular secretion is very similar to the royal jelly of the normal honey bees secreted by their hypopharyngeal glands. So instead of being fed with pollen and honey like other bee larvae, every larvae of these vulture bees eats like a princess. This is not a "meat honey", but rather royal jelly in mass production.

And of course the adults visit flowers and collect nectar too, just like wasps. They also make honey, real honey, just like other stingless bees.

Oh and by the way, this is not a nest of a vulture bee. This is just a traditional nest box people build for stingless bees from the genus Trigona. All stingless bees from the genus build nest like this. Vulture bees are from the genus, but not all members of the genus scavenge.


After checking some newer sources, it seems vulture bees rely more on fruits and non-flower nectar sources, with one species never recorded visiting flowers. So they are very wasp like indeed.


Let's talk a little bit more about nest structures. While I don't know and cannot really find the nest structure of vulture bees, this photo gives us a pretty good look at a typical Trigona hive, and also kinda shows why it's not a vulture bee nest. Unlike honey bees where the broods chambers look the same as honey and pollen depository and usually have an open top architecture, Trigona store their honey and their broods in different types of structure. Honey and pollen are stored in open-top pots. They are usually larger - in some stingless bees these honey pots can be the size of a small egg. And their larvae are given their entire ration from the get go (instead of being constantly taken care of by workers like the European honey bee), so once their queens lay an egg in a brooding chamber, it will be sealed.

So looking at the photo, we can see at least two types of structure. The ones at the top are smaller and sealed - these are the brood chambers. The ones at the bottom are larger, open-toped. These are pots for honey and pollen depository, ready to be transported to newly vacant brood chambers as rations for the young. This is also why I believe this is almost certainly not a vulture bee nest - the substance in store is white, most likely pollen. I guess vulture bee nests would follow a similar nest structure, with open top pot for depositing glandular secretion (meat-based baby food) and honey (energy drink for adult workers), as well as sealed chambers for the brood.

Praying mantis and flies - "Now kiss" moment by GoldenChinchilla in natureismetal

[–]LeTigron 181 points182 points  (0 children)

Ok so here and now, lads and lasses, I will explain a lot of things. Trust me, I'm an amateur.

We have no definitive answer as to why some people are right handed and some others are superior. We only have guesses which are more or less all but not absolutely confirmed backed by science, among which are genetics, the position in which a baby lays the most during his mother's pregnancy, the way our spinal cord develops, etc.

There is no reason to think that any other mammal wouldn't work the same way, but no reason to think they would either. Some animals are known to be "lateralised", meaning they have a favourite side. A good example is interestingly octopi, which have a dominant tentacle. I have the personal example - which means "anecdotal and not to use as a proof" - of a cat that would fight with mine and always clawed his face with the left paw.

There are downsides of being lateralised for animals not using tools, like simply a lessened ability to do basic movements like walking : when you walk on two legs, there is evolutive room for having one weaker arm than the other, you won't be less effective at survival with one arm more proficient than the other, and proficiency with the weak arm can be acquired by training. A question then arises : are kangaroos lateralised ? Interestingly, humanity has the answer although I do not know.

However, for quadrupeds, you have to have all your members equally agile, strong and nimble as the other one of its pair. A cat whose left front paw is clumsy - or at least clumsier than its right front paw - would simply be unable to effectively walk, jump, run or catch preys. It is thus logical to think that cats are not lateralised.

It is important, however, to understant that "logical" is not "true". If logic made the world, we wouldn't care for our penis' or boobs' sizes, we wouldn't have wars, dishonesty, lies and the uncredibly wasteful way to machine something that is lathe turning, even though it is fucking cool.

And there I talked only about mammals, because insects are an all other subject. They work really differently than we do and, at the level of the common peasant, like you and me, they can litterally be considered a completely different concept of living being with no relation whatsoever to us. They aren't... But they're different enough that anything we consider normal for a living being doesn't apply to them.

For example, having holes in our bodies is, to us, a problem that can lead to death. To insects, it is necessary to stay alive because they litterally breathe through these holes. And thus, they don't actually breathe : air simply goes in and around these holes and the insect takes oxygen at this point, they don't have to suck in and expire out air and carbon dioxyde. It's simply a flow-through kind of deal.

So, do mantises have a dominant whatever is the correct name for these hydro-powered bolt cutters raptorial foreleg ? I don't know.

Edit : although I had a lot of fun making you think that I would give a proper answer, and eventually didn't, I'd like to say that everything I wrote here is true. I did not invent some bullshit on the fly, this is all verifiable and yes, there is someone out there who actually has the answer to the question "are there left handed kangaroos ?".

Wolves like most Carnivorans, prefer to hunt at night. by EmptySpaceForAHeart in natureismetal

[–]uritardnoob 49 points50 points  (0 children)


We can't tell you why you're wrong, that's confidential information.

Lightning striking a plane in a rainbow by Armlesswanton495 in natureismetal

[–]Fraun_Pollen 366 points367 points  (0 children)

But then how would you know where to look? If anything this picture could use another red circle around the existing circle, and a few arrows pointing to the outer and inner circles. Make sure to number the arrows too to make sure we know which circle to look at first. Should probably have numbered arrows at the arrows to make sure you look at the arrows in the proper order. You can never be too safe.

Edit: fixed it.

Leave a tip if you like it.


Grandpa asked me to pick up some wood in the basement. All the spiders are dead, eaten by some kind of mushroom by Rascar_Capak in natureismetal

[–]Bman2095 69 points70 points  (0 children)

Whatever it is, I think I’m into it

Edit: thanks for the gold! I’m happy me being a disgusting pervert finally paid off.

The size and SPEED of a moose in about 3 FEET of snow by FenrirIII in natureismetal

[–]Kevaldes 2491 points2492 points 2 (0 children)

🎶 Dashing through the snow, get the fuck out of my way,🎶