A list of intriguing animal things
In keeping with our fondness for fauna, we have a special list of the cool, weird creatures dreamed up by Mata Nature.
One: Below is the Common Baron caterpillar (Euthalia aconthea):
What? You can’t see it? Ok, maybe this will help…
The caterpillar is common in India and Southeast Asia because of the abundance of its host plant: the mango tree:
The nymphalid butterfly lays its eggs on the back of mango leaves, and it’s from these eggs that the master of camouflage known as the common baron emerges from. As it grows in size, the larvae develops a yellow line across its back, and pine needle-like extensions that help it better navigate their surroundings.
When it’s all grown up, it becomes an ordinary-looking butterfly—as you can see in the lead image. Now you have something to look out for the next time you’re near a mango tree. Nature In Focus has a gorgeous visual essay—that follows the Common Baron from caterpillar to butterfly.
Two: Sticking with awesome insects, the next time someone complains about creepy-crawlies, show them the golden tortoise beetle:
Also known as goldenbugs, this North American beetle has a secret superpower: it can change colours while having sex! The beetles also do it when threatened by predators. They usually turn brownish orange with black spots—to maybe mimic a ladybug—which apparently don’t taste nice to birds. But saving the best for last:
To protect their soft bodies from the world, the beetle babies shield themselves with a parasol made of their own poop, protruding precariously from their anus. The baby beetles build their dung shields with the help of a special telescopic anus, which can extend and nose around like an elephant trunk to daub new droppings atop their shield.
Three: Moving on to mammals, have you ever seen a Damascus goat? It has a unique and unforgettable face—a reason why it’s often described as the “bulldog of goats.” We personally think it belongs in a Mandalorian episode:)
This Middle East native is not just a pretty face. It is also highly resilient—and can thrive in scorching and arid climates. FYI: A Damascus goat named Qahr was crowned “Most Beautiful Goat” in the 2008 Mazayen al-Maaz competition in Riyadh. (The Happy Chicken Coop)
Bonus weirdo: The Mangalica—“the hairiest and fattiest of pigs.” This Hungarian swine was almost wiped out during the Communist era—but is making a comeback as a rare delicacy often described as “Kobe pork.” Ok, maybe that wasn’t the fact to share just before we show you cute piggies… (The Guardian)