Sara Does Science

Sporatically posting thoughts and amusements from a pretty rad (if I don't say so myself) lady physicist.
Recent Tweets @SaraDoesScience
Posts tagged "animals"

Scientifically Accurate Ninja Turtles

Just as catchy as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” but way, way creepier. Also, turtle junk is really weird and these turtles would make very inappropriate action figures for children.

via io9

That terrifying monstrosity is the Brittle Sea Star. It’s obviously coming out of its tank to destroy us all.

In another case of “sea creatures do amazing things and will probably come out of their oceans in a mass uprising one day”, scientists at Brown University have shown that brittle stars move with bilateral symmetry, which is kind of crazy, because their bodies are pentaradially (I learned a new word) symmetric. To get themselves around, one leg acts as a sort of control center for the others, which do its bidding. To turn, another leg takes charge and the others start to follow it. I guess this explains why these things look so damn creepy when they move.

(The backstory: I used to work at the educational center of a zoo. One of my responsibilities was the touch tank. I’d happily pick up regular sear stars because they just sat there. But once a brittle star was picked up, it would start waving its arms around and trying to move on you. I was so freaked out by this that I picked one up once and refused to ever again.)