astrodidact:

When lizards are caught by predators, they can drop their tails to escape and then grow the appendage back. Scientists have studied this regeneration process for decades, in the hopes of understanding how to regenerate human tissues, such as damaged spinal chords and even lost limbs.
Now a team of scientists from Arizona State University in the US has performed the first analysis of all RNA molecules, which translate genes into proteins, during the tail regeneration of a green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), and worked out the genetic “recipe” that controls the regrowth process. Their results have been published in PLOS ONE.
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20142308-26062.html
And scientists have identified most of the homologous mammalian genes! Perhaps one day humans will be able to regenerate limbs just like lizards, what could possibly go wrong

astrodidact:

When lizards are caught by predators, they can drop their tails to escape and then grow the appendage back. Scientists have studied this regeneration process for decades, in the hopes of understanding how to regenerate human tissues, such as damaged spinal chords and even lost limbs.

Now a team of scientists from Arizona State University in the US has performed the first analysis of all RNA molecules, which translate genes into proteins, during the tail regeneration of a green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), and worked out the genetic “recipe” that controls the regrowth process. Their results have been published in PLOS ONE.

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20142308-26062.html

And scientists have identified most of the homologous mammalian genes! Perhaps one day humans will be able to regenerate limbs just like lizards, what could possibly go wrong

whatthefauna:

Ants are excellent collaborators with others in their colony. Because they have the same biological urges (like following a trail of pheromones to food, then carrying the food home), ants will instinctually work together to accomplish larger tasks at hand.
Image credit: Uda Dennie

whatthefauna:

Ants are excellent collaborators with others in their colony. Because they have the same biological urges (like following a trail of pheromones to food, then carrying the food home), ants will instinctually work together to accomplish larger tasks at hand.

Image credit: Uda Dennie

Book Recommendations

There is a certain character among you, so I put together a reading list so that you can all be even more weird and creepy. I have put together a list of books that not only are related to the content at StrangeBiology, but have in fact informed a lot of the knowledge behind it. If you enjoy anomalous, extreme, weird, and biological, then these are the books for you. 
(And here are some stores you’d like too.) Click on the titles for links to Amazon.

1. Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body

No book has better cemented my qualifications as resident “weird things expert” than this one. 

I’d say this is the best and most interesting trade paperback about teratology out there. It’s easy to read, yet eloquent and packed with science, stories, history, illustration, and event fitting descriptions of mythology. Each chapter explains what a different type of mutation is, how it forms, and how it has been interpreted throughout history. If you found genetics a little boring in bio, let Armand Leroi show you how fascinating they can be.

The only problem with this book is that a number of people thought I was reading about X-Men. 

2. Freaks: We Who are Not As Others

Also a great read by a man who actually lived the carny life. (With it and for it!) These are stories of people who have serious pathologies, from their own experiences and with their own words, such as the Elephant Man, and amazing stories about how their physiological difference affected their lives. This takes a less scientific approach, more human approach than Mutants. This book is particularly wonderful because you get a glimpse into history that isn’t available anywhere else. The only problem is that means that some of the stories I found I couldn’t confirm.

(Honorable Mention: The Shocked and Amazed! periodical is also a great way to learn about sideshow, freakshow and big top history, lingo, and practices.)

3. Racing the Antelope: What Animals can Teach Us About Running and Life

This is my absolute favorite book. Yes, I found it because I had typed the word “antelope” into Amazon. But it turned out to be one the best book about biology I had ever read, and the only good book about running I’d ever read.

This was later republished as Why We Run. If you are interested in biology and also a runner, this is a must-read. If you are one or the other, it is still highly recommended. In this book, Bernd Heinrich discusses the issues that runners face, such as keeping cool, pacing, endurance, speed, and hydration. He analyzes animals and how they deal with these issues. This is a story of origins of humanity, running, nature, and our connection to all other life.

4. The Best of the Best American Science Writing

I recommend the whole series of The Best American Science Writing and The Best American Science and Nature Writing. 

The Best American Series is a series of series’ of collections of the best American writing published each year, organized by topic and aggregated by someone who reads a whole lot about that topic. These books are very useful because it saves you the time of looking for good writing and finding that your articles were simply click-bait or lacking. Every article contained therein is guaranteed to be one of the best articles published in that entire year, according to the editor(s).

They did one better in 2010 and published The Best of the Best American Science Writing, which includes the very best articles from the previous ten years of books published in the series. You will probably never read a better collection of general-population-targeted science articles.

(They also have other titles, but the only other title I’ve read include some from the Crime Reporting series, which has sadly been discontinued.)

5. Bad Science

Ben Goldacre is a doctor whose book will literally change the way you think. This should be required reading for all journalists, doctors, and scientists, and it’s highly recommended for everyone.

Goldacre is a doctor who makes it his business to expose bad medicine. In this book he exposes quackery like homeopathy and Brain Gym. He explains how statistics can mislead people, how trials are misrepresented in literature, how media sources cling to faulty science practices, and why people believe in fake results. This book would make most readers smarter people.

6. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Series

Ripley’s is a big part of why I’m interested in the strange. Their books (of which there are many) are usually very colorful and image-heavy. For that reason they are great for kids. There are also a lot of books that an adult may prefer, such as A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert Ripley, but I read all different ones.For the last ten years they have released annual books full of the most interesting news. Of course they are not limited to biology, but their books often include chapters such as “Animals” and “Bodies.”

Right now you can get one for free by sending an object in the mail without packaging!

7. Strange Biology: On Anomalous Animals, Mutants, and Mad Science

Of course, the book with the content most appropriate for followers of this blog would be the upcoming book based on it.

Just like strangebiology, the book features the freaky aspects of the life sciences. If the project is successfully funded, the chapters will include detailed descriptions, not just photos, of whatever anomalies I can fit, perhaps such as unicorn-goats, deformed antlers, and the bubble boy. If you want to see the book, consider contributing. If the funding goal isn’t met, then no book, but you also don’t get charged. So you win either way!

Please check out the Kickstarter - the ebook version is only $14!

Read More

THE kickstarter IS FINALLY FREAKIN’ LIVE. Click here!

AND IT WAS EVEN A STAFF PICK!

Now the blog will be an even better book! Take a look, share with your friends on social media, and in meat space. The book is $24, that’s like lunch at Applebees. Or like, two alcoholic beverages. There are also a lot of Limited backer rewards, meaning you gotta act fast to get what you want!

I am happy to answer any questions you have, even if you just have questions about my experience with the process of going from writing a blog to Kickstartering a book, or if you wanna know where I got that sick shirt, or how much shipping will cost. (Nothing, it will cost nothing. Shipping is included in all prices.)

Thank you for your support so far! Love you all. Special thanks to jenlux for the gorgeous cover design, which includes art from Brandon Ballengee, used with permission.

strangebiology:

Paleontologists found this sweet whorl of teeth called a Helicoprion, but really didn’t know how it might have been situated in a fish’s mouth. 
There were many theories postulated about how the teeth fit in the animal’s mouth (fourth image). When another specimen was found, it was determined that the owner of this strange jaw (not a shark, but a ratfish) had no upper teeth at all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the most metal fish.
(via Laelaps/National Geographic) Art by Ray Troll.
Zoom Info
strangebiology:

Paleontologists found this sweet whorl of teeth called a Helicoprion, but really didn’t know how it might have been situated in a fish’s mouth. 
There were many theories postulated about how the teeth fit in the animal’s mouth (fourth image). When another specimen was found, it was determined that the owner of this strange jaw (not a shark, but a ratfish) had no upper teeth at all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the most metal fish.
(via Laelaps/National Geographic) Art by Ray Troll.
Zoom Info
strangebiology:

Paleontologists found this sweet whorl of teeth called a Helicoprion, but really didn’t know how it might have been situated in a fish’s mouth. 
There were many theories postulated about how the teeth fit in the animal’s mouth (fourth image). When another specimen was found, it was determined that the owner of this strange jaw (not a shark, but a ratfish) had no upper teeth at all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the most metal fish.
(via Laelaps/National Geographic) Art by Ray Troll.
Zoom Info
strangebiology:

Paleontologists found this sweet whorl of teeth called a Helicoprion, but really didn’t know how it might have been situated in a fish’s mouth. 
There were many theories postulated about how the teeth fit in the animal’s mouth (fourth image). When another specimen was found, it was determined that the owner of this strange jaw (not a shark, but a ratfish) had no upper teeth at all.
Ladies and gentlemen, the most metal fish.
(via Laelaps/National Geographic) Art by Ray Troll.
Zoom Info

strangebiology:

Paleontologists found this sweet whorl of teeth called a Helicoprion, but really didn’t know how it might have been situated in a fish’s mouth. 

There were many theories postulated about how the teeth fit in the animal’s mouth (fourth image). When another specimen was found, it was determined that the owner of this strange jaw (not a shark, but a ratfish) had no upper teeth at all.

Ladies and gentlemen, the most metal fish.

(via Laelaps/National Geographic) Art by Ray Troll.

Anonymous asked:

Just so you know, "hermaphrodite" is considered a slur (at least when referring to people), and now the proper term is "intersex".

Right, well, that’s why I wrote that Kork would not be a hermaphrodite, even if they were superficially bilaterally gynandromorphic, to correct the person who originally posted Kork’s image and used that term. (But it’s good of you to notice; perhaps OP, vintage-freakshow will see this)

Kork may have been intersex but considering their contemporary Diane D’Elgar, according to Daniel P. Mannix’s book Freaks: We Who are Not as Others, has confessed to simply using props and makeup to appear as a “half and half,” I doubt even that.

It’s considered generally impossible for a human to be a hermaphrodite, because male and female sex organs are analogous. There are many different intersex conditions that people can have, including having one ovary and one teste, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, and different types of ambiguous genitalia. A hermaphrodite is not a person who was born differently, a hermaphrodite is literally a snail or a worm or sometimes fish that naturally has complete male and female characteristics. 

So, to be technical, I wouldn’t say “intersex is the proper term for hermaphrodite,” because intersex people are not hermaphrodites at all! :) Thank you for your input!

vintage-freakshow:

stewmire85:

vintage-freakshow:

Bobby Kork
Bobby Kork was a split hermaphrodite. Male on the right and Female on the left. He also had 50/50 split genitalia too. He had a very masculine personality and got into fights for being called a freak. He died in the mid 1900s of food poisoning.

Not as a wisecrack, but out of genuine curiosity I ask: Did he prefer men, women, both or neither (sexually, I mean)?

That I do not know.

Not a whole lot is known about the personal life of Bobby Kork, but I can basically guarantee that this person was in fact not bilaterally gynandromorphic. Unless Kork had some sort mosaicism in which their cells responded differently to hormones, and those cells were somehow laterally polarized…your odds would be worse than the lottery. Kork was a sideshow gaff. Also, that wouldn’t be a true hermaphrodite.
You can read about why humans can’t  be “half-and-halfs” (but animals can) here.

vintage-freakshow:

stewmire85:

vintage-freakshow:

Bobby Kork

Bobby Kork was a split hermaphrodite. Male on the right and Female on the left. He also had 50/50 split genitalia too. He had a very masculine personality and got into fights for being called a freak. He died in the mid 1900s of food poisoning.

Not as a wisecrack, but out of genuine curiosity I ask: Did he prefer men, women, both or neither (sexually, I mean)?

That I do not know.

Not a whole lot is known about the personal life of Bobby Kork, but I can basically guarantee that this person was in fact not bilaterally gynandromorphic. Unless Kork had some sort mosaicism in which their cells responded differently to hormones, and those cells were somehow laterally polarized…your odds would be worse than the lottery. Kork was a sideshow gaff. Also, that wouldn’t be a true hermaphrodite.

You can read about why humans can’t  be “half-and-halfs” (but animals can) here.