Tuesday Video Lunch: Predatory Snails and The Hermit Crab Housing Market

Pop quiz! What do snails eat? The answer is: Video Lunch!

In actual fact, it’s not that simple. There are three primary groups of snails: land snails, sea snails and freshwater snails. Many a gardener will tell you that terrestrial snails are mostly herbivorous and particularly like fresh seedlings. Luckily for gardeners, snails are also quite partial to beer, so traps baited with beer are quite effective against these slow pests.

Freshwater snails mostly eat algae. According to this diagram, the Center for Disease Control seems to think that freshwater snails also enjoy eating poop and parasite eggs. Gross. Parasite life-cycles are fascinating, but almost always involve poop.

Sea snails, like freshwater snails, are mostly interested in munching on algae and plants. However , there are several snails that are predatory. And it is a good thing too; if conchs weren’t wolfing down smaller snails, where would hermit crabs get new shells?


Animals Nobody Loves (Unless They’re in Plush Form)

As a teacher and an animal enthusiast, I’m always excited to come across a book that both gets my students wanting to practice their English and teaches them bout some animals.

That's quite enough spider faces for one week, isn't it folks?

As a bonus, the boys in my class get SO VERY excited about this book that they feel the need to try and scare me with it every chance they get.I hate spider faces so the cover alone makes me wanna burn the book immediately but I persevere for the sake of education or whatever.

And, what kind of example would I be setting if I promoted murdering ugly animals? Even the ugliest of endangered animals deserve our conside-  I can stop there, actually, because a number of…let’s call them ‘artists’ have set to work erasing the stigma on these hideous creatures by making plushes of them.

These are toys every child should own…but, you know, not my child.

Some of those may not be real animals but they are all real plush representatives and I want them all (Except the lemur. Sorry, Matt). I don’t know what I’d do with them, but I want them all.

Tuesday Video Lunch: Hot Springs Eternal

As part of a comprehensive plan to provide more consistent and higher quality content, we at Animal News: The Podcast Blog bring you our newest regular feature: Tuesday Video Lunch. Every Tuesday, we will present an interesting and educational video which may or may not be related to our discussions on the Podcast or the headlines of the day. So, without further ado:

It seems that the discovery of new marine life at hot vents is quite the trend recently. On the last episode of the prodcast we told you about the newly discovered hot vents in the Antarctic. What we didn’t tell you is that just before the beginning of the new year, Reuters reported that British scientists had just returned from were exploring hot vents in the Indian Ocean. Seems they found some pretty sweet new critters there too.

And since today is the first Video Lunch, we have decided to make it a double. The biggest discovery at the hot vents in the Indian Ocean were sea cucumbers, so it might be worthwhile to study them inside and out. In this clip, the narrator tells us all about the sea cucumber’s “intimate friend.” There is no word yet on whether the hot vent sea cucumbers have “butt-buddies” of their own.

PODCAST: Beelines, Owl Surgery, and Jinx, I owe Kristin, Three Cokes

Sober up! It’s time for a new podcast. Kristin antiplugs her co-hosts and Jake and Matt discuss the merits of performing eye surgery on a wild owl.

And holy crap! The fat kid from Stand By Me (Jerry O’Connell) did marry Rebecca Romijn!

Also, look at this gross thing:

Lamprey or Sarlac?

Check Parasite Sources, Get Grossed Out

Hey, listeners/readers, I’m sorry at being a terrible journalist. I can do all the homework in the world and still reference facts without names or sources. So, here’s more than you could want from the very podcast released this week on Parasites.

1. Hookworms, not tapeworms, are why we have 6 foot deep holes in outhouses. Which is interesting as its own sentence but the story behind it is even better. Something about hookworms making southerners lazy. There’s a fun diagram of a hookworm’s life cycle.

2. Sarlac and Gross Parasite Mouths


Well, sure. One of them is significantly smaller than the other but is that really a comfort to anyone? I can’t deal with rows of teeth. But just in case you are in dire need of nightmare fodder, here are more parasite mouths.


3. Hookworms alleviate symptoms of severe allergies and asthma and MS symptoms. The idea is to only use a few and to carefully monitor then purge them every once and awhile.

4. Guy with botfly in his head and the god awful cures for getting rid of ugly, hideous, nasty botflies. It’s important to note that it’s the botfly larva in one’s head, not an adult – does that make any difference at all? No? Ok, also, I could have put up videos and more photos but after looking this stuff up for awhile, I don’t think I could manage to watch all the botfly related horror on youtube.

5. Parasites have insanely complex life cycles – Parasite zombifies rats and possibly humans to make them love cats like crazy (cat ladies).

This shit is bananas.

6.Kimchi is very, very active.

Thank god it’s on our side. There’s a lot going on here.

That should cover everything and now my skin is crawling and I’m writing this before going to bed obviously because I want to experience my very first night terror.

Parasites, Wasps and Zombies

New Animal News: The Podcast is up, about parasites and the bodies that unknowingly carry them everywhere. All the time. Gut Flora, look it up.