Fast-spreading parasite species force sex changes on their victims, induce virgin births, and turn animals into "gross monsters" — among other horrors. Now a new study has decoded how the bacteria may be able to wreak their havoc: by shutting down immune systems. The parasites, of the Wolbachia bacteria genus, cause a gene in wasps to stifle the insect's protein-based "alarms" against the bacterial invaders, say researchers who mapped the genomes of three species of Nasonia wasp for the first time. As a result, the wasps' antibacterial defenses are never deployed, allowing Wolbachia to begin their dirty work.
Tag Archives | Monsters
Namahage is a Japanese ritual which is observed...in northern Honshū, Japan. On New Year's Eve, a group of young men dressed up as fierce bogeymen, Namahage, visit each house in the village, shouting: "any misbehaving kids live here?" They then scare children, telling them not to be lazy or cry, though little children often do burst into tears.Then the parents will assure the Namahage that there is no bad child in their house, and give food or traditional alcoholic beverages to the demons.Below, some kids get a visit from the Namahage:
Interesting. Jesus is the most powerful monster of all.
A “saber-toothed cat in armor” and a pancake-shaped predator are among the strange crocodile cousins whose bones have been found beneath the windswept dunes of the Sahara, archaeologists say.
The diverse menagerie of reptiles ruled Gondwana — a landmass that later broke up into the southern continents— about a hundred million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
“There’s an entire croc world brewing in Africa that we really had only an inkling about before,” said Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago and leader of a new study.
“We knew about SuperCroc, the titan of all crocs, but we didn’t have quite an idea of what existed in the shadows of the Cretaceous,” he said.
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On the Telegraph:
Concerns were raised after a 3 m great white shark was found dead with two huge bites taken out of its body. Experts believe the bites were made by an even larger predatory fish.
Swimmers have been warned to stay out of the waters off Stradbroke Island, north of Brisbane.
“It certainly opened up my eyes. I mean the shark that was caught is a substantial shark in itself,” Jeff Krause of Queensland Fisheries told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
Surfers have reacted to the news of the shark attack with shock.
“Whatever attacked and took chunks out of this big shark must be massive,” said Ashton Smith, 19. “I’ve heard about the big one that’s lurking out there somewhere.
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