An animal called a babirusa has a horn that can grow into its own head. It can be impaled with its own horn!
A babirusa is a member of the pig family. It has long canines that form horns that curve back towards its forehead. Most babirusas never grow large enough to have these horns pose any problem to them. However, on a rare occasion, a babirusa will grow to be old enough to have the horn grow into its own skull. The ingrown horn kills the pig.
A babirusa skull with an ingrown horn is a rare artifact. It’s absolutely incredible that a tooth could grow to the point that it could actually puncture the skull of its owner. For a biologist or a zoologist, getting a look at this self-impaled creature would be a treat. At least two fully intact impaled skulls are available among the scientific community for examination.
For this creature, old age might not be an advantage. With age may come wrinkles and white hair, but at least we don’t have to worry about killing ourselves with our canines. Our teeth would be more likely to fall out
Clark Gable almost boycotted a Gone with the Wind because African-American costar Hattie McDaniel wasn’t allowed to attend.
Clark Gable was a popular actor in his age, starring in many films from A Free Soul to Red Dust to Saratoga. Of the movies Gable filmed, Gone with the Wind was by far one of his most popular roles.
To this day, fans of classic films will remember his performance, which earned an Academy Award nomination, as well as one of the most famous lines in movie history: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gable got along very well with his costars, including African-American costar Hattie McDaniel. They were comfortable working together. At one point, as a sort of friendly trick, Gable slipped McDaniel an actual alcoholic beverage during a scene in which their characters celebrated the birth of Rhett Butler and Scarlett’s child.
Considering their comradery during filming, it is not surprising that Gable would rise up in support of McDaniel. McDaniel was forbidden to attend the premier in Atlanta, Georgia because of her color. Gable threatened to boycott the premier, but McDaniel was still not allowed to attend. McDaniel insisted Gable go anyway, so Gable did not follow through on his boycott.
Tetrachromacy is the ability to see color through four different “channels.” More specifically, an animal with tetrachromacy would have four different types of cone cells in each eye. A tetrachromate has a four dimensional color view, which just means that they see with four different primary colors as opposed to just three. It is thought that some fish, amphibians, reptiles, arachnids and insects are tetrachromates.
The best example of a tetrachromate is the bird, since most birds are tetrachromates. This means that birds distinguish a greater spectrum of colors than humans do. The zebra finch and columbidae are birds that rely on their tetrachromacy as integral parts of their lives. They use their vision to select a mate as well as find food. In a mate, they generally look for ultraviolet plumage.
Some researchers have hypothesized that some humans might be tetrachromates, and might just not realize it because they have no point of reference to compare their vision to. Women, in particular, are suspected of having this capability on a rare occasion because of their two X chromosomes. By having two X chromosomes, they could have extra cone cell pigments.
Light saber toys have been a favorite of young boys and Star Wars fans alike since the movies came out. Lighting up, and sometimes even making noises, they are the most excited way to stage a “sword” fight, whether in your best friend’s basement or the middle of Wal-Mart. One man went a little too far with a light saber, and the police had to be called in.
He was harassing other customers with a light saber, a blue one, as the police reported. He attacked at least three other customers with the children’s toy. The police arrived to find the man waving the light saber around, swinging it all around the store. Their first attempt to use a Taser didn’t work, and the man broke the wire of the second Taser with his light saber.
The police finally took him down, still mumbling. The man was found to be David Allen Canterbury, a 33-year-old from Hillsboro, Oregon. He was taken to the hospital to be checked for mental issues. He has received citations for assault, disorderly conduct, theft, resisting arrest, and interfering with a police officer.
When people think of wasps, they generally think of the several millimeter bugs that sting. A normal reaction to a wasp ranges anywhere from careful avoidance to full out screams and running.
However, in the case of the third smallest insect alive, Alexey Polilov has devoted years not running from wasps, but studying them carefully. Of course, the wasps in Polilov’s study aren’t about to sting him. They are called Megaphragma mymaripenne. They are only 200 micrometers large.
For a little perspective, a bug called a thirp is a millimeter long, so there eggs are considerably tinier. The M. mymaripenne’s eggs are so tiny they are often laid inside of the thirp’s eggs. It’s actually incredible that the wasp can function at its size. All of its organs have to be microscopic and some organs have to be left out for a bug to be that small.
Its nervous system is particularly problematic because it can only be shrunk so small. Previously it was that the neurons in the system would have to have a nucleus to function, but in the small wasps only about 95% of the neurons have nuclei. This allows the system to be small enough for the wasps to be the third smallest insect!