Terrifying (but tiny!) bryozoans

Images 1 and 2: Beania mirabilis (source) cc-by-nc-sa

Image 3: Electra monostachys (source) cc-by-nc-sa

Pygites brachiopods… or bizarre fossil scrotal phylogeny?

Images 1 and 2: Source. In German. 

Image 3: Source

Caption: “Pygites is unusual for a Terebratulid brachiopod. It shares many of the same features that other brachiopods in it’s order except that it has a hole in the middle of it. The hole is created as the shell grows and splits into lobes that then eventually meet back together and enclose a hollow area. This is odd behavior for a brachiopodand I’ve only seen a handful of genera that have even exaggerated lobes, such as Dicoelosia from the Haragan formation, let alone those that surround a hole. Below are three specimens from the Cretaceous (Hauterivian stage) of Spain that show you the variation in the genera.”

Image 4: ”Pygites diphyoides (d’Orbigny, 1849) from the Hauterivian (Lower Cretaceous) of Cehegin, Murcia, Spain. This terebratulid is characterized by a central perforation through its valves.” Source: Wikipedia; cc-by-sa

Image 5: Pygites diphyoides (source)

Image 1: Basket star (Astroglymma sculptum). Teresa Zubi, 2005 (source

Image 2: Giant Basket Starfish (Astrophyton muricatum) juvenile on Common Sea Fan (Gorgonia ventalina) Belize. Chris Newbert (source)

Image 3: Crystalline Entity encounters the Enterprise-D (comparison made in this excellent photoessay)

More info: http://echinoblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/gorgonocephalus-because-weird-is-what.html

The fact that the fern prothallium resembles a heart has not gone unnoticed:

“Nineteen Species of Fern Named for Lady Gaga”

At one stage of its life, the new genus Gaga has somewhat fluid definitions of gender and bears a striking resemblance to one of Gaga’s famous costumes. Members of the new genus also bear a distinct DNA sequence spelling GAGA.”
http://today.duke.edu/2012/10/gagafern

 ”Gaga, a New Fern Genus Segregated from Cheilanthes (Pteridaceae),” Fay-Wei Li, Kathleen M. Pryer and Michael D. Windham. Systematic Botany, Oct-Dec, 2012.