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Absurd Animals: Trump-Named Moth, Human Blood-Sucking Bats, And Single Parent Shark

Nature has a funny way of breaking what does not bend
by John Paulo Aguilera | Jan 18, 2017
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What a crazy world we live in.

And we're not just talking about the human side of things—even the animal kingdom has had its fair share of zoological peculiarities recently.

From the beastially romantic to the ecologically tragic, the other creatures that roam the Earth make up for fascinating stories. Here are some that were relevant enough to grab headlines in the past few days:

Presidential pests

The scientific community is showing US President-elect Donald Trump some love, naming a newly discovered moth after him. The little critter, which boasts a wingspan of just 0.4 inches, was christened as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi because of its yellow and white scaly headpiece that looks like the enigmatic world leader's iconic mane.

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"I hope that the president will make conservation of such fragile ecosystems in the US his top priority," evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari told Live Science.

Ironically, it's recorded habitat stretches from Southern California, US to Baja California, Mexico. Does this mean he isn't pushing through with his plan to put up that dividing wall with all those tribute moths flying around the area?


Thirst for something someone else

Uh oh. Vampire bats may have been taking cues from their human counterparts, following reports of its hairy legged kind (Diphylla ecaudata) sucking our blood. Scientists came up with the conclusion after studying the DNA from a Brazil (Catimbau National Park) bat colony's fecal sample.

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Aside from chicken, they found out that the winged mammals have been digging human blood, albeit not relying on it exclusively. Apparently, the sinister appetite was brought about by a scarcity of birds and proximity of homo sapiens. As oddly satisfying as it sounds, especially for pop culture enthusiasts, it's not all Dracula and Batman with researchers seeing a "potential increase in the transmission of rabies in the region." Yikes.

All by myself

Move over, hammerhead sharks. You're not the only asexual swimmers in the deep blue.

Three years after being isolated and taken away from her mate, a female zebra shark gave birth to three pups—the first time a creature of the said gender reproduced asexually despite having previously done it with a male, according to experts.

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"There were two possible explanations for Leonie's eggs hatching. One was sperm storage, which has been documented in several occasions. Sharks have been known to store sperm from male sharks for extended periods of time," biologist Christine Dudgeon explained to CNN. "The other was parthenogenesis [asexual reproduction]. This has been seen in a handful of sharks, but none that had mated previously."

With leopard sharks—other name for zebra sharks—classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this bizarre biological milestone may not seem so weird after all.


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