Hello folks who think that Praying Mantises are a little weird when they attend Sunday church because they are the only ones praying with their eyes open,

This post and a few after will highlight the fascinating things I came across in the world of Natural History during my recent trip to Australia. For anyone who hasn't gotten a chance yet, you should plan a visit. It's like an entirely different continent out there(which it already is, wow that just sounded so dumb, good luck selling Australia to these folks).

We know that lizards will eject their tails when a predator gets hold of it as fast as a toddler who cries when it does not spot its mom. Sometimes when its tail is partially damaged either due to a predator attack or some injury it suffered due to sneaking in tiny crevices, the body thinks the tail got ejected completely but it has not. So like a typical manager and employee relationship at a company where no one has any clue about what the other one is working on, a new tail starts growing along side the previous one, at the same time the previous tail will start healing. So now it has two tails. Think of this scenario, if you can't find your headphones and you immediately order a new pair but then you find the old ones. So you decide to keep both. That is what this lizard did for its tails. Don't judge.

Below is an
Elegant Snake-eyed Skink rushing to an audition for the role of a mermaid in the upcoming Disney movie.

Caterpillars need to think of ingenious ways to protect themselves. When God offered the animals to pick a look that will protect them against predators, the cute face was sold out(I heard puppies and kittens bought it in bulk) even before the caterpillars got online to add it to the cart. So they decided to go with outrageous costumes to make them stand out in the world, like which predator wants to be associated with a weirdo right?

Vine hawk-moth pretends it has big eyes like a snake and who in their right state of mind would mess with a snake. That act is an illusion since it is not venomous or poisonous just pretends to be one. The horn at the end of its body is also harmless but it is intended to show that it spent its juvenile years in a maximum security federal prison.

You remember that an insect should have 6 legs in order to be included in the insect hall of fame. It might seem caterpillars are brash in that they don't abide by the insect rules, but they do. They have the usual 6 true legs and can have anywhere from 4 - 10 false legs also called prolegs. The true legs are located near the head while the prolegs are located towards its rear end. Prolegs don't push it forward like a rear-wheel drive, rather they act as anchor to hold the caterpillar in place while other body segments move. Just like the training wheels on your bike when you were learning to ride a bike.

Below is a caterpillar with its true legs in pink and prolegs behind those.

Orb-Weaver spiders are reputed for building their web each night from scratch just like an authentic Italian restaurant makes their pizza dough. When you think of orbweavers, you generally think of banded garden spiders that are commonly found here. Here is another spider from the same genus which resembles the one we find here.

This one is a
St. Andrews Cross Spider whose common name is influenced by a saint who was martyred on a cross of this shape rather than the conventional Christian cross shape.

You can either pretend to be a saint and keep praying if you want to avoid predators, or you look like the devil.

Below is a
two-spined spider which is endemic to Australia, which belongs to the Orb-Weaver family. The bright colors along with the spikes are supposed to let the birds know to not mess with this tough cookie. The spikes are supposed to make it difficult for the birds to swallow, while the colors are supposed to convey that they are poisonous. Much in a way Tide Pods were supposed to be, but they were a hit with the kids, so I don't know how that works.

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