Strange and Delightful Creatures, Part 2

​ Discovered only in 2008, the Pinocchio frog, Littorio pinocchio, is native to the Foja mountains in the Indonesian part of the big island of New Guinea. The frog has a spike at the end of its nose, about 2 to 5 mm long. 

​ Very little is known about this frog. It is presumed to eat insects. It was discovered by several members of a scientific expedition studying biodiversity in the New Guinea rainforest. One day it started raining and several members of the expedition took refuge from the rain in a shed. One of them noticed a small frog sitting on a bag or rice.

​ The frog was given its name from the classic Italian folk tale about the little boy who lies and every time he tells a lie, his nose grows longer. The function of the growth on the frog’s nose is not known, and if it had not been spotted sitting on a bag of rice, the frog might still be unknown to science. It would be cool to say it was a gag by the biologists doing their own Pinocchio thing, but it is a real frog.

​ The Venezuela Poodle Moth does not have a scientific name, and nothing is known about it. It was noticed by a Brazilian scientist on a trip in Venezuela in 2009. He took a photograph of the moth, posted it online and it went viral. It does somewhat resemble a poodle with one of those fancy dog show cuts.

​ The moth is white in color and covered in white hair, looking like it’s wearing a chinchilla fur coat, and it has large eyes that look like the eyes of an actress in a bygone era of American film, Bette Davis. Her eyes were so distinctive that there was later a hit song called “Bette Davis Eyes,” and that’s what this moth has got. Another person with a camera discovered one of the moths and shot dozens of photos. And that’s all we know about the Venezuelan Poodle Moth, somphotographs.

​ Another intriguing creature is the Red-lipped batfish, Ogcocephalus darwini. This fish lives in the waters around the Galapagos Islands. It’s a bottom dweller, and lives at a depth of200 or so feet. It has no known predators, and itself dines on mollusks, small fish and crustaceans. The fish can get up to about 15 pounds. It’s a poor swimmer, and gets around by walking on its stiff fins, as if they were stubby legs.

​ The Red-lipped batfish does look a little like a weird bat who has used crimson lipstick on fat lips. No one knows why the vivid red lips are so prominent. One theory is that they help males attract females, and the fish is so odd looking that only another batfish would find it sexy. Another theory is that it attracts curious fish who check out the weird color and who the batfish then eats.

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1 comment

  1. I love odd bits of info. like these. Thanks for introducing me to a cast of new characters. 😀


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