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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

video

Dance of the Bolas Spider

Here is our video on the feeding habits of the Bolas Spider. The bolas spider is a native of America, Africa, and Australia. It does not spin a web. Instead it creates a string with a sticky ball on the end of it called the bolas, to entice its prey. It swings this bolas around and captures the prey with it. They have oddly lumpy abdomens, (much like mine in the video), and are usually nocturnal hunters. However with filming restraints we had to make this a daytime shoot. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Cinematic Debut

Because we are so overwhelmed with Entomology, Val, Elise and I (Neeley) will be making a group video project on the Feeding and Breeding behavior of the Bolas Spider. It will be in the style of Indiana Jones. I will be playing the part of the Bolas spider, and editor, Val will be playing the part of my prey, Elise is our creative director/videographer/extra!... We are going to take you on a 3 minute ride into the world of the most creative hunter in the insect world. Hopefully this earns us an Academy Award. Look out Angelina Jolie there's a new leading lady in town!!! And she births adult males!!!! Muhahahhah!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Found In the Most Unusual Environment

The bacteria a normal person thinks of can’t survive “normal” temperatures right? Wrong, there is a group of organisms that thinks extreme environmental conditions are prefect. There are several environmental parameters that certain organisms call home. The environmental conditions suitable are temperature, pH, osmolarity, oxygen, and pressure. I decided to pick this group of bacteria because I thought that they were interesting. One particular type of bacterium that I found interesting goes by the name of Thermus aquaticus. I decided to compose a presentation for my senior seminar class about extremeophiles with emphasis on Thermus aquaticus.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Practice GRE

After taking the practice subject GRE test for biology, I realized that I knew next to nothing about plants seeing as I'm more of an animal person. I almost wish that I wasn't graduating in May so that I could take Dr. Brauner's General Botany class to learn more about them. But since there are already enough blogs written about plants, I thought I would address another set of subject questions that I did not do so well on this practice GRE; molecular/cell processes.

It's not that I don't understand molecular/cell processes, it just that it doesn't interest me as much as my vertebrate and invertebrate classes do so I guess I didn't retain much of that knowledge after I learned it in Genetics (a class in which I did really well in). The sad part about this is that I'm currently relearning this stuff in my Microbiology class and I still got many of those questions wrong. I believe that this is an important aspect of biology that every Biology major should know upon graduation, so I guess I'm going to have to try harder to retain the information this time around.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Here, there, everywhere

Has anyone seriously thought about how some of the food in our diet comes to our table to be eaten? If not, the arthropod phylum (especially the honey bee) assists with pollination to create many of the foods we eat. The arthropod phylum is very important in the delicate earth ecosystem. I feel that there are two sides to this particular phylum, the good side and the evil side. An example of a creature on the on the evil side, in my opinion are wasps because the sting and are very annoying. On the flip side, the honey bee as described earlier is a trigger for the development of many other things (ex: pollination of flowers for apples we eat).

I thought some information about the phylum is appropriate because probably many people do not have much knowledge. Arthropods are invertebrates with segmented bodies and jointed limbs. The limbs form part of an exoskeleton which is mainly made of α-chitin, a derivative of glucose. Now the most important part is the diversity of this particular phylum, which is very astounding. The diversity in a small area of forest can reach hundreds of different kinds, or any type of living environment. In the end, I feel that this particular phylum is very important to the earth’s survival, but the threat of global warming can threaten earth’s survival life line.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fish with a Transparent Head!?!


The phrase "I can see right through you" is more than just a phrase to this bazaar creature. Macropinna microstoma is the only species of fish in the genus Macropinna, belonging to Opisthoproctidae, the barreleye family. It is recognized for a highly unusual transparent, fluid-filled dome on its head, through which the lenses of its eyes can be seen. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has more information on this deep sea dweller.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Are Germs really THAT Bad?


This post could also be called Babies Part Deux because I am again thinking about my newborn niece and nephew. I have a feeling these two additions to my family will often be the topic of many of my thoughts.


So my nephew was born a week ago, and I still haven't seen the little guy. I was planning on visiting Anna (my sister) and him this past weekend, but after talking to my hysterical sister on the phone, I opted out. Apparently the nurses at her hospital had her sign an agreement swearing that she wouldn't let her baby be exposed to any individual who has been sick or has even recently come in contact with someone sick. Doesn't that basically rule out everyone? Well apparently it ruled me out since people on my track team have been sick. On the phone, Anna (sobbing) told me "He is losing weight and not getting enough to eat as it is, and if he gets sick and starts throwing up then he will die!" Yikes, talk about a good way of keeping me away. I then called my other sister Lee who told me to come visit her and her two-week-old baby girl instead. Obviously she never signed any aforementioned paper.


I understand why Anna is so touchy about her son contracting an illness, it being her first time as a mother and having those papers to sign. Hopefully she will eventually grow out of this fear. It is a pet peeve of mine when parents make you wash your hands or apply Germ-X whenever you are interacting with their child. The children need to build up their immune systems! Plus, do these parents really think they can eliminate all germs their children are exposed to?


I found that a pediatric doctor believes in a relatively anti-bacterial free environment for his toddler who needs to attain a strong immune system. I agree with this idea, but I wouldn't go as far as letting the child eat random food off the ground....yuck! This doctor believes in the "Hygiene Hypothesis" that Andrew referred to in his post for the blog site Leading Cause of Death. Being exposed to germs at an early age can help us fight allergies, asthma, and diseases later in life. Another article states that "studies have claimed that babies and children who grow up with multiple pets, siblings, or spend a lot of time in daycare are less likely to have wheezing, certain allergies and asthma". To me, it's a moderation thing. Allow children to be exposed to germs in moderation, and don't be an anti-bacterial freak.


Maybe I'll see my nephew some day........

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An annoying public health issue

This particular type of bacteria has wreaked havoc in the health care industry. The culprit in question is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In society today, the warning signs at the local gym are in regard to this particular type of bacteria. Today, I am going to give some information on this culprit so that the chances of contraction at the gym or other public use area are slim.

I decided to do some more research about this bacterium. MRSA causes infections in different parts of the body because it is all over a human body. Today, it is tough to treat certain staph strains because of resistance. Resistance emerges because of over use of medications to treat it. Once an infection occurs with this bacterium, there is usually a painful pimple or boil. On the other hand, in more serious cases, infections can enter surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs, or the urinary tract. Now that I have talked about worst case scenario, the worry today is about the spread of tough strains of MRSA. Because it's hard to treat, MRSA is sometimes called a "super bug."

Now that I have talked about the symptoms of a staph infection, some information about the actual bacteria seems appropriate. Regular staph lives all over our bodies, with the majority taking refuge in our noses. A majority of people can go on with their day without having problems with this bacterium.

As I explain earlier, this bacterium has an evil side which shows up when it enters our body through a cut. Once there, it can cause an infection. Staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the U.S. Usually, these are minor and don't need special treatment. The game of trying to treat infections from this particular bacterium is a never ending battle. The reason why is because MRSA is constantly adapting. This is scary because researchers have to continue to develop new antibiotics.

In the end, since I talked about this bacterium, I thought I should bring in my personal story. About six months ago, I thought I had a normal pimple but boy was I wrong. The area started to become painful so I went to the doctor. The doctor cultured the area and the result was great. The result was a staph infection but of the non-MRSA type. I was so relieved.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Perspective

In my usual activities of being a geek, I found an interesting video about evolution. All those classes we have all took that talk about how long it took things to evolve, the evolution of recent life forms is but a mere smidge in that time scale. The video I found on the website for Seed Magazine put the evolution time scale into perspective. Please enjoy this video by Claire L. Evens. I think it puts the timing of evolution into perspective. Enjoy!



Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds

To Immunize or Not to Immunize?


How often do two sisters become unknowingly pregnant at the same time? Well maybe more often than I think, but in my family it's a first. Over the summer I received the news that both my older sisters were expecting in February. So here we are awaiting the little rascals and basically freaking out. One big question on my sisters' minds is whether or not to immunize their babies with all of the vaccines available these days. Not only are the small pox and the measles vaccinations given, but now there is also a chicken pox vaccine. My mother has her own opinion. She has gotten wrapped up in the media accounts of vaccinations leading to autism in children.

So is there any truth in this idea of vaccines leading to other problems such as autism or the increased chance of having allergies?I decided to look into this now hot topic in the news. The Pennsylvania Department of Health offers a schedule of the recommended immunizations for children 0-6 years old. There are eleven vaccinations recommended, and these are not even the total number available to children. Growing up, I never doubted why I received the vaccines I did; I followed the lead of my parents and unwillingly allowed the needle to puncture my skin. I always assumed that vaccinations were for the best, ensuring the good health of children in our country. So why is my mom so concerned about my soon-to-be niece and nephew receiving their vaccinations?

Perhaps it has to do with articles such as “Fight Over Vaccine-Autism Link Hits Court”, or "Vaccine-Autism Question Divides Parents, Scientists" that has my mother so worried. She is becoming overly wrapped up in a frenzy the media has the power to create. What's interesting is that the majority of the articles or stories claim that there is actually no experimental proof that there is a link between vaccinations and autism. In his article in The Washington Post, "Study Finds No Autism Link in Vaccine" Shankar Vedantam summarizes the research of Andrew Wakefield. This British researcher concluded that there is no link between autism and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Actually, there has been no scientific evidence introduced thus far pointing to any of the vaccines being responsible in causing autism.

I attempted to explain all this to my mother the other night, but she still seems weary. I guess you'll have that when dealing with a first time grandmother.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kiss of Death

In light of the recent events, Darwin’s 200th birthday (Feb.12th) and Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d shed some light on a on a little critter called the Kissing Bug.

The Kissing Bug (Panstrongylus geniculatus) is a member of the Assassin Bug family Reduviidae. These insects get their name from the location of their bite, which are usually the lips. Kissing bugs feed mostly on the blood of vertebrates, but the ones that feed on human blood can carry serious disease. In South American countries, these little critters are the main vectors for a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi which causes Chagas Disease.

An interesting fact about T. cruzi is that it is not passed from saliva to blood like many other disease spreading vectors (i.e. mosquitoes), but rather through the Kissing Bugs feces. These parasites crawl their way into the wound made from the bite. Soon after the parasite enters the wound, the site of infection becomes enlarged and swollen. Other symptoms include: fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. You may think that this is as bad as it gets, but unfortunately this disease can lay dormant inside you for years and is incurable. When this nasty disease finally does reemerge, the symptoms are much worse and usually cause severe heart damage and malformation of the intestines.

Though the Kissing Bug really doesn’t have any attachment to Valentine’s Day, I just thought its name was appropriate for the occasion. So now you may be wondering what the Kissing Bug and T. cruzi have to do with Darwin? Well unfortunately for Darwin, while on his voyage on the H.M.S Beagle it was thought that he was bitten by a Kissing Bug, which may have been cause of his debilitating disease later in life. Darwin wrote an account of this bite:

"We crossed the Luxan, which is a river of considerable size, though its course towards the sea-coast is very imperfectly known: it is even doubtful whether, in passing over the plains, it is not evaporated and lost. We slept in the village of Luxan, which is a small place surrounded by gardens, and forms the most southern cultivated district in the Province of Mendoza; it is five leagues south of the capital. At night I experienced an attack (for it deserves no less a name) of the Benchuca, a species of Reduvius, the great black bug of the Pampas. It is most disgusting to feel soft wingless insects, about an inch long, crawling over one's body. Before sucking they are quite thin, but afterwards they become round and bloated with blood, and in this state are easily crushed. One which I caught at Iquique, (for they are found in Chile and Peru,) was very empty. When placed on a table, and though surrounded by people, if a finger was presented, the bold insect would immediately protrude its sucker, make a charge, and if allowed, draw blood. No pain was caused by the wound. It was curious to watch its body during the act of sucking, as in less than ten minutes it changed from being as flat as a wafer to a globular form. This one feast, for which the benchuca was indebted to one of the officers, kept it fat during four whole months; but, after the first fortnight, it was quite ready to have another suck."- Charles Darwin, March 25, 1835

As I said before, there is no cure for this disease so prevention is important. So if you even have the urge to do some traveling around South America, be sure to take a mosquito net when camping outdoors. Insecticides can only do so much to control their numbers and prevent the Kiss of Death.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not the usual suspect

When a person thinks about the topic of microbiology, the natural tendency is to think about the world of bacteria. I am going to try and break that barrier and talk about a type of fungus called Aspergillus flavus. I got the idea to talk about a fungus because Dr Posner, our senior seminar professor said to discuss some cool topic in microbiology rather than the other topic I had planned on doing. After I pondered the idea for a few minutes, I then had to some research on this type of fungus and found that our microbiology expert, Dr. Greene, does research projects with this fungus. I thought that this was very cool that somebody that I know works with this fungus.
My research into the characteristics of this fungus came up with some interesting results. To start off, A. flavus belongs to the genus Aspergillus. According to a mold remediation company, the genus Aspergillus includes over 185 which I thought was interesting. Around twenty species have so far been reported as causative agents of opportunistic infections in man. Among these, Aspergillus fumigatus is the most commonly isolated species, followed by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger. There are other species like Aspergillus clavatus, Aspergillus glaucus group, Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus ustus, and Aspergillus versicolor which are not found too much as opportunistic pathogens. Aspergillus is a group of molds which is found world-wide, especially in the autumn and winter in the Northern hemisphere. The fungus also causes allergic diseases in asthmatics and patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. I thought this was interesting that these kids suffer from this type of fungus. On the one hand as I stated that I thought that this was interesting, I feel their pain because they are already suffering a lot from just the cystic fibrosis by itself.
Upon some additional research of this fungus, I found some other interesting facts. According to a site totally devoted to the fungus, this species has pathogenic properties. These pathogenic properties can cause problems to plants, animals, and humans. I thought an interesting fact about this fungus is that pathogenic (disease causing) properties can affect plants. I think that a fungus affecting plants is awesome because this will ensure dominance of A. flavus to a particular area. As long as the fungus dominates, the chances of other competing fungi taking over a particular area would be very slim.
The fungus also had ome other properties that were interesting to read. According the fungus devotion site, this fungus is a good nutrient recycler. The reason behind the nutrient recycler property is that this fungus can grow well on many nutrient sources. I think that this capability of nutrient recycling is phenomenal, if you can infect your enemies and grow almost anywhere then you can be unstoppable to almost anything. In conclusion, this fungus has my vote for king of the fungi world because of its defenses and ability to live almost anywhere.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Anatomy of a Broken Heart


Happy Valentines Day to all you bloggers out there! In my pathetic Valentines night full of ice cream, sappy movies, and shoe shopping, I stumbled across and interesting article about how the body responds to emotional distress, like a broken heart. The body responds to emotional distress the same way is responds to physical distress.Naomi Eisenberger and Dr Matthew Lieberman of the University of California Los Angeles and Professor Kipling Williams of Macquarie University used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to study the blood flow in the brain when a person experiences a "social snub". Subject were observed by MRI while they were put through a video simulated ball throwing game. The game had the subjects first observe the game, become involve in the game by having them throw and catch the ball, then they were put through the phase where they were purposely shunned from the game.

They found that at the point where they were left out of the game there were changes in the blood flow to the brain. The anterior cingulate cortex became more active at this point, where part of the prefrontal cortex became less active. The anterior cingulate cortex is known to be linked to physical distress. The prefrontal cortex is known to regulate distress. The body seems to respond similarly to physical pain as it does to emotional pain. To quote the article I read “This suggests the anterior cingulate is more important for elaborating feelings of emotional distress, whereas the prefrontal cortex, already implicated in emotional regulation…counteracts the painful feeling of being shunned,” comments Dr Jaak Panksepp of Bowling Green State University in Ohio in an accompanying article.

It is thought that continuing this research may even one day explain the physical pain associated with a broken heart. Too bad there isn't something you can take to cure a broken heart like you can physical pain with Tylenol. Oh wait.. I think it is called an anti-depressant. (Hehe. Joke)
Hope this was a fun little snip of information for all of you broken hearts out there!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fear of Getting Hands Dirty in the Science Classroom


It is a common question in science classrooms in the United States: how should more hands-in activities be incorporated in the classroom? Many teachers believe that hands-on activities are a vital portion of the science curriculum. Such instruction allows students to view the information they see in textbooks come alive so that they may investigate with their senses. The problem is that many teachers say that experiments and projects are important, yet the way they teach does not correspond. In my junior field experience, I lately encountered my cooperating teacher claiming that if she did more than one hands-on activity with her students throughout the week, she would never get anything accomplished. I have also heard that there are so many content standards, that lecturing is the only way to cover all the material they need to. What I have realized as I prepare to graduate, is that students grasp concepts better when they are able to investigate it on their own through kinesthetics and peer support.

Another issue teachers have is letting go of a little control to allow the students freedom for exploration and inquiry in the science classroom. They are nervous the students may become unruly, or that the classroom will be trashed after the activity. What actually happens is that students become more involved in the class when they are able to be more hands-on. They are relieved to have a break in the monotony of lectures and will more likely cause less trouble than when they are bored in a silent class. The students are typically more than willing to clean up as long as they are given sufficient time.

If more teachers could explore the option of more hands-on learning in the classroom, then the students might begin remembering a time when science was fun for them. Back when we were all little biologists playing in the stream or the woods near our homes. Then the stigma students have towards science may be lessened, and the science content learned in the classroom might be better understood to later be applied to their lives.

Blog Critique


I liked the post "Schinderhannes Bartelsi - The Origin Of Claws In A 390-Million-Year-Old Fossil"

This post first caught my attention due to the fact that last semester in Vertebrate Biology a great amount of time was focused on the origins of many different morphological characteristics; and secondly because of the first paragraph:

"A missing link in the evolution of the front claw of living scorpions and horseshoe crabs was identified with the discovery of a 390 million-year-old fossil by researchers at Yale and the University of Bonn, Germany."

This first paragraph reminded me about our discussion of Tiktaalik, the missing link between lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods. Tiktaalik was discovered by a man named Neil Shubin, who I was fortunate enough to meet after his speech at the Natural History Museum with my Vertebrate Biology class last semester.


I thought that this post was well written, interesting, and informative. I enjoy doing puzzles, and there's nothing like finding the missing pieces that you need to complete the picture.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Bee-seeing" critique


The blog, “Do we see what bees see?” is an interesting post about the differences in vision capabilities among bees, hummingbirds, and humans. This post was written by Sheri Williamson and can be found on her blog site, Life, Birds, and Everything .



Overall, the piece was very well written with the author’s point clear and her voice strong. The title first caught my attention because I immediately began singing the Christmas song “Do you see what I see?” when I came across it. This title caught my attention, made me want to read more, and made the post memorable. The author did a nice job mixing technical vocabulary with common phrases or her own language. For example, she was describing flowers as either entomophilous or ornithophilous but then ended the paragraph by calling insects “six-legged beasties”. She has a knack for keeping the post understandable and entertaining by her quirky phrases.



Sometimes, I had a hard time understanding what the author was trying to say do to the wording she chose. One sentence began, “Birds go us and bees one further with four types of cones” when she discusses the cones of birds’ eyes. I was cruising along reading the post quite smoothly when I stumbled on this phrase. I had to go back and reread this a couple times to finally grasp what the author was trying to say, and this ruined the flow of reading that I had previously been enjoying.



Other than those few small imperfections, I thought this was a great post, written by someone who is experienced in blogging and knows how to communicate science.

Two-toned Lobster





















So I'm interested in the oddities of the animal kingdom, and while searching the web I came across a story about this unique creature.

Jim Mataronas , a lobster fisherman from Newport, R.I. was at work like any other day when he discovered this rare creature.

He stated "I pulled it out and thought someone was playing a joke on us. It looked like someone took a ruler right down it," "It looks half-cooked."

Apparently the odds of finding a two-toned lobster are 1 in 50 million! They said that this rare coloration is most likely due to a genetic protein deficiency in the lobsters body.

This rare lobster was too special to be thrown back or eaten, so instead, Jim Mataronas decided to donate him to either the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut or the Boston's New England Aquarium where he could live out the rest of his life and be admired by the thousands of people that visit these aquariums each year.

Critics Corner

I completely hate critiquing other peoples blogs, but since it is part of our assignment I will give it my best shot. I found a good blog I enjoy following called Tetrapod Zoology. http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/ I personally follow this blog because it keys into my interests. It is cool stuff about out four legged (or winged) friends. (Duh considering tetrapod is in the title). Recently he has had a theme of dinosaurs which is very cool. But the thing I wanted to mention most about this blog is that the author is dedicated. He mentions in earlier posts (Jan 5 & 6) that he hasn't had much time to write anything new and exciting. Instead of abandoning ship while he is swamped he took the time to make that known and put small posts in none the less. He mentions something new in the field, which is cool, but redirects his audience to another blog ( Not Exactly Rocket Science) with a more detailed post on the subject. The next day the title of his post is "I don't have time for anything else" and he posts a picture of some vertebrae and asks his readers to guess what animal it belongs to. I think this is a great way to keep people interested in his blog even when he doesn't have the time to keep posting interesting stories. Of course you find out that his wife just had a beautiful baby (which is the next days post) so I'm sure thats why he has been too busy to keep up. All in all I'd like to give a round of snaps to Darren Naish for keeping readers engaged even when his blog is not the number one priority (or even making the list).

P.S: Round of snaps is something I am borrowing from some of my friends. I like to think of it as a kudos for good work/ideas.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Limpets prepare for a hotter climate

http://masonposner.com/afisheyeview/2009/01/limpets-prepare-for-a-hotter-climate/

- Eye catching introductory sentence to get reader hooked
- Uses many organisms to see how protein structure and function adapt to temperature
- Explains words that general public might not know: mollusks
- Sets a pace: Somero describes hypothesis then goes into experiment to test hypothesis, and finally conclusion to relate to global warming
- Asks questions to readers to get them thinking
- Article Ending: asks questions get readers thinking about big picture beyond the scope of this article; article information may be stepping block to additional experiments.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Microbiology, everywhere around us

The earth we live in is not only populated by living organisms we can and can’t see with the naked eye. The world humans can’t see without the assistance of a microscope is called microbiology. Microbiology has two unique sections which are eukaryotes and prokaryotes. An example of the eukaryotic section is an organism called fungi; on the hand, an example from the prokaryotic world is bacteria. I think the most interesting field to study is that of bacteriology.
In the study of bacteriology, there are many fields of study that are applicable to the world today. Some examples of ways people study bacteria deal with medical microbiology and food microbiology. I think that medical and food microbiology are very prevalent in the world today because humans are involved with these aspects on a daily basis. Medical microbiology has to deal with pathogens that cause illness. An example of a pathogen that causes illness that people deal with today is the influenza virus; this particular virus causes the notorious flu symptoms. Food microbiology is also important in the world today because microbes assist in producing certain foods we eat on a daily basis. Examples of food produced with the use of microbes are dairy and alcohol products. In the end, the food we eat today would not be around without these small organisms.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I'm very much an independent learner. I like to learn more about things that I'm interested in. Cell function, although important, not high on my list. Cool animals, I could read for hours. In the marine tank in 327 Kettering an elusive creepy crawler pops up every now and again when I'm cleaning to say hello. I had no idea what it was, so I spent one afternoon with my friend and we tried to identify this creature. With help from our very own resident Darwin, Dr. Stoffer, we got a general idea where to look. As it turned out we have an eight inch fire worm living in our tank! No one for sure knows how he got there, but he is definitely the king of that tank. While reading up on this monster I learned some crazy things I didn’t know, but I’m sure glad I know now. This fuzzy worm is called a fire worm because of the burning sensation that is caused when you touch it. It has what looks like white fluff around it, which are actually like tiny little hollow needles filled with poison! This toxin delivers a terrible burning sensation that can last for several days. Unlike a jellyfish sting that is usually forgotten by the next day. These little bristles pierce the skin and then break off inside. I found one solution in a field guide to removing these mini daggers, tape. Handy dandy tape works like waxing off leg hair; it grips and rips. Just adding to your pleasant experience. This terrorist of the sea floor is found in shallow waters, near coral, rocks, and other hard substrate it can hide under. It also can burrow under the sand to hide. So next time you find a cute little fuzzy underwater caterpillar I’d think twice before picking it up, or swimming near it! I know I probably wont be sticking my hands in that marine tank every again!