06 August 2008
Name that animal - round 13
Anonymous was correct that the morphologically bizarre creature shown in round 12 was a male Water Bug carrying the female's eggs on his elytra [had to look that up - its the plural of elytron, the hardened forewings that provide a protective cover for the true flight wings. Cool. Direct borrowing from the Greek word for "covering."] The smaller reddish thingies are larval water mites feeding on the water bug. Info and image credit here.
I've been totally unable to stump the TYWKIWDBI crown with cute and fuzzy critters, and now am failing with the grotesque. Let's leave the planet. The Phoenix Mars Lander has positively identified water on Mars, and there are rumors (it may only be that) of further developments - supposedly NOT to include the discovery of life. But if they DID discover life on Mars, it might include the creature pictured above (shown as a model, not a real specimen). What is it?