by Jeff VanderMeer. Read by Paul Tevis. A vision of the building from on high: five glittering floors surrounded by a dull concrete parking lot. To the west lay a forest. To the east, the glint of a shopping mall, substantial as a mirage. To the north, highways and fast food restaurants. To the south, […]
I have many writers I love and admire, but if I had to pick one I aspire to be like it’s definitely Jeff VanderMeer. This is what I want to do and have sometimes tried to do.
This tiny Fantastic Leaf-tailed Gecko hatched at the Houston Zoo Inc. on February 17 is easy to spot perched on top of a pencil. But in the wild, these lizards are so well camouflaged that they’re nearly impossible to find.
Looking more flora than fauna, a plate-size “solar powered” nudibranch—Phyllodesmium longicirrum—farms zooxanthellae algae within its own body. Feeding on the soft coral Sarcophyton, the nudibranch pilfers algal cells and hoards them within its digestive system, which fills the paddle-shaped appendages called cerata. Stored just beneath the skin, the algae capture light energy, producing nutrients that can sustain the nudibranch for months. The same chemicals that feed the animal are also exuded from its skin as a defensive shield.