Nature Blog Network

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Underrepresented AGAIN!!

MSNBC has posted a list of the "Eight organisms that make you go 'eww': Slimy, stinky, icky and ugly — these creatures gross us out"

In typical fashion the inverts have been underrepresented yet again! But, then again maybe this time it's not such a bad thing. Among the 8 organisms on the list there are 2 plants (including for some odd reason the amazing Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum)), 2 vertebrates (skunk and turkey vulture) and 4 inverts.

Who are the inverts? Glad you asked (or didn't)

  1. Holothurians (sorry Chris!) - cause they "hurl some of their internal organs out of their anus"
  2. Bot fly larvae - cause they tend to get under their skin a little. Sheesh!
  3. The dung beetle - just because they "dive right into a steaming pile" (the compiler even acknowledges that they do a lot of good, but no redemption for the beetles, they are stuck in the unclean caste.
  4. The hagfish - We've covered this one before, but just because it is slimey and lacks backbone is no reason to spit on it.

I must admit I do agree with them on the human botfly larvae. I dealt with the like in Somalia and hope never to run into one again. I'm still waiting for someone to offer me a reason for appreciating them.


  1. Evolution didn't create anything for us to be fond of or to be disgusted with.

    How come they didn't include the rabbits in the list? They eat their own shit!

  2. @Aydin: I did not mean to imply that the bot fly had a requirement for us to be either fond of or disgusted by it, or that evolution ever creates anything for us Rather, I meant that I have yet to find an aesthetic (in the truest sense of the word) appreciation of them.

    Intellectually I do appreciate that they are one more example of a rich and diverse natural world which evolution has been the major responsible biological process... so guess that, in and of itself, is an aesthetic appreciation from a naturalists POV, but emotionally I must admit that I am repulsed somewhat by them. (Also earwigs...shudder)

    And no, nothing in this world is required to be aesthetically appreciable to me or any other person, it's just that there are so few species I have been exposed to for which I find so little to appreciate except the broad ideas of biodiversity and evolution.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Adult botflies are frequently very pretty, for flies. the Bunny Bot, for example, is a wonderful plush grey.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.