This week on Tet Zoo Comic, it’s the biology of GODZILLA! (I hear he’s really big in Japan.)
You may be wondering what that weird elongated pink creature is within the last couple of pages. He’s an olm. Olms are cave-dwelling salamanders from Europe and are relatives of mudpuppies. They really do look pretty creepy. Head on over to this wikipedia page to see exactly what I mean. Some highlights:
- Olms take 4 months to grow to adult size but don’t reach sexual maturity for 14 years.
- Slovenians call them a name that translates to “human fish.”
- After heavy flooding, the dead olms people found were once believed to be baby cave dragons.
- There are claims that olms may be capable of giving live birth, but this is scientifically unconfirmed.
- Laboratory experiments suggest olms may be sensitive to electromagnetic fields and may be using these to orient themselves in total darkness.
- Olms from different cave systems have differing head shapes.
This morning on the Tetrapod Zoology blog, Darren Naish posted an in-depth interview with Dougal Dixon, father of “speculative biology.” It’s very cool, and features not one, but two image credits from yours truly! (One was a line art piece, the other was some coloring work for Darren). In any case, if you’re wondering what speculative biology is, or who Dougal Dixon is, you should head over and find out more. Dixon’s work was hugely influential to many scientists and artists working today (Although my wife totally hates my copy of Dixon’s Man After Man and makes me keep it out of sight most of the time. To be fair, it is pretty creepy.) I found Man After Man in a pile of discount books as a tween, and felt like I had discovered something really special. I’ll have to write up my own thoughts about Dixon more soon.