100 Brains Go Missing From University of Texas

Yesterday making headlines there was a story proclaiming 100 brains mysteriously went missing from the University of Texas at Austin. These specimens were stored in the basement of the Animal Resources Center. Rumors were pranksters had stolen the brains over the years, as they had been in storage since the 1990s.

BRAINS-master495

Real brains, from the book “Malformed: Forgotten Brains of the Texas State Mental Hospital,” showing the kind of specimens missing from the University of Texas at Austin. (New York Times)

Interested in brains? Buy some from Dapper Cadaver! We make a life-size prop brain which looks just like the real thing. We’ve also got budget brains and if you’re looking for something ultra realistic we sell sheep brains in specimen jars.

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Lifesize Brain, Foam Rubber $55

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Brain Prop, Medium $10.50

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Specimen Jar, 32oz, Sheep Brain $35

Today the New York Times released an article stating the brains had been disposed of in 2002. Some are still skeptical and “the university will investigate why some of the specimens were disposed of and how all of them had been handled since the university received the collection” (New York Times).

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/us/university-texas-austin-brains-missing.html?_r=0

Friday the 13th in Los Angeles: ‘Christine’, Spooky Night Hike & Lights-Out Rock Climb

Don’t miss John Carpenters demonic auto possessed horror classic, ‘Christine’, screening at Pershing Square.

As we prepare for our busy fall season, we also prepare for an extra eerie Friday the 13th , which will bring us a mysterious full moon, an event that will not repeat itself for another 35 years! And if you don’t plan on turning into a werewolf at the first sight of the full moon, we’ve found some choice events that fit this ghostly happening.

For a taste of midnight cliff climbing, strap on your headlamp, glowsticks and zombie survival kit, then take to the walls in this creepy lights-out indoor rock climb. The folks at ROCKreation Gym LA in Santa Monica are a doing a lights out vertical zombie walk in tribute to Friday the 13th. And don’t forget to put on your creepiest look fit for the occasion for their spooktacular costume contest.

For those who prefer to spend Friday the 13th relaxing in the comfort of the great outdoors and take in a spooky evening movie instead, check out John Carpenters 1983 horror masterpiece, ‘Christine’, about a classic ’58 Plymouth Fury named Christine who takes on the personality of a jealous girlfriend and will do anything to protect her nerdish owner. Screening at Pershing Square, in downtown Los Angeles.

And finally, there exists among us, a brave breed of souls who wish to venture out into the night, relishing in the thought of risking their lives and succumbing to the strange happenings on Friday the 13th. And to these courageous individuals, we suggest the Full Moon Friday the 13th Night Hike and Potluck. Spend the evening scampering around the trails of Griffith Park in this 5 mile round trip night hike featuring a communal pot luck at the top of the mountain. Don’t forget to take your Jello-filled brain molds, conveniently available at your very own Dapper Cadaver!

full moon image

Freaky Beetles Prey On Frogs

The small prey does a little shimmy and attracts the attention of the predator. The big predator lunges at the prey and attempts to take a bite, but the prey latches on to its jaws. No matter how hard the predator shakes, it can’t shake the prey which jumps up onto its back and makes it clear who is the prey and who is the predator here. As the new predator sinks its jaws into its much larger prey, the big prey is paralyzed and will remain paralyzed as the little predator devours it alive down to the bones.

No, this isn’t the Alien prequel. These are the gutsy ground beetles of the genus Epomis that take on and kill much larger amphibians even as little beetle larvae.

Epomis Beetle Larvae Attacking Frog

Epomis Beetle Larvae Attacking Frog - via Wired Science & PLoS ONE

Quite a discovery by Tel Aviv University researchers Gil Wizen and Avital Gasith, who described the strategy of Epopmis beetle larvae as an “extremely rare anti-predator behavior.”

Epomis beetle larvae in action

Epomis adult beetle in action

(note: not for the weak of stomach)

To learn more, check out the full study or the story at Wired Science.

Barnum Brown & The First T. Rex

First T. Rex Skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History around 1950

First T. Rex Skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History around 1950 - from NPR

NPR ran a great story last week called Bone to Pick: First T. Rex Skeleton Complete at Last. Carl Mehling, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, found a stray bone labeled 973, identified as belonging to the first T. Rex and gave it to the Carnegie Museum to finally complete the first T. Rex skeleton.But the best parts of the story for me were about the man who discovered the first T. Rex skeleton and sold it to the Carnegie Museum in the first place: Barnum Brown, “the Indiana Jones of dinosaur hunters”.

Barnum Brown

Barnum Brown in 1914 doing field work in Montana - from Wikipedia

Named after P.T. Barnum, Brown was a pioneering dinosaur hunter who traveled extensively, dressed nattily, lived through personal tragedy and had many a romance, including his second wife Lillian who wrote a memoir called I Married A Dinosaur. He also served as a dinosaur expert on such films as Fantasia. Remember the amazing dinosaurs in The Rite of Spring? There is a good Barnum Brown biography at Strange Science if you want to learn more. I’m going to have to pick up the book on him that came out last year, Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex. From the review at the Smithsonian blog, it sounds like a great read.

Gilded Maggots

If you’ve ever been face down in a creek and seen the twigs and grains of sand sprout legs and scuttle away from you, then you  you’re familiar with caddis fly larvae.  These little underwater worms glue dirty bits of the world around them together to form a shell. The ground moves, the perfect hiding place, they are clever but they are not pretty.

However, the mind of this worm is not only clever, it’s downright artistic. The shells that they make form little patterns and stripes. In a brain smaller then the dot of this i, the caddis fly possesses artistic intent.

And when put in more opulent environs they create jewelry

Count Bacula

loxodonta penis anatomy
The Bacula Research Project (BRP) needs your help! The group is studying the variety of bacula found in the mammal family and is trying to locate a few unusual specimens of baculum.

“WHAT’S A BACULUM?” you’re probably asking. It’s the penis bone. Now don’t get excited, you don’t have one. Humans are amongst the few animals that don’t have bacula. Along with Koala Bears and duck billed platypuses, when we get a hard on, its hard from blood pressure alone. Other beasties get an erection with no viagra necessary, they’re hard as a bone in seconds because they have a bone there already.

various bacula

various bacula

I was recently contacted by a researcher for the Bacula Research Project in need of a few specimens.

The first is the American Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus). Found in the American Southwest this skunk is distinguished from other skunks by a single, solid white stripe down it’s back and a bald, pink nose. If you don’t mind getting intimate with skunk dick, contact me.

you want my WHAT?

you want my WHAT?

The other two creatures are both moles.
Coast Mole (Scapanus orarius) Townsend’s Mole (Scapanus townsendii). Both are found in the Pacific Northwest. For these we’ll probably need the whole specimen, as the mole penis is an organ so minute they respond to every male enhancement add they see, or to quote the BRP “The bacula from these two species of moles are less than 0.5mm in diameter and would require a microscope to confirm. Unless you know what your looking for and where its located, the baculum located in the distal portion of the penile organ would be removed along with the dermal skinning of the carcass. The baculum is a heterotopical bone and therefore not part of the skeletal system.”

Contact me if you’re in the north woods and interested in trapping moles.

Octopus On Yo Head of the Week

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This photo really brings out the kind of wry wisdom of it’s subject, who wears his head octopus like a wreath of laurel.

Photo by Elisha Cook Jr in the Dapper Cadaver Octopus on Yo Head group.