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Arthropod Chain Gangs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the early-gamers dept.

Earth 43

monk writes "Science News references a story in the October 10 Science about Cambrian invertebrates which formed weird permanent chains up to twenty individuals long. 'The discovery of 525-million-year-old fossils belonging to a new species of arthropod shows that these animals formed communal chains never before seen in fossilized invertebrates.' It should be obvious to any Slashdotter of a certain age that this is the true origin of the so called 'centipede' in the eponymous game."

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525 million years! (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335169)


That's 524,994,000 before Earth was created!

Re:525 million years! (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335197)

That's 524,994,000 before Earth was created!

550496256 in hard disk years

Re:525 million years! (1)

ReverendRyan (582497) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335247)

clicked wrong mod button, posting to undo...

Re:525 million years! (2, Funny)

Jrabbit05 (943335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335203)

We found Sarah Palin's Slashdot account too!

Re:525 million years! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335315)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Re:525 million years! (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336247)

Why go through the trouble to steal Obama's turd when you could simply as McCain for his colostomy bag?

Re:525 million years! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336809)

go back under your bridge, republican troll. Barack Obama is the messiah. Eating his turds brings us closer to the chosen one.

Re:525 million years! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336923)

Barack Obama is the messiah. Eating his turds brings us closer to the chosen one.

I also enjoy making fun of people who feel ways about stuff. Isn't it awesome being dead inside? Yeah!

Re:525 million years! (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338225)

<obscure gay geek cinematography joke>
Why did you have to do this, Felicia? The ABBA turd wasn't enough for you?
</obscure gay geek cinematography joke>

Re:525 million years! (1)

Woldry (928749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339485)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: "No more f***ing ABBA!"

Re:525 million years! (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25382841)

:)

Re:525 million years! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338829)

Right, because all democrats want to eat Obama's shit. I wouldn't say I want to eat the chosen one's turds, but I sure would like to fuck that man of a woman Hillary.

Re:525 million years! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340813)

Arthropod Gang Bangs!

Re:525 million years! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335613)

We found Sarah Palin's Slashdot account too!

Nope. Everyone knows that there are no girls on Slashdot.

Tapeworm? (2, Funny)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335211)

Reminds me of the segmented body of a tape worm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapeworm#Proglottids [wikipedia.org]
This could've been some sort of mating protocol, used for collective trail or possibly the bunny hop....

Echidna sex (3, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25338557)

The echidna (a monotreme mammal, related to the platypus) forms conga-lines for sex.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/scribblygum/June2000/default.htm [abc.net.au]

To further amaze and/or impress you, the male echidna has a four-headed penis. Two of them become erect at a time and are both used during mating. The pairs of active penis heads alternate in subsequent matings.

Mind you, I bet their sex lives are pestered horribly by grad students wielding research grants and expensive cameras.

Re:Echidna sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338701)

The level of ignorance here astonishes me. It is not a conga-line or a chain-gang or a daisy-chain; such mating rituals are properly described as "fuck trains".

Thank you for choosing to be edified.

The conga line... (5, Funny)

Robin47 (1379745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335363)

is older than we figured...

Maybe They Were At a Wedding Dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335369)

Never know. Those bugs were some crazy party animals.

Re:Maybe They Were At a Wedding Dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335475)

Yet ANOTHER article in our liberal media about sex in San Francisco. I am appalled, simply appalled.

- Reverend Billy Bob Roberts, Pastor, Church of the Blind Light, Doghump, Georgia

Re:Maybe They Were At a Wedding Dance (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25335695)

Since when did Slashdot become either liberal or media? Maybe they can start calling themselves "the media" when they learn to spellcheck article submissions.

Re:Maybe They Were At a Wedding Dance (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25337719)

All the media is liberal, and is of course accordingly biased, tremendously may I add, except Fox News, which is fair and balanced.

And they still do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25335993)

...to get from point A to point B. But I doubt it would be permanent unless something happened which led to their fossilization en route.

Lobster migration anyone? [lobsters.org]

tail as old as time (1)

nadaou (535365) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336195)

perhaps it's some ancient forbidden love dance gone horribly wrong; such chain "action" is seen in the "living fossil" horseshoe crabs. (which are also arthropods, rare surviving relative of the trilobite, and almost as old as the little guys in TFA)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blondeonblonde/462916466/in/set-72157594323781031/ [flickr.com]

Re:tail as old as time (1)

grikdog (697841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340039)

Erm, horseshoe crabs are not modern trilobites. Different orders, vaguely similar shapes.

cthulhu fhtagn (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25336291)

cthulhu fhtagn

Re:cthulhu fhtagn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340121)

I'm sorry, I don't speak troll.

Hippies (0, Redundant)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25336331)

Its a 20-organism daisy chain! Damn hippies and their group sex.

Like ants in a flood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25337837)

Ants link together to form a raft in a flood.

Given that the chains covered the mouths of the animals they must have been temporary.

They got fossilized whole so they must have sunk into some liquid/mud.

Maybe they were linking together to form a raft or to climb out of the mud.

I have a hypotesis.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25337891)

But the researchers still don't know why these arthropods linked themselves together. Feeding behavior is an unlikely reason since each individual's mouth is covered by the tail of the preceding arthropod.

The chain acted as one giant snake, swimming around. The first one in the chain ate the food, absorbed some of the nutrients, and crapped out the rest into the mouth of the one behind, which in turn crapped into the mouth of the one behind it and so on..

Re:I have a hypotesis.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25337941)

'When you look back all you see are smiling faces, when you look ahead all you see are assholes'?

Re:I have a hypotesis.. (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#25341289)

Plz to be rating this one up, it's the best thing yet on slashdot

Fossil epitoky in arthropods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25338349)

Reminds me of the asexual "budding" [wikipedia.org] , a form of epitoky [utoronto.ca] , that occurs in certain polychaete worms [wikipedia.org] such as Nereis [wikipedia.org] .

What kind of clown wrote this? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339183)

1):

He and his colleagues found 22 complete or partial chains, but only one solitary specimen.

2):

But unlike those lobster trains, these fossil arthropod chains, dated to the early Cambrian, appear to have been almost unbreakable. The animals collectively show signs of twisting, turning, bending and telescoping, all without coming apart.

3):

Feeding behavior is an unlikely reason since each individual's mouth is covered by the tail of the preceding arthropod.

Hello? Had someone's brain cells formed chains and migrated out of his skull? Is logic now optional for biologists?

If the formation was permanent, and individual organisms were able to survive, they definitaly were somehow capable of feeding while in chain, so it would be dumb to claim that chain could not be related to feeding because it supposedly makes it impossible. Either, chain is not permanent, observation in (1) is incomplete and (2) is false, or chain does not prevent feeding, so (2) is nonsense.

How in the world someone can write those two things few sentences apart? What brings us to

3):

"When you're dealing with 525-million-year-old animals, it's not like math where five plus five is ten. There are a lot of interesting discussions to have," explains Siveter.

The problem is certainly related to the lack of logic, however I think, it shouldn't be blamed on 525 million years old animals.

Typo (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339203)

they definitaly were

"they definitely were", of course.

Re:What kind of clown wrote this? (1)

akozakie (633875) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339921)

Funny how you got so emotional about percieved lack of logic instead of applying it yourself. I know it's sometimes difficult to understand written text, but please, at least make an effort.

Where in TFA is it written that this formation prevents feeding? They simply state that this formation doesn't seem to make feeding easier or more efficient, more probably less so. This is a reason to rule out feeding as the cause for this formation. That's it, that's all they are saying.

The formation might be useful for something else - they suggest defence during migration - and that advantage probably offsets the small or nonexistent difficulties during feeding.

Learn the three Rs: reread, rethink, repeat. If the problem persists after a few iterations, then rant. Please.

Re:What kind of clown wrote this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25340095)

Also, the "almost unbreakable" part was meant as a comparison against the lobsters trains. It doesn't mean the creatures never went their own way.

Re:What kind of clown wrote this? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340491)

Where in TFA is it written that this formation prevents feeding? They simply state that this formation doesn't seem to make feeding easier or more efficient, more probably less so. This is a reason to rule out feeding as the cause for this formation. That's it, that's all they are saying.

Really? You mean, any behavior related to feeding must minimize the effort for opening one's mouth, and if it doesn't, it can't be a part of feeding process? Great logic indeed.

A chain may easier move through surfaces covered with food, organize the feeding process to reduce collisions and uncovered areas, use itself as a brush, propel itself through water or other substances... Unless those things spend their whole lives with their mouth sealed, those activities can be of a great help in a feeding process, and the only reason why it was suggested that it's "unlikely" is based on two mutually exclusive statements -- that chain is permanent, and that an individual has some kind of horrible trouble feeding while in chain.

The formation might be useful for something else - they suggest defence during migration - and that advantage probably offsets the small or nonexistent difficulties during feeding.

So does it or doesn't it mean that those organisms have to break the chain when not migrating, when feeding, etc? How does it explain extremely small number of unattached individuals found? What is known about feeding behavior, potential enemies -- anything relevant to those things at all?

Why don't those biologists realize that their reasoning is pure undiluted shit, and they have absolutely no idea what that chain it is really for, so it warrants further study instead of jumping to conclusions based on blatantly invalid reasoning?

Re:What kind of clown wrote this? (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340479)

> The problem is certainly related to the lack of logic, however I think, it shouldn't be blamed on 525 million years old animals.

Unless it's Senator McCain, of course.

Re:What kind of clown wrote this? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25343353)

Is logic now optional for biologists?

*cough* The article refers to arthopods as being a genus. You can guarantee that no biologist wrote the article.

If you apply logic.

why not reproduction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25339187)

Why do the authors suggest that this is not related to reproduction? It seems similar to the habits of Crepidula fornicata (the slipper shell) http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?fr=1&si=600 [issg.org]

Genus? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25339609)

a genus that includes lobsters, beetles and tarantulas

I had no idea they were that closely related.

it's already Saturday (2, Funny)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25340191)

and still no "Imagine Beowulf of those!". What the world is coming to?

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