Check out the Angelina Jolie lips on this guy! You won’t want to go kissing those lips though because this little turtle, native to China (including Manchuria and Taiwan), North Vietnam and Japan, pees out his mouth! Yes you read right. It was recently found that the Asiatic Soft Shelled Turtle excretes urea waste out their mouths. It’s not exactly urination as we would think of urination. The turtle sticks its head into a puddle and rinses its mouth with the water, expelling urea which has been brought to their mouths through the bloodstream. A team of researchers at the National University of Singapore found that the turtles carry a gene responsible for producing a specialized protein which helps expel urea but is expressed in their mouths instead of their kidneys.
This discovery could have some implications for humans in medical conditions such as kidney failure. They are suggesting that instead of undergoing dialysis to remove the toxic urea, they could expel the waste themselves through their mouths. They said, "hypothetically, if active urea-excretion mechanisms can be expressed in the mouth of a patient with kidney failure, urea excretion can still occur, through rinsing the mouth with water—just like the soft-shelled turtle."
This is like one of those would you rather situations. Which exactly would be worse: sitting through dialysis on a regular basis or always having your mouth taste like pee? I personally would rather have dialysis. But who knows, I might be singing a different tune someday if I ever need dialysis and I will be thanking my lucky stars that some researcher in Singapore wondered why turtles stuck their heads underwater not to drink.
Special thanks to National Geographic for telling us about this oddity in nature. Read the whole article here: Turtles Urinate Via Their Mouths—A First
Ok, so when most people use that phrase, they are referring to Christmas but not for someone who has a secret morbid side and loves the occasional ghoulish treat. And, now that it’s October, it’s Halloween decoration time! While packing to move, I discovered I have an abundance of Halloween decorations followed close behind by St. Patrick’s Day then a few decorations for Easter and Valentine’s Day. Because I was always home for Christmas in college, I never acquired any personal decorations. Now, while I am sure over the next few year’s my home will begin to look like the Griswald’s come December, for now, my holiday is Halloween and starting October 1 those decorations came out of storage!
I don’t know what it is about this holiday, the start of fall, pumpkins covered in glitter, spooky undertones of goofy cats and witches, costumes... but I LOVE Halloween! Correction, while I do enjoy the occasional scary movie (especially bad ones), the Halloween I love is the sparkly black, purple, orange and green kind (none of that gruesome stuff). I HATE haunted houses but I love trick-or-treating and costume parties. I can barely afford to feed myself but I am still going to buy a few lbs of candy, dress up in something goofy and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters! I am SO excited!
I am a biologist and my life is crap!