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In other news, this comb jelly’s butthole only appears when it shits

Nature is wild. There are all kinds of freaky, crazy nature things happening around us at all times. And for all the stuff we do know, there’s even more we don’t. Case in point, the warty comb jelly.

This little ocean dwelling invertebrate is at the centre of a pretty interesting scientific discovery. According to a paper published last month in the journal, Invertebrate Biology, this little guy only has a butthole when he needs to poop. Yep, it’s total existence is on a needs only basis. How fucking wild is that?

warty-comb-jelly-poop

The warty comb jelly is able to summon its butthole when it needs it, and then it seemingly disappears when they’re done and honestly, that’s pretty wild

“This ‘now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t performance’ by the anal pore in Mnemiopsis is puzzling. Does the pore really disappear completely, i.e., by disassembly and/or breakdown of its components? Or is the closed pore in its final constricted state simply too small to see by the DIC video imaging system used here? The former possibility represents a novel ephemeral pore that rhythmically is lost and regenerates at every defecation.

If so, defecation periodicity and duration indicates that Mnemiopsis would spend ~90% of its life without an anal structure or through-gut, and thus have an intermittent anus and intermittent through-gut. Such temporality of the anus might provide clues for understanding the evolution of a permanent anus and through-gut in animals.”

Lead researcher Sidney Tamm told New Scientist that this is the first discovery of its kind. “There is no documentation of a transient anus in any other animals that I know of.” This discovery could present some new and interesting insights into how exactly our own buttholes evolved.

Pretty fascinating stuff if you ask me.