Saturday, 30 May 2015

Writing - I wish I'd created this.




As a creator of stories, an engineer of other people's imaginations, if you like, I wish I'd hard the spark of inspiration that created this evil creature.

Image result for dementor wasp
Ampulex Dementor

Ampulex Dementor could have leapt straight from the pages of  K Rowling or Philip Pullman. It would seem to be a creature of pure imagination.

This creature steals the 'free will' of its prey before eating it alive. In slightly more detail this wasp preys on cockroaches injecting venom into the abdomen, which turns the cockroach into a passive zombie. Although the cockroach is capable of movement it cannot direct its own body allowing the wasp to drag it to a safe place for eating.

The dementor wasp was named for the 'soul-sucking' creatures in the Harry Potter stories. It was discovered in the Greater Mekong an area that covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

At this point I should flick the switch of your imaginations with a suggestion that these wasps could possibly mutate or cause mutation in a larger creature. The venom of the wasp's sting interferes with the neurological chemicals that allow messages to be passed to the brain. Why should that be exclusive to cockroaches?

Of course, in the animal kingdom, there are lots of fairly gruesome examples of predator behaviour.


9 Predators With The Most Brutal Hunting Techniques
Shrew

The North American short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda, secretes venom from salivary glands in its lower jaw to paralyze prey. But the point of the paralysis is not to kill the prey, but to keep it alive for an extended period of time to allow for prolonged feeding. A tiny shrew can infect a mouse, for example, and then graze on it for days and days until it eventually succumbs to its physical injuries.

How awful is that!

9 Predators With The Most Brutal Hunting Techniques
Pitcher Plant

The pitcher plant a carnivorous plant that uses a deep cavity filled with liquid. It lures its prey —typically foraging, crawling, or flying insects like flies — into the cupped leaf with visual and nectar lures. When an insect gets too close, it slips on the smooth surface and falls to the bottom of the trap. Escape is virtually impossible; the pitcher plant has several means of preventing the prey from escaping, including waxy scales and downward facing hairs. Eventually the prey drowns, and the plant extracts nutrients by various means, including bacteria, enzymes — and mutualistic insect larvae that helps itself to the pickings, but nourishes the plant with its excreta.

Straight from Star Wars and the Pit of Sarlace! There are other lethal species such as bears and salt water crocodiles that take some beating in the violence stakes but those and the above give those who manipulate the pictures in readers' minds the opportunity to create terror.

God Bless