Over 90 percent of all animal species are invertebrates, including jellyfish, clams, worms, squids, and insects. As an ode to the anatomical uniqueness of these critters from front to back, science communicators and illustrators on Twitter dubbed March 1 to March 8 #InverteButtWeek. Hundreds of creators peppered social media platforms with a variety of nature’s most unique backsides belonging to creatures without backbones.
The posterior-filled festivities were inspired by the Ramisyllis multicaudata, a marine worm that can spout hundreds of butts, according to research published last year in the Journal of Morphology.
The call for invertebrate booty pics began after Maureen Berg, a microbial biologist at the University of California Berkeley, created a post asking anyone to share animals with more than one butt or fewer than 100 butts, reports Science Friday.
“People are not as excited about them as, say, a majestic whale or a beautiful bird. And I love my birds, but [invertebrates have] such an incredible diversity. So, butts are sort of a cheeky way to access some of that amazing diversity and celebrate it,” says Rosemary Mosco, series creator of Bird and Moon comics and an InverteButtWeek organizer, to Science Friday.
Following the request, folks posted memes, commentary, and art featuring invertebrate bottoms, including a “many butts of the sea” comic featuring Ramisyllis multicaudata. The design was a collaboration between Mosco, Berg, and Ainsely Seago, a curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Live Science’s Mindy Weisberger reports.
Many anal bulbs, probes, chimneys, and pores flooded the internet. SciShowa science program on YouTube, tweeted about bryozoansan aquatic animal with a retractable anus.
Jen Cross, a nature photographer, posted an image of a female American pelecinid wasp’s behind to Twitter. The insect uses its unusually long bum to poke through soils in search of grubs and a safe place to lay its eggs, Live Science reports.
Christopher Mah, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, tweeted a sea urchin’s unusual tush. The urchin, part of the genus Astopygais pictured showing off its anal bulb, which is used to dispel waste from its body inside of a sac, per Live Science.
From vibrant spider rumps to moth fannies and beetle derrieres, scientists and science enthusiasts shared some truly impressive rears—and plenty of interesting facts about invertebrates you didn’t know you needed. Here are some highlights from #InverteButtWeek:
— Natalie Metzger (@minitotoro) March 5, 2022
Ah, the beautiful butts of the sea.
A few weeks ago, some twitter folks saw the news about a new marine worm that had 100 or more butts. We decided to cooperate on this comic. My co-conspirators here are @MaureenBug and @americanbeetles. #invertebuttweek pic.twitter.com/SAZI3fqaFM
— Rosemary Mosco (Bird And Moon Comics) (@RosemaryMosco) March 1, 2022
— Christopher Mah (@echinoblog) March 1, 2022
Dark times right now and lots of bad news. If you need a break and some strange fun check out #InverteButtWeek
This lovely lady is an American Pelecinid wasp. She uses her long booty to probe soil for grubs on which she lays eggs. (Pelecinus polyturator) pic.twitter.com/gInOhOcyDx
— Jen Cross (@7StellarJays) March 3, 2022
A Diaphania moth sings its silent lovesong, hoping to attract a mate with its pheromones phrases. I admit I was slightly alarmed at seeing its ‘instrument’ for the first time… (Southern NM)#invertebuttweek pic.twitter.com/xkYVfIj2SB
— bugsicles (@bugsicles) March 4, 2022
— pikaole doodle (@fikaole) March 3, 2022
In 2017, a video from Indonesia went viral for showing a moth with “devil horns” on its butt.
It was Creatonotos gangis—a moth known to have inflatable butt parts from hell called Coremata. It might look scary but it was, simply, a male moth longing for love. #InverteButtWeek pic.twitter.com/UiaTZuXgC8
— franz (@franzanth) March 2, 2022
Planthopper nymph with a flashy AND practical butt for #invertebuttweek
The iridescent hairs coming out of their rears detach if grabbed by predators, possibly giving them a chance to escape. pic.twitter.com/0mTa7hxBmN
— #1 Isopod Fan (@bedupolker) March 3, 2022
— jxiste donc je suis (@jxtpse) March 9, 2022
— Dr. Sebs A Echeverri, PhD; Kinetic Salticidologist (@spiderdayNight) March 4, 2022
The Butt Political Spectrum ™
— franz (@franzanth) March 1, 2022