Science Twitter’s ‘InverteButt Week’ Puts Backsides on Display | Smart News

A flashy jewel bug butt. 
Ian Jacobs via Flickr under CC BY-NC 2.0

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 sprout 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. SciShow, a science program on YouTube, tweeted about bryozoans, an 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 Astopyga, is 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: