A Tallaganda velvet worm called Euperipatoides rowelli seems surprised to see the photographer.
Virgin Birth, Double Uteri, and Other Wondrous Female Abilities
In nature, some female "superpowers" rival those of Wonder Woman.
Here are some of our favorites, including—no kidding—a magic lasso.
These cartoonish predators, found mainly in New South Wales, Australia, aren't true worms—instead they're relatives of arthropods, a huge group that includes insects and spiders.
Velvet worms live in female-dominated groups of about 15 individuals. When it's time to mate, several males will place sperm packets on any part of the larger female’s skin, which she absorbs and stores separately—according to the male—in her sperm receptacle. (See "6 Fierce Animal Moms That Go to Extremes For Their Young.")
Storing sperm from various males makes for more genetically diverse—and thus healthier—offspring. They also have two uteri, and so can develop two batches of embryos at different rates.
Males and females hunt together,