Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ant Ant?

You may think I'm going too far with this one, but, to me, this beautiful photo of leaf-cutter ants in Costa Rica is very like my previous post, "Flamingo Flamingo." I mean, take a look at the hole they've made at the right, mid-height of the leaf. Am I crazy or is that hole in the shape of a (very fat) ant? In Bucaramunga, Colombia, they would say the hole looks like an "hormiga culona," or "fat-assed ant" -- which the locals fry into tasty snacks. (I can attest to their tastiness because I've eaten them!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Unseen Feats

While you were sleeping, or gazing listlessly out at the grey, snowy day, a quotidian superhero jumped from the roof of one tall building to another in India, the busy harbour in the near distance. . . .

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Stroll

Ah, snow! You need to see this photo if you're getting tired of the white stuff. I don't know why this bear is walking like a human -- surely it's not easy for them?! -- but he looks to me like he's having a pleasant walk on a winter's day. I wonder if he'll curl up with a good book and a hot toddy in his den later?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Believe it or not, this clusterwink snail (cute name, hey?) really glows this colour. The photo has not been retouched, although the photographers are shining a special light on it to emphasize its bioluminescence. Isn't it lovely!? If you were a dangerous crab or swimming shrimp, it might glow for you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Caught on film. . .

O.k., you are going to think this is a sketch or animation of a fantastical fish, but this is a photo -- the first ever -- of a Barreleye fish. Its head is transparent, as you can see. The eyes are not at the front of its cute face, but they are the green orbs inside its head; they detect predators in silhouette through its skin. Will wonders never cease?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Goods on Gorillas

This week's crop of animal photos was exceptional; there were several that I wanted to include, such as a dock in China just full of shark fins drying, or a Buddhist releasing an octopus -- unsold in the fish market in Indonesia -- back into the sea. Moving and troubling images, indeed. I decided on this one as the most picturesque and hopeful. _The Guardian_ reports that "the number of mountain gorillas living in the Virunga Massif in central Africa has soared by 26.3% since 2003, according to a new census. The increase in numbers from 380 to 480 individuals is thanks to 'immense' efforts to reduce poaching and disease, scientists said – but should not be read as a sign that the fight to save the highly endangered species is over." A small glimmer of hope in this cruel world.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Un-Pandas

Hey all,

Two pieces of good news in the panda world: first, there is a newborn cub at the Atlanta Zoo (according to tomorrow's news in the Daily Mail of Islamabad! Boy, am I on top of things http://dailymailnews.com/1210/07/Snippets/index.php?id=5); also, the good scientists at the famous Wolong Centre for pandas in China are preparing the first cub in their history to be released into the wild, and, to this end, they are dressing up as pandas (see photo) so that humans will not be familiar to the cubs. Now I want to work there more than ever!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sno' Mo

Holiday greetings from Milo, the official face of Animal News of the World! You may be tired of shovelling and driving in treacherous conditions -- and that goes for our friends in Europe, too! -- but Milo would like to remind you of how wonderful the white stuff can be. Apparently, you must stick your face right into it to gain a true appreciation for it. Maybe we'll just take his bark for it. His final message to us this season? "Why don't we all just chill out for the holidays!?"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Flamingo Flamingo

Hey all,

Can you BLEEPING believe this photo!? It's of a huge group of flamingos in the formation of a flamingo. What are the chances of this happening?It's like some kind of miracle, but I have no idea what it might portend. Amazing.