Bioluminescence is, by it’s definition, emitted light from living things. It serves several purposes in life, including warnings to others, attracting food, and attracting mates. We know that a good many things have glowy bits, but it’s hard to get a good idea of just how many things around us can create their own light. Now we finally have a very pretty chart, courtesy of artist Eleanor Lutz, that details a (non-exhaustive) number of luminous species. It’s a lot more than you’d think. Check it out.
Observe the specimen, Sir David Attenborough. In 2012, the natural history filmmaker celebrated an astonishing 60-year career documenting the natural world that we live in.
In this rare look, Rosemary Mosco of Bird & Moon nature comics turns the attention firmly on Attenborough, wondering what it be like if he were the subject of a nature documentary. Check out the full strip after the jump, and read it aloud in your best David Attenborough voice.
With her alphabet, illustrator Casey Girard takes inspiration from nature and draws a series of wild animals that not only represent the letters of the alphabet but also are in the shape of them. Her drawings are playful, have a maternal look about them. Check out Girard’s endearing Animals in Alphabet series after the jump.
deviantART user HumanDescent from the U.K. has a vivid imagination. The digital artist thinks up what different species of animal would look like if they were interbred, and with the power of Photoshop, makes that union happen. Nosferatu is mashed up with a frog to create Nosferafrog. A Rabbick is a rabbit combined with a baby chicken, and one of his cutest creations is a Pog.
Have a look at some of his hilariously bizarre animal morphs after the jump.
Visitors to the blog may be acquainted with our puppies Mina and Panya. They’re very sweet dogs (although Mina dislikes cyclists and joggers) and the all photos I have taken of them are spur of the moment. They’re nigh uncontrollable and I’m as as likely of getting our pets to pose for photos as I am of getting them to recite the alphabet, backwards.
I’d like to be able to shoots animals as New York City photographer Evan Kafka does. His pet portraits are so emotive and so ridiculously cute. Have a look at some of his work after the jump.
AJ Fosik’s animal sculptures are truly striking and remind me of the Sri Lankan devil masks that are used in dances to ward off evil spirits. What initially looked like papercraft to me is in fact wood and Fosik is able to work wonders with the material. He uses wood, paint, nails, and minimal help from his computer to create some very colourful, intricate, and hypnotic 3D pieces. Have a look at them after the jump.
Well this is a touch bizarre. To make her art, Australian-born Lisa Black combines the medical practice of taxidermy with the aesthetics of steampunk. It’s a rather unusual combination and it’s really amazing to see these broken, taxidermied animals whose missing parts have been replaced with little gears and screws, like the innards of a vintage clock.
In her interview with YouBentMyWookie, Black explains her motivation behind her art pieces – she believes in transhumanism which is a movement that believes in the use of modern technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics. Black tries to applies those ideologies to her animal creations.
In situations like these, I think pictures do tell a thousand words. Have a look at some of her steampunk taxidermy after the jump.
I’m a city boy. Taking me into the bush is as useful as a pork chop at a Bar Mitzvah. Every time I think I see a buck, it turns out to be a dead tree branch. Süha Derbent, however, can easily distinguish animals from trees, and has visited many countries, taking amazing wildlife photos as he goes.
More of this work after the jump.
The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition finds the very best wildlife images taken by the world’s top professional and amateur photographers.
Here are some of the winners from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 competition.
Overall Winner – Snowstorm Leopard
This most striking photo was taken by Steve Winter (United States of America) after spending 10 months and a winter with little snow in Ladakh’s Hemis High Altitude National Park, India.
Snow leopards are adapted to life in the mountains of central Asia. They have long, waterproof outer fur, dense woolly under-fur and large nasal cavities that warm the air as they breathe it in. This allows them to survive temperatures as low as -40°C. But the leopards can also tolerate the heat of the Gobi Desert, where temperatures can reach 40°C.
Creative Visions of Nature Winner – Polar Sunrise
This photo taken by Miguel Lasa (United Kingdom) shows a bear backlit by the first rays of sunlight.
During winter, polar bears live on the frozen seas of the Arctic. In summer, in areas where the ice melts completely like Canada’s Hudson Bay, they spend months ashore living on a variety of foods. They will also swim in the water and catch birds. By the time the seas freeze again in autumn they are eager for fresh seal-meat.
Animal Behaviour: Birds – Osprey Snatch
This specially commended photo by Paul Hobson (United Kingdom) was taken from hide overlooking a lake in Pohtiolampi, Finland.
Ospreys hover over water then dive, plunging into the shallows to grab prey. They have special feet to hold onto slippery fish scales: the soles are covered in spines and one talon can move so the bird can grip either side of the fish.
Ten years and under – Great Tits and Teasels
This photo from Baptiste Drouet (France) won the runner-up prize in the 10 years and under section of the Junior awards.
Great tits are a woodland bird found across Europe and Asia, but many have adapted to urban gardens. In rural areas they eat insects, but urban populations supplement their diet with bird seed put out by humans. Tits can be aggressive at bird tables, fighting off other smaller birds.
One Earth Award Winner – Sacrifice
Taken by David Maitland (United Kingdom), this disturbing photo shows a Gabon black colobus monkey being tossed onto an open fire to strip off the fur.
A cloud of acrid smoke filled the air. Then, the glossy jet-black fur caught fire, crinkled and crisped up, and fell off as dust. It was deeply upsetting.’ Black colobus monkeys have a distinct, high-pitched roar and frequently call to each other, so human hunters can easily track them down. This helps to make them one of the 10 most threatened primate species in Africa.
You can see more photos from the competition at the Natural History Museum’s Online Gallery.
If you live in Cape Town, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 exhibition will be at the Iziko South African Museum (25 Queen Victoria Street Cape Town) until 15 March 2009. Entrance is R15 and well worth it.