Monday 30 January 2017

Australian Hornet

Image: James Niland
Abispa ephippium
I get that wasps use bright colours to warn predators of their painful sting. It's a great way to ward off attacks without having to physically do anything, and everyone loves not having to physically do anything...

But surely this is just showing off?

Friday 27 January 2017

Shovel-nosed Salamander

Image: Todd Pierson
Desmognathus marmoratus

I think I would call it the People-eyed Salamander.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Striped Bubble Shell

Image: Sylke Rohrlach
Hydatina physis
What is a shell? Armour? Home? Laborious burden? How about fashion accessory?

Sunday 22 January 2017

Edible Sea Urchin

Image: gordon.milligan
Echinus esculentus
It's the hedgehog of the sea!

Friday 20 January 2017

Megaloremmius leo

Image: Brian Gratwicke
Megaloremmius leo
It's the world's smallest orangutan! But not, as it turns out, the world's smallest spider.

This beauty is a kind of Huntsman Spider from the rain forests of eastern Madagascar. It can reach something like 5 cm (2 in) long! And that doesn't include the legs. M. leo, like the orangutan, has a real talent for ludicrously long limbs.

Not much is known about M. leo. It's as mysterious as it is orange.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Crabs get the prettiest homes

Image: Nick Hobgood
We landlubbers really get the raw end of the deal when it comes to symbiosis. We got parasites, all right. You can hardly walk for the mites, lice and flatworms clinging to every nook and cranny.

Sunday 15 January 2017

The Blues VI

Image: Bernard DUPONT
Corythaeola cristata
It's Blue Monday! Mathematically proven to be the most depressing day of the year by qualified PR professionals who believe the best way to defeat it is with a holiday package bought from their clients. But there's no defeating it. It looms. It impends. It soon comes to a dark night of the soul near YOU! And there are no holidays from one's own soul.

Friday 13 January 2017

Lipstick Tree

Image: Joan Simon
Bixa orellana
Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. But free, all-natural lipstick does!

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Stick Grasshopper

Image: Andreas Kay
What do you get when you mix a grasshopper with a stick insect?

Sunday 8 January 2017


Image: John Turnbull
It's already strange to see a fish who prefers to walk rather than swim...

But to walk on his hands, too? I don't even walk on my hands! And I'm supposed to have hands.

Friday 6 January 2017

Carpet Sea Star

Image: Kris McCracken
Meridiastra calcar
Anyone want a carpet?

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Mangrove Cat Snake

Image: Rushen
Boiga dendrophila
It's an 8 foot wasp! Thank goodness it doesn't have wings.

Sunday 1 January 2017

Surgical Precision

Image: Kirkby
Crabs are extremely picky eaters.