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Built to Kill - 40 Breathtaking Closeup Photographs of Animals. This is a parotsnake by Kuntha.

A lot more here.

[Rich Works]

Ten Weirdest New Animals of 2010: Editors’ Picks. About this guy:

T. Rex Leech

A new leech king of the jungle, Tyrannobdella rex—or “tyrant leech king”—was discovered in the remote Peruvian Amazon, National Geographic News reported in April.

The up-to-three-inch-long (about seven-centimeter-long) leech has large teeth, like its dinosaur namesake Tyrannosaurus rex. What’s more, the newfound critter’s “naughty bits are rather small,” noted study co-author Mark Siddall, curator of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

For these reasons and more, the bizarre bloodsucker is an editors’ pick for one of the oddest new species of 2010.

More on the T. Rex Leech.

[National Geographic]

Snowflakes Under an Electron Microscope. About this photo:

The most complex snow-crystal classification system was devised in 1966 by Japanese meteorologists C. Magono and C.W. Lee. Entitled “Meteorological Classification of Natural Snow Crystals” (pdf), it describes more than 80 types of crystal. Above is P2b, or “stellar crystal with sectorlike ends.”


Image: Electron and Confocal Microscopy Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture.

A cave in Vietnam so tall, a skyscraper could fit inside. From the post:

The light beaming from above reveals a tower of calcite on the cave floor that is more than 200 feet tall, smothered by ferns, palms, and other jungle plants. Stalactites hang around the edges of the massive skylight like petrified icicles. Vines dangle hundreds of feet from the surface; swifts are diving and cutting in the brilliant column of sunshine. The tableau could have been created by an artist imagining how the world looked millions of years ago.

Many more shots here.

[National Geographic via Boing Boing]


Head Scratcher by felix racher


Fracking wastewater devours all life in West Virginia forest
Fracking fluid, the liquid waste left over from the controversial mining technique, wreacked havoc on a test plot of land in a test by the U.S. Forest Service.


Double-crested Cormorant ~ Photo by Amy Marques :)


Photo by romavm ~ Antelope crossing :)


Physalia physalis & Nomeus gronovii
© Seth Patterson

The Portuguese Man o’ War is not one animal, but is actually comprised of colonies of invertebrate, jelly-like marine animals of the family: Physaliidae glomming together. These pelagic  hydroids (or hydrozoans) colonize and are infamous for their very painful, powerful sting.

It would seem wise for marine life to steer clear of the Man of War’s stinging tentacles however it shares an interdependence with a variety of transient marine fish, including shepherd fish, clownfish, yellow jack and one fish specialized to live within its tentacles—the man of war fish

The man-of-war fish is generally found in open sea or close to the Portuguese man of war, after which it is named. It is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans.

The fish is striped with blackish-blue blemishes covering its body, and the caudal fin is extremely forked. It grows to a length is up to 15.5 inches (39 cm).

As unlikely as it seems, this fish, rather than using mucus (like the clownfish) to prevent stings, appears to uses highly agile swimming to physically avoid tentacles. The fish has a very high number of vertebrate (41), which adds to its agility and uses its pectoral fins for swimming — a feature common in fish who specialize in maneuvering in tight spaces. It also has a complex skin design containing at least one antigen to the man-of-war’s stinging toxin. The fish seems to be ten times more resistant to the toxin than other fish.

Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-of-war_fish

Other photos:

Portuguese Man of War

Blue Button

Flower Hat Jellyfish


Have you heard of Glasswinged butterflies? They’re transparent butterflies that live in Central America!

Photo by Swamibu via Gizmodo


Courting controversy: The playful cub grabs hold of her dad’s tail as he pretends not to notice via dailymail.co.uk :)


Malaysian Green FLOWER BEETLE
Thaumastopeus pugnator
© emblatame (Ron)

genus:   THAUMASTOPEUS Kraatz 1885 
species:  pugnator    Heller 1899 
origin:  Malaysia
wild imago size:  30-35 mm
sexual dimorphism  males with abdominal groove on sternits
note:  I`ve obtained some imago of this species, however these soon deceased and didn`t lay any eggs. Therefore I do not know much about their breeding habits. Species is supposed to be somewhat easier to breed regarding to the general higher difficulty of keeping all asian cetoniinae.

Fact Source: http://www.flower-beetles.com/thaumastopeus.html

Other posts:

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Mating Festive Tiger Beetles

Jewel Beetles (Macro)