Posts tagged with ‘animals’

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the NHM

I made my annual trip to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Which was, as always, well worth a visit. Obviously I recommend you visit it in person, because little jpegs don’t do the pictures justice, but if you can’t do that, you can see all the pictures online […]


Bizarre animals that are new to science – New Scientist 'About 15,000 new species are still discovered every year, from psychedelic fish to pink millipedes, and from lungless frogs to the Dracula fish. Take our tour of some of the strangest species to be discovered in recent years' ( tags: animals )


Ugly Overload 'Giving ugly animals their day in the sun. We avoid the simply tragic, diseased, or maimed. Rather, these creatures are only as hideous as nature – or their owners – intended.' ( tags: animals blogs ugly )

Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

I went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum yesterday, which is always worth a look. Apart from the fact that there are loads of great photos, there’s the fun of deciding whether the judges have made the right decisions. I’m always a bit disappointed when they choose a […]

First Annual Blogger Bioblitz

Just a heads-up for anyone who’s interested: the First Annual Blogger Bioblitz, ‘where bloggers from across the country will choose a wild or not-so-wild area and find how many of each different species – plant, animal, fungi and anything in between – live in a certain area within a certain time’ will be run from […]

FSotW: Tiny Animals On Fingers

This week’s Flickr set of the week is Tiny Animals On Fingers by specklet. Which is pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin

Oliver Sacks fans will remember Temple Grandin as the autistic slaughterhouse designer in An Anthropologist on Mars. She has a particular affinity with animals and has used her talent for understanding them to help her design corrals, feedlots and slaughterhouses which are less stressful for the animals. The subtitle of Animals in Translation is ‘Using […]

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

I was looking for an internet copy of Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director (which is a large collection of the most elegant and useful designs of household furniture in the Gothic, Chinese and modern taste) and found the University of Wisconsin’s Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture. Not only does […]

After 200 million years of abstinence…

An interesting story about darwinulids. As far as anyone could tell, darwinulids (a type of crustacean) had been reproducing exclusively asexually for 200,000,000 years, but now a researcher has found 3 male specimens, which implies that at least one darwinulid species has sex. Sex is a bit mysterious in evolutionary terms because it’s so much […]

Government ‘harassment’

I came across an animal liberation website which stated that “government harassment of activists has continued to increase this year”. Harassment in this case seemed to mainly consist of people being convicted of arson, criminal damage, blackmail and so on. Describing that as ‘harassment’ just seems so… whiny. Sometimes it’s right to decide that you […]

Top ten animals – #1, Giant Squid

I said there was an invertebrate on my list, and here it is, what I thought was the world’s largest mollusc and the owner of the largest eyeball known to science: the Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux. Even the Latin name has a poetry to it. Except I discovered, while searching out details for this post, […]

Top ten animals – #2, Snow Leopard

What actually got me started thinking about this top ten animals list was a documentary about the Snow Leopard, Uncia uncia. Two film-makers had spent three years in Kashmir and managed to get about two minutes of what of the kind of action footage you’d normally expect from a wildlife programme – the cats hunting, […]

Top ten animals – #3, Ivory-billed Woodpecker

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, is a bird which any birder would be keen to see just because it’s big and spectacular-looking. (Audubon painting of some ivorybills, from Wikipedia) But, of course, that wouldn’t be enough to get it onto my list above other even more spectacular species like the Satyr Tragopan or the Victoria […]

Top ten animals – #4, Wandering Albatross

Having already had the world’s largest turtle and the world’s longest fish, I’m in danger of coming across as a complete size queen, because now we have the Wandering Albatross, Diomedea exulans, which has the longest wingspan of any bird – one was measured at 11′ 10″. This photo is from 70 South: Actually, though, […]

Top ten animals – #5, Oarfish

So, what’s the world’s biggest fish? That’s easy – it’s the Whale Shark. But what about the world’s longest fish? Well, that’s probably the Whale Shark too, to be honest – the trouble is, it’s a category that tends to attract a lot of over-excited and completely unconfirmable reports. But the other fish that has […]

ain’t nature wonderful?

Odd news… EDIT: and a quotable quote. Another wonder of nature.

Top ten animals – #6, Kiwi

Depending on whether you ask a lumper or a splitter, there are somewhere between three and six species of kiwi. I’m not going to specify one. This is a picture of a Little Spotted Kiwi, Apteryx owenii, the smallest of the kiwis, taken from the website of the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. In Maori it has […]

Top ten animals – #7, Leatherback Turtle

Next up is the Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea. I’ve wanted to seeone of these since I saw a stuffed specimen at the Natural History Museum as a kid. I couldn’t believe how big it was. They grow to eight feet long and bulky with it. As you can see in this picture of people from […]

Top ten animals – #8, Narwhal

I was surprised by how many cetaceans made it into my longlist. Part of it, perhaps, is that the difficulty of seeing marine animals adds to their desirability. And of course a lot of whales are *big*. Anyway, I considered Blue Whale, Killer Whale, Beluga, and Sperm Whale, and though Sperm Whale came closest (Moby […]

Top ten animals – #9, Chimpanzee

To see any of the apes in the wild would be a big deal. In some ways, the others are more appealing; the huge but (relatively) gentle gorilla, the mournful-looking orange Orang*, and the currently trendy pan-sexual bonobo all have a glamour to them which the chimp has rather lost, with the PG Tips ads […]

Top ten animals – #10, Wallace’s Flying Frog

Getting this list down to ten was really really hard. I’ve tried to avoid the temptation to earn extra fanboy points by going for the really obscure stuff – so no oilbird, no pangolin – but I think I’ve got a pretty pleasing mix. My final ten includes three birds, three mammals, one reptile, one […]

RSPCA ‘Freedom Food’

I was reading about meat labelling in The River Cottage Meat Book (which I’d recommend, so far, though I haven’t actually tried any of the recipes yet). He mentioned that meat labelled as ‘RSPCA Monitored Freedom Food‘ wasn’t, as you might expect, free range – just produced with slightly more regard for animal welfare than […]

Top ten animals I’d most like to see

It’s the season for lists. I’m not going to do a review of 2005 in music or films of poetry or anything. I’m going to do a list of ‘top ten animals that it would be really really cool to see’. One ground rule – they can’t be extinct, so no Dodo, no Great Auk, […]