OK, that settles it, the Daily Mail's entire business model is now based on trolling and linkbait. via Mitch Benn on Twitter.
Birds may use their feathers for touch, using them to feel their surroundings just as cats use their whiskers.
Quilts with map designs. via MAKE.
'Photographing penguins is at once ridiculously easy and frustrating. My 300mm lens is, often, too much magnification. I keep backing up, and the penguin I’m concentrating on keeps following me, so we chase each other around the colony.'
'Blondie looks like a regular penguin, except where he should be black, he’s bleached blond…. Blackie is a little different. Where she should be white, she is jet black—in fact, she is entirely black, beak to tail.'
'A penguin who is a Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Army is set to be bestowed with a new military honour.'
In the Galapagos
I´ve got a couple of hours in Puerto Ayora (on Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos), so I thought I´d post a quick note.
I can recommend the Galapagos. For a start, the landscape is more varied and more beautiful than I expected; somehow in my head it was all rocks, but from island to island the colour of the rocks and soil changes, the vegetation varies – I mean it´s mainly pretty arid, and so it´s lots of cactus and thornbushes, but one island will be an expanse of rippled black lava with a few small cacti, and another will be densely covered with bushes. This afternoon we´re going to the highlands for the first time, where it´s actually quite green.
We´ve seen most of the Galapagos specialties now – the two iguanas, the flightless cormorants, the finches (5 of the 13 species so far). Wild giant tortoises this afternoon. I´ve snorkelled with sea-lions and penguins and turtles, I was particularly thrilled wih the penguins.
Actually though, apart from the special Galapagos stuff, it´s been nice just being at sea. I hadn´t really thought about it before I came, but it´s great just being able to watch shearwaters and storm-petrels from the boat. And we´ve had dolphins riding the bow-wave of the boat. But almost my most exciting marine sighting was watching manta rays jump clear of the water and tumble back with a big splash.
The famous tameness of the animals is quite interesting; I expected it of the endemic species that have evolved in an environment without predators, but species like Great Blue Heron, which are wary of people in the rest of the Americas, have been letting us get within about 10 feet. We watched one grab a newly hatched turtle from below the sand.
So it´s all good.