Category Archives: Inspiration

Photos and websites to inspire you!

Blue Morphos Butterfly

DSC_0057, originally uploaded by LJWhitmire.

A Morpho butterfly may be one of over 80 described species of the genus Morpho. They are neotropical butterflies found mostly in South America as well as Mexico and Central America. Morphos range in wingspan from the 7.5 cm (3 inch) M. rhodopteron to the imposing 20 cm (8 inch) Sunset Morpho, M. hecuba. The name Morpho derives from its use as an epithet of Venus.

Many Morpho butterflies are coloured in metallic, shimmering shades of blue and green. These colours are not a result of pigmentation but rather are an example of iridescence: the extremely fine lamellated scales covering the Morpho’s wings reflect incident light repeatedly at successive layers, leading to interference effects that depend on both wavelength and angle of incidence/observance. Thus the colours produced vary with viewing angle, however they are actually surprisingly uniform, perhaps due to the tetrahedral (diamond-like) structural arrangement of the scales or diffraction from overlying cell layers. This structure may be called a photonic crystal. The iridescent lamellae are present on the dorsal side of their wings only, leaving the ventral side a drab brown.

 

 

7th.to13th.Aug.2006.Vancouver Island & Back., originally uploaded by oscarromulus.

Morpho butterflies feed on the juices of fermenting fruit with which they may also be lured. The inebriated butterflies wobble in flight and are easy to catch. Morphos will also feed on the bodily fluids of dead animals and on fungi. Morpho butterflies may be important by their role in dispersing fungal spores.

The hairy brown caterpillars are nocturnal and feed on a variety of leguminous plants. In some species the caterpillars are also cannibalistic, a trait thought to be a population control mechanism. If disturbed, Blue Morpho caterpillars will secrete a fluid smelling of rancid butter. The tufts of hair decorating the caterpillars irritate human skin.

The entire life cycle of the Morpho butterfly, from egg to death, is approximately 115 days. The adults live for about a month. Their predators are few for the adults retain poisonous compounds accumulated by the feeding caterpillar – a process known scientifically as sequestering.

 

 

morphos, originally uploaded by moontrain.

Armadillo

 

Armadillo Dees, originally uploaded by jeffclow.

 

Proof that God has a sense of humour.

  • Because of the weight of its armor, an armadillo will sink in water unless it inflates its stomach with air, which often doubles its size.[2]
  • Glyptotherium texanum (extinct) was a close cousin of the armadillo, living in the tropical and subtropical regions of Florida, South Carolina, and Texas. It had a six-foot-long carapace and weighed in at approximately 2,000 pounds (1 ton).[4]
  • Armadillos are one of the few mammals that mate face-to-face.
  • Recorded to be the animal with the most dreams in sleep (that is, with the most observed REM sleep).
  • Armadillos are one of a small number of animals other than humans that can get leprosy.
  • Surprisingly, armadillos are very agile in the water and have been known to swim for up to two miles without rest.
  • Armadillo is Spanish for “little armored one.”

 

 

Texas State Mammal, originally uploaded by pixels.in.my.head.

 

Armadillos are small placental mammals of the family Dasypodidae, mostly known for having a bony armor shell. Their average size is about 75 centimeters (30 inches), including tail. All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of environments. In the United States, the sole resident armadillo is the 9-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), which is most common in the central southern states, particularly Texas.

Dasypodidae is the only family in the order Cingulata. Until as recently as 1995, the family was placed in the order Xenarthra, along with the anteaters and sloths. There are several species of armadillo, some of which are distinguished by how many bands they have on their armor. The nine-banded form cannot roll itself into a ball. They mainly run away or burrow from predators.

 

 

Run away!, originally uploaded by Redwolf Journeys.

 

Armadillos are often used in the study of leprosy, since they, along with mangabey monkeys, rabbits, and mice (on their footpads), are among the few known non-human animal species that can contract the disease systemically. They are particularly susceptible due to their unusually low body temperature, which is hospitable to the leprosy bacterium.

The Nine-banded Armadillo also serves science through its unusual reproductive system, in which four identical quadruplets (all the same sex) are born in each clutch. Because they are always identical, the group of four young provides a good subject for scientific, behavioral, or medical tests that need consistent biological and genetic makeup in the test subjects. This phenomenon of multiple identical birth, called polyembryony, only manifests in the genus Dasypus and not in all armadillos, as is commonly believed.

 

 

, originally uploaded by marissa b..

Jellyfish Delights

 

 

jellyfish, originally uploaded by WillShoot.


All of these jellyfish photos were taken in the wild and come from all over the world. No namby pamby aquarium shots here. Australia has many jellyfish but in the tropics the ones everyone worries about are the box jellyfish and the Irukandji. They can be absolutely deadly especially to young children. Thankfully something as simple as a lycra stinger suit or even pantyhose can provide enough of a barrier from the tentacles to save your life. So when the water starts to warm up, you would be absolutely mad if you didn’t wear something.

Thankfully good old white vinegar can cause the tentacles to release and stop injecting their toxins so if you are crazy enough to swim on the beaches in northern Australia, make sure you have some readily available.

medusa, originally uploaded by antiguan.

 

Jellyfish, originally uploaded by stuandgravy.


 

 

JellyFish, originally uploaded by The Sprain.

Lady of the abyss, originally uploaded by Amelia PS.

 

 

Floatzilla (Rhizostoma pulmo), originally uploaded by Arne Kuilman.

 

 

Palau – Jellyfish Lake, originally uploaded by Angela Tamboura.

 

 

moon jellyfish (CIMG0934), originally uploaded by .zack!.

 

 

taking the ride, originally uploaded by wrda.

By Crikey, check out that cocky!

A Visitor at Sunset, originally uploaded by bluemist57.

 

The Sulphur Crested cockatoo is probably the best known of Australia’s fourteen cockatoo species. You can’t miss this bird’s raucous screech. Very common in the North and Eastern parts of Australia.

 

 

Yellow-tailed-Black-Cockatoo, originally uploaded by ‘Stephen’.

 

The round yellow mark on the ear-coverts and pale-yellow panels on the upper surface ofthe tail are the key features for this bird of SE Australia.

 

 

Galahs & Cockatoo, originally uploaded by Donina.

Galahs are very common in Australia. You can tell the boys from the girls by looking them in the eye. Boys have brown eyes, girls have red. A supportive Dad who feeds the broody would-be Mum and does some of the incubating himself. And he will take on raptors such as kestrels and falcons with his mates.

 

 

Major Mitchell Cockatoos, originally uploaded by WindeBabe.

Aka the Pink Cockatoo. Note the gorgeous sunset pink underwing and undertail. Most commonly found in arid areas. Heaps around the Alice!

 

 

Anatomy of the wing – Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, originally uploaded by aaardvaark.

 

 

Black Cockatoo, originally uploaded by Timmy Toucan.

Actually a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. And because of the spots it has to be either female or a young male. The Tiwi Islands people say the spirits of the dead are accompanied by these birds on their way to heaven; the screams warning of another spirit is coming.

 

 

 

Gang-gang Cockatoo., originally uploaded by Brenda-Starr.

This is a bloke because he has a bright red untidy crest. The girls have a grey head and crest and don’t go for the bed-head look. Must be a South-Eastern Australia thing? 😉

 

 

black palm cockatoo, originally uploaded by shimmertje.

 

Northern Australia’s rain forests for this one particularly the Cape York region. This one is excited about something because the facial skin is red instead of the usual pinky-orange. He’s blushing!

 

Long-Billed Corella, originally uploaded by loma_prieta.

 

The Dampier cockatoo. Check out that bill! And it has a pink mark across the throat and a pinkish tinge to the underfeathers. You should look out for this bird if you visit Perth.

 

…and MY favourite, berries!, originally uploaded by aaardvaark.

 

The Little Corella. The important features are the short white bill. the pink stain between the bill and eye, and the pink tinge to the underfeathers. There shouldn’t be a pink bar across the throat – if you do see that you’ve found a Long-bill/Little Corella hybrid and its probably infertile.

 

 

Glossy black Cockatoo, originally uploaded by beeater.

 

Check out this bloke’s tail feathers! You’ll probaby see this one in a Casuarina tree if this uncommon bird makes an appearance for you.

 

 

 

Camels from Oz

People don’t associate camels with typical Aussie wildlife but they are very much part of the Australian outback.

Loneliness of the Long Distance Camel, originally uploaded by aaardvaark.

 

During the last four decades of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th, Afghan cameleers formed the core of every major expedition into Australia’s central desert region and provided transport and communication links with sheep and cattle farms, mining projects and religious missions on the desert fringe. Their camels, which foraged on semi-desert plants and could go for days without water, were faster and cheaper than horse or bullock transport.

 

 

Australian camel, originally uploaded by WindeBabe.

 

 

2003.08.01, originally uploaded by natmeister.

 

As the demand for this transport increased, hundreds of Afghans travelled to Australia on three-year work contracts. Low wages—in the 1880s between £3 and £4 a month or about a quarter of the amount paid to bullock team drivers—ensured that most remained in Australia. Many married and established families. Afghan settlements, later known as Ghantowns, sprang up around shipping ports and outback railheads in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

 

 

Tanami Track – Merciless, originally uploaded by Zwergie.

 

There are now significant populations of wild camels in various parts of Australia. Some are exported back to the Middle East as they are very healthy diverse stock and do well in the camel racing industry. Some end up as roadkill and others as camel burgers.

 

 

Camel – Australia, originally uploaded by Luca Zappa.

Wallabies

Swimming Wallaby, originally uploaded by knowhowe.

Swamp Wallaby with a joey in her pouch, originally uploaded by Fifila.

 

Wallabies are the smaller members of the macropod family ie too small to be kangaroos.

Wallabies are not a distinct biological group. Nevertheless they fall into several broad categories. Typical wallabies of the Macropus genus, like the Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis), and the Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) are most closely related to the kangaroos and wallaroos and, size aside, look very similar. These are the ones most frequently seen, particularly in the southern states.

Rock wallabies (genus Petrogale), rather like the goats of the northern hemisphere, specialise in rugged terrain and have modified feet designed to grip rock with skin friction rather than dig into soil with large claws. There are at least fifteen species and the relationship between several of them is poorly understood. Several are endangered. Captive rock wallaby breeding programs like the one at Healesville Sanctuary have had some success and a small number have recently been released into the wild.

The Banded Hare-Wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus) is thought to be the last remaining member of the once-numerous subfamily Sthenurinae, and although once common across southern Australia, is now restricted to two islands off the Western Australian coast which are free of introduced predators. It is not as closely related to the other hare wallabies (genus Lagorchestes) as the hare wallabies are to the other wallabies.

New Guinea, which was until fairly recent geological times a part of mainland Australia, has at least five species of wallaby.

There are a few places around the world where wallaby escapees have formed their own colonies. Sometimes this has meant the survival of that particular type of wallaby. the Hunter Hills behind Waimate, South Canterbury, New Zealand is one such place. Another significant colony could once be found on the island of Inchconnachan in Loch Lomond in Scotland with the occasional wallaby getting to the mainland if the loch froze over. The Peak District in England is another area where wallabies can be found.

 

Rock wallaby, originally uploaded by Timmy Toucan.

Wallaby on Kangaroo Island, originally uploaded by Shari.