the male himalayan monal – an absolutely gorgeous bird

 Another for the ‘gosh, isn’t this beautiful?!’ files: the Himalayan Monal (the national bird of Nepal).  (Image via Facebook: Tambako the Jaguar; Flickr — with Robin Subba, Sarvesh Wangawad,Jeriko Angue, Roberto Delapisa, Jonas Mgr, Neelesh Suryavanshi, Shashank Asai,Sushant Bhujel and Pabitra Lamichhane.) This stunning bird (Lophophorus impejanus) is a type of pheasant, and like other pheasants the species is strongly sexually dimorphic: the males […]

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mmm, ravioli?

My blogging buddy Grant suggested an image competition as a way to lure me back into a blogging mindset **. And then, I saw this (courtesy of the FB page for the team at Amazing Earth):  My first thought (following a passing glimpse) was, "embroidery". Followed, I’m sorry to say, by "mmmm, ravioli!" (In my […]

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pretty jelly

I’ve got heaps on at work at the moment, but there’s always time to share a lovely picture 🙂 So here’s the stunning Australian spotted jellyfish, Phyllorhiza punctata. It’s native to Australian waters but has apparently become an invasive species elsewhere (eg in the Gulf of Mexico). And yes, I found it on FB: Photo: Mister […]

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see-through creatures

This is a 'glass frog' (image from National Geographic): It's one of a number of transparent or translucent creatures featured on the National Geographic's "Weird & Wild" blog. (Actually I take issue with the Monarch butterfly image there, as strictly speaking we're seeing a transparent pupal case; the butterfly inside is definitely not see-through.) Glass […]

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true facts…

 OK, you could argue that you can’t have a ‘false’ fact 🙂 But that aside – I was recently introduced to this little gem of a video, True Facts About The Chameleon. Nice little sound-bites of information, rather lovely images – and the narrator’s voice-over had me in stitches. (But he’ll never replace Sir David […]

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artistry

 We are in full enrolment mode at the moment – for some reason a lot of students have left re-enrolling &/or seeking advice until the Very Last Moment – so I have little time for serious blogging. (It’s always the same at this time of year, only this year more of the same.) But I […]

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where’s pooh?

 I stumbled across this image of Helicocranchia pfefferri a little while ago – easy to see why this little cephalopod is called the ‘piglet squid’!  Image (c) Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s news release tells us that these little animals ("about the size of a small avocado") are a deep-water species with a […]

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stingray x-ray

Another in the occasional series of rather lovely biological images: an x-ray of a stingray (Heliotrygon sp.)   (from NatGeo, via Pharyngula) The genus name means ‘sun stingray’, a name that was given for the way that the cartilage fibres that support its body (like sharks, stingrays have a skeleton that’s based on cartilage, unlike the […]

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