Tag Archives: nature

Photographer Nicky Bay Documents Mirror Spiders Adjusting their Silver Plates to Appear More Reflective 

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All photos © Nicky Bay.

For the last several years Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay (previously here and here) has been documenting the life of the mirror spider, an unusual arthropod whose abdomen is covered in bright reflective panels that appear almost metallic. Bay recently noticed that some of the spiders exhibit unusual behavior in addition to their shiny appearance: apparently the spiders are able manipulate the mirrors in situations where they might feel threatened. In some instances the gaps between the silver plates almost completely disappear creating a larger reflective surface.

Bay continues to update his original post about the mirror spiders on his blog with new photography, and you can see a massive archive of macro insect photos on Flickr.

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Fungi and Floral Sculptures Produced From Recycled Paper by Kate Kato 

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All images via Kate Kato

Influenced by a childhood fascination with botanical illustrations and collecting bits of natural ephemera, artist Kate Kato crafts detailed sculptures of the various mushrooms, flowers, and beetles found within the Welsh valley where she currently resides. The sculptures are typically built to accurately reflect the size of their subject, each constructed out of recycled bits of paper that Kato tints with natural dyes.

For me my work can be very nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood and the curiosity that fueled my creativity,” said Kato in her artist statement. “I like to use recycled paper as it reflects that nostalgia, and gives the sculptures a history and narrative. I like people to be able to see where the materials have come from, as well as what I have turned them into, evoking that childish curiosity we all have somewhere inside!”

Kato’s work will be a part of the upcoming exhibition “Paper” at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington from October 15th through November 19, 2016. You can purchase Kato’s sculptures either online through her Etsy, or in-person at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds, UK. (via Lustik)

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A Caiman Wearing a Crown of Butterflies Photographed by Mark Cowan 

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Photograph by Mark Cowan

While traveling through the Amazon to study reptile and amphibian diversity with the Herpetology Division at the University of Michigan, photographer Mark Cowan happened upon a strange sight: a caiman whose head was nearly covered in butterflies. The phenomenon itself isn’t particularly unusual, salt is critical to the survival of many creatures like butterflies and bees who sometimes drink tears from reptiles in regions where the mineral is scarce (we’ve seen the same thing happen with turtles). What made this sight so unusual was seeing the butterflies organize themselves into three different species groups atop the caiman’s head.

Uh, also, that side eye!

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Cowan’s photograph received special commendation from the 2016 Royal Society Publishing photography competition, you can see the rest of this year’s finalists here.

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Winners of the 2016 British Wildlife Photography Awards 

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“Hitchhikers” (Lion’s Mane Jellyfish), St Kilda, off the Island of Hirta, Scotland, by George Stoyle

The British Wildlife Photography Awards just announced the 2016 winners of their annual competition in categories including Animal Behavior, Animal Portraits, Urban Wildlife, and an overall winner. The awards, established in 2009, aim to highlight photographers working in the UK, while also showcasing the biodiversity, species, and habitats found in Britain.

George Stoyle, overall winner of this year’s competition, found his subject off the Island of Hirta in Scotland.  “I was working for Scottish Natural Heritage on a project to assess the current biological status of major sea caves around some of the UK’s most remote islands,” Stoyle told the BWPA. “At the end of one of the dives I was swimming back to the boat when I came face to ‘face’ with the largest jellyfish I’d ever encountered. As I approached cautiously I noticed a number of juvenile fish had taken refuge inside the stinging tentacles.”

You can see more UK habitats and animal portraits from 2016’s British Wildlife Photography Awards on their website, Facebook, and Twitter. (via Fubiz)

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“Welcome to the Party” (Grey Seal), Farne Islands, Northumberland, England, by Adam Hanlon

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“Free Bird,” London, England, by Chaitanya Deshpande

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Common Weasel (Pic 1), North Yorkshire, England, by Robert E Fuller

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“A Mountain Hare by an Ice Cave,” Highlands, Scotland, by Andy Rouse

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“Grey Seal Pup in a Sandstorm,” Norfolk, England, by Jamie Hall

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“Hello Ducky” (Brown Trout and Mallard Duck), Hampshire, England, by Paul Colley

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Tadpoles, Bristol, England, by Jeanette Sakel

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“Eye to Eye” (Emerald Damselfly), Cornwall, England, by Ross Hoddinott

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The Good of the Hive: Artist Matthew Willey Travels the World to Paint 50,000 Bees 

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In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.

For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)

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Blue Rivers of Bioluminescent Shrimp Trickle Down Oceanside Rocks in Okayama, Japan 

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Photographed off the coast of Okayama, Japan, The Weeping Stones is a photo series by the creative duo Trevor Williams and Jonathan Galione of Tdub Photo that captures the eerie blue light emitted by a native species of bioluminescent shrimp. More commonly referred to as sea fireflies, these rare creatures live in the sand in shallow sea water, floating somewhere between the extremes of high and low tide. At just 3 mm in length the shrimp are extremely small light sources, but when grouped together they take on abstract patterns that light up the water around them.

In order to group such a large number of sea fireflies, or Vargula Hilgendorfiitogether Williams and Galione had to collect the creatures by luring them with raw bacon into jars and repositioning their tiny bodies on the rocks. Photographing and placing the bioluminescent shrimp next to the shore ensured that the photographers did not harm them, and allowed them to quickly return the animals back to the water below.

This fall, Tdub Photo hopes to shoot more bioluminescent images by focusing on glowing mushrooms. You can see an earlier project the duo created with bioluminescent shrimp on their website, and see more of their travels over on their Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel)

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