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World's Most Beautiful Snakes

October 18th 2010 02:22
Snakes always generate strong emotions from humans. Whether it be fear or love, you can't deny that some species are truly beautiful animals.
Environmental Graffiti counts down the top 10 Most Beautiful Snakes on Earth. See some of them below and check out the full list here.


best looking snakes
Brazilian Rainbow Boa
This beauty is the Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Epicrates cenchria

named for the iridescent color of its scales. The underlying color is either brown, orange as we see here or a mix of the two. It is found in Central and South America and all the way through the Amazon basin. It is medium sized compared to other snakes and it likes the rivers and drainage areas, living for up to 20 years.


worl's most beautiful snakes
Emerald Tree Boa
One of the most vivid and unforgettable snakes is the Emerald Tree Boa, Corallus Caninus. These are found in South America and the Amazon. Even though it looks like it is closely related to the Green Tree Python and sleeps the same way, they are only distant relatives. One thing that the Emerald has, is very large front teeth. They way she catche her prey is to stay coiled on the branch, head down, ready to strike. She then catches small mammals with her front teeth and pulls them in to their doom.




colorful snakes
Amelanistic Burmese Python

This head turner is an Amelanistic Burmese python - a species which retains their yellow, carotenoid-derived pigments. Mammals only produce pigments with melanins while birds and reptiles can also produce them by other means including carotenoids as we see here. Effectively though, she can be considered an albino snake in that amelanistic is classified under albinism.




best snakes
Eastern Coral Snake
Micrurus fulvius is one of the most beautiful of all snakes. Unfortunately it is also very venomous, as are all coral snakes. On the good side, there are only about 15 to 20 recorded bites a year but on the bad side they are deadly and soon there will be no more antivenin for it. Pfizer, has said that with such low demand, it is not worth the cost and research spent on it, and current stock is due to expire at the end of this year. The snakes are forest animals, living in leaf litter and brush. They flee before biting, but if you do get bitten it is imperative you go to a doctor. Respiratory failure occurs within hours.



Green Tree Python
Green Tree Python
Morelia viridis, the Green Tree Python is a stunner that is found in New Guinea, Indonesia and parts of Australia. It, along with the Emerald Tree Boa, have a unique way of sleeping. They loop one or two coils along a branch, saddle style and place their head in the middle. Remember if it is in Indonesia, it is a python, if it is in South America, a boa. They are often mixed up because they are the only two that sleep this way.
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Christmas Island Red Crab

October 8th 2010 03:10
Christmas island red crab migration


As reported on the Telegraph, British scientists have discovered what triggers one of the most spectacular migrations on Earth – the rush to the beach of the Christmas Island crabs.

Christmas island crabs


The crabs, which usually complete just 10 minutes of daily exercise, travel for up to 12 hours a day, to mating grounds near the sea.

christmas island tourism


British researchers have now discovered that the incredible journey is only possible because the six inch crabs rely on sugar reserves stored in their bodies, which they convert into energy when a hormone kicks in.

red crabs crossing the road



red crabs near the christmas island roads



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Albino Peacocks

September 13th 2010 01:05
albino peacock



The common Indian or Blue Peacock is famed for its large and colourful plumage.
What if all the colour was removed from the feathers of a peacock, would the display be just as beautiful?
The answer is a resounding yes as these images demonstrate.

They are known as an Albino Peacock, but this is not technically correct. These white peafowls and are a genetic variant of the Indian Blue Peafowl.
Through breeding this genetic mutation is being maintained and white peacocks can be found in parks and zoos the world over.


white peacock plumage


white albino peafowl


peacock Leucism




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Hunt For The Lost Amphibian Species

September 8th 2010 03:53
In the past three decades, declines in populations of amphibians have occurred worldwide. Currently 32 percent of species are threatened, 43 percent are declining in population, and over 100 species have become extinct since 1980.

Declines have been particularly intense in the western United States, Central America, South America, eastern Australia and Fiji While human activities are causing a loss of much of the world’s biodiversity, amphibians appear to be suffering much greater effects than other species of organisms. Because amphibians generally have a two-staged life cycle consisting of both aquatic (larvae) and terrestrial (adult) phases, they are sensitive to both terrestrial and aquatic environmental effects. Because their skins are highly permeable, they may be more susceptible to toxins in the environment. Many scientists believe that amphibians serve as "canaries in a coal mine," and that declines in amphibian populations and species indicate that other groups of animals and plants will soon be at risk.

Declines in amphibian populations were first widely recognized in the late 1980s, when a large gathering of herpetologists reported noticing declines in populations in amphibians across the globe. Among these species, the Golden toad of Monteverde, Costa Rica featured prominently. The Golden Toad, Bufo periglenes, was the subject of scientific investigation until populations suddenly crashed in 1987 and disappeared completely by 1989. Other species at Monteverde, including the Monteverde Harlequin Frog (Atelopus varius), also disappeared at the same time. Because these species were located in the pristine Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and these extinctions could not be related to local human activities, they raised particular concern among biologists.

As reported on this article by Wired Science, scientists in 14 countries on five continents are teaming up to hunt for as many as 100 species of amphibians that are thought to possibly be extinct, but may be surviving in remote corners.

Below are some of the most sought after species.

Read More Really Long Link



the extinct golden toad
Golden Toad

Costa Rica. Last seen 1989. Perhaps the most famous of the lost Amphibians. Went from abundant to extinct in a little over a year in the late 1980s.


lost frogs and toads
Gastric Brooding Frog

Australia. Last seen 1985. They had unique mode of reproduction: Females swallowed eggs and raised tadpoles in the stomach. Gave birth to froglets through the mouth.
mouth birth frog



disappearing amphibian species
Jackson’s Climbing Salamander

Last seen in 1975. Stunning black and yellow salamander – One of only two known specimens is believed to have been stolen from a Californian laboratory in the mid 1970s.



Extinct Toads and Frogs
Mesopotamia Beaked Toad

Colombia. Last seen 1914. Fascinating frog with a distinctive pyramid-shaped head.



rare salamanders
Turkestanian Salamander

Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. Last seen 1909. Known from only two specimens collected in 1909 somewhere between Pamir and Samarkand.





*This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article for Decline in amphibian populations
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Grizzly Bears At The Salmon Migration

September 6th 2010 02:34
As reported on the Daily Mail, at the annual salmon-spawning season in the Katmai national Park in Alaska the Grizzlies are enjoying a feeding frenzy.

The salmon return from the open ocean in their millions to spawn, and this is great news for all the Grizzly Bears along the coast and spawning rivers.


grizzly bears feeding on salmon
Spectators from around the globe look on as tens of brown bears congregate at the Brooks River in Alaska to catch salmon



salmon feeding frenzy in Alaska
The Brooks River in Alaska is one of the best fishing spots for bears



grizzly bear fight
Two bears square up to each other as they argue over the best fishing spot



salmon leaping into a bears mouth
This river salmon looks to have made an ill-timed leap as a brown bear opens his vast jaws to grab its meal



bears fishing
Tens of brown bears visit the river in Katmai National Park, Alaska, every year for the bumper salmon crop



Read more: Really Long Link
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Waterfowl

August 4th 2010 02:32
The Waterfowl family includes ducks, geese, and swans.

They are strong swimmers and have historically been an important food source, and continue to be hunted as game, or raised as poultry for meat and eggs. The domestic duck is sometimes kept as a pet


[ Click here to read more ]
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Most Beautiful Birds of the World

July 14th 2010 02:40
Birdwatching is a serious sport!
There are about 10,000 species of bird and only a small number of people have seen more than 7000. Many birdwatchers have spent their entire lives trying to spot all the bird species of the world. The first person who started this is said to be Stuart Keith. Some birders have been known to go great lengths and many have lost their lives in the process. Phoebe Snetsinger spent her family inheritance travelling to various parts of the world while suffering from a malignant melanoma, surviving an attack and rape in New Guinea before dying in a road accident in Madagascar. She saw as many as 8400 species. The birdwatcher David Hunt who was leading a bird tour in Corbett National Park was killed by a tiger in February 1985. In 1971 Ted Parker travelled around North America and saw 626 species in a year. This record was beaten by Kenn Kaufman in 1973 who travelled 69,000 miles and saw 671 species and spent less than a thousand dollars. Ted Parker was killed in an air-crash in Ecuador. In 2008 the top life-list was held by Tom Gullick, an Englishman who lives in Spain.

[ Click here to read more ]
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Insects Up Close

April 2nd 2010 01:08
Creepy crawlies: Amazing Scanning Electron Microscope pictures of insects and spiders.



[ Click here to read more ]
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Mountain Goats

March 5th 2010 03:12
Mountain Goats generally reside in alpine areas above the tree line. They are the largest mammals living in this region, but avoid predators by resting on rocky cliffs.
Mountain Goats are sure footed climbers, so much so their daily exploits seem impossible or at the very least crazy to human observers.
The images below sourced from bannedinhollywood.com give an insight into the climbing abilities of Mountain Goats. See the full photoset which includes other goat varieties here
[ Click here to read more ]
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Rare Photographs of Now Extinct Beasts

October 23rd 2009 07:29
Animals are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, even in the last hundred years or so since photography became common place. Many species disappear off the planet without a second thought from us, however some of the larger animal species which we lose are sorely missed by all. Thanks to Environmental Graffiti here are some such examples. Images and information sourced from here.


[ Click here to read more ]
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Wildlife Photography Awards

October 21st 2009 01:47
The inaugural British Wildlife Photography Awards saw a number of stunning entries from photographers of all ages. Pictures included an underwater grey seal close up and a white swan bathed in morning fog and light. However the winner was Ross Hoddinott whose image of a damselfly clinging to a dew soaked reed netted him the £5,000 prize. Below are some of the minor category winners. All images and information sourced from this article on the Daily Mail.


[ Click here to read more ]
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Wolves

September 14th 2009 12:49
Today's photos of Wolves in the Wild sourced from Life.com.

wolf pic

[ Click here to read more ]
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Animal Hands

July 22nd 2009 12:24
Animals and humans hands for the sense of touch, manipulating our environment and performance a vast array of tasks. However, not all animals’ hands look the same....


[ Click here to read more ]
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Endangered Sharks

July 15th 2009 10:51
Around the world many shark species are being hunted to extinction, mainly for their fins to make soup. Thanks to the guardian.co.uk, here are some pictures representing the most endangered shark species and some of the reasons why. Read more here.

Shark Fin Soup
Shark-fin soup being served at a wedding banquet in Hong Kong. The taste for shark fins is driving some of the ocean's most ancient creatures to the brink of extinction, and in the process upsetting the balance of marine ecosystems


[ Click here to read more ]
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