16/08/2011

Nature Continues to Amaze!

First of all I wanted to say thank you to everyone as I've just hit 57 followers. The fact that anybody would want to read my little blog is amazing to me. I'm not an established fashion blog, aren't particularly funny, crafty or a photographer so it does mean a lot that that number is, in my eyes, quite high considering the above, so thank you! I don't have the means to do a give-away at the moment but in the future, possibly once university is well under way, I shall sort it then. 

On a different note, Discovery's new programme, Mutant Planet, featuring the weird and wonderful the world over has got me sucked in already. A lot of readers will know how much I adore nature and animals and reading up about them and finding out more, they always continue to amaze me, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite "weird" animals, haha, enjoy!

  1. Leafy Sea-Dragon
 Photo from Wikipedia

The name alone is magical enough but as these delicate seahorse-like creatures drift about in the water, their leaf-shaped fins resembling a piece of seaweed, only a swivel of a tiny eye would give this beautiful creature away.  This stunning video, from the amazing BBC documentary Life, shows a lovely scene featuring two sea-dragons in a courtship dance under the waves in the moonlight. The leafy sea-dragon gets top marks for camouflage from me.



2. The Axolotl (pron. ajolote)

 Photo found via Google

This cute, pink salamander originates from the lake underneath Mexico City, which sadly no longer exists, and can regenerate body parts which has led to them being used in scientific research! These little aquatic creatures are also kept as pets throughout the world and are referred to as Wooper Rooper in Japan. They are also commonly known as Mexican Walking Fish, and despite being amphibians they spend their entire lives under the water!

3. The Aye-Aye

Photo from National Geographic

This bug-eyed little creature is part of the lemur family and uses it's index finger to tap on the outside of trees to draw larvae to the surface. Disgusting to most but the aye-aye loves grubs and the rest and when it can hear the little mites close to the surface of the bark, he opens the bark and using a very long middle finger, reaches inside and pulls the grub out. If you saw an aye-aye in the middle of the night with it's large eyes and odd fingers, you'd forgiven for thinking this little lemur was an alien!

4. The Dumbo Octopus

Photo via Google and National Geographic

So nick-named for their cartoonish appearance, this little octopus lives at living at extreme depths of 3,000 to 4,000 metres, with some having been found at under 7,000 metres, which is the deepest of any octopus, under the ocean's surface, with it's little ear-like fins protruding from the top of it's head-like body. They are some of the rarest octopi in the world, and hover above the sea floor searching for worms. Cute but en efficient hunter!

5. The Pebble Toad

Photo from the BBC website

This little toad, only an inch long, lives on and around volcanoes in Venezuela, and though there are no snakes compared to the forest below, there are tarantulas with fearsome fangs, but the little pebble toad has an ingenious way of escaping. He can't hop, so he tucks his legs in tight like a rubber band and rolls away from danger, like a light-weight rubber ball. Because of it's size, the toad doesn't hurt itself as it barrels away from possibly predators. Amazing. You can see the amazing rolling here.

6. The Sunfish

Photo from the Monterey Bay Aquarium website

The ocean sunfish is the heaviest bony fish known to man and is native to tropical and temperate seas, living on a diet consisting of jellyfish. They swim primarily in open waters alone and they can be as tall as they are long when their fins are extended. I think they are amazing to look at and are a sight to see in the open waters.

7. The Peacock Spider



Though a tiny jumping spider the reason this brightly coloured insect is on my list is due to their mating dance. When attracting a female, the males dance about, shaking their abdomens and raising their legs into the air before spreading their abdomens, which have a flap of coloured skin over them, high into the air like a peacock. Truly beautiful! There's a video of the amazing moment here.

So there's my pick of my favourite "weird" animals. I'm going to leave it there because any more and I'm going to slow down all your computers! I hope you're all having a good week and that the weather's been brightening up like it has here for you all.
Do you have a favourite "weird" animal?
xxx

17 comments:

  1. Wow, never seen the majority of these creatures!! Amazing.

    Sadie xx

    http://www.brandnewbutterflywings.com/

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  2. the leafy sea-dragon and dumbo octopus look pretty amazing! I love the weird and wonderful nature programs.

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  3. The axolotl reminds me of a Pokemon and I've heard that people have gone blind from looking at the sunfish.

    Kind of a scary thought.

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  4. liking the new layout :) I like how strangely cool these creatures look, the leafy sea dragon and leafy octopus take top prize for most eccentric.

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  5. What a cool post! My class had a pet axolotl in primary school, I both loved it and found it somewhat creepy...

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  6. Unbelieveable, it's mad to think such amazing colours and creatures occur naturally, isn't it? I love that octopus! x

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  7. Argh! I was really enjoying this post until I saw the spider and now I'm all freaked out and itchy. Bleurgh. I hate spiders!

    I like the sea dragon very much though. So beautiful and delicate.

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  8. I love weird and ugly animals! (except spiders- there used to be a weird spider with electric blue, white and black stripes on its legs which lived outside my friend's house in Bali which really creeped me out- and reminds me of this one!) This is fascinating and I think my Dad would love this so thanks for the Christmas present idea! Well done on your followers! Not surprised as you write with a delightful sincerity and sense of awe and wonder towards the natural which is beguiling and enchanting!

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  9. At a quick glance it looked like a lion fish! Pretty!

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  10. I looove sunfish, haha, they're so cute. They look like constantly shocked balloons. Not that such a thing exists... ^^

    ---
    Hope you'll get a chance to visit my blog <3
    xxx

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  11. Aw congrats on the followers. Some of those creatures are so odd aren't they? I like the Axolotl, my friend has a pet one and she calls it Axel :)

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  12. What a whimsical creature. Nature is so inspiring.

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  13. THis is really interesting, so many different features that I didn't know about before.

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  14. awwh i saw them in an aquarium in australia, so gorgeous!

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  15. you don't know how much i love these type of posts!!!! not only do i learn more, but i get to see interesting creatures which are like "treasures under the sea"!!!! the sea horses and the "dambo fish" are my fav!

    jos xx

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  16. Such an interesting facts. Love this post. And well abt the number of followers in a blog. It definitely takes a while. Nways I enjoyed reading this post.
    Happy weekend.
    xoxo

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Thank you for visiting my little space, I hope you found something inspirational or interesting here. Leave a message if you like and I will get back to you as quickly as possible - Tasha