Tag: biodiversity

Massive ceramic coral reef scuplture by @CourtneyCoral #sciart

“The 28-foot piece pays homage to the Coral Triangle, a Pacific Ocean-based site that spans the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands. Almost 600 different species of reef-building corals exist in this 4 million-square-mile space alone, making it one of the most important under-the-sea stretches in the world. Unfortunately, however, these coral reefs are increasingly threatened by overfishing, pollution, and a changing climate.”

(By Courtney Mattison, via My Modern Met)

Beautiful chronophotographic images of birds in flight. #surreal

“Spanish photographer Xavi Bou (previously) tracks and records the flight patterns of birds, combining their repetitive movements into elongated shapes that twist through the sky for his series Ornitographies. The images are inspired by chronophotography, a Victorian era photography method that combined multiple images to create movement, and edited digitally in Photoshop.”

(Photos by Xavi Bou, via Colossal)

Beautiful textile microbial plates by Elin Thomas

By Elin Thomas, via Colossal.

This Paper: Dung Beetles use the Milky Way to Figure Out Their Bearings

Full Title: A Snapshot-Based Mechanism for Celestial Orientation

Abstract: In order to protect their food from competitors, ball-rolling dung beetles detach a piece of dung from a pile, shape it into a ball, and roll it away along a straight path [1]. They appear to rely exclusively on celestial compass cues to maintain their bearing [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], but the mechanism that enables them to use these cues for orientation remains unknown. Here, we describe the orientation strategy that allows dung beetles to use celestial cues in a dynamic fashion. We tested the underlying orientation mechanism by presenting beetles with a combination of simulated celestial cues (sun, polarized light, and spectral cues). We show that these animals do not rely on an innate prediction of the natural geographical relationship between celestial cues, as other navigating insects seem to [9, 10]. Instead, they appear to form an internal representation of the prevailing celestial scene, a “celestial snapshot,” even if that scene represents a physical impossibility for the real sky. We also find that the beetles are able to maintain their bearing with respect to the presented cues only if the cues are visible when the snapshot is taken. This happens during the “dance,” a behavior in which the beetle climbs on top of its ball and rotates about its vertical axis [11]. This strategy for reading celestial signals is a simple but efficient mechanism for straight-line orientation.

Coolest Figure:

Hat tip to @GeneticJen

Dr. Seuss taxidermy pieces by way of Dr. Seuss himself




“Zoo animals that had met their demise lived on as their bills, horns, and antlers were shipped to Ted’s New York apartment to become exotic beaks and headdresses on his bizarre taxidermy sculptures. The result was an astounding 17 sculptures—created during the 1930s—which remain today as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multidimensional creativity.”

By Dr. Seuss (many pieces for sale too), via NotCot

Rings of the kingdom: Animalia, Metazoa





By Michael Tatom, via Colossal

Whoa: Amazing edible lollipops inspired by biodiversity.




By Shinri Tezuka, via My Modern Met.

In which watching Enigma the jellyfish is very very relaxing.

Makes me calm just watching this…

“This stunningly beautiful jellyfish was seen during Dive 4 of the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition on April 24, 2016, while exploring the informally named “Enigma Seamount” at a depth of ~3,700 meters.

Scientists identified this hydromedusa as belonging to the genus Crossota. Note the two sets of tentacles — short and long. At the beginning of the video, you’ll see that the long tentacles are even and extended outward and the bell is motionless. This suggests an ambush predation mode. Within the bell, the radial canals in red are connecting points for what looks like the gonads in bright yellow.”

Text and video via the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

This is what happens when a Lyre bird lives in a zoo.

They become the greatest impressionists EVER. Amazing…

By Elva Kitten via Futility Closet

Mind blown. On Australia and two specific mammals



(Can’t find original source – earliest hat tip I can find is at knowyourmeme)

This animated gif of biodiversity in a bottle by Rafael Varona is simply stunning.

And definitely worth the wait (for it to upload).


By Rafael B. Varona.

These whale inspired high carbon steel utility knives look pretty adorable.






By Toru Yamashito via Laughing Squid

Beautiful biodiversity pictures made from fern leaves. #whoa





By Helen Ahpornsiri/, via Colossal.

Also known as “Phylogenetic Analysis of Magical Creatures.” A Harry Potter themed phylogenomics paper.

Attention to detail is pretty cool. One of my favourite parts (apart from the phylogenetic tree itself) is the post note that says: “Genetic sequences for all genes will be provided upon request. Due to magical laws, we are unable to publish them on GenBank.”

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Holy crap! It’s a photo of a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker!



Photo by Martin Le-May (see here for more details) via io9.

Super fast and epic summary of the Earth’s evolutionary history.

This is really nicely done*

Crash Course Big History episode with John Green, Hank Green, and Emily Graslie (link).

* I caught one small error during the lifting weights bit.

Lego birds, designed by Thomas Poulsom, now on sale.

These, apparently, are going very quickly. Click here to purchase.


Via Colossal. More on Thomas’ work here.

Underwater biodiversity done in stunning paper craft. The word you’re looking for is “wow.”



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By Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker (link), via Colossal.

Origami crease patterns: more beautiful than you would expect.



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By Robert J. Lang. He also has a wide range of amazing origami books – available here.

This is what it looks like when you attempt to showcase many many bioluminescent organisms in a single graphic.

It looks stunning!


By Eleanor Lutz.

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