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1412 posts tagged Animals

Bangkok-based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously featured here) continues to take breathtaking photos of Siamese fighting fish, also known as betta fish. His fascination with their splendid, flowing fins and brilliant coloring is apparent in the extraordinarily detailed portraits he creates. The photos are so perfectly clear and close-up that it’s easy to forget the fish are underwater and not floating in midair.

Angkatavanich recently told Popular Photography that he only started photographing the fish after encountering them for the first time three years ago at a fish show and has since become obsessed with the different species which vary greatly in size, shape, and color patterns.

Head over to Visarute Angkatavanich’s 500px gallery to view more of his gorgeous betta portraits. Limited edition prints of his photos are currently available through La Lanta Fine Art.

[via Colossal]

Don’t worry, Cthulhu is still fast asleep and no one has heard from the Kraken for centuries. This nightmarish maw is the beak of a female colossal squid, one that weighed 770 lbs (350 kg), measured nearly 11.5 feet long ( 3.5 m) and was recently dissected by scientists during a live webcast from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand. The squid was found by Captain John Bennett and his crew in Antarctic waters back in December 2013. She’s only the second intact colossal squid specimen ever recovered, providing an extraordinary opportunity for scientists to learn more about this mysterious species.

The squid’s eyes measured nearly 14 inches in diameter. The better to see you with, my dear. She also had three hearts, all the better to love you to tiny, bite-size pieces.

Click here for additional images, courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Learn more about the colossal squid here.

Click here to watch the entire dissection.

[via Business Insider Australia and The Huffington Post]

Mexican artist Ricardo Solis uses oil paint, ink and other media to create fantastic depictions of how various animal species are created by teams of Lilliputian workers. Strips of electrical tape are unrolled and applied to give a zebra its stripes while poison dart frogs are carefully painted. A grizzly bear’s furry coat is painstakingly woven and hot-air balloons are used to pour paint onto a flamingo and position a pangolin’s horny overlapping scales. The hippo gets its substantial size and shape thanks to a generous inflation of helium.

Visit Ricardo Solis’ Behance page to check out more of his awesome animals under construction. Prints are available via Solis’ website.

[via Lost At E Minor]

St. James, Minnesota resident Greg Krueger love his four cats so much that he’s spent the last 20 years and $10,000 transforming his home into a phenomenal feline fun house - and he’s still working on it.

“I just love trails and paths, and cats, of course,” said 50-year-old Krueger. “And so I’ve just linked those passions together.”

It all began when Krueger noticed how much his cats enjoyed being up high. First he created a place for them to sit atop a china cabinet. Then came a staircase to help the cats get up on the cabinet more easily. Today Krueger’s house features elaborate tunnels, staircases, platforms, 38 hand-carved cat-sized opening in his walls, 100 yards of overhead catwalks and bridges, and numerous comfy cat-sized hidey-holes. The catwalks all feature ornate railings to prevent accidental falls. If they don’t want to, Krueger’s kitties never have to walk on the floor. There’s also an enclosed outdoor kennel if the cats ever feel like getting some fresh air.

Krueger was recently diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which has helped him understand his extraordinary dedication to his feline family.

“Obviously, my house would not be like this if I didn’t have Asperger’s,” he said. “If it takes a long time, I don’t care because if I like what I’m doing, I almost don’t want to finish what I’m doing.”

Visit Greg Krueger’s Flickr page for many additional photos.

Click here for an interview with Kreuger and here for a video tour of his awesome home.

[via Oddity Central and Catsparella]

Toronto, Ontario-based artist Ruth Oosterman collaborates with her two-year-old daughter Eve to create imaginative paintings that feel as though they’ve been lifted from the pages of a fantastic series of storybooks we’re now dying to read. Here Oosterman describe their process:

As all of our collaborations start, my two year old creates her own sketch with an ink pen which I then use to turn into a watercolor painting. The sketch is completely her own with no instruction given from me, I simply use her creativity to inspire me to create a painting.

Oosterman says that she can usually either discern a picture hidden inside Eve’s sketch or her daughter will have chatted with her about what she was drawing. But sometimes there is no conteext andshe has to let her own imagination run with it.

I try to work quickly and let imagination and play take root into the painting rather than taking it to seriously, this way I can encourage Eve’s contribution without making it to “grownup.”

Visit Ruth Oosterman’s blog and her YouTube channel to check out more of her wonderful collaborations with young Eve.

Prints of some of their creations are available via the Eve’s Imagination Etsy shop.

[via Bored Panda]

Check out the awesomely long tails on these roosters! These regal specimens are Onagadori or “Long-tailed” chickens. They’re a breed of chicken from the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan who evolved from common domestic chickens who mated with Green Junglefowl. Also known as the ‘most honorable fowl’ in Japan, they’ve been carefully bred over the centuries to achieve their spectacular tails, which grow to lengths of 12 to 27 feet. It takes these chickens at least three years to molt. Onagadori breeders take tremendous pride in their chickens and provide special hutches with perches well above the ground, which helps keep their tails clean and in good condition.

If Rapunzel had been a chicken, she probably would’ve looked a lot like one of these awesome birds. These extraordinarily fancy fowl have Special Natural Monument status in Japan, which means they’re considered to be living monuments of Japanese culture and, as a protected breed, it’s illegal to take their eggs out of the country.

[via Lost At E Minor and Wikipedia]

Late at night in certain (Miyazaki-animated) regions of Japan it’s possible to catch a ride on the Catbus. So what’s the late night animal transportation situation in other countries? We’re glad you asked! Camera traps set up by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, a nature reserve in South Africa, recently captured these awesome images of an adventuresome Large-spotted genet hitching a ride on the backs of Cape Buffalo and White Rhinos in the middle of the night.

"Large-spotted genets are small nocturnal omnivores related to civets. They are mostly tree-dwelling creatures and prey on insects, birds, frogs, and rodents, although there have been recordings of them killing baby antelopes, a seemingly impossible feat for a creature of their size."

And now we know genets also like to use much larger animals as transportation. These photos were captured on different nights, which means that these Buffalobus and Rhinobus rides weren’t a one-time occurrence.

Click here to learn more.

[via National Geographic News]

Happiness is a dog with an open sun roof and all the world’s smells shooting straight up his nose. This blissed out Weimaraner is named Pilatus, Pilly for short, and he’s enjoying the heck out of a ride in pylit4lyfe's car, cheeks and eyelids flapping in the wind.

Here’s hoping we all get to personally experience moments of awesome happiness like this (although perhaps not quite this windy).

[via Twisted Sifter]