Tag Archives: nature

Hyalinobatrachium dianae – The see-through Kermit

I suspect that you saw this last month when it seemed to be everywhere on the internet for a while, but I didn’t get around to posting about it. In Costa Rica, scientists have discovered the first new glass frog since 1973, and this one is rather interesting, as it bears a striking resemblance to a certain green, froggy puppet. See for yourself:

Image: Brian Kubicki, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre

Image: Brian Kubicki, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre

The new species- Diane’s Bare-hearted glass frog- is only an inch long, and is thought to have been unknown for so long due to its whistle-like call resembling that of an insect. And why the name glass frog? Ta-dah!

Image: Brian Kubicki, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre

Image: Brian Kubicki, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre

 

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Wikimedia goes bananas

Image: David Slater/Caters

Image: David Slater/Caters

Hello there. Always on the look-out for interesting selfies and selfie-related stories, I came across this the other day. It’s a rather charming selfie taken by a crested black macaque, and has been (along with 100-or-so other similar and less focused images) at the centre of a row between a wildlife photographer, David Slater, and Wikimedia Commons. They have been using this image and not credited the photographer, which understandably irritated him. However, they would not remove the image, as they claim that he doesn’t own the copyright. Right. So who does? The monkey, apparently, because it took the image. Well, yes, technically it did. But come on. What a ridiculously stupid argument to make. Is someone from Wikimedia going to track the macaque down to give it its royalty cheque? Are they going to demand that Mr Slater buys the copyright off the monkey? I’m all for animals being treated fairly, humanely and as we would like to be treated (one of the reasons behind my recent move to becoming a vegetarian, but that’s for another post), but come on. This can be taken a bit too far, and has been here to be honest. Now come on, Wikimedia- give that man back the money he deserves. You’ve had your joke.

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The baby who was unaware it was born

The word ‘caul’ means ‘helmeted head’ or ‘veil’, and is used to refer to the piece of amniotic sack that can occasionally stay attached to a baby’s head upon delivery. In the mediaeval period, being born ‘with the caul’ was seen as an indicator of good luck and a sign that the child was destined for greatness, and it may have also been believed to protect the child from evil. More recently, the caul was preserved (if present) by pressing a piece of paper against the membrane, and saved as an heirloom. It is thought that any birth involving the caul occurs once in every 80,000 births, but in some extremely rare cases, a child may be born ‘en caul’. This is where a baby is delivered entirely encased in the amniotic sack due to the waters not breaking, and the baby acts as though it is still inside the womb, being totally unaware that it has been born.

A case of this occurred during a Caesarian Section recently in Greece, and the obstetrician Dr Aris Tsigris posted this image on Facebook:

caesarean in sack

Image: SaludMedica

Having witnessed birth first-hand, this is an intense, emotional and exquisite moment, and I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to witness this- just to see your child as they are in the womb with your own eyes and without the aid of a camera or scan must be utterly breathtaking. I’m sure that for one parent, this is a moment that will stay with them forever and a day. It will definitely stay with me.

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Eye eye!

Llama

As the caption suggests, that eye belongs to a llama. I had never quite imagined that llama eyes were so beautiful, strange, or geological. It almost looks like a dazzling Mediterranean or Caribbean lake surrounded by large rocky formations instead of an eye. I’ve posted several more here which speak for themselves, really, and more eyes can be found at

http://www.surenmanvelyan.com/eyes/animal-eyes/.

For me, nothing comes close to the human eye, and it is easy to see why the eye has been put forward by many as proof that life must have had a Creator, with nothing so amazing ever having been able to be produced by evolving. Personally, I believe that Creation and theories of evolution can quite easily be reconciled, seeing evolution to be a process put in motion by God, but however you see it, the eye is a truly fascinating and spectacular piece of biology.

 

eye albino tiger python

Tiger Python (albino)

 

eye blue crayfish

Blue Crayfish

 

eye caiman

Caiman

 

eye chimp

Chimpanzee

 

eye cow

Cow

 

eye fish

Fish

 

eye guinea pig

Guinea Pig

 

eye horse

Horse

 

eye iguana

Iguana

 

eye lark

Lark

 

eye siberian husky

Siberian Husky

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