Conservation photos VII. Weird and wonderful

Evolution crafts some wacky creatures. Birds that can’t fly. Squirrels that can. Mammals that lay eggs. Worms that luminesce. Vampire bats. Goblin fish. Octopus. I must admit that I have a considerable soft spot for these ecological and evolutionary oddities. They are just so fascinating; so mind-bogglingly weird. So indulge me as a list a few more. A few that I’ve had the great joy of seeing in the flesh, and whom I dearly hope to see again. Frogs whose finely textured and brilliantly patterned skin has inspired Aboriginal art for millennia. Dragons that spend their days munching hundreds of tiny, acrid ants, and whose skin not only wards off predators with a litany of devilish thorns, but also pumps water directly to their mouth by capillary action. Miniaturised snakes whose diet is restricted entirely to lizard eggs (that rarest of commodities) and others whose tail so perfectly mimics a grub – in both form and function – that it brings dinner right to their door. Lizards who swim through sand, having long ago cast aside the limbs that hinder their progress. And snakes whose morphology just takes your breath away. Whose beauty you can barely fathom, and whose existence re-affirms why you took up the cause in the first place….

Holy Cross Frog, Notaden bennetti

Holy Cross Frog, Notaden bennetti

Thorny Devil, Moloch horridus

Thorny Devil, Moloch horridus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-naped Snake, Neelaps bimaculatus

Black-naped Snake, Neelaps bimaculatus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Death Adder, Acanthophis antarticus

Common Death Adder, Acanthophis antarcticus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-tailed Worm Lizard, Aprasia inaurita

Red-tailed Worm Lizard, Aprasia inaurita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bandy Bandy, Vermicella vermicella

Bandy Bandy, Vermicella annulata

 

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