Category: animals

45 Sizzling Snaps & Pictures of the Year: Smoking Hot Photo Contest in the Commons

April 17th, 2014 Permalink

A decade ago, there were not tons of terrific photos to choose from in the Commons, but photographers have really stepped up by licensing their photos so people can share them along with knowledge. While you may or may not agree with the 12 Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year winners, most everyone could agree the competition was smoking hot. Categories like animals, plants, people, panoramas, nature, space, architecture and even miscellaneous objects give us a chance to go globe hopping as we celebrate these 45 sizzling snaps. Congratulations winners and thank you to all photographers who make the Commons a fountain of beautiful knowledge! Why don’t you consider uploading your photos to the Commons and maybe we’ll see you listed as a winner next year? [45 Photos]

Wikimedia Picture of the Year 2013 winner, tungsten filament burning with a flame in the light bulb

1st place winner in the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2013 Contest. The photo description states, “The glass bulb of the lightbulb has been opened, causing the inert gas inside to escape. When turned on, the tungsten filament burns with a flame, due to oxygen entering the light bulb. The light bulb was screwed into a socket, which was replaced with the lamp base using image processing.” Photo #1 by Stefan Krause, Germany

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Happy Festival of Numerical Coincidence! Dogs & Cats in Weddings [25 PICS]

November 12th, 2013 Permalink

Happy Festival of Numerical Coincidence! In the United States and Belize, we do dates differently than the rest of the world by using a month/day/year format. Believe it or not, there’s a mad rush to get married on 11/12/13. For example, San Francisco City Hall is all booked up. David’s Bridal compared the date to the Superbowl but for weddings. There’s a psychology surrounding numerical sequences, other than setting a wedding anniversary date that neither couple should forget. For couples who desire such a date, the next sequential date will be next year in December 12-13-14. Since it’s a big day for marriage-seekers, we thought we’d look at weddings featuring dogs and cats while discussing magical calendar dates that set marriage records. [25 Photos]

The Bride and Groom, dog wedding

The Bride and Groom, dog wedding. Sequential dates, such as 11/12/13, have been called the “perfect” date to get married. For math or number lovers, a couple could try to time their increasing number wedding ceremony for 11/12/13 at 14:15:16 seconds. Photo #1 by geckoam

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Outstanding Natural Beauty of World Heritage Sites in Africa [36 PICS]

August 27th, 2013 Permalink

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 129 World Heritage Sites in Africa, but these 36 are listed as Outstanding Universal Value for natural heritage. As you might expect, there is a wide diversity of flora and fauna in each. Sadly, some of these have also been placed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, most often due to poaching of endangered wildlife. The UNESCO committee may inscribe new sites on the list, or it may delist sites if the area no longer meets the criteria, but this is UNESCO’s current list for Africa in 2013 as of the time of publishing.
[36 Photos]

Lion at Serengeti National Park, Masai Mara, Tanzania

Lion at Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. It is one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites for natural and outstanding universal value in Africa. This vast savanna has 3,648,000 acres (1,476,300 ha) and is world-renowned for its annual herd migrations in search of water and pasture. Two million wildebeests, hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles, and all their predators make it “one of the most impressive nature spectacles in the world.” Because there is so much prey, it contains the “Big Five.” Serengeti is believed to hold more than 3,000 lions, the largest population of lions in Africa, about 1,000 African leopards, African Buffalo, African Elephants and Black Rhinoceros — but few rhinos are said to remain due to “rampant poaching.” It was designated as a natural site by UNESCO in 1981. Photo #1 by Anita Ritenour

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Endearing, Endangered Gentle Giants: Marvelous Manatees [44 PICS]

July 12th, 2013 Permalink

Massive yet gentle, manatees are endangered marine mammals. Sometimes called “sea cows,” they were once thought to be a bit dimwitted, but now are known to have a similar intelligence to dolphins. We fell in love with them while we were in Florida, so here’s look at these endearing, endangered gentle giants. [44 Photos]

Kissing manatees in Georgia

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (.pdf), “Christopher Columbus was the first European to report seeing a manatee in the New World. To Columbus, and other sailors who had been at sea for a long time, manatees were reminiscent of mermaids—the mythical half-fish, half-woman creatures of the ocean. Manatees are not fish, however, but marine mammals.” When you think about manatees, you probably think of those living in Florida. However, these West Indian manatees traveled to Georgia in late spring and early summer. Photo #1 by Michael Gilbert, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex / USFWS

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Horses by the Sea: The Other Spectacular Sea Horse [28 PICS]

June 23rd, 2013 Permalink

When we were image hunting for seahorses, we came across photos of the “other” spectacular “sea horse.” Some people choose to experience the breathtaking beauty of the beach by horseback, so here’s some inspirational shots of horses in the sea, horseback riding by the sea, and horse / equestrian quotes.
[28 Photos]

Sea horse at Lac Bay - Bonaire, Netherlands

Sea horse at Lac Bay – Bonaire, Netherlands. “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man, ~ quote by Winston Churchill. Photo #1 by Julia (oijulia)

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Tribute to Moms & The Things They Say: 53 Loving Mother and Baby Animal Photos

May 9th, 2013 Permalink

You wouldn’t trade your mom cause there is nothing like a mother’s love . . . but do you remember some of the things she used to say as you were growing up? The type of things you swore that you’d never say to your kids? Moms are often overworked, under-appreciated, and at some point . . . finds herself saying things that her mother used to say. This seems to pass down from generation to generation, but despite the silly things that stressed out moms say, there is no one on Earth who will ever love you as unconditionally as your mother does. The number one thing all mothers say to their children is: I Love You! This is a tribute to moms for Mother’s Day! [53 Photos]

Baby hippo telling mom a story

“Mom!” When a child is born, a mom is the baby’s whole world. By the time you grow up and move away, you are your mother’s whole world. Photo #1 by Alpha Coders

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60 Spectacular Seahorses and Seadragons [PICS]

April 25th, 2013 Permalink

If you don’t live near an ocean or urban aquarium or even a zoo, then you might not have seen many seahorses and seadragons to realize how stunning these tiny sea creatures are. With a long face like a horse, they have an almost mythical appearance, but are far from immortal as none of the seahorse family are strong swimmers and they often die during storms. They excel at camouflage and many can change colors to hide themselves in their natural underwater surroundings. There are declining numbers as these creatures are used in Asian herbal medicines. Bizarrely, for seahorses, leafy and weedy sea dragons and even pipefish — a relative — males are responsible for childbearing. Here are some fun facts and sensational shots of these tiny “sea monsters” that are truly spectacular! [60 Photos]

Lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus

Lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus. Delicate and beautiful seahorses get their name from the ancient Greek hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster.” The genus “Hippocampus” covers the 54 species of marine fish. The lined seahorse is also known as northern seahorse or spotted seahorse. Its length is about 6 inches (15 centimeters) and it can live for up to four years. Photo #1 by Brian Gratwicke

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Gorgeous Glasswing Butterflies (42 Stunning Photos)

March 29th, 2013 Permalink

Nature has better tricks than even Photoshop, as these translucent glasswing butterflies illustrate. [42 Fabulous Photos]

Glasswing butterfly at the glasshouse at RHS Wisley

Not Photoshop, but transparent camouflage occurring in nature in a place other than in the sea. While there are numerous gardens that successfully raise glasswings in captivity such as seen here in the glasshouse at RHS Wisley, when found in nature, the glasswing thrives in central-American, especially Costa-Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela. Photo #1 by Farrukh (Swamibu)

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Jurassic Park? Scientists Want to Resurrect Extinct Animals [30 PICS]

March 28th, 2013 Permalink

Resurrection of extinct species is no longer science fiction, according to National Geographic in an article about de-extinction. If the science is there, should we bring animals back into living, breathing specimens? But even if they can bring these animals back from extinction, should they? Is it playing God, or the utilization of science? With the Jurassic Park movie coming out 20 years later in 3D, our first thought was a what-if they could create it for real? However even if successful, there is still not the science to eventually give into temptation, resurrect dinosaurs and recreate Jurassic Park. Revive & Restore says it is “working with de-extinction scientists worldwide to build a roster of potentially revivable species.” These are the candidates . . . with a few dinosaurs and Jurassic Park movie clips tossed in just because they are cool. [30 Photos, 5 Videos]

Jurassic Park T-Rex Dinosaur, Scientists want resurrect 24 extinct animals but not recreate dinosaurs such as in Jurassic Park

Scientists want resurrect extinct animals and immediately we thought of dinosaurs like in Jurassic Park. But scientists say they do not want recreate dinosaurs such as Jurassic Park T-Rex Dinosaur; the science is not there at this point to make it a reality. They called it ‘de-extinction’ and it was the topic of a TEDx conference in Washington DC sponsored by National Geographic. The scientists met to discuss which animals should be brought back from extinction as well as the why, how and ethics of doing so. Revive and Restore is working with the scientists and have compiled a candidate list of potentially revivable species. Photo #1 by Scott Kinmartin

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Mythical Black Lions to Mystical, Marvelous Lion Hybrids: Ligers, Tigons, Jaglions

March 5th, 2013 Permalink

From mythical black lions, lions made black by mud, to marvelous white lions and mystical lion hybrids, here’s a look at what is myth and what real . . . even if some of these lion hybrids seem like they might not be real like ligers, tigons, jaglion, leopons, and lil-ligers. [49 Photos]

Majestic Black Lion

Mythical majestic black lion is a stunner, but it is manipulating our minds via the power of Photoshop as the designer showed the original lion image from which it was created. Yet there are some real lions and hybrid combinations that seem like they might not be real such as Ligers, Tigons, Jaglion, Leopons, Lil-ligers. . . . even though these lions do exist. Photo #1 by © PAulie-SVK (Paulie Design)

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American Buffalo Traffic Jams: Bison of Yellowstone National Park [55 PICS]

February 28th, 2013 Permalink

Bison (American Buffalo) can weigh up to 2,000 lbs and can sprint or stampede at speeds around 30 – 40 mph. Bison can also jump 6 feet straight up in the air, over fences. They are wild animals in a domesticated setting at Yellowstone National Park, the only free-roaming herds of bison in the United States. There are about 4,000 American Buffalo at Yellowstone and despite the National Park Service warning visitors not to get too close, people get too tempted to capture that awesome photo and instead end up being gored. Yellowstone bison are also famous for ruling the roads, sometimes hip-checking, kicking or charging cars. With males being 2,000 pounds, there’s not much you can do other than wait them out if the bison are blocking the road. This is referred as the bison (or buffalo) traffic jam. Yellowstone National Park is the only place in the U.S. where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Here’s a look at the bison of Yellowstone, buffalo traffic jams, and bison attacking cars and people. [55 Photos, 7 Videos]

Yellowstone bison and calf, 2000 pounds of anger when calf hesitated to cross road in traffic

2,000 pounds of anger. The photographer explained, “A bison with its calf. It is staring right at the camera and not too happy about it. She was a lot more upset when the calf hesitated to cross the road because of the traffic.” Yet that doesn’t stop most bison from crossing the road or taking their half out of the middle. They make the rules and buffalo traffic jams as you will see. Photo #1 by Krishna Santhanam

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Incredible Yellowstone National Park Wildlife [60 PICS]

January 30th, 2013 Permalink

Not only is Yellowstone National Park the place to go for geysers, NPS said, “A mountain wildland, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.” There is such huge animal diversity because of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Regarding the mammals in the park, the 2013 Yellowstone Trip Planner (.pdf) states: “Keep your distance. Federal regulation requires you to stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other wild animals, such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes.” The Yellowstone National Park Service says of the wildlife, “Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. 67 different mammals live here.” These pictures show the diversity and a wide variety of magnificent animals of Yellowstone. [60 Photos]

Wild black bear of Yellowstone National Park

Wild black bear close-up at Yellowstone National Park. The photographer wrote, “This big bear was grazing in the late evening near the road just east of Floating Island Lake. He grazed towards my car then gave me a quick look, so I was able to take this from about 20 yards away.” Yellowstone Park Service explained, “67 different mammals live here, including grizzly bears and black bears.” Photo #1 by Pat Gaines

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