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Animals Nature

Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth

See the universe in the marvelous googly-eyed cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth (Eudocima phalonia), and you’ll never be the same.

Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth

While dazzling as the cosmos, the caterpillar is a serious pest in its moth stage, destroying ripe and riping fruit harvests across Hawaii, Australia, to West Bengal, India.

Here are some more pics of the cosmic caterpillar in its advanced larva stage and its appearance as an adult moth. It does an incredible leaf mimic.

Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth
Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth
Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth
Categories
Animals Nature

The giant crowned flying fox is a human-size bat from the Philippines

Here’s a creature from the Philippines that will stop you in your tracks. The giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) grows as large as 3 feet with a 5-6 feet wingspan.

It is quite simply one of the largest bats in the world.

giant crowned flying fox

You’d think that the megabat the size of a 6-year-old kid would be a threat, but it’s harmless — the animal is vegetarian and primarily munches on fruit. For that reason, it is also known as the golden-capped fruit bat. The bats even help spread seeds as pollinators. 

Unfortunately, the species is endangered and facing extinction due to poaching in the forest.

giant crowned flying fox
giant crowned flying fox
giant crowned flying fox
Categories
Animals Nature

The flamboyant cuttlefish

The cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) is a real master of color change. 

The bioluminescent fish can modify their appearance and shape using flashing LCD-like bands to hypnotize prey before snatching it up. 

That’s right — these fish use their strobing disco lights to psyche-out crabs and small fish!  

Like the octopus, the cuttlefish have pigmented chromatophores in their skin, allowing them to camouflage with their surroundings. 

Learn more about the cuttlefish in the video below. 

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Nature Travel

Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world

With a population of 51,803 people, Coron Island, located in the north of the Palawan Province, Philippines, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful islands.

Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world

With endless shades of tropical blue, beautiful white beaches, lagoons, and stunning ecological features, including shallow-water coral reefs and freshwater lakes, Coron Island does look like paradise.

On a historical note, Japan used the island as a refueling base during World War II. So there’s known to be some shipwreck-diving tours around as well.

Learn more about Coron Island below.

Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world
Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world
Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world
Categories
Nature

Owlflies: The oddball of an insect

Want to see a strange insect? Look no further than Owlflies.

These flying insects look like a mix of butterflies and dragonflies, possessing strange rainbow-mirrorball eyes and knob-like antennas.

An unusual group of insects part of the Ascalaphidae, a family in the order Neuroptera, these colorful creatures also make deadly aerial predators of other flying insects. Their bipartite compound eyes are UV sensitive, allowing them to hunt prey against the bright sky.

They can also blend in with twigs when at rest.

Owlflies: The oddball of an insect
Owlflies: The oddball of an insect
Owlflies: The oddball of an insect
Categories
Animals

The Great Blue Turaco

The beautiful Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) is a bird from West and Central Africa’s tropical forests. 

The birds weigh up to three pounds and grow up to 30 inches long, about a pheasant’s size. 

Great Blue Turaco

While the great blue turaco sings sweet melodies and snacks on fruit, leaves, and flowers, it’s most famous for its mix of vibrant colors. 

With blue running across its head and upper breasts, the bird also flashes a black crest, a teal belly, and a red and tipped beak that gives it the impression of wearing lipstick. It also sports a stunning dark blue mohawk.  

One of the most sought after bird species by birders, the Great Blue Turaco is also widely regarded as a bird that brings good luck. 

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Nature

Crown shyness: Nature’s way of social distancing

Certain tree species in the forest resist touching each other as they grow, a natural phenomenon known as crown shyness.

There is more than one theory of why social distancing amongst the trees occurs.

Scientists suggest that the channel gaps between the treetops occur because of mutual light-sensing among adjacent plants, which increase light reception for the leaves. Preventing overlapping canopies also reduces the spread of disease and wards off leaf-eating harmful insects.

The collaborative effort to avoid touching its neighbor’s foliage ensures the safety and survival of all nearby trees. Talk about respecting one’s personal space!

Crown shyness: Nature’s way of social distancing
Crown shyness: Nature’s way of social distancing
Crown shyness: Nature’s way of social distancing
Categories
Animals Nature

The spectacular rainbow colored Nicobar pigeon

The Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) stands out from the crowd as the extinct Dodo’s closest living relative.

Found in the coastal regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands southeast of the Indian continent to the Solomon Islands and Palau, the Nicobar pigeon fashions the most beautiful metallic green colored plumage.

With low repetitive calls, the Nicobar pigeon is also quieter than your standard urban pigeon. It is also one of the largest pigeon species, stretching 16 inches in length.

Unfortunately, the bird appears near extinction due to the demand for its gizzard stone used in jewelry. Gizzard stones help the bird break down hard foods like seeds and nuts. 

Nicobar pigeon
Nicobar pigeon
Nicobar pigeon
Categories
Animals Nature

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider

Let’s hope this animal doesn’t upset your sleep tonight. Below is a close-up facial expression of the Wolf Spider (Lycosidae).

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Photo: Meidienbunker Produktian (via Twitter/Solbrah)

If you don’t think the energy the creature gives off is weird enough (see the Oni Mask), look more closely at the additional four more little eyes near the mouth.

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Photo: Meidienbunker Produktian

Despite looking like an angry muppet, the wolf spider takes the parenting role seriously.

The mothers carry the kids on their backs until the Spiderlings are old enough to hunt independently.

When spotted at night, the baby spiders look like little sparkly eyes.

Here are some other more zoomed-out images of the Wolf Spider so you can identify it just in case you cross paths.

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Categories
Nature Travel

Colombia is home to the tallest palm tree in the world, the palma de cera

The tallest palm tree in the world resides in the Colombian Andes in Los Nevados National Park, amid the Cocora Valley.

Colombia’s national tree, the palma de cera or wax palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense), stands up to nearly 200 feet tall.

But seeing it is no easy trek — hikers have to walk through a cloud forest that extends six-miles long.

Hosting some of the planet’s most diverse wildlife and surreal landscapes, it’s no wonder that the Cocora Valley reminds people of a scene out of Jurassic Park.

Reaching up into the sky and nearly touching the clouds, the wax palms create a marvelous paradise.