A giant among the smaller majority

While I can honestly say that there is no animal that I find uninteresting, none is higher on my list of the most amazing animals than the coconut crab (albeit this top place in my ranking is shared by many.) The first thing that you will notice about this crustacean is of course its size…

Against the sun

Right after finding out that you should always take the lens cap off before taking a picture, the second most important lesson in photography that we usually learn is that we should not point the lens against the sun. There is a very good reason for this: the camera’s light metering system will attempt to…

The holotype that walked away

In the final post on the amazing fauna of the Galapagos Islands, I thought I would present another animal that somehow failed to impressed Charles Darwin when he visited the archipelago in 1835. Upon seeing the majestic, peaceful land iguanas (Conolophus), he remarked that they were “ugly animals, of a yellowish orange beneath, and of…

Galapagos: Marine iguanas

When Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835, he was a young, probably still a bit immature man, and thus I can forgive him the unflattering description of one of the most amazing reptiles that has ever lived on our planet, which he included in his diary of the voyage of the Beagle. Marine…

Galapagos: The birds

A recent visit to the Galapagos has fulfilled my life-long dream to see one of the most iconic and beautiful natural history destinations in the world. It was as good as I hoped it would be; it was also an exercise in frustration. The abundance of wildlife I encountered there was astounding, and the fact…

The eventual usefulness of stuff

I admit it, I am a pack rat. Or at least it may appear so to the untrained eye. I hate throwing things away, but empty orange juice bottles can be used to make great flash diffusers; one of the dozens of loose, mismatched screws will eventually prove itself priceless by fixing my tripod head;…