Thursday, May 21, 2009

Barchan Dunes on Mars and Earth

Barchan Dunes are simply well-ordered piles of sand with a characteristic horseshoe-like shape, which can migrate across vast distances and coalesce into flowing ridges. Here are two examples of these dunes - one from southern Mars and one from southern Earth. Can you guess which picture is from where?

Image source: APOD

Image source: Google

See also: Optical Illusion - "Shifting Almonds"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jumping Spider Macro Videos

Impressive videoography of an impressive critter. The first video shows a jumping spider cleaning its feet, fangs, and eyes. The second video shows a jumping spider mating dance. The third is a National Geographic clip of a jumping spider catching a honey bee. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Smooth Newt (Teichmolch)

The Smooth Newt (Teichmolch) can be found in almost any small backyard pond or along the shallow water shores of lakes throughout Europe. I found this dandy of a specimen in the small pond in my wife's parents' backyard in Nordheim-Westfalen, Germany. I first noticed him while he was enticing one of the many female newts in the pond by floating in front of her and vibrating his neon-blue and -orange tail. After about two minutes, she had enough and darted away. At this point I caught him with a net and placed him in a glass container for a few portrait shots. I grabbed one of the females and stuck her in the jar too.

See also: Mandarin Duck - Mandarinente