An amethyst in bird-form, meet the Costa’s Hummingbird. A desert hummingbird, Costa’s Hummingbird breeds in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of California and Arizona.

(via rhamphotheca)




This GIF shows how the toucan releases heat using its beak to cool itself off.

The toucan beak isn’t just beautiful, it’s also an adjustable thermal radiator that the bird uses to warm and cool itself. When the bird is hot, the blood vessels in their beak open up to allow more circulation to enable heat to escape. Birds can’t sweat so they have to come up with some life hacks to get the job done. [video]

This is absolutely fascinating. It seems so obvious that the beak would be a good way to radiate heat out, but I’d never even thought of that.

That is awesome!

(via drownedwednesday)


Western Grey Plantain-eater - Crinifer piscator

The Western Grey Plantain - eater, scientifically named Crinifer piscator (Cuculiformes - Musophagidae), is a West African species whose call is one of the most familiar of this area.

Like all turacos, this one is strongly territorial. They can be seen in family groups for long time. The group may travel large distances to find abundant food source such as a particularly favoured fruiting tree. 

They are monogamous with strong pair-bonds. These birds display effusive greetings bowing their heads and spread their tail fan. Rituals also include mutual exchange of food and loud calls when they perch in the treetops.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Isidro Vila Verde | Locality: Abuko Reserve, Sara Job Kunda, Western, The Gambia (2007)

(via rhamphotheca)




Meet the World’s Smallest Rabbit.

Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits are the world’s smallest and among the rarest. 

Miniature bunnies with iridescent ears. Happiness, embodied as a tiny ball of fluff and cute.


(via mylifeasaprevetstudent)


Cuddling in winter

(via mylifeasaprevetstudent)

Uni starts tomorrow! Scary stuff. It’s weird to think that in a few months I’ll have a degree (pending passing my subjects, of course). This will also be my hardest semester to date, as I need a 90+ average to have any chance of getting into postgrad. It’s definitely doable, since I know I have never put in 100% before (procrastinator + type a = bad combination), but the highest I have ever scored in a subject is 89, so we’ll see. 

My parents still don’t fully know what I’m studying. I don’t blame them, it’s a mouthful - Bachelor of Science, majoring in Cell and Developmental Biology, with a specialisation in animal cell biology. Though I’m debating changing my specialisation to reproduction and development… but it depends if I like the subjects (taking repro phys and dev bio this semester). 

I’m going to try to absolutely demolish my subjects this semester. It’s on.


Amazonian royal flycatchers are typically drab-looking brown birds. During courtship, however, both sexes display a brightly colored crest that is normally hidden from view. It is rare among birds for both males (red) and females (yellow) to have such colorful markings.

Image credit: Andrew Snyder

(via hopefulveterinarian)