Piles of fluffy snow probably bring to mind images of polar bears, but many different creatures enjoy playing around in the snow as well. We’ve put together a gallery of adorable animals frolicking in the flurries — including reindeer! Luckily some of these animals have their own personal fur coat to keep them warm.
While werewolves are the stuff of folklore, the light and the gravitational pull of the Moon do have real effects on the behaviour and physiology of a host of earthbound organisms — including, perhaps, people. Moonlight can also change animal behaviour. Many marine organisms move up and down in the sea depending on the level of moonlight in order to keep their light levels constant. On land, some nocturnal animals come out on a well-lit night to hunt , others stay hidden to avoid predators.
Dust bath (also sand bath) is the act of an animal grooming and most likely cleansing its skin or fur from parasites by rolling or moving around within dust or sand. Many animals like to roll in sand or dirt to keep the flies and insects away from them and also to help dry off after exercise or being wet. A sand roll, which is a stall or yard covered with deep sand, is traditionally included as part of stable complexes, for use by racehorses after exercise. Dust baths are a necessity for some animals and serve to clean the feathers, skin, or fur similar to the more common bathing in water, or wallowing in mud. Birds cower close to the ground while taking a dust bath and wiggle their bodies. This will disperse loose soil in the air. The birds spread one or both wings. The dust bath is often followed by thorough shaking to ruffle the feathers or preening.
Just because tigers, monkeys, and birds don’t roll out of bed, jump in the shower, and turn on the tap, doesn’t mean they don’t have serious and involved ways to get clean. Bathing has been a central ritual of human civilizations for nearly all of recorded history but many animals, too, need to bathe to maintain hygiene and body temperature. Several species of birds and mammals exhibit the behavior but—while functionally very similar—animal bathing often takes a radically different form. Perhaps the most commonly witnessed animal bathing are birds.
Black swans were first seen by Europeans in 1697, when Willem de Vlamingh’s expedition explored the Swan River, Western Australia.The black swan was described scientifically by English naturalist John Latham in1790. It was formerly placed into a monotypic genus, Chenopis. The common name ‘Swan’ is a gender neutral term, but ‘cob’ for a male and ‘pen’ for a female are also used, as is ‘cygnet’ for the young.Collective nouns include a ‘bank’ (on the ground) and a ‘wedge’ (in flight). Black Swans can be found singly, or in loose companies numbering into the hundreds or even thousands.
Swans are primarily black feathered birds, with white flight feathers. The bill is bright red, with a pale bar and tip; and legs and feet are greyish-black. Cobs (males) are slightly larger than pens (females), with a longer and straighter bill. Cygnets (immature birds) are a greyish-brown with pale-edged feathers. A mature Black Swan measures between 110 and 142 cm (43-56 in) in length and weighs 3.7–9 kg (8.1-20 lbs). Its wing span is between 1.6 and 2 metres (5.3-6.5 ft).The neck is long (relatively the longest neck among the swans) and curved in an “S”. The Black Swan utters a musical and far reaching bugle-like sound, called either on the water or in flight, as well as a range of softer crooning notes. It can also whistle, especially when disturbed while breeding and nesting. The Black Swan is unlike any other Australian bird, although in poor light and at long range it may be confused with a Magpie Goose in flight. However, the black swan can be distinguished by its much longer neck and slower wing beat.
Nature has a way of watching out for animals in the wild. They undergo a series of changes to endure colder weather and to be able to go without food for longer periods of time. Have you watched the animal changes during autumn months? What changes do the animals in the wild go through?
For humans, fall means back to school, it’s time to break out the warmer coats and get adjusted to the idea that it’s almost winter again. We winterize our homes, put away summer clothing and get out the winter gear, prepare our cars, and hope the weatherman is correct that it will be fairly warm for a few more days at least. Have you noticed your dog or cat is getting longer fur? Is it thicker?
Nature takes care of animals by giving them a built in weather gauge. They instinctively know when winters will be very long and cold or when a storm is coming up. If the winter is to be a long cold one, they will grow longer, thicker hair. Birds instinctively migrate to warmer climates where food will be readily available.
Trees begin to lose their leaves, to go into their winter hibernation. Bears and animals that hibernate find their winter caves and tunnels to snuggle down for the winter months. Mushrooms go into full bloom mode to spread their seed for the following year, as do the trees and flowers. With this much commotion in nature, we can detect colder months ahead as well.
Animals are known for being, among other things, incredibly stealthy. Like little furry ninjas, they can sneak up on you without a sound and pounce before you even know what’s happening. To be able to move silently through the land whilst watching the animals in their natural environment is an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Habitat loss is threatening the survival of wildlife worldwide. Natural environments are being destroyed and fragmented by human activity, wiping out species’ food sources, dispersing populations and leaving animals around the world literally homeless or displaced. These images of wild animals placed within an urban setting aim to provide a shocking reminder that wildlife is losing its habitat at an alarming rate.
Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause.There are many aspects to loyalty. Animals as pets have a large sense of loyalty to humans which may be more human-to-human loyalty. Famous cases include Greyfriars Bobby who attended his master’s grave for fourteen years; Hachiko, who returned to the place he used to meet his master every day for nine years after his death;and Foxie, the spaniel belonging to Charles Gough, who stayed by her dead master’s side for three months on Helvellyn in the Lake District in 1805 (the fact that Gough’s body was eaten by his dog was ignored in subsequent Romantic accounts of the story).
In the Mahabharata, the righteous King Yudhisthira, at the end of his life, appeared at the gates of Heaven. He had previously lost his brothers and his wife to death, and when he appeared at the gates his only remaining companion was a stray dog he had picked up along the way. The god Indra is prepared to admit him to Heaven, but refuses to admit the dog. Yudhistira refuses to abandon the dog, and prepares to turn away from the gates of Heaven. Then the dog is revealed to be the manifestation of Dharma, the god of righteousness and justice, and who turned out to be his deified self. Yudhistira enters heaven in the company of his dog, the god of righteousness. Yudhistira is known by the epithet Dharmaputra, the lord of righteous duty.
These photos speak much louder than words can, & need none to say what they want to convey.
Beauty of light gives you access to the most arresting photos from the nature and huge animals archives. From Tibet to Tanzania, from hissing horses to quivering zebras, beauty of light opens a brilliant window onto work and the astonishing nature that animals encounter every day. These beautiful nature photos illustrate just a small sampling of the natural light conditions that occur on our planet.