Christian Wappl

On Barren Ground

On Barren Ground

The growth of this Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis) is severely stunted by the barren lava it is growing on. Under more favourable conditions, the species can grow into a sizeable tree.   Image details Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Location: La Palma, Canary Islands Date: November 2018 […]

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Armoured Giant

Armoured Giant

A juvenile Sierra Negra Giant-Tortoise (Chelonoidis guntheri) cautiously peeks out of its shell. This captive-bred individual was released years ago in an effort to repopulate the area surrounding the town of Puerto Villamil with giant tortoises. Image details Camera: Canon EOS 5DS Lens: Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Location: Puerto Villamil, Galápagos Islands Date: Mai 2017 […]

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Bizarre Beak

Bizarre Beak

Herons‘ bills are shaped by the need to catch small, quickly-moving prey. Usually, this results in a typical spear-shaped bill. The boat-billed heron (Cochlearius cochlearius), a nocturnal denizen of neotropical mangrove forests, is the exception. Its broad bill is unique among herons and used to scoop up small fish and shrimp. Image details Camera: Canon […]

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Tiny House

Tiny House

Hermit crabs (with the notable exception of the robber crab) inhabit empty mollusk shells to protect their soft bodies. When in danger, they retreat into these shells. This strawberry hermit crab (Coenobita perlatus) had not upgraded its home after growing. As a result, the shell had become almost comically small and the feisty crustacean could […]

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Mushroom Kingdom

Mushroom Kingdom

The magpie inkcap fungus (Coprinopsis picacea) is an indicator for calcaerous soil and common in beech forests. Once the fruiting body is ripe, a process called autolysis dissolves the lamellae into a black liquid to release the spores. This liquid was used as ink in the past, giving the species its name.   Image details […]

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Pint-sized Fighters

Pint-sized Fighters

  In the highlands of Costa Rica, two fiery-throated hummingbirds (Panterpe insignis) fight for a vantage point. Thanks to man-made feeding stations, these tiny birds have a constant supply of food and spend much of their time squabbling over the best perches.   Image details Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Lens: Canon EF 300mm […]

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El Drago

El Drago

An ancient dragon tree (Dracaena draco) on the island of La Palma, framed against the bright afternoon sky. These impressive, tree-like relatives of the asparagus are named for the blood-red sap they secrete when wounded.   Image details Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Location: La Palma, Canary […]

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Ancestor

Ancestor

Originating from the jungles of Southeast Asia, the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) is the ancestor of our domestic chicken. Thousands of years ago, the Polynesians took domesticated (but still wild-looking) chickens with them on their travels. Some of them escaped, their descendants eventually hybridising with chickens brought by European settlers. Many of the red junglefowl […]

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Empress

Empress

  An Empress cicada (Megapomponia imperatoria) – largest of the cicadas – perches on a tree trunk in the Malaysian montane rainforest. I encountered this individual on the wall of a restaurant in the town of Bukit Fraser. I returned the cicada to its rainforest home and took this photo shortly before it launched itself […]

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Fluffy

Fluffy

  The white tern (Gygis alba) is the only tree-nesting seabird to not build a nest. Instead, the egg is simply laid in a fork or depression on a tree branch. After hatching, the chick will continue to stay in this location, where it is regularly fed by its parents. Image details Camera: Canon EOS […]

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