Yellow-spotted agama (Trapelus flavimaculatus), likely a male, sits on top of a rock outcropping at mid-day, apparently untroubled by the 44°C heat.
Taken today, May 20 2012
Plastic crocodile squeaky toy, found in a hollow full of sphagnum moss at the base of a stump in Camosun Bog, Vancouver. People are typically restricted to the raised wooden walkway around the perimeter of the bog and not allowed to enter unless doing research, as I was: clearly the child whose croc this was found a way around that.
An adult male dragonfly of the species Anax ephippiger, discovered resting in the bottom of an old plastic flowerpot. Gender in this species is easily identified – males have the distinctive panel of sky blue behind the wings; the same panel in females and immature individuals is a dull brownish purple. The common name of this species is one of my absolute favourites ever – it goes by the title of the ‘Vagrant Emperor.’
Taken in February of 2011
A male Yellow-spotted agama (Trapelus flavimaculatus) in full defensive display. These lizards are normally a dull brown and olive green colour, mottled in yellow and white. When cornered, or, it is thought, to display to a female, their skin turns to vividest blue, their normally pale yellow tails glow bright orange, their dewlaps unfurl and they open their mouths wide to display the bright scarlet-orange insides. This one was sunbathing by the side of a desert road and found himself cornered when he ran the wrong way to get away from me and found himself up against a heap of metal and plastic construction debris. Cue display!
Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) discovered in distress on a private beach in Abu Dhabi. Loggerheads, as their name implies, have massive, even disproportionate battering-ram heads that allow them to be readily identified. This one was barely responsive by the time she was brought to us, in the back of a 4×4 that even with seats down only barely accommodated her 1.4 metre-long bulk. She is currently under medical observation: condition unknown, but still alive…just.
Dead hawksbill sea turtle hatchling, about 5-10 hours old. Out of a nest of 100-120 eggs buried in a nest under 60cm of sand, up to 70% or so will hatch; of those, several inevitably die in the nest, too weak or malformed to dig their way out like the others. This was one of 5 dead hatchlings unearthed while excavating a translocated nest to evaluate hatching success.
Taken in July of 2010 at Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates