The Gouldian finch are small, brightly colored birds with green backs, yellow bellies, and purple breasts with a light blue uppertail and a cream undertail. Sometimes called lady gouldians, their facial color can vary, but black is the most common. Gouldian finch chicks are equipped with blue phosphorescent beads along their mouths, making it easy for the parents to feed them in the darkness of the nest cavity.
Photo credit: Greg Grall/National Aquarium
Check out the awesomely long tails on these roosters! These regal specimens are Onagadori or “Long-tailed” chickens. They’re a breed of chicken from the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan who evolved from common domestic chickens who mated with Green Junglefowl. Also known as the ‘most honorable fowl’ in Japan, they’ve been carefully bred over the centuries to achieve their spectacular tails, which grow to lengths of 12 to 27 feet. It takes these chickens at least three years to molt. Onagadori breeders take tremendous pride in their chickens and provide special hutches with perches well above the ground, which helps keep their tails clean and in good condition.
If Rapunzel had been a chicken, she probably would’ve looked a lot like one of these awesome birds. These extraordinarily fancy fowl have Special Natural Monument status in Japan, which means they’re considered to be living monuments of Japanese culture and, as a protected breed, it’s illegal to take their eggs out of the country.
During the early 20th century residents of Fort Bragg, California chose to dispose of their waste by hurling it off the cliffs above a beach. No object was too toxic or too large as household appliances, automobiles, and all matter of trash were tossed into the crashing waves below, eventually earning it the name The Dumps. In 1967 the North Coast Water Quality Board closed the area completely and initiated a series of cleanups to slowly reverse decades of pollution and environmental damage. But there was one thing too costly (or perhaps impossible) to tackle: the millions of tiny glass shards churning in the surf. Over time the unrelenting ocean waves have, in a sense, cleansed the beach, turning the sand into a sparkling, multicolored bed of smooth glass stones now known as Glass Beach. The beach is now an unofficial tourist attraction and the California State Park System has gone so far as purchasing the property and incorporating it into surrounding MacKerricher State Park. (images courtesy digggs, matthew high, meganpru, lee rentz)
Harvard University Herbarium, Botany Libraries
: having a pleasing and usually youthful appearance
The Endz (Mangchi Hammer). Ink and Digital, 9 x 12”, 2014.
Baby Pygmy Seahorses Are Even Cuter Than You Think
“For the past three weeks, Richard Ross has been spending his mornings next to a small tank in a back room at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. He leans in close. Not only is the room dark, but the fish inside this tank are masters of hiding in plain sight. They are Bargibant’s pygmy sea horses, and their orange, studded bodies twitch and sway just like the piece of coral they’ve wrapped their tiny, tiny tails around.
They are some of the first pygmy sea horses to ever see the inside of an aquarium, and Ross is one of the first biologists to watch their daily pair bonding in a controlled environment.”
"Hey, this is basically fish-shaped, right?"
"Um… I guess so? What’s with the horns?"
"I’m going for kind of a surrealist thing."
"Hm. I don’t know, evolution. It looks weird."
"That’s sort of the point."
"I don’t think anyone’s going to get it."
"Look, if people don’t ‘get’ the longhorn cowfish, so be it. All truly great art is misunderstood, right?"
"Just keep telling yourself that."