Image: Dr. Lalith Ekanayake// Jaws of Death: A brief drizzle provided respite to the floundering #fish in a rapidly-drying waterhole in Kirinda, #SriLanka. The relief though was short lived for one particular fish that found itself in the jaws of a young #crocodile Crocodylus palustris. Lalith Ekanayake had mounted his remote-controlled #camera on a tripod, and was monitoring the scene for several days, waiting for the perfect natural history moment. The streaks of #water that slant across the frame, the clearly visible diaphanous #fins of the fish, the texture of the crocodile's #scales, the young #reptile 's intent gaze, and the overall wet gleam of the image win you over!
Image: Bhavik Thaker // The papery, ovoid structures emerging out of the #gastropod’s body are #egg cases being laid by a large sea #snail, the spiral #melongena or the crown conch. The near-perfectly laid egg cases are placed almost as if the #mollusc possesses a keen inherent knowledge of architecture. Tens of individual eggs develop inside a single egg case and the nutrient-rich liquid contained in the case nourishes the developing embryos. This snail is a common mollusc seen on the muddy-sandy #shores of the eastern Indian Ocean and off southern India, and the Pacific Ocean around the Philippines, Vietnam and off Australia.
Image: Sabari Janaki//
Sky Ninja: In the Chinnar #Wildlife Sanctuary, #Kerala, an Indian giant flying #squirrel sweeps across a cobalt sky powdered with altocumlus clouds. Limbs hyper-extended, its #wing membrane stretches thin and translucent, making its blood vessels visible upon zooming in! A particularly resilient #species, it is an occupant of #tree canopies, and roosts in hollows, which it makes cozy with bits of bark, tufts of fur, carpets of moss and soft leaves. Nocturnal by nature, it’s rare to see one in action in the day time. Thus this glorious glider, was caught boasting its evolutionary advantage by Sabari Janaki on a sunny June afternoon.
Finally, the wall comes down! In a much delayed, but a certain reprieve for the #elephants in the Deopahar Proposed Reserve Forest, part of the #Kaziranga Landscape in #Assam, this menacing wall that blocked their traditional migratory route is being brought down bit by bit. #SanctuaryAsia first covered this disturbing story three years ago when Environmentalist and RTI Activist Rohit Choudhury, brought it to our notice (link in bio). @rohit.choudhury.106 filed a case against the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. who in violation of wildlife laws went on to encroach and build a golf course and this 2.2 km. long wall in the No Development Zone. The wall has caused the elephants quite a lot of distress and had claimed the life of a young male elephant, which reports show died of severe hemorrhage due to injuries sustained on the head as it banged its head against the wall. People the world over outraged and petitions and campaigns followed. Despite the National Green Tribunal having given the orders for the wall to be torn down two years ago, this did not happen. But today, thanks to the perseverance of Choudhury and the Forest Department, and National Green Tribunal's ruling, the process of tearing down this wall has finally begun. Round 1 to the elephants!
Hermit crabs are crustaceans (Phylum Arthropoda) which, unlike the rest of the crustaceans,have a soft abdomen and no protective covering. They carry their homes around; they scavenge shells discarded by gastropods and as they grow too big for the one they have, they change it for another. Sometimes (and sadly), you'll find hermit crabs using small pieces of a plastic tube or pieces of garbage left behind by people instead of shells. And sometimes (and interestingly), they also use hollow pieces of small stones or softer wood for the same! Another interesting fact: hermit crabs are actually very distant relatives of cockroaches, and both belong to the same phylum. But related or not, even the ability to fly can't help cockroaches excel at livin' the hermit life in the sea.
ID: Hermit crab
Size: Shell - 2CM
Image: Vipul Ramanuj // The hard to spot, expert camouflager , the Laungwala toad-headed #agama applies a special type of #camouflage called #crypsis or #cryptic colouration, in which it's behaviour and choice of background play key roles. The agama is capable of quite magically burying itself in loose #desert#sand with just a few bodily jerks.
Image: Paramanand Chikane // "Most of the #electricity being transmitted through these power lines currently comes from fossil fuels. And our #fossilfuel hunger is literally obliterating the very #forests that feed #India with water and our farmlands with soil fertility. What is more, transmission lines cutting through the #biodiverse forests end up killing Gardeners of Eden, such as this #gaur, the largest wild #ox in the world and the #elephant, the largest land animal in the world. Do we really want to overwrite time-tested infrastructures of survival such as our forests with ephemeral infrastructures of commerce? Playing itself out on this page is probably the ultimate power game! A game we are destined to lose," writes @bittusahgal, Editor-Founder, Sanctuary Asia.
Image: Jorel Cuomo// Though we share 97 per cent of our DNA with the imperiled #species, we are nowhere like them. Today, #orangutans have only #humans to blame for having just a decade left on this planet. Purva Variyar (@purvavariyar) enumerates how the palm oil industry, man’s apathetic attitude towards Indonesia's #rainforests and orangutans own biology is spelling doom for the #Bornean and #Sumatran orangutans. (Link in bio). She writes, "Let us understand how most of us are inadvertently playing a major role in the massacre of the orangutans. In two words – Palm oil. #Palmoil, you should know, has become increasingly pervasive in our lives through the thousands of manufactured consumer products that it is an ingredient of , most used on a daily basis by us such as food products, cosmetics, detergents, fuel, etc. You wouldn’t even realize that these products contained #palmoil even if you checked the given list of ingredients, as most companies, use alias terms such as ‘vegetable oils and fats’ or complex chemical terms such as ‘steareth 2’ or ‘Glyceryl Stearate’ among several other scientific names, possibly to withhold the fact about the presence of the controversial palm oil. Giant conglomerates like Pepsico, Kelloggs and Unilever to name a few are guilty of exacerbating the produce and demand of palm oil by using them in their products. In just a little more than two decades Indonesia has lost millions of acres of forests, more than the total land area of the United Kingdom!" To read more, visit the link in bio.