Jan 28
The newly discovered Brookesia micra chameleon is the smallest lizard to ever be described, with the juvenile being small enough to perch on the tip of a matchstick!
This is just one example of a species featured in ARKive’s newly-discovered topic page. Explore the page to find out about other recently described species, how these species were found and why discovering new species is so important.
Brookesia micra photo

Juvenile Brookesia micra perched on a matchstick

A newly discovered species may be a species that is completely new to science, or one which has previously been described but is found to be made up of two or more separate species. With estimates that there could be between 3 million and 100 million organisms existing on Earth, and only around 1.7 million having been classified, the vast majority of life on Earth has not yet been uncovered.

Wattled smoky honeyeater photo

The wattled smoky honeyeater, discovered in 2005, was the first bird to be discovered in New Guinea since 1939

Discovering new species is very important, especially as many undiscovered species could become extinct before they are even identified. Describing and naming species is the first step towards protecting a species, as conservation strategies can then be put in to place.

The recently discovered kipunji is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List

Many of the recently discovered species featured on ARKive have some very unusual names; the psychedelic frogfish, the David Bowie spider, the Louisiana pancake batfish and Mr Burns beaked toad. Check out the profiles of these unusually named species to find out more about them and the reasons behind their quirky names.

The strangely patterned psychedelic frogfish

Why not take a look at our newly-discovered species page today and discover some new species for yourself!

Jemma Pealing, ARKive Media Researcher
Dec 17

Here at ARKive, we are in a truly unique position in that we get to work with the world’s very best wildlife and environmental filmmakers and photographers. At this year’s Wildphotos we had the chance to catch up with a few of our most famous and respected ARKive media donors to learn what inspires them to do what they do and discover the stories behind their awe-inspiring images.

Last time we heard from esteemed photographers Tui De Roy and Patricio Robles Gil. Now discover what (or who) inspired three more of the world’s best wildlife photographers to pick up a camera and start taking photographs of the natural world.

Charlie Hamilton James

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

“I’ve been obsessed with kingfishers since I was a kid. I took up photography as a way of channelling that obsession. I then became very passionate about all forms of image making becoming a cameraman and photographer. Ultimately though it was the idea of spending a life watching animals in incredible places that inspired me.”

See all of Charlie Hamilton James’s images on ARKive.

Mark Hamblin

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) photo

Tawny owl (Strix aluco)

“My passion for wildlife began 35 years ago, when, aged 11 I started birdwatching with my father around our home in Warwickshire. I have been captivated by wildlife and wild places ever since. I first began photographing as a way of recording some of the species I was seeing but this quickly became my main interest after being enthralled by the more intimate experience of watching birds, and later other wildlife, at such close quarters from photographic hides.”

See all of Mark Hamblin’s images on ARKive.

Laurie Campbell

Common otter (Lutra lutra)

Common otter (Lutra lutra)

“Having been fascinated by the natural world from a very young age, it wasn’t until my early teens that I first picked up a camera to document what I had taken the trouble to see whilst out exploring the countryside close to home. This was primarily to share with my family and friends. The thought of making a career out of it came later, but I was very determined.”

See all of Laurie Campbell’s images displayed on ARKive.

Dec 7

Christmas is the season to be jolly but it can also be a season of excess. Here are a few simple tips to help you reduce your Christmas carbon footprint this year, so that you can enjoy a more eco-friendly and sustainable holiday season.

Keep it Real

The unmistakable smell of fresh pine trees always conjures up images of festive cheer. Real Christmas trees are more eco-friendly than artificial ones, providing you take into account where they come from. For example, in Britain many Christmas tree growers are registered with the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, which means their trees are grown according to strict regulations. When it comes to buying your tree, local and organic is generally best. It’s also important to make sure it is a native fir – for the UK this would be a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).

Another tip is to buy trees with roots – that way the tree can be replanted and even reused next year. If this is not possible then try to recycle your tree. Many local councils run Christmas tree recycling schemes – check out ones in your area.

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)

 

Snuggle Up

Before turning up the thermostat try wearing an extra layer, or curling up with a blanket. Keeping the curtains closed also keeps the heat in and saves energy. Take a tip from the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) which tucks its nose under its tail to keep warm.

Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

 

Shop Local, Shop Organic

Buying your Christmas food locally not only saves you time and money, it also helps the environment. Buying locally reduces your carbon footprint and saves on the costs of packaging and transport. An organic turkey will have been reared in more humane conditions and be chemical-free.

Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

 

Natural decor

Instead of artificial Christmas decorations, take a walk in a nearby forest and look for fallen pine cones and sprigs of holly, ivy and evergreen branches. All these natural decorations will biodegrade, so when you’re finished with them pop them on the compost. Not to mention you’ll have all that free storage space that Christmas decorations usually fill! Common holly (Ilex aquifolium) is widespread throughout Britain.

Common holly (Ilex aquifolium)

 

Comfort Shopping

It’s getting cold out there and Christmas traffic can be a nightmare: if you do have to leave the warmth of your home, taking public transport is one way you can be a little bit greener whilst avoiding the jams.

American bison (Bison bison)

 

Eco gifts

Giving gifts at Christmas is a way to bond with loved ones. Buying thoughtful gifts made from recycled materials like rubber and plastic bags shows you are also thinking about the environment. This belted kingfisher (Megaceryl alcyon) knows exactly what gift to give.

Belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

 

Have a very merry eco-friendly Christmas!

Kaz Armour, ARKive Text Author

Dec 5

Here at ARKive, we are in a truly unique position in that we get to work with the world’s very best wildlife and environmental filmmakers and photographers. At this year’s Wildphotos we had the chance to catch up with a few of our most famous and respected ARKive media donors to learn what inspires them to do what they do and discover the stories behind their awe-inspiring images.

Wildlife photographs can take months of planning and extraordinary amounts of patience in order to capture the perfect instant on film. Often working in hostile environments with unpredictable subjects, being a wildlife photographer is no easy life.

Discover what (or who) inspired some of the world’s best wildlife photographers to pick up a camera and start taking photographs of the natural world.

Tui De Roy

Galapagos hawk (Buteo galapagoensis) photo

Galapagos hawk (Buteo galapagoensis)

“Growing up in the Galapagos Islands I was surrounded by fascinating wild animals on a daily basis, many of whom were literally my closest friends. My father was also a keen naturalist and very interested in photography, so by the time I was 12-13 I was borrowing his camera regularly to record animal behaviour that I observed. I sold cured goat skins to save up for an SLR, and when I was 18 had my first article (text and photos) published in Pacific Discovery, the magazine of the California Academy of Sciences, and a cover feature in Audubon magazine the following year.  After that, there was no looking back for me.  Photography became my way of seeing and my way of living, and remains every bit as gratifying today as it was when I saw my first black-and-white images emerge from the processing bath nearly half a century ago. My spiritual home will always be in the wildest of wild places, and my mission to give a voice through imagery to the plight of the world’s multitude of threatened species.”

See all of Tui de Roys images on ARKive.

Patricio Robles Gil

Moose (Alces americanus)

Moose (Alces americanus)

“I’m addicted to wild animal encounters, those precious moments are what keeps me alive in this planet. There is something deep inside that push me to share those experiences, for that purpose the camera helps a great deal.

The camera is a tool that helps me bring home glimpses of wild encounters sow I can share and touch audiences to care for those pristine worlds.”

See over 150 photographs taken by Patricio Robles Gil on ARKive.

Next time: learn who or what inspired photographers Mark Hamblin, Charlie Hamilton James and Laurie Campbell to pick up the camera.

Nov 30

Happy St. Andrews Day! It’s Scotland’s national day, and as we celebrate with shortbread, oatcakes, and clootie dumplings, we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to appreciate some of the greatest wilderness areas in the United Kingdom. From the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders, Scotland is home to some incredible species, many of which are found nowhere else in the UK.

Pine marten (Martes martes)

Pine marten (Martes martes)

One of Scotland’s most elusive species, the pine marten was once persecuted to the edge of extinction in the UK. Although it remains one of our rarest mammals, the pine marten is becoming more widespread in Scotland, and sightings are being investigated in Wales.

Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus)

Male capercaillie displaying photo

These unexpectedly large birds are famed for the male’s spectacular spring display, during which they produce a series of odd calls, including sounds like the popping of corks. Wide-scale forest clearance and hunting caused the capercaillie to become extinct in Britain in the 18th century. Birds from Sweden were reintroduced in the 19th century, and this bird now survives in the Cairngorm region of Scotland.

Mountain hare (Lepus timidus)

Mountain hare in winter coat eating berries

The mountain hare is another mammal native to the Scottish Highlands, and the only species in the Leporidae family (hares and rabbits) native to the UK. Populations have been released elsewhere in the UK, mainly for shooting, and mountain hares can now be found in the Scottish Borders, south-west Scotland, the Peak District and the Isle of Man.

Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)

Ptarmigan female camouflaged on rock

The ptarmigan is possibly Britain’s hardiest bird, living high on Scottish mountainsides in rocky terrain with very little vegetation. The ptarmigan is the only bird in Britain to turn white during winter, enabling this bird to blend in perfectly with a snowy winter’s landscape.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Female Atlantic salmon leaping up waterfall

The Atlantic salmon run is a spectacular sight in Scotland. As the fish head upstream against the current to spawn, they display spectacular feats of strength to leap up waterfalls and many other obstacles. Sadly for this charismatic species, Atlantic salmon numbers are only reasonably healthy in four countries: Norway, Ireland, Iceland and Scotland.

Heather (Calluna vulgaris)

Flowering heather on heathland

With heather dominating Scottish heaths, bogs and moorland, it’s no wonder this resilient shrub is an iconic symbol of Scotland. Heather has been used as fodder, fuel, thatch, bedding for livestock and humans, a packing material, and to make ropes, brooms and even beer.

Unfortunately, a lack of reliable pictures and footage means that the most renowned Scottish species has yet to be profiled on ARKive. We couldn’t write a blog about Scotland’s wildlife without mentioning the Loch Ness Monster though!

Happy St. Andrews Day!

Lauren Pascoe, ARKive Researcher

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