Mar 18

LinkedIn is the social network of choice for professionals. We love discussing the latest in photography, filmmaking and conservation with you on ARKive’s Endangered Species: Photography and Filmmaking group. If you haven’t already joined, then please do today. Or if you don’t know much about LinkedIn, then maybe ARKive’s animals can help make the links for you!


The really cool thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to find past and present colleagues and friends, and reconnect with them. Funnily enough, this isn’t just something we do, lots of other animals reconnect too!

The Laysan albatross permanently lives at sea for the first 8 to 9 years of its life before returning to land for 10 months to breed. Pairs establish lasting bonds and ‘reconnect’ with each other every year when they return to land from a life at sea.

Photo of Laysan albatross colony

Another example of reconnection in nature is shown by the spotted hyaena. This adept hunter will go on long commuter trips away from the communal den, travelling a distance of up to 80 kilometres in order to find food. When the hyaena returns, it performs a greeting ritual with the rest of the clan to get ‘reconnected’.

Two spotted hyaenas greeting each other

Stay connected and keep in touch with colleagues

Much like LinkedIn groups that grow through connections, the staghorn coral, a reef-building species, is incredibly successful at staying connected and outcompeting other coral species in its habitat. The corallites within a colony often resemble ‘antlers’ and can grow together in a coordinated manner, reaching up to 2 metres tall.

Split level view of karst islands and staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis

Power your career by making connections and working with others!

A good example of this in the wild is shown by the grey wolf, whose successful hunting career is only possible by working in a pack. Highly social and intelligent, the grey wolf is an efficient predator, capable of working with other individuals to bring down prey up to ten times the size of an individual wolf!

Mackenzie Valley wolves feeding on moose carcass

The hundreds or maybe even thousands of connections that you might have on LinkedIn still don’t live up to the 2 million connections within an army ant colony. Established colonies move in such large numbers that they can be heard marching along the forest floor.  It just goes to show that the more individuals connected, whether in LinkedIn or in the natural world, the further you can go and the more people you can reach!

Army ant colony foraging for prey

Some army ant workers link together to make ‘ant bridges’ so that the army can flow faster over cracks, holes and even flowing streams. It pays to stay connected in order to get to where you want to be, even in the animal kingdom!

Army ant worker bridging a gap

Get answers from industry experts

The honey bee communicates complex information about the location of food to the rest of its colony by means of a special dance. The discovery of a good foraging location is announced by the ’round dance’ in which the forager circles around rapidly, while the ‘waggle dance’ contains information on the distance and direction of the flowers in relation to the hive. Pretty smart!

Honey bee performing waggle dance

Join a group and be part of a debate!

Much like these European starlings which chatter and sing together near roost sites at dusk. A wide range of chuckles, whistles and knocking sounds are produced, along with imitations of the songs of other birds!

European starlings squabbling on chimmney pot 

So why not take part in our debate and join our LinkedIn group. Here’s some topics that we discuss to give you an idea:

  • Wildlife photography and filmmaking (including tips, ethics, your favourites, latest developments)
  • Wildlife imagery and its effect on conservation 
  • Films or photographs you feel inspire people to protect the natural world 
  • How best to raise awareness about endangered species and biodiversity 
  • Endangered species and environmental education

Go on, join in the conversation… 

Rebecca Sennett, ARKive Media Researcher

Mar 17

Hanging upside down is a challenge for the majority of human beings, mostly problematic due to poor grip, fear of heights and consequential dizziness. The amazing adaptations of many species enable them to use different parts of their bodies to hang for hours at a time, whether hanging out alone, with friends or to feed.

Super strength

The mobile shoulder joints and long arms and fingers of the chimpanzee enable it to move easily through the trees and hang out with other members of their community.

Chimpanzee image

Double digits

The forelimbs of the koala are unusually long when compared with their hindlimbs. The paws are padded and help when gripping and climbing. It also has large claws, except for on the first digit of the hind paw. The first and second digits of the hind paws are opposed like thumbs to help grip branches.

Koala image

Prehensile perfection

The northern muriqui has a long, prehensile tail which acts as an extra limb. This species uses this specialist adaptation to hang from the trees, while using its other limbs to grab food from the surrounding area. That’s what you call multi-tasking!

Northern muriqui image

Feeding frenzy

The Diadem roundleaf bat uses its hanging abilities to scope out prey. The predicatable flight paths of its insect prey means this species can hang out of a tree, and on detecting an insect, drop from its perch at great speed and catch its victim.

Diadem roundleaf bat image

Scaley specialist

Geckos are well-known for their ability to climb almost anything. In the Musandam leaf-toed gecko, the toes have a pair of specialised scales known as ‘scansors’, which are covered in thousands of tiny microscopic hairs, giving the species a remarkable grip and enabling it to hang upside down even on the smoothest surfaces.

Musandam leaf-toed gecko image

Plants can hang out too!

Pitcher plants, such as Nepenthes macfarlanei (left) and Nepenthes lowii (right), have large, pitcher shaped leaves hanging from coiled tendrils. These are filled with concentrated fluid, which is used to digest their insect prey.

Pitcher plant image

Pitcher plant image













Google +

So, to be an expert hanger, you can develop hairy hands, grow an extra (preferably prehensile) limb, make your arms longer, or just practice really hard until you bulk up enough to join the best of the hangers. Alternatively, you could just hang out with your friends on Google +.

Google + is a fairly new kid on the social media block but with over 90 million users, it’s growing fast. On this network, you +1 things you like and share with your friends who are grouped in circles.  We love sharing endangered species photos, videos and facts with our Google circles. You can also create ‘hangouts’ where you can video chat with up to 9 of your friends.  Why not add ARKive to your circle?

What’s the most social species on ARKive?

Join our search to find the most social species on ARKive. Visit the species you think is the most social and press Google +. The species with the most new Google +1s will win the title of the ‘No.1 Social Species’ in the Social Species contest. Who will win? +1 to ensure your favourite is a contender!

Hannah Mulvany, ARKive Species Text Author Intern

Mar 16

ARKive is all about harnessing the power of imagery to shine a spotlight on endangered species. So it’s not surprising that we were attracted to the visual blogging platform known as Tumblr. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tumblr, it’s somewhere between Twitter and WordPress.

Join us on Tumblr for awesome endangered species photos, inspiring quotes, behind-the-scenes office photos (many involving food and animal desk mascots), questions, links to cool wildlife sites and wildlife Wednesdays.

Tumblr can be used to display all sorts of things from images and ideas, to music and videos and is used for all sorts of reasons from the fun and frivolous to serious issues. Animals also use visual displays for a variety of reasons with many being important for survival. Therefore, we thought we should explore the diversity of displays in the animal kingdom and the reveal the reasons behind them.

To attract a mate

Image of male blue bird of paradise displaying

The male blue-bird-of-paradise has an elaborate visual display that makes the most of its brightly coloured feathers to attract the less flamboyant female.

For courtship or bonding

Photo of Japanese cranes

Birds that share parental responsibilities often use a courtship display in order to establish a bond. Some birds such as Japanese cranes mate for life and memorise a dance-like display to re-establish their bond.

To indicate strength

Image of male red deer roaring during rut

Red deer display by roaring and strutting around during the breeding season to indicate their strength to potential mates and rivals.

As a defence

Image of frilled lizard in defensive behaviour

Frilled lizards extend skin around their necks while jumping and hissing to make themselves appear big and dangerous when threatened by predators or competitors.

As a deterrent

Image of monarch butterfly larva

Monarch butterflies and their caterpillars are conspicuously coloured to advertise to predators that they are poisonous.

What’s the most social species on ARKive?

Join our search to find the most social species on ARKive. Share the animal or plant you think is the ‘Most Stylish Species’ on our Tumblr blog. What’s the best natural style this season? Who’s got the grooviest patterns? Who will tumble their way into the lead? Let us know on our Tumblr blog.

Eleanor Sans, ARKive Media Researcher

Mar 15

Whether you’re an occasional status updater, or a *like* button addict, Facebook has something for everyone and with over 800 million users, it’s an ideal place for us to spread the word about endangered species.

Join us in a stroll through the animal kingdom as we discover some of the favourite ways to use Facebook.

A great way to stay in touch with friends

Sanje mangabey image

With so many friends and so little time, it can be hard to keep up to date on all the latest news. A quick check of your Facebook news feed can keep you up to date on all the gossip. These Sanje mangabeys prefer a more hands on approach, grooming one another to maintain social bonds.

A paper free way to say ‘Happy Birthday’

Atlantic forest image

With handy reminders, it’s easier than ever to remember birthdays. And by wishing someone a ‘Happy Facebook Birthday’ instead of sending a card, you can help to save trees too!

Give somebody a poke!

Woodpecker finch image

Not heard from someone for a while? Give them a ‘poke’! While the woodpecker finch may look like it has the perfect tool for this, it is actually more likely to use its twig to push, stab or lever insects and spiders from tree-holes and crevices.

Make an announcement

Bat-eared fox

What better way to announce the arrival of a new bundle of joy to all your friends? And if they’re as cute as this sleepy bat-eared fox cub, who wouldn’t *like* it?!

Organise a gathering

Blue wildebeest

Organising a get together can be a bit of a pain, especially when you have so many friends! Creating a Facebook event is a great way to see who can make that camping trip. The blue wildebeest relies on seasonal cues for its gatherings, with this species forming some of the largest migratory herds of all antelopes. That’s some party!

Show off your holiday snaps!

Grey seal image

Gone are the days of laboriously looking through your friend’s 700 holiday snaps, now you can browse the highlights at your leisure! Grey seal pups like nothing better than lying on the beach until they’ve developed enough blubber to insulate them against the cold northern seas.

A way to let off steam…

Burrowing owl

Had a bad day? Feeling as grumpy as a burrowing owl with no burrow? Facebook can be a great place to let off a bit of steam and hopefully find a sympathetic ear!

Find love

Southern elephant seal

With so many people on Facebook today, there’s bound to be someone out there for everyone! Male southern elephant seals are more direct in their search for a partner, engaging in epic battles to control a harem of females.

What’s the most social species on ARKive?

Join our search to find the most social species on ARKive. Visit the species you think is the most social and press the Facebook *like* button. The species with the most new likes will win the title of ‘Most Liked Species’ in our Social Species Contest. Who will win? *Like* to ensure your favourite is a contender!

Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author

Mar 14

Hosting over 6 billion images, Flickr is one of the most popular places to share photos online. As well as showing off their latest snaps (around 3,000 images are uploaded every minute!), Flickr users can also connect with each other and join online communities.

Want to see your photo on ARKive?

ARKive’s mission is to use the power of wildlife imagery to inspire the global community to discover, value and protect the natural world. That makes Flickr a vital social space for us to connect with the online community of wildlife photographers around the world.

Over 27,000 photos have been added to our Flickr group so far – thanks to everyone who has shared these with us! Did you know that if you add your photo to our Flickr group, it could appear on ARKive? For example, check out these otter photos! Just remember to machine tag your images. We can’t wait to see your photos on ARKive!

We’ve delved into ARKive and found elements of Flickr in the natural world.

Simple circles

A pink and blue circle make up Flickr’s familiar logo; perhaps these two ocean-dwellers were inspiration!

                           Jewel anemone                                                     Southern blue ringed octopus

Photo of a jewel anemone

Photo of a southern blue ringed octopus


We couldn’t have a blog about Flickr without mentioning the northern flicker, a beautiful North American woodpecker. It is a widespread species and can be found in Vancouver, where Flickr was first founded by Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield.

This beautiful photo of a northern flicker was submitted to our ARKive Flickr group and is featured on the ARKive website.

Photo of a northern flicker

Northern flicker photo submitted to the ARKive Flickr group


Each photo on Flickr can be tagged with up to 75 keywords to help organise and search for images which have something in common.

Tagging is an important tool in conservation, enabling us to discover more about the behaviour and ecology of a species. For example, a marine turtle can be satellite tagged to track its migratory routes and feeding areas, as well as recording other useful information such as depth, dive profiles, swim speed and temperature.

 Photo of a female loggerhead turtle with tag


Groups of photos on Flickr can be organised into sets, under the same heading. A single photo can belong to more than one set.

This little badger is busy adding material to its sett!

Badger cub bringing bedding back to sett


If you like to keep things neat and tidy, you’ll be happy to hear that photos in a set can be combined into a collection, and collections can be fuurther organised into higher collections.

The American pika knows a thing or two about making collections. It spends the summer months gathering food and creating haypiles on rocks or in crevices, which it then feeds on during the winter. Cute!

Photo of an American pika collecting food

Sharing is caring

Flickr makes it easy to share photos with everyone, acting as a central hub with the principle ‘upload once, share everywhere’.

Female golden snub-nosed monkeys often share parental duties with other females in their group, even if they are unrelated. Other monkeys in the group will also protect any infants if they are threatened.

Photo of a female Quinling golden snub-nosed monkey passing over newborn

Remember, for a chance to see YOUR photos on ARKive, just submit your images to our Flickr group with the appropriate machine tags.

Rebecca Goatman, ARKive Media Researcher


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