Jan 13

Welcome to the first instalment of ‘ARKive’s Six Degrees of Separation’ for 2011. Hopefully you’re all feeling suitably rested and relaxed from your holidays and are ready for a challenge with a bit of twist!

But first, let’s get the formalities out of the way. The winning trophy (if I had one to give away) for successfully navigating from the graceful manta ray to the comedic secretary bird in the last instalment goes to…….Dovie E!  Well done!

Although I was also impressed with the way Ben managed to work Spiderman and a jam sandwich into his solution! I have failed to include any superheroes or wheat-based snacks in my solution…

Manta ray

Manta ray photo

Manta rays feed on plankton and so do the weird but wonderful peacock worms. Yummy.

Peacock worm

Peacock worm photo

Ok ok so it’s a pretty obvious link, but the peacock worm is named after the…


Indian peafowl photo

Just as the peacock is renowned for its beautiful feathers, the extravagant plumes of birds of paradise are highly prized and often used in dresses and rituals in Papua New Guinea.

Raggiana bird of paradise

Raggiana bird of paradise photo

Whilst male Raggiana birds of paradise impress the ladies with their ornate feathers, male hooded seals have opted for a slightly less attractive option – a large pink membranous balloon…

Hooded seal

Hooded seal photo

Hooded seals are migratory and follow the movement of pack-ice. What does everyone think of when they hear the word migration? Wildebeests!

Blue wildebeest

Blue wildebeest photo

As “herds of wildebeest sweep majestically across the plains”, they may well bump into the odd…


Secretarybird photo

Now for the next challenge, and this time around I thought I’d change the rules a bit. Social networking now means that most of us are connected by only three degrees of separation, according to recent research. So, to make things a bit harder I challenge you all to get from the coconut crab to the Galapagos marine iguana in just three steps. I’ve chosen nice ‘beachy’ species as I thought everyone could do with a dose of sun, sea and sand to combat those January blues.

I’m sure you all know the drill by now, but just to make sure – post your chains as comments on this blog and I’ll get back to you with a winner next time.

Ready, set, go!

Bonnie Metherell, ARKive Media Researcher

  • Catherine Hayward (January 14th, 2011 at 6:30 pm):

    Well this is probably be a bit laim, but here is my attempt!

    The Coconut crab has evolved large pincers for cracking open coconuts….which is like the evolution of the Ground Finch with its large beak for cracking seeds and nuts, who of course were studied by Charles Darwin on the Galapagos Islands which is where the Galapogas Marine Iguana Lives!