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