tsingy de bemaraha national park, a unesco world heritage site in western madagascar, is home to lemurs who, with thick pads on their hands and feet, navigate this six hundred square kilometer labyrinth of three hundred foot tall razor sharp limestone pillars.
photographer stephen alvarez (previously featured) remarked, “it’s an unbelievable experience to watch them [as] they jump like acrobats from the sharp pinnacles” — a feat made more remarkable given the vast chasm bellow.
in the malagasy language, tsingy means “where one cannot walk barefoot,” and alvarez noted that that given the difficulty of the terrain, it takes an entire day to walk half a mile.
nearly impenetrable, the area is described as a refuge within paradise. lemurs, like ninety percent of the species in madagascar, are endemic to the island, and thanks to the isolation of the refuge have evolved into tsingy’s eleven distinct species, including the decken’s sifaka seen here.
the great bear rainforest in british columbia is one of the largest coastal temperate rain forests in the world, with twenty five thousand square miles of mist shrouded fjords and densely forested islands that are home to black bears with white fur.
neither albino nor polar bear, these rare black bears (there are fewer than five hundred) are known as kermode bears, or what the gitga’at first nation call mooksgm’ol, the spirit bear — a word no first nations person spoke of to european fur traders lest they be discovered and hunted. to this day, it remains taboo to hunt a spirit bear, or to mention them to outsiders.
the white fur in these bears is triggered by a recessive mutation of the same gene associated with red hair and fair skin in humans. though it remains unclear as to how the trait arose (or disappeared), it is especially pronounced on certain islands, and is known to confer a day time fishing advantage over the black furred bears (consider the first photo).
Photographer Bobby-Jo Clow found herself face-to-face with a cheetah cub who approached her Landrover while on safari at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. She documented the curious cat’s looks of wonder and trepidation at the vehicle and its passengers.
Amazonian Leaf-footed Bug (Dicator bilenatus)
…A species of leaf-footed bug that occurs throughout South America, parts of Central America, and some Caribbean Islands. Like all coreids D. bilenatus is a herbivore and likely feeds on a wide variety of plant species. When threatened it probably is able to release a unpleasant odor to deter potential predators, like other coreids.