Features

Ant-throporphism

A golden queen searches for a place to start a brood

Ants! Apart from the poorly executed pun in the title this post is about that fun little effect known as anthropomorphism, and its application to ants. 

So what is anthropomorphism? It is the effect best described as the application of human like traits to non human things. Have you ever thought an animal was smiling at you, or an object looked sad, that in essence is the core of anthropomorphism. While its important to not the psychology and its wide ranging effects are much deeper and detialed than what I've touched upon, you have at least gotten the gist of it.  

So why ants? After all insects are hardly everyone's favourite things, but this differs for ants. Ants for a long time have captured the hearts of many Macro Photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. But why? My thoughts on this stem from the application of anthropomorphism. How many kids movies have there been about ants, there's even superheroes who take up the name. 

So why are we drawn to ants? Is it because like us they build vast cities and live complex lives within a larger community? Is it because they are likened to a hard working person at many companies, or their teamwork? What ever the reason it's not hard to see why we apply human traits to ants, with so many similarities between humans and ants we easily see them as microcosms of human society.

what are your thoughts on how we apply human traits to ants? 

Tell me in the questions below. 

The Giant Cuttlefish

A Giant Cuttlefish

If you have been following my Instagram for any amount of time, you may have stumbled upon my enthusiasm for cephalopods. Cuttlefish being among this family of animals, along with squid and octopus. 

The Giant Cuttlefish is a common sight in South-Western Australian dive sites, growing to, you guessed it, giant proportions (atleast for cuttlefish). This species like others of its family have mastered thier camouflage abilities to the extent of even communicating via patterns, colours, and textures displayed on thier highly adaptable skin. 

To top off thier amazing camouflage abilities cuttlefish and other cephalopods are known to be some of the smartest animals in the oceans. They not only possess incredibly complex brains, but are capable of deep behaviours and problem solving that dwarfs many of our vertebrate friends.

They can even simulate lights!

The diet of cuttlefish generally consists of small fish and invertebrates that are unlucky enough to not notice thier stealthy approach. When a prey item is found, the cuttlefish uses a pair of feeding tentacles they project at the target at lightning speed. Some species are even know to flash colours quickly to lure and mesmerise thier prey. 

Because of these complex behaviours, amazing camouflage and predatory nature, its no wonder why I am always so excited to encounter these aliens from the deep. but how about yourself? what animal or subject excites you to photograph or see no matter how many times you see it.

October 15, 2016

The Sound of Spring

The last period of Western Australias weather has been interesting to say the least. However after having a couple warm days I thought I would go and hunt some macro subjects. Success! My first Cicada of the season and with its familiar chirps heralding the warm seasons (30-45°C) I can finally shed some of this winter gear! But in honour of this lucky find, I will write this blog's first post about this chirpy species.

Cicadoidea

Cicadas are a noisey insect, perhaps the noisiest, often being considered the sound of spring and summer. In Australia there are more than 200 species identified with some ranging in sizes of a couple centimetres to almost 17cm(6.5 inches!). While there are a large amount of species currently alive and kicking, many share some common traits. The humble cicada spends the largest part of its life in a wingless larval stage in which they burrow and live underground for upto 17 years only then to surface, moult and fly off to eat, mate and die in a relatively short time.

During thier time searching for a mate, members of this insect family commonly feed on plant sap, congregating on the leaves and trunks of trees, and using a strong needle like mouth-piece to pierce the tough outer layer of the plant. Due to the large amount of sap some species can consume there has been reports of plant growth being affected. Despite this mouth piece, cicada don't bite, however thier claws are prickly to the touch and stronger than expected.

The sound of cicadas are well known, thier familiar chirp being commonplace in the warmer months accross Australia, however it is interesting to note that some species have a call/chirp as loud as a chainsaw or thunderclap, measuring at 120 decibels. Yep you read that right an insect has the noise capacity to force you to wear ear-plugs because it is physically painful, while this isnt commonplace it really places into perspective how much we underestimate a family of insects we often over look.

Next time you go for a bush walk or hike, take a moment to stop and listen to the summer chirps of native cicadas, and marvel at the fact that those songs were years in the making.