A close-up reveals the backside of a sea star in Indonesian waters. Looking for all the world like an aboriginal painting, the sea star’s patterning is a wonderful work of art. This star boasts a full complement of five arms but it may not always keep them. When grabbed by a predator, the sea star can simply lose a limb and later grow a replacement. In fact, some species can grow a new body from just a single severed limb and a small part of their central disk.
Source: National Geographic
RED BIRD -OF-PARADISE — by request
An Indonesian endemic, the Red Bird-of-paradise is distributed to lowland rainforests of Waigeo and Batanta islands of West Papua. This species shares its home with another bird-of-paradise, the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. Hybridisation between these two species is not recorded but is expected because it is recorded for many other birds of paradise.
Large, up to 13” - 33 cm long, the male has an emerald green face, a pair of elongated black corkscrew-shaped tail wires, dark green feather pompoms above each eye and a train of glossy crimson red plumes with whitish tips at either side of the breast. The male measures up to 28” - 72 cm long, including the ornamental red plumes that require at least six years to fully attain. The female is similar but smaller in size, with a dark brown face and has no ornamental red plumes.
The diet consists mainly of fruits, berries and arthropods.
The M.O. of the bird of Paradise is that the male is colorful and extra-fancy with pom-poms on his cheeks or wild plumage, wiry or extraordinarily long tail feathers, while the female tends to be rather non-descript. The male courtship dances are over-the-top with clicking and flashes of color all to woo a mate…
Tim Laman took this photo, most of the photos below, and in truth most of the Birds of Paradise photos that you’ll see online. His website is gorgeous: http://timlaman.com and includes a gallery devoted to Birds of Paradise as well as his other land and aquatic adventures Tim has taken on his own, for National Geographic and for other clients. Definitely worth taking a look.