So as a treat to myself and the house, I've decided to purchase some Cosmos atrosanguineus, otherwise known as the "Chocolate Cosmos" flower. It's a mutant of the original Cosmos found growing in Mexico, but the chocolate variety mysteriously died out and became extinct in the wild - except for one root dating back to 1902. All the flowers are genetically identical clones as they've all grown from this one tuber and don't self-pollinate.
This flower has an extraordinary scent as well; as the name suggests, it smells for all the world like slightly melting chocolate with vanilla high notes. These pretty flowers are going in a plantpot on my windowsill methinks!
I do rather like deceptive things, appearing to be one item and turning out to be completely different - my favourite has to be the Hemeroplanes caterpillar.
When it gets scared, it dangles from its hind legs and inflates the upper half of its body, turning into something that looks disturbingly similar to a young, lethal pit viper sneaking up on you... Not only does it show off with cruel eyes, shiny scales and a perfect shape, it even goes for the potential predator; rearing to strike and pretending it is about to inject its deadly venom. Most enemies, including humans, fall for this rather marvellous bluff despite the fact this caterpillar isn't at all dangerous - he just looks it! (Img: Listverse.com)
Some animals react to danger in completely the opposite way - they vanish with perfect camouflage into the background and slip away unnoticed. This isn't just limited to the insect world either, as many frogs, fish, seahorses and reptiles have taken on this rather nifty jungle decor - my favourite of the reptiles has to be the Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko. This little fella is one step up from Terry (6" long, 13.3g), which means these must be Ninja Gecko - Terry's hard enough to find at the best of times!
There's lots and lots of disguising animals to be seen (or not, as is the case with the Leaf Mimic Frog - it even has mould spots, or the Leaf Fish that for all the world looks just like soggy dead leaves) just here at Conservationreport.
Related Quote of the Day: "Ooh look, I match the pillows today" - HL on discovering his shirt was the nearly the same colour. Ninja-y.