Just about everyone likes to feel pretty sometimes, even this South American caiman and its impressively sassy side-eye. Photographer Mark Cowan, traveling the Amazon studying reptile and amphibian diversity, spotted this pretty caiman on the riverbank whose head was covered in lovely butterflies.
“The phenomenon itself isn’t particularly unusual, salt is critical to the survival of many creatures like butterflies and bees who sometimes drink tears from reptiles in regions where the mineral is scarce (we’ve seen the same thing happen with turtles). What made this sight so unusual was seeing the butterflies organize themselves into three different species groups atop the caiman’s head.”
The 2015 winners included a rodent caught in a rush, an elk that appears to be hiding under some fern, and a gorilla picking its nose - though I personally might argue that the winners were not necessarily the funniest…
WINNER – 2015 “Rush Hour” by Julian Rad
SILVER Runner-up “You haven’t seen me…” by Liam Richardson
Ghost? 👻 No, it’s a spotted skunk doing a handstand at Saguaro National Park in Arizona.
You never know what you are going to see at America’s public lands. This strange interaction was captured by Saguaro’s wildlife camera in Happy Valley. Like the other three groups of skunks, spotted skunks are capable of spraying a strong unpleasant scent as a form of defense. But before spraying, spotted skunks will sometimes go into a handstand and attempt to intimidate any would be aggressors like this skunk is doing with the wildlife camera. Video by National Park Service.