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Is it a leaf? Is it tree bark? No, it’s the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko. Cleverly disguised as a rotting leaf, Madagascar’s camouflage king has red eyes, pointy horns and a taste for night hunting: it’s nature’s most devilish deceiver. (Photo by Thomas Marent/ARDEA)

Is it a leaf? Is it tree bark? No, it’s the Satanic leaf-tailed gecko. Cleverly disguised as a rotting leaf, Madagascar’s camouflage king has red eyes, pointy horns and a taste for night hunting: it’s nature’s most devilish deceiver. The twisted body and veiny skin echo the detail of a dry leaf, which ensures the gecko blends in with its forest home. The mottled tail appears to have sections missing, as though it has withered over time. This mini-monster epitomises survival of the fittest, having adapted gradually to become today’s extraordinary leaf impersonator. (Photo by Thomas Marent/ARDEA)
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20 Nov 2015 08:03:00
Gecko. (Photo by Mickael Leger/Caters News)

Most probably wouldnt think of snakes, spiders and lizards as beautiful animals – but these photographs could change some minds. The images show the reptiles seemingly playful sides, from a gleeful looking Budgetts frog, a cheeky leopard sticking out its tongue at the camera and a stack of four colourful iguanas. Contrasted against a white background and shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 and macro lens, photographer Mickael Leger really made sure they could be seen in all their glory. Here: Gecko. (Photo by Mickael Leger/Caters News)
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22 Apr 2015 09:59:00
European Land-Robot Trial (ELROB), Military robot, teleMAX

The land-robot “teleMAX” of German company telerob stands next to soldiers during a trial at the German army base on May 18, 2010 in Hammelburg, Germany. ELROB provides an overview of the current state of affairs in European unmanned system technology and to evaluate commercial off-the-shelf products for military use. It is to show what is feasible in robotics, to support technological developments in Europe, and to find solutions for the current military challenges. (Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)
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16 Aug 2011 11:47:00
Mossy frog (Theloderma corticale). (Photo by Matthijs Kuijpers/The Guardian)

Renowned amphibian and reptile photographer Matthijs Kuijpers has released his first book, “Cold Instinct”. Kuijpers says the aim of the work is “for the viewer to abandon the fear and negative thoughts that often surround these animals”. What’s left is the bizarre beauty of these creatures in their simplest form – no backgrounds and no distractions. Here: Mossy frog (Theloderma corticale). (Photo by Matthijs Kuijpers/The Guardian)
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10 May 2019 00:03:00
Stick insects. (Photo by Paul Bertner/Caters News)

These tiny insects are so well camouflaged it is nearly impossible to make out their cleverly disguised forms. Canadian photographer and adventurer Paul Bertner attempted to catch the bugs in their natural habitats as part of a hide-and-seek game to show biodiversity in nature. Here: Stick insects. (Photo by Paul Bertner/Caters News)
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02 Apr 2016 09:20:00
A fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is groomed in a pet store in central Beijing. Native to the Sahara in North Africa, the species became a popular pet after being depicted as a character in Disney’s 2016 animated movie Zootopia. Individuals can cost between $2,000–$3,000. (Photo by Sean Gallagher/The Guardian)

A dramatic rise in owning exotic pets in China is fuelling global demand for threatened species. The growing trade in alligators, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and spiders is directly linked to species loss in some of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. Here: A fennec fox (Vulpes zerda) is groomed in a pet store in central Beijing. Native to the Sahara in North Africa, the species became a popular pet after being depicted as a character in Disney’s 2016 animated movie Zootopia. Individuals can cost between $2,000–$3,000. (Photo by Sean Gallagher/The Guardian)
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23 Sep 2017 08:04:00
Volunteers of a Wild Nature Preservation center release a group of owl chicks from the Toro Mountain in Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, 31 July 2019. (Photo by David Arquimbau Sintes/EPA/EFE/Rex Features/Shutterstock)

Volunteers of a Wild Nature Preservation center release a group of owl chicks from the Toro Mountain in Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, 31 July 2019. (Photo by David Arquimbau Sintes/EPA/EFE/Rex Features/Shutterstock)
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04 Aug 2019 00:05:00
The camouflage mappet moth looks like a fall lead in Switzerland. (Photo by Thomas Marent/Caters News/Ardea)

Whether they are the hunter or the hunted, these camouflage animals show natures incredible ability to blend in with its surroundings. Pictured perfectly concealed against their natural environment, the stunning pictures show the amazing lengths some animals will go to to stay out of sight. Here: The camouflage mappet moth looks like a fall lead in Switzerland. (Photo by Thomas Marent/Caters News/Ardea)
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09 Oct 2014 12:58:00