Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and "Time Is Irreverent."

Posts in category Little-Known Facts

Animals A to Z. The Letter Z

Animals A to Z. The Letter Z

Marty’s photo of the day #2637: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order. Z is for Zebra. When I present my show “Around the World in 90 Minutes” at colleges, the last animal photo I show is this one. I […]

Animals A to Z. The Letter W

Animals A to Z. The Letter W

Marty’s photo of the day #2634: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order. W is for Wallaby. Wallabies are small-to-medium sized kangaroos—members of the Macropodidae family. The wallaby in this photo is Herbie, an adolescent agile wallaby who had lost […]

Animals A to Z. The Letter V

Animals A to Z. The Letter V

Marty’s photo of the day #2633: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order. V is for Vampire Bat. Vampire bats are often exterminated when humans move into their territory. The bats are holding their own, for now, but they’re a […]

Animals A to Z. The Letter R

Animals A to Z. The Letter R

Marty’s photo of the day #2629: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order. R is for Rhinoceros Beetle. At only three inches long, the rhinoceros beetle is considered by some to be the world’s strongest animal. Tests have shown it […]

Animals A to Z. The Letter P

Animals A to Z. The Letter P

Marty’s photo of the day #2627: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order. P is for Painted Dogs. I photographed this pack of painted dogs in Zimbabwe. Big eared, long legged, and gangly, each dog has a unique coat pattern. […]

Animals A to Z. The Letter E

Animals A to Z. The Letter E

Marty’s photo of the day #2616: It’s “Animals A thru Z Month.” Each day in August, I will post an animal I’ve photographed—somewhere in the world—in alphabetical order. E is for Elephant. Did you know that elephants can’t climb? I was in Zimbabwe, standing atop a high riverbank, when a herd of elephants passed below […]

Castillo de Albuquerque

Castillo de Albuquerque

Marty’s photo of the day #2586: I’m pulling a paragraph from my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, to give you information on this Spanish castle: Twenty minutes into our drive, we rounded a corner and came upon a classic crusader-era castle. Perched alone on a hill, it had a circular […]

Bush snakes, boomslangs, and cobras

Bush snakes, boomslangs, and cobras

Marty’s photo of the day #2539: This excerpt from my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, explains today’s picture:   I was looking forward to a nap until Ashley, the camp manager, mentioned over lunch that she had recently seen both a Mozambique spitting cobra and a spotted bush snake on […]

The last thing an insect sees before dying

The last thing an insect sees before dying

Marty’s photo of the day #2538: Because I often see spruce grouse hunting for insects on our dirt road, I assumed insects were their primary diet. While the birds do eat insects in the summer, overall they mostly eat pine needles! Since I took this photo in the summer, I can still think of it […]

Don’t trust that laugh!

Don’t trust that laugh!

Marty’s photo of the day #2535: Here’s what I wrote about laughing kookaburras in my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents: Though not as stunning as the kingfishers or cockatoos, laughing kookaburras are handsome gray and white birds with a very famous call: Oo-oo-oo-aw-aw-aw-oo-oo-oo-aw-aw-aw. When motion picture soundtracks were in their […]

Rhinoceros beetle

Rhinoceros beetle

Marty’s photo of the day #2398: The rhinoceros beetle is considered by some to be the world’s strongest animal. Tests have shown it can carry an enormous load in proportion to its weight. How much the beetle can actually carry is subject to debate. Although the prevailing opinion is 850 times its weight, a study […]

Deception Island

Deception Island

Marty’s photo of the day #2364: I took this photo inside Deception Island, off the coast of Antarctica. Yes, “inside” is the correct word. Deception Island is actually an active volcano, and you are looking at ocean water in the caldera of that volcano. The only way out, to open ocean, is straight ahead. The […]

Guánica State Forest, Puerto Rico

Guánica State Forest, Puerto Rico

Marty’s photo of the day #2326: This photo from Puerto Rico demonstrates the effect of the island’s interior mountains. Most of Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, with rainforests, but the Guánica State Forest, on the southwestern side of the island, is dry, as the mountains block much of the rain. Here the cacti grow […]

May the Yankees be the bat and the Twins be the boa!

May the Yankees be the bat and the Twins be the boa!

Marty’s photo of the day #2325: Today’s photo is of a Puerto Rican boa constricting a bat. When I was in Puerto Rico, working on my second book, Endangered Edens, Deb and I hiked out to a cave to watch this amazing feat of nature. Puerto Rican boas hung by their tails and plucked the […]

If dogs were cows

If dogs were cows

Marty’s photo of the day #2254: Ever since I was a kid, on my grandfather’s farm, I’ve loved cows. That being said, the reckless practice of raising cows on public lands needs to go away. For just $1.87 per cow a month, “ranchers” can let their cows roam and get fat on lands you and […]

The prey has a job to do

The prey has a job to do

Marty’s photo of the day #2228: Here’ an excerpt from my fist book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents: Woof! “Everyone, sit!” whispered Brian. “A pack of Cape hunting dogs is directly in front of us!” The dogs were an animal I had hoped, but never expected, to see. Cape hunting dogs are […]

Are you on the correct side of the road?

Are you on the correct side of the road?

Marty’s photo of the day #2054: This is a typical rural road in Queensland, Australia. Note that the pavement (Aussies call it bitumen) is only wide enough for one car. So what happens is that everyone drives down the middle, no matter which way they are going. When two cars meet, they pull to their […]

Castle of the Sad Countess

Castle of the Sad Countess

Marty’s photo of the day #2114. This is the Castle of the Sad Countess in Arenas de San Pedro, Spain. While working on my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, I pieced together, through various sources (all in Spanish), a story of an amazing woman who resisted the Crown’s repossession of her castle after her […]

Earth’s own Star Trek character

Earth’s own Star Trek character

Marty’s photo of the day #2042: This photo will initially appear incomprehensible to your eyes. But read on—you are looking at something amazing! Earlier this month, Deb and I had two incredible octopus encounters in the Sea of Cortez. Last week, I posted a photo from our first encounter, where we had the privilege of […]

The ultimate solar dryer

The ultimate solar dryer

Marty’s photo of the day #1809: This is one of those “How do they do that?” photos. The lodge we stayed at in Costa Rica was miles away from roads and only accessible by boat. We had very limited electricity, supplied by solar panels. After a day of hiking in the rainforest we would come […]

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