Zoo Portraits Blog

In our blog you can find a lot of information about the animal kingdom, curiosities about different species and news about their protection.

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Amazon Molly (Poecilia formosa)

The Amazon molly: the small fish making a big splash in science

The Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) is a small, inconspicuous freshwater fish. It belongs to a genus of around 40 fish species, which includes the well-known guppy. Amazon mollies are omnivores and spend their days feeding on small invertebrates, algae and plant matter in rivers and streams along the Gulf Coast of…

vampire myths nosferatu

Do vampires exist? From vampire myths to the truth about bloodsucking bats

According to popular folklore, a vampire is a creature that feeds on the life of another living being. In some Eastern and Native American cultures it represents a sort of demon. In Europe, the myth is of Slavic origin. Here the vampire is depicted as a human who comes back from the dead, drinking the blood of others…

Animal Poo. Adelie Penguin on an iceberg in the Antarctic Sound, Antarctica. By Robert mcgillivray | Shutterstock.com

The extraordinary world of animal poo: 5 stories of adaptation and survival

Yes, today we’re taking a closer look at animal poo, along with some extraordinary adaptations. If you’re just about to sit down for lunch, you might want to bookmark this one for later. But if you think you can stomach it, read on for some nuggets of information from around the animal world! Why do sloths defecate on…

Animal eyes - Cover

How do animals see? The most impressive eyes in the animal world

How exactly do animals see? Did you know that cuttlefish can see polarised light?...or that dragonflies have 360 degree vision?...or that some fish have mirrors in their eyes?! In order to understand how different species see the world, it is important to understand how the eye works. Images, in the form of light, are…

Chimpanzees - One of the Great Apes: chimpanzee life in numbers

One of the Great Apes: chimpanzee life in numbers

Not only do the great apes look like us, they act like us, too. Chimpanzees, for example, form extended family groups, they use tools and learn socially from one another. They display distinct personality traits and are capable of complex cognition, relating to recognition, reciprocity and empathy.

Vital viewing: 6 must-watch wildlife and nature documentaries

Vital viewing: 6 must-watch wildlife and nature documentaries

Below you have a hand-picked selection of wildlife and nature films with all the thrills, pains and delights of any blockbuster. There’s plenty magnificence and tragedy to marvel at on our planet, without the need to invent fantasy worlds. In compiling this list, two categories of documentary emerged. The first…

Spirit Bear Kermode

Have you ever heard of the Kermode bear, also known as the Spirit bear?

Deep within the Great Bear Rainforest, in Canada, all is not as it seems. The unique ecosystem produces strange natural scenes. On this coastal land, dampened by dense mist, we can still find indigenous tribes who began living there long before the white man arrived.

Christmas caribou (reindeer) and camel

Festive animal facts: Camel vs. Reindeer

The Christmas holidays are rich in tradition. Some (like decorating a tree) date back hundreds of years; others (like wearing tasteless woolen jumpers) are much more recent! Although customs differ from country to country, they all have a strong connection to nature. In the UK, the robin, mistletoe and holly are all…

Animal intelligence: the smartest animal species in the world

Animal intelligence: the smartest animal species in the world

We can define animal intelligence as the combination of skills and abilities that allow animals to live in and adapt to their specific environments. What does this actualy mean? Animals possess the ability to adapt to their surroundings by learning to change their habits and behaviours. Many species are also capable…

Animal Welfare

The five freedoms: animal welfare around the world

In the last week of November social media exploded in response to reports that the UK government had failed to recognise animal sentience. There was a lot of anger, followed by a great deal of confusion. What actually happened and what does it all mean for animal welfare in the UK? The vote was in relation to an…

Asian female eating cricket - Eating insect concept. Pic by wk1003mike | Shutterstock.com

Six-legged superfoods: could insects be the answer to food security?

Insects form a big part of everyday diets for around two billion people around the world. Yet, for many of the remaining 5.58 billion, just the thought of eating an insect is enough to cause revulsion. As the human population continues to rise, so does food insecurity. Shortages, aggravated by resource depletion and…

Pigeon powers: 3 reasons to start appreciating the 'rats of the sky'

Pigeon powers: 3 reasons to start appreciating the ‘rats of the sky’

Pigeons are divisive creatures. For some, pigeons are treasured pets; for others, they're troublesome pests. Whether it’s ‘rats of the sky’ or ‘rats with wings’, the sentiment in these nicknames is clear. Apart from pigeon fanciers or mediocre tourists in the main square of [insert any capital city], most of us have…