Monday, 30 December 2013

King of Saxony Bird of Paradise, R. Bowdler Sharpe

King of Saxony Bird of Paradise, R. Bowdler Sharpe

Pteridophora alberti, King of Saxony Bird of Paradise, vol.1 pl. 38 from R. Bowdler Sharpe (1891 - 1898), Monograph of the Paradiseidae or Birds of Paradise and Ptilonorhynchidae or Bowerbirds

Wilson’s bird-of-paradise

Wilson’s bird-of-paradise

The birds-of-paradise have long been recognised as beautiful and spectacular species, thanks to the diversity in ornamental plumage, dazzling array of colours and the exaggerated, often bizarre, courtship displays (4), and Wilson’s bird-of-paradise is certainly no exception. The male is easily distinguished by the brilliant turquoise crown of bare skin on the back of its head, which is criss-crossed by lines of fine velvety black feathers with a coppery-bronze iridescent sheen. A semicircular cape of bright yellow on the upper mantle contrasts with the crimson feathers on the rest of the back, while the upperwings are blackish-brown, with the covertsedged paler brown, and with crimson tips to some of the feathers. The upper throat of the male Wilson’s bird-of-paradise is usually velvety black, and may have a coppery-bronze to purple gloss, while the plumage of the extensive breast shield (the patch of feathers on the upper breast) is a glossy emerald-green, sometimes appearing blue-purple or red-purple. The central feathers of the tail are long and spiralled. The female is much less ornately adorned than the male, with the bare skin on the back of the head a much less radiant lilac-blue, and with olive to reddish-brown upperparts, dull brown wings and buff-coloured underparts, with fine uniform brown-black bars. The female also lacks the spiral tail feathers. Immature males are very similar in appearance to the female (2).

Wilson’s bird-of-paradise biology

The peculiar appearance of Wilson’s bird-of-paradise is shown in full splendour during its courtship display. The male performs the display in an ‘arena’, a small, well-lit clearing surrounded by dense forest. The male carefully attends to the arena, ensuring it is free of leaf litter and other unwanted items, and also removing the leaves of sapling stems within the display area. When a potential mate arrives, the male initially adopts a characteristic ‘frozen’ posture on the stem of a sapling, before responding to the visiting female by performing an intricate courtship ritual, exhibiting the attractive breast shield, and accompanying the display with song and calls. Very little else is known about the breeding behaviour of this elusive species (2).

Wilson’s bird-of-paradise feeds mainly on fruit and also some small insects (2).

Thursday, 26 December 2013

New Year From Devon

Devon has been working on their latest project, the Tread 1G, a watch inspired by the Industrial Revolution and crafted with cutting edge innovations in aerospace engineering. It combines utility with state of the art design features, resulting in a unique watch fit for a eccentric owner. The Tread 1G features the same design elements as the popular Tread 1, except the addition of gold parts for an even more distinctive look, which reflects in its retail price: the Devon Tread 1G costs $35,000.

Auto Shows Best cars of the 2013

The best and brightest vehicles from auto shows around the globe  

For the auto enthusiast, there's nothing more exciting than an auto show. And for a new-car shopper, auto shows provide a unique opportunity to view the latest shiny sheet metal under one roof. we've seen some amazing new vehicles — some are on sale now, some will be on sale soon, and some will never make it to a showroom. Let's look at the coolest and most significant cars to debut at auto shows in 2013.


Lamborghini Huracan First Pictures Revealed

There’s no disguising it. Lamborghini’s all-new Huracan is a very angry car. It looks angry, its stance is angry, every line is like a slash from Surgeons Gone Wild and it’s even named after a bull so angry that it couldn’t be killed.
The replacement for the long-serving Gallardo will hit the Geneva Motor Show in March next year with every muscle tautened to battle stations, claiming Ferrari-bashing acceleration and power numbers.

It might be all new, but it retains plenty of Gallardo hallmarks, including a 5.2-litre, V10 engine mounted behind the driver’s ear and punching through all four wheels.
Lamborghini claims the Huracan will smash past 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and will explode from zero to 200km/h in less than 10 seconds. The top speed is claimed to be on the far side of 325km/h, though Lamborghini isn’t saying just how far beyond the Ferrari 458’s vMax benchmark that might be. It just is, apparently.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

FASHION WEEK The Best Bags from the Spring 2014

FASHION WEEK The Best Bags from the Spring 2014
Fashion Month is finally over! Now it’s time to kick back, relax, and look back at all of the pretty handbags that the spring runways had to offer.