No bones about it ~

Well, no bones except in the clownfish. Sometimes I wish I had been a marine biologist studying invertebrates. These photos remind me of the old aquarium in La Jolla, California, right next door to the Salk Institute. That little Art Deco building housed a circular array of only a dozen or so medium-sized tanks, and those tanks were filled with anemones of many colors. The effect was breathtaking. These iPhone photographs were taken at the Denver Zoo’s Tropical Discovery building.

Lionfish ~

lionfish

My 60 mm lens, despite its wide aperture, simply couldn’t let in enough light to capture decent photographs of the animals in the dark tanks of the Denver Zoo’s Tropical Discovery house. Things improved after I switched to my iPhone. I’m frequently disappointed in the performance of my iPhone’s camera, and then it pulls off something like this. A biological note: Lionfish, like so many other beautiful invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, are venomous.

Lolling lizards ~

No leaping going on while I was present. I hope to return to get some sharper photos and get down a couple of identifications that I missed. Although a crocodile is technically not a lizard, I figure it’s close enough to fit with the rest of these. Although the one here appeared positively blissed out, there’s really no other way for a crocodile to look when its mouth and eyes are closed, is there?

Cling ~

Amazon milk frog

Now for an excursion into the humid hallways of “Tropical Discovery,” the facility at the Denver Zoo that houses reptiles, amphibians, fish, and a few invertebrates. Despite the name, some animals here are not tropical species—but this lovely jade-colored frog is.

A mammal menagerie ~

 

Of all the animals I saw at the Denver Zoo (and I didn’t get around the entire zoo), only the eland was bold enough to stand right at the front of its enclosure, getting a great deal of pleasure from rubbing its chin and neck against the scratching post and the enclosure cable. The okapi, with its gentle-looking eyes, beautiful brown coat, and modernist black-and-white legs, is one of my favorites. In-between shots, this one was munching grass. A check of Wikipedia reveals that okapis, which are endangered, are quite solitary, are most closely related to giraffes, and are “generally tranquil.” This female seemed pretty unperturbed at my presence.