Nature vs. Art: Eye-Catching Animals that Will Take Your Breath Away

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Gorgeous Animals that Show the Creative Side of Mother Nature

It’s amazing what you can find in the natural world. Somehow, these astonishing creatures came into the world with the most breathtaking colors and patterns, designs that make them destined for the spotlight. To see any of these creatures in their native habitats will require a visit to your travel agent first; these guys are found on the shores of Madagascar, and throughout Asia, Africa, and South America. Check out the stunning photographs and descriptions of these amazingly beautiful animals.

Mandarin Fish

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Mandarin fish are known for their brightly colored fins and for sporting a stunning shade of blue. Native to the waters of the Pacific, these little guys are usually seen cruising through lagoons, coral reefs, and other low-traffic areas of the ocean. Their two large pelvic fins are actually used to walk on the ocean floor. Mandarin fish come in a wide variety of different colors and designs including green, red, black with colorful stripes, and speckled gray. Rarely raised or even seen by humans, mandarin fish are bottom feeders and spend the majority of their time close to the ocean floor. You’ll have to rent some scuba gear and wish for some luck to see one in person.

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher

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Tiny and richly colored in pastels, these birds provide a feast of beauty for the eyes. You can find them wallowing in the shady forests of Southwest Asia. They’re mostly native to parts of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, and Myanmar. Despite their size, kingfishers are quite resourceful in the wild. They tend to live near streams and rivers with a lot of foliage, building tunnel-like nests in the sides of the riverbank. They feast on worms, insects, tiny crabs, frogs, snails, and lizards. Their bellies are covered in bright yellow feathers with wings that feature an extraordinary collage of blue, red, orange, and purple. It’s hard to think of a species more stylish than the oriental dwarf kingfisher.

Poison Dart Frog

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As dangerous as they are beautiful, poison dart frogs are not your average amphibian. Their brightly colored backs are seen as a warning sign in the animal kingdom. Predators associate such unusual colors with danger. Poison dart frogs develop their high levels of toxicity from a diet of ants, mites, and termites. Yet, not all poison dart frogs are considered dangerous. They got their name from the prehistoric tribe the Amerindians, who used the frogs’ toxic slime to make their arrowheads more fatal. You’ll find them lounging in the rainforests of South America including Bolivia, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Venezuela. As friendly and cute as they might seem, remember to keep your distance.

Sunset Moth

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Otherwise known as chrysiridia rhipheus, the sunset moth is considered an animal celebrity throughout much of the world. This amazing creature is sought out for its colorful wing display. The sunset moth is native to the island of Madagascar, where its numbers flourish during the spring and summer months. With their intricate patterns and detailed designs, sunset moths are often mistaken for butterflies. Unlike many of the animals on this list, the colors of the sunset moth are not the result of pigment. Those vibrant colors come from what’s known as an optical interference. The sunset moth’s wings are covered in tiny scales that reflect light at different angles. The resulting effect is a masterful display of contrast and color.

Lilac-Breasted Roller

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A cross between a bowl of Fruit Loops and your favorite watercolor painting, the lilac-breasted roller is a sight to behold. Living in the remote forests of sub-Sahara Africa, this stunning bird perches far above its environment to keep an eye on all things related to food. It feasts on insects, lizards, small birds, scorpions, and the occasional rodent. You can always recognize a lilac-breasted roller by its brightly adorned feathers. Every section of its body features a new shade of dynamic color. As beautiful as these creatures can be, they are not known for their singing abilities. The lilac-breasted roller emits a rough “rack” sound when it flies through the air. Nothing can be this beautiful in every way.

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