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'Animal Earth' - A look at of some of the most unknown and overlooked creatures on the planet

A Salp, which is a colony of zooids (Pegea confoederata) by Kevin Lee. (Animal Earth/BNPS)

'Animal Earth' - A look at of some of the most unknown and overlooked creatures on the planet

September 17, 2013

Zoologist Ross Piper has compiled an incredible book that shows the

bizarre lives of some of the most unknown and overlooked creatures on

the planet.

Ross has spent the last two years researching

hundreds of weird and wonderful creatures and has gathered images from

all over the world to illustrate their fascinating lives.

Some of the organisms have huge spikes, transparent skin, fangs, and some can even  glow in the dark.

The enormous collection of photographs shows 35 different lineages of creatures and hundreds of species from worms to jellyfish.

Although

the majority of the animals are extremely small their lives are

incredibly complex and some can even regrow their own brains.

One

close-up picture shows a wasp with five eyes that reproduces by

injecting eggs into other creatures that then grow and eat the host.

Another amazing animal is a rainbow marine annelid worm with the ability to regenerate even if it was chopped into pieces.

Ross

gathered the photographs from animal enthusiasts across the world and

travelled more than 10,000 miles from Wales to Borneo in Indonesia to

capture his own.

The book, titled Animal Earth can be purchased from www.thamesandhudson.com.

Ross

Piper, 36, a zoologist from Aston in Hertfordshire, said: "I've always

been mesmerised by the incredible diversity of animals.

"Animal

Earth is the book I've wanted to write ever since I started studying

zoology, and although there are a lot of photos it's more than just a

photo book.

"It shows the fascinating lives of these organisms

and how humans are intricately linked to and dependent on the millions

of other animal species out there.

"We have only just scratched the surface of understanding animal diversity.

"There are photos in the book from all over the world, tropical rainforests, deserts, coral reefs and the deep ocean.

"Most

were taken by people for whom photography is a hobby and for the photos

I took, I travelled from the rocky shores of south west Wales to the

forests of Borneo.

"In my images there are microscopic animals

that live between sand grains on the sea bed, the lives of which are

very poorly understood.

"In terms of searching for animals, I

have been in thigh-deep mud, cut-off by rising tides and been many miles

from civilisation at the top of a rainforest tree.

"My aim is just to show people that animals are so much more than the familiar creatures that we always see.

"These living things are bewildering, bizarre and beautiful in equal measure." (BNPS)

Here's a look at a few!