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

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

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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!

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