Getting off to a cracking start in 2013 with this new creation in the ‘Thinking Inside the Box’ series.
The Gastrapoda Phoenix lays it’s single egg inside a cage just before it bursts into flames at which point the chick emerges almost immediately. After several weeks the chick’s legs are long enough for it to be able to trot round in search of food. Many people think that this bird is protecting itself from cats, when on land, or sharks, when having a little paddle, with the cunning use of a cage. However I believe the use of the cage is there to catch the egg. It’s well known that this bird cannot fold it’s legs to sit down properly.
This very rare infrared photograph of a Gastrapoda Phoenix was taken just before it completed it’s life cycle. The body has cooled right down, as you can clearly see. The egg is just about to be born and mummy is but a few short moments from extinction. Obviously the cage acts as a spark guard at this stage.