Nature Photo Challenge #6: Sharp!

Let’s get out and about in nature to photograph naturally occurring sharp objects.

There are many naturally occurring sharp objects found in nature around the world. Here are some examples. Maybe they will inspire you to get your camera out (or search your photo archives):

  • Obsidian: Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass. It is extremely sharp and has been used for tools and weapons by many ancient civilizations.
  • Shark teeth: Sharks have teeth that are incredibly sharp. They are often collected as souvenirs or used in jewelry.
  • Thorns: Thorns are a common defense mechanism for many plants. Examples include roses, cacti, and thorn bushes.
  • Stingray barbs: Stingrays have a sharp, barbed stinger located on their tail that they use for defense. These barbs can be dangerous to humans and should be avoided.
  • Porcupine quills: Porcupines have sharp quills that they use for defense. These quills can detach easily and become embedded in the skin of predators, causing discomfort and sometimes infection.
  • Claws: Many animals, including big cats, birds of prey, and some rodents, have sharp claws that they use for hunting and defense.
  • Sea urchin spines: Sea urchins have sharp spines that can be dangerous to humans if stepped on or touched. These spines also help protect the sea urchin from predators.
  • Antlers: Male deer, elk, and moose have sharp antlers that they use for defense and to establish dominance during the mating season.

Below are a few of my own examples.

Sharp Nature objects: thorns
A particularly sharp (and colorful) thorn
Nature Photo Challenge #6: Sharp!
The sharp prickles of the Teasel seedhead made it indispensable in the Medieval textile industry to raise the nap of woven cloth.
Heron and its sharp bill
The sharp bill of the Heron comes in useful for spearing fish and frogs.
Meet Spike, our garden’s resident Hedgehog. Thankfully its sharp spines are not as dangerous as a Porcupine’s!

It’s Quiz Time!

An example I didn’t mention above is teeth. Below are photographs of three animal skulls, showing their sharp teeth. Do you know what they are? Or would you like to guess? Add your answers or suggestions in the comments below. They are all western European animals.

Skull A
Animal skull A. Actual size 15 cm
Skull B
Animal skull B. Actual size 14 cm.
Skull C
Animal skull C. Actual size 10 cm.

I will reveal their identities when I do a round-up of Nature Photo Challenge in 10 days time. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing your suggestions and your Sharp photos.

All photos © Denzil Walton


  1. I have no idea but here goes
    1 Canine teeth so a dog type of animal
    2 Bear
    3 Sabre Toothed Tiger with bad dental hygiene
    A hint of what continent would help but probably not 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy, I really must get in the habit of photographing the names of plants as well as the plants themselves when I visit a botanical garden. Otherwise I have no idea what I’ve photographed. This thorn was one such example.


    • Thanks for joining in! Yes your photo of a bug amidst bramble thorns is a reminder that many creatures hide and feel protected by a plant’s thorns, that I guess are designed to stop larger animals from eating them.


  2. You show a nice selection that fits this week’s theme Sharp. Wish I met a hedgehog but haven’t seen any here in Cyprus, yet. The other day I found a turtle in our garden!!! Although they are not sharp, so I keep looking.
    The animal skulls are absolutely amazing!! But hard to guess..

    Liked by 1 person

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