Man Spends 30 Years Photographing the Most Bizarre Cold-Blooded Animals on Earth

Matthijs Kuijpers - Cold Instinct

Parrotsnake (Leptophis ahaetulla)

For the last 27 years, renowned reptile and amphibian photographer Matthijs Kuijpers has been traveling the world to immortalize the rarest and most bizarre species on Earth. The colorful, and often endangered, animals are strikingly beautiful and Kuijpers captures their unique characteristics through his incredible animal portraits. Cold Instinct is the culmination of a lifetime of work, with Kuijpers pushing himself to extremes to take his photographs.

Passionate about cold-blooded animals from childhood, Kuijpers has now photographed more than 1,500 species. He's constantly on the look for new and interesting reptiles and amphibians to photograph, driven by the fact that each year around 18,000 new species are discovered. Through his work, Kuijpers is providing a time capsule of our ecosystem and racing against the clock to document these species that risk extinction.

“What I want to show in my photos is the essence of the animal,” shared Kuijpers. “I hope to remove misconceptions and fear that many commonly have in regards to coldblooded animals.”

Through Kuijpers' photos, viewers are able to explore the world of reptiles and amphibians from a new perspective. His portraits allow for a detailed examination of and appreciation for the physiognomy of each animal. Striking and exotic, these animals play a fundamental role in ecosystems around the world. And thanks to Kuijpers, they are now getting the spotlight they deserve.

Kuijpers' first book, Cold Instinct, is an incomparable collection of over 70 portraits of cold-blooded animals. From the Amazon to Africa and beyond, these exotic and bizarre animals are given their due respect in this stunning art book. Through the publication, Kuijpers hopes that people will look beyond their fears and stereotypes of reptiles and amphibians. Desperately in need of protection as climate change, poaching, and pollution threaten their existence, the cold-blooded creatures have a champion through the photographer.

Cold Instinct is currently available for pre-order via Indiegogo.

Dutch photographer Matthijs Kuijpers has spent nearly 30 years taking portraits of cold-blooded animals.

Ranitomeya veriablis, Spotted dart frog,Peru

Ranitomeya veriablis, Spotted dart frog,Peru

Gekko smithii

Gekko smithii

Solomon island leaf frog

Solomon island leaf frog (Ceratobatrachus guentheri)

Jackson's horned chameleon

Trioceros jacksonii, Jackson's horned chameleon

Serrated casquehead iguana

Serrated casquehead iguana (Laemanctus serratus)

Pantherophis guttata, two headed snake

Pantherophis guttata, two headed snake

He seeks out the rarest and most bizarre reptiles and amphibians around the world to immortalize.

Gran Canaria blue-tailed skink

Chalcides sexlineatus, Gran Canaria blue-tailed skink, Gran Canaria island, Canary islands, Spain

Albino alligator

Alligator mississippiensis, Albino alligator, USA

Ahaetulla mysterizand, Malayan vine snake, Malaysia

Ahaetulla mysterizand, Malayan vine snake, Malaysia

Rare Frog from Paraguay

Leptodactylus laticeps, Coralline frog, Paraguay

Reptile Photography by Matthijs Kuijpers

Atheris hispida, Hairy bush viper, DR Congo

Photo of a Tokeh

Tokeh (Gekko gecko)


Next: View more incredible portraits of the world's rarest reptiles and amphibians.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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