animals, animals, animals

Paying homage to the wonderful, unusual and diverse world of animals. I make no claim to content ownership. Sources are credited (with links) whenever possible — on both unique posts & re-blogs. Any post will be removed upon request (please provide URL link to the post/page). Enjoy! Email: animalworldtumblrblog@gmail.com Twitter: @animalworldtoo


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Reblogged from njwight
NJ Wight, one of the hardest working wildlife photographer’s I know. She takes beautiful photos, and she’s a wonderful human being to boot! Please help her out if you can.
Thanks!
njwight:

Thanks to all of you for encouraging my photography. I truly appreciate you following.  I have a favor to ask …? I am trying to build my Facebook artist page. Apparently this is becoming critically important for things like raising sponsorship dollars for projects-such as a wildlife photo exhibit. If you would like to help, please consider “liking” my page? Or maybe sharing this FB post with your friends? For those of you who have already jumped on-board-I really do thank you!  Cheers, NJ

NJ Wight, one of the hardest working wildlife photographer’s I know. She takes beautiful photos, and she’s a wonderful human being to boot! Please help her out if you can.

Thanks!

njwight:

Thanks to all of you for encouraging my photography. I truly appreciate you following.  I have a favor to ask …? I am trying to build my Facebook artist page. Apparently this is becoming critically important for things like raising sponsorship dollars for projects-such as a wildlife photo exhibit. If you would like to help, please consider “liking” my page? Or maybe sharing this FB post with your friends? For those of you who have already jumped on-board-I really do thank you!  Cheers, NJ



WHY ZEBRAS DEVELOPED STRIPES?Equus zebra©Edgar Angelone, Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest
Researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have solved the mystery of zebra stripes. The stripes, they say, came about to keep away blood-sucking flies.
"We started off studying horses with black, brown or white coats," explained Susanne Akesson from Lund University, a member of the international research team that carried out the study.
"We found that in the black and brown horses, we get horizontally polarised light," making dark-coloured horses very attractive to flies. The light that bounces off the horse’s dark coat - and travels in waves to the eyes of a hungry fly - moves along a horizontal plane, like a snake. Horseflies, or tabanids, were very attracted by these "flat" waves of light.
"From a white coat, you get unpolarised, light [reflected]," she explained. Unpolarised light waves scatter along any plane, and are much less attractive to flies. As a result, white-coated horses are much less troubled by horseflies than the dark colored horses. 
Having discovered the flies’ preference for dark coats, the team then became interested in zebras. What kind of light would bounce off the striped body of a zebra?
We painted different patterns onto boards,” then placed a blackboard, a whiteboard, and several boards with stripes of varying widths into the fields of a horse farm in rural Hungary. “We put insect glue on the boards and counted the number of flies that each one attracted.” 
The striped board that most closely match to the pattern of a zebra’s coat attracted the fewest flies, “even less than the white boards”. “That was a surprise because, in a striped pattern, you still have these dark areas that are reflecting attractive horizontally polarised light. 
To test horseflies’ reaction to a more realistic 3-D target, the team put four life-size “sticky horse models ” into the field - one brown, one black, one “zebra-striped”. The researchers collected the trapped flies every two days, and found that the zebra-striped horse model attracted the fewest. Source
Other posts you might like:
Another Zebra Stripe Theory
Zebra Facts
Why Horses Sleep Standing Up?

WHY ZEBRAS DEVELOPED STRIPES?
Equus zebra
©
Edgar Angelone, Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have solved the mystery of zebra stripes. The stripes, they say, came about to keep away blood-sucking flies.

"We started off studying horses with black, brown or white coats," explained Susanne Akesson from Lund University, a member of the international research team that carried out the study.

"We found that in the black and brown horses, we get horizontally polarised light," making dark-coloured horses very attractive to flies. The light that bounces off the horse’s dark coat - and travels in waves to the eyes of a hungry fly - moves along a horizontal plane, like a snake. Horseflies, or tabanids, were very attracted by these "flat" waves of light.

"From a white coat, you get unpolarised, light [reflected]," she explained. Unpolarised light waves scatter along any plane, and are much less attractive to flies. As a result, white-coated horses are much less troubled by horseflies than the dark colored horses. 

Having discovered the flies’ preference for dark coats, the team then became interested in zebras. What kind of light would bounce off the striped body of a zebra?

We painted different patterns onto boards,” then placed a blackboard, a whiteboard, and several boards with stripes of varying widths into the fields of a horse farm in rural Hungary. “We put insect glue on the boards and counted the number of flies that each one attracted.”

The striped board that most closely match to the pattern of a zebra’s coat attracted the fewest flies, “even less than the white boards”. “That was a surprise because, in a striped pattern, you still have these dark areas that are reflecting attractive horizontally polarised light.

To test horseflies’ reaction to a more realistic 3-D target, the team put four life-size “sticky horse models ” into the field - one brown, one black, one “zebra-striped”. The researchers collected the trapped flies every two days, and found that the zebra-striped horse model attracted the fewest. Source

Other posts you might like:

Another Zebra Stripe Theory

Zebra Facts

Why Horses Sleep Standing Up?

Reblogged from speednacer
GLASS FROGS and EGGSHyalinobatrachium valerioi ©Elke Vockenhuber
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi is a species of frog in the Centrolenidae family. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rivers, and heavily degraded former forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. Source
Glass frogs are mostly arboreal. They live along rivers and streams during the breeding season, and are particularly diverse in montane cloud forests of Central and South America.
The eggs are usually deposited on the leaves of trees or shrubs hanging over the running water of mountain streams, creeks, and small rivers. One species leave its eggs over stones close to waterfalls. The method of egg-laying on the leaf varies between species. The males usually call from leaves close to their egg clutches. The eggs are less vulnerable to predators than those laid within water, but can be affected by parasitic fly species. As a result, some glass frogs show parental care. After they hatch, the tadpoles fall into the waters below. The tadpoles are elongated, with powerful tails and low fins, suited for fast flowing water. Outside of the breeding season some species live in the canopy. Source
Other posts you may like:
Red-eyed Tree frog Embryos
Pygmy Marsupial Frog - carries tadpole in pits on her back
Suriname Toad - video
—-
speednacer:

One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.  GLASS FROGS <3

GLASS FROGS and EGGS
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi
©Elke Vockenhuber

Hyalinobatrachium valerioi is a species of frog in the Centrolenidae family. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rivers, and heavily degraded former forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. Source

Glass frogs are mostly arboreal. They live along rivers and streams during the breeding season, and are particularly diverse in montane cloud forests of Central and South America.

The eggs are usually deposited on the leaves of trees or shrubs hanging over the running water of mountain streams, creeks, and small rivers. One species leave its eggs over stones close to waterfalls. The method of egg-laying on the leaf varies between species. The males usually call from leaves close to their egg clutches. The eggs are less vulnerable to predators than those laid within water, but can be affected by parasitic fly species. As a result, some glass frogs show parental care. After they hatch, the tadpoles fall into the waters below. The tadpoles are elongated, with powerful tails and low fins, suited for fast flowing water. Outside of the breeding season some species live in the canopy. Source

Other posts you may like:

Red-eyed Tree frog Embryos

Pygmy Marsupial Frog - carries tadpole in pits on her back

Suriname Toad - video

—-

speednacer:

One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.  GLASS FROGS <3

Reblogged from
SYMBIOSIS - SEA ANEMONE &amp; HERMIT CRAB©Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski, National Geographic
Symbiosis = mutual benefit&#8230;win-win. In exchange for your protective sting, I will provide you with food&#8230;One of the best known examples of symbiosis is that between the hermit crab and a sea anemone (e.g. , Adamsia). The anemone is often found attached to the shell in which the hermit crab lives. In their long history hermit crabs have developed the habit of sheltering within the empty shells of mollusks such as periwinkles and whelks. The hind portion of the has lost its hard covering and would otherwise be unprotected. As the crab gets bigger it outgrows its shelter and so has to find a new one. Often, a sea anemone attaches itself to the crab&#8217;s shelter and it may envelop part of the crab&#8217;s own shell as well. The growth of the crab and anemone keep pace with each other and the crab has no need to change its shell – more and more of its is sheltered by the anemone. As the crab moves about in search of food the anemone is brought into contact with a greater supply of food and the crab is protected by the anemone&#8217;s stinging cells. Source
Other posts the you might like:
Hermit crab with anemone protector on its shell
Glass view of hermit crab in its shell
Coconut Crab - largest Hermit Crab Family member
&#8212;-
underwaterwonders:

Anemone on a Hermit Crab

SYMBIOSIS - SEA ANEMONE & HERMIT CRAB
©Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski, National Geographic

Symbiosis = mutual benefit…win-win.
In exchange for your protective sting, I will provide you with food…


One of the best known examples of symbiosis is that between the hermit crab and a sea anemone (e.g. , Adamsia). The anemone is often found attached to the shell in which the hermit crab lives. In their long history hermit crabs have developed the habit of sheltering within the empty shells of mollusks such as periwinkles and whelks. The hind portion of the has lost its hard covering and would otherwise be unprotected. As the crab gets bigger it outgrows its shelter and so has to find a new one. Often, a sea anemone attaches itself to the crab’s shelter and it may envelop part of the crab’s own shell as well. The growth of the crab and anemone keep pace with each other and the crab has no need to change its shell – more and more of its is sheltered by the anemone. As the crab moves about in search of food the anemone is brought into contact with a greater supply of food and the crab is protected by the anemone’s stinging cells. Source

Other posts the you might like:

Hermit crab with anemone protector on its shell

Glass view of hermit crab in its shell

Coconut Crab - largest Hermit Crab Family member

—-

underwaterwonders:

Anemone on a Hermit Crab

Reblogged from clusterpod
MITCHELL&#8217;s DIURNAL or PAINTED TRILOBITE COCKROACHPolyzosteria mitchelli©clusterpod / Andrei Nikulinsky
This is an especially nice shot by Tumblr&#8217;s own clusterpod, a wonderful Australian photographer.
Polyzosteria mitchelli belongs to the Blattidae family (one of four cockroach families) along with 218 species in 20 genera (Australian Faunal Directory). The genus Polyzosteria from the same source has 15 species with many also very colourful. However Polyzosteria mitchelli would have to be one of the most striking with its brilliant color combination. It is mainly recorded from the semi-arid areas of WA, SA and NSW, where always a delight to encounter. I have found it (usually on shrubby vegetation) from coastal heath to inland mallee flora, including saltlakes and granite outcrops, so although not common, it is very widespread. Growing to 5 cm (2”) in length, it is quite stout and not very fast when compared to the troublesome introduced species that commonly invade houses. The local forms have a bronze background colouration, but apparently metallic green shades have been found in SA. Source
Other photos you may enjoy:
Trilobite Beetle
Fulgoid Planthoppers
Trapdoor Spider
&#8212;-
clusterpod:

Unidentified Blattid cockroach.
Hospital Rocks, Western Australia.

MITCHELL’s DIURNAL or PAINTED TRILOBITE COCKROACH
Polyzosteria mitchelli
©clusterpod / Andrei Nikulinsky

This is an especially nice shot by Tumblr’s own clusterpod, a wonderful Australian photographer.

Polyzosteria mitchelli belongs to the Blattidae family (one of four cockroach families) along with 218 species in 20 genera (Australian Faunal Directory). The genus Polyzosteria from the same source has 15 species with many also very colourful. However Polyzosteria mitchelli would have to be one of the most striking with its brilliant color combination. It is mainly recorded from the semi-arid areas of WA, SA and NSW, where always a delight to encounter.
I have found it (usually on shrubby vegetation) from coastal heath to inland mallee flora, including saltlakes and granite outcrops, so although not common, it is very widespread. Growing to 5 cm (2”) in length, it is quite stout and not very fast when compared to the troublesome introduced species that commonly invade houses. The local forms have a bronze background colouration, but apparently metallic green shades have been found in SA. Source

Other photos you may enjoy:

Trilobite Beetle

Fulgoid Planthoppers

Trapdoor Spider

—-

clusterpod:

Unidentified Blattid cockroach.

Hospital Rocks, Western Australia.

TEMMINICKS TRAGOPANTragopan temminckii©Jan Harteman
The Temminck&#8217;s Tragopan is a medium-sized pheasant in the genus Tragopan. The male is a stocky red-and-orange bird with white-spotted plumage, black bill and pink legs. It has a bare blue facial skin, inflatable dark-blue lappet and horns which can be seen here. 

The Temminck&#8217;s Tragopan is distributed in forests of northern South Asia, from northeast India, northwest Vietnam, Tibet and northern provinces of China.
Widespread and a common species throughout its large habitat range, the Temminck&#8217;s Tragopan is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Source
Other posts you may like:
Bornean Crested Fireback
Blue-eared Pheasant
Bulwer&#8217;s Pheasant

TEMMINICKS TRAGOPAN
Tragopan temminckii
©Jan Harteman

The Temminck’s Tragopan is a medium-sized pheasant in the genus Tragopan. The male is a stocky red-and-orange bird with white-spotted plumage, black bill and pink legs. It has a bare blue facial skin, inflatable dark-blue lappet and horns which can be seen here.

The Temminck’s Tragopan is distributed in forests of northern South Asia, from northeast India, northwest Vietnam, Tibet and northern provinces of China.

Widespread and a common species throughout its large habitat range, the Temminck’s Tragopan is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Source

Other posts you may like:

Bornean Crested Fireback

Blue-eared Pheasant

Bulwer’s Pheasant

SALP COLONY shuts down a Nuclear Plant off Southern California©Richard Hermann Photography
The workers of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Southern California received a very slimy surprise this week when they discovered hoards of jellyfish-like creatures clinging to the structure, leading to the shutdown of the plant.
&#8212;-
Salp, a barrel-shaped, planktonic tunicate, moves by contracting, thus pumping water through its gelatinous body. The salp strains the pumped water through its internal feeding filters, feeding on phytoplankton. Salps appear similar to jellyfish because of the simple body form and planktonic behavior, however, they are structurally most closely related to vertebrates, animals with true backbones. Source
&#8212;-

The influx of salp was discovered as part of the plant&#8217;s routine monitoring system, according to Tom Cuddy, the senior manager of external and nuclear communications for the plant&#8217;s operator, Pacific Gas &amp; Electric.


 The salp were clogging the traveling screens in the intake structure, which are meant to keep marine life out and to keep the unit cool.

"Safety is the highest priority," Cuddy said. "We will not restart the unit until the salp moves on and conditions improve. No priority is more important than the safe operation of our facility."

The plant consists of two units. Unit 1 was shut down previously because of refueling and maintenance work and will not be functional for several weeks. Now that Unit 2 has been shut down because of the influx of salp, the plant has ceased all production.


The plant&#8217;s strategy? Wait until the salp move on and resume production once the filters are clear. Source
Other posts you may like:
Swimba Worm

Physonect Siphonophore
Ctenophores

SALP COLONY shuts down a Nuclear Plant off Southern California

©Richard Hermann Photography

The workers of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Southern California received a very slimy surprise this week when they discovered hoards of jellyfish-like creatures clinging to the structure, leading to the shutdown of the plant.

—-

Salp, a barrel-shaped, planktonic tunicate, moves by contracting, thus pumping water through its gelatinous body. The salp strains the pumped water through its internal feeding filters, feeding on phytoplankton. Salps appear similar to jellyfish because of the simple body form and planktonic behavior, however, they are structurally most closely related to vertebrates, animals with true backbones. Source

—-

The influx of salp was discovered as part of the plant’s routine monitoring system, according to Tom Cuddy, the senior manager of external and nuclear communications for the plant’s operator, Pacific Gas & Electric.

The salp were clogging the traveling screens in the intake structure, which are meant to keep marine life out and to keep the unit cool.

"Safety is the highest priority," Cuddy said. "We will not restart the unit until the salp moves on and conditions improve. No priority is more important than the safe operation of our facility."

The plant consists of two units. Unit 1 was shut down previously because of refueling and maintenance work and will not be functional for several weeks. Now that Unit 2 has been shut down because of the influx of salp, the plant has ceased all production.

The plant’s strategy? Wait until the salp move on and resume production once the filters are clear. Source

Other posts you may like:

Swimba Worm

Physonect Siphonophore

Ctenophores

Reblogged from fairy-wren
MEALY PARROT Amazona farinosa ©David G. Hemmings / www.naturesphotoadventures.com
&#8212;-Thanks fairy-wren - I was so glad to see this posting of a Mealy Parrot photo. I was fortunate to spend a few weeks at Tambopata Research Station in the heart of the Peruvian (Amazonian) Rainforest where Donald Brightsmith is studying Macaws. I expected to be wowed by the Macaws, and was, but I was amazed by the biodiversity of the area, and unexpectedly fell in love with these charming Amazonian Parrots. &#8212;-
The Mealy Parrot or Mealy Amazon is social and can be found in pairs or in large flocks. They are even known to interact with other parrots, such as macaws. They are usually quiet but can be loud at dusk and dawn. In captivity, they are known as one of the gentlest and calmest of all amazons.
The diet of the Mealy Amazon consists mostly of fruits, seeds, berries, nuts, blossoms, and leaf buds.
After Mealy Amazons reach sexual maturity they usually form monogamous relationships with a single partner. Each year courtship usually begins in early spring, and the female will usually lay three or four white eggs in tree-cavity nest. The female incubates the eggs for about 26 days. The male regurgitates food for the female during the incubation period, and later for the chicks in the nest as well. The chicks leave the nest about 60 days after hatching.
It is fairly common in most of its range, but has declined locally due to habitat loss and trapping for wild parrot trade. Though protected, the species are still smuggled into the United States from Mexico. In some areas Mealy Amazons are hunted as food. It may also be considered a crop pest. Source
Other Photos you may enjoy:
Scarlet Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw
Red and Green Macaw
Blue and Gold Macaw
&#8212;-
fairy-wren:

mealy amazon parrot
photo by nature’s photo adventures

MEALY PARROT
Amazona farinosa
©David G. Hemmings / www.naturesphotoadventures.com

—-
Thanks fairy-wren - I was so glad to see this posting of a Mealy Parrot photo. I was fortunate to spend a few weeks at Tambopata Research Station in the heart of the Peruvian (Amazonian) Rainforest where Donald Brightsmith is studying Macaws. I expected to be wowed by the Macaws, and was, but I was amazed by the biodiversity of the area, and unexpectedly fell in love with these charming Amazonian Parrots.
—-

The Mealy Parrot or Mealy Amazon is social and can be found in pairs or in large flocks. They are even known to interact with other parrots, such as macaws. They are usually quiet but can be loud at dusk and dawn. In captivity, they are known as one of the gentlest and calmest of all amazons.

The diet of the Mealy Amazon consists mostly of fruits, seeds, berries, nuts, blossoms, and leaf buds.

After Mealy Amazons reach sexual maturity they usually form monogamous relationships with a single partner. Each year courtship usually begins in early spring, and the female will usually lay three or four white eggs in tree-cavity nest. The female incubates the eggs for about 26 days. The male regurgitates food for the female during the incubation period, and later for the chicks in the nest as well. The chicks leave the nest about 60 days after hatching.

It is fairly common in most of its range, but has declined locally due to habitat loss and trapping for wild parrot trade. Though protected, the species are still smuggled into the United States from Mexico. In some areas Mealy Amazons are hunted as food. It may also be considered a crop pest. Source

Other Photos you may enjoy:

Scarlet Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw

Red and Green Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw

—-

fairy-wren:

mealy amazon parrot

photo by nature’s photo adventures

PEPPERMINT STICK INSECTMegacrania batesii© Photo and Text emblatame (Ron)-Flickr
The Peppermint Stick Insect has a very small and patchy distribution along some beach areas in Cape Tribulation, Etty Bay and Mission Beach in South Africa. They range in colour from bright green to turquoise and feed only on a few species of Pandanus plants. These spikey-leaved palms also provide some shelter from predators. The Peppermint Stick Insect spends all its time on the Pandanus, feeding, sheltering, mating and laying its eggs on the leaves where they roll down to the tight-fitting leaf axil to &#8216;incubate&#8217;.
Why is it called the Peppermint Stick Insect? As a defense mechanism, it sprays an irritating fluid at any predators (which include curious tourists) and this fluid smells like peppermint. This is a strenuous act for the frightened stick insect so if you are lucky enough to find one in your travels through the Wet Tropics, please don&#8217;t try to touch it. Nature lovers say this stresses the insect and damages the pandanus.
Most species of stick insects live in the trees, feed on the leaves and look just like a branch. The easiest way to pinpoint one is to look for a branch that seems out of alignment to the other branches or a branch that appears to be attached to the outside edges of leaves. Source
Other posts you might like:
Giant Prickly Insect
Child’s Stick closed and open
Chan Megastick - Walking Stick

PEPPERMINT STICK INSECT
Megacrania batesii
© Photo and Text emblatame (Ron)-Flickr

The Peppermint Stick Insect has a very small and patchy distribution along some beach areas in Cape Tribulation, Etty Bay and Mission Beach in South Africa. They range in colour from bright green to turquoise and feed only on a few species of Pandanus plants. These spikey-leaved palms also provide some shelter from predators. The Peppermint Stick Insect spends all its time on the Pandanus, feeding, sheltering, mating and laying its eggs on the leaves where they roll down to the tight-fitting leaf axil to ‘incubate’.

Why is it called the Peppermint Stick Insect? As a defense mechanism, it sprays an irritating fluid at any predators (which include curious tourists) and this fluid smells like peppermint. This is a strenuous act for the frightened stick insect so if you are lucky enough to find one in your travels through the Wet Tropics, please don’t try to touch it. Nature lovers say this stresses the insect and damages the pandanus.

Most species of stick insects live in the trees, feed on the leaves and look just like a branch. The easiest way to pinpoint one is to look for a branch that seems out of alignment to the other branches or a branch that appears to be attached to the outside edges of leaves. Source

Other posts you might like:

Giant Prickly Insect

Child’s Stick closed and open

Chan Megastick - Walking Stick

PISTOL SHRIMPSuper Family: Alpheoidea©Ellen Muller
The pistol shrimp competes with much larger animals like the Sperm Whale and Beluga Whale for the title of &#8216;loudest animal in the sea&#8217;. Amazing, given that the pistol shrimp is only 1–2 inches (3–5&#160;cm) long.
It is distinctive for its disproportionately large claw, (larger than half the shrimp&#8217;s body) which does not have pincers at the end. Rather, it has a pistol-like feature made of two parts. A joint allows the &#8220;hammer&#8221; part to move backward into a cocking position like a gun. When released, it snaps into the other part of the claw, creating a cavitation bubble capable of stunning fish and breaking small glass jars.
As the bubble extends out from the claw, it reaches speeds up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and releases a sound reaching 218 decibels. The duration of the click is less than 1 millisecond.
The snap can also produce sonoluminescence [light] from the collapsing bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000&#160;K (4,700 °C). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,800&#160;K (5,500 °C). The light is not visible to the naked eye. It is likely a by-product of the shock wave. It was the first known instance of an animal producing light by this effect.
The snapping is used for hunting, as well as for communication. When feeding, the shrimp usually lies in an obscured spot, such as a burrow. The shrimp then extends its antennae outwards to determine if any fish are passing by. Once it feels movement, the shrimp inches out of its hiding place, pulls back its claw, and releases a &#8220;shot&#8221; which stuns the prey; the shrimp pulls it into the burrow and feeds. Source
Excellent video of the Pistol Shrimp in action:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKPrGxB1Kzc
Other posts you may like:
Rainbow Mantis Shrimp  - also sonoluminescent 
Sexy Anemone Shrimp
Peppermint Shrimp

PISTOL SHRIMP
Super Family: Alpheoidea
©Ellen Muller

The pistol shrimp competes with much larger animals like the Sperm Whale and Beluga Whale for the title of ‘loudest animal in the sea’. Amazing, given that the pistol shrimp is only 1–2 inches (3–5 cm) long.

It is distinctive for its disproportionately large claw, (larger than half the shrimp’s body) which does not have pincers at the end. Rather, it has a pistol-like feature made of two parts. A joint allows the “hammer” part to move backward into a cocking position like a gun. When released, it snaps into the other part of the claw, creating a cavitation bubble capable of stunning fish and breaking small glass jars.

As the bubble extends out from the claw, it reaches speeds up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and releases a sound reaching 218 decibels. The duration of the click is less than 1 millisecond.

The snap can also produce sonoluminescence [light] from the collapsing bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000 K (4,700 °C). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,800 K (5,500 °C). The light is not visible to the naked eye. It is likely a by-product of the shock wave. It was the first known instance of an animal producing light by this effect.

The snapping is used for hunting, as well as for communication. When feeding, the shrimp usually lies in an obscured spot, such as a burrow. The shrimp then extends its antennae outwards to determine if any fish are passing by. Once it feels movement, the shrimp inches out of its hiding place, pulls back its claw, and releases a “shot” which stuns the prey; the shrimp pulls it into the burrow and feeds. Source

Excellent video of the Pistol Shrimp in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKPrGxB1Kzc

Other posts you may like:

Rainbow Mantis Shrimp  - also sonoluminescent

Sexy Anemone Shrimp

Peppermint Shrimp

HILDEBRANDT&#8217;S STARLINGLamprotornis hildebrandtiTanzania, Africa ©Noel Feans
Hildebrandt&#8217;s Starling is colorful bird found in Kenya and Tanzania. Its habitat is open woodland and thornbrush country. The adult has bright iridescent plumage on its upper body. This iridescence is derived from the interference of reflected light from regimented microscopic feather structures and not from pigments.
The head is blue as are most of the upperparts, the wings are bronze-green with blue primaries, the throat and upper breast are glossy purple, and the tail is glossy blue-green. The middle breast and upper belly are orange-buff and the lower belly is rufous. The iris is orange-red, and the bill and legs are black. Male and female adults are identical in external appearance.
The diet of Hildebrandt&#8217;s Starling is a combination of insects and fruit, with insects apparently being the more important constituent. It has been observed feeding on beetles and grasshoppers, as well as hawking for flying termites. Seeds from fruit have also been found in the stomachs of some birds. It usually feeds on the ground, in pairs and small flocks, and will readily follow large mammals and catch prey flushed by their movement. It also joins mixed flocks of other starlings. Source
Other posts you may like:
Male Violet-backed Starling
Superb Starling
Srilankan Blue Magpie

HILDEBRANDT’S STARLING
Lamprotornis hildebrandti
Tanzania, Africa
©Noel Feans

Hildebrandt’s Starling is colorful bird found in Kenya and Tanzania. Its habitat is open woodland and thornbrush country. The adult has bright iridescent plumage on its upper body. This iridescence is derived from the interference of reflected light from regimented microscopic feather structures and not from pigments.

The head is blue as are most of the upperparts, the wings are bronze-green with blue primaries, the throat and upper breast are glossy purple, and the tail is glossy blue-green. The middle breast and upper belly are orange-buff and the lower belly is rufous. The iris is orange-red, and the bill and legs are black. Male and female adults are identical in external appearance.

The diet of Hildebrandt’s Starling is a combination of insects and fruit, with insects apparently being the more important constituent. It has been observed feeding on beetles and grasshoppers, as well as hawking for flying termites. Seeds from fruit have also been found in the stomachs of some birds. It usually feeds on the ground, in pairs and small flocks, and will readily follow large mammals and catch prey flushed by their movement. It also joins mixed flocks of other starlings. Source

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Male Violet-backed Starling

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Srilankan Blue Magpie

ASSASSIN SPIDER or PELICAN SPIDEREriauchenius legendrei (?)Photographed in Andasibe National Park, Madagascar©Photo and Text by Paul Bertner
These strange spiders go by a variety of names which reflect their form and behaviour, though they are most commonly referred to as spider assassins and pelican spiders. The former epithet refers to their araneophagic [spider eating] diet, while the latter pays homage to their morphologically unique ‘necks’ (actually an extension of the cephalothorax). 
Despite the natural interest which these spiders garner by their looks alone, little is known about their natural history which can be explained by a variety of factors; their diminutive size (2-8&#160;mm), nocturnal habits, location under foliage suspended head down, or by their short-range endemism. 
Not to mention that their cryptic colouration, browns and greys, which facilitate their camouflage as they drop evasively to the leaf litter. As a result, these spiders are poorly represented in the scientific literature, leaving it up to the imagination of the reader or better yet, the observer to fill in the details of their lives. More text and images here
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Electron Microscope of spider spinnerets in action
Ladybird Spider
Apache Jumping Spider
Indian Ornamental Tree Spider

ASSASSIN SPIDER or PELICAN SPIDER
Eriauchenius legendrei (?)
Photographed in Andasibe National Park, Madagascar
©Photo and Text by Paul Bertner

These strange spiders go by a variety of names which reflect their form and behaviour, though they are most commonly referred to as spider assassins and pelican spiders. The former epithet refers to their araneophagic [spider eating] diet, while the latter pays homage to their morphologically unique ‘necks’ (actually an extension of the cephalothorax). 

Despite the natural interest which these spiders garner by their looks alone, little is known about their natural history which can be explained by a variety of factors; their diminutive size (2-8 mm), nocturnal habits, location under foliage suspended head down, or by their short-range endemism. 

Not to mention that their cryptic colouration, browns and greys, which facilitate their camouflage as they drop evasively to the leaf litter. As a result, these spiders are poorly represented in the scientific literature, leaving it up to the imagination of the reader or better yet, the observer to fill in the details of their lives. More text and images here

Other posts you may like:

Electron Microscope of spider spinnerets in action

Ladybird Spider

Apache Jumping Spider

Indian Ornamental Tree Spider

Reblogged from reptilefacts
ROYAL BALL PYTHON - Desert MorphPython regius©Dan Wolfe - DWHerp.com
This nonvenomous python species is found in Africa. This is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, largely due to its typically docile temperament. No subspecies are currently recognized, but there are several color morphs including the desert morph shown above.
They are also known as royal pythons or ball pythons. The name &#8220;ball python&#8221; refers to the animal&#8217;s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. The name &#8220;royal python&#8221; (from the Latin regius) is based in part on the story that Cleopatra (Queen of the Nile) supposedly wore the snake around her wrist.
The Igboo people of Southern Nigeria treat these pythons with great care whenever they wander into a village or onto someone&#8217;s property. They are very gently picked up and placed out in a forest or field away from any homes. If one is accidentally killed, many communities in Igboland will still build a coffin for the snake&#8217;s remains and give it a short funeral. Source
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Boelen Python -  Beolen showing iridescent sheen (detail)
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&#8212;-
reptilefacts:

Desert Royal Python

ROYAL BALL PYTHON - Desert Morph
Python regius
©Dan Wolfe - DWHerp.com

This nonvenomous python species is found in Africa. This is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, largely due to its typically docile temperament. No subspecies are currently recognized, but there are several color morphs including the desert morph shown above.

They are also known as royal pythons or ball pythons. The name “ball python” refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. The name “royal python” (from the Latin regius) is based in part on the story that Cleopatra (Queen of the Nile) supposedly wore the snake around her wrist.

The Igboo people of Southern Nigeria treat these pythons with great care whenever they wander into a village or onto someone’s property. They are very gently picked up and placed out in a forest or field away from any homes. If one is accidentally killed, many communities in Igboland will still build a coffin for the snake’s remains and give it a short funeral. Source

Other posts you may like:

Boelen Python Beolen showing iridescent sheen (detail)

Coastal Carpet Python

Enormous Albino Python

Green Indonesian Tree Python

—-

reptilefacts:

Desert Royal Python

Reblogged from
GIANT REDHEADED CENTIPEDEScolopendra heros©TL McCormick


The Giant Redheaded Centipede is a species of centipede found in North America. It has an average length of 6.5 inches (170 mm), but can reach up to 8 in (200 mm). Its trunk bears 21 or 23 pairs of legs. It is aposematically [brightly] colored, to warn off potential predators, and a number of color variants are known in the species.

S. heros is found in northern Mexico and the southern United States, from New Mexico and Arizona in the west, to Arkansas and Missouri in the east. It remains underground on warm days, emerging in cloudy weather. Source
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Purple Long-Legged Centipede
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&#8212;-
winsect:

Scolopendra heros, Giant Redheaded Centipede
North America

GIANT REDHEADED CENTIPEDE
Scolopendra heros
©TL McCormick

The Giant Redheaded Centipede is a species of centipede found in North America. It has an average length of 6.5 inches (170 mm), but can reach up to 8 in (200 mm). Its trunk bears 21 or 23 pairs of legs. It is aposematically [brightly] colored, to warn off potential predators, and a number of color variants are known in the species.

S. heros is found in northern Mexico and the southern United States, from New Mexico and Arizona in the west, to Arkansas and Missouri in the east. It remains underground on warm days, emerging in cloudy weather. Source

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Purple Long-Legged Centipede

Two Pink Dragon Millipedes

Onychophora spitting goo

—-

winsect:

Scolopendra heros, Giant Redheaded Centipede

North America

(Source: , via arrowtongue)

Reblogged from konishiroku

NORTHERN ROYAL FLYCATCHEROnychorhynchus coronatus mexicanusby Aves Internacionales
The Northern Royal Flycatcher is a species of bird in the Tyrannidae family. It is found in Mexico, south through most of Central America, to north-western Colombia and far western Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
The Northern Royal Flycatcher is 16.5–18 cm (6½-7”) long, with an erectile fan-shaped crest, coloured red in the male and yellow-orange in the female. The display with the crest fully raised is seen extremely rarely, except during banding sessions.
The Northern Royal Flycatcher is usually inconspicuous and quiet, but sometimes gives a repeated sharp clear pree-o or key-up.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Royal_Flycatcher
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Hoopoe
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NORTHERN ROYAL FLYCATCHER
Onychorhynchus coronatus
mexicanus
by Aves Internacionales

The Northern Royal Flycatcher is a species of bird in the Tyrannidae family. It is found in Mexico, south through most of Central America, to north-western Colombia and far western Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The Northern Royal Flycatcher is 16.5–18 cm (6½-7”) long, with an erectile fan-shaped crest, coloured red in the male and yellow-orange in the female. The display with the crest fully raised is seen extremely rarely, except during banding sessions.

The Northern Royal Flycatcher is usually inconspicuous and quiet, but sometimes gives a repeated sharp clear pree-o or key-up.

Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Royal_Flycatcher

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Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Hoopoe

East African Guineafowl

Antillian Crested Hummingbord

(Source: konishiroku, via seaeaweed)