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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ARMADILLO GIRDLED LIZARDCordylus Cataphractus©Trevor Hardaker
The Armadillo Lizard is a lizard endemic to desert areas of southern Africa. The natural habitat of this lizard is scrub and rocky outcrops. It is diurnal. It hides in rock cracks and crevices. It lives in social groups of up to 30.
The Armadillo Lizard possesses an uncommon antipredator  adaptation, in which it takes its tail in its mouth and rolls into a  ball when frightened.
Males are territorial, protecting a territory and mating with the females living there. The female gives birth to one or two live young; the species is one of the few lizards that does not lay eggs. The female may even feed her young, which is also unusual for a lizard.
It can live up to 25 years in captivity, or slightly more in rarer cases.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillo_Lizard
Other photos you may enjoy:
Camel Spider
Leaf-tailed gecko - looking like wood
Blue Headed Sinai Agamid

ARMADILLO GIRDLED LIZARD
Cordylus Cataphractus
©Trevor Hardaker

The Armadillo Lizard is a lizard endemic to desert areas of southern Africa. The natural habitat of this lizard is scrub and rocky outcrops. It is diurnal. It hides in rock cracks and crevices. It lives in social groups of up to 30.

The Armadillo Lizard possesses an uncommon antipredator adaptation, in which it takes its tail in its mouth and rolls into a ball when frightened.

Males are territorial, protecting a territory and mating with the females living there. The female gives birth to one or two live young; the species is one of the few lizards that does not lay eggs. The female may even feed her young, which is also unusual for a lizard.

It can live up to 25 years in captivity, or slightly more in rarer cases.

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

Other photos you may enjoy:

Camel Spider

Leaf-tailed gecko - looking like wood

Blue Headed Sinai Agamid

Reblogged from scoto-philia
BINTURONGArctictis binturong©jennifernasim
Its natural habitat is in trees of forest canopy in rainforest of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
It is nocturnal and sleeps on branches. It eats primarily fruit, but also has been known to eat eggs, shoots, leaves, and small animals, such as rodents or birds. Deforestation  has greatly reduced its numbers. When cornered, the Binturong can be  vicious. The Binturong can make chuckling sounds when it seems to be  happy and utter a high-pitched wail if annoyed. The Binturong can live  over 20 years in captivity; one has been recorded to have lived almost 26 years.
The scent of Binturong musk is often compared to that of warm buttered popcorn and cornbread. The Binturong brushes its tail against trees and howls to announce its presence to other Binturongs.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binturong
Other posts:
Grandider’s Mongoose
Malay Civet Cat
Kopi Lewak - Asian Palm Civet
—-
Dear Paxton,
If there wasn’t enough to love, I also smell like warm-buttered popcorn.P.S. I’d love you more if you spelled my name right :)
—Binturong
—-
rhamphotheca:

Dear Mr. Binterong, I… I think I love you. - Paxon

BINTURONG
Arctictis binturong
©jennifernasim

Its natural habitat is in trees of forest canopy in rainforest of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It is nocturnal and sleeps on branches. It eats primarily fruit, but also has been known to eat eggs, shoots, leaves, and small animals, such as rodents or birds. Deforestation has greatly reduced its numbers. When cornered, the Binturong can be vicious. The Binturong can make chuckling sounds when it seems to be happy and utter a high-pitched wail if annoyed. The Binturong can live over 20 years in captivity; one has been recorded to have lived almost 26 years.

The scent of Binturong musk is often compared to that of warm buttered popcorn and cornbread. The Binturong brushes its tail against trees and howls to announce its presence to other Binturongs.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binturong

Other posts:

Grandider’s Mongoose

Malay Civet Cat

Kopi Lewak - Asian Palm Civet

—-

Dear Paxton,

If there wasn’t enough to love, I also smell like warm-buttered popcorn.
P.S. I’d love you more if you spelled my name right :)

—Binturong

—-

rhamphotheca:

Dear Mr. Binterong, I… I think I love you. - Paxon

(Source: scoto-philia)

Sleeping EASTERN SCREECH OWLMegascops asio©hump7/John Gavin
The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl that is relatively common in Eastern North America, from Mexico to Canada.
They are strictly nocturnal, roosting during the day in cavities or next  to tree trunks [as shown - they are wonderfully camouflaged]. They are quite common, and can often be found in  residential areas. Though they generally go unnoticed, these owls are  frequently heard calling at night, especially during their spring  breeding season.
Despite their name, this owl (nor most “screech-owls”)  doesn’t truly screech. The Eastern Screech-Owl’s call is a haunting tremolo with a descending, whinny-like quality.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Screech_Owl
Other posts:
Western Screech Owl
Russian Eagle Owl
Short-eared Owl

Sleeping EASTERN SCREECH OWL
Megascops asio
©hump7/John Gavin

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small owl that is relatively common in Eastern North America, from Mexico to Canada.

They are strictly nocturnal, roosting during the day in cavities or next to tree trunks [as shown - they are wonderfully camouflaged]. They are quite common, and can often be found in residential areas. Though they generally go unnoticed, these owls are frequently heard calling at night, especially during their spring breeding season.

Despite their name, this owl (nor most “screech-owls”) doesn’t truly screech. The Eastern Screech-Owl’s call is a haunting tremolo with a descending, whinny-like quality.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Screech_Owl

Other posts:

Western Screech Owl

Russian Eagle Owl

Short-eared Owl

Reblogged from electricorchid
YELLOW TONGUED FOREST ANOLEAnolis nitens© wren el renegade
Photo shot in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
"We studied the ecology of Anolis nitens brasiliensis during late-dry and early-wet season 2005 in a Cerrado habitat in Tocantins state, Brazil. Most lizards were found on tree trunks or leaf litter in non-flooded igapo´ forest. Most were found in shade or filtered sun on both cloudy and sunny days. Body temperatures (Tbs) averaged 30.6OC and did not vary among microhabitats. Microhabitats in shade or filtered sun provided temperatures throughout the day allowing lizard activity. 
Nineteen prey categories were found in lizard stomachs, but the diet was dominated byspiders, crickets/grasshoppers, ants, and beetles. 
Males were larger in SVL and mass than females, and males had relatively longer hind limbs than females. Females were variable but larger in body width. 
In general, the ecology of Anolis n. brasiliensis is similar to that of its Amazonian relatives, with the exception that it lives in a more thermally extreme environment and is active at slightly higher Tbs. Ecological traits of this lizard, particularly its reliance on relatively low Tb for activity, suggest that it might be particularly vulnerable to local extinction if its habitat is altered.”
From a study by: Laurie J. Vitt, Donald B. Shepard, Gustavo H. C. Vieira, Janalee P. Caldwell, Guarino R. Colli, and Daniel O. Mesquita.
Source: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1447885
Other posts:
Lace Bug
Spanish Walking Stick
Mossy Leaf Gecko
——electricorchid:

herpetological camouflage | +

YELLOW TONGUED FOREST ANOLE
Anolis nitens
©
 wren el renegade

Photo shot in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador

"We studied the ecology of Anolis nitens brasiliensis during late-dry and early-wet season 2005 in a Cerrado habitat in Tocantins state, Brazil. Most lizards were found on tree trunks or leaf litter in non-flooded igapo´ forest. Most were found in shade or filtered sun on both cloudy and sunny days. Body temperatures (Tbs) averaged 30.6OC and did not vary among microhabitats. Microhabitats in shade or filtered sun provided temperatures throughout the day allowing lizard activity.

Nineteen prey categories were found in lizard stomachs, but the diet was dominated by
spiders, crickets/grasshoppers, ants, and beetles.

Males were larger in SVL and mass than females, and males had relatively longer hind limbs than females. Females were variable but larger in body width.

In general, the ecology of Anolis n. brasiliensis is similar to that of its Amazonian relatives, with the exception that it lives in a more thermally extreme environment and is active at slightly higher Tbs. Ecological traits of this lizard, particularly its reliance on relatively low Tb for activity, suggest that it might be particularly vulnerable to local extinction if its habitat is altered.”

From a study by: Laurie J. Vitt, Donald B. Shepard, Gustavo H. C. Vieira, Janalee P. Caldwell, Guarino R. Colli, and Daniel O. Mesquita.

Source: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1447885

Other posts:

Lace Bug

Spanish Walking Stick

Mossy Leaf Gecko

——
electricorchid
:

herpetological camouflage | +

HORSEHEAD GRASSHOPPERPseudoproscopia latirostris© Scott Thompson aka macrojunkie
These  							absolutely incredible looking insects are 							HORSEHEAD GRASSHOPPERS  							from Peru!  They resemble  							stick insects in many ways (and like stick insects  							they feed on leaves such as bramble and oak) but as  							they are grasshoppers they have enormously long back  							legs and can hop surprisingly well considering how  							thin these legs are!
Source: 
http://www.jonathansjungleroadshow.co.uk/Horsehead%20grasshoppers.htm
Other Posts:
Stick Grasshopper
Unidentified South American Grasshopper 
Malaysian Jungle Nymph / Giant Thorny Phasmid

HORSEHEAD GRASSHOPPER
Pseudoproscopia latirostris
© Scott Thompson aka macrojunkie

These absolutely incredible looking insects are HORSEHEAD GRASSHOPPERS from Peru!  They resemble stick insects in many ways (and like stick insects they feed on leaves such as bramble and oak) but as they are grasshoppers they have enormously long back legs and can hop surprisingly well considering how thin these legs are!

Source:

http://www.jonathansjungleroadshow.co.uk/Horsehead%20grasshoppers.htm

Other Posts:

Stick Grasshopper

Unidentified South American Grasshopper

Malaysian Jungle Nymph / Giant Thorny Phasmid

DEATH’S HEAD HAWKMOTHAcherontia atropos©François Sockhom Mey
The moth also has numerous other unusual features. It has the ability to  emit a loud squeak if irritated. The sound is produced by expelling air  from its proboscis.  It often accompanies this sound with flashing its brightly marked  abdomen in a further attempt to deter its predators. It is commonly  observed raiding beehives for honey at night. Unlike the other species of Acherontia, it only attacks colonies of the well-known Western honey bee, Apis mellifera.  It is attacked by guard bees at the entrance, but the thick cuticle and  resistance to venom allow it to enter the hive. It is able to move  about in hives unmolested because it mimics the scent of the bees.
The skull pattern has helped the moth earn a negative reputation, such as associations with the supernatural and evil. Numerous superstitions claim that the moth brings bad luck to the house into which it flies: death or grave misfortune.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acherontia_atropos
Other posts:
Deathhead Hawk Moth
Oleander “camo” Hawkmoth
Hawkmoth Caterpillar mimicking a snake

DEATH’S HEAD HAWKMOTH
Acherontia atropos
©François Sockhom Mey

The moth also has numerous other unusual features. It has the ability to emit a loud squeak if irritated. The sound is produced by expelling air from its proboscis. It often accompanies this sound with flashing its brightly marked abdomen in a further attempt to deter its predators. It is commonly observed raiding beehives for honey at night. Unlike the other species of Acherontia, it only attacks colonies of the well-known Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is attacked by guard bees at the entrance, but the thick cuticle and resistance to venom allow it to enter the hive. It is able to move about in hives unmolested because it mimics the scent of the bees.

The skull pattern has helped the moth earn a negative reputation, such as associations with the supernatural and evil. Numerous superstitions claim that the moth brings bad luck to the house into which it flies: death or grave misfortune.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acherontia_atropos

Other posts:

Deathhead Hawk Moth

Oleander “camo” Hawkmoth

Hawkmoth Caterpillar mimicking a snake

WATTLED CURASSOWCrax globulosa©venwu225
The Wattled Curassow is about 82–89 cm (32–35 in) long, and weighs around 2,500 g (88 oz). It is a large curassow  lacking the white tail-tips found in many of these birds; the feathers  along the crest of its head are curled forwards. Males have black plumage all over except for the white crissum (area between legs and tail). It has conspicuous crimson bill ornaments—a round red knob with bony core adorns the maxilla base, while the cere extends apically at least halfway under this knob and below the mandible base forms a small fleshy wattle.
It has been found from the western and southwestern Amazon Basin of Brazil west to the Andes foothills of southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and Peru, and northern Bolivia. Its area of occurrence is essentially delimited by the Caquetá-Japurá, Solimões, Amazon and Madeira Rivers, and the 300 meter contour line towards the Andes.  But its precise distribution is very little-known; most populations  were observed by people travelling along the rivers in its range.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattled_Curassow
Other Posts:
Fisher’s Turaco
Edward’s Crested Guineafowl
Wattled Smokey Honeyeater

WATTLED CURASSOW
Crax globulosa
©venwu225

The Wattled Curassow is about 82–89 cm (32–35 in) long, and weighs around 2,500 g (88 oz). It is a large curassow lacking the white tail-tips found in many of these birds; the feathers along the crest of its head are curled forwards. Males have black plumage all over except for the white crissum (area between legs and tail). It has conspicuous crimson bill ornaments—a round red knob with bony core adorns the maxilla base, while the cere extends apically at least halfway under this knob and below the mandible base forms a small fleshy wattle.

It has been found from the western and southwestern Amazon Basin of Brazil west to the Andes foothills of southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and Peru, and northern Bolivia. Its area of occurrence is essentially delimited by the Caquetá-Japurá, Solimões, Amazon and Madeira Rivers, and the 300 meter contour line towards the Andes. But its precise distribution is very little-known; most populations were observed by people travelling along the rivers in its range.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattled_Curassow

Other Posts:

Fisher’s Turaco

Edward’s Crested Guineafowl

Wattled Smokey Honeyeater

TREEHOPPER mimicking a dead leaf or old insect casingOeda inflata©Paul Bertner
There are about 3,200 known species of treehoppers in over 600 genera. They are found on all continents except Antarctica, although there are only three species in Europe.This one is from Kurupukari crossing, Guyana.
They are best known for their enlarged and ornate pronotum, which most often resembles thorns, apparently to aid camouflage.  But in some species, the pronotum grows to an extension even more bizarre like the desiccated leaf shape pictured above.
Treehoppers (and their cousins Planthoppers and Leafhoppers), due to their unusual appearance, have long interested naturalists.  There is no way to tell the male and females apart other than looking  at the male genitalia. Individual treehoppers usually live for only a  few months, but they belong to a lineage that is at least 40 million  years old.
A team from the Institute of Developmental Biology of  Marseille-Luminy in 2011 provide good evidence that the  helmet arises as a pair of appendages, attached to each side of the  dorsal prothorax by an articulation, with muscles and flexible membrane  that allow it to be mobile. Genetic evidence: the same genes are  involved in development of the helmet and the wings.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehopper
Other posts:I love these hoppers and have posted many odd-looking species in the past. Here are a few of my favorite:
Ball Bearer Leaf Hopper
Blue Horseshoe-shaped Treehopper
Colorful Leafhopper Nymph
Cluster of Fulgorid Planthoppers
Treehopper with elaborate “helmet”
Chart of Leafhopper Diversity

TREEHOPPER mimicking a dead leaf or old insect casing
Oeda inflata
©Paul Bertner

There are about 3,200 known species of treehoppers in over 600 genera. They are found on all continents except Antarctica, although there are only three species in Europe.This one is from Kurupukari crossing, Guyana.

They are best known for their enlarged and ornate pronotum, which most often resembles thorns, apparently to aid camouflage. But in some species, the pronotum grows to an extension even more bizarre like the desiccated leaf shape pictured above.

Treehoppers (and their cousins Planthoppers and Leafhoppers), due to their unusual appearance, have long interested naturalists. There is no way to tell the male and females apart other than looking at the male genitalia. Individual treehoppers usually live for only a few months, but they belong to a lineage that is at least 40 million years old.

A team from the Institute of Developmental Biology of Marseille-Luminy in 2011 provide good evidence that the helmet arises as a pair of appendages, attached to each side of the dorsal prothorax by an articulation, with muscles and flexible membrane that allow it to be mobile. Genetic evidence: the same genes are involved in development of the helmet and the wings.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehopper

Other posts:
I love these hoppers and have posted many odd-looking species in the past. Here are a few of my favorite:

Ball Bearer Leaf Hopper

Blue Horseshoe-shaped Treehopper

Colorful Leafhopper Nymph

Cluster of Fulgorid Planthoppers

Treehopper with elaborate “helmet”

Chart of Leafhopper Diversity

BLACK BARRED ROCKGallus gallus domesticus©Michael Durham
I bought chickens today! They are a month old and look kinda gangly, in fact give of them look exactly like the Black Barred Rock chicks pictured. I didn’t want day old chicks as they are too much work. These guys are a little easier, but will still be living indoors for the next few weeks which will give me time to finalize plans for the coop and pen. I’m so excited!
Here’s what I got:
5 Black Barred Rocks
3 Buff Orpingtons
2 Golden Seabrights
1 Black Cochin (with feathers on its feet)

BLACK BARRED ROCK
Gallus gallus domesticus
©Michael Durham


I bought chickens today! They are a month old and look kinda gangly, in fact give of them look exactly like the Black Barred Rock chicks pictured. I didn’t want day old chicks as they are too much work. These guys are a little easier, but will still be living indoors for the next few weeks which will give me time to finalize plans for the coop and pen. I’m so excited!

Here’s what I got:

5 Black Barred Rocks

3 Buff Orpingtons

2 Golden Seabrights

1 Black Cochin (with feathers on its feet)

Reblogged from nabokovsnotebook
ZEBRAFISH EmbryoDanio rerio©http://www.ucl.ac.uk
Because of its outstanding suitability for imaging and transgenesis  approaches, the developing zebrafish is set to become a leading  vertebrate model for studies of brain circuitry, synaptic plasticity and  behaviour.
An essential prerequisite for studies of circuit  connectivity and behaviour is a clear understanding of the neuroanatomy  of the brain. However, there is a lack of detailed neuroanatomical  information for this vertebrate model - this lack of knowledge presents a  major bottleneck in the field.  Although we have a reasonable  understanding of the general principles of how neurons are generated and  acquire identities, our knowledge of the circuitry subsequently  established by the neurons is very fragmentary. More here, or at the link below
Source: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/zebrafish-group/research/neuroanatomy.php
Other posts:
2 Day old Zebrafish (larval stage Zebrafish can regenerate organs and skin)
Electron Mircoscope Photo of Spider spinning silk
Electron Mircoscope Photo of Butterfly egg
—-
nabokovsnotebook:

4 day old zebrafish embryo labelled with SV2 and acetylated tubulin antibodies showing axon tracts(green) and neuropil(red)viewed from lateral and dorsal orientations.
I TA for a course that involves photographing zebrafish embryos through development, and it is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever looked at. This image was taken by scientists at UCL in London. 

ZEBRAFISH Embryo
Danio rerio
©http://www.ucl.ac.uk

Because of its outstanding suitability for imaging and transgenesis approaches, the developing zebrafish is set to become a leading vertebrate model for studies of brain circuitry, synaptic plasticity and behaviour.

An essential prerequisite for studies of circuit connectivity and behaviour is a clear understanding of the neuroanatomy of the brain. However, there is a lack of detailed neuroanatomical information for this vertebrate model - this lack of knowledge presents a major bottleneck in the field. Although we have a reasonable understanding of the general principles of how neurons are generated and acquire identities, our knowledge of the circuitry subsequently established by the neurons is very fragmentary. More here, or at the link below

Source: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/zebrafish-group/research/neuroanatomy.php

Other posts:

2 Day old Zebrafish (larval stage Zebrafish can regenerate organs and skin)

Electron Mircoscope Photo of Spider spinning silk

Electron Mircoscope Photo of Butterfly egg

—-

nabokovsnotebook:

4 day old zebrafish embryo labelled with SV2 and acetylated tubulin antibodies showing axon tracts(green) and neuropil(red)viewed from lateral and dorsal orientations.

I TA for a course that involves photographing zebrafish embryos through development, and it is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever looked at. This image was taken by scientists at UCL in London. 

Reblogged from sciencecenter

VELVET WORM shoots goo to catch prey
Phylum: ONYCHOPHORA
(literally “Claw bearers”)

©David Attenborough

The slime of the Onychophora is forcefully squirted from a pair of slime glands in defence against predators and to capture prey. The slime glands, positioned on the sides of the head below the antennae, are a pair of highly modified limbs. The slime can be propelled up to four centimetres, although accuracy drops with range. One squirt usually suffices to snare a prey item, although larger prey may require smaller squirts targeted at the limbs; additionally, the fangs of spiders are sometimes targeted.

The slime, which can account for up to 11% of the organism’s dry weight, is 90% water; its dry residue consists mainly of proteins—primarily a collagen-type protein. 1.3% of the slime’s dry weight consists of sugars, mainly glactosamine. The slime also contains lipids and the surfactant nonylphenol. Onychophora are the only organisms known to produce this latter substance.

The proteinaceous composition accounts for the slime’s high tensile strength and stretchiness. Upon ejection, it forms a net of threads about 20 µm in diameter, with evenly spaced droplets of viscous adhesive fluid along their length. It subsequently dries, shrinking, losing its stickiness, and becoming brittle. Onychophora will eat and “reuse” any dried slime.

It takes an onychophoran around 24 days to replenish an exhausted slime repository.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onychophora

Other Posts:

Velvet Worm Photo (shooting goo)

Mozambique Spitting Cobra

Baby Striped Skunks

—-

sciencecenter:

The velvet worm - one of the creepiest crawlies you’ll ever see

Check out this short video, in which David Attenborough introduces you to the obscure Onychophora worms.

Those stubby little legs are enough to give you nightmares.

LYCHEE SHIELD BUG - a jewel bugChyrsocoris stolli©nagraj v
Jewel bugs are small to medium-sized oval-shaped hemipterans or true bugs with a body length averaging at 5 to 20 mm (0.20 to 0.79 in). They can easily be distinguished from stink bugs (Pentatomidae) because the shield-like enlarged last section of their thorax (known as the scutellum, Latin for “little shield”) completely covers the abdomen and the wings, unlike the elytra of beetles which are hardened forewings. As such, jewel bugs have four membranous wings underneath the scutellum in contrast to two in beetles.  The scutellum in jewel bugs also does not have a division in the middle  and thus does not ‘split open’ when they take flight like in beetles.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutelleridae
Other posts:
Elvis-faced Shield Bug
Mallotus Shield Bug
Mating Festive Tiger Beetles

LYCHEE SHIELD BUG - a jewel bug
Chyrsocoris stolli
©nagraj v

Jewel bugs are small to medium-sized oval-shaped hemipterans or true bugs with a body length averaging at 5 to 20 mm (0.20 to 0.79 in). They can easily be distinguished from stink bugs (Pentatomidae) because the shield-like enlarged last section of their thorax (known as the scutellum, Latin for “little shield”) completely covers the abdomen and the wings, unlike the elytra of beetles which are hardened forewings. As such, jewel bugs have four membranous wings underneath the scutellum in contrast to two in beetles. The scutellum in jewel bugs also does not have a division in the middle and thus does not ‘split open’ when they take flight like in beetles.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutelleridae

Other posts:

Elvis-faced Shield Bug

Mallotus Shield Bug

Mating Festive Tiger Beetles

SUNFLOWER SEA STAR (Gold) - the biggest species of sea starPycnopodia helianthoides© Paul Nicklen, National Geographic
A sunflower  sea star is draped moplike over a seafloor rock off the  British  Columbia coast. Though commonly called starfish, sea stars are  not fish  but echinoderms, more closely related to sea urchins and sand  dollars.  Only the five-armed species really resemble stars—others may  boast as  many as 40 appendages.
It is the largest sea star in the world. Sunflower sea stars can grow to have an arm span of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter.  The color of the sunflower sea star ranges from bright orange, yellow  and red to brown and sometimes to purple, with soft, velvet-textured  bodies and 16–24 arms with powerful suckers. Most sea star species have a mesh-like skeleton that protects their internal organs.  Easily stressed by predators such as large fish and other sea stars,  they can shed arms to escape, which will grow back within a few weeks.
Sunflower sea stars are quick, efficient hunters, moving at a speed of one metre per minute, using 15,000 tube feet which lie on the undersides of the body. They are commonly found around urchin barrens, as the sea urchin is a favorite food. They also eat clams, snails, abalone, sea cucumbers and other sea stars.
Juvenile sunflower sea star begin life with five arms, and grow the rest as they mature. The life span of most sea stars is 3–5 years.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_starfish
Other posts:
Purple Sunflower Sea Star
Purple and Orange Royal Sea Star
Necklace Sea Star
Northern Basket Star

SUNFLOWER SEA STAR (Gold) - the biggest species of sea star
Pycnopodia helianthoides
© Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

A sunflower sea star is draped moplike over a seafloor rock off the British Columbia coast. Though commonly called starfish, sea stars are not fish but echinoderms, more closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. Only the five-armed species really resemble stars—others may boast as many as 40 appendages.

It is the largest sea star in the world. Sunflower sea stars can grow to have an arm span of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. The color of the sunflower sea star ranges from bright orange, yellow and red to brown and sometimes to purple, with soft, velvet-textured bodies and 16–24 arms with powerful suckers. Most sea star species have a mesh-like skeleton that protects their internal organs. Easily stressed by predators such as large fish and other sea stars, they can shed arms to escape, which will grow back within a few weeks.

Sunflower sea stars are quick, efficient hunters, moving at a speed of one metre per minute, using 15,000 tube feet which lie on the undersides of the body. They are commonly found around urchin barrens, as the sea urchin is a favorite food. They also eat clams, snails, abalone, sea cucumbers and other sea stars.

Juvenile sunflower sea star begin life with five arms, and grow the rest as they mature. The life span of most sea stars is 3–5 years.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_starfish

Other posts:

Purple Sunflower Sea Star

Purple and Orange Royal Sea Star

Necklace Sea Star

Northern Basket Star

Reblogged from oranges-and-licorice
LONG-LEGGED GREEN FLY Condylostylus sp.©Nagrajv.com
itjustgoeson:

Long-legged Green Fly Condylostylus sp. Sciapodinae sub-family Dolichopodidae family Very beautiful and very small, they  perch on board leaves and keep guarding their territory. Very agile and  quick flier. They are very common to see, if you look very keenly.  I have seen many specimens before and none had the black spots on the  wings like this and the colors are very intense. There is one more  specimen in WS which does not have the black spots.
Photo and Info: nagaraj vn

Other posts:
Blue Soldier Fly
Giant Wing Derbid
Stalk-eyed Fly - pushing eye distance from the head to new limits (also video)

LONG-LEGGED GREEN FLY
Condylostylus sp.
©Nagrajv.com

itjustgoeson:

Long-legged Green Fly
Condylostylus sp.
Sciapodinae sub-family
Dolichopodidae family

Very beautiful and very small, they perch on board leaves and keep guarding their territory. Very agile and quick flier. They are very common to see, if you look very keenly.
I have seen many specimens before and none had the black spots on the wings like this and the colors are very intense. There is one more specimen in WS which does not have the black spots.

Photo and Info: nagaraj vn

Other posts:

Blue Soldier Fly

Giant Wing Derbid

Stalk-eyed Fly - pushing eye distance from the head to new limits (also video)

BORNEAN FLATHEADED FROG - has NO LUNGSBarbourula kalimantanensis©David Bickford
When I first read about this lungless acquatic frog find I thought, hmm interesting. When I read on to discover how rare a phenomenon it is — complete lunglessness has only been recorded in three species, and this is the only amphibian — it takes on a bit more weight. So a little flatter and breathing through its skin, I give you the lungless and rather plain-looking Bornean Flat-headed Frog. The frog finding represents the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, according to a report in the April 8 issue  of the research journal Current Biology. The aquatic frog  Barbourula kalimantanensis apparently gets all the oxygen it needs through its skin, researchers said.
Two populations of the aquatic, brown frog were found during an expedition to Indonesian Borneo, scientists reported. “I have to say that I was very skeptical at first [that they would completely lack lungs],” said David Bickford of the National University of Singapore, a member of the research team. “We were all shocked when it turned out to be true for all the specimens we had from Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Among tetrapods, or four-limbed animals, lunglessness is only  known in amphibians. Complete loss of lungs in any species seems to  have occurred only three times in evolution, Bickford said.
By retaining the lunglessness of their tadpole  stage, the frogs are much flatter than typical frogs, which might help  absorb oxygen and avoid being swept away in fast streams.
Source: www.world-science.net/othernews/080407_species.htm
Other posts:
Pygmy Marsupial Frog
Suriname Toad- she has pits on her back for her tadpoles to live in
Spray Toads
Glass Frog

BORNEAN FLATHEADED FROG - has NO LUNGS
Barbourula kalimantanensis
©David Bickford

When I first read about this lungless acquatic frog find I thought, hmm interesting. When I read on to discover how rare a phenomenon it is — complete lunglessness has only been recorded in three species, and this is the only amphibian — it takes on a bit more weight. So a little flatter and breathing through its skin, I give you the lungless and rather plain-looking Bornean Flat-headed Frog.

The frog finding represents the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, according to a report in the April 8 issue of the research journal Current Biology. The aquatic frog Barbourula kalimantanensis apparently gets all the oxygen it needs through its skin, researchers said.

Two populations of the aquatic, brown frog were found during an expedition to Indonesian Borneo, scientists reported. “I have to say that I was very skeptical at first [that they would completely lack lungs],” said David Bickford of the National University of Singapore, a member of the research team. “We were all shocked when it turned out to be true for all the specimens we had from Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Among tetrapods, or four-limbed animals, lunglessness is only known in amphibians. Complete loss of lungs in any species seems to have occurred only three times in evolution, Bickford said.

By retaining the lunglessness of their tadpole stage, the frogs are much flatter than typical frogs, which might help absorb oxygen and avoid being swept away in fast streams.

Source: www.world-science.net/othernews/080407_species.htm

Other posts:

Pygmy Marsupial Frog

Suriname Toad- she has pits on her back for her tadpoles to live in

Spray Toads

Glass Frog