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Showing posts from March, 2011

Townsend's Big-eared Bat

Townsend's Big-eared Bat Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Chiroptera Family : Vespertilionidae Genus : Corynorhinus Species : C. townsendii  Body Length : 4in (10cm) Wingspand : 11in (28cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern The ears of a Townsend's Big-eared Bat can grow as long as 2.5cm, which is astounding considering that that is 25% of their body length! These flying mammals can be found throughout western North America, ranging from southern Canada down into Mexico. Townsend's Big-eared bats are phenomenal fliers, and feed almost exclusively on moths that they pick off of trees. Echolocation and low frequency sounds play a major role in their hunting and bat-to-bat communication . They are able to receive sound thanks to their massive ears, that they can swivel about to focus in on moving targets. Young bats also make unique chirping calls that their mothers use to locate them. Mating takes place in the fall, and fertilization is delayed until t

Black Softshell Turtle

Black Softshell Turtle Phylum : Chordata Class : Reptilia Order : Testudines Family : Trionychidae Genus : Aspideretes? Species : A. nigricans IUCN Status : Extinct in the wild Like the Yangtze Soft-shell Turtle , the Black Softshell Turtle is also extremely rare, so rare that they are listed as being extinct in the wild. There are between 150-300 living in a man-made pond at the Hazrat Sultan Bayazid Bastami Shrine in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and it is believed that there is one other small population in Assam, India. The Turtles at the shrine are protected , and cannot be killed or harvested. It is believed that the Turtles are actually connected to the saint. Pilgrims offer food to the turtles, and females nest in protected, walled off areas. They lay up to 40 eggs at a time which take around 100 days to hatch. Not much else is known about these turtles and their historical habitats or wild behaviors. They were already living near exclusively in the shrine when they

Domestic Goldfish

Pearl scale Goldfish Phylum : Chordata Class : Actinopterygii Order : Cypriniformes Family : Cyprinidae Genus : Carassius Species : C. auratus auratus Length : Up to 12in (30cm) IUCN Status : Not Listed Did you know that  Goldfish were one of the first fish species to be domesticated? It happened nearly 1,500 years ago in China , where they took rather plain looking Asian Carp and bred them down. They spread to Japan in the 15th century, and were in Europe by the late 17th. Domesticated Goldfish can now be found all around the world! There are dozens of different Goldfish varieties , coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Orange, black, white, and speckled are all common colors. Tail shape is also highly variable, with some being short and blunt and others growing quite long and flowing. Shubunkin Goldfish Did you know that there is a reason why Goldfish nibble at tiny bits of food all day? This is because they don't actually have a stomach in which to sto


Winter Coat Ermine Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Carnivora Family : Mustelidae Genus : Mustela Species : M. erminea Length : 13in (33cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern Ermines (also known as Stoats) can be found natively throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are one of those curious creatures that possesses the ability to change color with the season. In summer, they are brown with lighter undersides, but in the winter they are almost completely white! Ermines are skilled predators that consume mostly birds and small mammals. Ermine's don't live particularly long, in fact, their average life expectancy in the wild is only a year or two! Because of this, females are sexually mature at the age of only two months, which is remarkable since young are born blind and helpless . Interestingly, males take a year or two to sexually mature, meaning they often only live through one mating season. Summer Coat Ermine The winter fur of an ermine has been h

Kleinmann's Tortoise

Kleinmann's Tortoise Phylum : Chordata Class : Sauropsida Order : Testudines Family : Testudinidae Genus : Testudo Species : T. kleinmanni Length : 4.5in (11.5cm) IUCN Status : Critically Endangered Kleinmann's Tortoises are also referred to as Egyptian Tortoises, though sadly they are completely extinct in Egypt. Small populations still live in desert and semi-arid areas of Libya and a few other nearby areas. When we last visited the world of the Tortoises, we looked at the Speckled Padloper Tortoise , the smallest tortoise in the world. Kleinmann's Tortoises are the smallest Tortoises in the Northern Hemisphere, and the second smallest overall in the world.. They are easy to identify due to their small size, high carapaces, and dull yellow shells. They also have two very distinct dark triangular marks on their plastrons. Kleinmann's Tortoises have seen their populations fragmented due to habitat loss. Their small size has also made them incredibly

Green Peafowl

Male Green Peafowl Phylum : Chordata Class : Aves Order : Galliformes Family : Phasianidae Genus : Pavo Species : P. muticus Length : 3.5ft (1.1m)  Weight : 11lbs (5.5g) IUCN Status : Endangered The Green Peafowl is a rather large gamefowl found in South East Asia. They are far more rare than the Blue (or Indian) Peafowl, which is commonly kept in captivity.Green Peafowl are known for their upright posture and brilliant green necks. One of the big differences between the Green and Blue Peafowl is that male and female Greens look alike , with the exception of the males' long tails. Females are a tad more dull in color, but they are a far cry from the drab, camouflaging brown of the female Blue Peafowls. Female Green Peafowl Female Green Peafowl live in small groups together, along with juveniles. During the breeding season they are courted by the males who fan out their massive, colorful tails. Pairs do not form lasting bonds, and after the mating season the

Common Barn Owl

Barn Owl Phylum : Chordata Class : Aves Order : Strigiformes Family : Tytonidae Genus : Tyto Species : T. alba Length : 15in (38cm) Wingspan : 43in (110cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern Did you know that the Common Barn Owl is one of the most widespread of all bird species? They are found on every single continent except Antarctica, as well as on a whole mess of different islands. They live in pretty much any type of habitat, though open woodland areas with hollow trees to roost in are preferred. Common Barn Owls also go by a huge number of other names , including White Owl, Church Owl, and Monkey-Faced Owl. There are also over two dozen different subspecies that vary in size, color, and location. Overall though, the species is known for their white, heart shaped faces. Common Barn Owls are masters of rodent hunting, so much so that their breeding seasons can be dictated by an overabundance of prey. They hunt by flying low and slowly, and then swooping down and grab

Woolly Rhinoceros

Woolly Rhinoceros by Charles R. Knight Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Perissodactyla Family : Rhinocerotidae Genus : † Coelodonta Species : † C. antiquitatis Length : 12ft (3.7m) Weight : 2-3 tons (1,800-2,700kg) Status : Extinct since around 8,000 BCE We've all heard about Woolly Mammoths, but what about Woolly Rhinos? These huge beasts lived across Europe and Asia during the Pleistocene. They shared land with the aforementioned Mammoths, but never manged to make it to the Americas. Despite that, they had one of the largest ranges of any Rhinoceros to ever live. Preserved Woolly Rhino Woolly Rhinos were amazingly well adapted to cold environments. They had a thick double coat of fur, with dense under-hairs and longer top hairs. They also had large horns that they used to push away snow in order to feed on grasses. We know what we do about this species thanks to a few specimens that have been found in Eastern Europe and Siberia. A pretty amazing


Pakicetus Illustration by Carl Buell Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Cetacea Family : Pakicetidae Genus : Pakicetus Length : 3ft (.9m) Weight : 50lbs (23kg) Status : Extinct since the Early Eocene (40 million years ago) Take a look at that picture. That little guy is a possible ancestor to dozens of modern mammals. If you had to guess which, would you say dog? Cat? Weasel? Well those would all be wrong! Pakicetus (if you couldn't guess from the taxonomic cheat sheet up there) is an ancient Whale . Pakicetus gets its name from its location and type. Paki for Pakistan, Cetus for whale. It is the earliest known , well-preserved, prehistoric whale. Pakicetus was a terrestrial, but potentially semi-aquatic animal, since its ears were not yet developed to hear well underwater. Its actual habitat is still debated because it had eye sockets and limbs that might suggest more aquatic activity than initially thought. Other early cetaceans, also found in Central an

Herring Gull

Herring Gull Phylum : Chordata Class : Aves Order : Charadriiformes Family : Laridae Genus : Larus Species : L. smithsonianus Length : 24in (60cm) Wingspan : 53in (135cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern It's a pretty disgusting day today, but the Seagulls are still out and about, which made me want to write about them. And then I remembered that I had run into this problem when writing about the Little Gulls - there are like a zillion species of Seagull. So I tried to figure out which one was the species that I see all the time, and I think it might be today's animal, the Herring Gull. The Herring Gull is, to quote Cornell's All About Birds , "the quintessential basic "seagull," with no distinctive characters that immediately set it apart from other gull species." It can be found all across North America, including several Caribbean Islands. Their habitat types vary, but are always close to water. They are found in both natural and urban e

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea

By Philip Hoare Hardcover : 464 Pages February 2, 2010 It's a bit hard to describe exactly what The Whale is. It's part biology, part history, part memoir, part literature, part travel guide. Overall, it is the story of the author and his experiences with whales. A great deal of this book deals with the whaling industry, paralleling the author's journey with Moby Dick , Ishmael, and the life of Melville himself. But at the same time it is a work of natural history, explaining the hows and whys of whales and their place within the ocean and within human history and industry. It was a fascinating work, and the inspiration for at least one of my posts (with more to come I'm sure.)

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper Phylum : Chordata Class : Amphibia Order : Anura Family : Hylidae Genus : Pseudacris Species : P. crucifer Length : 1in (2.5cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern It's that time of year again in the northern hemisphere: spring! And with spring comes the return of the birds, the bugs, the squirrels, and, in certain areas, the Spring Peeper frogs! Spring Peepers are tiny little frogs found in wetland areas across the eastern United States. They are tan and brown in color , with darker "X" like shapes across the back. These colors allow them to blend in to their surroundings remarkable well, making them difficult to see, but easy to hear. They create high pitched whistles and trills, which can be amazingly loud when multiple frogs are calling at once. During breeding season hundreds of male Peepers can be calling out from one location, trying to locate mates. One mating takes place the females lay her eggs and leave, and no parents provides any addi

Upland Moa

Upland Moa Illustration by Peter Schouten Phylum :Chordata Class : Aves Order : Struthioniformes Family : †Dinornithidae Genus : † Megalapteryx Species : † M. didinus Height : 4ft (1.3m) Weight : 55lbs (25kg) Status : Extinct since 1500CE I feel like this might be a little bit of a cheat here, since I did actually cover Moas before, albeit in a very general fashion. Today though, I'll be talking about one specific species of Moa, the Upland Moa, which was the smallest of the species, as well as the last to go extinct. Upland Moas, as the name suggests, lived in the higher, cooler elevations of New Zealand's South Island. One remarkable feature of this species is that they are the only Moas to have feathers all the way down their legs and feet. The feathers and their small size were adaptations to their cold weather environment. Mummified Moa Head How do we know about these feathers? Mummification of course! Because Upland Moas lived in such cold, dry h

Vampire Squid

Vampire Squid Phylum : Mollusca Class : Cephalopoda Order : Vampyromorphida Family : Vampyroteuthidae Genus : Vampyroteuthis Species : V. infernalis Length : 1ft (30cm) IUCN Status : Not Listed Vampyroteuthis infernalis literally means "Vampire Squid from Hell," which is a scary name for a creature so small. They are remarkably interesting because they are the sole living members of the Vampyromorphida order, and the have traits of both Octopuses and Squids. When they were discovered and described in 1903, they were initially placed within the Octopus Order. The Vampire Squid is different from True Octopuses and Squids in a handful of ways. Their bodies posses the same color changing chromatophores that Squids have, but they lack the ability to actually change color. They have webbing between their eight arms, which is similar to Octopuses, but they also have two long filaments that can extend and retract. These filaments look similar to the two long tent

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson's Snipe Phylum : Chordata Class : Aves Order : Charadriiformes Family : Scolopacidae Genus : Gallinago Species : G. delicata Length : 25in (63cm) Wingspan : 43in (109cm) IUCn Status : Least Concern Wilson's Snipe is a birds that can be found in a variety of marshy and watery areas. They are a migratory species, spending their summers breeding in the northern parts of North America, and then moving south, sometimes as far as South America, during the winter. They were once thought to be a subspecies of the Eurasian Common Snipe, but are now designated separately. Male Wilson's Snipes create a strange, non-vocal sound to attract mates and defend territory. They beat their wings to flow air over their back tail feathers, creating a low whistling sound called " Winnowing ." After finding a partner and mating, Wilson's Snipes have an interesting parenting strategy . They almost always lay four eggs, and the male takes the first two to care


Wisent Bull Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Artiodactyla Family : Bovidae Genus : Bison Species : B. bonasus Height : 6ft (180cm) Weight : 2,000lbs (900kg) IUCN Status : Vulnerable Also known as the European Bison, the Wisent once had a range that spread across the whole of Europe. Unfortunately, like their American cousins, they were hunted to near extinction. By the end of World War I, Europe's largest land animal had gone completely extinct in the wild, and only 54 individuals were living in captivity. Captive breeding and reintroduction have saved this species, and there are now around 1,800 free ranging Wisent in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and several other Eastern European countries. In 2010, seven individuals, two males and five females, were released in northern Spain , a nod back to the days when the Wisent could be found across the entire continent. Wisent Calf There are unfortunately a few issues that plague the success of the species

Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy Marmoset Kingdom : Animalia Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Primates Genus : Cebuella Species : C. pygmaea Length : 6in (15cm) Weight : 5oz (140g) IUCN Status : Least Concern The ever so adorable Zooborns site alerted me to the birth of twin Pygmy Marmosets at the Perth Zoo, and I just had to look into these tiny, tiny little primates. They are the smallest members of their entire order, with adults measuring barely half a foot long! These diminutive monkeys are found east of the Andes in the upper Amazon Basin. Pygmy Marmoset Pygmy Marmosets are rather unusual among monkeys because they form monogamous breeding pairs . Females also typically give birth to twins, rather than to a single child, and both parents help to care for the youngsters. Pygmy Marmosets live in small social groups where only one female actually breeds. The other members of the group are often older offspring who help to take care of their younger siblings. Tree gu

American Lobster

American Lobster Phylum : Arthropoda Class : Malacostraca Order : Decapoda Family : Nephropidae Genus : Homarus Species : H. americanus Length : 8-24in (20-61cm) Weight : 2-9lbs (1-4kg) IUCN Status : Not Listed The American Lobster, as its name might suggest, can be found in the waters of the Atlantic, running from Canada down to the Carolinas. They do not swim, instead they move about by crawling thanks to four pairs of walking legs. The fifth pair, (or rather, the first if going from head to tail) makes up the large claws. Molting is a very important activity in the life of a Lobster. As they grow towards adulthood, juvenile Lobsters will molt their carapace multiple times a year. They essentially grow a whole new shell under their old one, and then seek out a safe place to shed. The Lobsters are vulnerable for a time after their old shell has been discarded, because the new one is still soft. It will harden over time, and adult Lobsters molt about once a year. M

Jackson's Chameleon

Male Jackson's Chameleon Phylum : Chordata Class : Reptilia Order : Squamata Family : Chamaeleonidae Genus : Chamaeleo Species : C. jacksonii Length : 12in (30cm) IUCN Status : Not Listed Jackson's Chameleons are native to Kenya and Tanzania where they spend their time up in trees. There are three subspecies, with C. j. jacksonii  being the most common. Three-Horned Chameleon is another name for this species, and it refers to the three large horns that are found on the males. These Chameleons are normally a green color, but can change depending on where they are and their stress level. Female Jackson's Chameleon Color change takes a large part in Chameleon reproduction. A male will approach a female, making bobbing movements and changing color. If the female does not want to mate, she turns very dark, which means she feel threatened. If she does want to mate, the color remains green. Females give birth by dropping their young onto the ground, which


Falabella Miniature Horse Phylum :Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Perissodactyla Family :Equidae Genus : Equus Species : E. ferus Subspecies : E. f. caballus Hight : 25-34in (63-86cm) Despite their tiny size, Falabellas are not considered ponies. Rather, they are miniature horses, and one of the world's rarest breeds at that.  They have similar proportions to other horses, only they are much, much smaller. They are also a very adaptable breed, thanks to their history, and can tolerate changing conditions. Falabellas have an interesting history . They were first bred in Argentina as descendants of the horses brought to South America by the Spaniards. These horses had to adapt to harsh environments and became quite hardy. By the 19th century isolated populations had seen significant amount of inbreeding, which, combined with their need to adapt, resulted in much smaller horses. It was at this time that formal selective breeding began, with Shetland and Welsh Ponies


Shoebill Phylum : Chordata Class : Aves Order : Pelecaniformes Family : Balaenicipitidae Genus : Balaeniceps Species : rex Height : 45-60in (115-150cm) Wingspan :125cm (260cm) IUCN Status : Vulnerable Today's bird isn't the most attractive fellow, but you certainly won't forget him! Shoebills are large wetlands-living birds that are related to Storks and can be found in East Africa. Shoebills are also sometimes known as Whaleheads, and are named for their larged, patchy colored bill that resembles a shoe. Males are slightly taller and larger billed than the females, but both sexes are greyish-blue in color. Shoebills are carnivores , and feed off of the reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals that live in their marshy habitats. They hunt by ambushing their prey, waiting patiently and then striking with rapid speed using their large, hooked beaks. Pairs of Shoebills are monogamous, and breed at the start of the dry season. Nests that measure up to a me


Dugong Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Superorder : Afrotheria Order : Sirenia Family : Dugongidae Genus : Dugong Species : dugon Length : Up to 10ft (3m) Weight : 500-1,100lbs (226-499kg) IUCN Status : Vulnerable According to EDGE , the Dugong is one of the most evolutionarily diverse mammals still alive. It's closest known relative, the tragic Steller's Sea Cow, was hunted to extinction in the 18th century. Dugongs belong to the same order as the three extant Manatee species, and that order is more closely related to Aardvarks and Elephants than it is to the other aquatic mammals like Whales and Seals! Dugongs can be found in the warm coastal waters of the Indian Ocean, stretching from Africa to Australia. They are very seldom found in freshwater. Dugongs were once hunted for their oil and meat, but are now protected through their range. Unfortunately, these large aquatic herbivores still die as the byproduct of net fishing. Because of their large size,

Superb Fruit Dove

Male Phylum : Chordata Class : Aves Order : Columbiformes Family : Columbidae Genus : Ptilinopus Species : superbus Length : 9in (23cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern As the resident of a large city, I am insanely jealous of the beautiful pigeons and dove found in Australia and New Guinea. Sure, our good old Rock Pigeons can be sort of neat looking sometimes, but overall they can't hold a candle to the Victoria Crowned Pigeon , or today's animal, the Superb Fruit Dove. This species, found in New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, and various other islands, has striking coloration in both males an females, though the male has an absolutely fantastic color palette. Female Superb Fruit Doves live up in the canopy, and the females are predominantly green in order to remain camouflaged. They do however, have speckles of other colors, including a purple crown. Males take that crown to a whole new level, mixing it with a bright orange neck, blue breast,

Eastern Coral Snake

Eastern Coral Snake Phylum : Chordata Class : Reptilia Order : Squamata Family : Elapidae Genus : Micrurus Species : fulvius Length : 20-30in (51-76cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern The Eastern Coral Snake is found in the southeastern areas of the United States, as well as in parts of eastern and central Mexico. They have a very distinctive body coloration , with large rings of red and black with thinner, yellow rings in between. Eastern Coral Snakes are venomous, and because of that there are two other species in their range that mimic their coloration. Both the Scarlet Snake and Scarlet Kingsnake are marked with similar bands. This confuses predators into thinking that these non-venomous species are actually dangerous Coral Snakes, and should thus be avoided. Eastern Coral Snakes are reclusive and really only attack humans when stepped on or handled. When they bite down on their target, be it a human ankle or a frog, they often have to chew a bit to get the venom in


Gliding Microraptor Phylum : Chordata Class : Reptilia Order : Saurischia Family : †Dromaeosauridae Genus : † Microraptor Length : 2ft (61cm) Status : Extinct since the Early Cretaceous, 120 million years ago. Microraptors were tiny, predatory dinosaurs that most likely fed on insects and small vertebrates, including small mammals. They are some of the smallest Dinosaurs ever discovered. Around two dozen nearly complete specimens have been uncovered in China during the last decade or so, and what makes these Dinosaurs so remarkable is that we know for a fact that they had feathers. And not only that, but they basically had two full sets of wings, one set on the front arms, and the second on the hind legs. These feathers were similar to the flight feathers that we see on our modern birds, and because of them Microraptor was most likely able to glide . These long flight feathers are a contrast to several other Dinosaurs, where feathers were present, but only as a coverin

Sei Whale

Sei Whale Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Cetacea Family : Balaenopteridae Genus : Balaenoptera Species : borealis Length : 65ft (20m) Weight : 99,000lbs (45,000kg) IUCN Status : Endangered Sei Whales (pronounced "say") are named after the Norwegian word for pollock fish, "seje." The Whales and fish moved into fishing areas around the same time. Though their name has Norwegian origins, Sei Whales can actually be found in tropical, temperate, and sub-polar oceans around the world. Sei Whales are one of the longest whale species , with many individuals not even reaching sexual maturity until they are around 45ft (13m) long. Females are often slightly longer than males. Sei Whales also have the distinction of being one of the fastest swimming cetaceans . They can reach speeds of 35mph (55kph). Unfortunately, whaling has had a drastic impact on the worldwide Sei Whale population. It is now believed that there around only around 57,000 wha

Bearded Pig

Bearded Pigs Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Artiodactyla Family : Suidae Genus : Sus Species : barbatus Weight : 95lbs (210kg) IUCN Status : Vulnerable Bearded Pigs are native to the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, part of Indonesia, and a handful of other Southeast Asian islands. They live in family groups, and are quite unique among pigs for the long migration that they undertake. During these migrations hundreds of pigs travel together under the leadership of an older male. They follow old paths at night, paths that they have probably been traveling for generations. During the day they retreat into the brush, and are in fact dirunal creatures during the parts of the year when they are not migrating. Bearded Pig Bearded Pigs also have the distinction of having the slimmest torsos of any pig, as well as the longest head. They get their name from the warts on their faces that are covered with beard-like hair. Thhey also have whiskers all over their f

Did a Dinosaur Drink this Water?

By Robert E. Wells Hardcover : 32 Pages January 1, 2006 Did a Dinosaur Drink this Water? is a children's book that deals with how water is used and reused over and over within the water cycle. Concepts are explained with help from dozens of illustrations. Wells discusses processes like evaporation, precipitation, and how it is that we are drinking the same water molecules that the Dinosaurs did millions and millions of years ago. The book also talks about the importance of water to not only ourselves, but to all living things, and suggests steps that you can take to conserve water. Recommended for ages 4-8. Includes an epilogue.


18th Century Illustration of a Bluebuck Phylum : Chordata Class : Mammalia Order : Artiodactyla Family : Bovidae Genus : Hippotragus Species : leucophaeus Height : 4ft (1.2m) Weight : 350lbs (160kg) Status : Extinct since around 1800 The Bluebuck is a notable species because it was the first large African mammal to go extinct in historic times. What is so interesting is that they were already quite rare in their native South Africa when Europeans first described them in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is believed that their decline began as far back as 2,000 years ago, when the climate began to shift and when the first human farmers came to the region with sheep that competed with the Bluebucks for food and space. During the Ice Age, Bluebucks probably had a range that spread across Africa, but by modern times they had become restricted to areas in the South and East. They were very selective grazers, and only fed on high-quality grasses. They also needed to


By David Burnie Hardcover : 72 Pages May 5, 2008 Bird is one of many books in the DK Eyewintess series, which is known for its concise, informational paragraphs and wonderful use of photographs and images. Bird is no different. The book contains sections on all aspects of avian life, and is complete with diagrams, photographs, and hundreds of captions. Flying, eating, and reproductive behaviors are topics that are especially highlighted, and the book contains some great comparison photos of feathers, eggs, and nests. The concise nature and language of the book makes it most suitable for those of a younger age, but I’d say the graphics and diagrams are quite fun to look at for readers of all ages. Contains a beginners guide to bird watching and identification, as well as a glossary and index.

Dumpy Tree Frog

Dumpy Tree Frog Phylum : Chordata Class : Amphibia Order : Anura Family : Hylidae Genus : Litoria Species : caerulea Length : 4in (10cm) IUCN Status : Least Concern I chose today's animal entirely based on one of its common names: Dumpy Tree Frog. Though they are also known as White's Tree Frog and the Australian Green Tree Frog, Dumpy seems completely appropriate. And amusing. Dumpy Tree Frogs are found in Northern and Eastern Australia, and New Guinea, areas of the world that are rich which strange and amazing animals. They are one of the largest species of tree frog, and females often outsize the males. Like many members of their genus, their typically greenish-blue skin is able to change color , though only slightly. Though they are typically found up in trees, Dumpy Tree Frogs can also live near numerous other water sources, including sinks and toilets. They feed off on insects and anything else they can fit in their mouths and swallow, since they have a

Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds

By John Long and Peter Schouten Hardcover : 208 Pages September 1, 2008 Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds  is a book of beautiful illustrations and accompanying text about feathered Dinosaurs and early Birds. In the past few decades more and more evidence has come to light to suggest that some Dinosaurs did in fact have feathers. Long and Schouten take these findings and use them to craft this guide. The book begins with a chapter on the history of Paleontology and an overview of Dinosaur evolution. It then includes short chapters on several important Orders and Families. The remaining chunk of the book is made up of dozens and dozens of Dinosaurs illustrated in full color, complete with a short “biography” as well as an authors note regarding the depiction. This is a beautiful and informative book, and I recommend it to anyone who has any interest in Dinosaurs. It really makes you think about these amazing animals of the past and how they may have looked completely dif