March 8, 2013
Pictured here is a frog ovary at 10x magnification

Pictured here is a frog ovary at 10x magnification

March 4, 2013

The eastern pygmy possum (Cercartetus nanus) is a diprotodont (diprotos, meaning “two front” and odontos meaning “teeth”) marsupial of south-eastern Australia. It lives in southern Queensland to eastern South Australia and also Tasmania, it is found in rainforest areas.

Eastern pygmy possums are very small, weighing from 15 to 43 grams and having a body length of between 7 and 9 centimetres with a 8 to 11 centimetres tail. They are dull grey above and white below, with big, forward pointing, almost hairless, ears and a long prehensile tail, with thick fur at the base that becomes sparser towards the tip. They have long whiskers, and a narrow ring of dark fur around each eye.

March 1, 2013

The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, literally “vampire squid from Hell”) is a small, deep-sea cephalopod found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. 

The vampire squid reaches a maximum total length of around 30 cm. Its 15-cm gelatinous body varies in color between velvety jet-black and pale reddish. A webbing of skin connects its eight arms, each lined with rows of fleshy spines or cirri; the inside of this “cloak” is black. Its limpid, globular eyes, which appear red or blue, depending on lighting, are proportionately the largest in the animal kingdom at 2.5 cm in diameter. The animal’s dark color, cloak-like webbing, and red eyes are what gave the vampire squid its name.

The vampire squid is almost entirely covered in light-producing organs called photophores. The animal has great control over the organs, capable of producing disorienting flashes of light for fractions of a second to several minutes in duration.

The vampire squid is an extreme example of a deep-sea cephalopod, thought to reside at depths from 600–900 metres (2,000–3,000 feet) or more.

March 1, 2013

Macropinna microstoma (Large feather [scale], small mouth) is the only species of fish in the genus Macropinna, belonging to Opisthoproctidae (literally Greek, opisthe = behind + Greek, proktos = anus), the barreleye family.

It is recognized for a highly unusual transparent, fluid-filled dome on its head, through which the lenses of its eyes can be seen. The eyes have a barrel shape and can be rotated to point either forward or straight up, looking through the fish’s transparent dome.

M. microstoma has a tiny mouth (hence microstoma) and most of its body is covered with large scales. The fish normally hangs nearly motionless in the water, at a depth of about 600 metres to 800 metres, using its large fins for stability and with its eyes directed upward.

Note the small orifices at the front of the fish are not eye sockets but rather nostrils.  

December 15, 2012

This baby echidna (or a puggle), born blind, without any spines was left by its mother and the wonderful people at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo have been taking care of it.

Echidnas are monotremes meaning they are egg-laying animals that produce live young and suckle their young from patches which secrete milk from pores. 

They are common in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Platypus’ are also monotremes.

November 23, 2012

Golden silk orb weavers (genus Nephila) are widespread in warmer regions throughout the world, with species in Australia, Asia, Africa (including Madagascar), and the Americas. 

Golden orb weavers are noted for their impressive webs, which can capture animals several times their size.

In 2012 a large individual was photographed killing and consuming a half-meter-long brown tree snake in Freshwater, Queensland. (first image) Species from Taiwan have been known to reach over 5 in, legspan included, in mountainous country

The second photograph is of a Golden orb weaver spider capturing and devouring a Chestnut-Breasted Mannikin. This individual was snapped in Australia. 

July 2, 2012

The giraffe weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa) is a weevil native to Madagascar. It derives its name from an extended neck much like that of the common giraffe. The giraffe weevil is sexually dimorphic, with the neck of the male typically being 2.5 inches times the length of that of the female.

The extended neck is an adaptation that assists in nest building and fighting. When it comes time to lay her eggs, the female will find a small tree in the family Melastomataceae, she will form a tube out of a leaf and then lay a single egg within the tube. She will then snip the roll from the remaining leaf in preparation of the egg hatching.


Wikimedia Commons

July 1, 2012

Deilephila elpenor, known as the Elephant Hawk-moth, is a large moth found throughout Britain and Ireland. It is spectacularly coloured, seeming to shimmer with green and red when in motion. The adult moths are eaten by some species of bats. This species possesses good night or scotopic vision. Adults have been shown to be capable of making colour discriminations at night-time levels of illumination.


Wikimedia Commons


June 30, 2012

The monito del monte (Spanish for “little mountain monkey”), Dromiciops gliroides, is a small marsupial native only to southwestern South America (Chile and Argentina). The species is nocturnal and lives in thickets of Chilean bamboo in the Valdivian temperate rain forests of the southern Andes. It eats primarily insects and other small invertebrates, supplemented with fruit.


Wikimedia Commons

June 27, 2012

The Portuguese Man O’ War (Physalia physalis), also known as the Bluebottle, is a jellyfish-like marine invertebrate of the family Physaliidae. Its venomous tentacles can deliver a powerful sting.

Despite its appearance, the Man o’ War is not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, which differs from jellyfish in that it is not actually a single creature, but a colonial organism.

May 28, 2012

The Mexican mole lizard, (Bipes biporus), is one of four amphisbaenians (legless, worm-like reptiles; snakes) that have legs. They are pink 15–23 cm lizard-like reptiles that live for 1 to 2 years and eat ground dwelling insects and earthworms. The Mexican mole lizard lives in Baja California, Mexico. It is an opportunist carnivore and eats ants, termites, ground dwelling insects, larvae, earthworms, and small animals including lizards.

May 18, 2012

The European Bee-eater, Merops apiaster, is a  song bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, spending time during winter in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. 

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. This is a bird which breeds in open country in warmer climates. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets. Before eating its meal, a European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily. Lizards and frogs are also taken.

Filed under: science nature animal bird bee-eater aves 
April 25, 2012

Paedophryne amauensis is a species of frog from Papua New Guinea discovered in August 2009. At 7.7 mm in length, not only is it the smallest frog species but, the world’s smallest known vertebrate.

P. amauensis, has an average body size of only 7.7 millimetres. The frog lives on land and its life cycle does not include a tadpole stage. Instead, members of this species hatch as fully formed adults. They are capable of jumping thirty times their body length.

Filed under: science nature fact frog amphibian 
April 25, 2012

The volcano rabbit (Romerolagus diazi) is a small rabbit that resides in the mountains of Mexico. It is the world’s second smallest rabbit, second only to the pygmy rabbit. It has small rounded ears, short legs, and short, thick fur and weighs approximately 390–600 grams. It has a life span of around 7 to 9 years. The volcano rabbit lives in groups of 2 to 5 animals in burrows (underground nests).

It is adorable.

April 25, 2012

A frog that’s purple, has a pig nose and sounds like a chicken.

Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis is a frog species belonging to the family Sooglossidae. It can be found in the Western Ghats in India. Common names for this species are purple frog, Indian purple frog, pignose frog or doughnut frog.

Adults are typically dark purple in color. The specimen with which the species was originally described was seven centimeters long from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. Also, its cry sounds more like one from a chicken.

Image source:

The featured creature


To hear it’s croak (which has a likening to a chicken) click below: