Archive for the ‘Zoology’ Category
The cloud forests of South America are home to some of Earth’s most extraordinary creatures, but few are as intriguing as the glass frog. Seen from above, most glass frog species look pretty nondescript, but a glimpse of their underbelly reveals a fascinating anatomical anomaly: translucent abdominal skin. From underneath, a glass frog’s heart, liver, and various other internal organs are often completely visible.
The glass frog couldn’t be more aptly named. After all, his entire underbelly is translucent like glass. Amazingly, that’s not the only unique thing about these beautiful creatures. They’re also one of the handful of critters where the father actually handles all aspects of parental care. Females flee as soon as they have delivered the eggs. Then males stay during weeks in close proximity of the egg clutch, improving its survival probability by maintaining it wet and, sometimes, scaring away predators.
Despite its spectacular leap, this great white shark is going home with an empty stomach. The seal that it has crushed in its jaws is a rubber decoy, created by the photographer, Dana Allen, to tempt it out of the sea.
The shark was pictured in False Bay, off Cape Town in South Africa. It’s common for great whites to leap out of the water in this area, but it took three days of dangling his decoy for Allen to capture this perfect moment on film. Learn more here.
The Wattle Cup Caterpillar (Calcarifera ordinata) is a moth of the Limacodidae family. It is widespread in northern Australia.
The caterpillar is bright yellow with blue green and orange colours. There are a number of tubercles (or warty outgrowths) around its body. They have reduced legs and move using a slug-like movement of the underside of the body. Pretty! More here.
This Pinocchio-like tree frog species was discovered by fortunate accident when it ventured into a Foja Mountains camp kitchen and perched on a bag of rice, where herpetologist Paul Oliver of Australia’s University of Adelaide spotted it. Oliver was unable to find another of these frogs, and suspects that they stay mostly in the treetops.
The male frog’s nose, the scientists were surprised to discover, points upward when the animal’s calling and hangs flaccid when it’s not. “Exactly what it is for, no one really knows for sure,” Oliver said. More new species here.
Look at who’s come to say hello! It’s our dear friend, Cymothoa exigua.
When one of these crustaceans encounters a rose snapper, it enters the fish’s mouth and steadily devours the fish’s tongue. Once it has done this, the crustacean uses hooks on its underside to attach itself to the floor of the fish’s mouth and thereafter serves as a replacement tongue!
CRIKEY !!! Learn more here.
You can see right through the whitespotted conger larva. This flat-shaped fish found in the waters around Japan is about six inches long now. But when fully grown, it will lose its transparency and be up to one metre or three feet long.
Leptocephali (singular leptocephalus) all have laterally compressed bodies that contain transparent jelly-like substances on the inside of the body and a thin layer of muscle with visible myomeres on the outside. Their body organs are small and they possess only a simple tube for a gut. This combination of features results in them being very transparent when they are alive. They also lack red blood cells until they begin to metamorphose into the juvenile glass eel stage when they start to look like eels. Learn more here.
The caracal (Caracal caracal), also known as the desert lynx, is a wild cat that is widely distributed across Africa, central Asia and southwest Asia into India.
They can jump extremely high …
Thrips are tiny insects, typically just a millimetre in length. Some are barely half that size. If that’s how big the adults are, imagine how small a thrips’ egg must be. Now, consider that there are insects that lay their eggs inside the egg of a thrips.
That’s one of them in the image above – the wasp, Megaphragma mymaripenne. It’s pictured next to a Paramecium and an amoeba at the same scale. Even though both these creatures are made up of a single cell, the wasp – complete with eyes, brain, wings, muscles, guts and genitals – is actually smaller. At just 200 micrometres (a fifth of a millimetre), this wasp is the third smallest insect alive and a miracle of miniaturisation. Learn more here.