Natural Wild Life | Stoat | The stoat is a small sized mammal, closely related to weasels and ferrets. Stoats are also closely related to otters, badgers and wolverines and stoats share similar characteristics with all of these animals. Stoats are found inhabiting a variety of habitats including moorland, woodlands, farms, coastal areas and even mountainous regions across the Northern Hemisphere. Stoats are found across Europe, Asia and North America and stoats are even spotted inside the colder Arctic Circle.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Puma | Puma is simply another name for a cougar and therefore one of the largest and ruthless members of the cat family in the world. The puma is native to the Americas and can be found from Western Canada, to the Andes mountain range in South America and all along the west coast of North America.
Natural Wild Life | Komodo Dragon | The komodo dragon, also known as the giant monitor lizard, is the largest species of lizard in the world.The komodo dragon inhabits the rainforests of Southeast Asia, and the komodo dragon is native to just a few islands in Indonesia that are part of the Komodo Island National Park. Fossil evidence however, suggests that the komodo dragon once had a much larger habitat but this has been severely decreased due to deforestation. Komodo dragons are completely dominant predators in their environment, and are named by the locals as the land crocodile due to their large size and habit of eating seemingly anything that the komodo dragons can find.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Goat | Goats originated from the mountainous areas of west Asia and eastern Europe, grazing on hillsides and plains. Modern day common goats are known as domesticated goats and are thought to be very closely related to a sheep. For thousands of years goats have been used for their meat, hair, milk and skins. In some countries goats are also used to help with carrying heavy loads.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Lionfish | The lionfish (also known as the turkeyfish, tigerfish, dragonfish, scorpionfish, and butterfly cod) is a poisonous spiky fish found in the warmer waters of the western and central Pacific Ocean. The lionfish is a predatory fish hunting small fish, but it's venom is capable of being fatal to larger creatures. The lionfish is a popular aquarium fish around the world, although the lionfish is better kept in tanks with lots of space and few other fish. The lionfish can live to around 16 years in the wild and lionfish often live longer if looked after well in captivity.
Natural Wild Life | Piranha | The piranha is a type of freshwater fish found in the rivers of the South American jungles. The piranha can be found in nearly every country in South America and the piranha have been appearing more recently in the south of the USA. The piranha fish has a single row of razor-sharp teeth with the piranha being most commonly known for their taste for blood. The piranha feeds on fish, mammals and birds alike, with the wholes group of piranhas feeding together in a slight frenzy. Despite the carnivorous nature of the piranha, the piranha is actually an omnivore and will eat almost anything that it can find. Piranhas mainly feed on fish, snails, insects and aquatic plants occasionally eating larger mammals and birds that fall into the water.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Molly | The molly is a small-sized tropical fish that is found naturally in the warm and peaceful rivers of Central America. Today, mollies are extremely popular fish to be kept in the community of an artificial aquarium, all around the world. Mollies are known for their calm and peaceful nature, which along with their brightly coloured bodies, makes them a particular popular choice for freshwater tanks of all shapes and sizes. The male mollies are more slender than the female mollies and have a slightly longer tail fin, making the two sexes easy to tell apart.
Natural Wild Life | Wrasse | The wrasse is a typically small species of fish, found in the coastal waters of the world's major oceans. The Cleaner wrasse is the most commonly known wrasse species as it is often seen alongside other marine animals, including sharks. There are more than 500 different species of Wrasse found in the shallower coastal waters and coral reefs, of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. Wrasse most commonly inhabit areas that have an abundance of both food and places to hide, making coral reefs and rocky shores the perfect home for the wrasse.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Shrimp | Shrimp are marine crustaceans that are found on the bottom of the water in nearly every environment around the world. Shrimps are generally tiny in size, with some species of shrimp being so small that many animals cannot see them. There are more than 2,000 different species of shrimp worldwide, all of which are invertebrates which means that shrimp do not have a backbone. Instead, shrimp have a hard exoskeleton (the shell of the shrimp) which is often transparent and colourless making shrimp difficult to see in the water.
Natural Wild Life | Squid | The squid is a marine cephalopod similar to the octopus. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms and two tentacles arranged in pairs. Some species of squid are known to have 10 arms.
Natural Wild Life | Tiger Salamander | The tiger salamander is a small species of salamander, found inhabiting wetland habitats across North America. The tiger salamander can be easily distinguished from other species of salamander by the dark-coloured markings on the skin of the tiger salamander. An adult tiger salamander is rarely seen out in the open as they spend their lives in burrows about half a meter into the ground. Most adult tiger salamanders live in their burrows on the land, only returning to the water to mate.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Weasel | The weasel is a small, thin mammal. Weasels are found all around the world apart from the Arctic and Australia including it's surrounding islands. The weasel feeds mainly on small mammals and the weasel has a bad reputation amongst farmers who do not approve of the weasel stealing their poultry and their eggs. The weasel can burrow quickly into the ground, meaning the weasel can easily escape danger including farmers that want to catch them. The weasel tends to grow to about 30cm long with a tail roughly the same length as the weasel's body. The weasel is generally a solitary animal but some species of weasel congregate together in groups for months on end. Weasels most typically come together to mate.
Natural Wild Life | Zebra Shark | The zebra shark is a medium-sized species of shark, that is found in the warmer coastal waters and around tropical coral reefs. Zebra sharks are most commonly found in the Indian and South Pacific oceans. Zebra sharks can grow to nearly 3 meters in length and can get to be 30 years old in the wild. Zebra sharks that are kept in captivity generally do not exceed 15 years of age. Zebra sharks can be identified by the yellow spots that are present on the back of the zebra shark.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Grey Seal | The grey seal is one of the rarest species of seal in the world with around 40% of the grey seal population inhabiting the cooler waters around the United Kingdom. Grey seals are the biggest land breeding mammal in the United Kingdom, but are superbly adapted for life in the sea. Adult grey seals have 2 layers of thick fur and a thick blubber layer of fat to keep them warm at sea.
Natural Wild Life | Hammerhead Shark | Hammerhead Sharks are appropriately named after their flat shaped heads. Hammerhead sharks are large carnivorous fish that prey on large fish and occasionally hammerhead sharks will hunt small water mammals. Hammerhead sharks are found in the warmer waters of oceans worldwide but hammerhead sharks are particularly found in coastal waters, and along continental shelves. The shallow waters that the hammerhead sharks inhabit allow the hammerhead shark to hunt prey more easily. There are 9 different species of hammerhead shark worldwide, ranging from 3ft to 20ft in length! Hammerhead sharks are not commonly known to attack humans but can be aggressive if a human came into contact with a hammerhead shark.
Natural Wild Life | Barracuda | The barracuda is a large species of fish found in the warmer, coastal regions of the world's oceans. There are more than 20 different species of barracuda that range in size from less than 50cm to nearly 2 meters in length. The barracuda is widely spread across the oceans but is more commonly found in the more tropical regions where there is an abundance of food. Although barracudas can be found in the deep ocean, they tend to prefer coastal habitats along continental shelves and close to coral reefs.
Natural Wild Life | Seal | The common seal tends to be found in colder waters in many places around the world. Many species of seal inhabit waters in the northern hemisphere and are often found in coastal waters where there is an abundance of food and fewer number of predators. There are thought to more than 30 different species of seal found in the world's cooler waters from the smallest species of seal, the Caspian seal to the Elephant seal which is the largest species of seal. Other seal species include the grey seal and the leopard seal which is known for it's highly predatory and aggressive behaviour Seals are closely related to sea lions and also walruses.
Natural Wild Life | Tang | The tang is a small to medium sized fish that is found in the warmer coastal waters of the tropics. Tangs are well know for their bright colours and are closely related to surgeon fish and unicorn fish. There are 80 known species of tang, that inhabit the tropical waters of the southern hemisphere, including the largest species of the tang group, the white margin unicorn fish that has been known to grow over a meter long.
Natural Wild Life | Tetra | The tetra is a small and colourful fish native to the freshwater rivers and streams of South America and Africa. The tetra is one of the most well known and popular freshwater tropical fish kept in tanks and aquariums all around the world. There are around 150 known species of the tetra fish native to the clearwater streams and slow-moving rivers of both Africa South America. There are more than 100 different species of the tetra in Africa alone and even more in South America. The two groups of fish are classified as the characidaes (the tetra of South America) and the alestiidaes (the tetra of Africa).
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Tortoise | The tortoise (Testudinidae) is a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles (Testudines). The tortoises closely related to the tortoise's marine cousin, the sea turtle. The tortoise is found in many countries around the world but particularly in the southern hemisphere where the weather is warmer for most of the year. Tortoises have a hard outer shell to protect them from predators but the skin on the legs, head and belly of the tortoise is quite soft so the tortoise is able to retract it's limbs into it's shell to protect itself. The tortoise's shell can range in size from a few centimetres to a couple of metres, depending on the species of tortoise.
Natural Wild Life | Kowari | The Kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei) also known as the Brush-tailed Marsupial Rat, Kayer Rat, Byrne's Crest-tailed Marsupial Rat, Bushy-tailed Marsupial Rat and Kawiri, is a small carnivorous marsupial native to the dry grasslands and deserts of central Australia. It is monotypical of its genus. The Kowari is a ground dwelling carnivorous marsupial, living either in its own dug burrow or in the hole of another mammal. The Kowari is a solitary animal and marks its territory with secreations from a scent gland and leaving scats and urine at certain places throught their home teritory When approached, Kowari are very aggressive with much hisssing and chattering and thrashing of its tail.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Mayfly | Mayflies are insects which belong to the Order Ephemeroptera. The mayfly is medium-sized insect that is found in a variety of habitats all around the world. The mayfly is one of the most short-lived animals in the world and is most closely related to dragonflies and damselflies. There are 2,500 known species of mayfly generally found close to water, all around the world with over 600 species of mayfly natively found in North America. Mayflies are extremely sensitive to pollution and can therefore only be found close to water that is of a high quality.
Natural Wild Life | Binturong | The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae. The binturong is native to the jungles of south-east Asia and is commonly found in countries such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. The binturong is a large carnivorous mammal that has a long bushy tail and hunts small reptiles, birds and mammals. The main part of the modern binturong's diet surprisingly comprises of fruit! The binturong is generally about the size of a large dog and have been known to live to 26 years old in captivity. The binturong population numbers have been severely reduced due to deforestation today.
Natural Wild Life | Llama | The llama (Lama glama) is a South American camelid, widely used as a pack and meat animal by Andean cultures since pre-hispanic times. The llama is thought to have originated in North America around 40 million years ago and the llama is believed to have then migrated to South America and Asia around 3 million years ago, before the American and Asian continents finally separated at Alaska. The llama is thought to have become extinct from North America during the ice age. Today the llama is most commonly found in the Andes mountain region of South America where the llama was kept as a pack animal by the ancient Inca people. Llamas are used for meat, wool, skin and for transporting heavy loads (a little like donkeys).
The llama is thought to have evolved from the old world camel-like animals that inhabited the regions that is today the Middle East. Although the llama has many similarities to the camel, the most noticeable difference between the llama and the camel is that the llama does not have a hump on its back. Llamas are very sociable animals and enjoy being with other llamas in a herd. The llama is also believed to be a particularly intelligent animal as llamas are commonly taught tasks which the llama picks up with only a few repetitions of the task.
Female llamas give birth to baby llamas (known as crias) standing up. The gestation period for a llama is between 11 and 12 months and the birth of the cria is usually over within half an hour. Baby llamas are generally standing up and attempting to walk within an hour of birth. Llama mating takes place throughout the year and baby llamas tend to be born in the morning when the weather is warm. This is believed to increase the fertility rate of the cria.
The llama is a herbivore and gets most of its nutrition from grass, leaves and young shoots. Llamas also do not have the same water retaining properties of their camel cousins, meaning that the llama must drink more often and llamas therefore prefer to be close to water.
Natural Wild Life | Markhor | The Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a large species of wild goat. The markhor is an endangered species of wild goat that is natively found in the mountainous regions of western and central and Asia. The markhor is thought to have been named using the Persian word for snake, either because of the large coiled horns of the markhor or due to it's ability to kill snakes in the wild, although the exact reason is unknown. The markhor is found in northeastern Afghanistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Nagar Valley, northern and central Pakistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir, southern Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan. The markhor is most commonly found inhabiting the high-altitude monsoon forests that litter these areas.
Natural Wild Life | Grouse | Grouse are a group of birds from the order Galliformes. The grouse is a heavily-built bird that is found in the cold, forested areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The grouse is most closely related to other game birds including chickens, peasants and turkeys and, although not commonly farmed commercially, the grouse is hunted by humans in its natural habitat. The grouse inhabits both hot and cold environments, and can be found in a variety of habitats like forests, moorland, shrub-land and close to rural farms.
Natural Wild Life | Water Dragon | The water dragon is a large species of lizard native to the forests and jungles of Asia and Australia. Water dragons are arboreal animals meaning that they spend most of their time in the trees, often close to a large body of water. There are two different species of water dragon, which are the Australian water dragon and the Asian water dragon. The Australian water dragon is the smaller of the two water dragon species and is found on the east coast of Australia. Australian water dragons have powerful legs and sharp claws which help them to climb trees more effectively.
Natural Wild Life | Lemming | The lemming is a tiny rodent that is found in or near the Arctic Circle and are thought to be related to voles and muskrats. The smallest species of lemming is the wood lemming measuring around 8 cm. The Norwegian lemming is roughly three times the size of a wood lemming and is one of the largest species of lemming. Lemmings do not hibernate and instead endure the tough Arctic winters, with the lemming having special protection from the cold from its thick fur. The lemmings spend the winter searching for bulbs and shoots that are often buried beneath the snow. Lemmings are surprisingly solitary animals, only coming together to mate then separating again. Wild lemmings are thought to never get older than a couple of years due the harsh conditions in their natural habitat and the small and very edible size of the lemming. The lemming is easy prey for most meat-eating mammals and birds.
True Wild Life | Albatross | Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). The albatross is a large species of sea bird found throughout the Pacific and even the Antarctic oceans. The albatross spends much of its life either fishing at sea or nesting on one of thousands of little islands. There are more than 20 different species of albatross found across the southern seas, but sadly 19 of the different albatross species are said to be threatened with extinction.
Natural Wild Life | Avocet | The avocet is a type of wading bird that is found across mudflats in the world's warmer climates. There are four different species of avocet which are the Pied avocet, the American avocet, the Red-necked avocet and the Andean avocet. The avocet is generally found in watery habitats close to the coast including marshland, wetlands and swamp. The exact habitat of the avocet is dependent on the species as the Pied avocet is found in Europe and Asia, the American avocet is found on the Pacific coast of North America, the Red-necked avocet in Australia and the Andean avocet is natively found nesting high up in the Andes Mountains.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Olm | The Olm, or Proteus (Proteus anguinus), is a blind amphibian endemic to the subterranean waters of caves. The olm is also known as the human fish, which refers to the colour of it's skin. The olm is the only species in it's genus and is found inhabiting the waters that flow underground through an extensive limestone region including waters of the Isonzo river basin near Trieste in Italy, through to southern Slovenia, south-western Croatia, and Herzegovina. The olm is most well known for living it's entire life in the darkness of the underwater caves, which has led this species to adapt quite strangely to life without light. The most notable feature of the olm is the fact that it is blind as it's eyes are not properly developed and instead it must rely on incredible hearing and smell to understand it's surroundings.
Natural Wild Life | Antelope | Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species found all over the world. The antelope is a deer-like mammal found in Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. There are many different species of antelope including the tiny Royal antelope that stands at the height of a rabbit! Unlike deer that renew their horns annually, the antelope has strong permanent horns, that antelope mainly use to defend their herd or to fight other antelopes. An antelope tends to get to between 8 and 10 years old in the wild although they have been known to live for longer when kept in captivity. Many antelope individuals however, wouldn't last into old age in the wild as antelope are a key target for many large carnivorous mammals. If the antelope was old then the antelope would naturally be slower at running from danger.
Natural Wild Life | Lobster | The lobster is a large crustacean and like the crab is similar to shrimp and prawns. The lobster is one of the largest types of crustacean with some lobster species known to get to weigh over 20 kg. Lobsters live on rocky, sandy, or muddy bottoms close to the shoreline to beyond the edge of the continental shelf as the lobster prefers the shallower ocean water. The lobster is generally found to live by itself, where the lobster hides in crevices and in burrows under rocks.
Natural Wild Life | Bat | Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera. Bats are found all around the world and there are hundreds of different species of bat, living in caves and forests, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. The bumblebee bat found in the jungles of Thailand, is the smallest mammal in the world and weighs less than a penny! Bats hunt at night using their exceptional sight to pick out their prey, generally insects, frogs and small rodents. The size of bat varies with the species, but some bats can have a wingspan of over 2 meters, like the Indonesian giant flying fox! Smaller bat species can be as little as only 2 cm.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Beaver | The beaver (genus Castor) is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Beavers are most well known for their distinctive home-building that can be seen in rivers and streams. The beavers dam is built from twigs, sticks, leaves and mud and are surprisingly strong. Here the beavers can catch their fish and swim in the water. Beavers are nocturnal animals existing in the forests of Europe and North America (the Canadian beaver is the most common beaver). Beavers use their large, flat shaped tails, to help with dam building and it also allows the beavers to swim at speeds of up to 30 knots per hour.
The beaver's significance is acknowledged in Canada by the fact that there is a Canadian Beaver on one of their coins. The beaver colonies create one or more dams in the beaver colonies' habitat to provide still, deep water to protect the beavers against predators. The beavers also use the deep water created using beaver dams and to float food and building materials along the river. In 1988 the North American beaver population was 60-400 million. Recent studies have estimated there are now around 6-12 million beavers found in the wild. The decline in beaver populations is due to the beavers being hunted for their fur and for the beaver's glands that are used as medicine and perfume. The beaver is also hunted because the beavers harvesting of trees and the beavers flooding of waterways may interfere with other human land uses.
Beavers are known for their danger signal which the beaver makes when the beaver is startled or frightened. A swimming beaver will rapidly dive while forcefully slapping the water with its broad tail. This means that the beaver creates a loud slapping noise, which can be heard over large distances above and below water. This beaver warning noise serves as a warning to beavers in the area. Once a beaver has made this danger signal, nearby beavers dive and may not come back up for some time. Beavers are slow on land, but the beavers are good swimmers that can stay under water for as long as 15 minutes at a time. In the winter the beaver does not hibernate but instead stores sticks and logs underwater that the beaver can then feed on through the cold winter.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Fly | True flies are insects of the order Diptera. The fly is one of the most common and well-known insects in the world and the fly is found on every continent with the exception of the innermost polar regions of the Arctic Circle and Antarctica. There are more than 240,000 different species of fly worldwide but only around half of these have actually been scientifically documented, something the science world wants to look into further.
Natural Wild Life | Fox | Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. The fox is a scavenger carnivours dog, generally found in urban city areas in the northern Hemisphere. The fox is a nocturnal mammal, meaning that the fox only goes out a night to hunt for prey. Wild foxes tend live for around 6-7 years, but some foxes have been known to be older than 13 in captivity. The wild fox hunts for the mouse and other small mammals and birds, but foxes appear to enjoy all species of insect.
Natural Wild Life | Heron | The heron is a large species of bird that inhabits wetlands and areas that are close to lakes, ponds and rivers. Some species of heron are also known as egrets and bitterns instead of being called herons. There are 64 different species of heron found inhabiting the wetlands around the world. Herons are commonly found in Europe and North America along with the more temperate regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. Herons are commonly confused with the stalk which is another large species of bird, however the fact that herons fly with their necks in rather than outstretched is on the main differences between herons and stalks.
Natural Wild Life | Cow | Cows are raised in many different countries around the world, mainly for the cows natural resources such as milk, meat and leather. In India the cow is seen as a sacred animal. There are thought to be nearly 1.5 million cows worldwide, most of the cows are sadly kept by farmers but there is sure to be the odd rouge escaped wild cows somewhere!
Natural Wild Life | Caterpillar | The caterpillar is the larvae (the baby) of both a butterfly and a moth. After around 2-3 weeks, the caterpillar builds itself into a cocoon where it remains a pupa for a further 2 weeks. The caterpillar then emerges having grown wings. The moth caterpillar is well known for being a pest particularly in the fabric industry. One species of caterpillar has destroyed reams of silk in the far east, known in China as a silk worm.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Babirusa | The babirusas are a genus. The Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) is a very special member of the pig family. Up until now the relationship between the Babirusa and the other pig species hasn't been resolved completely. There are pieces of research, which suggest the conclusion, that it is closely related to Hippopotamuses, close relatives of pigs themselves. The babirusa is a very strange looking member of the pig family. They are only distantly related to other pigs, and have been given their own subfamily, the Babirousinae. There are three subspecies of the Babirusa corresponding to the areas where they are found; the Sulawesi, Togian, and Moluccan babirusa. These subspecies have different hair covering, hair color, and tusk and body sizes. Fossil studies seem to show that the babirusa may be more closely related to hippopotamuses than pigs.
Natural Wild Life | Zebu | Zebu (Bos primigenius indicus or Bos indicus), sometimes known as humped cattle. The zebu is a species of cattle that is native to the jungles of South Asia and the Zebu is the only cattle species that can easily adapt to life in the hot tropics. The zebu is also known as the humped cattle as the zebu has a very distinctive hump on its upper back, located behind the head and neck of the zebu. Today the zebu can also be found in Africa, as the zebu was transported there from Asia many years ago. There are thought to be around 75 different species of zebu, with roughly half the zebu species found in Africa and the other half of the zebu species found in South Asia. The zebu has also been taken to South America from Africa, where zebu populations are continuously growing.
Natural Wild Life | Vulture | Vulture is the name given to two groups of convergently evolved scavenging birds. The vulture is a large, carnivorous bird that is most well known for its scavenging nature. The vulture is one of the few types of bird that is found distributed so widely around the world, as vultures are found on every continent excluding the Antarctic and Australia and the islands that surround it. Different species of vultures of firstly classified into two groups, the old world vultures and the new world vultures. There are thought to be nearly 30 different species of vulture that are found worldwide.