Anonymous asked: me and my friends refer to you as the "excited animal girl from tumblr", and I kind of want it to be a thing
Well you and your friends are the best people ever oh my god CAN THIS BE A THING I THINK SO MY GOOD MAN
Sorry for the lack of posts in the past few weeks! I’ve been stupidly busy over the past few weeks with school and my EPQ and life in general, but I am trying to get more stuff queued up so it doesn’t happen again.
Hopefully everything should be back up and running soon, sorry again!
Bearded Vulture. (Gypaetus barbatus)
Look at the majesticness that is this bird. IT’S SO GRAND.
Let’s talk about how kick-ass the bearded vulture is.First up, the natural diet of these birds is BONES. Now, I know what you’re thinking, "Yeah, bones, but small ones right?"
NO. THIS BIRD WILL PICK UP MASSIVE FREAKING BONES, FLY UP INTO THE SKY AND REPEATEDLY DROP THEM UNTIL THEY BREAK. THIS BIRD IS SO PUNK ROCK.
Secondly, you see that beautiful red colouring in the second picture?Makeup.
According to biologist Antoni Margalida of Spain’s Bearded Vulture Study and Protection Group, “It is the only bird that utilizes cosmetics to dye its plumage.” At about age 7 (the vulture equivalent of a teenager), the birds begin to use red, iron-rich mud pits to dye their naturally white breast, neck, and head feathers.
It’s believed that the colour is used as a status symbol. Females, the dominant sex, are brighter than males. Colour intensity also grows with age. They will also handle conflict by struttin’ their stuff and displaying their snazzy new feather do in the process.
So this is a bird with a 2.5m wide wingspan, a diet that is 85-90% bones and LIKES TO WEAR MAKE UP.
If you don’t think they are the greatest thing ever then get out of my face.
Also known as: Lammergeier.
Anonymous asked: (not of the same anon ^_^) I'm also really interested in learning about animals, what are books or documentarys that you would recommend? (sorry for my English!!)
Hello! Oh gosh there are so many (ALSO YOUR ENGLISH IS FANTASTIC DON’T WORRY)!
On the book front; I have a whole bunch more (far too many) downstairs, but these are the ones on my current reading list that I keep up in my room…
Anonymous asked: this is probably a weird question, but how do you know so much about these animals?
It’s not weird at all! Learning about animals is what I love, so a lot of my free time is spent reading about, watching stuff on, or observing them (if I’m lucky).
I guess it’s mainly from reading that I learn about the animals I write about, but also documentaries and anything else I can get my hands on :)
Frilled shark. (Chlamydoselachus anguineus)
THIS GUY IS SO RAD.
LOOK AT ITS MOUTH. LOOK AT IT. Those impressive jaws are armed to the teeth (ba dum tshh) with multiple rows of super sharp, kickass, three-pronged porcelain plaques of bright and glorious wonder. Even though the teeth are kind of small, there are more than 300 of them, making that just under one thousand sharp hooks for any unfortunate prey to get past. Yikes.
Because of its deepwater habitat, very few observations of the frilled shark have been made in its natural environment. Looking at it’s stomach contents however, indicates that it mostly preys on deep water squid and a variety of fish, including other sharks. While it is unclear exactly how the frilled shark feeds, the fact that its jaws can open extremely wide suggests that it may actively take prey over one and a half times its own length.
SO NOT ONLY DOES THIS GUY HAVE WHAT CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A NIGHTMARE CHEESE GRATER FOR A MOUTH, BUT IT TAKES ON OTHER SHARKS THAT COULD BE ONE AND A HALF TIMES ITS OWN BODY LENGTH.
Ladybird spider. (Eresus sandaliatus)
Just look at this fabulous little fellow.
The ladybird spider is one of the rarest spiders found in the UK, but are also found scattered across the rest of northern and central Europe.
The males are just unbelievably snazzy (he looks like he’s got a teeny tiny apron on). They have a bright orangey-red back with four large black spots just above two smaller ones - hence where they get their
Females and juvenile males are all black and quite a bit larger. Although the females may not be as flashy as the adult males, they deserve an award for mum of the year without a doubt.
The female will rarely leave her burrow and the male only emerges for two weeks in May to breed. After mating, the female lays up to 80 eggs in an adorable little cocoon and guards them until the spiderlings (cutest name for a baby animal EVER) hatch in July or August. She feeds them entirely on her regurgitated food, until finally the spiderlings eat their own mother.
So, just to clarify, she sits and guards her eggs for two/three months in a dusty burrow, then gives them all of her food,
THEN LETS THEM EAT HER.
Female ladybird spiders - taking one for the team.
Satanic leaf-tailed gecko. (Uroplatus phantasticus)
Everybody stop what you’re doing and look at this sneaky little son of a gun.
First up; what a name. I mean, seriously, satanic? Most badass name in the history of names.
Second of all, 11/10 for disguise, my good sir. How it’s possible for a lizard to resemble a dead leaf so perfectly is beyond me.
The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is endemic to Madagascar, and although individuals vary in colour, it is often mottled brown. Small black dots on the underside help distinguish it from similar species.
Not taking into account their impressive mimicry, the satanic leaf-tailed gecko is somewhat of an expert at avoiding predators through a number of other behaviours. They can completely flatten their body against whatever they’re sitting on to reduce the body’s shadow, open their jaws wide to show a frightening, bright red mouth (I’ve seen it, and yes, it is actually quite frightening), and voluntarily shed their tail in order to trick a predator.
What a top notch little guy.
Image: Ryan M. Bolton
Zoology BRO. turned 1 today!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BLOG!
Thank you all for putting up with my excitement for a whole year, here’s to the next one!
Slave-making ant. (Harpagoxenus sublaevis)
I have legitimately never been so
terrified in awe of an ant in my entire life.
Harpagoxenus sublaevis, commonly known as the slave-making ant, is an ant species found across Europe, that literally enslaves ants of other species to provide workers for it’s own colony.
To begin the whole enslaving shenanigan, a queen will locate the nest of some Leptothorax ants, and releases a sexual pheromone which attracts males of her species, stimulating them to mate. Once mated, the queen will invade the nest, and literally decapitate any worker ants that try and stop her. She also secretes a sticky substance which, when smeared on Leptothorax workers, causes the defending workers to attack each other.
And because the stuff is so sticky, it quickly spreads from worker to worker - so the queen can just casually stroll on through all the insanity and chaos she’s created, and begin her final assault on the Leptothorax queen.
Once all adult Leptothorax ants have been killed or driven away, the Harpagoxenus sublaevis queen remains with the Leptothorax brood. When they hatch, these new workers accept the Harpagoxenus sublaevis queen as their own, and start undertaking all routine tasks such as foraging, nest building and caring for the queen’s new brood.
But wait, it goes on..
The Harpagoxenus sublaevis workers that hatch from this brood will then go on to in raid new nests to keep replenishing the ‘slave’ worker force.
I’m really not sure what to even do with myself now.
Image: Bernhard Seifert
Grey slender loris. (Loris lydekkerianus)
The grey slender loris is a pretty odd looking primate, with its big ol’ eyes and weirdly lanky limbs.
Despite its name, this loris is not always grey and some individuals can appear quite reddish (surprise, surprise - humans mess up on the naming, AGAIN). The eyes are surrounded by a black ring, and a white line that extends down onto the nose separates the eyes.
The grey slender loris is a tree-dwelling species that moves along branches on all fours. It has
adorable tiny hands, that enable it to grip the smallest of branches. It also has a special network of blood vessels in the wrists and ankles allow it to grip tightly for a few days without suffering anymuscle cramp. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
The gray slender loris occurs in southern and eastern India and Sri Lanka, in a range of habitats including forest, plantations, and dry shrub jungles. It appears to prefer degraded forests, rather than primary forest, and is often associated with areas near human habitations
Largetooth sawfish. (Pristis pristis)
Okay so bear with me on this one.
I find it very hard to take these animals seriously a lot of the time; I know from above they’re really impressive and “scary” and like WOAH DUDE. But the second you see them from below…
They’re all like OH HEY NEIGHBOUR HOW’S IT GOING I BROUGHT TACOS!
I mean, seriously guys. Just look at that face. Look at the wave.
I feel like he should be called Herman, or something.
Anyway, back to the post, (incase you hadn’t noticed) the largetooth sawfish gets its name from its long, flattened, snout, covered in a series of long, thin teeth. This may measure up to a fifth of the total length.
Sawfish are classed in the same group as sharks, skates and rays (the elasmobranchs), and despite their appearance, are actually more closely related to rays than sharks, having their gills located on the underside of the body and not on the sides.
Sawfish generally feed on small schooling fish, but are also reported to feed on crustaceans and other bottom-dwelling animals. They attack fish by slashing their ‘saw’ sideways through schools, impaling fish on their teeth (not so friendly now…).
The largetooth sawfish is found in the tropical eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of California to Ecuador; the western Atlantic, from Florida to Brazil; and the eastern Atlantic, from Portugal to Angola. It is classified as critically endangered.
Images: Baltimore National Aquarium
Araripe manakin. (Antilophia bokermanni)
This flashy little guy was only discovered in 1998, and is endemic to Brazil, where it has only ever been found in a very small area at the base of the Chapada do Araripe in south Ceara.
As with most bird species, the males have some pretty fancy colouring going on, with pure white plumage, black wings and tail and bright red colouring down the head (which makes them look a little like David Bowie, no?). They also have this adorable little tufty thing of feathers above the bill, which only adds to how gosh darn handsome this fella is.
Females, in contrast, are olive green in colour, with a paler belly and a smaller tuft of feathers above the bill (they don’t need flashy plumage to show how fabulous they are).
A survey in 2006 estimated that the entire population consists of only 800 individuals. Human encroachment and destruction of habitat for agricultural purposes are most likely the causes of the Araripe manakin’s critically endangered status - so, once again, good job humans.
Image: Johan Buckens
Peacock Tree Frog. (Leptopelis vermiculatus)
Leptopelis vermiculatus is found in areas of forest in Tanzania, at altitudes of 900-1800m. It can also be called the big-eyed tree frog, but this can refer to another species of frog* - so I’d steer clear of using the name, just to be safe…
The peacock tree frog has two very distinct (both equally awesome) colour phases;
- The first is bright green, with scattered black specks on its back. It also has this super funky black, white, and blue marbling on its sides.
- The second phase is brown with a cool as heck triangle shape on the back.
They get their name (yes, the one you shouldn’t really use) from how insanely large their eyes are in comparison to their body - just incase you somehow hadn’t noticed.
The peacock tree frog is classified as vulnerable on the 2004 IUCN red list; it’s main threat being the pet industry.
*It’s literally a completely different frog guys, it’s not even close. Ugh. People are annoying.
Image: Jermoe Gublin
Image: Loïc Denès
Peacock mantis shrimp. (Odontodactylus scyllarus)
Oh my gosh. Where do I even begin with such a fantastical animal? It’s just so amazing (Brace yourselves people, Coral’s about to get VERY excited).
The Peacock mantis shrimp is one of the larger, more colourful mantis shrimps commonly seen in the Indian and Pacific oceans, ranging in size from 3 to 18 centimetres. They are primarily green in colour, with orange legs and leopard-like spots on the anterior carapace.
Okay. So. On to the cool stuff. We (humans) have three colour receptive cones in our eyes; green, blue and red. These allow us to see all the colours derived from those three colours. Pretty impressive, no?
The mantis shrimp has SIXTEEN colour receptive cones. SIXTEEN. You think our rainbows are impressive derived from our measly three colours? Think how amazing everything the mantis shrimp sees is. GAH.
Second up, it has two raptorial appendages on the front of its body. These can accelerate with the same velocity as a gunshot from a 22 caliber rifle, and in less than 0.003 of a second can strike whatever was foolish enough to get in it’s way with 1500 Newtons of force.
Their limbs move so quickly that the water around them literally boils. The underwater shockwave it produces will kill the target even if it misses.WHAAAAT.
Do excuse my excitement in this post but it cannot be contained.
TELL ME SHRIMPS AREN’T COOL ONE MORE TIME.
ONE MORE TIME.
I DARE YOU.
Image: Perry Aragon
Also known as; harlequin mantis shrimp, painted mantis shrimp, or clown mantis shrimp