The Moonrat, Echinosorex gymnura, is an insectivore that lives in Indonesia and nearby Malaysia — in southeast Asia. It is neither a rodent nor a rat, but rather is related to hedgehogs. Two subspecies exist, with one being mostly white like the picture below. The other subspecies has more black on it. Moonrats sleep in burrows or dens during the day and come out at night to hunt worms and insects, especially those close to water. These critters are notorious for their STINK! Naturalists have documented the ability to smell them coming, and being awoken when one passes beneath the structure they are sleeping in! ๐Ÿ˜›

echinosorex gymnura gymnurus moonrat indonesia sabah malaysia southeast asia mammals insectivores stinky

Wikipedia   |   EOL   |   ADW   |   ARKive
Let’s do some Zoology!
Moonrat Art!

The Oriental Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus vittatus, lives in reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, near Indonesia. They have rather puffy lips, hence the name. ๐Ÿ˜›
This species really looks different between its juvenile and adult form! Young sweetlips are rather speckled with dark splotches on a light background. Eventually, these markings morph to black and white stripes with yellow tail, fins, and face. The bright yellow shows the splotches of youth, although they are smaller overall, more like spots. Check out the links below the pic to find out more about this unique species of grunt fish.

Plectorhinchus vittatus oriental sweetlips marine fish fishes yellow stripes morph change juvenile adult ocean reef indonesia pacific indian
Saltwater Smarts
Encyclopedia of Life

The Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari)
can be found only on Socotra — four islands
off the horn of Africa, south of the Arabian Peninsula,
in the Indian Ocean.

dracaena cinnabari dragons blood tree socotra endemic crazy unique arid umbrella roots

Photo by Rod Waddington on Flickr

The lowly wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens, grows only 4 to 6 inches tall but features bright white nodding flowers that morph into bright red edible berries, and leaves that give us the familiar wintergreen flavor. A North American wildflower, it grows on the forest floor of most of the eastern half of the United States. Watch the video to learn to identify this plant with ease.

Range map & info
Gardener’s Notes!

Wintergreen

The common chickweed (Stellaria media) is common indeed!
I used to find this growing everywhere in Michigan, but haven’t seen it here in Texas.

arkive plants weeds chickweed edible growing green white flowers star stellaria media common

More on this lowly edible plant:
Weed Gallery
Arkive (wow! they have plants, too!)
Kingdom Plantae

This crazy frog from the Amazon has a mouth that is one and a half times the length of its body!

surinam amazon horned frog ceratophrys cornuta face amphibian brown leaf

Learn more about this species:
Encyclopedia of Life (more pics!)
Animal Diversity Web
National Geographic

The Pรจre David’s deer from China has cloven hooves like cow feet!
The species was barely saved from extinction by breeding in zoos.

male Elaphurus davidianus pere david deer antlers cloven hooves split hoof laying down

To find out more, click the pic above or the links above and below.
Arkive – pics and info
RedOrbit – article

Like other deciduous larches, the subalpine larch, Larix lyallii, sheds its needles each year. The trees make a grand show up there near the treeline, with their yellow needles and often twisted form. Further down the mountains, they tend to be taller and grow straighter. Fresh new twigs have single needles, whereas older twigs have clusters of needles growing from a little raised knot along the twig. Cones are spherical with long bracts extending out past each scale, giving the cones a shaggy appearance. These trees grow along with their very close and very similar relative, Larix occidentalis, in the upper Rocky Mountains and Cascade range in the northwestern United States and nearby regions of Canada.

Larix lyallii subalpine alpine larch northwest canada united states trees treeline mountains deciduous needles

The Gymnosperm Database
The Wild Garden
Burke Museum
Virginia Tech

Common Cotton Grass, Eriophorum angustifolium, is found in the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. The fluffy white seedheads cannot be used to make clothing like cotton, but it has been used in wound dressings (padding) and as pillow stuffing. This species of cotton grass has translucent pink roots that have been used as an astringent and to treat digestive troubles.

cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium species plant alpine mountains bog northern

Encyclopedia of Life: pics!
Wikipedia (very informative article)
Nature’s Notebook
Other types of cotton grass

This full-length (59min) nature documentary by National Geographic Wild is in high definition and free on YouTube!
The southeast corner of Russia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful endangered wild cats. See these and much more while you watch this entertaining movie.

The Pine White Butterfly, Neophasia menapia, is the only white species that features its unique black banding on the outside edge of its upper wings. The lower wings also feature black highlights on the wing veins — but only on the underside! So when you look at it from above, with its wings stretched out, it looks mostly white with black only along the outsides of the upper wings. Yet when it is at rest, with its wings closed, it morphs into a black-and-white beauty! ๐Ÿ˜€

pine white butterfly west united states canada north america neophasia menapia

Learn more about this unique butterfly species:
Encyclopedia of Life
Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site
Butterflies & Moths of N Amer
Butterflies of America
Butterflies of Canada
Raising Butterflies

Bird Tracks and Sign can be just as interesting and diverse as with mammals!

bird tracks and signs website link review nature tracking

 
Animal Tracks — Birds
 

This highly variable species, Aleuria aurantia, can grow as distinct cup-like individuals or as a mass of curly orange forms — or anywhere in between! The upper, shinier side of this amazing fungus is fertile, while the underneath, more spongy-looking side is infertile. Click Here for an awesome web page explaining this species in detail.

bright orange peel fungus aeuria aurantia mushroom moss fleshy transparent translucent

Over 150 More Pics
Pics with Locations

Satoyama is a place where nature and people exist in harmony, where people make a sustainable living from the land“. This is the opening statement in a 10 minute video presented by the United Nations University, linked to below the YouTube video shown. A full-length documentary on the same topic, presented by BBC and narrated by David Attenborough, is featured here:

UN University video
Wikipedia on Satoyama
Article on TreeHugger.com

Leave it to Beavers is a full length, free movie on YouTube, posted by AnimalLife. This documentary is 48 minutes long and full of fun scenes and interesting information on beavers and their effect on the enironment. Very entertaining! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Natural Wall is a rock formation in northern Michigan which appears man-made due to its brick-like structure. Lying along the Keweenaw Fault in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where the land juts out into Lake Superior just south of Canada, this is a very rare near-vertical slope of natural sandstone. Visitors can trek along the riverbank to access the site, but are advised that the trip may entail traversing mud and large water puddles, along with some rocky terrain. Visit the sites below for more pics and directions to the site — but be aware that the area is private rather than public land.

natural wall keweenaw peninsula michigan lake superior geology sandstone nature places

Keweenaw Wall
The Natural Wall
Natural Wall

Perhaps the least known and most vulnerable species of bear is the Malayan Sun Bear or Honey Bear, Helarctos malayanus. This species grows to be only about half the size of black bears and lives in southeast Asia. They eat mostly insects, honey, and fruit, but will also eat small reptiles and rodents as well as eggs and a few plants such as sugar cane. Each sun bear has a unique lighter patch of fur on its chest, making it relatively easy to distinguish between individuals.

sun honey bear asia southeast java malayan Helarctos malayanus tongue out

ARKive     WWF     Nat Geo     ADW
A-Z Animals     EOL     Bears of the World

 

Malayan Sun Bear

Here is a fun 5 1/2 minute video of 5 different micro creatures, listed below.

Euglena
Micro-worms
Daphnia
Rotifer
Seamonkey

Microscopic Farm

How Do Cicadas Make Noise?
Click the pic to find out!

cicada cicadidae insects bugs noise singing trees tymbal membrane muscle inside internal structures anatomy physiology entomology

More on Cicada Mania!

Check out this page of 22 Breathtaking Wildlife Pictures of Beautiful Foxes. My favorite is below, but if you like foxes, I’m sure there will be several that you will like on that page: check it out!

beautiful fox photos national geographic traveler outdoor scenes 2013 Josรฉ Mingorance young fennec in Morocco