The acorn woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus, lives in family groups in the western USA and Mexico. They horde acorns in their colony’s granary trees.

melanerpes formicivorus acorn woodpecker west coast usa western horder hording granary tree social colonial species

Click the pic to visit WhatBird.com
— or visit these sites for more info:
National Geographic
Cornell’s All About Birds

Smilax species are shrubby vines that can climb up trees using curly tendrils and hooked thorns. Many are evergreen, and 20 species are found in North America north of Mexico. Of these, the most common are catbriers or greenbriers. Sarsaparilla is a medicinal plant native to Mexico. Its common name means “little bramble vine”. Click the links below to learn more about this useful species.

sarsaparilla smilax aristolochiifolia vine tendrils red berries mexican zarzasparilla

Wikipedia
iNaturalist
Tropical Plant Database

The Dhole or Asiatic Wild Dog, Cuon alpinus, is an endangered canine with only about 2500 to 3000 individuals left in the wild. This unique species does not fit neatly into either the wolf-like nor fox-like canids, and therefore has its own genus. Dholes have two extra teets… and two less teeth than other wild dogs! They hunt in packs like wolves, but communicate with a whistle rather than a howl. Dholes are now mostly found in India and parts of China, but also can be found on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java.

dhole Cuon alpinus asiatic indian wild dog red canids asia indonesia china

ARKive   ADW
A to Z Animals
Dhole Fact File

Two days in a row, when I went to my mailbox there was a Zelus nymph — a young assassin bug — on the handle. Each time, I gently lowered the door on the box, trying not to disturb the unique creature that graced my front yard. Each day, it was a different species, too! One day it was the red one shown below, Zelus longipes. The other day it was a smaller, little green guy, Zelus luridus. While some say they look like their adult forms (due to incomplete metamorphosis), I could not find these nymphs in any of my insect books because there is no ADULT insect that has this body shape. My research began by googling “skinny bug”! 😀

assassin bug nymph young zelus longipes milkweed longlegged skinny red black hunter

American Insects: Zelus longipesZelus luridus
Reduviidae: Assassin Bugs (Austin Bug Collection)
Bug Eric blog — Nature at Close Range blog
Arthropods of Maine (blog page on Z. luridus)
Featured Creatures: Zelus longipes
Beneficials in the Garden (mostly on Zelus longipes)

This strange-looking bird never outgrows his huge eye — this is not just an appealing baby face, but a full-grown Water Dikkop or Water Thick-knee of southern Africa!

water thick knee dikkop burhinus vermiculatus birds aves south africa wader

More Pics! (click the “Detail” tab for more info)
Vocalization (bird sound)
Beauty of Birds
Biodiversity Explorer

Foraging behavior of Dwarf Mongooses

Dwarf Mongoose Foraging

The Australian Brush-Turkey is one of only three megapodes still living wild in Australia today. It has black plumage, a bald red head and yellow wattles, and a tail that fans out vertically like a fish tail, so that it looks rather crazy from any angle! 🙂

See more pics & learn more about this strange bird!
Wikipedia   |   EOL
iNaturalist   |   IBC
Birds in Backyards
Oiseaux Birds
Queensland Government

The St. Lucia or iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the southeastern corner of Africa features a wide variety of wildlife habitats including forest, inland lake, swamp, sand dunes, and coastal waters where whales make their annual migrations.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The streaked tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus) of Madagascar is quite the unique critter!
Not only does he look crazy, but he also clatters his spines together to communicate with his foraging mates, AND clicks his tongue as a form of echolocation!

 
tenrec madagascar africa streaked hemicentetes punk rock shrew

Click the pic or links above or below to learn more about this amazing species!
Arkive
Encyclopedia of Life
Animal Diversity Web

An old animal classic on YouTube

rudyard kipling jungle book rikki tikki tavi movie old animal classics for kids animated

Learn about Dwarf Mongooses (BBC video)

dwarf mongoose helogale parvula species bbc planet wild video learning african animals

Dwarf Mongoose resources on this site

Of course, the Green Anole is not always green, as it can change to brown in order to hide from predators (like humans!). This has earned it the nickname “American Chameleon” although it is NOT a chameleon but rather is one of over 350 species of Anolis which is often studied for their biodiversity as well as for their neurology. Remarkably, this latter study is conducted to further our understanding of human physiology and medicine. Green anoles, Anolis carolinensis, are native to the southeastern United States, often found around low buildings with exposed wood, or in bushes near homes.

green anole carolina Anolis carolinensis lizards reptiles common north america florida south

NatureWorks   ADW   EOL
iNaturalist   Harrel House
Backyard Nature: Naturalist Newsletter

Snow Fleas are not fleas at all but useful tiny springtails!

Find out more!
FCPS: Snow Fleas
WIRED: Snow Fleas

Snow Fleas!

This interesting little European wildflower, Arum maculatum, is known by somewhere around 100 different names! Find out just some of these by clicking the picture and links below!

arum maculatum lords and ladies cuckoo plant pint uk united kingdom wildflowers europe

Wildscreen ARKive
A Modern Herbal
Easy Wildflowers
Wildflower Finder
Gardening Know-How

In the snowy winter, a beaver must work to keep a hole in the ice. He is cranky and slow-moving. The otter, on the other hand, is having fun sliding down hills and pestering the beaver! Watch this fun little video for a peek into the interaction between these two species in the dead of winter.

Beaver vs. Otter

Check out the Virginia Opossum at the Second Chance Wildlife Center in the state of Maryland (USA).

Virginia Opossum

Mongooses and Meerkats

If you study these two species:

Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)
Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)

… you will find that they have several things in common. Continue reading

A short video featuring the beautiful Pine Grosbeak and its call:

More on the Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak’s Call

What I like best about this tiny bird is its name: Have you ever heard of a gnatwren?! It is not a wren, yet it has the cocked tail and general appearance of one. It IS a type of gnatcatcher, but it doesn’t quite LOOK like one. This unique species is the only one in its genus, yet it has over a dozen subspecies. It lives in Central and South America, with an isolated population along the east coast of Brazil. Read more about this little feathered friend using the links below the pic.

long billed gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus central south america brazil forest tiny birds of the world

Birds of the World
iNaturalist
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Animalia Life

This amazing little European wildflower, Arum maculatum, is not only poisonous, but it is also known by about 100 different names!
Watch this short but informative video — or click the link above — to learn more! 😀

Arum maculatum Video