The smallest whale, Kogia sima, grows to only about 9 feet long (about 2.7 meters). They are hard to spot, but are found most commonly in the waters near the southern United States.

NOAA dwarf sperm whale leaping small kogia sima

Find out more!
CMS: Whales & Dolphins
Cascadia Research
MarineBio

The binturong (Arctictis binturong) is one of those strange creatures that most people have never heard of, and that appear to be made of several animals spliced together (like a platypus). Whiskered face like a cat, stocky body like a bear, and prehensile tail like a monkey, this animal is sometimes called a bearcat. However, the binturong is neither a type of bear nor a cat. Instead, it is a viverrid like civets and genets (more animals most people do not recognize by name).

binturong viverid bearcat indonesia asia animals mammals strange creatures

Learn more about this species:
ARKive
ADW
San Diego Zoo
A-Z Animals

Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia spp) have flowers that look like cascading fireworks… The shorter, red-petaled object in the pic.

sarracenia flower pitcher plant carnivorous hawaii cultivated

The fishing cat, Prionailurus viverrinus, lives in the wetlands of India and southeast Asia, where its natural habitat is being replaced with homes and farmland. This endangered species of wild cat is about twice the size of most domestic house cats, about 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and very stocky. Just like its name implies, this feline is an avid swimmer and hunts fish and other aquatic animals in rivers, streams, and swampy areas.

fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus asia southeast wetlands big cats feline felids wild

ARKive
Encyclopedia of Life
Wild Cats Magazine
International Society for Endangered Cats
A-Z Animals

Most red-eyed vireos (Vireo olivaceus) breed in North America and overwinter in the Amazon basin of South America. During the breeding season, a single male may sing constantly, up to 10,000 times each day! Because of this and their canopy-feeding lifestyle, these little birds are often heard rather than seen, and their song is part of most forest soundtracks. If you can zoom in on an adult, you may be able to see its bright red eyes, but most commonly you will have to settle for its song and its olive green body with grey, black, and white head pattern for identification.

Vireo olivaceus red eyed vireo neotropical migration bird songbird forest

Find out more!
All About Birds
Encyclopedia of Life
BioKIDS
Audubon Field Guide

The amazing peacock spider, Maratus speciosus, performs a lively and entertaining dance for the camera…

More on this species:
Amusing Planet
Live Science

Peacock Spider Dance

The thorns of acacias can grow so large that people use them to make dolls!
How crazy is that?! Awesomely creative! 😀

acacia thorns doll toys natural products seeds fun stuff diy

Acacia Trees
Acacia Trees and Shrubs

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, is a small endangered species in Australia. It has one of the shortest gestation periods (pregnancy) of all mammals — it gives birth after only 12 to 13 days! This fun video from an Australian zoo will tell you more, as will the links below it (more pics, too!).

Wildscreen ARKive
Werribee Zoo (Australia)

Eastern Barred Bandicoot

The strange-looking, bare-headed White-Necked Rockfowl, Picathartes gymnocephalus, lives only in a small area of western Africa, below the Sahara desert. Its nearly featherless head shows bright yellow skin with black patches behind its eyes. This strange bird eats mostly insects, but feeds its young frogs. It often nests in caves and will sometimes follow an army of ants, gobbling up insects disturbed by the parade.

picathartes gymnocephalus white necked rockfowl bare headed yellow africa ghana birds naked featherless

Wikipedia entry
My Bird of the Year!
ARKive entry with pics & video

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

Here’s a long critter cam video — almost 15 minutes in length! of a fishing cat kitten from southeast Asia, exploring its watery habitat.

More about the Fishing Cat

Fishing Cat Kitten

Here is an edible weed that might just be covering a part of your yard!
The low-growing common chickweed tastes great in salad or boiled as greens.
Click the links below for chickweed recipes!

common chickweed stellaria media groundcover low growing plants edible salad

Eat the Weeds
Stellaria species
Edible Wild Food

The silk floss tree, Ceiba speciosa, is related to baobob and kapok trees and features the family’s swollen trunk. Not only does it have huge showy flowers up to 6 inches across, but its bark is covered in spikelets that hold water. As if it weren’t unique enough already, when young the trunk of this tree is green with chlorophyll, performing some of the photosynthesis for the plant. With age, the trunk turns grey.

Watch the nearly silent video tour of a silk floss tree, and click the links below the video to learn more — including how it got its name!

Wikipedia
Top Tropicals (*nice pics!)
FloriData

Silk Floss Tree

Nearly an hour long, this older but still good documentary on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is available in full on YouTube:

Great Barrier Reef Documentary

Orange Peel Fungus can be quite reddish and cup-like!

red cup fungus orange peel aleuria aurantia log ground moss

Most are more orange and have less of a cup form — click the pic to see over 150 more pics.
This is one highly variable fungus species!

This tiny Earth Tongue is only about an inch tall!

earth tongue geoglossum club fungi tiny moss black mushroom

Mushroom Expert
Wikipedia
Encyclopedia of Life

Here’s a little clip from BBC Earth’s hard-to-find series, Wild Caribbean. It features acrobatic and highly intelligent capuchin monkeys in a coastal forest area of Costa Rica.

Caribbean Capuchins

Each video in the Eyewitness natural history series is roughly a half-hour long and describes one facet of the natural world such as birds, volcanoes, elephants, or the seashore. The link below is a 28-minute video from the Eyewitness Official Channel on YouTube, this one being on Insects. Click the link below the video to visit the Eyewitness Channel list of videos.

Eyewitness Offical YouTube Channel videos

Rope from Yucca

This whole family is learning a valuable survival skill, and you can, too!

family outdoor craft hobby art make yucca rope cordage natural fibers plants nature
Continue reading

The Ohio Buckeye, Aesculus glabra, is one of a couple dozen different species of horse chestnut tree. It grows up to about 80 feet tall and is native to the Eastern United States. The five-finger (palmately compound) leaves are nearly as famous in its region as its poisonous, shiny brown nuts. Although the nuts cannot be eaten, they have been used to tan leather (high tannin content) or are dried and strung as beads on a necklace. The name “Buckeyes” is given to all inhabitants of the state of Ohio, along with its state university sports teams. There is also a special candy made of peanut butter dipped in chocolate with a little ring of gold left uncovered at the top — made to resemble the buckeye nut. The Ohio Buckeye is the state tree of Ohio, and the name buckeye comes from one of the area’s early explorers being dubbed “Eye of the Buck” by local Native Americans.

ohio buckeye tree nuts leaves garden north america midwest Aesculus glabra horsechestnuts

Virginia Tech
Missouri Botanical Garden
LBJ Wildflower Center
What Tree is it?