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

The Philippine eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, is one of the largest and most rare birds in the world, and is found only on the Philippine islands. This critically endangered species mates for life and only produces offspring every other year. They typically live for about 30 years in the wild, feeding on medium-size animals such as monkeys, civets, lemurs, flying squirrels, other birds, and even small deer. Click the links below to learn more!

Wikipedia   |   ADW   |   ARKive
National Geographic   |   EDGE
Eagle Directory   |   HBW Alive
Peregrine Fund   |   BirdLife Intn’l

Philippine Eagle

Here’s a fun, free, full-length documentary on turtles and tortoises. Can YOU tell the difference?

Up in the rugged, unforgiving mountains of Scotland, can any wildlife make a living? This BBC free full-length documentary film is presented on YouTube by AnimalLife. In these Scottish hills, we see that red deer and pine martens join many hardy bird species such as black-throated divers, hooded crows, ptarmigans, and reintroduced sea eagles. Follow a family of divers from a late second laying to the fledging and beyond. And follow the migration of salmon to the highest points in the river. At the end of the film is an entertaining filming diary.

The stickpins or stubble lichens are 30 species in the genus Calicium, which often grow on live branches of trees such as giant redwoods. Below is a closeup of the fruiting body of Calicium adaequatum, sometimes called the “tiny daisy” lichen. Click the links below the pic to see just how minute these bodies really are…! Our Creator sure likes to put a lot of detail into tiny structures! 😀

Calicium adaequatum tiny daisy stickpins stubble lichen fruiting body miniature redwood forests boreal

Encyclopedia of Life
Ways of EnLICHENment
United States Forest Service

Click the pic to find out how this plant came back from the dead!

cafe marron ramosmania rodriguesii threatened endangered tree shrub plant species wild coffee

More on this endangered species:
Arkive
iNaturalist

Can you find a LIANA?

Everyone, when exploring the woods, can find several examples of “tree” or “shrub”… but can you find an example of a liana?
Continue reading

The Socotra Archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an amazing number of endemic species, found nowhere else on the planet!

Socotra Archipelago: UNESCO video

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
 

Intro to 3 species of tarsiers
= primates of southeast Asia with huge eyes!

tarsiers map three species philippines indonesia fauna animals primates exotic

This animal is NOT a lizard!! It is a living dinosaur called a Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus).

tuatara reptile unique new zealand endemic living dinosaur

Learn about this amazing creature:
San Diego Zoo
Wikipedia
New Zealand DOC
A-Z Animals

The Camargue is an area in southern France, a marshy delta area where the Rhone river flows into the Mediterranean Sea. In this area are wild horses and flamingos.

Click the links below the pic for more info on this beautiful wild habitat!

camargue france southern rhone delta wild horses marsh white green blue

The Camargue: France’s Wild West
Wikipedia
World Wildlife Fund

TutorVista.com has a cute little introduction to the Fungi Kingdom.

cartoon drawings fungi mushrooms kingdom

This web page provides a definition, a list of characteristics, four basic divisions of the kingdom with examples of each, and some other useful information.

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 American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis, is one of North America’s last birds to get started building a family. In July, when other bird families include fledglings aplenty, the thistles are just starting to bloom. This signals the conspicuous bright yellow male goldfinch and his olive colored mate to start building a nest, constructed mostly of thistle down. When the eggs finally hatch, the thistles have gone to seed — the perfect time to start feeding chicks! Parent goldfinches serve their nestlings a milky cereal-like substance made of thistle seed — the bird world’s closest thing to mammal milk!

Spinus tristis male american goldfinch on thistles birds north america backyard yellow black white

eNatureBlog
Audubon
All About Birds
BirdNote
ARKive

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! 😛

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

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

Tarsiers have some of the largest eyes relative to their body size of any animal. This comes at a cost, however — they cannot rotate their eyeballs within the sockets but must rotate their entire heads instead. The Philippine tarsier, Carlito syrichta, lives only on a handful of islands in the Philippines. See where the other species live.

Carlito syrichta philippine tarsier tarsius islands endemic tiny primate mammals big eyes

Wikipedia   |   Flickr pics!
Endangered Species International
Bohol, Philippines   |   IUCN Red List
Tarsier Sanctuary   |   Philippine Tarsier Foundation on Facebook

I went out on my porch to take pics of my artwork and found this little guy crawling happily along the porch railing. Knowing my daughter would love to see such a furry little thing, I put him gently on a leaf and carried him inside. I noticed he looked very grub-like beneath his fur, so I put him on a transparent lid and took some pics from both sides. Curious, I looked him up online and found out he is the most venomous caterpillar in America! If I’d have been more aggressive with him, even petting him, the spines buried in his fur might have injected enough poison into me to cause me pain that has been likened to a broken bone, even worse than a scorpion or jellyfish sting! Check out the links below, and be sure to warn the kids around you to NOT pet this furry little dude!!

furry grub caterpillar hair hairy megalopyge opercularis puss southern flannel moth larva

iNaturalist   |   Featured Creatures
BugGuide   |   Daily Mail
National Geographic

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

When my children were young, our family knew mallows as “cheeses” because their seeds come in a fun little package similar to a cheese wheel. The seeds are edible, so we used to hunt them down and have fun opening up the little wheels and crunching on the nutty little seeds. They are tiny, so this was more for fun than for nutrition. Common Mallow, Malva sylvestris, has one of the broadest geographical ranges of all mallows, and is also heavily researched for its medicinal properties. Many cultivars of mallow are also available for your gardening pleasure.

Malva sylvestris common mallow north american world wildflowers medicinal pink purple

Encyclopedia of Life
iNaturalist
Nature Gate
SEINet — Arizona Chapter
Permaculture – UK