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

The most famous of the cobras, and the world’s longest venomous snake, is the Indian Cobra (Naja naja). This is the famous “spectacled cobra” seen in snake charmer acts and is responsible for some 10,000 deaths each year. When alarmed, this snake fans out its long, flexible neck ribs to create its iconic “hood”. Indian cobras eat birds, rodents, and reptiles including other snakes. They often hunt in rice paddies and in other cultivated areas — even inside human settlements. Watch the video below to see one cobra that has decided to stick around in one family’s backyard.

Learn more about this beautiful but deadly species:
ARKive
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life

Indian Cobra

The Pine Grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator, is one of the largest of the true finches, Fringillidae. This fruit eating bird lives at the top of the world, in the subarctic reagions of Asia, Europe, and North America. In years where the fruit harvest is low, this species will adapt by extending its range further south to wherever enough fruit can be found, even as far south as the midwest and prairie states.

Pinicola enucleator pine grosbeak finch subarctic asia europe north america canada birds red

ARKive   |   Wikipedia
BirdWeb   |   All About Birds

Check out the SIZE of the amazing Jackfruit!
Can you imagine having this tree in your backyard?!

jack fruit jackfruit exotic artocarpus heterophyllus tree huge green

Find out more on this crazy fruit!
(also click the link or pic above)

Persistent Dwarf Mongoose!

Dwarf Mongoose and Baby Cobra

Did you know that BLUE mushrooms grow in America?
Click the pic for MORE pics (and click “Detail” at the top of that page for more info on this species!)

blue mushrooms forest floor leaf litter leaves america milky blue edible

The tufted capuchin, Sapajus apella, is a social little monkey living in the dry canyons of the Amazon river basin, in South America. This little primate is somewhat famous for its use of stones to break open hard nuts. It also eats a variety of fruits and small animals such as insects and even rats! You can watch a family of tufted capuchins survive and thrive throughout one whole year in the BBC Earth movie, Wild Brazil. Highly recommended viewing!

Sapajus apella tufted capuchin brazil south america monkey primates eating eyes looking brown black tan

Wikipedia
Nature Picture Library
YouTube video
Live Like Dirt
UniProt

Sagarmatha is the world’s highest national park, for it includes Mount Everest and the surrounding area of Nepal. About 3000 indigenous Sherpa people live here, along with world famous rhododendrons that bloom in April and May, pikas and snow leopards, and 193 different species of birds!

sagarmatha national park nepal himalayan mountains everest sherpa

UNESCO page
Beautiful World
YouTube Video tour

Dik-diks are not quite the smallest hoofed critters on the planet, but they are pretty close! The Kirk’s Dik-dik, Madoqua kirkii, lives as pairs of mates with their children, in the savannahs of eastern and southwestern Africa. There are three other dik-dik species, all in Africa. These tiny little horned antelope stand right around one foot (12 to 14 inches) at the shoulder — smaller than most dogs and lighter than many cats! Female dik-diks are larger, but males have horns, often showing distinct rings. Dik-diks are herbivores but do not eat grass, preferring other green plants, plant shoots (new growth), berries, and other fruits.

dikdik

Encyclopedia of Life (lots of pics!)
Animal Diversity Web
Our Beautiful World
Nature Watch NZ
9 Fun Facts about the Dik-dik

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!

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

The six species of Sun Squirrels (Heliosciurus spp.) live only in sub-Saharan Africa.

heliosciurus sun squirrel africa trees animals fauna small genus

More pics
Gambian Sun Squirrel

The Regal Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma solare, lives in the desert areas of the southwestern United States and Mexico. It eats mostly ants, and it is immune to ant venom. When disturbed by a potential predator, this little lizard squirts its own blood out of its eyeball with precise aim, targeting his attacker’s face. Apparently this blood has some type of odor or taste that repels the predator. Click the links below the video for more videos, pics, and information on this crazy critter with its unique defense!

Discovery Channel Video
SW Center for Herp Research
California Herps

Blood Squirting Lizard!

Friendly nuthatch feeds from hand and dish!

 
Also: Nuthatch nest cam!

Alfred the Nuthatch

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

The Oriental Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus vittatus, lives in reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, near Indonesia. They have rather puffy lips, hence the name. 😛
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 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! 😀

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

Don’t blink! You’ll miss this pet Horned Frog gobbling its prey!

Pet Horned Frog

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

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