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!
Blood Squirting Lizard!
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!
The desert heat has evaporated so much water from the Umm Al-maa oasis in the Sahara desert, that it is saltier than the sea. Yet migrating sparrows feast here. How? Watch this short little clip from BBC’s Africa documentary series to find out.
Poisonous Sahara Oasis
The American Bittersweet vine, Celastrus scandens, is native to central and eastern North America, but is unfortunately being replaced by a non-native invasive species, the Oriental Bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus. Our native species has alternate, oval, fine-toothed leaves and berry-like fruits that start out green, change to yellow then orange, then finally split open to reveal the 3-part fruit interior shown below. The fruits are poisonous to humans but eaten widely by birds and mammals, from wild turkeys to eastern cottontails. When growing up a young sapling, bittersweet vines can choke out and even kill their host, but typically it causes no real damage.
Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a flowering shrub or small tree native to China and Korea and cultivated widely in the southeastern United States, Australia, and elsewhere. It has one of the longest flowering seasons, up to 4 months of brilliant summer flowers. There are several varieties of this plant, many which are named after Native American tribes. The flowers can be white, purple, red, or a wide variety of pinkish colors.
Doesn’t this palm nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis) remind you of an eagle with a vulture’s head and feet spliced on?
This African bird of prey is unique in that it prefers the fruit of the oil palm tree over meat! It also eats crabs, insects, and other small animals — as well as a few other species of palm nuts.
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!
Hornbill Nest Video
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!)