Dwarf Mongoose “beds”

Dwarf Mongooses live in Africa. Wikipedia says they sleep at night in…

  • “disused” termite mounds
  • rock piles
  • hollow trees

… along with other such cubby hole hideouts in their part of Africa. Continue reading

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

The crown-tipped coral fungus is white to yellowish and about an inch or two tall with little spikey crown-shaped tops on its “branches”. It grows on long-dead wood in North America and is edible, with a peppery taste that tends to disappear when cooked. The video below describes where to find this fungus species, how to identify it, and how to harvest and cook it. The links below the video feature more pics and species information.

Artomyces pyxidatus
Crown-Tipped Coral
Mushroom Expert

Crown Tipped Coral Fungus

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

Learn about Dwarf Mongooses (BBC video)

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

Dwarf Mongoose resources on this site

What do mires, fens, bogs, moors, muskegs, and pocosins all have in common? Peat!
Learn more about peat on Wikipedia!

harvesting regulating peat in Ireland turbary right to cut peat turf

Little Church Buried in Peat
Peat Into Coal (scroll down)
Regulating Peat Harvest: Turbary

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

This is one of the most famous individual trees in the world.
Nicknamed “The Tree of Life“, it stands alone in the desert without any detectable source of water.

tree of life bahrain mesquite old alone isolated lonely desert prosopis cineraria species specimen wonder asia

Find out more:
Amusing Planet
Trip Advisor
World Top Top

The Salar de Uyuni in southern Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat at almost 5000 square miles. In all that area, its height above sea level only varies by three feet — so nearly perfectly level that NASA uses it as a benchmark to align some of their equipment in space! This whole area is unique with many geologic features — check out the links below to find out more and see awesome pics!

salar de uyuni salt flat largest world bolivia south america desert altiplano unusual places

Wikipedia   |   WikiTravel   |   Lonely Planet
YouTube video   |   Epic Pics!

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

If you like to watch meerkats, you’ve got to check out this website devoted to their cousins, the banded mongoose!

banded mongoose research project website support

The Banded Mongoose Research Project website

2010 full documentary:
Tarsier: The Littlest Alien

carlito syrichta tarsier night eyes eerie spooky animals videos documentary species philippines fauna wildlife

The Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens, is a very common and easily identifiable species of damselfly in the UK and adjacent parts of Eurasia, with a range extending all the way to northern China. The video below shows the process of mating and egg laying, while the links below the video will give you much more information about this intriguing species. Check out how the mating couple form the shape of a heart!

Encyclopedia of Life (lots of pics!)
First Nature
ARKive
Nature Spot

Banded Demoiselle Mating

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!

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

The Eurasian harvest mouse, Micromys minutus, is not only Europe’s smallest rodent, but it is also the continent’s only animal with a prehensile (grasping) tail. The nest this tiny one weaves also takes the prize for the most complex of any European mammal. The little harvest mouse splits and bends stalks of grass, eventually forming a spherical structure about 4 or 5 inches wide. These tiny rodents live only about 6 months, and even in captivity 18 months is the record.

More pics & info on Encyclopedia of Life
More pics & video on ARKive

Europe’s Smallest Rodent

Jabiru are storks that live in Central and South America, especially in the wetlands of Brazil and Paraguay. They are the tallest flying bird in their range, with adult males sometimes reaching 5 feet in height — about as big as the flightless rhea! Jabiru means “swollen neck” and both males and females have their namesake. Males tend to be about 25% larger than females, however.

ARKive   ADW   EOL
Cornell Lab   Oiseaux-Birds

Jabiru

This uniquely patterned flower goes by several names including Checkered Lily, Snake’s Head Fritillary, and Guinea Hen Flower. It is Fritillaria meleagris, the genus name meaning (basically) checkered and the species name referring to guinea fowl. This plant is native to Eurasia from the UK across into western Russia. It is also widely grown as a spring bulb in gardens all across the USA. Certainly planting a few of these bulbs would provide a new conversation starter for any garden!

Snake's Head Fritillary Fritillaria meleagris checkered lily ornamental eurasian france red purple spotted checkerboard pattern unusual

KEW Botanical Gardens
Encyclopedia of Life
Wikipedia
Pacific Bulb Society
Paghat’s Garden

Tikal National Park in Guatemala (central America south of Mexico) is bursting with biodiversity, thanks in part to the Maya Biosphere Reserve next door!

tikal national park wildlife nature conservation maya biosphere reserve

Tikal Scientific Information (nature!)
Tikal National Park (UNESCO)
Maya Biosphere Reserve

With oily fur to shed the water with a shake, the water shrew (Sorex palustris) can live a life that few other insect eaters can maintain. These little guys can dive underwater and hunt for insect larvae and small fish, then swim back to the surface and nibble on worms, snails, and even mushrooms. Water shrews are so light and bouyant that they must paddle hard just to stay submerged. They live mostly in mountain streams and nest in logs or underground burrows.

 
water shrew sorex palustris american insectivore mammals arkive

ARKive
ADW
BioKIDS