Teals are part of the genus of dabbling ducks, Anas, which also includes the familiar mallards and pintails. This small species of dabbler, the Baikal Teal or Anas formosa, breeds in Siberia and overwinters in China and Japan. Individuals are also kept in private waterfowl collections in the United States, United Kingdom, and elsewhere — and sometimes escape into the wild to join flocks of Common Teal. However, the striking head pattern and decorative feathers dangling from the male’s shoulders distinguish this species from other look-alikes. Browse the sites below for more on this beautiful duck!
Tag Archives: aquatic
Great (or Northern) Crested Newts, Triturus cristatus, large for their type, are found across northern Europe from the UK to Western Russia. Females are larger than males and sport a bright yellow and black-spotted underbelly. Males have the bright belly plus two separate crests: a more scalloped or tufted version down their back and two smoother ones on the top and bottom of the tail. You may also be able to spot a silvery stripe running along the sides of the male’s tail. Watch the video below and check out the links to learn about this unique amphibian species!
Great Crested Newt
The Pyrenean Desman, Galemys pyrenaicus, is one of only two species of desmans in the world. This small aquatic insectivore lives in Spain and northern Portugal, near the Pyrenees mountains. They use their long, sensitive, flexible snout to search for underwater prey — tiny invertebrates such as insects, snails, and small shrimp. Desmans are related to moles and share several characteristics with them, including poor eyesight. Desmans, however, have more powerful hindquarters for propelling them through water.
There are two species of Desman — aquatic insectivores that use their sensitive, flexible long snout to hunt for prey in the riverbed. The Russian Desman, Desmana moschata, lives in a small area of northwestern Asia and was once hunted for its thick, water-resistant pelt, even though the whole animal is only about 8 inches long! Besides insects, this desman eats crayfish and amphibians. Desmans are related to moles.