Type Archive: aside

The binturong (Arctictis binturong) is one of those strange creatures that most people have never heard of, and that appear to be made of several animals spliced together (like a platypus). Whiskered face like a cat, stocky body like a bear, and prehensile tail like a monkey, this animal is sometimes called a bearcat. However, the binturong is neither a type of bear nor a cat. Instead, it is a viverrid like civets and genets (more animals most people do not recognize by name).

binturong viverid bearcat indonesia asia animals mammals strange creatures

Learn more about this species:
ARKive
ADW
San Diego Zoo
A-Z Animals

The Succulent Karoo is a region of south Africa which hosts 1/3 of the world’s succulent plant species — the richest diversity of succulent flora on the planet! The climate here is mild compared to other desert areas, with sparse but reliable rainfall, especially in the winter. The heat of summer is also moderated by fog created by the Benguela Current flowing northward along the coast.

succulent karoo desert biome area south africa arid cactus cacti species biodiversity hotspot

The Encyclopedia of Earth
Environmental Literacy Council
World Wildlife Fund
Plantz Africa

This appealing little fungus, Geastrum quadrifidum, is a type of Earthstar. Some people call it the “four-footed earthstar”, more due to its vertical dancing posture — on its toes — rather than to the NUMBER of “feet” it has. Click the links below the pic to see the development and variety of this widespread earthstar’s forms, while learning more about its habitat and other specifics.

rayed earthstar fungus earthstar mushroom geastrales geastrum quadrifidum

Encyclopedia of Life
Rogers Mushrooms
Mushroom Observer
Rayed Earthstar
Slideshow on YouTube

The strange-looking, bare-headed White-Necked Rockfowl, Picathartes gymnocephalus, lives only in a small area of western Africa, below the Sahara desert. Its nearly featherless head shows bright yellow skin with black patches behind its eyes. This strange bird eats mostly insects, but feeds its young frogs. It often nests in caves and will sometimes follow an army of ants, gobbling up insects disturbed by the parade.

picathartes gymnocephalus white necked rockfowl bare headed yellow africa ghana birds naked featherless

Wikipedia entry
My Bird of the Year!
ARKive entry with pics & video

The smallest whale, Kogia sima, grows to only about 9 feet long (about 2.7 meters). They are hard to spot, but are found most commonly in the waters near the southern United States.

NOAA dwarf sperm whale leaping small kogia sima

Find out more!
CMS: Whales & Dolphins
Cascadia Research
MarineBio

The bateleur eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus) has amazing colors — check out some of those links below the pic!

arkive bateleur terathopius ecaudatus black eagle africa wild birds of prey world

Siyabona Africa (best pic!)
ARKive (pics and videos!)
The Eagle Directory
The Peregrine Fund

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 wooly white Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) is endangered due to over-collection. The alpine flower has a long history of use as a folk remedy and lover’s sign of devotion. Ever heard the famous song by the name “Edelweiss“? You may recognize it’s melody.

edelweiss leontopodium alpinum switzerland botanical potion song austria

What is Edelweiss?
Growing Edelweiss
Video by Dior

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

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.

Gypohierax angolensis palm nut vulture accipitridae birds of prey africa african animals aves hooked beak

Learn more about this species:
Wikipedia
Encyclopedia of Life
Arkive
iNaturalist
Planet of Birds
Oiseaux Birds
Biodiversity Explorer

Have you heard of Honeycomb Weathering, which produces this unique honeycomb rock?
Learn more by clicking the pic and links below!

honeycomb weathering rock face cliff overhang limestone

EarthCaching on Geocaching
NW Geology Field Trips

The world’s deepest living land animal is the cave-dwelling Plutomurus ortobalaganensis, a type of springtail.

insect plutomurus cave-dweller underground deepest living georgia europe

Find out more!
Sci-News.com
Short Sharp Science
LiveScience.com

The Hoopoe (Upupa epops) is quite a unique-looking bird, don’t you think?
This species is widespread across Europe, Asia, and Africa.
It gets its name from its call: “Ooop! Ooop! Ooop!”

hoopoe crazy flashy colorful bird crest mohawk woodpecker roadrunner black and white feathers

More on this amazing bird:
Arkive
Eurasian Hoopoe
Encyclopedia of Life (hundreds of pics!)

The common chickweed (Stellaria media) is common indeed!
I used to find this growing everywhere in Michigan, but haven’t seen it here in Texas.

arkive plants weeds chickweed edible growing green white flowers star stellaria media common

More on this lowly edible plant:
Weed Gallery
Arkive (wow! they have plants, too!)
Kingdom Plantae

The blue milk mushroom, Lactarius indigo, can be found in North America, Central America, and East Asia. An edible blue mushroom — who’d’a thunk it?!!

blue mushroom Lactarius indigo milky america edible beautiful fungi unusual unique nature

More Info on this crazy species:
Mushroom Expert
Rogers Mushrooms
Morel Mushroom Hunting site

The Chinese White Dolphin starts out grey, then is spotted, then white, then if it lives long enough it may even turn pink!

pink dolphin sousa chinensis chinese white dolphin baby mother swim indian ocean china marine mammals

More on this amazing marine mammal:
Sousa chinensis
Chinese White Dolphin

The Père David’s deer from China has cloven hooves like cow feet!
The species was barely saved from extinction by breeding in zoos.

male Elaphurus davidianus pere david deer antlers cloven hooves split hoof laying down

To find out more, click the pic above or the links above and below.
Arkive – pics and info
RedOrbit – article

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)

How Do Cicadas Make Noise?
Click the pic to find out!

cicada cicadidae insects bugs noise singing trees tymbal membrane muscle inside internal structures anatomy physiology entomology

More on Cicada Mania!

The Starfish Fungus, a type of stinkhorn, is just one of many interesting mushrooms of Hawaii.

aseroe rubra starfish stinkhorn fungus hawaii tropical red crazy

Find out more:
First Nature
Mushroom Expert
Rogers Mushrooms