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).
Type Archive: aside
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.