Type Archive: link

The olingo, Bassaricyon spp, is sometimes mistaken for the kinkajou, but lacks the prehensile tail of that better-known species. In fact, olingos and kinkajous are competitors in their forest habitat. Both eat fruit and small vertebrates, but olingos will more readily hunt for small prey species. Olingos are nocturnal carnivores in the racoon family, but are currently undergoing a taxonomic revision, sometimes being held as a single species, sometimes divided into 4 or even 5 separate species. All live in the rainforests of Central and South America, from Nicaragua to Peru.

olingo bassaricyon south central america raccoon family nocturnal creatures eyes arboreal

Wikipedia   |   ADW
ARKive   |   EOL

The Moonrat, Echinosorex gymnura, is an insectivore that lives in Indonesia and nearby Malaysia — in southeast Asia. It is neither a rodent nor a rat, but rather is related to hedgehogs. Two subspecies exist, with one being mostly white like the picture below. The other subspecies has more black on it. Moonrats sleep in burrows or dens during the day and come out at night to hunt worms and insects, especially those close to water. These critters are notorious for their STINK! Naturalists have documented the ability to smell them coming, and being awoken when one passes beneath the structure they are sleeping in! 😛

echinosorex gymnura gymnurus moonrat indonesia sabah malaysia southeast asia mammals insectivores stinky

Wikipedia   |   EOL   |   ADW   |   ARKive
Let’s do some Zoology!
Moonrat Art!

Chitwan National Park, at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, is one of the last refuges for the Bengal tiger as well as home to the largest population of one horned rhinoceros in the world. Visitors to the park are encouraged to explore the area by boat, by foot, or by elephant. There are also several breeding areas such as for vultures, elephants, and crocodiles.

chitwan national park nepal himalyas one horned rhinoceros calf mother baby

Wikipedia   |   WikiVoyage
UNESCO   |   Official Park Site
Lonely Planet   |   YouTube Video

As with many species of fungi, this one has no official common name. It is Lactarius uvidus, what I am calling the Purple-Staining Milkcap. This species thrives in North American and European forests around birch, aspen, spruce, and willow trees. The cap is either flat or indented, and it gives off a milky secretion that turns purple or lilac wherever it sticks on the fruiting body. Click the links below to find out more about this interesting fungus.

Lactarius uvidus lilac staining milkcap milky mushroom north america europe aspens birch willow forest fungi

Wikipedia   |   EOL
Mushroom Expert
First Nature
Rogers Mushrooms
Mushroom Observer

The Pine Grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator, is one of the largest of the true finches, Fringillidae. This fruit eating bird lives at the top of the world, in the subarctic reagions of Asia, Europe, and North America. In years where the fruit harvest is low, this species will adapt by extending its range further south to wherever enough fruit can be found, even as far south as the midwest and prairie states.

Pinicola enucleator pine grosbeak finch subarctic asia europe north america canada birds red

ARKive   |   Wikipedia
BirdWeb   |   All About Birds

The Kellet’s Whelk, Kelletia kelletii, is a type of sea snail that is common to the middle and southern coast of California, on down to Baja California. This seemingly harmless shelled creature is both a predator and a scavenger, and it has quite a strange feeding apparatus: a long proboscis twice the length of its shell can dangle down to reach its prey that may be hiding in a rock crevice or on the sea floor. It uses a handy rasp to scrape off tissue, and sucks it up into its shell for digestion. Each whelk has only one of these feeding tubes, and you’d be amazed how many creatures have some type of proboscis!

Kelletia kelletii kellets whelk proboscis feeding rasping sucking shells california

iNaturalist
Encyclopedia of Life
SiMoN

Sagarmatha is the world’s highest national park, for it includes Mount Everest and the surrounding area of Nepal. About 3000 indigenous Sherpa people live here, along with world famous rhododendrons that bloom in April and May, pikas and snow leopards, and 193 different species of birds!

sagarmatha national park nepal himalayan mountains everest sherpa

UNESCO page
Beautiful World
YouTube Video tour

Of course, the Green Anole is not always green, as it can change to brown in order to hide from predators (like humans!). This has earned it the nickname “American Chameleon” although it is NOT a chameleon but rather is one of over 350 species of Anolis which is often studied for their biodiversity as well as for their neurology. Remarkably, this latter study is conducted to further our understanding of human physiology and medicine. Green anoles, Anolis carolinensis, are native to the southeastern United States, often found around low buildings with exposed wood, or in bushes near homes.

green anole carolina Anolis carolinensis lizards reptiles common north america florida south

NatureWorks   ADW   EOL
iNaturalist   Harrel House
Backyard Nature: Naturalist Newsletter

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

If it looks like a hyena, lives in Africa like hyenas, but eats termites instead of meat… it is an aardwolf (Proteles cristata)! This smallest member of the hyena family has two separate populations in Africa, one in the south and one in the eastern “horn” area of the continent. Its paws and jaws are not designed like other termite eaters (think: anteaters), and its teeth are not like other hyenas — they are not so good at tearing flesh. While aardwolves will sometimes resort to eating small mammals and birds, this is only during the coldest and wettest times of year. Otherwise, it takes advantage of its nearly hairless muzzle and long sticky tongue to lap up thousands of termites each night. Farmers appreciate THIS hyena…!

Proteles cristata aardwolf africa african mammals baby fur cute adorable unusual uncommon unknown species insectivores

ARKive   |   ADW   |   iNaturalist
Hyena Specialist Group
Wednesday Hyena
Our Wild World
Siyabona Africa

The Ohio Buckeye, Aesculus glabra, is one of a couple dozen different species of horse chestnut tree. It grows up to about 80 feet tall and is native to the Eastern United States. The five-finger (palmately compound) leaves are nearly as famous in its region as its poisonous, shiny brown nuts. Although the nuts cannot be eaten, they have been used to tan leather (high tannin content) or are dried and strung as beads on a necklace. The name “Buckeyes” is given to all inhabitants of the state of Ohio, along with its state university sports teams. There is also a special candy made of peanut butter dipped in chocolate with a little ring of gold left uncovered at the top — made to resemble the buckeye nut. The Ohio Buckeye is the state tree of Ohio, and the name buckeye comes from one of the area’s early explorers being dubbed “Eye of the Buck” by local Native Americans.

ohio buckeye tree nuts leaves garden north america midwest Aesculus glabra horsechestnuts

Virginia Tech
Missouri Botanical Garden
LBJ Wildflower Center
What Tree is it?

Besides protecting its more than 5000 komodo dragons found nowhere else on the planet, Komodo National Park in Indonesia features over 250 species of coral builders, over 1000 species of fish, plus sponges, sharks, dugong, lobsters, sea turtles, mangroves and seagrass beds, and Timor deer. The park includes three major islands and 26 smaller ones, spread out in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago. Click the links below to explore this natural resource.

komodo island dragon national park indonesia unesco biodiversity hot spot

Komodo National Park website
UNESCO
WWF Global
Wikipedia

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!

Anas formosa Baikal teal duck waterfowl bird dabbling species

ARKive
BirdWeb
Oiseaux Birds
Planet of Birds

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

Killdeers are so well known that they almost need no introduction. These medium-sized plovers are well-known for their unique “kill-DEER, kill-DEER!” call and their distracting display, pretending to have a broken wing to lure potential predators away from its nest on the ground. Find out something new about this species or other bird species using the links below — and let this post serve as a gateway for all your bird species wonderings. The last 7 are great for learning about all types of nature topics! 😀

killdeer plover Charadrius vociferus fake broken wing famous birds north america wildlife avian

Audubon Guide to N Amer Birds
Cornell’s All About Birds
WhatBird
BirdWeb
Beauty of Birds

eNature
National Geographic
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life
ARKive
BioKIDS
Nature Works

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

Smilax species are shrubby vines that can climb up trees using curly tendrils and hooked thorns. Many are evergreen, and 20 species are found in North America north of Mexico. Of these, the most common are catbriers or greenbriers. Sarsaparilla is a medicinal plant native to Mexico. Its common name means “little bramble vine”. Click the links below to learn more about this useful species.

sarsaparilla smilax aristolochiifolia vine tendrils red berries mexican zarzasparilla

Wikipedia
iNaturalist
Tropical Plant Database

Common Cotton Grass, Eriophorum angustifolium, is found in the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. The fluffy white seedheads cannot be used to make clothing like cotton, but it has been used in wound dressings (padding) and as pillow stuffing. This species of cotton grass has translucent pink roots that have been used as an astringent and to treat digestive troubles.

cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium species plant alpine mountains bog northern

Encyclopedia of Life: pics!
Wikipedia (very informative article)
Nature’s Notebook
Other types of cotton grass

The tiny elf owl, Micrathene whitneyi, is one of the smallest owls in the world, growing to only 5 or 6 inches long — about the size of a typical sparrow. They live in the extreme southwestern United States and Mexico, and sometimes nest in cacti. Click the links below the pic to learn more about this amazing tiny owl species! 😀

elf owl tiny sparrow-sized small micrathene whitneyi

Audubon Guide: Elf Owl
Beauty of Birds
Owl Research Institute
Owling.com
The Owl Pages

This highly variable species, Aleuria aurantia, can grow as distinct cup-like individuals or as a mass of curly orange forms — or anywhere in between! The upper, shinier side of this amazing fungus is fertile, while the underneath, more spongy-looking side is infertile. Click Here for an awesome web page explaining this species in detail.

bright orange peel fungus aeuria aurantia mushroom moss fleshy transparent translucent

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