CREATURE FEATURE: Bush Dog

The Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus) is a rare canine mammal in the Canidae family of dogs. It is most closely related to the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) or the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). 

The Bush Dog has soft, long, brown-tan fur with a lighter reddish colour on its head, neck, back, and tail. It has a bushy tail. It has short legs. It has a short snout (nose) and small ears. It has 38 teeth. It has partially webbed toes, which enables it to swim. 

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RESEARCH: Dolphins May Be Able to Heal their Own Wounds

Do dolphins heal their own wounds?

Scientists think that dolphins rub against coral to treat wounds on their skin. The New Scientist magazine in May 2022 explained that Bottlenose Dolphins appear to look for specific corals and sea sponges that produce anti-bacterial or hormone-like substances, which may indicate that they are trying to heal their own wounds and infections by rubbing against them.  

Scientists have observed orcas and Beluga whales rubbing their bodies against underwater sand and pebbles, but similar behaviour in dolpins has not been widely observed.

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How does a Red-Necked Wallaby Drink?

How does a Red-Necked Wallaby drink?

The Red-Necked Wallaby, also known as the Bennett’s Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus), is a medium-sized macropod marsupial mammal. Macropod means big feet, and a marsupial mammal has a pouch for its baby. 

A group of wallabies is called a mob. It is generally solitary, but it will gather with a mob to feed. It is mainly nocturnal, feeding at night. It is an herbivore, feeding on grass, roots, leaves, and weeds.

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Which Animal has Asymmetrical Ears?

Which animal has asymmetrical ears? 

Asymmetrical means that two things, or two halves of the same thing, do not look the same – either the same size or the same shape. They look lopsided.

Many owls (but not all owls) have asymmetrical ears. The British Trust for Ornithology says that, in many owls, the left ear is positioned lower than the right ear. The two ears are also out of line on the vertical plane.

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Great Tit Fledgling

The Great Tit (Parus major) is a common and widespread passerine bird in the Paridae family. It is found throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. It is not migratory.

The Great Tit has a distinctive black head and neck, large white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts. Its wings are green to blue-grey with white wing-bars. The tail is blue-grey with white tips. Its beak is short and black. It grows to about 13 centimetres (5 inches) tall.

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Downlooker Snipe Fly

The Downlooker Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopaceus) is an insect in the Rhagionidae family of snipe flies. 

The Downlooker Snipe Fly has a slender brown body and six long stilt-like legs. It has a proboscis (sucking mouthpart) that looks like the long, slender beak of a a Snipe bird. Its head points downwards when it rests on an object or tree trunk. It does not have bristles (hairs) like the Housefly. Its wings are translucent (clear) with dark-brown markings. 

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Wrinkled Dune Snail

The Wrinkled Dune Snail
(Xeroplexa intersecta previously Candidula intersecta) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Geomitridae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Wrinkled Dune Snail is yellowish-beige with dark-brown and copper bands. The round, globular, coarse (not glossy) shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. There are five whorls with a slightly raised central spire. Its shell aperture (opening) does not have a lip. The body is bluish-grey with long upper tentacles and short lower tentacles on ts head. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles.

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Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insect Baby

The Paris Zoo is nurturing baby Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insects born in March 2022. They are in a separate terrarium to keep them safe. The baby Stick Insect is called a nymph.

The female Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insect breeds parthenogenically, meaning that she lays eggs that hatch without being fertilized. The female lays 100-1,200 eggs on the ground or on a plant. The eggs hatch after about 4 months into nymphs, which look like ants. The nymphs eat plants and grow into an adult stick insect. 

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Yellow-Spotted River Turtle

The Yellow-Spotted River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) is a freshwater reptile in the Podocnemididae family of river turtles. It is also known as the Yellow-Headed Sideneck Turtle.

The Yellow-Spotted River Turtle has a black or brown oval-shaped carapace (upper shell). It has yellow spots on the side of its head. The spots fade with age. It has a side neck – it bends its head to fit under its shell instead of sticking its head in and out of its shell.

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Golden Lion Tamarin Baby

The Golden Lion Tamarin mother at the Paris Zoo has a new baby, about one month old, born in April 2022. The mother is pregnant for 120 days before giving birth to 1-2 young.  

For the first month after birth, the baby will stay continually with its mother. By week five, the baby will begin to explore its surroundings while staying close to its mother. After four months, the baby will be a juvenile, and will become more social and playful with other young tamarins. 

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African Whip Spider

The African Whip Spider (Damon variegatus) is an arachnid in the Phrynichidae family. It is not a true spider because it does not produce silk or venom. It is also known as the Giant Tailless Whipscorpion but it is not a scorpion.

The African Whip Spider has a large, flattened abdomen and cephalothorax, with eight legs. It has six ambulatory (walking) legs and two tactile legs that are longer than the others and act like feelers. It also has two pedipalps which are pincer-like appendages that helps to catch and hold its prey. It is mottled dark-grey to black carapace.

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What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish?

What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish (Canthigaster valentini)?

The Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish are both marine (saltwater) fish in the same family – the Monacahnthidae family of Leatherjackets.

The Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer are both the same size, about 11 centimetres (4 inches) long, and swim together in the same small schools in the tropical reefs of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The Blacksaddle Filefish is a mimic of the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer, so it is extremely difficult to distinguish one from the other.

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Blacksaddle Filefish

The Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Monacahnthidae family of Leatherjackets. It is related to Pufferfish. It mimics the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster valentini).

The Blacksaddle Filefish is greyish with distinctive black ‘saddles’ and a protruding nose. It has a yellow tail. It has a blue-grey head, and a white speckled body with blue-grey spots. It has four black stripes (called saddles) on its back. 

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Does a Lizard Shed its Skin?

Most people know that a snake sheds its skin, but does a lizard shed its skin?

A lizard is a reptile. Reptiles include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, alligators, caimans, turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. Reptiles lay soft-shelled eggs on land.

The Balkan Slow Worm (Pseudopus apodus) is also a reptile. It is not a worm and it is not a snake. It is a legless lizard. It actually has small (almost invisible), undeveloped rear legs, but it does not use its legs for locomotion. It is not a snake because it has eyelids (snakes do not have eyelids). It has a long tail. It is also known as the Pallas’s Glass Lizard, the European Glass Lizard, the Sheltopusik, or the Giant Russian Legless Lizard.

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Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form

The Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form (Cepaea nemoralis) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Helicidae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is a variant of the Grove Snail, also known as the Brown-Lipped Snail. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form can be varied in its appearance. The surface of its shell is semi-glossy. The shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. The colour of the Grove Snail’s shell can be reddish, brownish, yellow, or creamy-white, with or without bands. The Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form has a light, creamy yellow shell. It does not have prominent dark-brown bands or stripes. It has a white lip, not a brown lip. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has tentacles on its head. Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

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Panther Grouper

The Panther Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Serranidae family of groupers and sea bass. It is also known as the Polka Dot Grouper, High-Finned Grouper, Humpback Grouper, and Barramundi Cod. 

The Panther Grouper has a laterally compressed, flat body. It has a greyish-yellowish-brown coloured background with small, darker spots all over its body. It is high at front of its back, which makes it look humpbacked. 

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Longspine Snipefish

The Longspine Snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Macroramphosidae family of snipefish. It is related to the Pipefish. It is also known as the Bellowfish, Spine Trumpet Fish, and Trumpetfish.

The Longspine Snipefish is reddish-pink with a silver underbelly. It has a moderately elongated body and head. It has a long snout (nose) and a tiny mouth without teeth. The snout curves slightly upward. It has scales on its body that are similar to the denticles of sharks because they have sharp ridges and spines. It has large, round eyes. 

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