CREATURE FEATURE: Quokka

The Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) is a medium-sized macropod marsupial mammal. It is related to the kangaroo and the wallaby. 

The Quokka has a small, brown, stocky, furry body with strong hind (back) legs, rounded ears, and a short, broad head. Its underbelly is buff coloured. It looks like a miniature kangaroo, but it can climb small trees and shrubs. 

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Juvenile White-Naped Crane

Some animals have young that look similar to their adult parents. Other animals have young that look very different from their adult parents. 

The White-Naped Crane (Antigone vipio) is a large wetlands bird. The adult measures about 130 centimetres (51 inches) tall, with a large wingspan of 2 metres (6.5 feet). The young (juvenile) White-Naped Crane looks very different from its parents.

The juvenile White-Naped Crane has fluffy pale-brown and white feathers. The adult White-Naped Cranehas a grey and white striped neck and a grey body. It takes 2-3 years for the juvenile to gain its adult feathers.

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Lesser Cockroach

The Lesser Cockroach (Ectobius panzeri) is an insect in the Ectobiidae family (formerly the Blattellidae family) of non-cosmopolitan cockroaches. 

The Lesser Cockroach is brownish-black.It has a waxy exo-skeleton, like a shield. Its head has pale yellow markings, with long antennae. It has wings and can fly short distances. The female has shorter wings than the male. It has pads and hooks on its feet that enable it to climb, even on smooth glass.

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Hornet-Mimic Hoverfly

The Hornet-Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) is an insect in the Syrphidae family. It is also called the Belted Hoverfly or the Zoned Volucelle. It is a syrph. 

The Hornet-Mimic Hoverfly has a yellow and reddish-brown body that looks like a wasp or a bee. Its two abdominal stripes are thicker than those of the bee. Its head is yellow. The female has a larger gap between the top of her eyes than the male (the male’s compound eyes touch each other). The male has a darker head than the female. Its wings and legs are reddish-brown. It does not have a stinger at the end of its abdomen and therefore it is harmless to humans.

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What is the difference between an Ant Bag Beetle and a Ladybird?

What is the difference between an Ant Bag Beetle (Clytra laeviuscula) and a Ladybird (Coccinellidae family)?

Both the Ant Bag Beetle and the Ladybird are insects and beetles. The Ladybird is also known as the Ladybird Beetle and the Lady Beetle.

The Ant Bag Beetle has an elongated body and the Ladybird has a rounded body. 

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Ant Bag Beetle

The Ant Bag Beetle (Clytra laeviuscula) is a small insect in the Chrysomelidae family of short-horned leaf beetles.

The Ant Bag Beetle has an elongated body with shiny red-orange elytra (wing covers) that have four black spots. It has two larger spots around the centre of the elytra and two smaller spots on its shoulders. It prothorax (head) is black and shiny. Its antennae are short and black. It has six short legs.

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RESEARCH: Scientists think penguins in Antarctic prefer ice-free conditions

Scientists have been studying penguins in the Antarctic Region.

Polar biologists have seen populations of penguins increase during years when there is not a lot of ice in the region. They have also seen breeding reductions during the years when there is a lot of sea ice. However, they did not know why ice-free conditions made populations increase. But after this recent study, the polar biologists think they know why.

Polar biologists at the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research put electronic global positioning system (GPS) tags on 175 Adelie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) in the Antarctic Region. They also put video cameras in different locations to monitor what happens during the four seasons of the year when there are different sea ice conditions.

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Leafhopper

The Leafhopper (Coelidiinae subfamily) is a small insect in the Cicadellidae family of leafhoppers.

The Leafhopper can be varied in colour, from brown to multi-colours. Most of them are dull and not very conspicuous. It has strong hind (back) legs that are modified for jumping. The back legs are covered with hairs. It has short antennae. It has two simple eyes, called ocelli, on the top of its head. It has two sets of wings – the front wings and the hind wings. It has a mouthpart with a sucking and piercing part that enables it to stick into plants to sip the juices. 

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Marmalade Fly

The Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) is a small insect in the Syrphidae family of hoverflies. It is also known as the Marmalade Hoverfly. 

The Marmalade Fly is patterned with orange and black bands on the top of its abdomen. The female has dark-orange, light-orange, and black bands. It looks like a wasp, but it is smaller and it does not have a tiny waist. The male has holoptic eyes, which means that the left and right compound eyes touch at the top of its head. The adult has wings. 

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RESEARCH: Tracking Red Pandas in Nepal

Research scientists are satellite tracking the movements of Red Pandas in the mountains of Nepal. 

Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are endangered and there are only a few thousand individuals in their native environment in the eastern Himalayas and in southwestern China. The population numbers are declining due to habitat loss, poaching (illegal hunting), and inbreeding. 

In Nepal, Red Pandas are a protected species. The conservation scientists have put Global Positioning System (GPS) collars on 10 Red Pandas to remotely monitor their range of movements in the forests near Mount Kangchenjunga. 

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What is the difference between Old World monkeys and New World monkeys?

What is the difference between Old World monkeys and New World monkeys?

Old World monkeys live in the African continent, in coastal Arabia, and in Asia. New World monkeys live mainly in the tropical rain forests of South American countries.

Old World monkeys belong to one family called the Ceropithecidae family. They are catarrhines, which means that they have narrow, downward noses. Apes and humans also have downward noses. 

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Golden Lion Tamarin Baby

The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is a mammal in the Callitrichidae family of small monkeys. It is also known as the Golden Marmoset. It is from the coastal and swamp forests of Brazil.

The Golden Lion Tamarin has bright reddish-orange fur with a mane around its face and ears. Its face is dark and hairless. It has elongated hands and fingers, with claw-like nails which enable it to cling to tree trunks. 

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