CREATURE FEATURE: Large Hairy Armadillo

The Large Hairy Armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) is a mammal related to the Anteater and the Sloth. 

The Large Hairy Armadillo has a series of thin, grey bony plates along its head and back. This leathery shell is called a carapace. Its pinkish-white underbelly is covered in long, coarse hair. It has long, powerful claws on its front legs for digging. It has a long snout (nose), small beige ears, and small eyes. 

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Giant Squid

The Giant Squid (Architeuthis dux) is a marine (saltwater) soft-bodied invertebrate cephalopod. It is related to the Octopus and the Nautilus. 

The Giant Squid has a grey mantle (body), eight arms, and two longer tentacles. The arms and tentacles are arranged in a circle surrounding the squid’s mouth. Its mouth looks like a parrot’s beak. It has two very large eyes so that it can detect light in the very dark deep ocean.

The inside of its arms and tentacles have hundreds of suction caps, which are 2-5 centimetres (1-2 inches) in diameter. Each tentacle is divided into three segments: (1) carpus (wrist), (2) manus (hand), and (3) dactylus (fingers). It has two large gills to enable it to breathe in oxygen from the water. 

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Flamingo Chick

The American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large wetland wading bird with reddish-pink feathers, a large beak, long legs, and a curved S-shaped neck. 

The adult Flamingo measures 120-145 centimetres (47-57 inches) tall. 

The female lays one egg on the muddy ground and both parents look after it. The egg hatches after 28-32 days. 

The chick has greyish-white feathers, and does not gain its pink colour for 2-3 years. Both parents look after the chick for the first six years of its life.

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Common Parsley Frog

The Common Parsley Frog (Pelodytes punctatus) is a wetlands amphibian.

The Caucasian Parsley Frog is green, olive or brown. On its back are irregular green patches that look like parsley leaves. There are also warts on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has a slender body with long hind (back) legs, and no tail. It has protruding eyes with vertical pupils. It has webbed feet. 

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Big bird feathers: Emu, Cassowary, Ostrich, and Rhea

What are the similarities and differences between big bird feathers – the feathers of the largest birds on earth?

The Emu, the Cassowary, the Ostrich, and the Rhea are large flightless ratite birds. The Emu is from Australia, the Cassowary is from northern Australia and New Guinea, the Ostrich is from countries in Africa, and the Rhea is from countries in South America.

Their wings have no keel (anchor) on their sternum (a long flat breastbone) to connect to their wing muscles, which means that the birds can’t fly. Therefore, their feathers are mainly decorative. 

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Glypheoid Lobster

The Glypheoid Lobster (Neoglyphea inopinata) is a decapod (ten-legged) marine crustacean. Crustaceans include crabs and shrimp. The Glypheoid Lobster is related to the Spiny Lobster.

The Glypheoid Lobster has a hard exoskeleton (outer shell) with eye stalks. The shell is covered with pointed tubercules (like mini-teeth). It has gills to breathe oxygen from the sea water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. It has 10 limbs.

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Plankton Star Jellyfish

The Plankton Star Jellyfish (Oceania sp.) is a soft-bodied invertebrate marine (saltwater) plankton animal. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones. It is related to the Turritiopsis. 

The Plankton Star Jellyfish is translucent (see-through) with an umbrella-shaped circular dome and long tentacles (arms). It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no bones, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in their bodies that enable them to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch. 

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Patagonian Mara

The Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum) is a large rodent. It is also known as the Patagonian Hare or the Patagonian Cavy. It is a cavid, related to the Guinea Pig. 

The Patagonian Mara looks like a mixture of a hare, a jackrabbit, and a guinea pig. It has long ears and long legs. Its hind (back) legs are longer than its fore (front) legs. Its front feet have four toes and its back feet have three toes. Its tail is short and hairless. It has grey fur with orange-yellowish sides and chin, and a white patch on its rump. It has a white underbelly. 

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Spineless Sea Urchin

The Spineless Sea Urchin (Abatus cordatus) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate echinoderm. It is also known as the Kangaroo Sea Urchin because the female keeps her eggs in a pocket or pouch. It is related to starfish (sea stars). 

The Spineless Sea Urchin has a hard, spherical (ball-shaped) shell, called a test, with no backbone and no spines sticking out of its body (like the Spiny Sea Urchin). Its mouth, with a small jaw, is in the centre of the urchin on its underside. It does not have eyes. It is sensitive to touch, light, and chemicals, due to the numerous sense cells around its mouth.

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Antarctic Glyptonotus

The Antarctic Glyptonotus (Glyptonotus antarcticus) is a giant marine (saltwater) isopod crustacean. A crustacean includes crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. 

The Antarctic Glyptonotus has a disc-shaped body with small outgrowths of hairs and knobbly scales. It has two pairs of compound eyes; one pair of eyes on its back and a smaller pair of eyes on its side. It has three pairs of front claws and eight legs.

It swims upside down. 

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