Painted Comber Fish

The Painted Comber (Serranus scriba) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Serranidae family of sea bass, groupers, and anthias. 

The Painted Comber has a laterally compressed, elongated body with a pointed snout (nose). It is grey, purplish, or reddish with 5-7 dark-brown bars on its sides. Its head has narrow blue lines and red blotches. Its fins have red dots, and its pectoral fins are pale-yellow. It has a large mouth with sharp teeth. 

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What are retractile claws?

What are retractile claws?

Some animals, mainly cats, have retractile claws. 

Retractile claws can be retracted – they can go inwards so that they are not visible. 

Human finger nails and toenails cannot retract – they cannot disappear into the skin of our hands. Our nails are flat, but cat’s claws are narrow, long, rounded, and curved at the tip.

The Cheetah is a cat that cannot retract its claws – they are always visible. The lion, leopard, and domestic cat can retract their claws.

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CREATURE FEATURE: South American Cougar

The South American Cougar (Puma concolor puma) is a large wild cat in the Felidae family. It is a felid. It is a sub-species of the Cougar (Puma concolor). It is also known as the Puma.

The South American Cougar is one colour (concolor means one colour), which is usually tawny brown or reddish-brown. It has lighter patches on its underbelly, chin, and throat.has a rounded head, and a long, slender body with powerful forequarters, larger front feet, and large paws. It has four retractile claws on each hind (back) paw and five retractile claws on its forepaws (front paws), but one is a dewclaw (digit). Retractile claws can extend and retract, protecting them with a sheath of skin when they are not being used. 

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Nose-Horned Viper

The Nose-Horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes ammodytes) is a highly venomous reptile in the Viperidae family of viper snakes. It is a viperid. It is also known as the Horned Viper and Western Sand Viper. Scientists think it might be the most dangerous snake in Europe.

The Nose-Horned Viper has a head covered with small, irregular scales that can be smooth or slightly keeled (ridged). It has 10-13 small scales around its eyes. The nasal (nose) scale is large that looks like a horn with 9-17 smaller scales along it, but it is soft and flexible. 

The male has irregular dark-brown, dark-grey, or black markings and a thick black stripe from its eye to its jaw. The male has V-shaped markings on its back like a zig-zag pattern. The female lacks the dark V-shaped markings on its body, and is browner and more bronze-coloured than the male. Its underbelly can be grey, yellowish-brown, or pinkish. Both have a black tongue and golden or copper-coloured eyes.

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Yellow-Bellied Toad

The Yellow-Bellied Toad (Bombina variegata) is a small amphibian in the Bombinatoridae family of fire-bellied toads.

The Yellow-Bellied Toad is grey-brown on the top with spots and warts on its back. Its underbelly and inner sides of its limbs, fingers, and toes, are grey-blue to black-blue with bright yellow to orange spots or patches. Its body is short with a rounded snout (nose). Its eardrums are not visible. It has bulging eyes, with heart-shaped pupils. 

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Dwarf Lanternshark

The Dwarf Lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Etmopteridae family of dogfish sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

The Dwarf Lanternshark is dark-brown with a long, flattened head and black markings along its back. It has large eyes. It has several rows of teeth. It has small gill slits, where it takes in water and extracts oxygen to breathe. 

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Rosemary Beetle

The Rosemary Beetle (Chryolina americana) is a small insect in the Chrysomelidae family of leaf beetles. 

The Rosemary Beetle is metallic, iridescent green with purple-brown stripes on its ridged elytra (wing shields), from its pronotum (neck shield) to its tail. It has short wings hidden underneath the elytra. It can fly, but only for short distances. Most tend to walk. It has six little brown legs. Its body is slightly domed with a rounded tail end. It has round, black eyes. Its antennae are light-brown and look like a string of beads. 

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Sand Tiger Shark

The Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Odontaspididae family of sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton. It is also known as the Grey Nurse Shark, Spotted Ragged-Tooth Shark, and Blue-Nurse Sand Tiger.

The Sand Tiger Shark has a sharp, pointy head, and a large, bulky body. It is grey with reddish-brown spots on its back. Its eyes are small and lack eyelids. It swims with its mouth always open so that it can breathe oxygen from the water. Its teeth are always showing. Its teeth are smooth, ragged, and sharp-pointed. 

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Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) is a reptile in the Alligatoridae family of alligators. It is also known as the Musky Caiman and the Smooth-Fronted Caiman.

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman looks like a small alligator with a broad head and a U-shaped snout (nose). The adult is dark-brown to black, while juveniles are brown with black bands. It has an upturned lip. The upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw. It has strong scales for protection. It has brown eyes with vertical slits.

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Comma Butterfly

The Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It is also known as the Anglewing, due to its angular wings. 

The Comma Butterfly is orange on the upperside of its wings with dark-brown to black markings and light spots on the edge. It has angular notches on the edges of its forewings (front wings). The underside is marbled brown. The hind wings (back wings) have a white spot in the shape of the letter C. It can look like fallen leaves when resting, which confuses its predators. It is a strong flier.

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Leucistic Zebra Shark

The Zebra Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Stegostomatidae family of carpet sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

A leucistic Zebra Shark has reduced colouring, but not complete albinism. An albino lacks colour (it looks white) and has pink eyes. A leucistic animal is light or white, but does not have pink eyes. It has brown, blue, or green eyes.

The Zebra Shark has a slim, cylindrical body with a slightly flattened head, and a short, blunt snout (nose). A regular Zebra Shark is pale with a pattern of dark spots. It has five ridges along its body. It eyes are small and its nose has short barbels (like whiskers) from each nostril. Its mouth is almost straight with rows of sharp teeth. It has gill slits on the sides of its body to breathe underwater. 

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