CREATURE FEATURE: Barbary Macaque

The Barbary Macaque(Macaca sylvanus) is also known as the Barbary Ape. It is a mammal and a primate. It is not an ape (no tail) – it is a monkey (it has a tail). Macaque is pronounced makak.

The Barbary Macaque has yellow-brown to grey fur, with a lighter underbelly. It has a orange-brown cap. It has a dark-pink face with a prominent brow. Its tail is vestigial, meaning that it has become functionless – it is only about 2 centimetres (less than one inch) long.

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Green Mouth Moon Polyp

The Green Mouth Moon Polyp (Palythoa sp.) is also known as the Zoanthid Green Mouth Button Polyp. It is not a plant. It is a marine animal – a zoanthid – a Palythoa Coral.

The Green Mouth Moon Polyp can be cream, white, brown, or yellow, with a green centre, which is its mouth. It lives in a colony of many polyps (but it looks like just one single organism). Its polyps are flat circles with rimmed tentacles. The tentacles are short and shaped like a knob. They are connected to a mat, called the coenenchyma.

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What is a pedipalp?

What is a pedipalp?

A pedipalp is an appendage (like an antennae) of an arachnid (spiders and scorpions).

An arachnid has two pedipalps which end in sensory organs in spiders and pincers in scorpions.

‘Pedi’ means foot and ‘palp’ means touching.

Asian Blue Forest Scorpion

The Scorpion is widespread across the world. The Asian Blue Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus cyaneus), from the Scorpionidae family, is native to tropical Borneo, Phillipines, and Indonesia. It is not an insect (6 legs). It is an arachnid (8 legs).

The Asian Blue Forest Scorpion has an exoskeleton (outer skeleton or armour) which is black-blue and shiny. It has two eyes on top of its head and 2-5 pairs of eyes on the corners of its head.

Its body has two segments: the cephalothorax (head) and the segmented opisthosoma (abdomen). It has a long, segmented tail. Its tail curves forward and over its back, with a stinger on the end. Its two front appendages (like thick antennae) have large pedipalps (claws or pincers) at the end. In has 8 legs, which are attached to the thorax (chest).

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What is the difference between a dewclaw and a spur?

What is the difference between a dewclaw and a spur? 

A dewclaw is a small digit on the foot of many mammals, birds, and reptiles. The dewclaw is at the back of each leg, above the ankle or foot. The dewclaw is mostly on the front feet, but can also be on the back feet. When the animal is standing it does not make contact with the ground.

Dogs, domestic cats, wild cats, lions, and cloven-hoofed animals, such as pigs and deer, have a dewclaw. Giraffes and horses do not have a dewclaw.

A spur is a bone covered in horn that grows out of an animal’s body. Spurs grow on the hind (back) feet. Some birds have spurs on the edge of their wings.

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African Wild Dog

The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus pictus) is also called the African Hunting Dog or African Painted Dog. It is a mammal, and a canid.

The African Wild Dog looks like a dog with large round ears. It has black, white, and yellow-brown fur in patches. Its face is black with a tan forehead. It has dark eyes. Its tail is white and bushy.

It does not have dewclaws which other dogs have. Dewclaws are small structures, like a digit, at the back of each leg, above the foot. Unlike other dogs, it has no under-fur; it only has stiff bristle-haired fur on its body.

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What is the difference between the Common Moorhen and the Dusky Moorhen?

What is the difference between the Common Moorhen and the Dusky Moorhen?

The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) and the Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) are both medium-sized wetland birds from the Rail family.

The Common Moorhen has yellow legs. The Dusky Moorhen has orange-yellow legs.

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Common Moorhen

The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) is also known s the Waterhen, the Swamp Chicken, and the Common Moorhen. It is a medium-sized bird in the Rail family.

The Common Moorhen has dark black-grey feathers, except for a white undertail. It has a white line on its side, called a flank line. It has a red frontal shield above its yellow-tipped red beak. It has yellow legs that have no webbing between its four toes. It has orange-brown eyes.

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Nuptial flight of termites

What is the nuptial flight of termites?

The nuptial flight of termites is when they mate to produce babies.

Alates are winged termites and their job is to reproduce. There are male and female alates.

Ants and other insects may also have a nuptial flight, generally at night. The nuptial flight of termite alates is a bit different. Termites are weak fliers so they wait until perfect weather conditions before they swarm to establish a new colony.

Termites take their nuptial flight (when they swarm) in the middle of the day, when it is sunny, there is no wind, and after it has rained.

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Hamadryas Baboon

The Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) is a medium-sized primate (mammal) in the monkey family.

The Hamadryas Baboon male has silver-white fur and the female has brown fur. Its face can be red, light-brown or dark-brown. The male has a large mane and brow over its eyes, whereas the female does not have a mane, nor a brow. Its tail ends in a small tuft (clump of hair). It has sharp canine teeth.

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Crested Pigeon  

The Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) is a common Australian bird.

The Crested Pigeon is grey with tints of brown. Its wings are brown-grey with black stripes. Its primary feathers are brown, purple, blue, and green. Its crest is black. Its black tail is long with a white tip. It has a grey beak, down-turned at the tip, with pink-grey legs, and brown-orange eyes. It has a bright orange eye-ring.

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