CREATURE FEATURE: Golden Silk Orb-Weaver

The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver (Nephila), or Banana Spider, is a large arachnid – a spider. Nephila means fond of spinning. The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver has yellow (gold) silk, which they use to make their webs.

The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver varies in colour from reddish to greenish yellow. They can grow to 4.8–5.1 centimetres (1.5–2 inches). Females are larger than males.

The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver makes a large asymmetric orb web up to one and a half meters in diameter. They stay in their webs permanently.

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External Covering: from skin and scales to fur and feathers

External covering is the outside appearance of an animal. Animals can have fur, feathers, hair, short hair, long hair, smooth hair, bristles, skin, thick skin, moist skin, dry skin, scales, waterproof scales, small scales, overlapping scales, spikes, hard shells, soft shells, smooth shells, rough shells, wool, or no covering at all.

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Sleeping animals: what’s the difference between hibernate, aestivate, dormant, lethargic, diurnal, nocturnal, and crepuscular?

Animals sleep. Some animals sleep at night, some animals sleep during the day, and some animals sleep in cold climates.

Animals that are diurnal are active mainly during the day and sleep at night.

Animals that are nocturnal are active mainly at night and sleep during the day.

Animals that are active mainly at dawn and dusk are crepuscular. They sleep during the day and during the night.

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Amazonian see-through glass frog is under threat of extinction

A newly discovered glass frog species whose beating heart is visible through its chest is already under threat of extinction, because its habitat is threatened by oil exploitation.

The frog (Hyalinobatrachium yaku) lives in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador.

“Not all glass frogs have hearts that are visible through the chest. In some, the heart itself is white, so you don’t see the red blood,” said Paul Hamilton, of the American non-profit organisation called the Biodiversity Group. Glass frogs need pristine (pure) streams to breed. “If the stream dries up, or becomes polluted, the frogs can’t survive,” said Hamilton.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Caucasus Parsley Frog

In Tbilisi, Georgia, in the Botanical Garden is a lily pond. And in that pond is the Caucasus Parsley Frog.

The Caucasian Parsley Frog (Pelodytes caucasicus) has distinctive green markings on their back, just like sprigs of parsley leaves.

Georgia has 11 species of amphibians, most are frogs. Frogs, as opposed to toads, have bulging eyes, no tails, a longer slender body than toads, webbed hind feet, and smooth moist skin.

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