The winter plumage of the Black-Headed Gull

The winter plumage (feathers) of the Black-Headed Gull is very different from its summer plumage. 

The Black-Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is a coastal bird, a common seagull in Europe and Asia in the Northern Hemisphere.

For most of the year, it has a white and pale-grey body with a chocolate-brown head – not a black head. It has black tips on its wing feathers. It has a red beak and red legs. But in winter its plumage changes.

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Madagascar Huntsman Spiders stitch leaves together with silk

Madagascar Huntsman spiders stitch leaves together with silk to trap tree frogs. 

Researchers in a vanilla plantation in north-east Madagascar in 2017 found an unsual Huntsman Spider while conducting wildlife surveys. While surveying birds, Dominic Martin at the University of Goettingen in Germany noticed a Huntsman Spider (Damastes sp.) eating a tree frog (Heterixalus andrakata).

His colleague, Thio Fulgence, at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar, who was surveying reptiles and amphibians in the plantations, noticed that the spider was sitting between two leaves that it had stitched together with its silk to form a type of envelope. 

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What is an animal’s Arc of Vision?

What is an animal’s Arc of Vision? 

An Arc of Vision (AoV) is also known as the Field of View (FoV) or the Field of Vision (FoV) or the Visual Field. 

It is the view that an animal can see when its head, and the eye, are still. Can it see all around it – on all sides – or can it only see what is in front of it?

Monocular vision is what can be seen with one eye, and binocular vision is what can be seen with two eyes.

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Why does the Avocet have an upturned beak?

Why does the Avocet have an upturned, or upcurved, beak?

The Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) is a small bird in the Recurvirostridae family of waders. It has long legs to wade in water. It lives in wetlands, such as marshes, swamps, lakes, estuaries, and rivers.

The Avocet has a long, thin, upcurved black beak. It measures about 8 centimetres (3 inches) long. Many wetlands birds, such as Ibis and Curlew, have a long, thin downturned beak, but the Avocet has an upturned beak.

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Do monkeys fall out of trees?

Do monkeys fall out of trees?

Monkeys are primate mammals with a tail. They use their long tail to help them grip branches of trees. Their tail also helps them to maintain balance when they are climbing. It is called a prehensile tail. 

Monkeys also have wide hands and feet with sharp nails that also help them grip tree branches. To enable monkeys to swing among the treetops, they have long limbs. 

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The Saiga Antelope population is increasing in Kazakhstan

The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal. 

In 2015, there was a bacterial disease that killed many Saiga Antelopes. The population decreased by 60% making it a critically endangered species.

It is native to Russia and Kazakhstan. In winter, it migrates south to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It used to be native to a wider area across Eurasia. It prefers semi-deserts, steppes, and grasslands, and it does not like steep and mountainous regions. 

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What does a pelican’s beak look like?

What does a pelican’s beak look like?

A pelican has a massive long beak. 

The beak has an upper mandible (top half of its beak) and a lower mandible (lower half of its beak).

The beak can grow to 47 centimetres (19 inches) in length. 

At the tip of the upper mandible is a hook, called a crochet or a bill-tip. The crochet helps the pelican grip onto slippery fish to eat. A pelican catches large fish with its crochet, tosses it into the air, and lets it slide down the gullet of its open mouth.  

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Why do woodpeckers peck?

Why do woodpeckers peck?

The Woodpecker is a tree-climbing bird with a strong beak. 

It lives in forests. It pecks at the bark of a tree to find its food, such as insects and insect larvae. It has a long tongue to catch insects. It also pecks on the tree to communicate with other Woodpeckers. 

Wood-pecking is hard work. To ensure that it has enough energy, the Woodpecker needs to eat regularly. Scientists think that it can eat 1,000-2,000 insects a day.

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