Emu Eyes and Nictating Membranes

The Australian Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) has protective nictating membranes on its eyes. The membrane over each eye protects them from dust.

A nictating membrane is a transparent or translucent eyelid. The eyelid membrane not only protects the eye from dust, it also moistens the eye and cleans away any dust or dirt. This is because the emu lives in dry, dusty areas of Australia.

Nictating means blinking. The eye membrane is called a third eyelid, or a haw, or a plica semilunaris, or a membrana nictitans.   

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What is an Octopus’s Garden?

The British band, The Beatles, sang about an Octopus’s Garden in 1969. Is an octopus’s garden real?

The song lyrics mention that the octopus’s garden is under the sea, in the shade, in a lttle hideaway near a cave, and near coral. 

It is true that an octopus lives under the sea near coral. It likes to live in marine (saltwater) oceans in shallow lagoons and coral reefs. It is benthic, because it lives on the bottom of the ocean, on the seabed. 

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Similarities and Differences in Tiger Stripes: Amur, Bengal, and Sumatran Tigers

What is the difference in tiger stripes between tiger sub-species: Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), and the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)? They all belong to the Felidae family and Panthera genus.

As a form of camouflage, tigers have stripes – not to confuse their predators but to hide from their prey. Tigers like to sneak up close to their prey, hide in tall grass and trees, then pounce on their prey.

Their form of camouflage is called disruptive camouflage because the stripes are broken – short, irregular stripes. 

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Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn?

Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn? 

The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an African ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Giraffidae family, related to the giraffe. It has chocolate to reddish-brown fur. Its legs have white horizontal stripes with white ankles. Its face, throat, and chest are greyish white. It has a long neck and large flexible ears.

The male has two short ossicones (bony structures) on its forehead, covered in hair. They are not horns. 

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Northern Bald Ibis and Chick

The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a non-wading bird in the Threskiornithidae family of wading birds. Most ibises are wetland wading birds, living near water sources, but the Northern Bald Ibis is not a wetland wading bird.

It lives and breeds in colonies and flocks of up to 100 individuals. It makes a stick nest high on a cliff ledge to avoid predators. 

The female lays 2-3 eggs. The chicks hatch after about 25 days and gain their feathers within 40-50 days. 

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Canada Goose and Goslings

The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a large North American migratory bird of Canada and the northern United States.

The Canada Goose mates for life – a male and female remain partners throughout their whole life. 

The female lays 2-9 eggs, and both parents look after the eggs until they hatch after 24-48 days. 

The chicks are called goslings. Goslings can walk, swim, and find their own food soon after hatching. They can fly after 6-9 weeks of age. 

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Juvenile Azara’s Agouti

The Azara’s Agouti (Dasyprocta azarae) is a rodent mammal in the Dasyproctidae family of incisor-toothed agouti, native to South America, in countries such as Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

The Azara’s Agouti is a stout brown-furred animal, with a russet-yellow rump. It has pink ears and a pink nose with a white chin. It has dark eyes. Its front feet are grey-black with four toes, and its back feet have three toes. It has a small tail.

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The Feet of the Grasshopper

What do the feet of the Grasshopper look like?

The Grasshopper, Cricket, and Locust are insects in the Orthoptera order and the Caelifera suborder, with thousands of different species. Most of them are in the Acridoidea superfamily of grasshoppers and locusts. They are all herbivorous, eating grass and vegetation.

They have six legs with receptors on each leg that can detect movement and vibrations as well as temperature.

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Geese, Ducks, and Swans – where do they feed – on land or in water?

Where do geese, ducks, and swans feed? Do they feed on land or in the water?

Swans, geese, and ducks belong to the Anatidae family of water birds, living near freshwater sources. They are all anatids.

Some anatids feed on land; some feed at the water’s edge; some feed in shallow water; and some dive down to feed at the bottom of the pond or river. 

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Juvenile Arabian Oryx

The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of bovine antelopes.

The adult Arabian Oryx is whitish-cream with a shoulder bump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail. Its underbelly and legs are brown. It has black stripes where its head meets its neck, on its forehead, on its nose, and from the horns across its eyes to its mouth. Both males and females have ringed horns. 

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