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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Spur-Winged Goose

The Spur-Winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis gambensis) is a large bird in the Anatidae family of geese. It is related to the Shelduck.

The Spur-Winged Goose is black with a white face and white patches on its wings. Its belly is white. It has a red facial patch from its beak to above its eyes. The male has a larger red facial patch than the female. It has a long, S-shaped neck. It has long pinkish-red legs. 

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What is the difference between the California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal?

What is the difference between the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) and the South African Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)?

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal are both marine (saltwater) mammals in the Pinnipedia clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. 

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal have external ear flaps. Therefore, they are both otariids.   

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South African Fur Seal

The South African Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) is an aquatic marine (saltwater) mammal in the Pinnipedia clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. It is an otariid or otary – a seal with external ear flaps – and a pinniped – fin footed. It is also known as the Cape Fur Seal or the Brown Fur Seal. 

The South African Fur Seal is grey-brown or black with a lighter underbelly, although the female is dark-brown. The male has a thick mane around its neck. It has a sleek, slender build with a thick neck, broad chest, broad shoulders, and a long, protruding face and nose. It has white whiskers on its chin called vibrissae. It has small external ears on the sides of its face. 

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Tanzanian Blue Ringleg Centipede

The Tanzanian Blue Ringleg Centipede (Scolopendra morsitans) is a chilopod in the Scolopendridae family of banded centipedes. It is also known as the Red-Headed Centipede. 

The Tanzanian Blue Ringleg Centipede has a wide, flattened yellow-gold to dark-slate body with black bands. It has a pair of antennae on its head and a pair of spikes on its tail. It has a segmented body, with 15 to 177 segments. 

It has one pair of legs for each body segment (in total it has 30-354 legs). No centipede has exactly 100 legs even though centipede means a hundred legs. Each pair of legs is slightly longer than the pair immediately in front of it. 

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Kirk’s Dik-Dik baby

The Kirk’s Dik-Dik (Madoqua kirkii) is a small mammal in the Bovidae family of antelopes from East Africa.

It lives in pairs, mating for life. The female is pregnant for 5-6 months, and may have one or two babies per year. The mother hides her young in long grass to avoid predators, such as cheetahs, leopards, lions, eagles, hyenas, crocodiles, baboons, and jackals. 

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Egyptian Cricket

The Egyptian Cricket (Homoeogryllus xanthographus) is a small insect in the Phalangopsidae family of crickets. It is also knowns as the Beetle Cricket. It is related to grasshoppers.

The Egyptian Cricket has a black, oval-shaped body with a flat plate on its back. It has long, thread-like antennae. It has long hind legs (back legs). Near the tail of its body, it has a pair of light-beige tubes. It has transparent wings.

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Madagascar Orb Weaver Spider

The Madagascar Orb Weaver Spider (Nephila inaurata madagascariensis) is a large spider in the Araneidae family of orb weaver araneomorphic spiders. It is also known as the Red-Legged Golden Orb Weaver Spider.

The Madagascar Orb Weaver Spider has an elongated black body and red legs. The female has yellow markings on her abdomen. It has chelicerae (jaws) that move from side to side in a scissor-like motion. It has eight small eyes grouped closely together. Its legs are banded and spiny. 

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Tana River Gecko

The Tana River Gecko (Hemidactylus modestus) is a small lizard and a reptile in the Gekkonidae family of house geckos. It is also known as the Moderate Leaf-Toed Gecko.

The Tana River Gecko is brown with dark-brown mottled markings. Its tail is long and tapered. It has a light underbelly. Its five toes on each foot has leaf-shaped pads that enable it to stick to surfaces. Its nose is elongated. It has bulging eyes with vertical pupils. 

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Desert Monitor Lizard

The Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanus griseus) is a large reptile in the Squamata order of monitor lizards.

The Desert Monitor Lizard can be a variety of colours from light-brown to yellowish to grey, with spots and 5-8 dark-brown bands. It also has dark-brown bands on its long, tapered tail. It has a large mouth. Its nostrils are close to its small, brown eyes. Its feet have toes with long, sharp claws. 

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