Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

The Abyssinian Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus) is a large terrestrial bird. It is also known as the Northern Ground Hornbill. 

The Abyssinian Ground Hornbill has black feathers with white primary feathers. The male has a patch of blue featherless skin around its eyes and an inflatable patch of bare red skin on its neck and throat. Its beak is long and black with a reddish base. On top of its beak is a black hard structure called a casque. The female is similar to the male, but with dark blue bare skin. Both the male and the female have long eye feathers that look like eyelashes. 

Continue reading “Abyssinian Ground Hornbill”

Featherfin Squeaker

The Featherfin Squeaker (Synodontis eupterus) is a freshwater fish in the catfish family. It is also known as the Featherfin Synodontis and the Featherfin Catfish. 

The Featherfin Squeaker is dark-brown with a high feather-like dorsal (back) fin. It has light, yellowish spotted markings all over its body and fins. It has a sucker mouth and a wide head. 

It is called a Squeaker because it communicates with each other in squeaking noises.

Continue reading “Featherfin Squeaker”

Rough-Legged Buzzard

The Rough-Legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) is a medium-sized bird of prey, and a raptor. It is also known as the Rough-Legged Hawk. 

The Rough-Legged Buzzard has brown feathers that can be light-brown or dark-brown, with a lot of speckles or specking. It has more white feathers on its underbelly. It has long, white tail feathers. Its feet are feathered. Its claws are smaller than the claws of most birds of prey. It has dark eyes and a light beige beak.

Continue reading “Rough-Legged Buzzard”

Forest Sitatunga

The Forest Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii gratus) is a medium-sized ungulate (hoofed) antelope mammal. It is also known as the Congo Sitatunga or Marshbuck. It is similar to the Waterbuck.

The Forest Sitatunga has orange-brown or rufous-red, shaggy fur with white spots. It has white facial markings. Its fur darkens with age, becoming grey to dark-brown. Only the male has horns. Its horns are spiral with one or two twists. The male also has a V-shaped stripe between its eyes. It has pointed, hoofed toes.

Continue reading “Forest Sitatunga”

What is the difference between the Oscellate River Stingray and the Thornback Ray?

What is the difference between the Oscellate River Stingray (Potamotrygon motoro) and the Thornback Ray (Raja clavata)?

The Oscellate River Stingray is a marine (saltwater) fish, whereas the Thornback Ray is a freshwater river fish. 

Both the Oscellate River Stingray and the Thornback Ray have two raised eyes, close together, on the top of their backs. 

The Oscellate River Stingray has a beige or brown body with numerous yellow-orange dark-ringed spots, whereas the Thornback Ray varies in colour from light-grey or light-brown with either dark or light blotches.  

Continue reading “What is the difference between the Oscellate River Stingray and the Thornback Ray?”

Guinea Baboon

The Guinea Baboon (Papio papio) is a terrestrial primate monkey. It is not an ape, because apes do not have tails. The Guinea Baboon is a monkey, because monkeys have tails. It is related to the Hamadryas Baboon and the Savanna Baboon. 

The Guinea Baboon has thick, rough, reddish-brown fur with a dark blackish hairless face surrounded by a small mane. It has small ears and a dark dog-like protruding snout (nose). Its canine teeth are long and sharp. It has a long tail.It has rough patches on its buttocks, called ischial callosities, that provide a pad for sitting. 

Continue reading “Guinea Baboon”

Smith’s Cichlid

The Smith’s Cichlid (Julidochromis marksmithi) is a tropical freshwater fish in the Cichlidae family of cichlids. It is also known as a Julie Cichlid.

The Smith’s Cichlid has an elongated body with black, white, and yellow horizontal stripes from nose to tail. Its long dorsal (back) fin is white with black markings. Its eyes are black with yellow eye-rings.

Continue reading “Smith’s Cichlid”

Auratus Cichlid

The Auratus Cichlid (Melanochromis auratus) is a small freshwater fish in the Cichlid family. It is also known as the Golden Mbuna and the Malawi Golden Cichlid. 

The Auratus Cichlid is elongated with a silver sheen and black and white stripes on the upper half of its body. The male is dark brown or black with a light-bluish or yellow stripe. The female is bright yellow with black and white stripes. 

Continue reading “Auratus Cichlid”

CREATURE FEATURE: Addax

The Addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the antelope family. It is also known as the White Antelope and the Screwhorn Antelope. It is similar to the Scimitar Oryx.

The Addax has pale-coloured (white or sandy blonde) fur in summer that darkens to greyish-brown in winter. It has white hindquarters and legs. The hair on its head, neck, and shoulders is long and brown. Its head has brown or black markings that form an X-shape over its nose. The male and female have long, spiraled, and twisted horns. Long black hairs protrude between its horns, ending in a short mane on its neck. Its tail is short, ending with a tuft of black hair.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Addax”

Scarlet Dragonfly

The Scarlet Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea) is an insect in the Libellulidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Broad Scarlet or the Common Scarlet-Darter.

The Scarlet Dragonfly has a long, flattened abdomen. The adult male has a bright scarlet-red abdomen, red-veined wings, and small amber-gold patches at the base of its hindwings (back wings). The female has a yellow-brown abdomen and a pale stripe on the top of its thorax (chest).

Continue reading “Scarlet Dragonfly”

Red-Bellied Lemur

The Red-Bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer) is a medium-sized strepshirrhine mammal. It is quadrupedal and arboreal – moving on four limbs and living in trees. 

The Red-Bellied Lemur has thick chestnut-brown fur, with lighter and redder fur on its belly. Its tail, nose and head are black. It has patches of white skin below the eyes, which look like teardrops (the male has more pronounced teardrops). The female has more creamy-white patches of fur.

Continue reading “Red-Bellied Lemur”

African Black Swift

The African Black Swift (Apus barbatus) is a small passerine bird in the Apodidae family of swifts. It is highly aerial, spending most of its life in the air. It is not related to swallows; it is in the same Order as hummingbirds.

The African Black Swift is black-brown except for a small, white or pale-grey patch on its chin. It has a short, forked tail. It has long, swept-back wings, which can rotate at the base (like hummingbird wings). It has short legs.

Continue reading “African Black Swift”

African Clawed Frog

The African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) is an aquatic, freshwater amphibian in the Pipidae family of tongueless frogs. It is also known as the African Clawed Toad or the African Claw-Toed Frog. 

The African Clawed Frog is greenish-grey with olive-green markings, but albino (white) frogs are common. It has smooth, slippery skin. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has three short claws on each hind (back) foot. It has webbed feet only on its back feet. Its back legs are very powerful. It front legs have long fingers. It has eyes, with red pupils, on the top of its head. It has a curved, flat nose.

Continue reading “African Clawed Frog”

Emperor Scorpion

The Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is an arachnid, related to the spider. It has eight legs.

The Emperor Scorpion has a thick, black body with a segmented exo-skeleton. The exo-skeleton is called the ecdysis, and it glows blue in ultraviolet light. It has large pincers, called pedipalps, and a tail that curves over its body. At the end of its tail is a stinger, called a telson, that is mildy venomous. 

Continue reading “Emperor Scorpion”