An exhibition of Gilles Aillaud’s artworks is presented at the Librairie Galerie Métamorphoses in the 6th arrondissement in Paris.
Gilles Aillaud (1928-2005) was an internationally known French artist, set decorator, and scenographer. The exhibition is the artwork from his book “D’après nature – Encyclopedie de tous les animaux y compris les mineraux” (According to Nature – Encyclopedia of All Animals including Minerals). The current edition was reprinted in 2010 by editor Andre Dimanche.
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Two thousand White Rhinos will be released into wild reserves, due a conservation project organized by African Parks.
African Parks, a conversation group that co-manages protected areas in several African countries, acquired a large captive herd of the Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) from a private estate in South Africa. This represents about 15% of the total population of the species, according to the New Scientist magazine (7 September 2023).
The herd mainly consists of wild-caught rhinos, and rhinos born in captivity.
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The South Sudan House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a small bird in the Passeridae family of sparrows.
The South Sudan House Sparrow is small with a short, thick greyish-black beak, light beige legs, and a short tail. The male has black, white, and brown feathers, with grey underparts. The female has more grey feathers on her back than the male. The male has a dark-grey crown and a black patch on its throat. The female has no black markings or dark-grey crown. The female has a V-shaped mark on her chest that looks like necklace.
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To protect Black Rhinos from poachers killing them for their horn, conservationalists use a strategy of de-horning. The theory is: if the Black Rhino has no horn, then poachers won’t kill it, and the rhino lives longer. Rhino horns are more valuable than diamonds or gold on the black market in Southeast Asia. Over the past decade in southern Africa, steps were taken to save the rhinos from being poached, maimed, and killed for their horns.
De-horning is painless for the rhino, taking about 20 minutes. Veterinarians sedate the rhino, blindfold it, and insert earplugs, then use a chain saw to cut off the top of its horn, but only the section that does not contain nerves. When poachers cut of a rhino’s horn, they do it quickly at night, and they often damage the nerves or kill it. Rhino horns grow back, and veterinarians usually de-horn a rhino once every 18 months.
Scientists wanted to know more about rhinos that had been de-horned. New research has found some interesting results.
Continue reading “RESEARCH: Black Rhinos lose confidence when they don’t have a horn”
The Cynipid Gall Wasp (Neuroterus quercusbaccarum) is an insect in the Cynipidae family of gall wasps.
The Cynipid Gall Wasp is found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa in the Northern Hemisphere.
In June, the female wasp lays eggs on leaves, usually the underside. She produces a hormone – or the egg secretes a hormone – that stimulates the growth of Common Spangle Galls – red lumps – around the eggs.
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Ants in the Saharan Desert are famous for finding their way home in a seemingly sparse and featureless desert. It’s called wayfinding. How do Desert Ants find their way home?
Desert Ants (Cataglyphis fortis) build landmarks to help them find their way home. What kind of landmarks?
Scientist Markus Knaden from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany, and his colleagues, studied the Desert Ant in the salt flats of Tunisia in Saharan Africa.
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A land or terrestrial snail has a thick grey-to-cream body with antennae and a shell.
On the underside of the body is a small mouth. The mouth is partially covered by a pair of lobes (like ear lobes) or lips. The jaw on the upper lip can be seen when the snail is feeding.
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Elephants have a reputation for having a long memory. Scientists have now found that elephants seem to recognise the smell of a relative’s poop – dung, manure, faeces, stools, excrement – even after 12 years apart.
New Scientist’s Life magazine (February 2023) reports on the findings of researchers at the University of Wuppertal in Germany who are studying elephant behaviour, especially elephant memory.
Two mother-daughter pairs were about to reunite after years apart, and the researchers wanted to test their memories of each other. Would the mothers recognise their daughters’ manure, and would the daughters recognise their mothers’ manure?
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The Mongoose is a solitary mammal, but not the Banded Mongoose which lives in a colony of about 20 individuals, and up to 55 individuals. The colony lives underground in burrows, called dens.
The Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo) is a small carnivorous mammal found in central and eastern Africa – and is related to the Meerkat.
Robert Businge, a researcher in the Banded Mongoose Research Project in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda (established in 1995), says the colony is extremely violent and warmongering. ‘They are aggressively violent animals that wage war on neighbouring colonies.’ They are also violent towards each other in their own colony. He added, ‘They brutally murder and maim their rivals, and they also expel close relatives from their group, and will kill them if they don’t leave.’
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Banded Mongoose females have a unique system of supersynchrony when they have their babies – they all give birth on the same night.
The Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo) is a small carnivorous mammal found in central and eastern Africa – and one of 25 African species of mongoose. It is related to the Meerkat.
Most mongooses are solitary, but the Banded Mongoose lives in a colony of about 20 individuals, and up to 55 individuals. The colony lives underground in burrows, called dens.
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The Flamingo is a large wading wetlands bird in the Phoenicopteridae family.
The four Flamingo species are found in countries in North America, South America, Africa, southern Europe and south-west Asia.
It is a social bird, living in colonies. A group is called a stand of Flamingos or a flamboyance of Flamingos.
Continue reading “Flamingo friends forever”
Ratites are flightless birds. They have wings but do not fly. Is it due to their size?
Ratites include emus and cassowaries in the Casuariidae family, kiwis in the Apterygidae family, ostriches in the Struthionidae family, and rheas in the Rheidae family.
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The Mottled Bichir (Polypterus weeksii) is a freshwater fish in the Polypteridae family of ray-finned fish and reedfish. It is also known as the Fat-Headed Bichir.
The Mottled Bichir is an elongated fish with a series of 7-18 dorsal (back) finlets instead of a single dorsal fin. The finlets (small fins) can be raised and flattened. Its light-grey body has thick scales in patterns of dark-grey bands, and a white underbelly. It breathes through spiracles on the top of its head, four pairs of gills, and ventral lungs – the left lung is shorter than the right lung.
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Why do female lions hunt instead of male lions?
The African Lion (Panthera leo) is a carnivorous – meat eating – mammal. It kills and eats ungulate mammals (animals with hooves), such as zebra, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest, warthog, gazelle, and impala.
Lions live in a pride, which is a group of family members consisting of 10-12 females and their male and female children, called cubs, with one to three dominant males. When male cubs grow up, they become solitary until they form their own pride.
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How does the Zebra repel insects?
The Common Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchellii) is common in the treeless plains of East Africa and southern Africa. It is an ungulate (a hoofed mammal).
The Common Zebra is like a horse or pony with short legs, and is black and white striped. The stripes continue all the way to its hooves. No two Zebras are alike, because they all have slightly different markings.
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The Red-Veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is an insect in the Libelludlidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Nomad Darter.
The male Red-Veined Darter has a deep-red abdomen with a red-brown thorax. Its eyes are brown above and blue-green below. Its wings have red veins and the base of its hind-wings (back wings) is yellow. The female is similar, but her abdomen is yellow-brown with two black lines along each side. Her wings have yellow veins. Both the male and female have black legs with some yellow markings.
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The Small Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) is an insect in the Lycaenidae family of blue butterflies.
The Small Common Blue male has iridescent blue wings above with a thin, black-brown border and white fringe. The female is brown above with blue flecks, like dust, and orange spots. Both the male and the female have a row of red or orange spots along the edge of the hindwing (back wing).
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Which bird is the most talkative?
Some birds can imitate human speech, and they often know quite a lot of words. Of all of the bird species, parrots and parakeets can mimic human speech more than other bird species. But which parrot or parakeet is the most talkative?
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Which bird can eat a baby Nile Crocodile whole?
The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is a large freshwater reptile native to Africa. On average, it grows to 300-440 centimetres (10-14 feet) long. The female lays eggs and baby crocodiles hatch after about 90 days. A baby Nile Crocodile measures about 30 centimetres (12 inches) long.
There is a bird that can eat a baby Nile Crocodile whole, head first.
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Scientists have recently documented their findings of the bones of a new species of two-legged dinosaur in Zimbabwe. It is believed to be the oldest ever found in Africa.
The plant-eating dinosaur is the predecessor of the long-necked sauropods. This new species has been named Mbiresaurus raathi.
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