CREATURE FEATURE: Large Hairy Armadillo

The Large Hairy Armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) is a mammal related to the Anteater and the Sloth. 

The Large Hairy Armadillo has a series of thin, grey bony plates along its head and back. This leathery shell is called a carapace. Its pinkish-white underbelly is covered in long, coarse hair. It has long, powerful claws on its front legs for digging. It has a long snout (nose), small beige ears, and small eyes. 

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Large Hairy Armadillo”

Bristlenose Catfish

The Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus cirrhosus) is a freshwater fish in the Loricariidae family. It is also known as the Bushynose Catfish.

The Bristlenose Catfish has an armour-plated body – it is covered with bony plates. It has a suckermouth and a flattened, wide head. The male has fleshy tentacles, similar to spines, on his head. The female has much smaller tentacles on her nose. It can be brown, grey, grey, golden, or albino, with tiny white or yellowish spots.

Continue reading “Bristlenose Catfish”

Rhinoceros look-alikes: the similarities

The African Rhinoceros is a distinctive animal due to its thick, armoured skin and large curved horn. Rhinoceros means ‘nose with a horn.’

The critically endangered Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is also called the Hook-Lipped Rhinoceros. The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is also called the Square-Lipped Rhinoceros. Most rhinos in zoos are the Southern White Rhinoceros.

Some animals are described as ‘rhinoceros’ in their scientific or common name because they have a horn that looks like a rhinoceros horn.

The Rhino Catfish (Pterygoplichthys scrophus) from South America is a fish with a ridged, armoured body and two horn-like protrusions from its head that looks like the horns of a rhinoceros. The protrusions are actualy nostril flaps so that water doesn’t get up its nose. Its body is completely covered in small plates that look like armour.

Continue reading “Rhinoceros look-alikes: the similarities”

CREATURE FEATURE: Rhino Catfish

The Rhino Catfish (Pterygoplichthys scrophus) is a sail-finned amoured fish. It is also called the Janitor Fish.

The Rhino Catfish is black to dark-brown with a large sailfin dorsal fin (back fin), a ridged, armoured body, and two horn-like protrusions from its head that looks like the horn of a rhinoceros. The protrusions are actualy nostril flaps so that water doesn’t get up its nose. It has a long sac-like lung to breathe air. Its body is completely covered in small plates that look like armour. It has a suckermouth to suck up algae and filter food from the ocean seabed. It has light-coloured eyes.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Rhino Catfish”

African Armoured Ground Cricket

The African Armoured Ground Cricket (Acanthoplus discoidalis) is an insect belonging to the subfamily Hetrodinae – armoured ground crickets – in the family Tettigoniidae – bush crickets or katydids. It is an insect.

The African Armoured Ground Cricket is sandy-brown to camouflage with the earth. Its abdomen is dark-brown and snail-like with armour, and its thorax has a speckled brown plate of armour. On the thorax plate are tough spikes or spines. It has 6 light-brown jointed legs from its thorax. Its head is round and brown with a pair of pink-brown antennae.

Continue reading “African Armoured Ground Cricket”