A glimpse of the Corsac Fox

The Corsac Fox at the Paris Zoo is rarely seen because it is nocturnal – active at night and sleeping during the day. Fortunately, I got a glimpse of the Corsac Fox.

The Corsac Fox (Vulpes corsac) is a medium-sized mammal in the Canidae family of carnivorous dogs, wolves, foxes, and jackals. It is also known as the Steppe Fox and the Sand Fox. 

The Corsac Fox has yellowish-brown fur with paler underparts. It has pale markings on its mouth, chin, and throat. It has pointed ears with excellent hearing and small eyes with excellent vision. It has small teeth. Its feet have sharp claws. 

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Caucasian Agama Lizard

The Caucasian Agama (Paralaudakia caucasia) is a small agamid reptile in the Agamidae family of rock lizards. 

The Caucasian Agama has an elongated, flat body. Its scales are light-brown to olive coloured with yellowish dark-edged markings on its back. It does not have a throat pouch or loose skin under its chin. It has a light coloured underbelly. It has a rounded tail with large scales arranged in rings. 

Its yellowish limbs are long and strong. Its fourth toe on its hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Bush Dog

The Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus) is a rare canine mammal in the Canidae family of dogs. It is most closely related to the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) or the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). 

The Bush Dog has soft, long, brown-tan fur with a lighter reddish colour on its head, neck, back, and tail. It has a bushy tail. It has short legs. It has a short snout (nose) and small ears. It has 38 teeth. It has partially webbed toes, which enables it to swim. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Velvet Ground Beetle

The Velvet Ground Beetle (Graphipterus sp.; possibly Graphipterus ancora or Graphipterus cordiger) is a common insect in the Carabidae family of beetles. It is a carabid.

The Velvet Ground Beetle has velvety brown elytra (wing casings). It has a light-brown body with dark-brown markings. It has long, segmented antennae. It has a head, thorax, and abdomen. It is flightless, even though it has wings. It runs along the ground.

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Common Bluestripe Snapper

The Common Bluestripe Snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) is a fish in the Lutjanidae family of snappers. It is also known as the Bluebanded Snapper, Fourline Snapper, Blue-Line Snapper, and Moonlighter.

The Common Bluestripe Snapper has an oval-shaped body with a steeply sloped head. The back and sides are bright-yellow, with the lower sides and underside of its head fading to white. It has four bright-blue longitudinal stripes. Its fins are yellow.

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Dinosaur Series: Tyrannosaurus

The Tyrannosaurus (Tyrannosaurus rex) is a large, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaur in the Tyrannosauridae family. Its name means king of tyrants. It is commonly known as Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-Rex. 

It lived about 68-66 million years ago in the Upper Cretaceous period.

The Tyrannosaurus had a large head and long, heavy tail. It had powerful hind (back) legs and very small front legs. It is bipedal, which means that is walks on two legs. Its back legs had two clawed digits. Its teeth were long, curved, and crenelated (notched).

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Jaguar Claws

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a large mammal in the Felidae family of wild cats. It is native to South America.

It is a carnivore – it eats meat. It kills is prey by biting into its skull. It pierces the skull with its large canine teeth and strong jaws.

But first, it has to catch its prey. It uses a stalk and ambush approach, instead of chase and catch. It slowly stalks and then pounces on its prey. Sometimes it leaps into water to catch its prey because it is a good swimmer.

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Painted Comber Fish

The Painted Comber (Serranus scriba) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Serranidae family of sea bass, groupers, and anthias. 

The Painted Comber has a laterally compressed, elongated body with a pointed snout (nose). It is grey, purplish, or reddish with 5-7 dark-brown bars on its sides. Its head has narrow blue lines and red blotches. Its fins have red dots, and its pectoral fins are pale-yellow. It has a large mouth with sharp teeth. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: South American Cougar

The South American Cougar (Puma concolor puma) is a large wild cat in the Felidae family. It is a felid. It is a sub-species of the Cougar (Puma concolor). It is also known as the Puma.

The South American Cougar is one colour (concolor means one colour), which is usually tawny brown or reddish-brown. It has lighter patches on its underbelly, chin, and throat.has a rounded head, and a long, slender body with powerful forequarters, larger front feet, and large paws. It has four retractile claws on each hind (back) paw and five retractile claws on its forepaws (front paws), but one is a dewclaw (digit). Retractile claws can extend and retract, protecting them with a sheath of skin when they are not being used. 

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Sand Tiger Shark

The Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Odontaspididae family of sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton. It is also known as the Grey Nurse Shark, Spotted Ragged-Tooth Shark, and Blue-Nurse Sand Tiger.

The Sand Tiger Shark has a sharp, pointy head, and a large, bulky body. It is grey with reddish-brown spots on its back. Its eyes are small and lack eyelids. It swims with its mouth always open so that it can breathe oxygen from the water. Its teeth are always showing. Its teeth are smooth, ragged, and sharp-pointed. 

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Whitespotted Bamboo Shark

The Whitespotted Bamboo Shark (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Hemiscyllidae family of carpet sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

The Whitespotted Bamboo Shark has a pale body with dark bands and purple and pink spots. It has a distinct dorsal (back) fin. It rests on the bottom of the sea on its bent pectoral fins. It has small teeth. 

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Geoffroy’s Side-Necked Turtle

The Geoffroy’s Side-Necked Turtle (Phrynops geoffroanus) is a freshwater aquatic reptile in the Chelidae family of long-necked turtles. It is a chelonian or a chelid. Chelonians include turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. It is also known as the Geoffroy’s Toadhead Turtle. 

The Geoffroy’s Side-Necked Turtle is black to dark-grey. Its carapace (top shell) is slightly domed. Its tail and legs are grey-brown, and its plastron underbelly (bottom shell) is yellowish. Instead of its neck sticking in and out, it has a side-necked position where it places its head sideways in its shell. It has four sharp claws on its feet. 

The Geoffroy’s Side-Necked Turtle does not have a hinged plastron, so it has to put its head sideways under its shell. But this means that it has a strong neck. When it is upside down, it can flick its muscular neck to right itself – to turn itself the right way up. Other terrapins and tortoises are unable to do this. 

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Fossa

The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a carnivorous mammal in the Eupleridae family of euplerids and mongooses.

The Fossa looks like a cross between a large mongoose and a small cougar. It has cat-like features, but with a longer, slimmer body than a cat. Its fur is short, straight, and reddish brown, or light and dark-brown. It has large, rounded ears, brown eyes, and a short, rounded nose with whiskers.

It has semi-retractable claws – it can extend its claws but they cannot retract fully into their big paws. It has flexible ankles that enable it to climb up and down trees head-first. It can also jump from tree to tree. It has a long tail. It has scent glands.

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Florida Horse Conch

The Florida Horse Conch (Triplofusus papillosus) is a large tropical marine (saltwater) gastropod mollusc in the Fasciolariidae family of sea spindle snails and tulip snails. It is not a true conch shell from the Strombidae family of sea snails.

The Florida Horse Conch is greyish-white or brownish with a light-brown or dark-brown periostracum, which is the thin coating on its shell. It has a long siphonal canal and up to 10 whorls around its shell. It can retract the soft part of its body entirely into its shell and close the operculum (lid). The soft part of its body is bright orange. 

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Pine Ladybird Beetle

The Pine Ladybird Beetle (Exochomus quadripustulatus) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Pine Lady Beetle.

The Pine Ladybird Beetle has black elytra (two wing cases) with two large reddish-orange comma-shaped spots and two smaller red round spots near its tail. Therefore, it has four medium-to-large spots in total. Its shiny body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. 

It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little black legs. 

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Round Mouthed Snail

The Round Mouthed Snail (Pomatias elegans) is a small, air-breathing, terrestrial (land) gastropod mollusc in the Pomatiidae family of operculate land snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Round Mouthed Snail has a thick, whitish, conical shell and wide mouth with a chalky operculum (lid) at the rear of its body. The shell forms a whorl. The top of the spire points upward and the opening of its mouth is on the right – so it has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. It can close its shell’s mouth with its lid. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has only one pair of tentacles on its head (instead of two pairs). Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Seven-Spot Ladybird

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle, the Seven-Spotted Ladybug, or the Seven-Spot Ladybug Beetle.

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle has red elytra (two wing cases) with three black spots each and another black spot on the junction of the wing cases (to total 7 spots). Its body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown, quite long, and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little reddish-brown legs. 

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