Warty Gorgonian Coral

The Warty Gorgonian (Eunicella verrucosa) is a soft marine (saltwater) coral in the Gorgoniidae family of sea fans. It is also known as the Broad Sea Fan Coral and the Pink Sea Fan Coral. It is not a plant.

The Warty Gorgonian is a branching calcareous coral. It branches into slender, warty stems and branchlets. The warts are small growths. It can be red, pink, or white. It leans in the direction of the water flow or ocean current. The polyps emerge from the warty protrusions and spread their tentacles to feed on organisms in the sea. The polyps are retractable with eight tentacles.

Continue reading “Warty Gorgonian Coral”

What is a Penguin Tester?

A Penguin Tester was installed at the Zoological Park in Paris, France. What is a Penguin Tester?

A Penguin Tester is a robot for use in the Humboldt Penguin enclosure at the zoo. The Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is a marine (saltwater) bird. It is also known as the Peruvian Penguin. 

But the robot is not testing the penguins. The penguins are testing the robot. The penguins are helping zoologisits test that the machine works.

Continue reading “What is a Penguin Tester?”

Northern Bald Ibis and Chick

The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a non-wading bird in the Threskiornithidae family of wading birds. Most ibises are wetland wading birds, living near water sources, but the Northern Bald Ibis is not a wetland wading bird.

It lives and breeds in colonies and flocks of up to 100 individuals. It makes a stick nest high on a cliff ledge to avoid predators. 

The female lays 2-3 eggs. The chicks hatch after about 25 days and gain their feathers within 40-50 days. 

Continue reading “Northern Bald Ibis and Chick”

South American Fur Seal

The South American Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) is an aquatic marine (saltwater) mammal in the Pinnipedia clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. It is a pinniped (fin-footed) and an otariid (eared seal).

The South American Fur Seal has dark-grey or brown fur. The male has a mane of hair around its neck. It has a thick neck, broad chest, broad shoulders, and an upturned nose. It has white whiskers on its chin called vibrissae. It does not have external ear flaps.

It has flippers for swimming. Its movement in water is called aquatic locomotion. Its body is streamlined with oily fur for swimming fast underwater. It has a fatty body, called blubber, which keeps it warm and buoyant. It has a flexible spine (backbone). It has short fins, and on land, it has difficulty walking, so it crawls.

Continue reading “South American Fur Seal”

Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat

The Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat (Epomophorus wahlbergi) is a mammal in the Pteropodidae family of megabats. 

The Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat is brown to tawny coloured with white patches at the base of its ears. The male is darker than the female. The male has epaulettes (shoulder hair). It has large eyes. It has oval-shaped ears. Its lips are folded and expandable. 

Continue reading “Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat”

Red Coral

The Red Coral (Corallium rubrum formally Gorgonia nobilis) is a marine (saltwater) coral in the Corallidae family of branched limestone coral. It is also called Precious Coral. Coral is an animal, not a plant.

The Red Coral is red or pink-orange. It has branches, made from calcium carbonate, that are tree-like. It has retractable transparent white polyps with a round mouth disc surrounded by eight hollow tentacles. The tentacles have mild venom (poison). It is sessile (it does not move). 

Continue reading “Red Coral”

Yellow Cluster Anemone

The Yellow Cluster Anemone (Parazoanthus axinellae) is a marine (saltwater) zoanthid coral in the Parazoanthidae family. It is also known as the Sea Mimosa. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Yellow Cluster Anemone is yellow or orange.  It is a cluster of individual polyps connected by a tissue called coenenchyme. Each polyp has 24-36 tentacles in two whorls. The polyps retract into their tube when threatened.

Continue reading “Yellow Cluster Anemone”

Elegance Coral

The Elegance Coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei) is a marine (saltwater) photosynthetic coral in the Euphyllidae family of stony coral. It is also known as the Wonder Coral or the Ridge Coral. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Elegance Coral has large polyps with a large, branching coralite skeleton. The polyps have long tendrils and a large, fleshy, disc-shaped (round) mouth. It can be fluorescent green, lime green, and brown.

Continue reading “Elegance Coral”

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. 

Continue reading “South African Fur Seal”

Blue Coral

The Blue Coral (Heliopora coerulea) is a species of hard marine (saltwater) coral in the Helioporidae family of octocorals. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Blue Coral has a blue skeleton made of calcium carbonate. Often it is hidden by individual greenish-grey or blue polyps that live in tubes within the skeleton. Each polyp has eight tentacles.

Continue reading “Blue Coral”

German Wasp

The German Wasp (Vespula germanica) is an insect in the Vespidae family of social wasps. It is a vespid. It is also called the German Yellowjacket in America, although the Yellowjacket is in the Dolichovespula genus, whereas the German Wasp is in the Vespula genus. The German Wasp is related to the Common Wasp.

The German Wasp has a smooth black and yellow segmented body with smoky-coloured wings. The yellow stripes on its body have black marks that look like arrows. It has yellow spots on its thorax. Its legs, called tarsi, are yellow. Its antennae are long, thick, and black. Its head is black with a yellow-orange face. The female has a smooth barbless stinger that can repeatedly sting an animal.

Continue reading “German Wasp”

Slender Seahorse

The Slender Seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Syngnathidae family. It is a teleostfish. It is also known as the Longsnout Seahorse.

The Slender Seahorse is brightly-coloured. The male is usually orange and the female is usually yellow. Both the male and the female have small brown or white spots unevenly over their body. During courtship, the spots may change colour to pink. Its snout (nose) is thin with a stub end. Each eye moves separately, enabling it to see its predators from all directions.

It has a forward tilt, and a long, coiled tail. The male has a smooth, soft pouch-like area at the base of its abdomen, with a small fin. The female has a pointed stomach and a larger fin at the base of her abdomen. 

Continue reading “Slender Seahorse”

Yellow Scroll Coral

The Yellow Scroll Coral (Turbinaria reniformis) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate in the Dendrophyllidae family of stony coral. It is an animal, not a plant.

The Yellow Scroll Coral is usually yellow or yellowish-green. It is a laminar (plate-like) species that forms horizontal plates or shallow chalices (cup-shapes) with thick walls. The skeletal cups are called coralites. The plates form a stony skeleton. Polyps protrude from the skeleton. The polyps have a central mouth disc with eight tentacles around the circular disc. 

Continue reading “Yellow Scroll Coral”

Fieldfare

The Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) is a small bird in the Turdidae family of thrushes. It is related to the Song Thrush and the Mistle Thrush. 

The Fieldfare is mainly brown, with a brown back, dark-brown wings, dark-brown tail, and white underwings. Its wings are long and pointed. It has a bluish-grey crown, grey rump, and grey neck. Its chest and sides are spotted with dark-brown markings. It has a rounded head with dark-brown eyes. Its beak is short and yellowish. Its legs and feet are brown.

The male and female are similar in appearance, but the female has more brown feathers than the male. 

Continue reading “Fieldfare”

European Dark Bee

The European Dark Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) is an insect and a sub-species of the Western Honeybee, also called the European Honeybee (Apis mellifera). It is also known as the German Black Bee or the German Dark Bee.  

The European Dark Bee has a head, thorax (chest), and abdomen (stomach) with a stinger. It has a brown-black abdomen with a few lighter spots on its abdomen. Its wings are transparent. It has six legs, and large eyes.

Continue reading “European Dark Bee”

Short-Snouted Seahorse

The Short-Snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus) is a marine (saltwater) animal in the Syngnathidae family. It is a teleostfish.

The Short-Snouted Seahorse can be black, purple, orange, or brown. Its snout (nose) is short and up-turned. It has a forward tilt, and a long, coiled tail. The male has a smooth, soft pouch-like area at the base of its abdomen, with a small fin. The female has a pointed stomach and a larger fin at the base of her abdomen. Each eye moves separately, enabling it to see its predators from all directions.

Continue reading “Short-Snouted Seahorse”