African Civet

The African Civet (Civettictis civetta) is a large weasel-looking or raccoon-looking mammal. It is a viverrid. 

The African Civet is a stocky animal with a long body. It has short legs, a short broad neck, a pointed muzzle (nose), a long bushy tail (with black and a few white bands), and small round eyes. It has black bands surrounding its eyes (like a raccoon). It has rough black and white striped and blotched fur, called pelage. It has both long hair and short under-fur, called guard hairs. It has long, white whiskers.

It has a crest of fur along its back, which is raised when it is threatened. It has five toes on each foot. Its claws are long, curved, and semi-retractible. Its paws are completely black. 

Continue reading “African Civet”


The Springtail (Microfalcula delamarei) is a micro-small, wingless hexapod. A hexapod has three pairs of legs (6 legs), but it is not an insect. 

It is entognathous, which means that is has internal mouthparts in a gnathal (jaw) pouch. It is in the Collembola class and the Entomobryoidea super-family – like a terrestrial crustacean, because scientists think that it evolved from marine (saltwater) shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. Scientists first thought that it was an insect, but they have now changed the category to an entognathous animal.

The Springtail has three parts: the head capsule, a thorax (with three segments and 6 legs), and an abdomen (with five segments). Therefore, it looks like an insect. It has small antennae, two eyes, and mouthparts. The mouthparts have a pair of jaws. The two eyes are called composed eyes, because they are composed of 8 single eyes. It does not have a throat, so it breathes through a porous cuticle. 

Continue reading “Springtail”

Sika Deer Eyes

A Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) has excellent vision. It can detect movement from a long distance away. 

A Sika Deer does not have a round pupil, like the pupil of a human eye. It does not have a slitted pupil, like the pupil of a domestic cat. 

A Sika Deer has an elongated pupil. It looks like a raisin, or a flattened grape. 

A full arc of vision is 360 degrees. A human has an arc of vision of 120 degrees (a human cannot see objects behind it). A Sika Deer has an arc of vision of 310 degrees, which means that it can see almost all around it. 

Continue reading “Sika Deer Eyes”

Cat, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Tiger Eyes: What’s the difference?

What are the similarities or differences between the eyes of a Cat (Felis catus), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Lion (Panthera leo), and Tiger (Panthera tigris)?

The Domestic Cat is nocturnal, active at night. The Cheeth and the Lion are diurnal, active during the day. The Leopard and the Tiger are crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk.

The eyes of a nocturnal animal have vertical pupils that look like a black line, called slitted eyes. The eyes of a diurnal or crepuscular animal have round pupils.

Continue reading “Cat, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Tiger Eyes: What’s the difference?”


The Chameleon (family Chamaeleonidae) is a lizard – and a reptile.

The Chameleon can be a variety of colours, and can change colour to match its environment – this is called camouflage. It is usually green, brown, olive-green, or grey-brown. It is elongated, usually with a raised or slightly-domed back, and a tail that can curl around plants. It often has a crest of spines along its back, and a fleshy lump at the back of its head. It has zygodactylous (fused) feet for climbing trees. It has a long tongue, and independently mobile eyes with stereoscopic vision.

Continue reading “Chameleon”

What is the difference between the African Leopard, the North Chinese Leopard, the Persian Leopard and the Snow Leopard?

What is the difference between the African Leopard (Panthera pardus), the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) and the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)?

The African Leopard, Amur Leopard, Persian Leopard, and Snow Leopard are all solitary, elusive, large felines or wild cats. All of the leopards have pale-green or grey eyes.

Continue reading “What is the difference between the African Leopard, the North Chinese Leopard, the Persian Leopard and the Snow Leopard?”

Changeable Lizard

The Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) is an agamid reptile. It is in the family of Agama Lizards. It is also known as the Oriental Garden Lizard,  the Garden Fence Lizard, and the Eastern Garden Lizard.

The Changeable Lizard ranges in colour from light-brown to greyish. It has a short crest above the neck with small spines, which continue to the tail. There are light-grey lines radiating from its eyes. Like chameleons, the Changeable Lizard can move its eyes in different directions.

Its fourth toe on the hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. The male has swollen cheeks and, when it is mating season, its head turns bright orange and its throat turns black.

Continue reading “Changeable Lizard”

What is the difference between a clam, a cockle, a mussel, and a scallop?

What is the difference between a clam, a cockle, a mussel, and a scallop?

The clam, cockle, mussel, scallop, and even the oyster, are all marine bivalve molluscs. Bivalve means two valves.

They all have a shell structure, called a mantle, with two valves (two halves) and a ligament hinge with two adductor muscles that enable them to open and close.

All bivalves have light-sensitive cells that can detect light and motion, even though most do not have eyes. Giant clams have simple eyes on the edge of the mantle. Scallops have more complex eyes on the edge of the mantle – they have 10-100 eyes that each have a lens, a two-layered retina, and a concave mirror.

Continue reading “What is the difference between a clam, a cockle, a mussel, and a scallop?”


The Scallop (Chlamys opercularis) is a small marine (saltwater) bivalve mollusc. It is also called a Clam, but it is not a true clam (a true clam does not live near the bottom of the ocean).

The Scallop has a white-creamy-yellowish-brown shell, called a mantle, with bilateral symmetry – its two valves are the same – connected by two hinge-type adductor muscles that enable it to open and close. Near the hinge are auricles. Auricles, like ears, are triangular protusions. The mantle has many ridges, called ribs, that fan out from the hinge. It has a foot which helps it to bury itself on the ocean floor.

The Scallop has 10–100 very small eyes along the edge of its mantle, which can detect light and motion. Each eye has a lens, a two-layered retina, and a concave mirror.

Continue reading “Scallop”

What is the difference between the Asian Golden Eagle, the Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Steppe Eagle?

What is the difference between the Asian Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos daphanea), the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), and the Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)?

The Asian Golden Eagle, the Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Steppe Eagle are all large birds of prey, raptors, and accipiters from the Northern Hemisphere.

The Asian Golden Eagle, the Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Steppe Eagle all have a dark-grey or black-tipped sharply down-turned beak with a yellow cere (the hard substance at the top of the beak).

The difference between them is mainly due to size, colour, and flight.

Continue reading “What is the difference between the Asian Golden Eagle, the Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Steppe Eagle?”

Jewelled Blenny

The Jewelled Blenny (Salarias fasciatus) is a small tropical marine (saltwater) fish. It looks like a minute eel, but it is a rockskipper. It is often called the Lawnmower Blenny.

The Jewelled Blenny can change colour (camouflage itself) to blend into its surroundings. However, it is usually olve to brown, with dark bars and round or elongated white spots. It has no scales. It has small bright blue spots with dark outlines along the rear of its body. It has large high-set bulbous eyes. It has a continuous dorsal fin (back fin), which has 3-17 spines.

Continue reading “Jewelled Blenny”

Lanner Falcon

The Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus biarmicus) is a medium-sized bird. It is a raptor, a bird of prey.

The Lanner Falcon has grey-brown feathers on upperparts, streaked with white throughout its underparts. It has a rufous (red-brown) crown and back of neck, with a white throat. It has black-brown patches on its cheeks – a bit like a moustache. It has yellow legs with short claws, and large strong toes.

It has a short, hooked pale beak with a dark-grey tip and a white cere. The eyes are distinctive with a large, round, black pupil and an almond-shaped blue-grey to pale-yellow eye-ring. Juveniles have blue-grey eye-rings, and adults have pale-yellow eye-rings.

Continue reading “Lanner Falcon”

Pied Currawong

The Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized Australian bird. It looks like a crow, but it is only distantly related to crows and ravens.

The Pied Currawong is black with white bars on its wings and tail. It has booted feet (feathers on its legs). It has a hooked tip on its long, sharply-pointed beak. It has bright yellow eyes.

Continue reading “Pied Currawong”

Pearl Wrasse

The Pearl Wrasse (Anampses cuvier) is a small tropical saltwater (marine) ray-finned fish. It is in the Labridae family.

The male Pearl Wrasse is blue with red eyes and white spots. The female Pearl Wrasse is reddish-brown with white spots and red eyes. It has red fins. It has a black spot on its tail and often black spots on the fin near the tail (anal fin). Its red dorsal fin (back fin) has 8-21 spines and 6-21 soft rays along most of its back. It has a thick lip, with folds inside the lip.

Continue reading “Pearl Wrasse”


The Goat (Capra aegagrus) is an even-toed ungulate (hoofed) mammal from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and now common to most countries. It is a bovid, related to sheep.

The Goat has varied coloured fur, but mainly variations of black, brown, grey, and white, with short hair or long, shaggy hair. Both males and females have two horns, and both males and females have a beard. It has dark eyes with horizontal, slit-shaped pupils.

Continue reading “Goat”

Lesser Kudu and Greater Kudu: what is the difference?

What is the difference between the Lesser Kudu and the Greater Kudu?

The Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis)and the Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) are both African antelopes.

The Lesser Kudu and the Greater Kudu are both ungulate mammals (they have hoofed feet).

The Lesser Kudu has no beard or fringe. The Greater Kudu has a beard along its throat or a white fringe.

The Lesser Kudu has more white stripes on its body than the Greater Kudu.

The Lesser Kudo has up to 14 vertical white stripes on its body. The Greater Kudu has 6-10 vertical white stripes on its body.

Continue reading “Lesser Kudu and Greater Kudu: what is the difference?”


The Housefly (Musca domestica) is a common worldwide insect in the Muscidae family of true flies.

The Housefly has a head, thorax (chest), and abdomen (stomach).  It is black with four dark, longitudinal lines from its head to its tail. Its body and legs are slightly hairy. It has large, red, compound eyes. Near the compound eyes are three small simple eyes, called ocelli, and a pair of short antennae. It has six legs and one pair of membraneous (transparent) wings. Its mouthpart has a proboscis to suck liquid.

Continue reading “Housefly”