The European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) is a rodent mammal in the Sciuridae family of squirrels. It is also known as the European Souslik.
The European Ground Squirrel has a slender body with a short, bushy tail. Its short fur is yellowish-grey, flecked with black hair. Its underside is pale. It has large, dark eyes and small, rounded ears. It has short feet with sharp claws for digging. It has strong, gnawing teeth. It has a small nose with whiskers.
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The Caucasian Parsley Frog (Pelodytes caucasicus) is a freshwater amphibian in the Pelodytidae family of frogs.
The Caucasian Parsley Frog begins its life as an egg. The adult female frog is oviparous, laying eggs. The female lays 40-300 eggs near reeds in a still body of water. The eggs hatch after about 14 days.
The eggs hatch into tadpoles.
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The Caucasus Marbled White Butterfly (Melanargia galathea donsa) is a medium-sized insect in the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It is also known as Our Half-Mourner Butterfly and the Marmoris Butterfly.
The Caucasus Marbled White is white with grey-black markings on its upperside. The underside of its hindwings (back wings) has grey eye-spots. The male and female are similar, except that some females have a yellowish underside. Its body is greyish and fluffy. It has long, black, clubbed antennae and large eyes.
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The Wrinkled Dune Snail
(Xeroplexa intersecta previously Candidula intersecta) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Geomitridae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).
The Wrinkled Dune Snail is yellowish-beige with dark-brown and copper bands. The round, globular, coarse (not glossy) shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. There are five whorls with a slightly raised central spire. Its shell aperture (opening) does not have a lip. The body is bluish-grey with long upper tentacles and short lower tentacles on ts head. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles.
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The Pool Frog (Pelophylax lessonae) is a freshwater wetlands amphibian in the Ranidae family of water frogs.
The Pool Frog is green, olive or brown. On its back is a green line that runs from head to tail. There are small warts on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has a plump body with long hind (back) legs, and no tail. It has large, round, protruding eyes. It has webbed feet.
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Do birds hibernate?
Hibernation is a state when animals sleep during winter, especially where the winters are extremely cold and/or snowy. Not all animals hibernate. Animals such as bears, squirrels, bats, and hedgehogs hibernate. Some lizards and snakes hibernate.
When these animals hibernate, they will eat a lot of food and gain body weight beforehand to enable them to sleep throughout the winter. For example, squirrels can gain 50% of their body weight before hibernating.
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The Vineyard Snail (Cernuella virgata or Helicella virgata) is a pulmonate air-breathing gastropod mollusc in the Geomitridae family of terrestrial (land) hairy snails. It is also known as the Common White Snail.
The Vineyard Snail usually has a creamy-white shell with fine growth lines. It has a darker line and white line along the outside of its shell. However, its shell can be variable. It has whorls, and the last whorl is slightly rounded. It has a brown mouth with pink inside. It shell is faintly glossy. Its body is grey.
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The Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family of shield bugs.
The Green Shield Bug is solid, bright-green to bronze. It has a hard, hairless, smooth exoskeleton that looks like a shield. The shield is called a scutellum. Its underbelly is light-coloured. It has a small head with its eyes on the side of its head. It has forewings (front wings) called hemelytra, and it also has hind wings (back wings). Although it has wings, it is not a strong flyer. Its six green legs, called tarsi, have three segments. It has a sucking mouthpart.
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The Nose-Horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes ammodytes) is a highly venomous reptile in the Viperidae family of viper snakes. It is a viperid. It is also known as the Horned Viper and Western Sand Viper. Scientists think it might be the most dangerous snake in Europe.
The Nose-Horned Viper has a head covered with small, irregular scales that can be smooth or slightly keeled (ridged). It has 10-13 small scales around its eyes. The nasal (nose) scale is large that looks like a horn with 9-17 smaller scales along it, but it is soft and flexible.
The male has irregular dark-brown, dark-grey, or black markings and a thick black stripe from its eye to its jaw. The male has V-shaped markings on its back like a zig-zag pattern. The female lacks the dark V-shaped markings on its body, and is browner and more bronze-coloured than the male. Its underbelly can be grey, yellowish-brown, or pinkish. Both have a black tongue and golden or copper-coloured eyes.
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The Kentish Garden Snail (Monacha cantiana) is a pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the Hygromiidae family of terrestrial (land) hairy snails.
The Kentish Garden Snail has a creamy-white to dark shell, usually turning reddish near the mouth. Its mouth is white-lipped.
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The Brown-Banded Carder Bee (Bombus humilis) is an insect in the Apidae family of bumblebees.
The Brown-Banded Carder Bee has a yellow-orange fuzzy thorax. It has a broad dark-brown band on its abdomen. Its body has fluffy hairs. It has a rounded head with short antennae. Its rear legs are bare and shiny.
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The Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Helicidae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).
The Garden Snail can be varied in colour, but its shell is mainly dark-brown, with stripes, flecks, or streaks in a lighter colour. The shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell.It has a brown lip. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has tentacles on its head. Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles.
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The Spider Tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) is a reptile in the Testudinidae family. It is named after the pattern on its shell.
The Spider Tortoise has a web-like pattern of yellow lines on its dark-brown carapace (upper shell). It has a dark head with yellow spots. It has a yellow, semi-hinged underbelly – the under shell is called a plastron. It pulls its head into its shell for protection. Its legs and tail are brown.
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The European Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa iris) is an insect in the Apidae family of carpenter bees.
The European Carpenter Bee is all black with a shiny abdomen. It is not a Bumblebee, because a Bumblebee has a hairy body. It has short mouthparts.Its wings are translucent. The male does not have a stinger. The female has a stinger, but she is not aggressive.
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The Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) is a large mammal in the Ursidae family of brown bears. It is also known as the Himalayan Red Bear, the Isabelline Bear or the Dzu-Teh. It is an ursid.
The Himalayan Brown Bear has dense sandy-brown to reddish-brown fur. It has a round head, wide skull, small ears, small eyes, and a mouth with 42 sharp teeth. It also has large, powerful paws with ten long, sharp claws.
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What animals change colour for winter?
Many animals, especially mammals, hibernate (sleep) in winter. Some animals lie dormant (similar to sleep, but lie still). Other animals, such as butterflies and moths and other insects, turn into cocoons and chrysalises in winter, waiting to emerge as adults in spring. Other animals grow their winter fur to keep them warm.
But some animals change colour to camouflage into their autumn and winter environment – brown among dry leaves and leaf litter, white in snowfields, and grey in clouded habitats.
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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.
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The Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanus griseus) is a large reptile in the Squamata order of monitor lizards.
The Desert Monitor Lizard can be a variety of colours from light-brown to yellowish to grey, with spots and 5-8 dark-brown bands. It also has dark-brown bands on its long, tapered tail. It has a large mouth. Its nostrils are close to its small, brown eyes. Its feet have toes with long, sharp claws.
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The Menzbier’s Marmot (Marmota menzbieri) is a large rodent mammal in the Sciuridae family of squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, marmots, and prairie dogs.
The Menzbier’s Marmot has a plump, heavy body, with long, dense red-brown fur. It has dark upper parts and rear parts, with pale underparts. It has a short tail. It has large eyes. It has large teeth for gnawing.
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The Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis Mascularis) is a small ground-dwelling reptilian lizard.
The Common Leopard Gecko is pale beige with dark-brown markings and spots. Its back is covered with small lumps. It has short legs with short nails on its toes, which are used for gripping objects (it does not have sticky pads on its feet). It has movable eyelids. It has about 100 small teeth. It has a thick, fleshy tail.
It can regenerate its tail if if drops off. This is called caudal autotomy. It regularly sheds its skin (about once a month). This is called moulting.
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