Bird Nostrils and Nares

What are bird nostrils and nares?

Bird nostrils and nares are nose holes, or openings, that enable a bird to breathe. 

There are two holes – one on each side of a bird’s beak.

The beaks of birds are different sizes and shapes – long or short, small or large, straight or curved, and wide or thin. Therefore, the nares are in different places for different species of birds. 

Continue reading “Bird Nostrils and Nares”

The Saiga Antelope population is increasing in Kazakhstan

The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal. 

In 2015, there was a bacterial disease that killed many Saiga Antelopes. The population decreased by 60% making it a critically endangered species.

It is native to Russia and Kazakhstan. In winter, it migrates south to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It used to be native to a wider area across Eurasia. It prefers semi-deserts, steppes, and grasslands, and it does not like steep and mountainous regions. 

Continue reading “The Saiga Antelope population is increasing in Kazakhstan”

What is the difference between Old World monkeys and New World monkeys?

What is the difference between Old World monkeys and New World monkeys?

Old World monkeys live in the African continent, in coastal Arabia, and in Asia. New World monkeys live mainly in the tropical rain forests of South American countries.

Old World monkeys belong to one family called the Ceropithecidae family. They are catarrhines, which means that they have narrow, downward noses. Apes and humans also have downward noses. 

Continue reading “What is the difference between Old World monkeys and New World monkeys?”

What are the similarities and differences between the Black Bear and the Brown Bear?

What are the similarities and differences between the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) and the European Brown Bear (Ursus arctos arctos)? 

The Asian Black Bear has silky black fur and the European Brown Bear has dense brown fur.

The Asian Black Bear is arboreal (living in trees) and the European Black Bear is terrestrial (living on the ground).

The Asian Black Bear is lighter and thinner than the European Brown Bear.

Continue reading “What are the similarities and differences between the Black Bear and the Brown Bear?”

Giant Anteater

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is a large mammal. It is in the Pilosa order, which is the same order as the Sloth. It is also known as the Ant Bear. 

The Giant Anteater has long, greyish-black fur with white flecks. It has white front legs, with a band of black across its ankles (or wrists). Its back legs are black. It has a grey head with a long, wide black line and a long, thin white line along its side, from mid-stomach, under its ear, and through its eye. Its head is elongated, with a thick neck, and a long, tubular snout (nose). At the end of the snout is a small mouth (with no teeth) and small nostrils (nose holes for breathing). It has a bushy, brown tail, and long front claws. It has small ears and eyes, with poor eyesight. However, it has an excellent sense of smell. 

Continue reading “Giant Anteater”

What are the similarities and differences in the faces of the Kangaroo, Pademelon, Tree-Kangaroo, and Wallaby?

The Kangaroo, Pademelon, Tree-Kangaroo and Wallaby are all macropod (large-footed) marsupial (pouched) mammals.

The Kangaroo, Pademelon, and Wallaby have triangular-shaped faces with black noses, whereas the Tree-Kangaroo has a square-shaped face with a pink nose.

Continue reading “What are the similarities and differences in the faces of the Kangaroo, Pademelon, Tree-Kangaroo, and Wallaby?”

CREATURE FEATURE: Binturong

The Binturong (Arctictis binturong) is an arboreal mammal. It is also known as a Bearcat. It is not related to bears and it is not related to cats. It is closely related to the Palm Civet. It is a viverrid.

The Binturong has a grey-black, thick, furry body with short legs. Its tail is long, bushy, curls inwards at the end, and is prehensile, which means that it can wrap around branches. It has a short, turned-up, black rounded nose covered with bristly hairs. It has long whiskers.

Its eyes are large and black, with a vertical pupil. It has short, rounded ears, edged with white, with tufts of black hair. It has six short rounded incisor teeth in each jaw, two long sharp canine teeth, and six molar teeth on each side of its jaw. Its five toes have long claws. It has musk glands that emit a scent.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Binturong”

Matamata Turtle

The Matamata Turtle (Chelus fimbriata) is a large, freshwater reptile. 

The Matamata Turtle has a brown or black upper shell, called a carapace, that looks like the bark of a tree. Its lower shell, called the plastron, is creamy-yellow or brown, narrow, and without a hinge. 

It has a large, triangular-shaped, flattened grey-brown head, with spiky, ridged scales called tubercles. It has flaps of loose skin. It has a horn-like structure on its head and a long, tubular snout (nose). There are three barbels (similar to thick whiskers) on its chin and another four barbels at its upper jaw. Its neck, tail, and legs are grey-brown. Its feet have five webbed claws to enable it to walk on land, dig and swim. 

Continue reading “Matamata Turtle”

Cartilage

What is cartilage?

Cartilage is smooth elastic tissue, such as the human rib cage, ear, and nose.

Cartilage does not contain blood vessels or nerves.

Sharks, rays, and skates are cartilaginous fish because they have a skeleton made entirely of cartilage.

Long-Nosed Whip Snake

The Long-Nosed Whip Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) is a mildly venomous arboreal snake, often called the Green Vine Snake, but it is not the same as the South American Green Vine Snake (Oxybelis fulgidus). Ahaetulla means eye plucker, because it strikes the eyes of its prey.

The Long-Nosed Whip Snake is slender and bright green with a pointed snout (nose). It has black and white scale markings, which are mostly hidden, and only shown when it expands its body to deter predators. Its colour is an excellent camouflage in trees.

Continue reading “Long-Nosed Whip Snake”

What is olfaction?

What is olfaction?

Olfaction is the sense of smell.

Olfaction is a chemoreception that forms the sense of smell.

In most animals, olfaction occurs in the nose through holes called nostrils.

Some animals, such as snakes, have a vomeronasal organ located between the nose and mouth that is used to smell prey. Snakes stick out their tongue and then touch it to the vomeronasal organ.

CREATURE FEATURE: Koala

The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal (tree-living) marsupial, found in eastern and southern coastal Australia. It is related to the wombat. It is not a bear.

The Koala has soft, short silver-grey to brown fur. It is a rounded, short animal with a large head with round, fluffy ears. Its underbelly is white. It has no tail. Its nose is black and distinct, and covered with leathery skin. It has curved, sharp claws for climbing trees. The first and second digits on its fore-paws are opposable, enabling it to grasp tree branches. The second and third digits on the hind-paws are fused together. Males have chest glands, which are visible.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Koala”