The Mediterranean Feather Star (Antedon mediterranea) is a marine (saltwater) crinoid in the Antedonidae family of unstalked feather starfish.
The Mediterranean Feather Star can be a range of colours, such as white, yellow, orange, red, deep purple, and brown. It has a calyx – a small cup-shaped structure that is surrounded by five pairs of feathery arms. These 10 arms have 40 grasping cirri which are curl-like tufts, feathers, or fringes. The arms are like tentacles. The arms are prehensile, which means that they can grasp objects, food, and hard surfaces. In danger, the arms can roll up. The arms are fragile, but they can regenerate (re-grow) if they break off.
Continue reading “Mediterranean Feather Star” →
The Mexican Alligator Lizard (Abronia graminea) is an arboreal (tree-dwelling) reptile. It is also known at the Green Arboreal Alligator Lizard.
The Mexican Alligator Lizard varies in colour from bright emerald green to dark teal-blue. It has a long body with a triangular head. Its tail can regenerate (grow again) if it drops off. It has short legs with long, thin claws.
Continue reading “Mexican Alligator Lizard” →
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.
Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Common Leopard Gecko” →
The Red Knob Sea Star (Protoreaster linckii) is a starfish. It is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. It is also known as the Red Knob Starfish, the Red Spine Star, or the African Red Knob Sea Star. It is not a fish, so scientists prefer to say that it is a sea star.
The Red Knob Sea Star has five elongated tube limbs, called arms or feet. It has several bright red tubercles on its arms. It has a grey body with red stripes that connect the tubercles.
Continue reading “Red Knob Sea Star” →
The Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a non-venomous lizard. It is a reptile. It is also known as Pacific House Gecko, Asian House Gecko, House Lizard, and Moon Lizard.
The Common House Gecko is light to medium brown with a pinkish tinge. Its skin is covered with small nodules. Its feet have five toes with toe pads to help them stick to surfaces, even upside down. It has large orange-brown eyes.
Continue reading “Common House Gecko” →
The Round Island Skink (Leiolopisma telfairii) is a lizard and a reptile. It is also known as Telfair’s Skink.
The Round Island Skink is iridescent brownish-grey with dark-brown spots. Its body is long and cylindrical. It has short legs.
Its tail can drop off to escape capture, and the tail will re-grow (regenerate).
Continue reading “Round Island Skink” →
The Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a freshwater amphibian in the salamander family. It is also known as the Mexican Walking Fish, but it is not a fish. Toads, frogs, newts, salamanders and axolotl are amphibians, living partly in water and partly on land. However, the axolotl never leaves the water.
The Mexican Axolotl remains in the amphibian tadpole form, with gills, and never becomes an ‘adult’ with lungs. This is called partial metamorphosis. It has a wide head, and their eyes do not have eye-lids. It has four feathery external gills on the side of its head. It has little, under-developed legs. It is olive-green, with a lighter underbelly. It does not have scales – it has moist, smooth skin like the skin of frogs.
Continue reading “Mexican Axolotl” →
The Bristle Star (Ophiomastix janualis) is a tropical marine (saltwater) echinoderm, related to the starfish. It is also called a Serpent (Snake) Star. It is not a fish. It is an invertebrate (animal with no backbone) and an ophiuroid.
The Bristle Star has five long, slender whip-like arms radiating symmetrically from a central coin-shaped or disc-shaped body. The body contains its mouth and internal organs. Its mouth, on the underside of the body, has five toothed jaws. Its mouth is both the entrance to its internal organs and the exit to release waste.
Continue reading “Brittle Star” →
The Lake Patzcuaro Salamander (Ambystoma dumerilii) is an endangered freshwater amphibian. Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and the axolotl are amphibians. It is also called the Lake Patzcuaro Achoque. It is related to the Mexican Axolotl.
The Lake Patzcuaro Salamander remains in its tadpole form for its whole life. It has feathery external gills, which it uses to breath. It is yellowish with a lighter shade on its underbelly. It has a large head, a tail, and short legs. It has four toes on its front legs and five toes on its back legs. It does not have scales – it has moist, smooth skin like the skin of frogs.
Continue reading “Lake Patzcuaro Salamander” →
The Feather Duster Worm (Sabellastarte spectabilis) is a tropical marine worm, or bristleworm – a polychaete. It is also called the Fan Worm. Some are sedentary (sessile) and some are mobile (errant). It is an annelid. It looks like a plant, but it is an animal.
The sedentary Feather Duster Worm lives in an elongated tube. The tube looks like a rolled-up parchment. It has segments that have appendages, called setae, or bristles, or tentacles, that look like a feather duster. The appendages are brown with white bands.
Continue reading “Feather Duster Worm” →
The Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) is also known as the American Iguana, or just Iguana. It is a large arboreal lizard, native to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. It is a reptile.
The Green Iguana is not always green. It can be various colours, such as blue, purplish, and pinkish. It is a strong, stout-bodied lizard, with a row of spines on its back and tail to protect itself from predators. Its tail can be ‘dropped’ to allow it to escape danger. The tail can be regenerated (re-grown).
Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Green Iguana” →
The Starfish (Pentaceraster mammillatus) is a five-limbed marine animal. It is also called the Sea Star, because it is not a fish. It is an invertebrate animal, because it has no backbone.
The Starfish can be various colours, such as green, yellow, purple, pink and grey. It has a thick body with rounded tubercles (lumps) on its surface – often of a different colour to its body. It has five limbs radiating from a central point (its mouth) in a star-shape. Its mouth is on the underside of its body.
Continue reading “Starfish” →
The Dalmatian Linckia (Linckia multifora) is a starfish, a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it has no backbone. It is also called the Spotted Linckia or Multicolour Sea Star. It is not a fish.
The starfish is an echinoderm (meaning prickly skin) in the Asteroidea class (meaning star-shaped).
It has five elongated tube limbs (feet or arms) pink or reddish mottled with white and yellow colours that taper slightly towards the tips.
The surface has a rough texture and is covered in granulations.
Continue reading “Dalmatian Linckia Starfish” →
The Blue Star starfish (Linckia laevigata) is also called the Blue Linckia. It is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate, because it has no backbone.
The starfish (also called a sea star) is an echinoderm (meaning prickly skin) in the Asteroidea class (meaning star-shaped).
It has five elongated tube limbs (feet or arms) that are dark or light blue with tips at each of the limb.
Continue reading “Blue Star” →