Yellow-Spotted River Turtle

The Yellow-Spotted River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) is a freshwater reptile in the Podocnemididae family of river turtles. It is also known as the Yellow-Headed Sideneck Turtle.

The Yellow-Spotted River Turtle has a black or brown oval-shaped carapace (upper shell). It has yellow spots on the side of its head. The spots fade with age. It has a side neck – it bends its head to fit under its shell instead of sticking its head in and out of its shell.

Continue reading “Yellow-Spotted River Turtle”

Golden Lion Tamarin Baby

The Golden Lion Tamarin mother at the Paris Zoo has a new baby, about one month old, born in April 2022. The mother is pregnant for 120 days before giving birth to 1-2 young.  

For the first month after birth, the baby will stay continually with its mother. By week five, the baby will begin to explore its surroundings while staying close to its mother. After four months, the baby will be a juvenile, and will become more social and playful with other young tamarins. 

Continue reading “Golden Lion Tamarin Baby”

Golden-Handed Tamarin

The Golden-Handed Tamarin (Saguinus midas) is a primate mammal in the Callitrichidae family of marmoset monkeys. It is also known as the Red-Handed Tamarin and the Midas Tamarin. 

The Golden-Handed Tamarin is dark-brown or black with golden-orange hair on its hands and feet. Its face is hairless. It has large, black C-shaped ears. It has large, round, black eyes. It has sharp claws that enable it to climb trees. Its thumb is not opposable. 

Continue reading “Golden-Handed Tamarin”

CREATURE FEATURE: Bush Dog

The Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus) is a rare canine mammal in the Canidae family of dogs. It is most closely related to the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) or the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). 

The Bush Dog has soft, long, brown-tan fur with a lighter reddish colour on its head, neck, back, and tail. It has a bushy tail. It has short legs. It has a short snout (nose) and small ears. It has 38 teeth. It has partially webbed toes, which enables it to swim. 

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Bush Dog”

Tadpole of the Phantasmal Poison Frog

The Phantasmal Poison Frog (Epipedobates tricolor) is an endangered amphibian in the Dendrobatidae family of Poison Dart Frogs. 

The Phantasmal Poison Frog begins its life as an egg. The adult female frog is oviparous, laying eggs. The female lays 10-30 eggs, which hatch after about 14 days. The male cares for the eggs. 

The eggs hatch into tadpoles, and the male carries them on his back and takes them to a river or stream. 

Continue reading “Tadpole of the Phantasmal Poison Frog”

What is the difference between the European Hare and the Patagonian Mara?

What is the difference between the European Hare (Lepus europaeus) and the Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum)?

The European Hare is a lagomorph, specifically a leporid mammal, related to rabbits. It is also known as the Brown Hare. The Patagonian Mara is a large rodent. It is also known as the Patagonian Hare or the Patagonian Cavy, but it is not a hare and it is not related to hares or rabbits. The Patagonian Mara is a cavid, related to the guinea pig. 

Continue reading “What is the difference between the European Hare and the Patagonian Mara?”

Resettlement of Burrowing Owls in Southern California

In Southern California, urban developers built over the burrows of the local Western Burrowing Owls, destroying their habitats.

The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged bird in the Strigidae family of owls. It measures 19-28 centimetres (7-11 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 50-61 centimetres (20-24 inches). It is native to North America and South America. It prefers grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts and other open dry areas. 

Unlike most nocturnal (night) owls, the Burrowing Owl is diurnal, active during the day. 

It nests in burrows underground that a prairie dog or a squirrel has dug into the soil. It also nests in other shallow, underground structures.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance collaborated with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to relocate the Burrowing Owls that had lost their homes when humans began building in the area. 

Continue reading “Resettlement of Burrowing Owls in Southern California”

Diablito Frog

The Diablito Frog (Oophaga sylvatica) is a small venomous amphibian in the Dendrobatidae family of poison dart frogs. 

The Diablito Frog varies in colour, from red and yellow to orange. The female has circular, round toe discs or pads that can stick to surfaces, whereas the male has heart-shaped toe discs. The female has an arched back, and the male has a curved back.

Continue reading “Diablito Frog”

Stick Grasshopper

The Stick Grasshopper (Paraproscopia riedei) is an insect in the Proscopiidae family. It is also known as the Locust Phasmid, the Horsehead Grasshopper, and the Jumping Stick. It is not a stick insect phasmid – it is a stick locust, a proscopiid.

The Stick Grasshopper has a green to brown, cylindrical, and elongated body. It has a conical head with large eyes. It has short antennae. The wings are extremely short or absent. It cannot fly and protects itself by camouflaging itself like a stick. It has six long thin legs. It has strong hind (back) legs and it can jump large distances.

Continue reading “Stick Grasshopper”

Ochre-Marked Parakeet

The Ochre-Marked Parakeet (Pyrrhura cruentata) is a medium-sized bird in the Psittacidae family of parrots. It is also known as the Blue-Throated Parakeet and Red-Eared Conure. 

The Ochre-Marked Parakeet is predominantly green with red patches on its belly, back, and shoulder. The crown of its head is dark-brown to blackish, with mottling on the nape of the neck. It has a broad, bright-blue patch on its chest, extending thinly around the back of its neck to form a faint, thin collar. It has an olive-green tail with brownish-red below. It has a yellow-orange eye-ring and black eyes.

Continue reading “Ochre-Marked Parakeet”

CREATURE FEATURE: South American Cougar

The South American Cougar (Puma concolor puma) is a large wild cat in the Felidae family. It is a felid. It is a sub-species of the Cougar (Puma concolor). It is also known as the Puma.

The South American Cougar is one colour (concolor means one colour), which is usually tawny brown or reddish-brown. It has lighter patches on its underbelly, chin, and throat.has a rounded head, and a long, slender body with powerful forequarters, larger front feet, and large paws. It has four retractile claws on each hind (back) paw and five retractile claws on its forepaws (front paws), but one is a dewclaw (digit). Retractile claws can extend and retract, protecting them with a sheath of skin when they are not being used. 

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: South American Cougar”

Dwarf Lanternshark

The Dwarf Lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Etmopteridae family of dogfish sharks. It is an elasmobranch cartilaginous fish — a fish that does not have a bony skeleton.

The Dwarf Lanternshark is dark-brown with a long, flattened head and black markings along its back. It has large eyes. It has several rows of teeth. It has small gill slits, where it takes in water and extracts oxygen to breathe. 

Continue reading “Dwarf Lanternshark”