Common Brushtail Possum

The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) is an Australian and New Zealand marsupial mammal. Trichosurus Vulpecula means furry tailed little fox, but it is not a fox, and it is not related to the fox.

The Common Brushtail Possum is silver-grey, brown, black, or a golden colour, with large pointed ears and an extremely bushy tail that can wrap around branches. Its inner ears and nose are pink. It has short, fine black whiskers, and big, round brown eyes. Its feet have sharp claws with a strong grip.

Continue reading “Common Brushtail Possum”

African Red-Rumped Swallow

The Red-Rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a small bird from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The African Red-Rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica emini) is from Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Zambia. Unlike the European swallows, which are migratory, the African Red-Rumped Swallows are resident (they do not fly to another location in winter).

The Red-Rumped Swallow is a blue-black with a rufous (red-brown) rump with rufous patches on the sides of its head. It has rufous underparts with a pale throat. Its tail is plain and forked. It has dark eyes, a small grey beak, and pink-grey legs.

Continue reading “African Red-Rumped Swallow”

White-Throated Savanna Monitor Lizard

The White-Throated Savannah Monitor Lizarad (Varanus albigularis albigularis) is a medium-sized lizard from southern Africa. It is a reptile.

The White-Throated Savannah Monitor is grey or brown with a pronounced bulbous head, and large ear holes and large nostrils. It has 3-8 white cross-bars or rows of white sports on its body. The top of the head is dark, and its underbelly is paler. It has short legs with large claws on its feet. It has small eyes with round pupils. It forked tongue is long and blue.

Continue reading “White-Throated Savanna Monitor Lizard”

Smith’s Bush Squirrel

The Smith’s Bush Squirrel (Paraxerus cepapi) is also called the Tree Squirrel or the Yellow-Footed Squirrel. It is a common African bush squirrel – it is a mammal.

The Smith’s Bush Squirrel has pale grey to brown short fur. Its head and legs are a rusty colour. It has large dark eyes, small ears, and short, black whiskers. Its chest varies from yellowish to buff or white. Its belly is white, and its feet are yellowish. Its tail is long and bushy.

Continue reading “Smith’s Bush Squirrel”

Red-Collared Widowbird

The Red-Collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens) is a small bird found in eastern and southern Africa.

The Red-Collared Widowbird is black with a long tail. It has white streaks on is back, wings, and undertail. It has a brilliant red crescent-shaped patch on its neck (collar) and crown (cap). When it is not breeding season, the male has brown feathers. Females are brown with a short tail. It has a grey beak and grey legs.

Continue reading “Red-Collared Widowbird”

CREATURE FEATURE: Barbary Macaque

The Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus) is also known as the Barbary Ape. It is a mammal and a primate. It is not an ape (no tail) – it is a monkey (it has a tail). Macaque is pronounced makak.

The Barbary Macaque has yellow-brown to grey fur, with a lighter underbelly. It has an orange-brown cap. It has a dark-pink face with a prominent brow. Its tail is vestigial, meaning that it has become functionless – it is only about 2 centimetres (less than one inch) long.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Barbary Macaque”

Asian Blue Forest Scorpion

The Scorpion is widespread across the world. The Asian Blue Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus cyaneus), from the Scorpionidae family, is native to tropical Borneo, Phillipines, and Indonesia. It is not an insect (6 legs). It is an arachnid (8 legs).

The Asian Blue Forest Scorpion has an exoskeleton (outer skeleton or armour) which is black-blue and shiny. It has two eyes on top of its head and 2-5 pairs of eyes on the corners of its head.

Its body has two segments: the cephalothorax (head) and the segmented opisthosoma (abdomen). It has a long, segmented tail. Its tail curves forward and over its back, with a stinger on the end. Its two front appendages (like thick antennae) have large pedipalps (claws or pincers) at the end. In has 8 legs, which are attached to the thorax (chest).

Continue reading “Asian Blue Forest Scorpion”

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur

The Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata) is native to the island of Madagascar. It is a quadrupedal arboreal (tree living) mammal.

The Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur has black and white fur. Its stomach, tail, hands and feet, forehead, face, and crown are black. It is white on the sides, back, and back legs. It has a black nose, small ears, and bright orange eyes. Its tail is long, black, and bushy.

Continue reading “Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur”

Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) is also known as the Bank’s Black Cockatoo. It is a large bird, a parrot, native to Australia.

The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo has all black feathers with a pair of bright red bars on its tail. It has a large crest on its head. It has brown eyes with a black eye-ring. Its beak and legs are dark-grey. It has three toes: two toes facing forward and one toe facing backward. It can stand on one foot and hold food in the other foot. Research has found that it is predominantly left-footed (as are most parrots).

Continue reading “Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo”

Indian Peafowl

The Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is also called the Blue Peafowl. It is a large colourful bird native to South Asia.

The male peafowl is called a peacock. A female peafowl is called a peahen. A mixed group of males and females are called peafowl.

The Indian Peafowl has mainly blue and green feathers with a fan tail. The tail feathers have round tufts of short blue-green feathers that look like eyes. Males have a long tail, called a train with more than 200 feathers. Peahens do not have the train. The male has a metallic blue crown with a blue-green crest. Peahens have chestnut and green crest. It has a pale beak and pale legs. Peacocks have a spur on their leg. It has white lines near its eyes.

Continue reading “Indian Peafowl”

Eurasian Magpie

The Eurasian Magpie or (Pica pica bactriana) is a common bird across Eurasia. It is related to the crow and is highly intelligent. The bactriana sub-species ranges from east Siberia to the Caucasus, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia and Pakistan.

The Eurasian Magpie has a black and metallic iridescent green head, neck, and chest. Its belly and should feathers are white. Its wings are black with green and purple. Its tail is long and black, and its legs and beak are black. Its eyes are dark-brown.

Continue reading “Eurasian Magpie”

Maned Wolf

The Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid of South America. It is not a wolf. It is not a fox. It is not a dog, or a jackal. It is a unique mammal, often called a golden dog. The Maned Wolf has a distinctive smell, and is often called a skunk wolf.

The Maned Wolf is reddish-orange brown with long, thin, black legs, and a black mane. Its fur, called a coat, is long, with a white tuft at the tip of its tail, and a white patch under its chin.

Continue reading “Maned Wolf”

Big Bellied Seahorse

The Big Bellied Seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) is also called the Pot-Bellied Seahorse. It is found in the oceans of New Zealand and southeast Australia. It is one of the largest seahorses in the world. It is a teleostfish.

The Big Bellied Seahorse is beige-brown, mottled with yellow-brown and darker blotches. Its tail often has yellow bands. It has a protruding stomach. It has a forward tilt, a long nose, and a long, coiled tail. Males have a smooth, soft pouch-like area at the base of their abdomen, with a small fin. Females have a pointed stomach and a larger fin at the base of the abdomen.

Each eye moves separately, enabling them to see their predators from all directions.

Continue reading “Big Bellied Seahorse”