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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What’s the difference between a Thomson’s Gazelle and a Grant’s Gazelle?

The Thomson’s Gazelle (Gazella thomsonii) is cinnamon-coloured and the Grant’s Gazelle (Gazella granti) is sand-coloured.

The Thomson’s Gazelle lacks white on its body above the tail. The Grant’s Gazelle has white above the tail.

The Thomson’s Gazelle has a black tail. The Grant’s Gazelle has a white tail with a black tuft.

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Lesser Striped Swallow

The Lesser Striped Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) is a partially migratory bird that breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Lesser Striped Swallow has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown.

The blackish tail has very long outer feathers, which are slightly longer in the male than the female. The Lesser Striped Swallow has heavier and darker striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger Greater Striped Swallow (Hirundo cucullata).

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What’s the difference between African Skinks: Eastern Striped Skink and Five-Lined Skink?

What’s the difference between the African Eastern Striped Skink and the African Five-Lined Skink?

The African Eastern Striped Skink (Trachylepis striata striata) and the African Five-Lined Skink are lizards found in East Africa and southern Africa. They are similar in size and colour.

The African Eastern Striped Skink has two yellowish stripes that run lengthwise on either side of the spine, whereas the Five-Lined Skink has five lines.

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