Caucasian Agama Lizard

The Caucasian Agama (Paralaudakia caucasia) is a small agamid reptile in the Agamidae family of rock lizards. 

The Caucasian Agama has an elongated, flat body. Its scales are light-brown to olive coloured with yellowish dark-edged markings on its back. It does not have a throat pouch or loose skin under its chin. It has a light coloured underbelly. It has a rounded tail with large scales arranged in rings. 

Its yellowish limbs are long and strong. Its fourth toe on its hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. 

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Red-Necked Ostrich

The Red-Necked Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) is a large flightless bird in the Struthionidae family of ratites. It is also known as the North African Ostrich or the Barbary Ostrich. It is a sub-species of the Common Ostrich. It is related to the emu, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi. 

The male Red-Necked Ostrich is black with white tail feathers, a featherless red neck, and red thighs. The female and young male have grey feathers. It has the largest eyes of any land vertebrate. Its legs have no feathers. The Red-Necked Ostrich has two toes on each foot, whereas most birds have four toes and emus have three toes.  

It cannot fly because its feathers lack the tiny hooks that lock together to make external feathers smooth for flying. Its long legs and large wings makes it able to zigzag when it runs. 

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Panther Chameleon

The Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is a reptile in the Chamaeleonidae family. 

The male Panther Chameleon can vary in colour from blue to red, green, orange. The female is usually tan and brown with a bit of pink or orange. It has distinctive eyes, with a pin-hole where the pupil is located. Its eyes, with good eyesight, can rotate independently, giving the Panther Chameleon 360 degrees of vision (all around it). It has a very long tongue with a suction-capped tip to catch insects.

It has five toes on each foot, but some are fused together so it looks like it only has two toes on each foot: two together and three together. Its feet act like tongs and can grip branches. Each toe has a sharp claw. 

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Lesser Rhea

The Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata) is a large flightless bird. It is also known as Darwin’s Rhea. It cannot fly. Birds that cannot fly are called ratites. The ostrich, kiwi, and cassowary are also ratites.

The Lesser Rhea is emu-like with a body of large fluffy grey or brown spotted feathers, a long neck, and long legs. It has three toes like the emu (the ostrich has two toes). Its toes have sharp claws. Its head, neck, rump, and thighs are feathered. It has a small head and a small beak. 

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What is the difference between the Emu and the Rhea?

What is the difference between the Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and the Greater Rhea (Rhea Americana)? 

The Emu and the Greater Rhea are large fightless birds. The Emu and the Greater Rhea are both ratites, because they cannot fly (the Ostrich, Kiwi, and Cassowary are also ratites).

The Emu and the Greater Rhea have a large, soft, grey-brown feathered body, a long featherless neck, and long featherless legs with three toes.

The Emu has orange-brown eyes, whereas the Greater Rhea has blue to brown eyes.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Phantasmal Poison Frog

The Phantasmal Poison Frog (Epipedobates tricolor) is an endangered amphibian. It is a Poison Dart Frog. 

The Phantasmal Poison Frog has smooth, dark-red to red-brown skin with three yellow-white side stripes from its head to its tail. It has white spots on its hind (back) legs. It has large dark eyes. It has webbed feet with one digit (toe) longer than the others. 

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Northern Caiman Lizard

The Northern Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) is a semi-aquatic freshwater reptile in the Teiidae family of rectangular-scaled lizards. It is also known as the Guyana Caiman Lizard. It is related to the Tegu.

The Northern Caiman Lizard has a heavy bright green body with short legs. It has dark bands on its body. Its head is large and usually red or orange. Its jaws are muscular and powerful. It has a long tail. It has a clear third eyelid, which is like a pair of goggles when it swims underwater.  It has five toes, and its fourth toe is longer than its other toes.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth

The Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is a mammal. It is also known as the Southern Two-Toed Sloth or the Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth. It is related to the Anteater. There are three-toed sloths (three toes on their front feet) and two-toed sloths (two toes on their front feet).

The Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth has light-brown fur, long limbs, and a protruding nose with large nostrils. It has patches of chestnut-coloured fur on its limbs (arms and legs) and crown. It has brown eyes. It has two toes on its front feet and three toes on its back feet. The toes are actually long curved claws. It does not have many teeth – it has four or five sets of teeth, including canine teeth. It does not have incisor teeth. It has a stubby tail.

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Domestic Pig

The Domestic Pig (Sus scrofa domesticus or Sus domesticus) is an even-toed ungulate mammal. It is an artiodactyl.

The Pig has a stout body with sparse bristles (hair) on its skin. It has hardly any hair, and it is considered to be hairless (like the elephant and rhinoceros). It has a long, pointed head with a snout. It has 44 teeth (humans have 32 teeth). It is an ungulate – hoofed feet – with two toes on each foot.

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The Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a large flightless Australian bird. It is a ratite. Ratites include the ostrich, kiwi, and cassowary.

The Emu has a large soft, shaggy, grey-brown-feathered body, a long almost featherless pale-blue neck, and long featherless legs with three-toed feet that have sharp claws and thick, cushioned pads. Its brown feathers have black tips. It has a soft short grey beak and grey legs.  It has orange-brown eyes.

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How do lizards walk upside down?  

How do lizards walk upside down?

Many lizards, such as geckos and skinks, can walk upside down and climb up walls. They have special toe pads that can support their weight.

Their toe pads have microscopic hairs or bristles, called setae, that act like Velcro, enabling their feet to stick to surfaces.

On each of the setae are millions of even smaller tips, called septulae. Each one can grip the surface.

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Black Crowned Crane

The Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina ceciliae) is a rare bird native to the wetlands of eastern and western Africa. It is a subspecies of the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum).

The Black Crowned Crane has a black neck, and a white and pink naked (featherless) head. Its wings are mainly white. Its head has a crown of stiff golden feathers. Its cheeks are pinkish-white, and it has a pink throat pouch. Its beak is short and grey, and its legs are black.

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The Common Degu (Octodon degus) is a small rodent from Chile, related to the chinchilla and guinea pig. It is a mammal.

The Common Degu has brown fur with a creamy-yellow underbelly, and yellow around the eyes. It has a paler band around the neck. It has a long, thin tail with a tufted, black tip, dark sparsely furred ears, and pale grey toes. Its fifth toe is small with a nail, rather than a claw, on the fore feet. Its hind feet are bristled. Its cheek teeth are shaped like figures of eight – and that’s the meaning of Octodon.
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Western Swamphen

The Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) – also written as Swamp Hen – is a wetlands bird native to the Iberian Peninsula, France, Sardinia, and northwest Africa. It belongs to the Rail family. It is related to rails, moorhens and coots.

The Western Swamphen has iridescent green and blue body feathers, with a paler blue face. It has a red frontal shield above its thick red beak. Its feet are pink-red with four long toes. Its toes are not webbed. Its eyes are orange-brown.

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Australasian Swamphen

The Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) – also written as Swamp Hen – is a wetlands bird native to Australia and southeast Asia. It belongs to the Rail family. It is related to rails, moorhens and coots.

The Australasian Swamphen is black with a purple throat and chest. It has a red frontal shield above its thick red beak. Its feet are pink-red with four long toes. Its toes are not webbed. Its eyes are orange-brown.

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Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a marsupial mammal from Tasmania, Australia. It is a dasyurid.

The Tasmanian Devil has black fur with irregular white patches on its chest and rump. It has a muscular build with a large head, thick neck, and a medium-sized thick tail. Similar to a hyena, its front legs are slightly longer than its back legs. It has five long toes on its front feet and four toes on its back feet, with long non-retractable claws. It has long whiskers on its face.

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Long-Toed Plover

The Long-Toed Plover (Vanellus charadrius crassirostris) is also called the Long-Toed Lapwing. It is found in eastern and southern Africa.

It is a long-necked marsh plover with a white face and throat, black neck and chest, and grey-brown wings and upperparts. Its beak is pink with a dark tip. Its eyes are cherry-red with a black pupil. Its legs and feet are pinkish-red with three long front toes.

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