Pool Frog

The Pool Frog (Pelophylax lessonae) is a freshwater wetlands amphibian in the Ranidae family of water frogs.

The Pool Frog is green, olive or brown. On its back is a green line that runs from head to tail. There are small warts on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has a plump body with long hind (back) legs, and no tail. It has large, round, protruding eyes. It has webbed feet.

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What are Peatlands?

What are peatlands?

Peatlands are also called bogs, boglands, moors, swamps, swamplands, and fens.

Peatlands are part of wetlands, where water meets the land. Peatlands are underwater. They are made of decomposed organic matter – mostly from plants – in water-logged, low-oxygen, highly acidic conditions, says New Scientist magazine in December 2021.

Peatlands are mostly found in the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere, but they in almost all countries in the world. 

Peatlands cover only 3% of the world’s surface, but they contain nearly 33% of all of the carbon in soil, which is twice as much as the world’s forests.

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Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) is a reptile in the Alligatoridae family of alligators. It is also known as the Musky Caiman and the Smooth-Fronted Caiman.

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman looks like a small alligator with a broad head and a U-shaped snout (nose). The adult is dark-brown to black, while juveniles are brown with black bands. It has an upturned lip. The upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw. It has strong scales for protection. It has brown eyes with vertical slits.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Eurasian Otter

The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is a semi-aquatic mammal in the Mustelidae family of weasels and otters. It is also known as the European Otter, Common Otter, Old World Otter, and Eurasian River Otter.

The Eurasian Otter has a streamlined, elongated body, and a long, strong, flat tail. It has two layers of dense brown water-repellent fur, and a cream underbelly. It has a short neck, small dark eyes, a black nose, long white whiskers, and small rounded ears. It has five long toes and webbed feet to swim in water, but it needs air to breathe.

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Southern Lechwe

The Southern Lechwe (Kobus leche) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of cattle and antelopes. It is also known as the Red Lechwe.

The Southern Lechwe is golden brown with a white belly. The male is darker than the female. The male has long, spiral horns. The female does not have horns. Its hind legs (back legs) are longer than those of other antelopes – perhaps to be able to walk in the marshy soil. Its legs have a water-repellent substance on its legs, which enables it to run in knee-high water.

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Northern Bald Ibis and Chick

The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a non-wading bird in the Threskiornithidae family of wading birds. Most ibises are wetland wading birds, living near water sources, but the Northern Bald Ibis is not a wetland wading bird.

It lives and breeds in colonies and flocks of up to 100 individuals. It makes a stick nest high on a cliff ledge to avoid predators. 

The female lays 2-3 eggs. The chicks hatch after about 25 days and gain their feathers within 40-50 days. 

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Mulard Duck

The Mulard Duck is a large wetlands bird in the Anatidae family of dabbling ducks. It is a hybrid between the Muscovy Duck (Cairina mschata) and the domestic duck called the Pekin Duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus). It is also spelled Moulard Duck. It is also known as the Mule Duck.

The Mulard Duck is white with a pale pink beak. It has pink or red wattles (loose skin) around its eyes and beak. It has a wide, flat tail. It has long claws on its webbed feet. Its eyes are brown.

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Why does the Avocet have an upturned beak?

Why does the Avocet have an upturned, or upcurved, beak?

The Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) is a small bird in the Recurvirostridae family of waders. It has long legs to wade in water. It lives in wetlands, such as marshes, swamps, lakes, estuaries, and rivers.

The Avocet has a long, thin, upcurved black beak. It measures about 8 centimetres (3 inches) long. Many wetlands birds, such as Ibis and Curlew, have a long, thin downturned beak, but the Avocet has an upturned beak.

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Spur-Winged Goose

The Spur-Winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis gambensis) is a large bird in the Anatidae family of geese. It is related to the Shelduck.

The Spur-Winged Goose is black with a white face and white patches on its wings. Its belly is white. It has a red facial patch from its beak to above its eyes. The male has a larger red facial patch than the female. It has a long, S-shaped neck. It has long pinkish-red legs. 

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German Pekin Duck

The German Pekin Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a European breed of a domestic bird in the Anatidae family of mallard ducks. It is also known as the White Pekin Duck and related to the American Pekin Duck. 

The German Pekin Duck has an upright, broad, heavy body with thick layers of creamy-white feathers with a yellowish tinge. Its beak is short and orange. Its eyes are small and dark. It has orange webbed feet. 

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Moorhen chick

The Common Moorhen chick looks like a little ball of fluffy feathers. 

The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) is a medium-sized wetlands bird found from Europe to Asia. The adult measures about 38 centimetres (15 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 62 centimetres (24 inches). The young chick, or juvenile Common Moorhen, looks similar to its parents.

The adult Common Moorhen has dark black-grey feathers, except for a white undertail. It has a white line on its side, called a flank line. It has a red frontal shield above its yellow-tipped red beak. The female is browner and duller.  

The chick has black feathers with white wispy feathers around its neck. It has a red beak without the frontal shield. 

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Juvenile White-Naped Crane

Some animals have young that look similar to their adult parents. Other animals have young that look very different from their adult parents. 

The White-Naped Crane (Antigone vipio) is a large wetlands bird. The adult measures about 130 centimetres (51 inches) tall, with a large wingspan of 2 metres (6.5 feet). The young (juvenile) White-Naped Crane looks very different from its parents.

The juvenile White-Naped Crane has fluffy pale-brown and white feathers. The adult White-Naped Cranehas a grey and white striped neck and a grey body. It takes 2-3 years for the juvenile to gain its adult feathers.

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Hottentot Teal

The Hottentot Teal (Spatula hottentota) is a bird in the Spatula genus of dabbling ducks. 

The Hottentot Teal male is dark-brown with a paler face, throat, chest, and side. It has a blackish mark near its ear. The back of its neck is spotted with black. It has an iridescent green speculum. It has brown eyes. Its beak, legs and webbed feet are bluish-grey. The female is brown and not as colourful as the male. 

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Falcated Duck

The Falcated Duck (Mareca falcata) is a wetlands bird in the dabbling duck family. It is related to the Gadwell, Mallard, Pintail, Wigeon, and Shoveler.

The Falcated Duck has a large head with a peaked forehead. The male has a purple-chestnut and bright green head and mane, with a white throat, white foreneck, and yellow beak. It has a green collar, grey body, and black crescents (sickle shapes) on its chest. The female is dark-brown with a long grey beak. Both the male and female have orange webbed feet. 

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Kafue Lechwe

The Kafue Lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the antelope family of waterbucks. It is a sub-species of the Southern Lechwe.

The Kafue Lechwe has golden-brown fur with a white underbelly. The male is darker than the female. The male has long, spiral horns, similar in shape to a lyre musical instrument. The female does not have horns. Its hind (back) legs are longer than other antelope legs. It is adapted to long-distance running. It has large ears with black markings. 

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