2. Woodland Kingfisher - Halcyon senegalensis

    The Woodland Kingfisher, Halcyon senegalensis (Coraciiformes - Alcedinidae) is a beautiful blue bird common across sub-Saharan Africa, occupying a wide variety of woodland and savanna habitats. It is quite an adaptable hunter, feeding mainly insects but also small vertebrates, such as fish, snakes and even other birds.

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©Arno Meintjes (CC 2.0) | Locality: Mpumalanga Rural, Mpumalanga, South Africa (2009)

  3. The spew bioluminescence of the shrimp Parapandalus sp.

    An amazing picture of a deep-sea shrimp belonging to the genus Parapandalus (Decapoda - Pandalidae) -[Syn. Plesionika]-, hurling a blue glowing cloud of organic matter.

    This amazing picture was taken during a Deep Light cruise to Bahamas in 2009, to study bioluminescence and vision in deep-sea benthic animals. You can read here the research article.

    These shrimps occur in virtually all tropical and subtropical waters and in some temperate seas, but most species of the genus can be found in the Indo-West Pacific.

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©Johnsen Lab | Locality: Bahamas (2009)

  4. Psychedelic Frogfish - Histiophryne psychedelica

    When Histiophryne psychedelica (Lophiiformes - Antennariidae) was discovered in 2008, the University of Washington press officers were so smitten that they described this new frogfish as having "a face even Dale Chihuly could love" (Chihuly is an extraordinary artist renowned for creating magnificent glassworks).

    With its amazing coloration of radiating, swirling stripes and a wide, flat face that emphasizes its turquoise eye shadow, this is definitely one of the most striking species. Its unique pattern of pigmentation is believed to provide camouflage protection in the coral reefs of Ambon and Bali, Indonesia, where it lives.

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©Erwin Poliakoff | Locality: Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia (2010)

  6. Indian Python - Python molurus

    Python molurus (Boidae) is a species of huge pythons which range across the lower half of the Asian continent. There are two recognized subspecies separated by geographic range and certain physical characteristics: P. molurus moluruscan grow to lengths of about 7.6 m; and P. molurus bivitattus (the Burmese Python), which stays smaller, reaching a maximum of about 6.4 m.

    A recently published study (August, 2014) on behavior in wild Burmese pythons has shown that these impressive pythons can be trained to accept extremely small food items, associate a stimulus with such rewards via operant conditioning and perform contingent operant response to gain access to a food reward.

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©insaneDynamix | Locality: India (2013)

  7. Celestite Crystal Geode | ©Hummingbird Minerals

    Sakoany, Katsepy, Mahajanga, Madagascar.

  8. Fringe Tree Frog - Cruziohyla craspedopus

    This amazing frog, scientifically named Cruziohyla craspedopus (Hylidae), is a species known from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and two localities in Brazil, where inhabits high trees in primary forest, but descends to low branches to breed.

    The dorsum of this frog is lavender green with scattered, irregular, lichenous, grayish white spots; the granular venter and all ventral surfaces of fringes are bright yellow or orange-yellow; and the flanks are yellow with 6-8 vertical browny bars.

    It has conspicuous dermal fringes on the lips and shanks. The fingers lack webbing but the toes are four-fifths webbed; the discs on the digits are large and round. The iris is grayish white with fine black reticulations; the lower eyelid is dark green with irregular pale green and silver reticulations.

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©John P. Clare (CC 2.0) | Locality: not reported (2014)

  10. rhamphotheca:

    Andinobates geminisae:

    New Poison Dart Frog Species Discovered In Panama

    by Science 2.0 News Staff

    A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama, and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia.

    Andinobates geminisae is named for Geminis Vargas, “the beloved wife of [coauthor] Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology.” 

    Every new species name is based on a representative specimen. The specimen for this species was collected Feb. 21, 2011, in the headwaters of the Rio Caño, in the district of Donoso, Colón Province, Panama, by Samuel Valdés, who was then the MWH Global Inc. environment office director, and his field assistant, Carlos de la Cruz…

    (read more: Science 2.0)

  12. rhamphotheca:

    illustration of Three-banded Armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus)

    from The Royal Natural History, ed. Richard Lydekker (1896)

  13. lotsofbirds:

    Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus)

    Distribution: Coastal Australia

    IUCN Status: Least Concern

    Ecology } { Vocalizations } { eBird }

    (Photo by Matt Francey // CC 2.0)

    (via dendroica)

  14. sublim-ature:

    Valencia, Spain
    Tino Rovira

    (via goldynbear)

  15. rhamphotheca:

    Where Peccaries Wallow, Other Animals Follow

    Peccaries are like pigs: They wallow. In the Peruvian rain forest, those mud puddles are wildlife magnets.

    by Emma Marris

    COCHA CASHU BIOLOGICAL STATION, Peru—At this research outpost in Manú National Park, east of the Andes, there’s an open space in the Amazon rain forest, a wet clearing where the surrounding vegetation is covered in splattered mud. In the central puddle, diving beetles ripple the surface as they rise to sip oxygen from the air. An aquatic cricket swims laps.

    The mud around the puddle is spangled with the tracks of animals—and in particular with the impressions, like strokes from a wire brush, left not by the feet but by the stiff hair of the collared peccary.

    This is a peccary wallow. Collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) are piglike animals, and like domestic pigs, they love to wallow in mud.

    Rolling and bathing likely removes parasites, says tropical ecologist Harald Beck of Towson University in Maryland, and it certainly coats the peccaries’ backs with mud, which keeps them cool. It also may be just plain fun. “They behave like little kids,” says Beck. “A lot of splashing around, social behavior and grooming.”…

    (read more: National Geographic)

    photograph: Harald Beck