Month: August 2011

Meet the Leapfroggin’ Bros: the Long-tailed Manakins

image credit: image credit: image credit: image credit: Zunzuncito image credit: image credit: Habitat: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua Status: So here’s a bizarre example of creature “bromance.” Male Long-tailed Manakins (Chiroxiphia linearis) woo their females in a very unique manner: the males team up in pairs and perform an extremely complex coordinated courtship dance to impress the female. Chirping and singing is also included in the [sweet] deal. So, if the two always work together, who get’s the prize? Well, unfortunately for the other guy, only the alpha male in the pair gets to mate with the female. The beta male is just a back up dancer. That means that the majority of little chickies in the neighborhood are fathered after the same daddy. Wonder if things get awkward around Thanksgiving… Check out the video below to see the “leapfrog dance” of the male Long-tailed...

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Another Bizarre Animal From Australia (What Else is New)

image credit: image credit: PacificKlaus image credit: Habitat: Indian Ocean and Pacific, from northern Australia to Fiji Status: Least Concern Slithering around the waters of Australia is the Turtle-headed Sea Snake (Emydocephalus annulatus). Poor Marlin from Finding Nemo could have been a victim of this snake’s attacks – instead of a baracuda – since they are specially adapted to devour fish eggs. The snake swims briskly along until it encounters an egg mass glued to coral branches or laid directly on the sand. If it is stuck, the snake uses the enlarged scale, sharpened into a menacing blade, to pry the eggs loose (see the first picture). Nemo would have never had a...

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The Gecko and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

image credit: ach_gecko image credit: ach_gecko image credit: ach_gecko image credit: ach_gecko image credit: ach_gecko Habitat: northern Réunion (French island east of Madagascar) Status: Endangered This breathtaking gecko is the Réunion Island day gecko (Phelsuma borbonica). I remember a play back in highschool we did called Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and instantly this gecko reminded me of it. For the life of me I could NOT remember the play’s name but after some frantic google searching I can now rest easy. Don’t you hate when you have an inkling of the name of something but just can’t quite remember it?...

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I’m a Barbie Lobster, Living in a Barbie Lobster World

image credit: image credit: image credit: image credit: image credit: Habitat: Indonesia, New Caledonia, Hawaii and possibly Japan Status: Data Deficient This seems to be the “Barbie Girl” of lobsters. The Violet-spotted Reef Lobster (Enoplometopus debelius) is all decked out in hot pink, ready for a night on the town since, you know, lobsters are nocturnal. Looks like she forgot to shave her arms and legs for the night though. Yeesh. Must be a lobster thing. Have fun...

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New Week Nudi: Reticulidia halgerda

image credit: image credit: Habitat: the central and western Pacific Ocean Status: No conservation concerns Reticulidia halgerda looks like it would be a mathematician’s favorite nudibranch. Check out those geometric patterns so intricately formed by the orange and white “tuberculate” ridges! I’m sure there’s some serious fractal action going on there (I’m going to be completely honest here, I have little to possibly zero clue what a fractal really is…. I just know it has to do with math so there’s no way I would understand it anyways...

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I Feel Rather Spotty About those Spots… Hm..

image credit: image credit: image credit: Craig Gibbon image credit: image credit: image credit: Craig Gibbon image credit: Habitat: South Africa and possibly Swaziland Status: Vulnerable You know, I’m wondering if the Spotted Snout-burrower (Hemisus guttatus) decided to live its life underground because of those yellow spots. They make it look a bit iffy, you know, like it has some sort of weird disease. Kind of like a froggy chicken pox! Maybe it was banished to live underground so as not to infect other creatures above. Like when those with the Bubonic Plague were quarantined. I mean, it’s gotten used to living in the dirt at least; it has those big, muscular thighs and no webbing between the fingers and toes so it can easily move around soil. Maybe the disease turns you into a ZOMBIE? A yellow, spotty, frog zombie. Yes…...

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About Carly


I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).

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