To observe

After all, since it is fairly dead, we might as well enjoy picking over the corpse.
- Charles Jenckins.

cool-critters:

Helmet Urchin (Colobocentrotus atratus)

Also called shingle urchin, the helmet urchin is a species of sea urchin in the family Echinometridae. They can be found on rocks nears shores of the Indo-West Pacific particularly in Hawaii. They look very different from other sea urchins as their spines have been modified to be flattened and smooth in order to better withstand the waves that crash against the rocks they live on in order to feed on periwinkles and algae. They are usually a maroon color and grow as big as a softball.

cool-critters:

Acorn weevil (Curculio)

The Acorn weevil is a genus of weevils belonging the family Curculionidae and subfamily Curculioninae, including about 30 species worldwide. They are referred to as acorn weevils or nut weevils because they infest the seeds of trees such as oaks and hickories. The adult female weevil bores a tiny hole in the immature nut to lay her eggs, which then hatch into legless grubs. In the fall, the grubs bore holes through the shells from the inside to emerge into the soil where they may live for a year or two before maturing into adults. photo credits: Zoltán Gyori, Eric Gofreed J.J. Kent (sub)

marydeemateo:

Trailing Tentacles

cool-critters:

Oarfish (Regalecidae)

Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic lampriform fish belonging to the small family Regalecidae. Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, growing to up to 11 m (36 ft) in length. Rare encounters with divers and accidental catches have supplied what little is known of oarfish behaviour and ecology. The oarfish was observed to propel itself by an amiiform mode of swimming; that is, rhythmically undulating the dorsal fin while keeping the body itself straight. Perhaps indicating a feeding posture, oarfish have been observed swimming in a vertical orientation, with their long axis perpendicular to the ocean surface. In this posture, the downstreaming light would silhouette the oarfishes’ prey, making them easier to spot. Oarfish feed primarily on zooplankton, selectively straining tiny euphausiids, shrimp, and other crustaceans from the water. Small fish, jellyfish, and squid are also taken.

photo credits: gbtimes, dailymail

libutron:

Does the large bill of the hornbills is a hindrance in their visual field?

Well, to a large extent, yes, but it also has its advantages related to precision-grasping and sunshades

Interspecific comparisons of the topography of avian visual fields have indicated that the extent and position of the frontal binocular field is related to the degree to which vision is employed to control the position of the bill or feet when they are used to take food items.

A study on visual field topography in Tockus leucomelas (Bucerotidae), the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, has shown that bill indeed intrudes into the binocular field. This intrusion of the bill restricts the width of the binocular field but allows the birds to view their own bill tips. It is suggested that this is associated with the precision-grasping feeding technique of hornbills. 

When feeding, hornbills employ ‘precision-grasping’. The bill is used as a pair of forceps, grasping an item between the tips and then tossing it back into the throat or further back into the mouth. Items are often manipulated in the bill tips.

Interspecific comparison shows that eye size and the width of the blind area above the head are significantly correlated. The limit of the upper visual field in hornbills is viewed through the long lash-like feathers of the upper lids and these appear to be used as a sunshade mechanism. 

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Stephan Tuengler | Locality: Kalahari Desert, Africa] - [Bottom: ©Ian White | Locality: Modipane, Kgatleng, Botswana]

cool-critters:

Giant isopod (Bathynomus)

A giant isopod is any of the almost 20 species of large isopods (crustaceans distantly related to the shrimp and crabs, which are decapods) in the genus Bathynomus. B. giganteus reaches an average length between 19 and 36 centimetres (7.5 and 14.2 in), with a maximum weight and length of approximately 1.7 kilograms (3.7 lb) and 76 centimetres (30 in). Giant isopods are a good example of deep-sea gigantism (cf. giant squid). Though most other species of Bathynomus apparently are smaller, they are nevertheless far larger than the “typical” isopods that range in size from 1 to 5 centimetres (0.39 to 1.97 in). Like the woodlouse, they also possess the ability to curl up into a “ball”, where only the tough shell is exposed. Although generalist scavengers, these isopods are mostly carnivorous and feed on dead whales, fish, and squid; they may also be active predators of slow-moving prey such as sea cucumbers, sponges, radiolarians, nematodes, and other zoobenthos, and perhaps even live fish.photo credits: wikipedia, jacksi

zondvloed:

This is the Hemeroplanes triptolemus, a species of moth, and thus not a snake, as it wants you to believe. This moth is capable of expanding its body to mimic the shape of a snake as a defense mechanism against predators. It even launches against its predator a fake attack strike as a measure of intimidation to scare the enemy away, even though it is completely harmless to basically any natural enemy.

libutron:

Yucatan Casque-headed Treefrog - Triprion petasatus
Front view of a Yucatan Casque-headed Treefrog, Triprion petasatus (Hylidae). These frogs have the head in the form of a bony casque, with skin completely attached (co-ossified) to the skull. 
The specific name petasatus is derived from Latin, meaning “with a hat on”. This designation refers to its helmet-like casque.
The species occurs in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Adam Radage | Locality: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (2013)

libutron:

Yucatan Casque-headed Treefrog - Triprion petasatus

Front view of a Yucatan Casque-headed Treefrog, Triprion petasatus (Hylidae). These frogs have the head in the form of a bony casque, with skin completely attached (co-ossified) to the skull. 

The specific name petasatus is derived from Latin, meaning “with a hat on”. This designation refers to its helmet-like casque.

The species occurs in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Adam Radage | Locality: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (2013)

cool-critters:

Rhododendron leafhopper (Hraphocephala fennahi)

The Rhododendron leafhopper, so named as it feeds on the sap of rhododendrons, is native to the USA. The species was introduced to Great Britain in the 1930s and continental Europe in the 1970s. photo credits: André Karwath aka Aka, insects, insektoid

cool-critters:

Chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius)

The chambered nautilus, is the best-known species of nautilus. The shell, when cut away, reveals a lining of lustrous nacre and displays a nearly perfect equiangular spiral, although it is not a golden spiral. The shell exhibits countershading, being light on the bottom and dark on top. This is to help avoid predators, because when seen from above, it blends in with the darkness of the sea, and when seen from below, it blends in with the light coming from above. The species has about 90 tentacles with no suckers. The oldest fossils of the species are known from Early Pleistocene sediments deposited off the coast of Luzon in the Philippines. Its diet consists of small crustaceans, carrion and small fish. photo credits: montereybayaquairum, Ingrid Taylaraqua

cool-critters:

Japanese dwarf flying squirrel (Pteromys momonga)

The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel is a type of flying squirrel. Its body is 14–20 cm long and the tail length is 10–14 cm. It inhabits sub-alpine forests in Japan. It is nocturnal, and during the day it rests in holes in trees. It eats seeds, fruit, tree leaves, buds and bark. It can leap from tree to tree using a gliding membrane called the patagium. The patagium works as a wingsuit enabling it to maneuver and glide through the air. Japanese dwarf flying squirrels make their nests in the cavities of tree trunks. Tree cavities are very important nest resources for them.

photo credits: omgthatscute.com, search.japantimes.co.jp, reddit

necromancynancy:

The kiwi has the largest bird to egg ratio of any bird in the world.

necromancynancy:

The kiwi has the largest bird to egg ratio of any bird in the world.

libutron:

Canal Zone Treefrog - Hypsiboas rufitelus
The Canal Zone Treefrog, Hypsiboas rufitelus (Hylidae), is an attractive frog with large, silvery-bronze eyes, which is distinguished from other similar species by the red webbing in hands and feet, and the presence of a sharp spine at the base of the thumb in males.
This is a neotropical species, occurring in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Alex Vargas | Locality: Costa Rica (2013)

libutron:

Canal Zone Treefrog - Hypsiboas rufitelus

The Canal Zone Treefrog, Hypsiboas rufitelus (Hylidae), is an attractive frog with large, silvery-bronze eyes, which is distinguished from other similar species by the red webbing in hands and feet, and the presence of a sharp spine at the base of the thumb in males.

This is a neotropical species, occurring in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Alex Vargas | Locality: Costa Rica (2013)

bluespecsstudio:

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