Image: Luisa Mota via Flickr
From the tropics and subtropics.
Trapjaw Ants (Odontomachus sp.) have the fastest moving predatory appendages of any animal.
You probably realise that the appendages in question are those huge mandibles. They can move at speeds up to 230 kilometres per hour (140 mph), snapping shut with incredible force to kill and maim prey.
When the shoe is on the other foot they can bite the ground to propel themselves backwards and escape predators. Interesting that their ja
Kleinmann's Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni) is the smallest tortoise in the northern hemisphere. They reach a length of about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches).
This little trooper lives in the arid heat of deserts and other dry areas. They were once found in Egypt but habitat destruction has just about wiped them out there.
I hope this critically endangered little tortoise makes it, they make the desert just that little bit more friendly!
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Image: Jay Dugger via Flickr
From North and Central America.
The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the only American marsupial that can be found north of Mexico.
They're one of those animals that do really well in the urban environment, like rats, pigeons, raccoons and foxes. Isn't it interesting, the strange diversity of successful, city wildlife?
More on the Virginia Opossum.