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04/28/2014 18:00:00 PM

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful!And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break > read more

Bornean Orangutan

04/25/2014 19:00:00 PM

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at ar > read more

Indian Star Tortoise

04/24/2014 19:00:00 PM

Geochelone elegansIt doesn't require a huge imagination to figure out where the name "Star Tortoise" comes from. These reptiles have carapaces that are predominantly dark with a lighter, starburst-type pattern.You'll find these fancy Turtles in the d > read more

Le Conte's Thrasher

04/23/2014 18:00:00 PM

Toxostoma leconteiLe Conte's Thrasher is a bird named for John Lawrence Le Conte, an American entomologist. Though he was a renowed Beetle expert, he discovered this particular bird while on a Beetle-finding trip to Arizona. Le Conte ended up collect > read more

Hairy Scorpion

04/22/2014 18:00:00 PM

Hadrurus arizonensisMeet the largest Scorpion in North America-- the Hairy Scorpion. These arachnids can grow over 5in long, and their large size makes them quite the predator within their desert habitat. They feed on smaller invertebrates (including > read more

Brown Hyena

04/21/2014 18:00:00 PM

Hyaena brunneaToday's animal is the Brown Hyena, the rarest of the different Hyena species. These interesting carnivores live only in southern Africa, and they make dry desert and semi-desert areas their home.Brown Hyenas live in small social groups > read more

Australian Pelican

04/18/2014 10:17:00 AM

Pelicanus conspicillatusDespite its name, the Austrlian Pelican is found in more places than Australia. Fiji, New Guinea, and Indonesia are also countires that this bird calls home. Some have even made their way over to New Zealand!These birds prefer > read more

Banggai Cardinalfish

04/17/2014 17:00:00 PM

Pterapogon kauderniThe Banggai Cardinalfish is a small tropical fish that is becoming very rare in the wild, even though it has been successfully bred in captivity.You will only find these small, 3in long fish around the Banggai Islands of Indonesia. > read more

Black Noddy

04/16/2014 19:00:00 PM

Anous minutusThe Black, or White-capped Noddy is a seabird that is found in tropical areas all around the globe. These members of the Tern family are named for the nodding motion that both sexes display during courtship!The two possible common names > read more

Irrawaddy Dolphin

04/15/2014 19:00:00 PM

Orcaella brevirostrisThe Irrawaddy Dolphin is a rare species of Dolphin that is found only in the coastal waters near Australia and Southeast Asia. They are sometimes called Irrawaddy River Dolphins, even though they are not true River Dolphins. This > read more

Coral Trout

04/14/2014 18:00:00 PM

Plectropomus leopardusMeet the Coral Trout, also known as the Leopard Coral Grouper. These colorful fish make the western Pacific Ocean their home, and they can be found near the coral reefs that give them their name.Coral Trout can be identified by > read more

Boreal Chorus Frog

04/11/2014 18:00:00 PM

Pseudacris maculataToday's animal is an itty bitty little Frog that is more often heard rather than seen. They are called Boreal Chorus Frogs, and they are one of the first Amphibians to emerge after the winter season, making lots of sounds as they d > read more

Northern Goshawk

04/10/2014 18:00:00 PM

Accipiter gentilisToday's animal is the Northern Goshawk-- a bird that is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It also happens to be the largest Hawk in North America.The Northern Goshawk has a dark back and wings, but an underside of light-colo > read more

Mule Deer

04/09/2014 14:00:00 PM

Odocoileus hemionusThe Mule Deer is a species that has a large range spanning across the western half of North America.They are named for their large, Mule-like ears and can be further identified by their black-tipped tails.Mule Deer are an incredibl > read more

Dusky Grouse

04/08/2014 15:00:00 PM

Dendragapus obscurusMeet the Dusky Grouse, one of the largest Grouses in North America. Fun fact #1? Until recently it was thought to be a subspecies of the Blue Grouse. But the Blue Grouse is actually no more. DNA analysis split it up into two full- > read more

Greenback Cutthroat Trout

04/07/2014 17:00:00 PM

Oncorhynchus clarki stomiasWe are bouncing all over the world now-- from India, to Antarctica, and now to the Rocky Mountains of the United States!Today's animal is a subspecies of fish that is found only in those particular mountains-- the Greenback > read more

Wilson's Storm Petrel

04/04/2014 18:00:00 PM

Oceanites oceanicusWe finally arrive at our last animal of this Antarctic theme-- a bird that is not confined just to the southernmost continent. Wilson's Storm Petrel is a common bird that is one of the most abundant species in the entire world with > read more

Macaroni Penguin

04/03/2014 14:00:00 PM

Eudyptes chrysolophusWhat would an Antarctica Theme be without a Penguin? Today we have a seriously awesome looking species-- the Macaroni Penguin. What a wonderful hairdo!Of course, that isn't really hair, just long feathers forming a vibrant crest. > read more

Ross Seal

04/02/2014 19:00:00 PM

Omnatophoca rossiiThe Ross Seal is one of the least studied Seal species native to the pack ice of Antarctica. They are less common overall than the Weddell and Leopard Seals, and because they tend to live alone they have a very low population densit > read more

Strap-toothed Whale

04/01/2014 16:00:00 PM

Mesoplodon layardiiThe Strap-toothed Whale, also known as Layard's Whale, is a little-studied Cetacean found in the cold waters of the Southern Oceans. They have beaked faces and grow to lengths of around 20ft, with the males being slightly smaller t > read more

Rakery Beaconlamp

03/31/2014 19:00:00 PM

Lampanyctus macdonaldiPrevioulsy we learned about a very large fish found in the Antartic Waters. Today, we'll learn what we can about a very small one -- Lampanyctus macdonaldi, also known as the Rakery Beaconlamp.This deep sea fish can actually be > read more

Antarctic Toothfish

03/28/2014 17:00:00 PM

Dissostichus mawsoniToday's animal is a pretty cool creature-- it is one of the top predators in Antarctica's Ross Sea, dominating over other species of fish that barely reach 1/3 its size!The Antarctic Toothfish can grow up to 2m long, making it a g > read more

Snowy Sheathbill

03/27/2014 19:00:00 PM

Chionis albusMeet the Snowy Sheathbill-- the only bird species in Antarctica that is primarily land dwelling and widespread. They are endemic to the continent and the nearby southern Islands, though very rare vagrants sometimes make it to South Ameri > read more

Belgica antarctica

03/26/2014 19:00:00 PM

Belgica antarcticaDid you know that insects do > read more

Weddell Seal

03/25/2014 19:00:00 PM

Leptonychotes weddelliiFor the last week or so we've been learning about animals that live in mountain rainforests. This week let's totally mix it up and move to a completely different ecosystem and location entirely-- Antarctica.Our southernmost con > read more

Sun Catfish

03/24/2014 17:00:00 PM

Horabagrus brachysomaFinally we get to our last animal of the Western Ghats series (for now...), the Sun Catfish. It goes by a whole mess of other names-- Guther's Catfish, Yellow Catfish, Bullseye Catfish, etc. Thankfully we have scientific names to > read more

Indrella ampulla

03/21/2014 13:00:00 PM

Indrella ampullaToday we meet yet another creature endemic to the Western Ghats-- Indrella ampulla.It is the only species within its genus, but it comes in all sorts of different colors and varieties. Yellow is a very common body color, but it can be > read more

Denison's Barb

03/20/2014 17:00:00 PM

Sahyadria denisoniiFinally we move to a cold-blooded inhabitant of the Western Ghats-- the Denison's Barb. This small fish makes it home in the fast moving rivers and streams of that particular range.Like the other creatures this week, the Denison's > read more

Malabar Large-spotted Civet

03/19/2014 19:00:00 PM

Viverra civettinaThe Malabar Large-spotted Civet is yet another creature endemic to the Western Ghats of India. It is also the rarest of the ones we have learned about so far.It is estimated that there are less than 250 of these guys left alive, and > read more

Black-chinned Laughingthrush

03/18/2014 16:00:00 PM

Continuing with our "Animals of the Western Ghats" theme-- today we have the Black-Chinned Laughingthrush, an Endanered bird that lives above elevations of 4,000ft.This bird has a a confusing taxonomic past, and you will sometimes see it referred to > read more

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon

03/17/2014 19:00:00 PM

Columba elphinstoniiLike our previous entry, the Lion-tailed Macaque, the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon is also an animal found only in the western Ghats of India. It is also, unsurprisingly, a rare and Vulnerable creature.Nilgiri Wood Pigeons are best identif > read more

Lion-tailed Macaque

03/14/2014 16:00:00 PM

Macaca silenusThe Lion-tailed Macaque is a Monkey found only in the western Ghat Mountains of India. The inhabit the moist evergreen forests of that range, and live in groups of between 10 and 20 members.The Macaques are diurnal, and spend most of th > read more

Rhinoceros Auklet

03/13/2014 16:00:00 PM

Cerorhinca monocerataMeet the Rhinoceros Auklet, a seabird that is a close relative to the more well-known Puffins. Like Puffins, they live in cold arctic areas-- specifically the northern Pacific Ocean.One curious feature of these birds is the horn > read more


03/12/2014 17:00:00 PM

The Maltese is a dog breed with ancient and confusing origins. It was bestowed that name "Maltese" during the 19th century, but it actually dates back much farther-- possibly to Greek and Roman times!Maltese Dogs have always been small. Today they we > read more

Sumatran Striped Rabbit

03/11/2014 18:00:00 PM

Nesolagus netscheriToday we'll be learning about another animal that is found in only a very tiny range-- the Sumatran Striped Rabbit. These Lagomorphs are endemic to the mountain rainforests of Sumatras Barisan Range.Sumatran Striped Rabbits are act > read more

Long-whiskered Owlet

03/10/2014 17:00:00 PM

Xenoglaux loweryiThe Long-whiskered Owlet is a tiny little bird of prey that is found only in the Cloud Forests of a very small section of Peru. It is estimated that there are as few as 250 remaining in the wild, giving the bird an "Endangered" statu > read more


03/07/2014 18:00:00 PM

Today's animal has some pretty amazing headgear-- just look at it! The Ankole-Watusi breed of Cattle is known for it's massive horns that can grow more than 8ft from tip to tip. Those horns are used both for defense, and for helping to keep the anima > read more

Rhim Gazelle

03/06/2014 19:00:00 PM

Gazella leptocerosRhim Gazelles are also known as Slender-horned Gazelle, because of the two thin horns that both males and females posses. In males, these horns can reach around 16in in length, while females top out around 1ft.Rhim Gazelles are also > read more

Craspedacusta sowerbii

03/05/2014 15:00:00 PM

Craspedacusta sowerbiiDid you know that there are Jellyfish that don't > read more

Sharp-shinned Hawk

03/04/2014 19:00:00 PM

Accipiter striatusThe Sharp-shinned Hawk is the smallest hawks in all of North America, and one of the smallest in the entire world. Their bodies measure between 9 and 13 inches, and their short wings give them a span that tops out at only 22in! As w > read more

Sumatran Rhinoceros

03/03/2014 18:00:00 PM

Today let's learn about the Sumatran Rhinoceros, a very unusual mammal that is also in grave danger of extinction.Sumatran Rhinos are the smallest Rhino species. They are also the only Rhinos to be covered in bristly hairs from head to toe. The hair > read more


02/28/2014 17:00:00 PM

The genus Machairodus is a little fuzzy on the species that it actually contains. Because the fossil record is incomplete, different extinct big cat species have been moved both in, and out of the genus. It also doesn't help that some of the species > read more

Florida Sand Skink

02/27/2014 19:00:00 PM

Neoseps reynoldsiIf you're just looking at a picture, you might think that a Florida Sand Skink is a snake-- no legs after all! But (as the Skink name states), this is in fact a lizard, one with very tiny, nearly absent legs!There actually are itty-b > read more

Blotched Upside-down Catfish

02/26/2014 17:43:00 PM

Synodontis nigriventisMeet a curious little fish that hails from the Congo River in Africa-- the Blotched Upside-down Catfish.As the name and picture illustrate, these Catfish actually do spend most of their time swimming upside down. Crazy, huh? The > read more

Central American Snapping Turtle

02/25/2014 18:00:00 PM

Chelydra rossignoniiUntil recently (about 1996), everyone thought that the Central American Snapping Turtle, and its cousin the South American Snapping Turtle were just subspecies of the more widespread and well-known Common Snapping Turtle. But they > read more

Socorro Dove

02/24/2014 19:00:00 PM

The Socorro Dove has not been seen in the wild for more than 40 years. It was last spotted on Socorro Island, its only known range, back in 1972.Socorro Dove's are Extinct in the Wild, and there are between 100 and 200 birds living in captivity. Cons > read more

Snowberry Clearwing

02/21/2014 15:00:00 PM

Hemaris diffinisThe Snowberry Clearwing is a species that belongs to a group collectively known as "Hummingbird Moths."You can identify this particular species by it's furry yellow and black banded body that can be anywhere from 1-2 inches in length. > read more


02/20/2014 18:00:00 PM

The Friesian is a breed of horse that originated in the Friesland province of the northern Netherlands. Their ancestors were war horses that could carry men in full suits of armor, but as the centuries went by and the need for heavy armor went away, > read more

Marble Trout

02/19/2014 18:00:00 PM

Salmo marmoratusMeet the Marble Trout, a freshwater fish that has distinct coloration pattern and a very limited range.The name "Marble Trout" comes (obviously) from its scales, which have a marbled pattern to them. Their specific habitat affects the > read more

Black-footed Cat

02/18/2014 18:00:00 PM

Felis nigripesToday's animal may look like a normal house cat, but it is actually a wild animal that you want no where near your sofa! Black-footed Cats are some of the smallest wild cats in the world and are close relatives to our domesticated pets. > read more


02/17/2014 18:00:00 PM

Pteranodon longicepsThere have been dozens of different Pterosaurs discovered, and today's animal is one of the best well known. In fact, it is the "type species" for the genus. This means that when you hear the term "Pteranodon," it refers to not ju > read more

Common Duiker

02/13/2014 18:00:00 PM

Sylvicapra grimmiaThe Common Duiker is a species of antelope native to Africa. They are sometimes also referred to as Grey Duikers because of their grey-brown coats.Common Duikers are small, standing less than 2ft tall at the shoulder. They are found > read more

Chinese Mitten Crab

02/12/2014 18:00:00 PM

Eriocheir sinensisToday we're going to learn about the Chinese Mitten Crab-- a Crustacean named for its large, furry front claws.You may not think too much about the environmental impacts this crab, whose body is about the size of a fist, but they ar > read more

Four-clawed Gecko

02/11/2014 17:00:00 PM

The Four-clawed Gecko is a creature of many names. Gehyra mutilata also goes by the Stump-toed Gecko, the Pacific Gecko, and the Sugar Lizard. It has several monikers because it lives in several different countries-- its range extends across Southeas > read more

Bulwer's Petrel

02/10/2014 18:30:00 PM

Bulweria bulweriiFor a Petrel, the Bulwer's Petrel is relatively small. Its entire body length does not normally get larger than 10in (compared to some of their cousins that can be more than double or triple that!).Just like those cousins, the Bulwer > read more

Raso Lark

02/07/2014 18:00:00 PM

Today's animal is named for the tiny island that it lives on-- Raso Islet in the Cape Verde chain. When I say tiny, I really mean tiny-- it is only 7 square kilometers!No humans live on Raso, which is good for the few animals that reside there, as mo > read more


02/06/2014 18:00:00 PM

Pan paniscusHuman readers, meet one of your closest biological relatives-- the Bonobo! Bonobos and Chimpanzees share more than 98% of their DNA with humans. In fact-- we are so closely related to them that there are some who argue that Bonobos and Ch > read more

Puijila darwini

02/05/2014 18:00:00 PM

Though it may not look like it, the animal in that picture-reconstruction is an ancestral Seal! Yes, Seal! The finned, sleek bodied ocean mammals! In fact, it is the most ancient Seal ever found.Puijila darwini > read more


02/04/2014 18:00:00 PM

The Affenpinscher is a breed of dag that dates back more than 400 years. It's name comes from the German word for "monkey," probably because they have very primate-like faces.Like many breeds, modern Affenpinschers look different now when compared to > read more

Ocellated Dragonet

02/03/2014 17:00:00 PM

The Ocellated Dragonet is also called the Scooter Blenny, even though it is not actually a member of the Blenny family. Weird huh?In the wild, these fish are found in the western Pacific Ocean, where they live on the seafloor of shallow coral reef ar > read more

Common Seahorse

01/31/2014 16:00:00 PM

Meet the Common Seahorse, a fish that has a range extending throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans. However, even with a range that size these Seahorses are in trouble. Their population is on the decline due to habitat degradation and high levels o > read more

Texas Longhorn

01/30/2014 19:00:00 PM

The Texas Longhorn is a cattle breed known for its impressively large horns-- some bulls have spreads of close to 7ft!Texas LonghornThe origins of the breed actually date back to Christopher Columbus. Early trips to "the New World" introduced Spanish > read more

Pygmy Mouse Lemur

01/29/2014 20:00:00 PM

Microcebus myoxinusAmazingly, at only 5in long and a weight of less than 2oz, the Pygmy Mouse Lemur is NOT the smallest Lemur. Nope, just number two! (The true honor goes to Madame Berthe's Lemur). But hey, second place isn't bad!The Pygmy Mouse Lemu > read more

Limax maximus

01/28/2014 18:00:00 PM

Limax maximusMeet Limax maximus, also known as the Leopard Slug. These Gastropods are some of the largets Slugs int he world, and can grow up to 8in long.It is pretty easy to see where these Slugs got their feline-inspired common name. They have brow > read more

Caribbean Roughshark

01/27/2014 18:00:00 PM

Oxynotus caribbaeusThe Caribbean Roughshark is a small species of shark that grows to a maximum length of about 1.5ft. Proof that not all sharks are gigantic terrifying man-eaters for sure!Caribbean Roughsharks hail from the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of > read more

Sun Parakeet

01/24/2014 17:00:00 PM

Aratinga solstitialisSun Parakeets, also known as Sun Conures, are popular birds in the pet trade, but are actually Endangered in the wild. In fact, capture for aviculture is one of the threats against the wild population.Wild Sun Parakeets are found > read more

Dyeing Dart Frog

01/23/2014 16:00:00 PM

Dendrobates tinctoriusMeet one of the largest species of Dart Frog, the Dyeing Dart. These guys can grow 2in long, which is pretty big for a member of their family.Dyeing Darts come in many, many colors. Yellow is depicted in this entry, but you'll a > read more

Giant Armadillo

01/22/2014 17:00:00 PM

Priodontes maximusMeet the largest member of the Armadillo family, the appropriately named Giant Armadillo. These odd looking animals cab grow over 3ft long (not > read more


01/21/2014 17:00:00 PM

Charonosaurus is one many different Hadrosaur, or "Duck-Billed" species. It was discovered relatively recently, with the first fossils uncovered in 2000.Charonosaurus is named for Charon of Greek Myth, the ferryman who carried souls across the river > read more

Pacific Cleaner Shrimp

01/17/2014 18:00:00 PM

Lysmata amboinensisThe Pacific Cleaner Shrimp is a Crustacean of many, many names. Their list of alias includes the Skunk, Scarlet, and Northern Cleaner Shrimp (because of their location and identification).The "Cleaner" part comes from the fact that > read more

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

01/16/2014 18:00:00 PM

Today's animal is the Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, a bird that calls the arid and semi-arid reaches of the Australian Outback home. They are given their common name in honor of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, a Scottish surveyor and explorer who did a great > read more

Black Wallaroo

01/15/2014 20:00:00 PM

Macropus bernardusThe Black Wallaroo is the smallest of the Wallaroo species, and one of the smallest Kangaroo family members overal. They grow to a maximum height of only 1m, and weigh less than 50lbs. They are also the Wallaroo with the most limite > read more

Great Horned Owl

01/14/2014 17:00:00 PM

Bubo virginianusThe Great Horned Owl is a truly great bird-- they are the second largest Owls in the Americas! (Second to the Snowy Owl). These big birds of prey have a body length of over 2ft, and sport two long feather tufts that give them the "hor > read more

Bigeye Tuna

01/13/2014 21:40:00 PM

The Bigeye Tuna is a commercially captured fish that also happens to be the most threatened of all the Tuna species. They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and appear on several "do not eat" red lists, including the one put out by Greenpeace.Bigey > read more

Northern Tamandua

01/10/2014 15:00:00 PM

Tamandua mexicanaToday's animal is the Northern Tamandua, a small Anteater that lives in Central America, as well as in some of the northern areas of South America.Tropical forests are where these mammals call home, and they have bodies that are well > read more

Desert Cottontail

01/09/2014 15:30:00 PM

Sylvilagus auduboniiAlso known as the Audubon's Cottontail, the Desert Cottontail is a rabbit that lives in the dry, desert-like habitats of western North American (though they can also be found in some pine forests as well!)Desert Cottontails typica > read more

Great White Pelican

01/08/2014 15:00:00 PM

Pelecanus onocrotalusWhen we think about birds with massive wingspans, the Albatross comes to mind. But did you know that Pelicans can be just as gigantic? Even though it is the second in average size to the Dalmatian Pelican, the Great White is able > read more

Boa Constrictor

01/07/2014 14:00:00 PM

Boa constrictorThere are many Boas, and many snakes that are of the constricting variety, but today's animal is the Boa Constrictor. In fact, it is one of those rare living animals that have the exact same English-language common name as their scient > read more

Emperor Penguin

01/06/2014 16:00:00 PM

It's pretty chilly outside right now (-14F!), but that is nothing compared to the cold temperatures that today's animals endure all the time!The Emperor Penguin is the largest of all the Penguins, standing up to 4ft tall and weighing nearly 100lbs. I > read more

Happy Holidays

12/20/2013 07:00:00 AM

AaD is taking a holiday break. See you all back in January! > read more

Common Minke Whale

12/19/2013 14:00:00 PM

Balaenoptera acutorostrataThe Common Minke Whale is one of the most abundant whale species on the planet-- there are believed to be around 800,000 of them! They also happen to be the smallest of the Rorquals (baleen whales with throat grooves), and r > read more

Dromedary Camel

12/18/2013 14:00:00 PM

Camelus dromedariusDid you know that the Dromedary Camel was domesticated 4,000 years ago? There are around 13 million of these beasts of burden living around the world-- most notably in Africa, the Middle East, and in the deserts of Australia.Most o > read more

Seven-arm Octopus

12/17/2013 13:27:00 PM

Haliphron atlanticusThe Seven-arm Octopus has a misleading name. They do actually have eight arms, like all Octopuses do, it's just that one of the arms (the hectocotylus, used for egg fertilization) is often curled up on the males' bodies, making it > read more

Four-horned Antelope

12/16/2013 16:00:00 PM

Tetracerus quadricornisThe Four-horned Antelope is named for the four permanent horns that are found on the males' skulls. That trait actually makes them unique among living mammals. yes, there are some breeds of sheep that have multiples horns, but > read more

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