'/> Amazing Animals: June 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The World's Smallest Animals Part 1

What are the world's smallest animals? A monkey that fits in the palm of your hands and a bat lighter than a coin are among the tiniest of their kind. Check out the other 'small guys' that made the list!

Smallest True Monkey

Pygmy Marmoset

The Pygmy Marmoset or Dwarf Monkey (Cebuella pygmaea) is the world's smallest true monkey. The species live high in the rainforest canopy of South America. Adults measure around 117 to 152 millimeters (4.6 to 6.0 in) in head-body length and a tail of 172 to 229 millimeters (6.8 to 9.0 in). The average adult body weight is just over 100 grams (3.5 oz). To picture this out; a full-grown pygmy marmoset could fit in an adult human's hand, and it weighs about as much as a stick of butter!

Smallest Butterfly

Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly

With a wingspan no bigger than 1.3 centimeters (0.5 inch), the Western Pygmy Blue (Brephidium exilis) is the the smallest in North America and possibly the smallest known butterfly in the world. Although not the brightest of butterflies, its delicate markings make it stand out.

Smallest Antelope

Royal Antelope

The Royal Antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus), native to West Africa's lowland rainforest is the world's smallest antelope. The shy, light brown colored cute little guy stands about 25 cm (10 inches) and weighs 2.5–3 kg (5.5–7 pounds). A calf is small enough to fit into an average person's open hand.

Smallest Crocodilian

Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman

The Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) is the smallest extant species of crocodilian. Native to northern and central South America, full-grown males can reach up to 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) in total length. Females can measure up to 1.2 meters (3.9 ft). The tiny crocodilian is also called Cuvier's smooth-fronted caiman and Musky caiman.

Smallest Fish

Paedocypris Carp

Discovered in swamp forests of Sumatra in 2006, the Paedocypris Carp (Paedocypris progenetica) is the world's smallest fish! At only 7.9 mm at maturity, the tiny carp is also considered the smallest vertebrate. The species has a rudimentary skull which leaves the brain unprotected and is known for their ability to live in water with high levels of acidity.

Smallest Primate

Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur

The world's smallest living primate is the Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur (Microcebus berthae). The new lemur species was discovered in Madagascar. The nocturnal creature has an average body length of 9.2 cm (3.6 in), tail length of 12 to 14 cm, and weighs around 30 grams (1.1 oz).

Smallest Rabbit

Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit

The Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is the smallest rabbit. The kitten-sized rabbits is found in North America. Once on the verge of extinction, full -grown pygmy rabbit measures from 23.5-29.5 centimeters (9.3-11.6 in) and weighs from 375-500 grams (0.827-1.102 lb). Females are slightly larger than males.

Smallest Snake

Barbados Threadsnake

The Barbados Threadsnake (Leptotyphlops carlae) is the world’s smallest species of snake. This species is found in the Caribbean islands of Barbados. At about ten cm long (less than four inches), enough to curl up on a U.S. quarter, the tiny snake might easily be mistaken for an earthworm. Also, the diminutive reptile is as thin as spaghetti noodle.

Smallest Lizard

Virgin Islands Dwarf Gecko

Measuring 16 millimeters (just over half an inch) long from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail, the Virgin Islands Dwarf Gecko (Sphaerodactylus ariasae) is the world's tiniest species of lizard. Discovered in 1964, the dark brown lizard is found in three British Virgin Islands, namely, Virgin Gorda, Tortola and Mosquito Island. When fully grown, this miniature lizard is small enough to curl up on a dime!

Smallest Bat

Bumblebee Bat

The Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai) or Bumblebee Bat is the world's smallest bat, maybe even the smallest mammal. Native to Thailand, this diminutive bat is about 36 to 53 mm (1.4 to 2.1 in) in length, a wingspan of about 170 mm (6.7 inches) and weighs less than two grams (0.071 oz). This odd-looking bat is known for its distinctive pig-like snout and relatively wide wings with long tips.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet The Philippines Only Endemic Duck

There are 131 of duck species worldwide and 20 species occur in the Philippines. And the Philippine Duck is the ONLY duck endemic to the country.

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Philippine Duck

The Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica) is the country’s only endemic duck. It is a medium-sized dabbling or surface-feeding bird. It frequents most freshwater marshes, shallow lakes, open sea and rice fields. It forages in shallow water for shrimp, fish, insects, and vegetation.

With its rusty-cinnamon head and bluish-grey bill, the Philippine duck is a rather distinctive bird. Its body and legs are grayish-brown. Blackish crown, nape and eye-stripe. When in flight, a well-defined patch of glossy green on the wing can be clearly seen, which is bordered with black and white on the top side, and a white underside. The sexes look the same, and juveniles are slightly paler than adults.

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The Philippine duck, as with other wildlife, is protected by Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. RA 9147 promotes ecological balance and enhances biodiversity by conserving and protecting wildlife species and their habitats. To date, two areas have been declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as critical habitats of this bird: a 27-hectare wetland area in Cabusao, Camarines Sur, and the 178-hectare Malasi Tree Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Cabagan, Isabela.

This remarkable duck has also been reportedly sighted in other areas such as Caylabne Bay in Cavite; Subic Bay, Zambales, Maria Aurora Memorial Natural Park in Aurora; Mt. Iglit Baco and Naujan Lake in Mindoro Island; and Candaba Marsh in Pampanga.

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It is classified as “vulnerable” under the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are 5,000 or fewer Philippine ducks alive today and its population is on a continuing decline. Over-hunting and habitat loss has contributed to its decline. If we neglect protecting the species, the Philippine duck could disappear in the blink of an eye.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

10 Endangered Lemurs of Madagascar

One can visit Madagascar islands, but rarely you can find these weird but fascinating lemurs. So, just content yourself seeing a photo of each one of them and know some interesting facts about them as well.

1. Brown Mouse Lemur

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A lemur? No way, perhaps a squirrel. But this is actually a lemur or to be exact, a brown mouse lemur. This endangered creature is native only to the island of Madagascar. A solitary and nocturnal primate, the Brown Mouse Lemur (Microcebus rufus) feeds on insects, fruits and flowers. The species is among the shortest-lived of primates. It has a lifespan of 6–8 years in the wild. These night creatures can easily be identified by the cream-colored stripe on their face between their large eyes. Their fur varies in color from a rich golden red chestnut (or russet) to a light brown.

The Brown Mouse lemur is one of the smallest lemur species in the world. Adults grow to a mere 12.40 centimeters (4.92 inches) long from their nose tips to the base of their tails. They weigh from 39 to 98 grams (37 to 3.45 ounces). Their tails are about as long as their bodies averaging 11.5 centimeters (4.53 inches) in length.

2. Diademed Sifaka

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From one of the world's smallest, we go now to one of the world's largest living lemurs. The Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema) is a critically endangered species of sifaka native to a handful of rain forests in eastern Madagascar. One of the most colorful and attractive of all the lemurs, the species is known for its long and silky coat. The long white fur encircles the muzzle and covering the cheeks, forehead and chin. Thus, creating a "diadem" or crown appearance. Adult Diademed Sifaka measures 42 - 55 cm (17 - 22 in) head and body length and weighs 5.0 - 7.3 kg (11 - 16 lb).

3. Aye-aye

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The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) owns a weird appearance that scientists argued among themselves if this creature is a lemur. Not until 2008 when the animal was grouped in with other families of lemur species. The aye-aye is famous — or rather, infamous — for its creepy appearance. Compared to other lemurs, it is unusual in having big eyes, bony elongated middle fingers, rodent-like continuously growing incisors, and large, sensitive ears. It is dark in color with two layers of hair: long, coarse black hair with white tips and shorter and softer off-white hair.

This creepy, endangered lemur is the world's largest nocturnal primate species. Aye-Aye is basically the primate version of a woodpecker. The species are the only primates thought to use echolocation to find prey. Adults measure 36 to 43 cm (14 to 17 in) long with a 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 in) tail. They average 2 kg (4 lbs) in weight.

4. Mongoose Lemur

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The Mongoose Lemur (Eulemur mongoz) is a critically endangered lemur species found in dry deciduous forests on the island of Madagascar. It is also one of only two lemurs found outside of Madagascar, and it is an introduced resident of the Comoros Islands. The species is cathemeral, meaning they're active at varying times of the day and night depending on the season and availability of light. It has soft, woolly fur, a relatively long, bushy tail and a pronounced ruff around the neck and ears. Males have grey-brown fur on their upper parts, while females are generally paler grey in color. The eyes of both sexes are reddish-orange. Adults are about 35 cm (14 in), 45 - 48 cm tail length and weigh about 2 kg (4.4 lb).

5. Bamboo Lemur

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These medium-sized primates in genus Hapalemur live exclusively in Madagascar. The species prefers damp forests where bamboo grows. The Bamboo Lemur is generally a small to medium lemur characterized by a grey-brown fur depending on the species. The head is lighter in color than the rest of the body. The muzzle is short and the ears are round and hairy. Adults measure from 26 to 46 cm in length, with tails just as long or longer, and weigh up to 2.5 kg.

6. Fork-marked Lemur

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The Fork-marked Lemur (Phaner furcifer) is another endangered lemur species found within the humid forests of eastern Madagascar and in the dry temperate forests of the west. The species is named for the two black stripes, which run up from the eyes, converge at the top of the head, and run down the back as a single black stripe. This weird primate has rings around the eyes, and large membranous ears. Adult head and body length ranges from 227 to 285 mm (8.94 to 11.22 in), with 285 to 370 mm long tail. It weighs between 300 and 500 g (10.57 to 17.62 oz).

7. Blue-eyed Black Lemur

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The Blue-eyed Black Lemur (Eulemur flavifrons), also known as the Sclater's lemur found in Northwestern dry deciduous forest of Madagascar. The species are one of the only primates besides humans to have natural blue eyes! The eye color ranges from intriguing electric blue, a soft gray-blue or a light sky-blue. Sadly, the blue-eyed black lemur is currently one of the world's 25 most endangered primates and is listed as Critically Endangered.

The striking Blue-eyed lemurs are sexually dichromatic different coloration in males and females): males are black and females are orange-brown. Males are born brown and only begin to turn black after 5-6 weeks. Adults can attain a body length of 39–45 cm, a tail length of 51–65 cm, and a weight of 1.8-1.9 kg.

8. Common Brown Lemur

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We go from blue eyes to vibrantly orange eyes. The Common Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus) is found in Madagascar and Mayotte. Habitat ranges from lowlands to mountains, evergreen forests and deciduous forests. Like many other lemurs, common brown lemur population is declining due to habitat loss. The IUCN Red List currently rates the species as Vulnerable.

The Common Brown Lemur is the only one of the lemur species in which males and females do not show different coloration. These medium-sized lemurs have short, dense fur that is typically brown or grey-brown. The face, muzzle and crown are dark grey or black with paler eyebrow patches, and the eyes are orange-red. They weigh around 2 – 3 kg. Their body length is 50 cm, as is their tail length.

9. Golden-crowned Sifaka

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This medium-sized lemur species looks like it was patted on the head by King Midas. The Golden-crowned Sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli) is characterized by predominantly short, white or cream-colored coat, prominent furry tufted ears, and a golden-orange crown. The hairless, black face is drawn into a pronounced muzzle and the eyes are a bright orange color. One of the smallest sifakas, adults measure around 48 cm (18.9 in) from head to tail and weighs around 3.5 kg (7.7 lb).

The species is found in semi-evergreen and dry deciduous forest fragments surrounded by agriculture. The Golden-crowned Sifaka or Tattersall's sifaka is listed as critically endangered with around 18,000 individuals exist in the wild.

10. Silky Sifaka

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Nicknamed ‘angel of the forest’ due to its long, silky white fur the Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus) is a standout amongst the lemur species. Coupled with the bare, black face and deep orange eyes, the silky sifaka is a stunning and highly distinctive animal. Unfortunately, this species is also critically endangered, and is one of the 25 most endangered primates on Earth. Its population size is estimated to range between 100 and 1,000 individuals.

Not all individuals are completely white: some have silver-gray or black tints on the crown, back, and limbs The skin may be a mix of pink and black, solid pink or solid black. Adults measure 48–54 cm (1.6–1.8 ft) in head-body length of 48–54 cm (1.6–1.8 ft), 45–51 cm (1.5–1.7 ft) tail length, and a weigh around 5–6.5 kg (11–14 lb).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

10 Elegant and Graceful White Birds

These birds are simply elegant, graceful and dazzles in their pure white plumage. Check them out and learn interesting facts about them as well.

1. Trumpeter Swan

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Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) is the largest swan native to North America. The species preferred habitats include large rivers, lakes, and ponds. The adult Trumpeter Swan is all white in plumage with a long, straight neck. Legs, feet and wedge-shaped bill are black. Fully grown usually measure 138–165 cm (4 ft 6 in–5 ft 5 in) long and weighs typically 7–13.6 kg (15–30 lb).

2. White Tern

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White Tern (Gygis alba) is a medium-sized seabird with white overall plumage. The species is found across the tropical oceans of the world. They build their nests on coral islands, usually on trees with small branches and on rocky ledges. White terns, also called the Fairy Tern has dark eyes and black eye rings and a long black bill. It has a notched tail, blue-gray legs and blackish feet with yellow webs between the toes. Adults measure 28-33 cm long with a wingspan of 66-78 cm and weigh 100-140 g.

3. Philippine Cockatoo

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Philippine Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), also known as sometimes called the Red-vented cockatoo or Katala, is a critically endangered species of cockatoo that is endemic to the Philippines. The species are found in lowland, mangrove forests, and often seen in forest edge and open fields. This beautiful parrot has perfect creamy white plumage with red and yellow feathers around the vent. Adults have a grayish-white bill, short erectile crest, pinkish-washed ear-coverts and lores. The Philippine Cockatoo typically measures 28-33 cm (11-13 in) in length with a wingspan of 70-87 cm (27.5-34 in).

4. Great Egret

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Great Egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, is a large all-white heron widespread in North American wetland. This tall, long-legged wading bird has yellow eyes and a yellowish-orange dagger-like bill. A dazzling sight to see, the elegant Great Egret has long, S-curved neck, black legs and feet. The adult can measure 80 to 104 cm (31 to 41 in) in length and have a wingspan of 131 to 170 cm (52 to 67 in) and can weigh from 700 to 1,500 g (1.5 to 3.3 lbs).

5. American White Ibis

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American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) is a medium-sized wading bird found from the mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast of the United States and also occur in the Caribbean. The species habitat includes coastal freshwater, saltwater and brackish marshes, lagoons, mangrove swamps, mudflats and rice fields. This elegant and graceful bird has overall white plumage with pink facial skin, long, down-curved, bright red bill and long red legs. Adults measure 53 to 70 cm (21 to 28 in) with a 90 to 105 cm (35 to 41 in) wingspan and weighs from 592.7 to 861.3 g (1.307 to 1.899 lbs).

6. Red-tailed Tropicbird

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Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) is a medium-sized seabird that nests across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It has silky white plumage, a coral red bill and a small but conspicuous black eye stripe. It has black legs and feet and white tail. The elongated tail has red central streamers.

7. Masked Booby

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Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) is a large seabird which breeds on islands in tropical oceans, except in the eastern Atlantic. The masked booby lives on the open ocean. It only comes on land to breed and raise its young. It has a white body and dark grey facemask. Pointed orange-yellow bill, a brownish-black wings and a pointed black tail. Adult measures from 74–91 cm (29–36 in) long, with a 137–165 cm (54–65 in) wingspan and weighs about 1.2–2.35 kg (2.6–5.2 lb).

8. Snowy Owl

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Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca) is a large, white owl with variable black bars and spots. The elegant snowy owl is North America's only all-white owl. It is easily recognizable by its bright yellow eyes and blackish beak. Full grown measure 52–71 cm (20–28 in) long, with a 125–150 cm (49–59 in) wingspan and can weigh anywhere from 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lbs).

9. Ivory Gull

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Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) is a pure white gull which spends most of its entire life living on floating pack ice. In North America, it only breeds in the Canadian Arctic. It has black eyes, thick, blue bill with a yellow tip and black legs and feet. Adults measure 44 – 48 cm long with a 106 – 118 cm wingspan and weigh about 520 – 700 g.

10. American White Pelican

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American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is one of the largest North American seabirds. It breeds in interior North America, moving south and to the coasts, as far as Central America and South America, in winter. It has snowy white plumage with black flight feathers visible only when the wings are spread. This majestic pelican has a massive bill, a long neck, and very broad wings. Short legs, and short, square tails. An adult American white pelican measures 130–180 cm (50–70 in) long, a wingspan of about 240–300 cm (95–120 in) and weighs between 3.5 and 13.6 kg (7.7 and 30 lbs).