Category Archives: animals

The marine toad

by Greg Mayer Jerry had us spot the toad a few posts ago (I earlier posted an easier ‘spot the frog‘), and in the comments some readers mentioned the marine toad, Bufo (Rhinella) marinus, also known as the cane toad (especially in Australia) or the giant toad. This species, native from south Texas to central […]

Big ancient animals

This is a palliative to the Christian nonsense of the last video. This one’s an NPR video—on a channel run by “Skunkbear”—that tells us about ancient huge animals—and in rhyme. You can see all the creatures together here. I’m fascinated by the “megapenguin,” which was taller than most humans, and you can read about it […]

Armadillo 1 : Trigger happy fool 0

by Grania In Texas, of course. Because when an armadillo crosses your path, the first thing a Texan thinks of is: shoot it three times. CBCNews has a story on a man  who had to be airlifted to hospital after he fired a .38 revolver at an armadillo in his yard and the bullet ricocheted back to […]

Readers’ Wildlife photos: ‘roos & emus & squirrels

bu Grania Michael Glenister wote in with some wonderful photos. He writes: Just got back from our annual trek to the Kangaroo Farm in Kelowna.  Here are a few shots I thought you would enjoy: – a few shots of the (very friendly) Columbian ground squirrels at Manning Park – a praying mantis my eagle-eyed son spotted […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

The first set of photos, of both animals and Roman architecture, are by reader  Jonathan Wallace: The first picture shows a group of white storks [Ciconia ciconia] on battlements at Meknes in northern Morocco and the second shows a stork on a nest at the Roman ruins of Volubilis nearby to Meknes.  White storks evolved as […]

Kangaroo v. Drone

by Grania In the wake of recent ponderings about whether AI is on the verge of becoming dangerous; here is a heartening story about a kangaroo punching a drone right out of the sky. And I for one, welcome our new marsupial overlords.

The end of the rhino

by Greg Mayer The five living species of rhino, along with the several species of tapir and horse (which include the zebras and asses), are members of the great mammalian order of odd-toed ungulates, or Perissodactyla. Perissodactyls were formerly much more species rich; today, most ungulates (hoofed mammals) are even-toed, members of the Artiodactyla, which […]

The horror, ctd.

by Greg Mayer We’ve had occasion previously to note some dastardly beings that eat lizards, and express dismay at their foul deeds. And now, thanks to Matthew, we have another opportunity to engage in a two minutes hate towards a transgressor. That’s a wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi), a recent invader of Great Britain from the […]

Countershading doesn’t always work

[JAC: There was some discussion this morning about why so many mammals have light bellies. Greg answered in the comments, but I’d also direct you to this article on countershading (yes, it’s from Wikipedia, but it’s the best I could find). Greg happens to be our resident expert on animal coloration, and decided to add a […]

The tuatara’s parietal eye

JAC: My post on the tuatara parietal eye was short and, for some readers, not informative enough. Where did it come from? What does it look like? (By mistake I published a picture of an iguana and not a tuatara.) Greg answers some of the many questions that have surely been tormenting many of you […]