Small frogs that make a big noise called spring peepers (Hyla crucifer). They start breeding from March to June. When males start calling for mates, they are unusually loud.
The Glowing Spider-Worms of New Zealand
For over one hundred years, millions of tourists have flocked to the ancient limestone Waitomo Caves on New Zealand’s North Island, where a stunning species of fungus gnat called Arachnocampa luminosa live.
Unique to New Zealand and Australia, they are found in caves, grottoes, and other sheltered places. Arachnocampa means ‘spider-worm,’ as the gnat is known for the way their larvae hang strong vertical silk threads from their underground habitats. Since the larvae are luminescent, the thousands of tiny threads light up cave ceilings like a starry sky.
The Magical World of Living Light
This is the mysterious spectacle of bioluminescence. Its hard not to revel in the beauty of this remarkable natural phenomenon. These glowing creatures are primarily a product of the ocean. They are the primary source of light in the largest and darkest area of habitable land on Earth, the deep sea. On land, they are most commonly seen as glowing fungus on wood (foxfire) or in the few families of luminous insects (fireflies).
(Source: National Geographic)
Curious History’s (odditiesoflife) Top Ten Posts for April
- Long Term Exposure of Mating Gold Fireflies - 31,737 notes
- The Fukang Meteorite - 20,777
- Recycled Animal Art - 8,232
- Animal Eyes - 6,557
- Victorian Headless Portraits - 6,033
- Animals Acting Human, 1923-1956 - 4,397
- Stunning Shots of an Active Volcano - 4,198
- Ice Caves Around the World - 3,947
- Rare Lenticular Clouds - 2,998
- The Gloster Canary - 2,325
- Devil’s Flower Mantis - one of the largest types of praying mantis, they can measure up to 13 centimeters in length and have a range of coloring that allows them to mimic the Devil’s Flower, a type of orchid.
- Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar - before transforming into a beautiful fluorescent blue butterfly, its an armored, blood-red caterpillar with tinted visor shades for eyes and a quadruple row of blunt horns running across its body.
- Scorpionfly (Mecoptera) - neither scorpion or fly, what looks like a scorpion’s stinger on the insect is actually its genitals.
- Calleta Silkmoth Caterpillar - with a massive color range and dangerous looking barbs, this caterpillar is something most predators avoid.
- Giant Prickly Stick Insect (Extatosoma tiaratum) - as the largest known stick insect, it reaches lengths of 20 centimeters. It is covered with large thorny spikes which double as camouflage and defensive armor.
- Goliath Beetle - can grow more than 4 inches in length and weigh about 100 grams in their larval stage. It is alleged to be mostly vegetarian.
The Gloster Canary
The most interesting thing about the Gloster canary is that the bird has a permanent bowl cut. It looks like a little wig. This is one stylin’ bird.
More Fun with Animals
There is something very compelling about vintage animal photos. They depict the consistent love relationship over the decades that most humans have toward animals. The kitten in the beard wins for cuteness.
The Beauty of Life in Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They team with life, with about one quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic when you consider that reefs cover just a tiny fraction (less than one percent) of the earth’s surface and less than two percent of the ocean bottom. Because they are so diverse, coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea.
Coral reefs are also very important to people. The value of coral reefs has been estimated at 30 billion U.S. dollars and perhaps as much as 172 billion U.S. dollars each year, providing food, protection of shorelines, jobs based on tourism, and even medicines.
Coral reefs are in dramatic decline and some coral are on the brink of extinction. One of the ten focal EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered) coral reefs species, the elkhorn coral, has undergone an 95% decline in the shallow Caribbean reefs in the past thirty years (last picture).