Common Seahorse

seahorse (steph)

hippocampus kuda

The common seahorse is a small, delicate fish. Their most unique feature is that while the female initially has the brood of eggs, it is the male’s responsibility to carry the eggs to term in his pouch. They are known for ‘brightening’ when they are happy. Humans are the seahorses biggest threat- grinding up dried seahorses for medicinal purposes.

Eyelash Viper

Bothriechis schlegelii

The Eyelash Viper is a venomous pitviper from Central and South America. It is relatively small (under 2 feet) with the distinctive feature of scales that line their eyes- hence their deceptively adorable name. While it can be a variety of colors, bright yellow seems to be the most popular among zoos and exotic pet owners. Explorers have referred to it as ‘false gold’. While it isn’t the most aggressive snake, it is still highly dangerous. There are records going back to at least the 1950s of countries around the world finding these snakes accidentally packed in their banana shipments. Yikes!

Red Panda

Ailurus fulgens

A small, Asian mammal with a waddling gait. Like the giant panda, the red panda eats a lot of bamboo and has a ‘false thumb’ that extends from its wrist bone. They like to sleep in, usually starting the day in the late afternoon or early evening. In hot weather they like to sleep sprawled out on a tree branch, in cold weather they like to curl up with their tail over their face.

Komodo Dragon

Varanus komodoensis

The Komodo dragon is a terrifying creature from the Indonesian islands. It is the largest living lizard, growing nearly 10 feet in length. Their diet is mostly carrion but when they attack live prey, they will run at it and tear out its throat. There are even accounts of Komodos terrorizing pregnant goats and deer into miscarriages- which they then dine upon. Mating between dragons is violent and when eggs are hatched, the young must hide in trees from the cannibalistic adults. Surprisingly, the Komodo is quite shy of humans and will rarely attack them unless cornered. Zoos and habitats have been working since the 1980s to conserve this fascinating species.

Cuttlefish

Drawing by Matt!

Genus: Sepia

The cuttlefish is a type of mollusc, capable of changing its skin color at will. It uses this color-change to communicate to other cuttlefish and camouflage themselves from predator and prey. It is among the smartest of invertebrates. The eyes are highly developed, without a blind spot. Scientists believe an unborn cuttlefish starts observing its surroundings while still in the egg and the prey it sees at this stage is the prey it will prefer as an adult.

House Mouse

An army of mice from James!

Mus musculus

The house mouse is one of the world’s most common rodents. They’re originally from Asia but have been transported to every country by man. They are omnivores and their diet is largely indiscriminate- a house mouse will even eat their own droppings. As the name implies, these mice like to nest in man-made structures where they are safe from the elements and have access to the kitchen.

Bobcat

a contribution by James!

Lynx rufus

A North American wild cat with at least a dozen subspecies and no real predator besides humans. Bobcats live in all sorts of climates all over the United States, Northern Mexico, and Southern Canada. The tail on an adult male is between 4 and 7 inches, giving it a ‘bobbed’ look. It preys upon a wide range of creatures, as small as insects and as large as deer, but prefers rabbits and hares (Eastern Cottontails are a favorite).