Eastern Cottontail

Sylvilagus floridanus

one of the most common rabbit species in North America. Females give birth to about 20 kits a year but only about 20-25% of the young survive past their first year since rabbits have so many predators. They are hunted by hawks, eagles, owls, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, lynxes, dogs, and weasels. I can’t help but feel a Watership Down pity for them…


California Condor

Gymnogyps californianus

A North American species of vulture with a wingspan of approximately 10 feet, the largest of any North American bird. The condor is not a conventionally attractive bird. Their wrinkly heads change in hue from a bright yellow to deep red or purple depending on mood. They do not have vocal chords and can only make hissing noises or grunts. They defecate on their legs to cool down… And yet, I think they are so fantastically odd, they’re ultimately quite beautiful. Here’s wishing the best of luck to conservation efforts!


a contribution by Dave!

Tarsius tarsier

In the 1979 edition of Life on Earth, David Attenborough writes that the tarsier’s eyes are so huge and bulging, “it has to turn its whole head… swivelling its head through 180° to look directly backwards over its shoulder blades. In Borneo, the local people believe that it can turn its head… through a complete circle…. they thought that the sight of a tarsier in the forest was a sign that a head would soon be lost- a good omen if you were setting out on a headhunting raid but not so good if you had been plannning to remain peaceably inside your longhouse.”

Death’s-Head Hawkmoth

Acherontia lachesis

One of three species of Death’s-head Hawkmoth. This one is from Asia and has been nicknamed “The Bee Hunter” for its love of honey. The moth has evolved to mimic the scent of honey bees in order to enter a hive unharmed, but dead moths have been found by bee-keepers with fatal stings. Their wingspan goes up to 13 centimeters, roughly the size of a saucer. Its skull-like print has branded the hawkmoth as a symbol of bad luck and death. ‘Acherontia’ comes from Acheron, a river in Greece that was said to run into the river Styx. Other varieties of the Death’s-head are fittingly named Acherontia atropos (the most famous of these ominous hawkmoths) and Acherontia styx.

Sphynx Cat

a contribution from Dave!

Felis catus

Maybe not the most common or fluffy breed of domestic cat, but the Sphynx is a weird and wonderful little pet. Also known as the Canadian Hairless, it is not truly hairless, but covered with faint, downy hair. Lack of a standard fur pelt makes the Sphynx extra warm to the touch and they are great fans of cuddling up to other creatures for warmth. They are also known to have cute, little pot bellies.

Ring-tailed Lemur

a drawing by James

Lemur catta

The Ring-tailed Lemur is the most recognized lemur because of its pretty, striped tail. They like to sun bathe and can solve simple arithmetic. Can you believe there’s actually such a thing as a lemur ball? It’s when a group of lemurs cuddle together for warmth and bonding. They are the cutest!