The fauna of our planet will never cease to amaze us with the presence of amazing creatures of the most unusual shapes and colors. Some of them are so whimsical that it seems that nature created them in a playful mood. We present to your attention another selection of the most amazing, unusual and little-known creatures from different parts of the globe.
The comb eider (or king eider) is a large sea duck, which acquired its own thanks to a flattened fatty growth at the base of the beak, resembling a comb. The drake in breeding plumage has colorful plumage, by which it is easy to distinguish it from other species.
The comb eider breeds in the coastal tundra along the Arctic coast of Eurasia and North America, on the islands of the Arctic Ocean. The rest of the time it spends in the coastal zone of the sea, where it gets its own food at the bottom. It feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, insect larvae, echinoderms and other aquatic invertebrates.
The body length of these ducks is 55-62 cm, weight – 1100-2300 g. The female has a motley dark brown plumage, including the head. But the male stands out noticeably with his head: its top and back of the head are bluish-gray with a purple tint, its cheeks are pale green, the beak is carmine-red, an orange outgrowth in the form of a comb bordered with black stripes is developed on its forehead. The lower part of the neck and breast are pinkish-orange, the fore-back is white, the rest of the body is black with white spots on the sides of the uppertail and a white "mirror". On the shoulders there are protruding triangular feathers called "sails". In summer, the male acquires a dark brown color, decorated with whitish feathers on the back and goiter.
The Gasteracantha falcicornis spider, known as the horned spider or spiny spider, lives in East and South Africa. On each side, the spider has long processes – "horns", and two shorter straight "horns" in front and behind, hence the name of this genus of spiders.
Females are larger and more colorful than males, and the cephalothorax is usually bright red with numerous deep, black pits. The abdomen may also have yellow transverse stripes. The spines can be chestnut red to black with short hairs.
These spiders can reach sizes up to 3 cm in diameter (measured from spine to spine). Horned spiders are generally harmless to humans.
Blue monkey (or crowned monkey) – small primates weighing 4-6 kg, from 50 to 65 cm in length (excluding the tail). Usually have a gray color, sometimes with a bluish tint. Another name – crowned – received a white strip of fur growing above the eyebrows and directed forward. The face of monkeys is bare, usually dark, sometimes blue.
The blue monkey lives in evergreen forests and mountain bamboo groves of Central and East Africa.
Primates lead an arboreal lifestyle. They live in groups of 6 to 30, sometimes up to 200 individuals. There are 6 to 17 subspecies.
Blue monkeys eat fruits, figs, insects, leaves, twigs, and flowers. They are mainly frugivorous animals, 50% of their diet consists of fruits with leaves or insects as the main source of protein, and the rest of the diet consists of seeds, flowers and mushrooms. They rarely eat vertebrates.
The maned wolf (or guar or aguarachai) is the largest representative of the canine family in South America, with a unique appearance. He looks more like a large fox on tall, slender legs than a wolf. The disproportion of the physique is even more emphasized by high ears and a short tail, as well as an elongated muzzle.
Translated from Greek, its Latin name means "short-tailed golden dog." The maned wolf weighs 20–23 kg. The long legs of the maned wolf, apparently, are an evolutionary adaptation to the habitat – grassy plains – they help the wolf to survey the surroundings, moving in tall grass. It is noteworthy that maned wolf puppies are born with short legs. The increase in leg length is due to the growth of the lower leg and metatarsus (as in cheetahs), but maned wolves cannot be called good runners.
The maned wolf is distributed in the north from the mouth of the Parnaiba River (northeast Brazil) to the east of Bolivia; in the south, the range includes Paraguay and the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). Rare throughout its range.
The maned wolf inhabits mainly open grassy and shrubby plains. It can be found in the dry savannahs and forest edges of Mato Grosso, in the Brazilian campos, in the rolling plains of northern Paraguay, and in the swampy regions of the Gran Chaco. Long legs allow him to easily make his way among tall grass and notice prey from afar.
Maned wolves lead a nocturnal and twilight lifestyle – during the day they usually rest among dense vegetation, occasionally moving over short distances. Males are more active than females.
In the diet of the maned wolf, food of animal and vegetable origin is present in almost equal proportions. It hunts mainly on medium-sized animals: rodents, rabbits, armadillos. It also eats birds and their eggs, reptiles, snails and insects; eats bananas, guava, and a nightshade plant, Solanum lycocarpum.
Arrow frog Ranitomeya amazonica
Ranitomeya amazonica is a species of amphibians of the poison dart frog family, common in South America. Like many other types of poison dart frogs, it has a bizarre bright color. There are bright orange-red and red spots on the back and sides of the body, as well as on the top and bottom of the muzzle. The belly and legs are blue-green or gray with black spots.
The species is found in Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana and Peru. The body length of these frogs is from 16 to 19 mm.
The habitat of this poison dart frog is moist lowland forests. Leads a daily lifestyle. Life expectancy is 3-5 years.
Like most poison dart frogs, this species also has toxic skin secretions that protect animals from fungal and bacterial infections. The formation of toxic compounds depends on the diet of animals. So, the animals contained in the terrarium do not contain toxic compounds.
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