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 Madagascar comet (Argema mittrei) is a very large night moth. Wingspan 140–180 mm. Females are larger and more massive than males. Each wing has one large brown eye with a black dot in the center. Lower wings with long "tails", the length of which in males can reach up to 16 cm.
In the female, the forewings are wider and more rounded. The tails on the hind wings are up to 8 cm long, and about 2 times wider than in males.
These butterflies live only in Madagascar. They inhabit tropical rainforests.
The mouth organs of both females and males are reduced, so the butterflies do not feed and live off the nutrients accumulated in the caterpillar stage.
Madagascar comets are easy to breed in captivity for the needs of butterfly collectors. The life span of butterflies is 4-5 days.
The big-eared fox (bat-eared fox) is similar to the common fox, but smaller and with disproportionately large ears – up to 13 cm.
A distinctive feature of this species is the dental system, which has 48 teeth. This is the maximum number of teeth for terrestrial placental mammals. The teeth of this fox are small, the bite is weak, which is explained by the peculiarities of its diet.
The big-eared fox is found in two areas of Africa: from Ethiopia and southern Sudan to Tanzania, and from southern Zambia and Angola to South Africa. This distribution is associated with the habitat of its main food – herbivorous termites of the species Hodotermes mossambicus.
The big-eared fox is active mainly at night. In South Africa, big-eared foxes are diurnal in winter and nocturnal in summer. During the day, she hides in burrows, thickets of bushes or in termite mounds dug up by aardvarks. There are usually several shelters on the family plot.
The life expectancy of a big-eared fox (in captivity) is up to 13 years and 9 months.
The sword-billed hummingbird has the longest beak of any known species of hummingbird. Moreover, it is the only bird in the world whose beak is longer than its body.
The sword-billed hummingbird reaches a length of 17 to 22,8 cm, with 9 to 11 cm falling on the beak. Weight is from 12 to 15 grams.
The range extends in the Andes from western Venezuela through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru to northeastern Bolivia. Hummingbirds can be found in humid and semi-moist alpine forests, on the edges of the forest.
Hummingbirds drink nectar from long, hanging flowers. The long beak gives sword-billed hummingbirds a huge advantage over other hummingbird species as they can scoop nectar from long flowers. The sword-billed hummingbird also catches insects by opening its beak wide.
Springbok (springbok) or jumping antelope is distinguished by its vertical jumps, which it makes in case of alarm. From the stand, he can jump up to 2-3 meters. At the same time, the legs remain elongated and firm, the back arches upward, and long white hair, visible from afar, peeks out from the fold in the skin on the back. This behavior seems to serve as a warning to relatives that a predator is approaching. An alternative hypothesis is that this is a signal to the predators themselves that they have been noticed and the attack is pointless.
Springboks inhabit the open savannas of South Africa; distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Botswana.
During the often made vertical jumps on the back of the springbok, the edges of the longitudinal fold of the skin (runs approximately from the middle of the back to the tail) diverge, exposing dazzling white fur. It was this behavior of springboks that formed the basis of the name given to them – "springbok" in translation from Dutch and German means "jumping goat".
Springboks usually live in semi-deserts with rocky or sandy soil covered with short grass and scattered shrubs; they avoid both high grass cover and real deserts, and only cold winter winds, from which they seek shelter, force them to enter dense thickets of bushes. The diet of springboks includes grass, shoots, buds and leaves of a shrub. They can go months without water.
In the event of an attack, the springbok can reach speeds of up to 90 km/h. With such data, it is among the fastest among all mammals and competes with the pronghorn and blackbuck for second place after the cheetah.
Jewel caterpillars (Acraga coa) are butterfly caterpillars from the Dalceridae family, recognizable by their colorful beady exoskeletons. Due to their unusual appearance with jelly-like outgrowths, they resemble a precious stone and are called "pearl", "marmalade", "crystal".
Jewel caterpillars are common in Central America: southern Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama.
Their bodies are mostly gelatinous and translucent, and they are known to be slightly toxic.
Jewel caterpillars feed on the leaves of plants of the species Terminalia (Terminalia), Coffee tree (Coffea) and Citrus (Citrus).
Leaping Antelopes vs. Cheetahs
We also recommend: