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The Ant-Mimicking Treehopper

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Take a look at the picture of an ant, above. Yet, this is not a photograph of an ant: it isn’t even a photograph of an ant attacking an insect.  It is in fact the ant-mimicking treehopper (Cyphonia clavata) which keeps itself safe from predators by pretending to be an ant.  What looks like an ant here is actually extension growths on its body - which most other insect species are incapable of creating.

The plan is that any predator looking down will only see what looks like an ant.  The rest of the treehopper’s body will blend in with the foliage. What seems, at first, strange is that the body of the ant is positioned backwards on that of the treehopper. Take a look at the abdomen of the ant and you will see the tiny green eyes of the treehopper.  Why is this?  It is because when it is in defensive mode an ant will move backwards.  In this way, the ant-mimicking treehopper (which can be found in in Middle and South America) has, in fact, got this right too.

Rare Species of Wild Cats

Monday, 23 November 2020

Male Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), La Lancha, Parque natural de la Sierra de Andújar, España

Wild nature has so many pearls that many people may not even know about. For example, the diversity of wild cats can surprise even those who can pry themselves as experts. Wild feline species amaze us with the diversity and beauty they have. Unfortunately, many of these representatives are endangered species due to the activity of people. Deforestation, excessive poaching, inbreeding, and else leaves very little chances for these wild animals to live the lives they used to have. Let's see what the rarest wild cats are before. We need to learn to appreciate what we have as long as we have.


Rusty-Spotted Cat

rusty-spotted cat

The Rusty-Spotted Cat, which can be found only in India, is the smallest in the world. It is about 14 to 19 inches in length and can weigh up to 3.5 lbs. But don't be fooled by its appearance, though. Yes, we know that it looks adorable, it's hard to miss that. But these wild cats are still wild and can be quite dangerous. However, the chances of accidentally seeing it somewhere in the wild are incredibly low. These cats are among the most secret animals out there. Indeed, their species has relatively recently been discovered in comparison to the rest of their kind.


Also, don't be fooled by their small sizes. They are quite capable of standing up for themselves. First of all, Rusty-Spotted Cats are great hunters. Their success rates in hunting make up to 60%, which is the highest number among all wild cats. They usually go after small prey like birds, lizards, or various small rodents. Though they can also eat some large insects if the night was unfruitful. You can check these advanced writers reviews if you are thinking of talking about these cats in your next biology paper.


Siberian (Amur) tiger

Young tigress in an autumnal seting

Siberian tigers exist in cold climates, most often seen in Far East Russia. They are the largest representatives of wild felines. Unfortunately, this species is on the verge of distinction. The population was almost completely wiped out by the poachers who killed those tigers for pleasure, trophies, and skins. On the bright side, recent years actually show a slow increase in the population of Siberian tigers. Still, they are among the rarest species on the planet. They are also believed to be quite shy and are very rarely seen by people. Even to document their presence in nature may take years. These tigers are extremely good hunters. They are very fast, aggressive, and incredibly strong. Their main prey is wild boar or elk. There is a large area of protected forest in Russia that was created for the protection of Siberian tigers.


South China Tigers

These wild felines have a rather sad fate. In the middle of the 20th century, with the rule of the communist party, they declared the enemies of the people. Suppose you are curious to read more about this era in Chinese history and its effect on wild nature. In that case, you can order a professional academic paper, of course, after reading some high-quality affordable papers reviews. Anyway, currently, the Chinese government is talking about its plans to create a special reserve to preserve the remaining tigers. Though, the truth is, these tigers haven’t been seen for decades now. The last reports about them were made back in the 1970s. Hence, it is impossible to say whether these tigers are extremely endangered or already extinct. The only remaining South China tigers are kept in captivity in South African, where there’s hope for their further breeding.


Borneo Bay cat

Another rare and endangered wild cat can be found only in Indonesia. These are rather small cats, with only 21 inches in length (almost half of it is the length of their tales). They can weigh up to 9ibs. Currently, there are only slightly over 2000 species of Borneo Bay cats left. Though the government protects these cats, they are still illegally poached. Interestingly enough, this is one of the least researched species in the feline family. Partly, it is due to the place of inhabitants that is Indonesian jungles. Their extinction is also the result of severe deforestation, mainly for the palm plantations. The fears are, people will not have enough time to research these animals before they become fully extinct. If you want to learn more about the consequences of palm oil production, you can read an academized review to learn how you can order research on this topic.


Iberian Lynx

Terra Mater LIVE: The Last Lynx of Spain

Iberian Lynx is the rare story of success on this list. This species shows a steady increase in its population over the last decades. Of course, now their population, on the latest count, makes only 156. Though, it seems that Iberian Lynx has a second chance in life with the current efforts of reservation workers. These cats come from the Mediterranean climate of southern Spain and Portugal. They love meadows and low grassland and hunt mainly on rabbits.

10 Amazing Recently Discovered Facts about Spiders

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Spiders have been studied for centuries.  In Middle English the name for spider was coppe and they built coppewebs, a word still retained in the language as cobweb. Yet despite our familiarity with these enigmatic air-breathing arthropods, scientists are still discovering new facts about them – and not necessarily about newly discovered species either.  Here are ten amazing recently discovered facts about spiders.

10. Electrostatic Webs that Suck in Prey
Image Credit
In 2013 students at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that the web of the garden spider (or common cross spider) is attracted to charged objects. When a charged object is held next to a garden spider web, its threads arc towards each other. Many insects produce a charge when flying – the honeybee, for example, can generate a charge of up to 200 volts as it moves its wings.  So, if one gets close to a web, the threads arc, effectively sucking the hapless creature in to the web.

The Story of the Dinosaurs

Sunday, 20 September 2020


Most people know that the age of the diniosaurs ended with the impact of a huge meteor that ravaged the earth and was responsible for the extinction of 90% of the species around then.  What fewer know is that the age of the dinosaurs also stared with a mass extinction.  This wonderful animation, designed and directed by The Brothers McLeod.for the BBC tells is the whole story, spanning many millions of years and covering the three period of the Mesozoic, the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.

What is Symbiosis?


Did you know that symbiosis is one of the most important words in the English language?  Why? Because without symbiosis it is possible that most life on earth (ourselves included) would not live. This is the first in a series of short films exploring the amazing science of symbiosis, a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more species. In this episode - Symbiotic Super Powers – we get to learn what symbiosis is, discover why it’s so important for life on Earth, and meet some of the scientists who are working hard to understand it.  This very cool short was created by Day’s Edge Productions.

Dolphins in the Wild - Photo Special

Dolphins – those special marine mammals – are the subject of this photo special.  All the pictures here are of wild dolphins, some of the almost forty species that are found worldwide.  They are a recent evolutionary adaptation, having first appeared on this ark in space around ten million years ago.  Intelligent, curious and fearless, they embody many of the qualities that we admire and to which we aspire. Welcome to the world of the dolphin - free, physical and wild.

The Frogs that Carry Their Tadpoles on Their Backs

Monday, 31 August 2020

You are probably well aware of the life cycle of most frogs. They lay their eggs in water and when the tadpoles hatch they are on their own with no parental intervention. The lucky few will develop through this larval stage in to frogs. Yet there are a few South American species, such as the Mimic poison frog (above) which do things a little differently. They carry their tadpoles about on their backs.

The Portuguese Water Dog: From the Russian Steppes to The White House

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Until the announcement on the 11 April 2009 about the breed of dog that President Obama and his family were to welcome in to the White House, little was known about the Portuguese Water Dog.  Yet the fact that Bo (as he became known) was soon ensconced in the White House is, for his breed, something just short of a miracle. Behind the shaggy good looks there lies a remarkable story of species survival. By the 1930s the dog was on the verge of extinction.

Arguments abound about the origins of the Portuguese Water Dog with many maintaining that the first early examples of the species appeared on the Russian Steppes around 700 BC.  If this is the case, one can only wonder whether the irony is lost on President Obama: the dog that became part of his family has its origins in what was for many years called the USSR?

How Does a Hermit Crab Change Shells? In the Most Remarkable Way!


Hermit crabs use sea shells as their homes but as the crab grows they need to move on and move up the property ladder.  You might think that they simply find a bigger shell and slip in to that but the process can be rather more extraordinary.

As humans we often form chains in order for many people to move at once.  It is the same for the hermit crab with a number of crabs lining up to exchange – in strict order of size.  Of course the odd bit of gazumping goes on, as you can see in this fascinating footage narrated by David Attenborough.

How Pest Infestations Can Affect Your Home

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

We all take pride in keeping our homes comfortable, attractive, and safe, but there are some things that can have a damaging impact on our homes. This includes pest infestations, which can cause huge problems at your property. We all know that some animals cause damage to foundation and homes, but when you have a pest infestation it can become a serious issue that is very difficult to tackle and eliminate.

As the infographic shows, animals of all sizes can create problems at your home. However, small pests can invade the inside and outside of your home with ease, and once they do this, they can cause everything from an unhygienic environment to potential health hazards. This is why you need to do all you can to help prevent pest problems and all you can do to eliminate them if they arise. In this article, we will look at some of the ways in which pest infestations can affect your home.




Some Effects of Infestations

Once pests breed in your crawl space or around your home, they can invade the area immediately outside your property, and they can also infest the inside of your home. This can cause serious issues, and some of these are:

Causing Extensive Damage and Hazards

Depending on the type of pest infestation you have, your home could sustain serious damage, and this could lead to hazards. For instance, some pests can chew through walls and wiring in your home, and this can pose a serious risk to health and safety. They can also cause damage to other areas of your home as well as your belongings.

Creating an Unhygienic Environment

Another way in which pests can affect your home environment is by creating an unhygienic setting. Naturally, you want your home to be clean, safe, and comfortable, but pests can put an end to all this. You might find them crawling over surfaces in your home, trying to get to food, and invading other areas of your home.

Causing Stress and Frustration for Your Household

When you have a pest infestation, it can cause a lot of stress and frustration both for you and for your loved ones who live in the same property. The last thing you want when you are trying to relax at home is to be faced with pests around every corner. However, this is what can happen, and the difficulties in getting rid of the pests simply add to the stress.

Increasing the Risk of Health Problems

One other thing to remember is that pests can increase the risk of health problems for everyone in your household, and this can lead to serious issues as well. Many pests are known to carry disease, and they can create and very unhealthy environment in your home. This can lead to all sorts of health problems for those in your home.

These are some of the ways in which pests can affect your home and everyone who lives there.

7 Questions Kids Always Ask About Animals

Friday, 22 May 2020

Kids and animals – they go together so well!  However, kids are curious about all sorts of concepts and animals are no exception! Children will never stop bothering us with their thought-provoking and annoying questions up to and including "write a paper for me." Here are eight of them about animals, and how to answer them - starting with two of the more frequently asked and then some of the lesser (but still amusing) answers. Oh and don't worry about the little girl above - she does not have cruel and irresponsible parents. It's a statue.

The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See

Friday, 24 April 2020




Look up at the sky and what do you see? Well, blue, yes. And maybe a plane or a bird, but otherwise ... nothing. Or so you think. It turns out that right above you, totally invisible, is an enormous herd of animal life -- tiny bugs riding the wind currents.

According to research done by British scientists in a six mile square space about our heads there can be as many as three billion insects.

That is quite some figure.  This amazing animation takes you through the reasons why.  Some of the heights that these insects reach is pretty spectacular to say the very least.  It certainly answers the question how high can insects fly?

The Bizarre Nest of the Central American Paper Wasp

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Take a look at the photograph above.  Is it some strange kind of blooming plant?  Is it a fungal growth attached to a tree?  It is something else entirely.  This is the bizarre nest of the Central American Paper Wasp (Apoica pallens).  It is notable for one thing – an apparent lack of nest altogether.  Those pale yellow cigar-shaped objects? They are the wasps, huddled together in neat order, waiting for the evening to come.

Image Credit
The species is native to the lowlands of central and northern South America, so unless you live there you are not going to stumble across something like this in the forest – although whether that is a shame or a relief entirely depends on you.  However, these wasps have developed a kind of night vision which means that they swarm and forage only after the sun goes down.  Until then, they adopt this position under the comb face of their nest – and it is entirely defensive.

The Assassin Bug – Malaysia’s Macabre Miniscule Murderer

Saturday, 1 February 2020

It is less than a centimeter in length and that is something for which, quite possibly, we can be truly grateful! This assassin bug, found in Malaysia, has a trick up its sleeve once it has finished its dinner. It attaches the empty carcases of its victims on its back – a ploy thought to be an attempt to avoid becoming a victim itself.


A Sea Slug Symphony

Saturday, 4 January 2020

The nudibranch is a soft bodied marine gastropod mollusk – but many people simply refer to them, perhaps somewhat unfairly, as sea slugs.  You can see why they gained this nick name (even though it is often taxonomically inaccurate too!) but compared to the land bound version they are an explosion of color and grace.  Here are just a few of the 3,000 species. (Image Credit Flickr User CW Ye)


This beautiful creature is found in the Western Pacific. A rich pinkinsh purple color, they have a white border on their mantle. They would be startling enough without, but their rhinophore clubs are an orange-yellow color that is a startling juxtaposition with the rest of their bodies. This exquisite creature is formally known as Hypselodoris apolegma.

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