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Moose

The largest member of the deer family, the moose lives in forests, bogs and marshlands where, for the most part of the year, it feeds on...

Monday, December 19, 2016

Guppy


Photo Credit: Marrabbio2

The guppy, also known as millionfish and rainbow fish, is one of the world's most widely distributed tropical fish, and one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species. It is a member of the Poeciliidae family and, like almost all American members of the family, is live-bearing. Guppies, whose natural range is in northeast South America, were introduced to many habitats and are now found all over the world. They are highly adaptable and thrive in many different environmental and ecological conditions. Male guppies, which are smaller than females, have ornamental caudal and dorsal fins, while females are duller in color. Wild guppies generally feed on a variety of food sources, including benthic algae and aquatic insect larvae. Guppies are used as a model organism in the field of ecology, evolution, and behavioral studies.

Guppies are native to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Brazil, Guyana, Jamaica, the Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. However, guppies have been introduced to many different countries on every continent except Antarctica. Sometimes this has occurred accidentally, but most often as a means of mosquito control. The guppies were expected to eat the mosquito larvae and help slow the spread of malaria, but in many cases, these guppies have had a negative impact on native fish populations. Field studies reveal that guppies have colonized almost every freshwater body accessible to them in their natural ranges, especially in the streams located near the coastal fringes of mainland South America. Although not typically found there, guppies also have tolerance to brackish water and have colonized some brackish habitats. They tend to be more abundant in smaller streams and pools than in large, deep, or fast-flowing rivers.

Did you know?
Wild guppies feed on algal remains, diatoms, invertebrates, plant fragments, mineral particles, aquatic insect larvae, and other sources.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo


Photo Credit: Duncan Rawlinson

The sulphur-crested cockatoo's range extends throughout the northern and eastern mainland, and Tasmania. A small population has become established around Perth, Western Australia. The species also occurs in New Guinea and the Aru Islands, and has been introduced into New Zealand and Indonesia. They are found in a variety of timbered habitats and are common around human settlements. The birds stay in the same area all year round.

The sulphur-crested cockatoo is a large white parrot. It has a dark grey-black bill, a distinctive sulphur-yellow crest and a yellow wash on the underside of the wings. Sexes are similar, although the female can be separated at close range by its red-brown eye (darker brown in the male). This is a noisy and conspicuous cockatoo, both at rest and in flight. Young Sulphur-crested Cockatoos resemble the adults.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo's normal diet consists of berries, seeds, nuts and roots. It also takes handouts from humans. Feeding normally takes place in small to large groups, with one or more members of the group watching for danger from a nearby perch. When not feeding, birds will bite off smaller branches and leaves from trees. These items are not eaten, however. The activity may help to keep the bill trimmed and from growing too large.

Did you know?
The eggs of sulphur-crested cocdatoos are laid in a suitable tree hollow, which is prepared by both sexes. Both birds also incubate and care for the chicks. The chicks remain with the parents all year round and family groups will stay together indefinitely.
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