Today's Fact

Featured Post

African Elephant

Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz Although the African elephant is the largest and most powerful of all living land mammals, it is also amo...

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mahi-mahi

Photo Credit: http://www.fishtrack.com
The mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish is a surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.

Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and a single long-based dorsal fin extending from the head almost to the tail. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors: golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. The pectoral fins of the mahi-mahi are iridescent blue. The flank is broad and golden. Out of the water, the fish often change color (giving rise to their Spanish name, dorado, "golden"), going though several hues before finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death.

Did you know?
Mahi-mahi can live up to 5 years, although they seldom exceed four.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mallard


Mallards are large ducks with hefty bodies, rounded heads, and wide, flat bills. Like many “dabbling ducks” the body is long and the tail rides high out of the water, giving a blunt shape. In flight their wings are broad and set back toward the rear.

Mallards occur throughout North America and Eurasia in ponds and parks as well as wilder wetlands and estuaries. The male’s gleaming green head, gray flanks, and black tail-curl arguably make it the most easily identified duck. Mallards have long been hunted for the table, and almost all domestic ducks come from this species.

Mallards can live in almost any wetland habitat, natural or artificial. Look for them on lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers, and coastal habitats, as well as city and suburban parks and residential backyards.

Mallards are “dabbling ducks”—they feed in the water by tipping forward and grazing on underwater plants. They almost never dive. They can be very tame ducks especially in city ponds, and often group together with other Mallards and other species of dabbling ducks.

Did you know?
Mallards are generalist foragers and will eat a wide variety of food. They don’t dive, but dabble to feed, tipping forward in the water to eat seeds and aquatic vegetation. They also roam around on the shore and pick at vegetation and prey on the ground.

Monday, July 17, 2017

American Alligator

Photo Credit: nationalzoo.si.edu
American alligators live in Southeastern United States. They can be found in rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps.

Alligators are efficient predators and eat just about any animal that comes near, including fish, small mammals, birds and reptiles. They rarely attack humans unless provoked.

American alligators once faced extinction. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service placed them on the endangered species list in 1967. Fortunately, the legal protection worked. Just 20 years later, American alligators were taken off the list.

An average male American alligator is 10 to 15 feet (three to five meters) long. Half of its length is its massive, strong tail. An alligator can weigh as much as half a ton (1,000 pounds), but an average male weighs between 500 and 600 pounds (227 to 272 kilograms). Females are usually smaller than males.

Alligators are carnivorous. They have very strong jaws that can crack a turtle shell. They eat fish, snails and other invertebrates, birds, frogs and mammals that come to the water's edge. They use their sharp teeth to seize and hold prey. They swallow small prey whole. If the prey is large, they shake it apart into smaller, manageable pieces. If it is very large, they will bite it, then spin on the long axis of their bodies to tear off easily swallowed pieces.

Did you know?
American alligators live about 50 years in the wild. After they are 4 feet long, alligators are safe from predators except humans and occasionally other alligators.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Caribbean Spiny Lobster

Photo Credit: Stemonitis
The Caribbean spiny lobster is one of the largest crustaceans on coral reefs and seagrass beds in the Caribbean Sea and adjacent waters and is one of the most valuable fishery resources for every country throughout its range. Along with true crabs, prawns, and other lobsters, the Caribbean spiny lobster is a decapod; it has ten legs. It is covered with a spiny exoskeleton that provides it some protection from potential predators, but it remains the favorite prey of many species, including nurse sharks and Nassau groupers.

During the day, Caribbean spiny lobsters remain hidden in caves, under ledges, and in crevices on the reef surface. During the twilight hours and at night, individuals are much more active and forage along the reef for small snails and crabs, decaying organic matter, and some plants. Caribbean spiny lobsters will eat most things that they find. Unlike the famous Maine lobster, Caribbean spiny lobsters do not have enlarged front claws and are harmless to people.

Spiny lobsters get their name for the small spikes covers their carapace (exoskeleton). Males and females are the same size but the male’s exoskeleton is longer. Adult Caribbean Spiny Lobsters have two long antennae that are longer than their carapace. Small antennae that are shorter and about two-thirds of their body length. Two large eyes are at the front of their heads, pleopods which are forked legs that aid them when swimming. Spiny lobsters have small claws unlike Maine lobsters which have large claws.

Did you know?
Spiny lobsters reproduce in spring and summer. Females carry the bright orange eggs on the underside of the tail until the eggs are ready to hatch.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Raccoon


Raccoons are easy to identify with their furry, ringed tails and their black "bandit" masks across the eyes. They are usually gray to almost black in color with a tinge of brown or sometimes even red. They have a pointed muzzle and rather long toes. A raccoon's footprints resemble those of people.

They are good climbers and swimmers and like to make their dens near water in woods, brushy areas and even open country. Raccoons do not hibernate, but may remain in a den for the winter, coming out only during breaks in the weather.

Raccoons are usually solitary, nocturnal animals with a diet consisting of crayfish, crabs, frogs, fish, worms, nuts, seeds, acorns, berries, or whatever they might come upon in someone's backyard trash.

Did you know?
Raccoons are found in North and Central America, Europe and Japan.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...