Monday, July 7, 2008

Philautus maia

Philautus maia was discovered from a museum specimen collected around 1860. This species from Sri Lanka is believed to now almost be extinct.

http://www.species.asu.edu/2008_species04.php

http://www.anorak.co.uk/strange-but-true/185212.html

http://news.cnet.com/2300-11395_3-6242314-5.html?tag=ne.gall.pg

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tarantula hawk


Several species of the wasps known as "tarantula hawks" inhabit the desert lands of the southwest. They of course eat Tarantulas. Tarantula hawk stings are considered to be the most painful of any North American insect. Christopher Starr wrote an article entitled, "A Pain Scale for Bee, Wasp and Ant Stings." On a scale of one to four, Pepsis formosa was one of only two insects to rate a four. One researcher described the tarantula hawk’s sting this way: "To me, the pain is like an electric wand that hits you, inducing an immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one’s ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream. Mental discipline simply does not work in these situations.

http://www.desertusa.com/mag01/sep/papr/thawk.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantula_hawk

http://www.nps.gov/archive/moja/mojaantw.htm

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bullet Ant



Named on account of its powerful and potent sting, which is said to be as painful as being shot with a bullet. The pain caused by this insect's sting is purported to be greater than that of any other Hymenopteran, and is ranked as the most painful according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. It is described as causing "waves of burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours". It lives in trees and thus can and will fall on you to scare you away from its hive--the one you didn't know was there, because it's in a tree. Before it does this, it shrieks at you. This ant, you see, can shriek.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraponera

http://www.sasionline.org/antsfiles/pages/bullet/bulletbio.html

http://scienceblogs.com/zooillogix/2008/01/the_schmidt_sting_pain_index.php

Monday, June 9, 2008

Giant Black Scorpion




The currently known largest scorpion. Like it’s namesake, it can be found in India. It can reach to almost 1 ft in length and can weigh to as much as 57 grams.

buy one as a pet here
http://www.exotic-pets.co.uk/inverts-for-sale.php

Po’ouli




One of the rarest birds still alive, the po’ouli.
At last count, the known po’ouli population was six. And with time running out, experts are scrambling to find a way to save the species from extinction.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6630652/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po'o-uli

http://eastmauiwatershed.org/Birds/poul.htm

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Amazonian Giant Centipede



Found in North and West South America, these can reach up to 13 inches in length. They are known to prey on bats, lizards, birds, and mice. Their venom can cause chills, fever, and sever swelling on humans but is unlikely to be fatal.

http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=605

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scolopendra_gigantea

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8313878609430213933
( bat eating centipede )

Monday, June 2, 2008

Irukandji


The Irukandji Jellyfish (Carukia barnesi) inhabits waters of Australia. This is a deadly jellyfish, which is only 2.5 centimeters (with bell and tentacles) in diameter, which makes it difficult to spot.
The Irukandji is believed to be the most venomous creature in the world

VIDEO: reactions to divers strung




Thursday, May 22, 2008

Capybara



Capybara is the largest living rodent in the world.Adult capybaras may grow to 130 centimetres (4.3 ft), and weigh up to 65 kg (140 lb).Though now extinct, there once existed larger capybaras that were eight times the size of modern capybaras (these rodents would have been larger than a grizzly bear)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capybara

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Amazonia/Facts/capybarafacts.cfm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/594.shtml


Monday, May 19, 2008

Blue-ringed Octopus



The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball, but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. There is no known antidote.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-ringed_octopus

http://www.earlham.edu/~sheedjo/blue-ringedoctopus.htm

http://www.didyouknow.cd/animals/octopus.htm


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mantis Shrimp




Called "sea grasshoppers" by ancient Assyrian , "prawn killers" in Australia and now sometimes referred to as "thumb splitters" by modern divers — because of the relative ease the creature has in mutilating small appendages — mantis shrimp sport powerful claws that they use to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning or dismemberment. Mantis shrimp can break through aquarium glass with a single strike from this weapon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp

Monday, May 12, 2008

Harpy Eagle






The largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, the Harpy Eagle has a body length of 35 - 41 inches, a 6 1/2 -foot wingspan, and weighs 10 - 20 pounds. The female can be as much as twice as heavy as her mate.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chinese Paddlefish






One of the largest freshwater fish, it is said that the Chinese Paddlefish can grow to 23 feet and weigh 1,100 pounds, but little research on a maximum size can be conducted today due to the species' scarcity. Due to overfishing, the Chinese Paddlefish is endangered now and quite possibly extinct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Paddlefish

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070726-china-fish.html

http://www.capachi.com/paddlefish.htm

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Goliath Tigerfish


" One of the most fearsome predators freshwater has ever known, the Tigerfish has a viscious reputation. These fish hunt in large packs, just as their South American counterparts, the Piranhas do. Prey consist primarily of other fish, but just about anything alive can fall prey to the Tigerfish. Like the Piranha, prey is eaten away bite by bite. Because they have razor sharp knife-like teeth, and extremely strong jaw muscles, they are among the few fish that can turn the tables on prey the same size or larger than themselves. There are unverified reports of attacks on humans."

more at : http://lordsofapathy.blogspot.com/2007/04/animal-spotlight-goliath-tigerfish.html

http://www.scribd.com/doc/38981/GOLIATH-TIGER-FISH-SUPER-HUGE

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Smallest Fish


Scientists have discovered a fish living in forest swamps on the Indonesian island of Sumatra that is only 7.9 millimeters long.

The species of fish belongs to the carp family and is called Paedocypris progenetica . It is the world's smallest vertebrate or backboned animal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paedocypris

http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0126-smallest_fish.html

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2006/jan/news_7501.html


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Weedy Seadragon


"Weedy Sea Dragons grow to a mature length of about 18 inches (45 cm). They use camouflage as their primary defense, and are found along the southern reefs and sandy underwater areas of Australia. Though relatively common compared to Leafy Sea Dragons, Weedy Sea Dragons are also government protected, and subject to strict export controls.

Though they are similar in appearance to sea horses, Weedy Sea Dragons do not have prehensile (gripping) tails, but rather appear to use them for steering. The beautiful colors of this sea dragon are highlighted by the iridescent blue bands along the upper body."
-taken from
http://www.divegallery.com/Weedy_Sea_Dragon.htm


http://www.amonline.net.au/fishes/fishfacts/fish/ptaeniolatus.htm

http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=14267



Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tiger Huntsman



Its black markings gave it its name -- the tiger huntsman.
Alan Henderson has found what could be a new breed of huntsman spider, but it won't be confirmed as a new breed until it dies and is dissected by an expert.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21413191-24331,00.html

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/and-along-came-another-spider/2007/03/18/1174152881573.html

http://www.strangeark.com/blog/2007/03/possible-new-huntsman-spider.html



Friday, April 4, 2008

Leafy Sea Dragon



The leafy sea dragon, Phycodurus eques, is a marine fish related to the seahorse.While not large by sea monster standards, they are very large for sea horses, growing at least 18 inches (45 cm). hey have become endangered through pollution and industrial runoff as well as collection by fascinated divers who are entranced by their unique appearance.

http://www.divegallery.com/Leafy_Sea_Dragon.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leafy_sea_dragon

http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=31


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Giant Snakehead




Being a high level predator means that the giant snakehead eats many other fishes, amphibians and even small birds, but is not preyed upon by many other species. The giant snakehead is considered gregarious, with the young often following their mother closely. There have been reports of protective mother giant snakehead attacking men who have disturbed the snakehead's school of juveniles.

The species has the ability to crawl onto land, where it can survive for up to four days.

The giant snakehead is found in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and possibly Myanmar. This fish can reach a length of 7 feet.

In 2002 and 2003, three specimens were caught in Maryland, all believed to have been released pets. In 2003, a giant snakehead was caught in Rock River, Wisconsin. . Biologists were concerned that warmwater effluents could allow the tropical species to survive in the colder climate.

In 2008 , a specimenof C. micropeltes was caught by an angler while fishing for pike on the River Witham in Lincolnshire, England. It is not clear if the species is breeding in the wild, or if this was an escaped captive specimen; a source within the Environment Agency was quoted as saying “The reaction was, 'Oh s***'. This is the ultimate invasive species — if it starts breeding here it's a disaster."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_snakehead

http://www.outdoorcentral.com/mc/pr/03/09/24c6.asp

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=516092&in_page_id=1770


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Giant Asian Hornet



The Asian, or Japanese hornet is the largest and most fearsome hornet in the world. It can be as big as 45 mm long (that's almost 2 inches), and its stinger is over 6 mm in length (a quarter of an inch!). Wingspan is up to 3 inches.

The venom from this hornet contains an enzyme which will dissolve bone and tissue, and can be fatal if the person stung is small, or has an allergic reaction. More than 40 people are killed each year by stings from this hornet. Those who have been stung and lived have described its sting as excrutiatingly painful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_giant_hornet

http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/japanese/hornet.html

http://insects.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_insect_from_hell



Friday, March 21, 2008

Giant sea creatures found in Antarctic search

Scientists who conducted the most comprehensive survey to date of New Zealand's Antarctic waters were surprised by the size of some specimens found, including jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles and 2-foot-wide starfish.

Large sea spiders, jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles, huge sea snails and starfish the size of big food platters were found during a 50-day voyage, marine scientist Don Robertson said.

Cold temperatures, a small number of predators, high levels of oxygen in the sea water and even longevity could explain the size of some specimens, said Robertson, a scientist with NIWA.

Robertson added that of the 30,000 specimens collected, hundreds might turn out to be new species.



http://clipmarks.com/clipmark/86E8528C-91FB-4C86-B29E-B7013DF39249/

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the Antarctic cod




Scientists have discovered a fish that hibernates: the Antarctic cod.

It was already known that the Antarctic cod had special "antifreeze" in its veins that allows it to live in near-freezing waters.

It was known that the fish, which became isolated from its northern cousins 30 million years ago, lives in life's slow lane, with extremely slow rates of growth, metabolism and swimming activity.

Now scientists have discovered that it can slow even these processes down in winter by entering a dormant state while sitting on the bottom.

The fish throws a seasonal "switch" between a high gear in which it maximises feeding and growth in summer and a low one where it maximises the energy used during the long, Antarctic winter.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/03/05/eacod105.xml


http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/03/researchers-fin.html


http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/autocodes/countries/antarctica/scientists-discover-hibernating-fish-first-time-$1209841.htm