Eastern Bearded Dragon

Spotted Quol

Lace monitor

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Species: V. varius

Brush Tail Possum

Ring Tail Possum





Leaping Mobula Rays

In the Sea of Cortez at the southern Gulf of Mexico, there is a spectacular sight of … leaping Mobula rays!

It looks like a futuristic space ship skimming over the ocean's surface. Or maybe a triangular shaped prototype aircraft launched from the depths.

In fact it is a Mobula Ray, a smaller cousin of the Manta Ray, which puts on a spectacular leaping display. Mobula Ray pictures reveal spectacular leaps

They hurtle up from the depths and leap several feet into the air often turning somersaults in the process.

World's strangest looking animals

Pelochelys cantorii (Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtle)

The turtle is found primarily in inland, slow-moving fresh water rivers and streams. Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtles can grow up to 6 feet (about 2 meters) in length and weigh more than 100 pounds (about 50 kilograms).

Matamata Turtle

The mata mata inhabits slow moving, blackwater streams, stagnant pools, marshes, and swamps ranging into northern Bolivia, eastern Peru, Ecuador, eastern Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, and northern and central Brazil. The mata mata is strictly an aquatic species but it prefers standing in shallow water where its snout can reach the surface to breathe.

Patagonian Cavy (Mara)

A large rodent that looks sort of like a rabbit, sort of like a donkey. The Patagonian Mara lives in Central and Southern Argentina. Maras inhabit arid grasslands and scrub desert

Saiga Antelope

Saiga is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. There is an estimated total number of 50,000 Saigas today, which live in Kalmykia, three areas of Kazakhstan and in two isolated areas of Mongolia.

Star nosed mole

The Star-nosed Mole lives in wet lowland areas and eats small invertebrates, aquatic insects, worms and mollusks. It is a good swimmer and can forage along the bottoms of streams and ponds. Like other moles, this animal digs shallow surface tunnels for foraging; often, these tunnels exit underwater.
The incredibly sensitive nasal tentacles are covered with almost one hundred thousand minute touch receptors known as Eimer's organs.

Elephant shrew

They are widely distributed across the southern part of Africa, and although common nowhere, can be found in almost any type of habitat, from the Namib Desert to boulder-strewn outcrops in South Africa to thick forest.

Long-beaked echidna

Echidnas are one of the two types of mammals that lay eggs (the other one is platypus). The long-beaked echidna is found in New Guinea, where it is widespread.

Pink Fairy Armadillo

It is found in central Argentina where it inhabits dry grasslands and sandy plains with thorn bushes and cacti. It has the ability to bury itself completely in a matter of seconds if frightened.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo burrows small holes near ant colonies in dry dirt. It feeds mainly on ants and ant larvae near its burrow.

Long-eared Jerboa

"The Mickey Mouse of the desert" - mouse-like rodent with a long tail, long hind legs for jumping, and exceptionally large ears. The jerboa, found in the deserts of Mongolia and China, is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List

Albino Crocodile.

White Diamond - The albino crocodile.

White Diamond is thought to be the only albino crocodile in Europe.
And you can go see him if yo fancy a trip to the German village of Hodenhagen, at the Serengeti Safari park, until April 27.
White Diamond was born in Louisiana, USA and grew up at an alligator farm in Florida, but has arrived in Germany as part of a traveling reptile show, called "Land der Reptilien".
White Diamond is 14 years old right now, and he's lucky he lives in captivity, with that white-a-skin I doubt he could have sneaked up on his prey without being noticed.
So remember, if you want to see White Diamond live, visit Serengeti Safari park, until April 27, 2008.


(uncia uncia)

Location: Mountains of Central Asia, specifically the Himalayas, Altai and Hindu Kush

Habitat: They show a strong preference for a habitat with broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines as opposed to open smooth slopes and densely forested areas

Due to their excellent camoflauge, elusive behavior and small numbers snow leopards are rarely seen in the wild and are difficult to study. Much of the information we have has been from research on captive animals.

This medium sized cat is very well adapted to living in the cold, mountainous regions. Their fur is long, thick and a smokey-gray color with dark gray to black rosettes and spots. They have a lighter fur coat in the winter. Their body is about 4-5 feet long, with a 3 foot long tail. This tail is coverd with long fur and is wrapped around the body while resting for warmth and it helps with their balance. They have short forelimbs and long hind limbs that increase their agility in the rough terrain. They have large paws with fur on the bottoms which help them walk in the snow. They have a well developed chest and enlarged nasal cavities which help them in the cold thin air of their high altitude habitat.

This animal is crepuscular, active during dusk and dawn. However, they may be active throughout the day where there are few people and they may become nocturnal in areas where there are more people. They are solitary animals with territores that will overlap slightly and they will come together only during the mating season. However, male and female pairs have shown high sociability and bonding in zoos. They do not roar but they do make other vocalizations such as moans, yowls and “prustens” which are similar to grunts.

A snow leopard is able to kill prey three times its weight. Their most common prey are blue sheep, or bharal, of Himalaya and Tibet and Asiatic ibex, a wild goat found throughout the major mountain ranges of Central Asia. They also will feed on smaller prey including wild boar, tahr, gazelles, marmot, pika, hares and other small rodents as well as game birds. When faced with little natural prey they will feed on livestock such as horses, sheep, goats and young yaks. They will stalk their prey and spring from a distance of 20 to 50 feet for a kill. They have loose belly skin which allows them to be kicked by prey with very little damage. They eat very slowly and will stay with the kill to protect it from scavengers such as vultures or ravens. Therefore, they only need to hunt for food about twice a month.

It has been estimated that there are about 3,500 to 7,000 left in the wild. There are about 600 – 700 in zoos around the world. There are many threats to this animal. Poaching is a major problem. Their fur is highly prized in the fur trade and their body parts are used in traditional Asian medicine. They are competing for their prey with humans who hunt goats and sheep for trophies. When they are forced to hunt livestock, natives will kill the leopards in retaliation. Another major one is loss of habitat which occurs when humans overtake their habitat. Because of the lack of awareness by the native people they are reluctant to participate in conservation efforts. The law enforcement of protected parks is severely lacking.

The snow leopard has been categorized as an endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) since 1972 and is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES Appendix I), which makes trafficking live cats, fur or body parts illegal.

(Lama pacos)

Location: native to Peru, South America

Habitat: Andes Mountains

Young alpacas are known as crias. An adult alpaca is about 36 inches at the shoulders and about 5 feet at the head. They can weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. They have excellent eyesight as well as great hearing. They eat many types of grasses and chew a cud like cattle and sheep. They are gentle creatures. They communicate with a series of ear and tail positions and body postures. They will make humming sounds and a shrill alarm call when threatened by predators. They rarely spit at people unless frightened or abused. Their average life span is 20 years.

Alpacas were first imported into the U.S. in 1984. There are two types of alpacas – the Huacaya and the Suri. Ninety-five percent of alpacas are hyacaya, with full fleece whose crimp or crinkle is found throughout their fleece. The fleece of the suri is made of lustrous, straight fiber which hangs down in “dreadlocks”, giving the suri alpaca a comletely different appearance.

Alpacas were a very important part of the Incan culture in South America. Their fur is considered one of the world finest and most luxrious fibers. Soft as casmere, warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, at one time it was reserved for Incan royalty. This natural fiber comes in over 20 different colors. Today, with many alpaca breeders around the world, this fine fiber is enjoyed by many. The Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA) accepts fleece from its members and turns it into fine garments and products.

The Alpaca Owner and Breeder Association (AOBA) is an organization with members around the world. The AOBA started alpaca registry in 1988 and became an offical non-profit organization in September of 1991. This organization is dedicated to increasing the awareness of these animals; to educate people on proper care and breeding practices of alpacas and to promote the growth of the alpaca industry as a whole. Starting with 87 members and 392 alpacas they have now grown to over 3,000 members with over 40,000 alpacas (as of October 2002). The organization works with many national and international organizations such as the The Alpaca Regrstry Inc. (ARI) which has been establised to help ensure accurate documentation of bloodlines. Alpacas must be blood typed in order to be registered and nearly every alpaca in the U.S. is registered.


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