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    Blue-cheeked Jacamar - Galbula cyanicollis 

    Also referred to as Blue-necked Jacamar, Galbula cyanicollis (Piciformes - Galbulidae) is considered a species complex found across southern Amazonia, from eastern Peru and parts of Bolivia to east Amazonian Brazil.

    This species can be easily distinguished by the yellow lower mandible and the bluish head and neck sides.

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©Ciro Albano | Locality: Brazil (2013)




    Brown House Snake 

    Boaedon capensis (Colubridae), better known as Cape House Snake, is a non-venomous species endemic to Southern Africa, inhabiting a wide range of habitats.

    This species varies greatly in appearance and size throughout it’s range, and there are also several morphs in the pet trade. They are sexually dimorphic, males attain an overall length of around 60 cm and females as large as 120 cm.

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©Tyrone Ping  | Locality: Vaalwater, Limpopo, South Africa

    Aren’t cape house snakes a different species of african house snakes than brown house snakes? I’ve never heard those names be used interchangeably. 

    It is well known that the use of common names often leads to confusion for the variety of combinations that are given in different regions. The common name of African House Snakes is mostly given to species in the genus Lamprophis, and also to this one in the photo, which is now named Boaedon capensis, but formerly was Lamprophis capensis.

    Each species has its own common name such as Abyssinian house snake (L. abyssinicus), Aurora house snake (L. aurora), etc.


    Bulbous Honey Fungus - Armillaria gallica

    This honey fungus is named Armillaria gallica (Physalacriaceae), a species found in Britain, Ireland, in most parts of central and southern mainland Europe and in North Africa, as well as parts of Asia and North America.

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©Tatiana Bulyonkova | Locality: Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk, Western Siberia, Russia (2010)


    Hoatzin - Opisthocomus hoazin

    Being one of the most peculiar South American birds, the Hoatzin, Opisthocomus hoazin (Opisthocomiformes - Opisthocomidae) is the only extant species of its genus and has its own family and order.

    Hoatzins are large birds up to 66 cm in length, noisy and very territorial, especially during the breeding season. Their diet is made up completely of leaves, and the species has developed a special system that allows them to feed on leaves.

    They have an enlarged crop in which symbiotic bacteria are stored and used to break down the cell walls of the leaves, allowing for them to be digested. This process is called foregut fermentation and hoatzins are the only birds with this type of digestive system. The bacteria within the crop also act as a source of nutrients for hoatzins by occasionally getting moved into their stomachs. The bacteria are introduced to young hoatzins when an adult regurgitates a sticky substance containing large amounts of the bacteria and feeds it to the young.

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©Jeff Dyck | Locality: Taracoa, Orellano, Ecuador (2014)


    Spotted garden eels live in colonies of up to several thousand individuals. They spend the majority of their lives with only the top half of their body sticking out of a burrow they make in the sand, eating plankton and other tiny animals that float by. If in danger, the entire “garden” retracts into the sand in the blink of an eye.

    Images: blueparadiseindonesia, Eric Cheng, Ryan Murphy

    (via libutron)

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