They are completely amphibious fish, fish that can use their pectoral fins to “walk” on land. Being amphibious, they are uniquely adapted to intertidal habitats, unlike most fish in such habitats which survive the retreat of the tide by hiding under wet seaweed or in tidal pools. Mudskippers are quite active when out of water, feeding and interacting with one another, for example to defend their territories. They are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, including the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic coast of Africa.
The sole member of an ancient family, 50 to 100 million years old, it hunkered deep underground while the dramatic environmental and physical changes sweeping the earth wiped out whole groups of animals and saw new ones evolve. This dinosaur among frogs was only discovered in 2003.
In zoology, deep-sea gigantism, also known as abyssal gigantism, is the tendency for species of crustaceans, invertebrates and other deep-sea-dwelling animals to display a larger size than their shallow-water counterparts. It is not known whether this effect comes about as a result of adaptation for scarcer food resources (therefore delaying sexual maturity and resulting in greater size), greater pressure, or for other reasons. The Blue Planet series posited that larger specimens do well in the abyssal environment due to the advantages in body temperature regulation and a diminished need for constant activity, both inherent in organisms with a lower surface area to mass ratio (see the square-cube law).
The Sun Bear stands approximately 1.2 m (4 ft) in length, making it the smallest member in the bear (Ursidae) family. Unlike other bears, the Sun Bear’s fur is short and sleek. This adaptation is probably due to the lowland climates it inhabits. Dark black or brown-black fur covers its body, except on the chest, where there is a pale orange-yellow marking in the shape of a horseshoe. Similar colored fur can be found around the muzzle and the eyes. These distinctive markings give the Sun Bear its name.
The Tibetan Sand Fox is a species of true fox endemic to the high Tibetan Plateau in Nepal, China, and India, up to altitudes of about 5300 m. Mated pairs remain together and may also hunt together. In contrast to other fox species, the Tibetan Fox is not highly territorial, so it may be found near other foxes.
Growing up to 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches) in diameter and weighing up to 300 kilograms (ca. 660 pounds), Nomura’s Jellyfish reside primarily in the waters between China and Japan, primarily centralized in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea. In 2009, a 10-ton fishing trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba on Tokyo Bay as its three-man crew tried to haul in a net containing dozens of Nomura’s Jellyfish; the three were rescued by another trawler.
A golden tabby tiger is one with an extremely rare color variation caused by a recessive gene and is currently only found in captive tigers. Like the white tiger, it is a color form and not a separate species. In the case of the golden tiger, this is the wide band gene; while the white tiger is due to the color inhibitor (chinchilla) gene. There are currently believed to be fewer than 30 of these rare tigers in the world, but many more carriers of the gene.
The Aye-aye is a lemur, a strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar that combines rodent-like teeth with a long, thin middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. The Aye-aye is the only extant member of the genus Daubentonia and family Daubentoniidae (although it is currently classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN); a second species, Daubentonia robusta, appears to have become extinct at some point within the last 1000 years.
The geoduck is a species of very large saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Hiatellidae. The shell of this clam is large, about 15 centimetres (5.9 in) to over 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length, but the extremely long siphons make the clam itself very much longer than this: the “neck” or siphons alone can be 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length.
The thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. The thylacine had become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before European settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island state of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none proven.
A lamprey (sometimes also called lamprey eel) is a parasitic marine/aquatic animal with a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. Lampreys have long been used as food for humans. They were highly appreciated by ancient Romans. During the Middle Ages, they were widely eaten by the upper classes throughout Europe, especially during fasting periods, since their taste is much meatier than that of most true fish. King Henry I of England is said to have died from eating “a surfeit of lampreys”. On 4 March 1953, the Queen of the United Kingdom’s coronation pie was made by the Royal Air Force using lampreys.
Star-nosed moles are easily identified by the eleven pairs of pink fleshy appendages ringing their snout which are used as a touch organ with more than 25,000 minute sensory receptors, known as Eimer’s organs, with which this hamster-sized mole feels its way around