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The jaguar enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. As a keystone species, it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating prey populations. The jaguar has developed an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats. This allows it to pierce the shells of armored reptiles and to employ an unusual killing method with mammals: it bites directly through the skull of prey between the ears to deliver a fatal blow to the brain. (Full article...)
Thysanozoon nigropapillosum, the yellow-spotted flatworm, is a species of marine flatworm in the family Pseudocerotidae. The species is native to the tropical Indo-Pacific region, where it lives in shallow reef habitats. Flatworms are hermaphrodites, each being able to act as either male or female. As a donor of sperm, it can grip the margin of the recipient's body, using its two penises in a chopstick-like manner, and deposit sperm on the surface of the skin of the recipient, even while it is actively swimming.
This picture shows a yellow-spotted flatworm photographed in Manta Ray Bay, on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. The flatworm is seen swimming to the right at a depth of 12 metres (40 ft) by undulating the margins of its body. The pseudotentacles at the front have simple eyes and sensory receptors to enable the flatworm to find tunicates on which it feeds.
The common clam worm (Alitta succinea) is a widely distributed species of marine polychaete worm. The photograph shows an epitoke specimen, the worm having turned into a form capable of reproduction. After releasing its sperm or eggs, the animal will die.
The plains zebra (Equus quagga, subspecies Grant's zebra pictured) is the most common and geographically widespread species of zebra. It ranges from the south of Ethiopia through East Africa to as far south as Angola and eastern South Africa. The plains zebra is mid-sized, smaller on average than the other two zebra species, and thick-bodied with relatively short legs. Adults of both sexes can stand from 1.1 to 1.47 m (3.6 to 4.8 ft) high at the shoulder, are 2 to 2.5 m (6.6 to 8.2 ft) long (excluding the tail), and weigh 175 to 387 kg (386 to 853 lb), with males slightly heavier than females.
Anatomical diagram of an adult female chambered nautilus, the best known species of nautilus, a "living fossil" related to the octopuses. The animal has a primitive brain that forms a ring around its oesophagus, has four gills (all other cephalopods have only two), and can only move shell-first (seemingly "backwards") by pumping water out through its funnel. The shell and tentacles are shown here as shadows.
The bird-cherry ermine (Yponomeuta evonymella) is a species of moth in the family Yponomeutidae, native to Europe and parts of Asia. The caterpillars are gregarious and feed on the leaves of the bird cherry tree, forming silken webbing for their own protection. They create further webbing on the trunk and near the base of the tree, which hides them as they pupate. This photograph shows one of many bird-cherry ermine caterpillar nests on a tree in Lahemaa National Park, Estonia. In some years, they are so numerous that they can completely strip a tree of its foliage.
The maxima clam (Tridacna maxima) is a species of bivalve found throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is found on the surface of reefs or sand, or partly embedded in coral (as with this specimen), in the oceans surrounding east Africa, India, China, Australia, Southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific. This clam is much sought after in the aquarium trade, as its often striking coloration—the result of crystalline pigment—mimics that of the true giant clam.
The flatworms, flat worms, Platyhelminthes, or platyhelminths (from the Greek , platy, meaning "flat" and (root: -), helminth-, meaning "worm") are a phylum of relatively simple bilaterian, unsegmented, soft-bodied invertebrates. Unlike other bilaterians, they are acoelomates (having no body cavity), and have no specialized circulatory and respiratoryorgans, which restricts them to having flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion. The digestive cavity has only one opening for both ingestion (intake of nutrients) and egestion (removal of undigested wastes); as a result, the food cannot be processed continuously. (Full article...)
Brittle stars, serpent stars, or ophiuroids are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea closely related to starfish. They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long, slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 cm (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. From New Latinophiurus ("brittle star"), from Ancient Greek ? (óphis, "serpent") + ? (ourá, "tail") (referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star). (Full article...)
A caterpillar of Lymantria dispar dispar, also known as the gypsy moth. First described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, the gypsy moth is found throughout Eurasia, where it is considered a pest. The larvae emerge from egg masses in the spring, and then are dispersed by the wind and begin feeding on leaves. They are initially diurnal, but become nocturnal after their fourth molting.
A soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines), together with an egg, as viewed through a low-temperature scanning electron microscope at 1000x magnification. This nematode infects the roots of soybeans, and the female nematode eventually becomes a cyst. Infection causes various symptoms that may include chlorosis of the leaves and stems, root necrosis, loss in seed yield and suppression of root and shoot growth.
A female Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope), the smallest bird found in Canada and the United States, feeding insects to chicks. Found mostly in western North America (although vagrants have been found in New York and Connecticut), it is migratory and winters in southwestern Mexico.
The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is the largest possum species and is perhaps the most widespread mammal in Australia. It grows to about 32-58 cm (13-23 in) in length, with an additional 24-40 cm (9-16 in) for its prehensile tail (seen here hanging below the branch). It is mainly a folivore, but has been known to eat small mammals such as rats. It is common in cities, having adapted well to human habitation.
The paddyfield pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, comprising pipits, longclaws and wagtails. About 15 cm (6 in) in length and native to southern Asia, its plumage in both sexes is greyish-brown above and paler yellowish-brown below, with dark streaking on the breast. A bird of open country, pasture and cultivated fields, it sometimes makes short flights, but mostly runs on the ground, foraging for insects and other small invertebrates. The paddyfield pipit builds its cup-shaped nest in a concealed location on the ground, and may have two or more broods in a year. This A. r. rufulus individual was photographed in Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is a medium-sized cephalopod found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, and clams, and displays unusual behaviour, including bipedal walking and gathering and using coconut shells and seashells for shelter.
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Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 - 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné (Swedish pronunciation: ['k?:? f?n l?'ne:] ), was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus (after 1761 Carolus a Linné).
Linnaeus was born in Råshult, the countryside of Småland, in southern Sweden. He received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and also published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands. He then returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, while publishing several volumes. He was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death. (Full article...)
...that Maui's dolphin is the most endangered species of dolphin in the world, with only about 110 left?
...that the land snail Euglandina rosea is a significant threat to Hawaiian freshwater snail known as Newcomb's snail (Erinna newcombi), because the predatory Euglandina is able to hunt Erinna under water?
...that the body of the "X-ray fish" (Pristella maxillaris ) is so transparent that it is possible to see its backbone?
The red pigment in a flamingo's plumage comes from its diet of shrimps, which get it from microscopic algae.
A brilliantly-coloured oriental sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus vittatus) waits while two boldly-patterned cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) pick parasites from its skin. The spotted tail and fin pattern of the sweetlips signals sexual maturity; the behaviour and pattern of the cleaner fish signal their availability for cleaning service, rather than as prey
Idealised bilaterian body plan. With an elongated body and a direction of movement the animal has head and tail ends. Sense organs and mouth form the basis of the head. Opposed circular and longitudinal muscles enable peristaltic motion.
The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species, along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water, and marine), and free-living or parasitic ways of life. Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000-27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000-20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million. Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species--including those not yet described--was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[a]
^The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).
^Sluys, R. (1999). "Global diversity of land planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Terricola): a new indicator-taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies". Biodiversity and Conservation. 8 (12): 1663-1681. doi:10.1023/A:1008994925673. S2CID38784755.