Saturday Surprise — Unique Critters!

Good Saturday morning, friends!  I hope you all have something fun and relaxing planned for the weekend!  Daughter Chris has a band performance at Miami University tonight, but Miss Goose and I will be dining next door with Maha & Ali who are fixing me a special birthday dinner.  Then on Sunday, we will be going to the local nursery to pick out a couple of potted flowers to brighten our back patio.  Nothing too exciting, but still, a nice break from the ordinary.

I debated about what to do for our Saturday surprise today … we haven’t gone exploring for a long time, but I just didn’t feel motivated for travel.  I also haven’t done a ‘unique animals’ post for a while, and that rather sounded fun, so I have gone in search of some fun and different critters for us to enjoy today.

Thorny-dragonThis cutie is known by many names:  thorny dragon, thorny devil, thorny lizard, and mountain devil.  He’s smaller than he looks in the picture … only a maximum of about 8 inches in length, and that includes the tail.  Native to Australia, this is the only species in the genus Moloch. Thorny-dragon-2The thorny dragon can live up to 20 years, and they subsist solely on … ants.  They have several means of warding off would-be predators … first, of course, any predator would find those scales a bit ominous.  They can also puff themselves up to look significantly larger than they are.  And third, they have what is known as a ‘false head’, or a knob-like appendage on the backs of their necks.  When threatened, they can tuck their real head between their forelegs, and the false head is left in its place.

Proboscis-monkeyFound in the rainforests of Borneo, this guy, the proboscis monkey, reminds me of my Uncle Lou!  According to National Geographic, they actually use their big noses to attract mates.  “Scientists think these outsize organs create an echo chamber that amplifies the monkey’s call, impressing females and intimidating rival males.”  Their noses can grow to as long as 7 inches … that’s quite a schnoz!

Sadly, due to loss of vegetation (you know, that climate change hoax?), there are only about 1,000 proboscis monkeys left in the world, and they are strictly protected by the government of Borneo, though some poaching still occurs.

pinocchio-frog.pngAnd speaking of critters with large noses, this is the recently-discovered (2008) Pinocchio frog.  Found in Papua, New Guinea, little is known about them, but they have the ability to enlarge and inflate their nose. It inflates when the male frog is calling out, and it goes down when the frog is calm and quiet.  Kind of cute, isn’t he?

AxolotlMeet the axolotl, also known as the Mexican Walking Fish. He is actually a small salamander and is a critically endangered species.  Whereas most such amphibians grow into adulthood by developing lungs and leaving the water behind for a home on land, these guys live their entire lives underwater.  They are currently only known to live in one place, Lake Xochimilco south of Mexico City.axelotl-3The thing that makes them most unique is their ability to heal themselves.  They can re-generate their limbs, eyes, and even parts of their brain!

Markhor.jpgThe main thing that sets this markhor apart from other wild goats is the spiraling horns on its head.  They live in mountain ranges from Afghanistan to northern India, but it’s the national animal of Pakistan.  In Persian, the name markhor means ‘snake-eater’.  Their horns can grow up to 5 feet long!  That’s as long as Miss Goose is tall!  Considering that these goats are only 2-4 feet tall, it seems as if their horns would make them top-heavy. Markhor-2They use their horns for digging in the ground, fighting other males for the attention of females, and stripping bark off of trees.  Rather like trees, there are rings on the horns that can tell the age of the markhor.

Honduran_White_BatLast but not least, how about this tiny, adorable Honduran white bat?  Also known as the ghost bat, he is tiny, only about 1.5 inches long, and is found only in the jungles of Central America.  Still another name for him is the “Caribbean white tent-making bat” … that’s a mouthful!  It came by that name because it constructs ‘tents’ out of plant leaves by strategically cutting the leaf ribs with its teeth; it roosts in these tents during the day.


Okay, folks … time for you to set out on your weekend adventures!  I hope you enjoyed the unique critters.  Perhaps next Saturday we’ll fire up the Filomobile and take off on a short jaunt to parts unknown!  Have a great weekend!weekend

49 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Unique Critters!

  1. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JILL ! Hope you have a MAGICAL DAY! Wishing you much happiness and joy ….in the coming year!
    Miami University ? Are you in Florida ….with your family?
    Sending you Best Wishes!

    Love the critters! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Patty!!! It was actually Thursday, but it’s easier to celebrate on the weekend. No, not Florida! Ohio … there is a Miami University in Oxford, Ohio! If I were in Florida, you and I would have already met up for coffee at least a few times! Thanks for the birthday wishes … made me smile! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday Jill. 🎈🎂❤️

    In 2007, I was taken on a high speed (in a rather scary motorised wooden canoe) river journey, to a remote village 30 miles from Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (next to Malaysia), where I saw a whole troop of proboscis monkeys living in the adjacent forest. The boat engine failed, my guide unable to speak English, left me worried that I would have to spend the night amongst the mangrove swamps. Fortunately, he got out a bunch of tools and managed to fix the problem in about a half an hour. I still feel quite privileged to have experienced that, despite my fear. And my guide made $50 US, which was (for him) quite a large sum. He lived in a stilted village over the inlet to the sea and showed me the modest home where he and his family all lived. One of those special memories in life!

    Have a great weekend. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

        • But does she want to? Do you want to write a book, Colette.
          I want to, but yet i don’t want to. Every time I try to write something non-fiction, I getted bogged down in some of my own philosophic processes. I do not want to be seen to be telling anyone elde how they should live, we have enough people doing that already, each and every one of them as wrong as every other one. I would be no different. Maybe Co.ette feels the same way. I don’t know…
          How about you, Jill? Do you want to write a book?

          Liked by 1 person

          • rg, I thought once, that I would like to write a book, but now… Not so much. I can rant on a subject and quite all sorts of useless information from the scant learnings of my life. But I ask myself (often) what is the purpose of writing? To entertain? To teach? There are so many offerings out there to entertain and travel blogs, and vlogs ad nauseum. And really, who would I be teaching (or at least informing of my opinion)? I seem to do that ad nauseum in comments on other blogs.

            For a while, I wrote a funny travel blog (just to family and friends via email), and I was told by one friend that I was funnier than Bill Bryson. That was praise indeed, but ‘funny’ (like Jill’s ‘Jolly,’) seems to have left me permanently, well at least it seems that way.
            I just haven’t got my heart in it!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Times change, people change, and inspirations de-inspire, or something like that.
              Gail tells me you write on Fb a lot, but I just can’t bring myself to go there, even for a good friend. There is something about most social media that forces me in the opposite direction, like a DO NOT ENTER sign.
              To entertain, that is one thing. To teach, I’ve passed that phase of life, I hope. I love to give of myself, in my blog, and in my comments. But, to teach, not anymore. I hate it when I feel others are trying to teach me, so why should I make others feel that way?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, I think you are right rg. I actually only do a bit of reposting of news on FB. Yeah, occasional comments on a couple of groups, but actually, I find it a bit tedious (like twitter) sometimes. I use as an escape mainly. I don’t have a lot to keep my brain going, so I sharpen a few synapses by thinking about conundrums. I am with you on the idea we can’t teach others by anything more than example. Certainly the Native tribes of the Americas had that right. If only we had learned from them rather than bombastic white men. We might have a more balanced world. As it is, we have to try and make the best of a world that no longer communicates face to face.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Awww … I wouldn’t try to make anybody do anything they didn’t want to … I just try to offer encouragement to Colette, for she has seen and done so much, and I find it all fascinating. And you have some truly unique perspectives that I also find fascinating, but writing a book is something that one has to feel a pull to do, and you cannot simply force yourself to sit down and write a book. You could, I suppose, but it wouldn’t be real. As for me … yeah, sometimes I think I have a book in me, but I have tried a few times, and it just falls flat. Either I don’t have any writing talent, else I just haven’t found the right inspiration yet.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Haven’t got any writing talent! Jill, you should be ashamed.
              Weii, not ashamed, but what you are suggesting is, in my eyes, ridiculous.
              But I am not saying write a book, unless you want to. I cannot keep my concentration long enough to finish a post, these days, let alone a book. I’ve got three going right now, but once I run out of steam, which I do far too easily now, I just can’t seem to go back. I lose my train of thought, and poof, no more desire to finish…
              Ahhhhh, the life of an old fogey…

              Liked by 1 person

            • Probably not found the right inspiration Jill… Books need passion. They have to pour out of you like an excited child talking about their first day at school. Then they are really interesting because you can imagine (or even feel) that emotion that comes through.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday, Jill. Always suspected you might be a Gemini, though you are certainly not the two-faced type. We are supposed to have a lot to teach each other. Frivolity and Intensity. Almost all my best friends have been geminis.
    I love the idea of a false head.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for this very interesting post, Jill. The Pinocchio frog made me think of Donald Trump, except that The Donald’s nose would be infinitely longer than the frog’s (and a proboscis monkey’s nose) by now.

    P.S. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

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