Saturday Surprise — Fun Critter Facts ‘n Pics!

Today’s Saturday Surprise is … well, just a hodgepodge of animal facts, some with pictures and a few accompanied by short video clips.  I thought critters would be more likely to bring a smile than humans at this juncture.  I hope these provide you with some interesting new info and bring a smile to your face to kick off the weekend!

The male seahorse goes through pregnancy and gives birth to babies. They are the only animal on earth where the male carries the baby rather than the female.

The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies—as many as 2,000 at a time.

Roosters prevent themselves from going deaf due to their own loud crowing, by tilting their head backs when they crow, which covers their ear canal completely, serving as a built-in ear-plug.

A study showed that their crowing averages over 100 decibels, which is roughly the same as running a chainsaw. 

Otters “hold hands” while sleeping, so they don’t float away from each other.

And it’s super-cute. Look.

A common garden snail has 14,000 teeth.

Their microscoptic teeth are called radula, and some species actually have over 20,000 teeth.

The pangolin is able to roll up into an armour-plated ball, so lions can’t eat them.

A Blue Whale’s tongue can weigh as much as a car, or a small adult elephant.

A Blue Whale’s tongue can weigh approx. 2.7 tonnes, or 6,000 – 8,000 pounds (2,720 – 3,630 kg).

Axolotl are able to regenerate lost limbs and body organs.

Mexican walking fish can regrow the same limb up to 5 times, and even regenerate parts of its brain.

An ostrich’s legs are so powerful that their kicks can kill a lion.

Or a human! Each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw – making them formidable weapons. Animals often end up running away from the large bird.

The Japanese Spider Crab has the longest leg span of any arthropod.

From the tip of one claw to the other can be as long as almost 4m! Japanese spider crabs have 10 legs stretching out from a central body, giving it its spider-like appearance. They live deep in the oceans south of Japan.

Emperor penguins are the world’s biggest penguins, and they trek 50–120 km (31–75 m) across the Antarctic to reach breeding colonies.

The impressive emperor penguins reach 100 cm (39 in) in length and weigh 22 to 45 kg (49 to 99 lb). They breed during winter, when they emerge from their more natural habitat in the ocean to trek long distances over treacherous ice.

The lesula, discovered in 2007, has giant human like eyes and a blue bottom.

This relatively newly discovered monkey lives in the Congo. The lesula eyes are very distinctive because of their human-like appearance, as are their bright blue bums.

Honeypot ants swell up to a huge size with food.

Honeypot ants have to be seen to be believed. During wet season, certain ants consume huge amounts of nectar, making their abdomens swell up to the size of a grape. Then, during dry season, they provide the other ants with food by throwing the nectar back up again. Yum!

I’m sorry … I just couldn’t resist this one …

The Donald Trump caterpillar looks identical to the ex-president’s hair.

This species of caterpillar, prior to 2016, was known as the Flannel Moth Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis). It gained popularity as it is very furry and bright orange, giving it an uncanny resemblance to Trump’s hair (wig?). This ‘fur’ however, is actually composed of multiple venomous ‘hairs’. Grabbing hold of one of these caterpillars is a painful experience.

And that’s all I have for this Saturday, my friends!  I hope you all have a nice relaxing weekend and that the temperatures aren’t unbearably hot where you are.

Saturday Surprise — Strange & Funny Critters!

Good morning folks … it’s the WEEKEND!!! I’m so happy when you guys make a little time to come by and visit at the beginning of the weekend … it makes my weekend that much better! Remember the time I did a Saturday Surprise post about unique animals?  Well … I’m in the mood today for some cute animals to bring a ray of light, since Mother Nature is doing a poor job of it these days.

First, let’s start out with some unique animals that most of us have never heard of, let alone seen!

This guy reminds me of a stern-looking grandfather …Emperor tamarinHe is actually an Emperor Tamarin, found through Central and the northern half of South America.  And this guy is a Cotton Top Tamarin, so named for obvious reasons.cotton-top-tamarin.jpg

Here we have a Magnificent Frigatebird, famous for its bright red, balloon-like throat pouch.

Frigatebird.jpgThis pouch is found on male frigatebirds, and they typically inflate it to get females’ attention.  Hmmm … it would certainly get attention, but I’m not sure I would be attracted.  But then … I’m not a bird.

Now aren’t these guys just adorable …

They are Peacock Spiders, native to Australia, and named for their bright colors and dancelike courtship rituals.  They are lifting a leg as part of the mating dance.

This next guy is so ugly he’s cute, if you know what I mean …Lowland_Streaked_TenrecHe is a Lowland Streaked Tenrec.  Tenrecs are like a cross between a shrew, an opossum and an otter, with a 5-6 inch body, long snout and vestigial tail.  Found only in the rainforests of Madagascar, its bright yellow stripes and barbed quills signal danger for predators

This is a Zebra Duiker and at first glance I thought it was perhaps a mammalian bumblebee!zebra_DuikerA member of the antelope species, the Zebra Duiker is found in the lowland primary rain forests of West Africa.  They’re tiny (30-35 inches long, weighing 40-45 pounds), with short, sharp horns and zebra-like stripes that help them hide from the many predators that eat them.  They also have super-powerful nasal bones, which allow them to use their face to crack open the tough exterior of certain fruits.

And lastly, this little guy …Honduran_White_Bat… is a Honduran White Bat, also known as the Ghost Bat, and is one of only two white bat species in the world.  They’re found only in the jungles of Central America, where they’re usually seen hanging in colonies of up to 6 from heliconia plants.

Next, I wanted to take a few minutes to look at some beautiful wildlife photography. Every week, The Guardian does a “Week in Wildlife” feature and I am always amazed at how the photographers get so close and get such beautiful shots.  Here are a few from the last couple of weeks …

This first one is called Bond of Brothers by David Lloyd, New Zealand/UK.Brother lionsThese two adult male lions, probably brothers, greeted each other by rubbing faces for 30 seconds before settling down. Most people never have the opportunity to witness such animal sentience, and Lloyd says he was honoured to have experienced and captured such a moment.  Isn’t this heartwarming and gorgeous?

Here we have one called Fox Meets Fox by Matthew Maran, UK.Fox meets foxMaran has been photographing foxes near his north London home for more than a year, and ever since spotting this street art he longed of capturing this image. After countless hours and many failed attempts, his persistence paid off.  My question, though … are there normally foxes roaming the streets of London?

Here we have a rescued pangolin …


Photograph: Themba Hadebe/AP

… believed to be the world’s most trafficked animal, looking for food on a private property in Johannesburg, South Africa.

And that’s about all we have time for this morning, but of course what would an animal post be without a cute animal video???  This one is guaranteed to make you laugh!

I hope you enjoyed the animals today, hope you got a chuckle from the video, and most of all, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Keep safe and have fun, my friends!