Tag Archives: Nature Afield

Meet the Narwhal

This super-bad unicorn of the sea is most closely related to the beluga whale. The unicorn-horn is not a horn at all but a tooth that grows through the top lip. Male narwhals have one overgrown tooth (1 in 500 have 2) that usually comes from the left and in mega rare cases the female can have a tusk as well. The body length can be up to 3 meters and the tusk can be half that size. So, why do they have a tusk? Well, not for hunting because they eat benthic foods. Fighting? Breaking through the ice? These behaviors have rarely been observed. Continue reading

Meet the Hyrax

These swarthy little mammals hang out in Africa and the Middle East and have been blowing up in the news recently. They are in the family Procaviidae which is the only living family in Hydrocoidea. Interestingly, they have multi-chambered stomach, but they are definitely not ruminants.

Even more remarkable, is their song which is a mammal freestyle like you’ve never seen. Check out the video below from Arik Kershenbaum from the University of Haifa:

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.

Meet the Pselaphinae

A Snapshot of Pselaphine Beetle Diversity: plates from Raffray’s Étude sur les Psélaphides (1890)

Guest post by Joseph Parker, Coleopterist, Columbia University.

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to walk through a rainforest, you’ll probably have noticed huge numbers of ants patrolling the ground at your feet. Ants dominate forest environments, dismembering other arthropods, harvesting honeydew from plant sucking bugs, and waging war on neighbouring colonies.

But amongst the ants exists another, far more poorly known group of creatures… a group of beetles called Pselaphinae (SEH-LA-FIN-EE). In terms of species richness they rival—and may even surpass—ants. These beetles are remarkable, being one of the most morphologically diverse groups of organisms out there, with a seemingly endless range of bizarre body forms. Continue reading

Meet the Sea Spider

Sea spiders are a class of marine arthropods called Pycnogonida that are found nearly everywhere in oceans from deep to shallow ranges. They are not arachnids, but considered chelicerates even though this fact may be debated. They feed on ocean invertebrates using a proboscis and suction feeding.

Sea spiders use external fertilization and interestingly the male provides care to the young.

Watch the sea spider video below!

To learn more check out this 2009 article in Science Magazine complete with a slideshow of deep sea spiders feeding!

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.

Meet the Pig-Nosed Turtle

photo from austinsturtlepage.com

The fly river turtle or pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) is found in the freshwaters of New Guinea and Australia. These turtles are so unique that they are the only living member of the family Carettochelyidae.

Check out the video from “Life in Cold Blood” with David Attenborough below.

If you want to learn more check out this website: http://www.carettochelys.com

“Meet the…” is a collaboration between The Finch & Pea and Nature Afield to bring Nature’s amazing creatures into your home.