Caterpillars are the larval form of moths and butterflies. Since these creatures are so rich in protein, they tend to be a favored food source of many species. As a result, caterpillars have developed many a coping mechanism for this issue. Predators can easily be deterred by the appearance or size of a caterpillar. Bright colors, as seen in these pictures, usually makes an animal think poison, so they will tend to stay away. While some caterpillars may fake it, there are indeed some truly poisonous caterpillars out there as well. Also, spikes make a good predator deterrent because of the lack of appeal they present to being eaten.
April 13th, 2013 by mongabay
April 8th, 2013 by mongabay
Written by Jordanna Dulaney
The woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha) is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN’s Red List. In fact, studies predict that the species will decline at least 30% in the coming 45 years. The IUCN cites hunting, habitat loss due to the expansion of farming land, and pet trafficking. These pictures were taken at a rehabilitation center for animals in the pet trafficking trade in Amacayacu National Park, Colombia.
Woolly monkeys are named for their thick, woolly fur. Coloring ranges from dark grey to a light red hue, and serve to camouflage the monkey in the forest canopy. Woolly monkeys grow large: both males and females grow to around 20 inches long. The monkeys sport a tail as long as their body, equipped with a pad near the end to grip trees and branches. Studies show that wooly monkeys in the wild often eat fruits, young leaves, and flowers.
Amacayacu Park (Amacayacu means “River of Hamocs” in the indigenous language) runs along the Amazon River, in the south of Colombia. The park is a common stop for eco-tourists and boasts lush rain forests, scenic river views, and over 5,000 different plant species.
April 5th, 2013 by mongabay
Written by Jemma Smith
To commemorate this years Earth Hour and raise awareness of turtle conservation, the Chinese organization Sea Turtles 911 released two Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) back into the wild during this special hour.
Earth Hour encourages businesses and households worldwide to switch off their lights for one hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on the 23rd of March. This is to raise awareness of climate change. This provided a great opportunity for Sea Turtles 911 to highlight the threats turtles suffer from climate change and other human impacts such as artificial light.
Sand temperature determines the sex of turtles during incubation. Sea Turtles 911 Founding Director Frederick Yeh said, “As the global climate’s average temperature increases, more females will be hatched, jeopardizing sea turtle populations with an unbalanced sex ratio.”
Light along the shore line can confuse nesting females and hatched baby turtles who rely on moon light to guide them to the sea, leading further inland.
This species is listed as Endangered on the IUCN’s red list and listed on Appendix 1 of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Hence making the trade of this animal or part of the animal illegal, however illegal poaching is still a big problem for this species and the black market thrives.
Sea Turtles 911 has linked up with a local resort The Ritz Carlton Sanya on Hainan island, China to put together this special event. This has helped increase awareness of the threats to turtles, using education and engagement, which is a vital part in protecting the future of these stunning marine reptiles.
The two turtles released were given the names “Diqiu” and “Xiaoshi” which together means Earth Hour in Chinese.
April 3rd, 2013 by mongabay
Written by Alexander Holmgren
The word hippopotamus comes from ancient Greek meaning “river horse” and this sturdy animal is the third largest land dwelling mammal in the world. It spends half of its time submerged in large groups in bodies of water such as rivers or lakes taking mud baths to keep itself cool in the hot African day. At dusk, as the sun begins to fall, the hippopotamus will depart from the water to graze on grass and other vegetation before returning to the water. What’s interesting however, is that the hippopotamus is more closely related to whales or dolphins than any other mammal.
Hippo’s have a highly adapted head. The primary sensory structure including the eyes, nose, and ears are all located on the top of the head allowing the Hippo to peer out of the water while still completely submerged. In the picture provided a hippopatmus shows its massive mouth, with teeth that grow almost continuously throughout it’s life, sharpen through grinding, and jaws that can open to almost 180 degrees the hippopotamus is well equipped to defending itself from predators.
April 1st, 2013 by mongabay
These masters of disguise are endemic to Madagascar and can be found in a variety habitats ranging from urban to rural landscapes and moist to dry areas at various elevations. Oustalet’s Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) are known as the words longest chameleon maturing to nearly 70cm in length. Due to this widespread range there are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN’s Red List. They mainly feed on insects which they catch with their high-speed long sticky tongue and were previously thought to be carnivores, however, they have been observed feeding on fruit.
Written By Jemma Smith
April 15th, 2012 by Mongabay
April 14th, 2012 by Mongabay
April 5th, 2012 by Mongabay
April 2nd, 2012 by Mongabay
Rainforest tree on Peucang Island. More pictures of Peucang Island.
March 31st, 2012 by Mongabay
Blue-footed poison dart frog (Oophaga pumilio) from Panama