Exploring Our World

Earth's Amazing Creatures - Part 2

1. The Maned (Wolf)

The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is not a fox, nor is it a wolf, as it is not closely related to other canids.

2. Mantis Shrimp

Also called the “sea locusts“, “prawn killers” and even “thumb splitters”, this is one of the most common predators in tropical and sub-tropical waters; little is known about them, however, because of how much time they spend hiding in their burrows.

3. Naked Mole Rat

The naked mole-rat also known as the sand puppy or desert mole rat, is a burrowing mammal native to parts of East Africa.

4. The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher

The royal flycatcher is a name used for roughly four species of birds in the genus Onychorhynchus within the family Tityridae.

Royal Flycatchers build very large nests (sometimes up to 6 feet long) on branches near water. The nest hangs over the water which makes it hard for predators to reach. They are typically found in the wilds of Central and South America, in the woodland and forest areas of the Amazon River basin, and as far as Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

The spectacular display of plumage is generally only on display during courtship rituals and in competition with other males over breeding or territory. Normally the plumed crest is lying flat but it can open up like a fan.

The royal flycatchers are thought to feed on insects, particularly large flying insects such as dragonflies, which are snapped up in flight or gleaned from foliage. Although usually solitary or in pairs, these birds have also frequently been observed in small, mixed-species flocks.

5. The Bird of Paradise

The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise inhabits the mountain forests of New Guinea, and is distributed from the Weyland Mountains in Western New Guinea to the Kratke Range and Mount Giluwe in Papua New Guinea between 1,300–2,850 meters above mean sea level, but usually between 1,800–2,500 meters above sea level.

Adult males are territorial. The male guards its territory from perches placed in the tops of tall trees, and from these perches sings to compete with males in neighboring territories. While singing, the male moves his occipital plumes about. In 1996 David Attenborough filmed the first ever footage of the mating ritual of the bird.

The King of Saxony Bird of Paradise’s mating courtship behavior consists of a combination of vocalizations and physical maneuvers, enhanced by its magnificent and unique plumage.

6. The Blob Sculpin

The blob sculpin is found the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan and from the Bering Sea to Southern California. Deep sea, found 2753 to 9187 feet. It has been named the world’s ugliest animal.

The 2-foot-long fish is rather reclusive and not often seen, but blob sculpins have been known to dote on their young. Scientists have observed males guarding rocky seafloor nesting sites, filled with hundreds of pale pink eggs. It can be found off the coasts of mainland California.

The flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. Blobfish are often caught as bycatch in botton trawling nets. Scientists now fear the blobfish could become an endangered species because of deep-ocean trawling.

The Blobfish dines on invertebrates such as sea pens, crabs and mollusks. Deep-sea observations have found that a male guarding eggs was often very close to another male and his eggs. Nesting males can be found just a boulder away from another male.

7. The Amber Phantom Butterfly

These unique butterflies have transparent wings, are often found proximate to bamboos & live in deeply shaded rain forests. The Amber Phantom Butterfly is crepuscular and is rarely seen in vivid sunlight. They can be found in the Guianas, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela.

Incredibly unique one-of-a-kind creatures!