Inquiries, Requests, and a Place to Spill Your GutsSubmissions I am Ashley. This is my personal blog. If you want just marine biology, go here. I love the world; I really don't like people. I balance all this animosity towards the human race with being an almost always kind and gentle being to all creatures. I'm highly introverted and nature is my primary escape from humanity. Creepy-crawly-slimy things are my favorites. Dinosaurs are fantastic. Future marine biologist; presently an amateur entomologist, ichthyologist, artist, biologist, and writer. Literature, video game, and music connoisseur. I'm so full of passion for the world that it hurts. I think a lot, I laugh a lot, I love a lot. Almost none of the photos are mine and only some of the drawings are mine. Listen in.
The smallest auk in the Atlantic is the little auk, also called the dovekie (Alle alle). Its beak is specially adapted for catching small pray as its main food source is plankton. It breeds along the Arctic coast, but spends its winters out at sea.
The only thing more shocking about the purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) than its plumage, is its diet. While it feeds mostly on vegetation, it is also known to eat the eggs and even the live young of other water birds. It is one of the largest members of the rail family (consisting of crakes, coots, and gallinules, among others), and its robust build allows it to more or less roam wherever it pleases within its range.
The scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) is most commonly found along the northern coast of South America. It spends its time in swamps, lagoons, and coastal wetlands, probing in soft mud for food with its long bill. Like other ibises, it uses this touch-method of hunting rather than hunting by sight. Its most common prey items are crabs, shellfish, and aquatic insects.
The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) has a rather unique way of eating its prey. As the name implies, this bird feeds on stinging insects; it does this by rubbing the insect’s stinging-end against its perch while squishing the body of the insect to dispel its venom.
The common murre, also known as the common guillemot (Uria aalge), is a marine bird found in northern waters of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Like several other species of birds—especially ones who lay their eggs on cliffs along the sea—this bird’s eggs have evolved to be particularly pointed at one end, so if they get pushed out of the nest they roll in a circle rather than off the cliff edge.
Beautiful and elegant, the blue crane (Anthropoides paradiseus) is native to a relatively small area in South Africa (where it is the national bird). Populations of this bird have seriously declined since the 1970s for a number of anthropogenic reasons. They face habitat loss, bioaccumulation of toxins from insecticides, and life-threatening collisions with power lines. Conservation programs are now in place to aid the recovery of this species.
Although Temminck’s tragopan (Tragopan temminckii) is naturally brightly colored, when the males engage in their courtship display, they show off even more magnificent colors to garner female attention. To do so, they inflate their throat wattle and shake it around until the female is impressed enough to allow the male to mate with her.
The great argus (Argusianus argus) is one of the world’s largest pheasants. To attract a mate, the males of this species fan out their wings, raise their tails, and call out loudly, hoping to catch the attention of a near-by female.
The morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae) is found throughout Australia and the surrounding islands. Also called the boobook owl, this species uses a two-syllable call that sounds like a high pitched “boobook.” This owl is particularly adept at hunting birds and insects mid-flight.
The chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) is most recognizable for its questionable facial hair. These little birds breed on coastal areas in Antarctica that are not covered in ice. The survivorship rates of this species vary greatly depending on how persistent the freeze along the coast is. If sea ice remains for a long time near chinstrap penguin colonies, there is much less of a chance of their young surviving, due to the parents being restricted from the sea (where they forage).