Categories
Animals Nature

Meet the Dracula Parrot, the most metal birds on the planet

Thinking of parrots usually conjures up images of the brightly colored blue, red, and green creatures.

But with the shape of a parrot and the dark beak of a vulture, Pesquet’s parrot, commonly known as the Dracula parrot, is one of the more unique-looking parrot species.

The rare vulture-parrot hybrid found in New Guinea’s rainforests

The vampiric-looking bird from the mountains of New Guinea looks bloodthirsty but snacks on a diet of figs. Its unusual goth-like appearance, a mishmash of black and red plumes, is also quite beautiful. Male Dracula parrots have an extra red dot behind the ears.

Unfortunately, the Dracula Parrot’s mesmerizing feathers make it attractive to poachers. The bird has been listed on the endangered species list by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Pesquet's parrot aka Dracula Parrot
Pesquet's parrot aka Dracula Parrot
Categories
Animals Nature

How the Honduran white bat converts large leaves into tents

Some of the most bizarre wildlife exists in the Honduran rainforest. Take the Honduran white fruit bat (Ectophylla alba), for example.

The size of a golf ball, these tiny fluffy creatures love to snuggle together like peas in a pod in leaf tents. Polygamous, each little colony houses up to six females and one male.

The tent-making bats

These white-winged cotton-ball-looking bats create their nook by nibbling the side veins jutting out from the Heliconia plant, causing the large leaves to fold down to form a tent.

The leaf tents allow the bats to avoid parasites such as bat flies. When sunlight filters through the canopy, their white fur appears green — superb camouflage!

While most bats sleep in caves, these magic bats, also called Caribbean white tent-making bats, spend their leaves eating figs and roosting in peace.

Honduran white bat
Honduran white bat
Honduran white bat
Categories
Animals

The cassowary is living proof that birds are living dinosaurs

The cassowary is further proof that birds are living dinosaurs.

Native to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia, the flightless Cassowary bird can grow up to a whopping 7 feet tall and weigh as much as 120 pounds. It’s the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird.

But even more dinosauric are the cassowary’s razor-sharp talons that it uses to defend itself. Known as the “world’s most dangerous bird,” the cassowary can quickly kill a human with one strike of its dagger-like feet.

Interestingly, the cassowary also lay bright green and pale green-blue eggs during the breeding season. That’s almost as fascinating as the bird’s turquoise neck, shark fin-shaped casque, and glossy feathers — such a mythical and neat-colored creature!

Categories
Animals

The elephant trunk snake

The Elephant trunk snake (Acrochordus javanicus) is among the largest freshwater snakes in the world.

This weird-looking snake has unique wrinkly scalation and a chunky body, resembling an elephant’s trunk. Its face also looks like a pug or seal.

elephant trunk snake

Given the snake’s aquatic nature, it’s often mistaken as an eel. But the elephant trunk snake rarely leaves the water. The creature mostly lives in the streams and lagoons in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Non-venomous — it has a forked tongue — elephant trunk snakes make popular exotic pets.

elephant trunk snake
elephant trunk snake
Categories
Animals

The freaky Potoo bird

The Potoo bird (Ghost bird) from Central and South America can appear freaky.

The strange-looking bird possesses a hooked snake-like bill with a massive gape the animal uses to swallow moths and other insects.

A nocturnal insectivore, their yellow eyes glow up into massive googly balls at night. Yet, they are unrelated to owls.

Potoo bird

The potoo bird enjoys excellent camouflage, living life perched upon a tree branch during the day.

In addition to looking like a muppet, the bird may be best known for its sound, projecting a creepy melancholic song.

Potoo bird
Potoo bird
Categories
Animals

The stealthy ghost crab

The ghost crab is about as big as your hand but as fast as lightning. 

The eight-legged little creature moves across sandy beaches at 100 body lengths per second, which is blazing fast compared to the human and cheetah, which achieve speeds of 11 and 20 body lengths per second. 

The stealthy ghost crab

In other words, you’d be lucky to photograph one. Be prepared for it to dash away as soon as it gets a glimpse of you. The ghost crab typically burrows deep holes in the sand and reemerge late in the day.

But within those stalky eyes and cute little faces are teeth that growl at predators when threatened. The ghost crab is the first example of an animal that uses its stomach to communicate. 

Meanwhile, the crabs survive off insects, small clams, and other sand crabs. 

The stealthy ghost crab
The stealthy ghost crab
The stealthy ghost crab
Categories
Animals Nature Photography

The pink-eyed hover goby

The pink-eyed hover goby (Bryaninops natans) is a fish with a see-through body and yellow organs. 

No bigger than an inch, it’s so transparent you can even see its bones in its body. 

The pink-eyed goby hovers above the tips of Acropora corals in shallow lagoon reefs of the Indo-Pacific area.  

Here are few more images of the cool little fish.  

The pink-eyed hover goby
The pink-eyed hover goby
The pink-eyed hover goby
Categories
Animals

Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird

The Secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is your new favorite bird.

Endemic to Africa and the national bird of Sudan, the Secretary bird looks like a combination of an eagle and a crane. Its snake-stomping legs can deliver up to 43 pounds of force. The raptor is also known for its speed, earning the nickname “devil’s horse.”

But what’s most recognizable about this 4-foot terrestrial bird of prey is its beautiful, elongated eyelashes and eyelash-like feathers.

Don’t be ashamed to admit if the Secretarybird has better eyelashes than you.

Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Categories
Animals Nature

The giant crowned flying fox is a human-size bat from the Philippines

Here’s a creature from the Philippines that will stop you in your tracks. The giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) grows as large as 3 feet with a 5-6 feet wingspan.

It is quite simply one of the largest bats in the world.

giant crowned flying fox

You’d think that the megabat the size of a 6-year-old kid would be a threat, but it’s harmless — the animal is vegetarian and primarily munches on fruit. For that reason, it is also known as the golden-capped fruit bat. The bats even help spread seeds as pollinators. 

Unfortunately, the species is endangered and facing extinction due to poaching in the forest.

giant crowned flying fox
giant crowned flying fox
giant crowned flying fox
Categories
Animals Nature

The flamboyant cuttlefish

The cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) is a real master of color change. 

The bioluminescent fish can modify their appearance and shape using flashing LCD-like bands to hypnotize prey before snatching it up. 

That’s right — these fish use their strobing disco lights to psyche-out crabs and small fish!  

Like the octopus, the cuttlefish have pigmented chromatophores in their skin, allowing them to camouflage with their surroundings. 

Learn more about the cuttlefish in the video below.