insects, over 85,000 are molluscs, and around 65,000 are vertebrates. It has been estimated there are around 7.77 million animal species. Animals range in length from 8.5 micrometres (0.00033 in) to 33.6 metres (110 ft). They have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The scientific study of animals is known as zoology
classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. Zoology is one of the primary branches of biology. The term is derived from Ancient Greekζῷον, zōion ('animal'), and λόγος, logos ('knowledge', 'study'). (Full article...
suborder Caelifera. They are among what is possibly the most ancient living group of chewing herbivorous insects, dating back to the early Triassic
around 250 million years ago.
Grasshoppers are typically ground-dwelling insects with powerful hind legs which allow them to escape from threats by leaping vigorously. Their front leg is shorter and used for grasping food. As
moults, becoming more similar to the adult insect at each developmental stage. The grasshopper hears through the tympanal organ which can be found in the first segment of the abdomen attached to the thorax; while its sense of vision is in the compound eyes, the change in light intensity is perceived in the simple eyes (ocelli). At high population densities and under certain environmental conditions, some grasshopper species can change color and behavior and form swarms. Under these circumstances, they are known as locusts. (Full article...
The bird-cherry ermine (Yponomeuta evonymella) is a species of moth in the family Yponomeutidae, native to Europe and parts of Asia. The caterpillars are gregarious and feed on the leaves of the bird cherry tree, forming silken webbing for their own protection. They create further webbing on the trunk and near the base of the tree, which hides them as they pupate. This photograph shows one of many bird-cherry ermine caterpillar nests on a tree in Lahemaa National Park, Estonia. In some years, they are so numerous that they can completely strip a tree of its foliage.
Ancient Greek ὄφις (óphis) 'serpent', and οὐρά (ourá) 'tail'; referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star) are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea, closely related to starfish. They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long, slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 cm (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. (Full article...)
Eutropis macularia, the bronze grass skink, is a species of lizard in the skink family, Scincidae, native to South and Southeast Asia. It lives in both deciduous and evergreen forests, in plantations, in grasslands, and in rocky areas with scattered trees. The species is active in both the day and the night, feeding on insects and other invertebrates. This bronze grass skink was photographed on a tree trunk on the island of Don Det in Laos.
Liguus virgineus, also known as the candy cane snail, is a species of snail in the family Orthalicidae. It is native to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There have also been at least three reports of living specimens being found in the Florida Keys of the United States. The snail lives on trees and feeds on moss, fungi and microscopic algae covering the bark.
An illustration of various Pulmonata (and one predator arthropod in the lower right), an informal group of snails and slugs characterized by the ability to breathe air, by virtue of having a pallial lung instead of a gill, or gills. Pulmonata was previously a formal taxon but lost its status as one in 2010. The group includes many land and freshwater families, and several marine families. Most species have a shell, but no operculum, although the group does also include several shell-less slugs. Pulmonates are hermaphroditic, and some groups possess love darts.
The Peacock flounder (Bothus mancus) is a species of lefteye flounder found widely in relatively shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific. This photomontage shows four separate views of the same fish, each several minutes apart, starting from the top left. Over the course of the photos, the fish changes its colors to match its new surroundings, and then finally (bottom right) buries itself in the sand, leaving only the eyes protruding.
organs, which restricts them to having flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion. The digestive cavity has only one opening for both ingestion (intake of nutrients) and egestion (removal of undigested wastes); as a result, the food cannot be processed continuously. (Full article...)
The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is a medium-sized cephalopod found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, and clams, and displays unusual behaviour, including bipedal walking and gathering and using coconut shells and seashells for shelter.
Hyracoidea, and the only living species in its genus. Like all hyraxes, it is a medium-sized terrestrial mammal between 4 kilograms (9 lb) and 5 kilograms (11 lb) in mass, with short ears and tail. The rock hyrax is found across Africa and the Middle East, at elevations up to 4,200 metres (13,800 ft). It resides in habitats with rock crevices which it uses to escape from predators. Along with the other hyrax species and the manatee, these are the animals most closely related to the elephant.
Anatomical diagram of an adult female chambered nautilus, the best known species of nautilus, a "living fossil" related to the octopuses. The animal has a primitive brain that forms a ring around its oesophagus, has four gills (all other cephalopods have only two), and can only move shell-first (seemingly "backwards") by pumping water out through its funnel. The shell and tentacles are shown here as shadows.
hound shark found along the Pacific coast of North America from the U.S. state of Oregon to Mazatlán in Mexico. Typically measuring 1.2–1.5 m (3.9–4.9 ft) long, this slender-bodied shark is characterized by black saddle-like markings and large spots over its back.
The Atlantic spadefish is a species of marine fish endemic to the shallow waters off the coast of the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean Sea. They are similar in appearance to fresh waterangelfish, but much larger, reaching up to three feet (0.9 m) in length. Due to their reputation as strong fighters, they are popular game fish, especially during the summer months when they are most active.
Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope), the smallest bird found in Canada and the United States, feeding insects to chicks. Found mostly in western North America (although vagrants have been found in New York and Connecticut), it is migratory and winters in southwestern Mexico.
The paddyfield pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, comprising pipits, longclaws and wagtails. About 15 cm (6 in) in length and native to southern Asia, its plumage in both sexes is greyish-brown above and paler yellowish-brown below, with dark streaking on the breast. A bird of open country, pasture and cultivated fields, it sometimes makes short flights, but mostly runs on the ground, foraging for insects and other small invertebrates. The paddyfield pipit builds its cup-shaped nest in a concealed location on the ground, and may have two or more broods in a year. This A. r. rufulus individual was photographed in Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
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species that was already capable of flight.
However, there are alternate hypotheses which conclude that bats are
polyphyletic. The flying primate hypothesis was created in the 1980s stating that, based on morphological evidence, the Megachiroptera evolved flight separately from the Microchiroptera, although genetic evidence supports the monophyly of bats. This model states that fruit bats and primates share several anatomical features not seen in microbats, and are thus more closely related; for example, their brains show a number of advanced characteristics that link them to primates. (Full article...
is the most endangered species of dolphin in the world, with only about 110 left?
...that the land snail Euglandina rosea is a significant threat to Hawaiian freshwater snail known as Newcomb's snail (Erinna newcombi), because the predatory Euglandina is able to hunt Erinna under water?
...that the body of the "
X-ray fish" (Pristella maxillaris ) is so transparent that it is possible to see its backbone
oriental sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus vittatus) waits while two boldly-patterned cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) pick parasites from its skin. The spotted tail and fin pattern of the sweetlips signals sexual maturity; the behaviour and pattern of the cleaner fish signal their availability for cleaning service, rather than as prey (from Animal coloration
Auroralumina attenboroughii, an Ediacaran predator (c. 560 mya) (from Animal
Image 48Animal anatomical engraving from Handbuch der Anatomie der Tiere für Künstler. (from Zoology)
The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species, along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water, and marine), and free-living or parasitic ways of life. Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000–27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000–20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million. Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species—including those not yet described—was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[a]
^The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).