White-faced sakis are cat-sized South American monkeys, although their thick fur makes them look much larger than they are. Also known as “flying monkeys”, sakis are stealthy arboreal primates that can quickly flee an area through the treetops in a series of leaps of up to 30 feet.
Tui - Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae
Endemic to New Zealand, the commonly named Tui,Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae (Passeriformes - Meliphagidae) is an important pollinator of native forest flowers. The flowers of the harakeke, or flax, are perfectly shaped to fit the tui’s beak. The yellow colouring on this tui’s forehead is a dusting of pollen from the harakeke flowers from which it has been feeding on nectar.
They are intelligent, aggressively territorial, and are said to be able to imitate the calls of nearly every other bird, as well as a vast array of other sounds.
Photo and text credit: ©Sid Mosdell | Locality: Waikawa, Marlborough, New Zealand (2011)
Burmese Lynx Spider - Oxyopes birmanicus
The Burmese Lynx Spiders, belonging to the species Oxyopes birmanicus (Araneae - Oxyopidae), are agile hunters and have the advantage of their long legs armed with nearly erect spines. They can be seen running and jumping after prey, and although measuring less than one centimeter, it is not uncommon that their preys exceed the size of the spider.
Oxyopes birmanicus is known to occur in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.
The sequined (or mirror) spider has silvery patches covering its abdomen. Because the speckles reflect and scatter light, they may make the spider harder for predators to see. Amazingly, the patches with change in size depending on the spider’s level of agitation.
Image credit: Andrew Ker
A gravid (pregnant) corn snake will find a warm, hidden location to lay and abandon her eggs. After about 10 weeks, the baby snakes begin to hatch, using a specialized scale called an “egg tooth” to tear out of the leathery shell. After their first meal of egg yolk, the snakes must rely on hunting instincts to find their own food.
Having a striped body is advantageous for a zebra. Especially when moving together in groups, the stripes break up the body lines of individual zebras and make it harder for predators to single out prey. In addition, one study showed that biting insects prefer not to land on striped surfaces, so zebras have their own natural form of bug repellant.
Image credit: Michael LB Price
Several species of lionfish have been found to hunt cooperatively. When an individual sees prey nearby, it will approach other lionfish and flare its fins as an invitation to hunt. Working together, the lionfish will corner and attack the prey, then take turns devouring their catch.
The Brazilian pygmy gecko has hydrophobic skin that water cannot penetrate. The gecko is also super small and lightweight, maxing out at about an inch long. Being tiny and water repellant, it is virtually unsinkable and can sit right on the surface of water.
To see it in action, check out this awesome David Attenborough clip from the Life series.