TSA Turtle Tuesday: Common Box Turtle
The Common Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) and its six recognized sub-species (Eastern, Three-toed, Florida, Gulf Coast, Mexican, and Putnam’s) can be found in thirty one U.S. states and six states in Mexico. 
These omnivores will eat anything suitable that they come across. Just some of the items included in their diet are mushrooms, roots, fruit, slugs, snails, centipedes, spiders, beetles, fish, frogs and even turtle eggs! 
 It is known as one of the most variable turtles in the world in terms of its coloration and pattern.Like all box turtles, the Common Box Turtle has a hinged plastron and is able to completely close its body in its shell to protect it from predators. 
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)
* A juvenile is pictured in the photo

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Common Box Turtle

The Common Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) and its six recognized sub-species (Eastern, Three-toed, Florida, Gulf Coast, Mexican, and Putnam’s) can be found in thirty one U.S. states and six states in Mexico.

These omnivores will eat anything suitable that they come across. Just some of the items included in their diet are mushrooms, roots, fruit, slugs, snails, centipedes, spiders, beetles, fish, frogs and even turtle eggs!

It is known as one of the most variable turtles in the world in terms of its coloration and pattern.Like all box turtles, the Common Box Turtle has a hinged plastron and is able to completely close its body in its shell to protect it from predators.

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

* A juvenile is pictured in the photo

Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus)
EOL: How about the vampire bat, the world’s only parasitic mammal. Native to the Americas, there are three extant species, which feed on the blood of birds and livestock. 
Learn more: (Encyclopedia of Life)
illustration from Voyage dans l’Amérique méridionale : (le Brésil, la république orientale de l’Uruguay, la République argentine, la Patagonie, la république du Chili, la république de Bolivia, la république du Pérou), exécuté pendant les années 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, et 1833. By Orbigny, Alcide Dessalines d’, 1802-1857  
(via: Biodiversity Heritage Library)

Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus)

EOL: How about the vampire bat, the world’s only parasitic mammal. Native to the Americas, there are three extant species, which feed on the blood of birds and livestock.

Learn more: (Encyclopedia of Life)

illustration from Voyage dans l’Amérique méridionale : (le Brésil, la république orientale de l’Uruguay, la République argentine, la Patagonie, la république du Chili, la république de Bolivia, la république du Pérou), exécuté pendant les années 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, et 1833. By Orbigny, Alcide Dessalines d’, 1802-1857

(via: Biodiversity Heritage Library)

Yosemite National Park - CA, USA

It is almost the end of butterfly season in Yosemite so let’s take one last look at two similar butterflies.

One is a California sister (Adelpha californica), top, and the other is a Lorquin’s admiral (Limenitis lorquini), bttm. It may be easy to tell the difference in these photos, but they are difficult to distinguish on the wing. The appetizing Lorquin’s admiral, mimics the foul tasting California Sister, which most birds will avoid, after having tried one.

frogs-are-awesome

libutron:

Weale’s Running Frog | ©Ashley Tubbs  

(Phumelela Local Municipality, Free State, South Africa)

Semnodactylus wealii (Hyperoliidae), better known as Weale’s running frog, Weale’s frog, or Rattling frog, is a small (males up to 44 mm), South African Kassina-like frog, monotypic within the genus Semnodactylus.

Weale’s running frog has dorsum grey with dark stripes which are normally divided longitudinally. The ventrum is coarsely granular. Hands and feet bright yellow. No discs on hands and feet. 

The voice is a coarse, loud rattle, which lasts half a second, hence the common name of Rattling frog. The sound has been compared with the creak of a cork being removed from a bottle. 

This species is distributed in both the temperate and subtropical regions of eastern and south-eastern South Africa, and can be found in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland.

[Source]

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

Loccophilus pictus
…a species of predaceous diving beetle (Dytiscidae) which occurs in the southwest United States and Mexico. True to its family name L. pictus is an aquatic predator, patrolling heavily vegetated areas for a variety of small aquatic insects to feed on. 
Classification
Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Adephaga-Dytiscidae-Laccophilinae-Laccophilus-L. pictus
Image: ©Alex Wild 

astronomy-to-zoology:

Loccophilus pictus

…a species of predaceous diving beetle (Dytiscidae) which occurs in the southwest United States and Mexico. True to its family name L. pictus is an aquatic predator, patrolling heavily vegetated areas for a variety of small aquatic insects to feed on. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Adephaga-Dytiscidae-Laccophilinae-Laccophilus-L. pictus

Image: ©Alex Wild 

dendroica
libutron:

Javan Frogmouth - Batrachostomus javensis
A photo superbly achieved from a family of Javan frogmouths (from left to right - female, chick and male), belonging to the species Batrachostomus javensis (Caprimulgiformes - Podargidae). These are nocturnal birds with strong family ties, when brooding the male incubates in the day, and the female in the dark hours. 
The species, sometimes known as Horsfield’s Frogmouth, is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand; where it inhabits subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Micky Lim | Locality: Panti Bird Sanctuary, Johor, Malaysia (2010)

libutron:

Javan Frogmouth - Batrachostomus javensis

A photo superbly achieved from a family of Javan frogmouths (from left to right - female, chick and male), belonging to the species Batrachostomus javensis (Caprimulgiformes - Podargidae). These are nocturnal birds with strong family ties, when brooding the male incubates in the day, and the female in the dark hours. 

The species, sometimes known as Horsfield’s Frogmouth, is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand; where it inhabits subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Micky Lim | Locality: Panti Bird Sanctuary, Johor, Malaysia (2010)

frogs-are-awesome
frogs-are-awesome:

Turtle Frog (Myobatrachus gouldii)

The only species in its unique genus, Australia’s Myobatrachus gouldii is even more divergent than the purple frog, having adapted to a mole-like existence of tunneling underground and breaking into termite nests, poking their comically small heads into the bug’s burrows and slurping them up. Rather than reproducing in water like a majority of other Anura, turtle frogs breed in their burrows and young skip past the tadpole phase, remaining in their eggs until they’ve formed into pin-headed burrowers themselves.
Source: Toptenz.net/top-10-coolest-and-weird-frogs

Picture by Evan Pickett via flickr

frogs-are-awesome:

Turtle Frog (Myobatrachus gouldii)

The only species in its unique genus, Australia’s Myobatrachus gouldii is even more divergent than the purple frog, having adapted to a mole-like existence of tunneling underground and breaking into termite nests, poking their comically small heads into the bug’s burrows and slurping them up. Rather than reproducing in water like a majority of other Anura, turtle frogs breed in their burrows and young skip past the tadpole phase, remaining in their eggs until they’ve formed into pin-headed burrowers themselves.

Source: Toptenz.net/top-10-coolest-and-weird-frogs

Picture by Evan Pickett via flickr

libutron
libutron:

Ocellate River Stingray - Potamotrygon motoro
Potamotrygon motor (Rajiformes - Potamotrygonidae) is a species of freshwater stingray endemic to, and widespread throughout, several South American river systems.
These stingrays can be distinguished from closely related species by the presence of orange to yellow dorsal eyespots, each surrounded by a black ring, with diameters larger than the eyes. Body color is otherwise greyish-brown. They are oval in shape with a robust tail, bearing a venomous spine. Maximum total length has been reported at 100 centimeters and maximum weight at 15 kg, though individuals tend to be much smaller.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Jason Hering | Locality: Cuiaba river, Matto Grosso, Amazon, Brazil - captive (2008)

libutron:

Ocellate River Stingray - Potamotrygon motoro

Potamotrygon motor (Rajiformes - Potamotrygonidae) is a species of freshwater stingray endemic to, and widespread throughout, several South American river systems.

These stingrays can be distinguished from closely related species by the presence of orange to yellow dorsal eyespots, each surrounded by a black ring, with diameters larger than the eyes. Body color is otherwise greyish-brown. They are oval in shape with a robust tail, bearing a venomous spine. Maximum total length has been reported at 100 centimeters and maximum weight at 15 kg, though individuals tend to be much smaller.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Jason Hering | Locality: Cuiaba river, Matto Grosso, Amazon, Brazil - captive (2008)

zacharge
zacharge:

Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) - San Mateo County, CA
A heavily scarred sub-adult boa that I found in the Santa Cruz Mountain Range. Typically, wild boas tend to have scarring on their tail tips, as they use their blunt tails to distract and deter mother rodents as they raid nests. However, the scars on this particular boa seem to indicate a predation attempt- most likely a bird.

zacharge:

Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) - San Mateo County, CA

A heavily scarred sub-adult boa that I found in the Santa Cruz Mountain Range. Typically, wild boas tend to have scarring on their tail tips, as they use their blunt tails to distract and deter mother rodents as they raid nests. However, the scars on this particular boa seem to indicate a predation attempt- most likely a bird.

libutron
libutron:

Kenyan Sand Boa - Eryx colubrinus
The sand boas are a group of generally small boids related to the rosy and rubber boas of North America, and together they make up the group (subfamily) called the Erycinae boas.
Also named East African Sand Boa, Eryx colubrinus (Boidae), is in build a typical sand boa, but colored orange or yellow with chocolate-brown to black splotches. The belly is white or cream. In the wild, this species ranges through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Chad, Niger, Yemen, Tanzania, and Somalia. 
They eat small rodents and lizards, which they catch by lying in wait nearly buried in the dirt or sand until a potential meal walks by. Relatively small prey are grasped very quickly and suffocated not by constriction but by pulling them under the sand.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Cat Smith | Locality: not indicated (2007)

libutron:

Kenyan Sand Boa - Eryx colubrinus

The sand boas are a group of generally small boids related to the rosy and rubber boas of North America, and together they make up the group (subfamily) called the Erycinae boas.

Also named East African Sand Boa, Eryx colubrinus (Boidae), is in build a typical sand boa, but colored orange or yellow with chocolate-brown to black splotches. The belly is white or cream. In the wild, this species ranges through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Chad, Niger, Yemen, Tanzania, and Somalia.

They eat small rodents and lizards, which they catch by lying in wait nearly buried in the dirt or sand until a potential meal walks by. Relatively small prey are grasped very quickly and suffocated not by constriction but by pulling them under the sand.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Cat Smith | Locality: not indicated (2007)

This month, The Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), an organization committed to fostering ‘a progressive and vibrant intellectual culture in the UK,’ launched IAI Academy — a new online educational platform that features courses in philosophy, science and politics.

  • A Brief Guide to Everything – Web Video – John Ellis, King’s College London, CBE 
  • The Meaning of Life – Web Video – Steve Fuller, University of Warwick
  • New Adventures in Spacetime – Web Video – Eleanor Knox, King’s College London
  • Minds, Morality and Agency – Web Video – Mark Rowlands, University of Miami
  • Physics: What We Still Don’t Know – Web Video – David Tong, Cambridge
  • Sexuality and Power – Web Video – Veronique Mottier, University of Lausanne…

(read more)