Animal of the day – 2/28/2011 – The Yeti Crab

Kiwa hirsuta aka the Yeti Crab

The animal of the day is the Yeti Crab. (Did you know: Guess why it’s called a yeti crab!? It’s those silky blond setae covering their claws giving it a distinctly cave-man/big-foot like appearance!

Claw close-up

The “hairy” pincers contain bacteria, which the creature may use to detoxify poisonous minerals from the water emitted by the hydrothermal vents where it lives. Alternatively, it may feed on bacteria, although it is generally thought to be a carnivore.

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Animal of the day – 2/25/2011 – The Comb Jellyfish

Comb Jellyfish

The animal of the day is the Comb Jellyfish. (Did you know: Liars! They aren’t jellyfish at all! Comb ‘jellyfish’ are actually in the Phylum Ctenophora while true jellyfish are Cnidarians!

Comb Jellyfish live in the deep ocean, and actually are voracious predators. They attract prey using those phosphorescent lights. Their primary diet usually consists of microscopic plankton and zooplankton, however they also known to consume some young fish, larvae of other animals like crabs, clams and oysters, copepods, worms, small crustaceans and even some true Jellyfishes!

Animal of the day – 2/24/2011 – The Pika

The Pika

The animal of the day is the Pika. (Did you know: These lil guys might look like rodents, but they’re actually in the same family as rabbits and hares!

Pikas do not hibernate, so they rely on collected hay for warm bedding and food. Pikas gather fresh grasses and lay them in stacks to dry. Once the grasses dry out, the pikas take this hay back to the burrows for storage.

Oh, and Pikas don’t mind stealing from each other ‘hay bales’ which leads to some battles….which leads to Pikas getting caught and eaten by birds or ferrets! Stop all the warring Pikas! Didn’t you know you’re endangered!?

P.S. sorry for the lack of posts this week. Been in recovery!

Animal of the day – 2/17/2011 – The Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

The animal of the day is the Bottle-nose Dolphin. (Did you know: They got it all, intelligence, power, echo-location. Basically, dolphins are the pimps of the ocean. They gang up together to battle sharks! I mean c’mon!

Also, all dolphins are porpoises but not all porpoises are dolphins! 🙂

I hope there are some dolphins in Key West.

Animal of the day – 2/16/2011 – The Narwhal

Narwhal

The animal of the day is the Narwhal. (Did you know: That awesome horn is actually a one long tooth that comes out of it’s upper lip! (it’s actually an incisor!) Typically the males alone have this characteristic horn, though females have been known to grow smaller straight ones as well.

In Inuit legend, the narwhal’s tusk was created when a woman with a harpoon rope tied around her waist was dragged into the ocean after the harpoon had struck a large narwhal. She was transformed into a narwhal herself, and her hair, which she was wearing in a twisted knot, became the characteristic spiral narwhal tusk.

Oh. You owe it to yourself to watch this informative video on Narwhals. Did you know they are inventors of the shish-kebab?

Animal of the day – 2/15/2011 – The Hyrax

Hyrax

The animal of the day is the Hyrax. (Did you know: It doesn’t look like it, but the hyrax is an amazing climber!

Also, Hyraxes retain a number of early mammalian characteristics! They have poorly developed internal temperature regulation which they deal with by huddling together for warmth, and by basking in the sun like reptiles!

Their closest relative in the mammalian world is the Elephant!