(photo: mstoy)
Komodo Dragon, Varanus komodoensis
Komodo monitors are the largest lizards in the world. Their size (some growing to lengths of 10 feet) is the result of island gigantism, or not having a predator to seriously compete with or fall prey to. They’re mostly scavengers, but will occasionally hunt. In addition to the large amount of blood their prey loses when bitten by their powerful jaws, komodo dragons have a high concentration of different bacteria in their mouths, causing the victim to become infected. It is still unknown as to how the lizards remain unaffected by their own (and other komodos’) dirty mouths. A recent study also found that they have venom glands that secrete venom-like proteins. In addition to their foolproof predatory system, there have been a couple of recorded cases of parthenogenesis. That’s right. This giant monitor can break your bones, give you E. coli, secrete venom into you, AND procreate without males. We’re both terrified and giddy with excitement.

(photo: mstoy)

Komodo Dragon, Varanus komodoensis


Komodo monitors are the largest lizards in the world. Their size (some growing to lengths of 10 feet) is the result of island gigantism, or not having a predator to seriously compete with or fall prey to. They’re mostly scavengers, but will occasionally hunt. In addition to the large amount of blood their prey loses when bitten by their powerful jaws, komodo dragons have a high concentration of different bacteria in their mouths, causing the victim to become infected. It is still unknown as to how the lizards remain unaffected by their own (and other komodos’) dirty mouths. A recent study also found that they have venom glands that secrete venom-like proteins. In addition to their foolproof predatory system, there have been a couple of recorded cases of parthenogenesis. That’s right. This giant monitor can break your bones, give you E. coli, secrete venom into you, AND procreate without males. We’re both terrified and giddy with excitement.

(photo: WildImages)
Aardwolf, Proteles cristata
Classified in the hyena family (and resembling a miniature Striped Hyena, something I’m sure we’ve all dreamt of), this African insectivore rarely exceeds about 31 in (80 cm) in length, not including its tail. It uses its long mane to appear larger during confrontations. Though the aardwolf is sometimes hunted for its fur, it doesn’t have many negative run-ins with humans as it poses no threat to livestock or crops. It feasts mainly upon termites with its long, sticky tongue, and can put away thousands upon thousands of them in a night. It only eats a specific family of termites that live in grasslands and savannahs, and is therefore confined to those habitats.

(photo: WildImages)

Aardwolf, Proteles cristata


Classified in the hyena family (and resembling a miniature Striped Hyena, something I’m sure we’ve all dreamt of), this African insectivore rarely exceeds about 31 in (80 cm) in length, not including its tail. It uses its long mane to appear larger during confrontations. Though the aardwolf is sometimes hunted for its fur, it doesn’t have many negative run-ins with humans as it poses no threat to livestock or crops. It feasts mainly upon termites with its long, sticky tongue, and can put away thousands upon thousands of them in a night. It only eats a specific family of termites that live in grasslands and savannahs, and is therefore confined to those habitats.

beartrapdreams:

(by Galshooter)

Great Grey Owl, Strix Nebulosa
Great Greys have the largest facial disc of any raptor. Adjusting these feathers redirects sound waves to enhance their hearing ability.

beartrapdreams:

(by Galshooter)


Great Grey Owl
, Strix Nebulosa


Great Greys have the largest facial disc of any raptor. Adjusting these feathers redirects sound waves to enhance their hearing ability.

(Source: mustangblood)

(photo: Turk Images)
Great Grey Owl, Strix nebulosa
Phantom of the North, Sooty Owl, Bearded Owl, Lapland Owl, and Great Grey Ghost. How many fantastic nicknames can one bird earn? One of the world’s largest owls, the Great Grey comes in with a whopping 60-inch (152-cm) wingspan. Their excellent hearing (aided by their asymmetrical ears) allows them to track prey that are moving in tunnels beneath two feet of snow.

(photo: Turk Images)

Great Grey Owl, Strix nebulosa


Phantom of the North, Sooty Owl, Bearded Owl, Lapland Owl, and Great Grey Ghost. How many fantastic nicknames can one bird earn? One of the world’s largest owls, the Great Grey comes in with a whopping 60-inch (152-cm) wingspan. Their excellent hearing (aided by their asymmetrical ears) allows them to track prey that are moving in tunnels beneath two feet of snow.

(photo: wandering tattler)
"Spotted" Tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus
At first glance, this reptile may seem like any ordinary lizard. Except that it isn’t even in the same order as lizards. Tuataras are not squamates, but actually have their own order in which they are the only living genus. They have been referred to as “living fossils” due to their being considered the most unspecialized amniote alive. They haven’t evolved much over the last 200-million years, but don’t fix what isn’t broken, we suppose. With a lifespan of up to 100+ years (while remaining sexually active), these 2-foot (61 cm) critters seem to have it all figured out.
Tuataras have an interesting addition to their seemingly drab composition: a third “eye.” Located on the top of the head, their parietal eye cannot actually be used for seeing, but may help to determine light cycles and absorb UV light.

(photo: wandering tattler)

"Spotted" Tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus


At first glance, this reptile may seem like any ordinary lizard. Except that it isn’t even in the same order as lizards. Tuataras are not squamates, but actually have their own order in which they are the only living genus. They have been referred to as “living fossils” due to their being considered the most unspecialized amniote alive. They haven’t evolved much over the last 200-million years, but don’t fix what isn’t broken, we suppose. With a lifespan of up to 100+ years (while remaining sexually active), these 2-foot (61 cm) critters seem to have it all figured out.


Tuataras have an interesting addition to their seemingly drab composition: a third “eye.” Located on the top of the head, their parietal eye cannot actually be used for seeing, but may help to determine light cycles and absorb UV light.

(photo: AusBatPerson)
Grey-headed Flying Fox, Pteropus poliocephalus

The largest bat native to Australia, it boasts a 1 meter (3 ft) wingspan. As almost all megabats (though the title is rather lenient, as some megabats are but 6 cm (2.5 in) long), it relies on sight rather than echolocation to find food. With those large eyes and long snouts, it’s no wonder these frugivorous bats are named flying foxes. A mutualistic relationship has blossomed between megabats and the plants they feed on, dubbed chiropterophily— the animals get to enjoy the fruit and nectar while they unknowingly assist the pollination process. 
Loss of foraging and roosting habitat, competition with other bats and extreme temperature events have caused a sharp decline in the population of grey-headed flying foxes in recent years.

(photo: AusBatPerson)

Grey-headed Flying Fox, Pteropus poliocephalus


The largest bat native to Australia, it boasts a 1 meter (3 ft) wingspan. As almost all megabats (though the title is rather lenient, as some megabats are but 6 cm (2.5 in) long), it relies on sight rather than echolocation to find food. With those large eyes and long snouts, it’s no wonder these frugivorous bats are named flying foxes. A mutualistic relationship has blossomed between megabats and the plants they feed on, dubbed chiropterophily— the animals get to enjoy the fruit and nectar while they unknowingly assist the pollination process. 

Loss of foraging and roosting habitat, competition with other bats and extreme temperature events have caused a sharp decline in the population of grey-headed flying foxes in recent years.