Thursday

Best of I Spy Animals 1

The year is winding down, marking my first year of I Spy Animals!  It's been great fun checking out the amazing creatures God has made. 


And to make sure we don't forget, I'm posting the most popular posts of this year, in order, just in case you missed something amazing! Here we go...




#1 - So what is a black panther, anyway?


By far my most read post! What exactly is a black panther?

#2Hedgehogs as pets?

A little overview of hedgehog types. What sort of pets do they make?


#3 - Golden Tabby Tigers



Did you know there are five different colors of tigers? No? Check this out...




#4 - Big cats with circles and rosettes



Ever wanted to tell a cheetah from a jaguar from a leopard?  This is the post for you!


Did you know there's an ongoing project to breed back the extinct Quagga from Plains zebra stock?




#6 - Can dolphins stop a shark attack?


And do they really rescue swimmers? The answer to both questions is found here...






#7 - When to Blend and When to Stand Out in the Crowd

Eye-popping frogs...and their invisible cousins!



Whew!  So when you're done, I know you will be amazed...and ready for some of that New Year's eggnog...

I know I am  ;)    See you next year!

Friday

Polar Bear Sleds...and Their Sled Dogs



I do have a thing for Polar bears. 

They look so furry and white...like the bear pulling the sled below. 

Thursday

Sheltie Sledding and Other Improbable Things



I have a little dog, a sheltie who weighs about 20 pounds.  Bella is small, but when I take her for a walk, she can practically drag me up the steep hills.  I've even wondered if I could harness her to a sled so she can pull me around when it snows.


Turns out that there are actual events for shelties pulling weighted sleds!



So imagine how much power a whole team of dogs would have.  Dog sledding has been around for a long time, but you have to check out these other animals that pull sleds...

Tuesday

Why It's Easy to Crash in England



Okay, you're driving along in England, admiring the green green green, and then...red...sheep?


Yep, there are some stunning sheep out there in the pastures of England.


And the green and red together look so Christmas-y.  But where did these sheep come from?

Thursday

Christmas trees that grow in the ocean





After I started scuba diving, I realized that the best thing about being underwater is seeing new things...new, but sometimes also  weird.  Remember those nudibranchs?


Take Christmas Tree worms for example. These guys look like plastic toy Christmas trees in a plastic toy forest.  Want to see? Check out their colors!



Tuesday

Frog Swallows Christmas Light


Hard to believe that this little Cuban frog was that hungry. 


Or maybe he was overcome with the holiday spirit?


Here's what the photographer says:



Friday

The Supreme Copycat Is Really... A Bird!



Amazing and...well, improbable!

This Australian bird can imitate any sound it hears.  

Jackhammer?  No problem.  

Kookaburra?  Piece of cake.  

Chainsaw?  Oh, yeah.

But you won't really believe it until you hear it...

Monday

King, Superb, Magnificent...words for what animal?



Nope, not the lion...or any of the Big Cats.


Not the elephant...


or the whale.


In fact, the discoverers of these animals seemed to have used all the superlative names they could think of! 

Wednesday

Things You Never Knew About Turkeys



I just had to sneak in a little post about turkeys, because there are turkeys, but then there are turkeys!


The turkey you'll eat for the holiday comes from the original American Wild Turkey, seen below:

Monday

Getting Cozy With A Seahorse



Just get close to a seahorse. 


Real close.


And I bet you'll say to yourself..."unbelievable..."  


The silvery iridescence on the Lined seahorse above is like a powdering of stardust.  Amazing!  


As are the details on the seahorses in the following photos.  I think they will blow you away....


Thursday

Zebras and Tigers of the Sea: Seahorses!


Seahorses are not just colorful chameleons, changing to adapt to their backgrounds.  Some have distinctive patterns of their very own.


Like Zebras...


and Tigertails.


Want to see?

Tuesday

You Need a Magnifying Glass for These Seahorses




They're very hard to spot because they blend in with the coral.


And they're small.


As small as your fingernail. 


So you swim by, never seeing the little gems that clutch the coral...


Wednesday

Seahorses Like You've Never Seen Before


We are all used to seeing seahorses like the ones above...


dried out...


brittle...


brown.  


Little skeletons, really.


But what you see above are NOT real seahorses...

Horses That Curl

Hard to believe your eyes, isn't it?   


I mean, is that a horse or a very tall sheep? 

Tuesday

Horses of a Different Color


Yes, I lived the dream...I had horses when I was growing up.  My favorite was a pinto named Daisy. She and I had so much fun together! 


My mom loved the appaloosa color, so we had a couple of those, too.


We never had a brindle horse; I have never actually seen one, though I love the way they look.


Appaloosa, pinto, and brindle are colors horses can have.


Want to see them?  Some of these colors are stunning...and strange!

Friday

Chocolate Zebra!




Black zebras...and now the Chocolate Zebra!

Sometimes, a zebra is born with strange stripe patterns and large areas of black. 


The above zebra however, was sighted in Vumbura, Africa.  The safari guide who spotted the pair says that this strangely patterned zebra foal is the third one born to this particular zebra mom since 2005. None have survived to adulthood.  :(

The following photos illustrate some of the variety possible in the stripes or, in the top and bottom photo, spots of the zebra!



To see "White" zebras, check out my blog post "When Zebras Go Pale..."




Monday

Name That Dog....a Little Test


  Wild dogs!

Were you paying attention?  We'll soon find out...

Take this easy, breezy test to find out how well you know your dogs...remember:

Wednesday

The Mystery of the Wrongly-Named Dog


Elusive, shy of people, a real mystery dog.

This wild dog (like the Bush dog) has webbed toes.

And, strangely enough, the female dog is way bigger than the male.  Not too common in the world of dogs!

Monday

The Web-Footed Dog



This guy is one of the most rare of all wild dogs!


No one knows much about him, but what we do know is this: 


He stays near water,


he has webbed feet,


and he lives in armadillo holes!


Want to know his name?

Tuesday

Distracted by a Bizarre Rodent


I was going to write about the two rarest wild dogs in the world!!


But I got distracted.


By the most amazing rodent I have ever seen...


(besides the Rodents-Of-Unusual-Size, of course)  :)


Friday

Warrigals and World Records



The longest fence in the world was built because of this wild dog!


The reason was simple.  Dingos eat sheep.  Australia has huge sheep ranches.  


Before the Dingo Fence was completed, a single sheep ranch lost over 11,000 sheep to Dingos in one year.


How long is the fence?  3,488 miles...it divides a continent!


Look at the map, below, to see just how huge this Dingo Fence is!

Tuesday

The REAL Wild Dog


There are lots of wild dogs in the world.  


They range from the Raccoon dog to the Dingo to the Bush Dog.


But when someone says Wild Dog, THIS is the animal they are probably talking about...


Also known as:


The Cape Hunting Dog,


The African Wild Dog,


The Painted Dog,


or my favorite...



Monday

Jelly You Won't Find in Your Fridge...

They aren't fish, so their name has been changed...


...to Sea Jellies


Which I like better than their old name... Jellyfish.


A sea jelly is made of the top part, called the umbrella, and the bottom part, called the bell.


Many live upside down, looking like plants on the ocean floor.



Thursday

The Whistling Dog...


There is a wild dog.  


It whistles.


And chatters.


It mews and cries.


It even makes a chickeny clucking sound.


But in groups, it can kill a tiger!


Some biologists think our dogs are descended from this wild dog, not the wolf...


Friday

It's a Raccoon, It's a Dog, It's a...What IS it?



"Raccoon," you say, "Ho hum."

It's a wild dog, I say

"But that's not a wild dog....that's a raccoon," you answer.

Ahhh, but wait....check out the animal below.  





"Okay...THAT'S a raccoon!"

So what's that other raccoonishly amazing animal at the top?

Tuesday

When You Look Like a Werewolf...


...you can be hard to love.  And maybe a bit scary.  And certainly rare.


Nicknames for this strange-looking guy are Horsehair Wolf, Skunk Wolf, Matted Wolf, Great Fox, and my personal favorite, Red-Fox-on-Stilts!


Funny thing is, he's not a wolf OR a fox.  So what IS he?

Wednesday

"Eye Candy"...Brought To You By God



This cute little guy is a Nudibranch (nu-dih-brank), one of the most colorful creatures in the world.

These amazing sea slugs are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. So far, more than 3000 species of these little moving rainbows have been discovered...but there are probably more out there!

Take a look at some of them below.  They look like fancy candies or ice cream yummies, don't they? 

Monday

Cool Frogs, Ewww Frogs, and Frogs We All Love


There are some strange frogs out there, too strange not to get a look at. 


There's the weird-but-kinda-Cool frogs...like the ones below.  Some look like they might hang around Jabba the Hutt.  


Thursday

When to Blend and When to Stand Out in the Crowd

Question: When should you stand out? 
Answer: When you have No Fear!

But is there a time to blend?
Oh yes!  You blend when you feel a bit...insecure.

That's what frogs do. Frogs have little with which to defend themselves; no claws or teeth, no bad breath (well, I'm not personally acquainted with frog breath, per se). 

So, many frogs camouflage themselves; disappearing into their environment.

Wanna see?


Tuesday

From Gold to Goliath


Look closely at this picture.


See anything astounding?


Yep, there's a gigantic frog on that girl's lap...the Goliath frog.


Now, you may be thinking, "Awww, look at her big ol' froggy pet." And you might be right.  But that big ol' froggy just might be dinner instead...it's the size of a Thanksgiving turkey!

Friday

Not for the Faint of Heart...

 You've probably seen Glass fish, the see-through kind, at the pet store. But have you ever heard of the Glass frog?


That's him, above. The light under him goes through the leaf, and then shines right through him, turning him into a neon frog!


But there's the under side as well, which is even more amazing.  


And maybe a bit gross.  


So for all you tenderfoots out there, don't scroll down any further!  :)




Tuesday

Eye of....Hypno-toad?


Would you have believed it if you hadn't seen it?  This little frog is called a Ghost Glass frog. 

Can he hypnotize with those eyes?

Friday

Friday Fun: Boomer and Me


Okay, yes...this is me in younger days. 


I am at a photo shoot at Shambala, the actress Tippi Hedren's ...


Thursday

Giraffes Have the Strangest Friends



Blue tongue on squirrel!  

Outside of their native wild habitat, it's not so rare for animals of one species to find friendship in another species. There are currently some giraffe friendships going on that will knock your socks off.  

Check it out  [...]


Tuesday

If You Invite a Giraffe to Breakfast...






Don't be surprised if he shows up!  

Especially if you are in Kenya, because giraffes at breakfast-time are an everyday occurrence at the Giraffe Manor* there!  Take a look at the possibilities...

Thursday

Albino Giraffes Don't Exist


At least, no one has ever seen one.


But there are some "white" (leucistic) giraffes around!


Okay, you know me... I love the abnormal colorations in animals. 


So let's take a look, below, at some normal giraffe colors (top)...


and then some leucistic giraffes (bottom):



Monday

Of Cruel Thorns and Blue Tongues

They can deter lions and impale birds.  Acacia thorns...you've seen them as effective wild animal barriers in my post How to Keep Lions Out of Your Garden, and they mean business!

The trouble with Acacia trees is that they have juicy leaves on them that giraffes can't resist. But how can they get to them through those jagged thorns?

With a long long tongue.

That happens to be blue.



Friday

Ever See A Mammal With Three Horns?



If you did, it would look like the Ugandan (Rothschild) giraffe! 


Check out his third horn in the following picture; he's the only giraffe that has it!

Tuesday

And You Thought There Was Only ONE!


What are we talking about?   Giraffes, of course.


You see one, you've seen 'em all.


But that's not true. Amazing as the above giraffe is, he's not the only type out there. 


There are more. Eight more!

Friday

Tiger Cub Loves Little Piggies - Funny Friends Friday

These little pink piglets aren't laying lifeless because this
tiger cub got hungry!

They are actually fast asleep and the little tiger, in Guangzhou 
park, China, likes nothing more than to jump around on top of
them for fun.

The tiger cub was abandoned by its mother and is being raised
by the mother of these little piggies.

And in a reversal, these tigers are mothering little piggies!
Too funny!  Have a great Friday!