Saturday, September 20, 2014
Friday, September 19, 2014
The small, insectivorous Ifrita in widespread across the rainforests of New Guinea. He is one of the few birds known to be poisonous, contact with his feathers and skin causes numbness and tingling and acts as a deterrent against predators such as snakes. This toxin is a batrachotoxin acquired through his diet of melyrid beetles. He forages for these beetles, and other insect prey, by scurrying up and down the trunks and branches of trees and probing in crevices with his bill.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
The Ichneumon are a Superfamily of wasps, containing over 80,000 species. These insects are solitary and quite large. Many are parasitic. Females are characterised by their extremely long ovipositors. When she is ready to lay her eggs, she will seek out the larvae of a different species: caterpillars, beetle larvae, maggots. This ovipositor is then used to deliver her eggs either directly into the host or near the intended host. When her larvae hatch, they consume the host from the inside. Some Ichneumon prey on ants, entering the nest and depositing her eggs by releasing a chemical that confuses the ants and causes them to fight amongst themselves, rather than target her. Many also infect the host with a virus that suppresses its immune system.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Icefish are a Suborder of fish that occur in the coldest regions of the Earth - the cold continental shelf surrounding Antarctica. There are currently 122 species known to