Today is Amazon Day and The Nature Nook will be releasing a number of Amazon-related articles. Just to clarify, we aren’t celebrating the world’s largest online marketplace – but we are celebrating the world’s largest rainforest. Today’s What Animal Is It? features a bird that not only lives in the Amazon, but – potential spoilers ahead – also has the word ‘Amazon’ in its name.
In global terms, the rarest bird you stand a chance of realistically seeing in the wild in the British Isles is the aquatic warbler. Even then, you need to be in the right place at the right time and have a bit of luck on your side, because the aquatic warbler doesn’t breed here, or even spend the winter – it is only a rare passage migrant to our shores.
To celebrate International Whale Shark Day, The Nature Nook will be taking a brief look at these amazing aquatic leviathans. Not only is the whale shark the biggest species of shark in the world, it also happens to be the biggest of all the planet’s approximately 34,000 species of fish and the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate. Capable of reaching 12 m in length – double that of a great white shark – and weighing up to 21 tonnes, the whale shark easily rivals many prehistoric dinosaurs in size. In the modern era, only a few whales grow larger.
The idea of a plant eating an animal seems like a strange concept. Perhaps it is because it shatters all expectations. Surely plants are supposed to be passive recipients of sunlight and water – not carnivores turning to the flesh of animals for their sustenance. Carl Linnaeus, the famous Swedish naturalist who devised a system of ordering all living things in the world, refused to believe that plants could be carnivorous, declaring that it went ‘against the order of nature as willed by God.’ He reasoned that so-called carnivorous plants only caught insects by accident.
Almost a quarter of all UK households own at least one dog. They are easily the most popular pet in the world and they come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. By and large, wild members of the dog family – also called canids – are not quite so varied, but there are still a few oddballs in the group. Read on to find out about five really weird wild dogs that we share our planet with.