Large, lazy and very strange-looking – meet the ocean sunfish. This extraordinary animal is certainly very peculiarly-proportioned. Tall but vertically flattened, with a pale, circular body that seems to end abruptly behind its huge dorsal and anal fins, the sunfish almost looks as though it is simply a massive severed head with a short, frilly tail attached.
Back before COVID-19 dominated the headlines, before even the massive fires in Australia destroyed thousands of homes and killed billions of animals, another part of the world was burning. I can still remember seeing, on an online news article almost exactly a year ago, in August 2019, the almost apocalyptic images of huge fires devastating the Amazon rainforest. Smoke from the blaze, the article stated,
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.