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Bats are mammals of the orderChiroptera. With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more agile in flight than most birds, flying with their very long spread-out digits covered with a thin membrane or patagium. The smallest bat, and arguably the smallest extant mammal, is Kitti's hog-nosed bat, which is 29–34 millimetres (1+1⁄8–1+3⁄8 inches) in length, 150 mm (6 in) across the wings and 2–2.6 g (1⁄16–3⁄32 oz) in mass. The largest bats are the flying foxes, with the giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus, reaching a weight of 1.6 kg (3+1⁄2 lb) and having a wingspan of 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in).
The second largest order of mammals after rodents, bats comprise about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with over 1,400 species. These were traditionally divided into two suborders: the largely fruit-eating megabats, and the echolocatingmicrobats. But more recent evidence has supported dividing the order into Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera, with megabats as members of the former along with several species of microbats. Many bats are insectivores, and most of the rest are frugivores (fruit-eaters) or nectarivores (nectar-eaters). A few species feed on animals other than insects; for example, the vampire batsfeed on blood. Most bats are nocturnal, and many roost in caves or other refuges; it is uncertain whether bats have these behaviours to escape predators. Bats are present throughout the world, with the exception of extremely cold regions. They are important in their ecosystems for pollinatingflowers and dispersing seeds; many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for these services. (Full article...)
A cross section of a post-clitellum segment of an annelid (ringed worm); almost all segments of an annelid contain the same set of organs and parts, a pattern called metamerism. Annelids have no lungs, but rather exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen directly through the moist skin when blood reaches the extremely fine capillaries of the body walls; a dry worm cannot breathe and will die of suffocation. The worm's red blood, which does not consist of platelets or red cells but mostly of a liquid containing suspended hemoglobin, makes a circuit up and down the animal in its closed circulatory systems.
The bird-cherry ermine (Yponomeuta evonymella) is a species of moth in the family Yponomeutidae, native to Europe and parts of Asia. The caterpillars are gregarious and feed on the leaves of the bird cherry tree, forming silken webbing for their own protection. They create further webbing on the trunk and near the base of the tree, which hides them as they pupate. This photograph shows one of many bird-cherry ermine caterpillar nests on a tree in Lahemaa National Park, Estonia. In some years, they are so numerous that they can completely strip a tree of its foliage.
A lateral (left side) anatomical diagram of an adult-stage nematode hermaphroditeCaenorhabditis elegans (full size) with emphasis on the digestive and reproductive systems. C. elegans is a free-living, transparent nematode (roundworm) which measures about 1 millimetre (0.039 in) in length. The hermaphrodite form, as seen here, is the most common, although a male form is also found. When self-inseminated, the species will lay about 300 eggs, but when the hermaphrodite is inseminated by a male, the number of progeny can exceed 1,000.
Thysanozoon nigropapillosum, the yellow-spotted flatworm, is a species of marine flatworm in the family Pseudocerotidae. The species is native to the tropical Indo-Pacific region, where it lives in shallow reef habitats. Flatworms are hermaphrodites, each being able to act as either male or female. As a donor of sperm, it can grip the margin of the recipient's body, using its two penises in a chopstick-like manner, and deposit sperm on the surface of the skin of the recipient, even while it is actively swimming.
This picture shows a yellow-spotted flatworm photographed in Manta Ray Bay, on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. The flatworm is seen swimming to the right at a depth of 12 metres (40 ft) by undulating the margins of its body. The pseudotentacles at the front have simple eyes and sensory receptors to enable the flatworm to find tunicates on which it feeds.
Liguus virgineus, also known as the candy cane snail, is a species of snail in the family Orthalicidae. It is native to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There have also been at least three reports of living specimens being found in the Florida Keys of the United States. The snail lives on trees and feeds on moss, fungi and microscopic algae covering the bark.
The flatworms, flat worms, Platyhelminthes, or platyhelminths (from the Greek πλατύ, platy, meaning "flat" and ἕλμινς (root: ἑλμινθ-), helminth-, meaning "worm") are a phylum of relatively simple bilaterian, unsegmented, soft-bodied invertebrates. Unlike other bilaterians, they are acoelomates (having no body cavity), and have no specialized circulatory and respiratoryorgans, which restricts them to having flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion. The digestive cavity has only one opening for both ingestion (intake of nutrients) and egestion (removal of undigested wastes); as a result, the food cannot be processed continuously. (Full article...)
Aplysina archeri is a species of sponge that has long tube-like structures of cylindrical shape. Many tubes are attached to one particular part of the organism; a single tube can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) high and 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick. These sponges mostly live in the Atlantic Ocean. These filter feeders eat food such as plankton or suspended detritus as it passes them.
The paddyfield pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, comprising pipits, longclaws and wagtails. About 15 cm (6 in) in length and native to southern Asia, its plumage in both sexes is greyish-brown above and paler yellowish-brown below, with dark streaking on the breast. A bird of open country, pasture and cultivated fields, it sometimes makes short flights, but mostly runs on the ground, foraging for insects and other small invertebrates. The paddyfield pipit builds its cup-shaped nest in a concealed location on the ground, and may have two or more broods in a year. This A. r. rufulus individual was photographed in Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Glaucus atlanticus is a species of small, blue sea slug. This pelagic aeolid nudibranch floats upside down, using the surface tension of the water to stay up, and is carried along by the winds and ocean currents. The blue side of their body faces upwards, blending in with the blue of the water, while the grey side faces downwards, blending in with the silvery surface of the sea. G. atlanticus feeds on other pelagic creatures, including the Portuguese man o' war.
A soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines), together with an egg, as viewed through a low-temperature scanning electron microscope at 1000x magnification. This nematode infects the roots of soybeans, and the female nematode eventually becomes a cyst. Infection causes various symptoms that may include chlorosis of the leaves and stems, root necrosis, loss in seed yield and suppression of root and shoot growth.
Haliotis laevigata is a species of marine mollusc in the family Haliotidae, endemic to Tasmania and the southern and western coasts of Australia. This picture shows five views of a green H. laevigata shell, 7.5 centimetres (3.0 in) in length. The holes in the shell, characteristic of abalones, are respiratory apertures for venting water from the gills and for releasing sperm and eggs into the water column.
The rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), also known as the dassie, is one of four living species of the order Hyracoidea, and the only living species in its genus. Like all hyraxes, it is a medium-sized terrestrial mammal between 4 kilograms (9 lb) and 5 kilograms (11 lb) in mass, with short ears and tail. The rock hyrax is found across Africa and the Middle East, at elevations up to 4,200 metres (13,800 ft). It resides in habitats with rock crevices which it uses to escape from predators. Along with the other hyrax species and the manatee, these are the animals most closely related to the elephant.
A macro view of a Gonia capitatafly feeding on honey, showing its proboscis and pedipalps (the two appendages protruding from the proboscis), two types of insect mouthparts. The proboscis actually comprises the labium, a quadrupedal structure, and a sponge-like labellum at the end. Flies eat solid food by secreting saliva and dabbing it over the food item. As the saliva dissolves the food, the solution is then drawn up into the mouth as a liquid. The labellum's surface is covered by minute food channels which form a tube leading to the esophagus, and food is drawn up the channels by capillary action.
Anatomical diagram of an adult female chambered nautilus, the best known species of nautilus, a "living fossil" related to the octopuses. The animal has a primitive brain that forms a ring around its oesophagus, has four gills (all other cephalopods have only two), and can only move shell-first (seemingly "backwards") by pumping water out through its funnel. The shell and tentacles are shown here as shadows.
Brittle stars, serpent stars, or ophiuroids (from Latin ophiurus 'brittle star'; from Ancient Greekὄφις (óphis) 'serpent', and οὐρά (ourá) 'tail'; referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star) are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea, closely related to starfish. They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long, slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 cm (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. (Full article...)
...that Maui's dolphin is the most endangered species of dolphin in the world, with only about 110 left?
...that the land snail Euglandina rosea is a significant threat to Hawaiian freshwater snail known as Newcomb's snail (Erinna newcombi), because the predatory Euglandina is able to hunt Erinna under water?
...that the body of the "X-ray fish" (Pristella maxillaris ) is so transparent that it is possible to see its backbone?
Image 22Idealised bilaterian body plan. With an elongated body and a direction of movement the animal has head and tail ends. Sense organs and mouth form the basis of the head. Opposed circular and longitudinal muscles enable peristaltic motion. (from Animal)
Image 23Animals are unique in having the ball of cells of the early embryo (1) develop into a hollow ball or blastula (2). (from Animal)
Image 26A praying mantis in deimatic or threat pose displays conspicuous patches of colour to startle potential predators. This is not warning coloration as the insect is palatable. (from Animal coloration)
Image 31A brilliantly-coloured oriental sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus vittatus) waits while two boldly-patterned cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) pick parasites from its skin. The spotted tail and fin pattern of the sweetlips signals sexual maturity; the behaviour and pattern of the cleaner fish signal their availability for cleaning service, rather than as prey (from Animal coloration)
The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species, along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water, and marine), and free-living or parasitic ways of life. Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000–27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000–20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million. Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species—including those not yet described—was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[a]
^The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).
^Sluys, R. (1999). "Global diversity of land planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Terricola): a new indicator-taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies". Biodiversity and Conservation. 8 (12): 1663–1681. doi:10.1023/A:1008994925673. S2CID38784755.