Creature Feature: Sun bears

Imagine seeing an animal with slick fur, small ears, long tongue…is it a dog? But this animal also has super long claws and a golden crest on its chest…oh, it’s a sun bear!

Creature Feature: Hawk moth

At first glance, the animal hovering near the flower looks like a hummingbird. She is colorful with whirring wings and can fly at speeds up to 25 miles per hour [1]. A closer look, however, reveals that she is a white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata). Unlike many bees, she cannot bite or sting you [1]….

Creature Feature: Superb Lyrebird

Anything you can do, I can do better! Found frequently in Australia’s wet and temperate forest, male superb lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae) have evolved to produce an ever-escalating array of vocalizations and dance moves to impress females and stand out against other males. BBC Wildlife first showcased these intelligent, mimicking birds in a video that has…

Creature Feature: Golden-crowned Sparrow

Once upon a time, in a land far from people, a tiny egg cracked in its nest. Slowly, a small beak pushed through, delicately casting pieces of eggshell aside. It was followed by dark grey bulges that were closed eyes, and finally a floppy, mostly featherless and helpless body that weighed only 3 grams [1]….

Creature Feature: Coastal Cutthroat Trout

Fog rolls in one drizzly May morning on the Olympic Peninsula of northwestern Washington. The precipitation is somewhere between mist and rain, decreasing visibility to about a hundred feet in the temperate rainforest. The river is high, but still clear, and there is only one other car in the boat launch parking lot. May is…

Creature Feature: Whale barnacles

If you look closely at a photo of a southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), you’ll see that few animals accessorize quite like they do. Their crusty white ‘bonnet’ (which looks more like a mustache, if you ask me) complete with their classic goatee and cumulus eyebrows truly set them apart as charismatic megafauna. But what…

Creature Feature: Tammar wallaby

Got Milk? This phrase, while ubiquitous in magazine and television advertisements cheekily paired with milk-mustachioed celebrities, is also an easy way to distinguish mammals from other species. While the first mammal you may think of in response to this question is likely a cow, human, or maybe even a goat, one lesser-known (and arguably the…

Creature Feature: Kea

Many animals are afraid of humans, and with good reason. Then there is the kea (Nestor notabilis), a playful bird known for its intelligence, wild curiosity, and general disregard for the “stay away from humans” rule. This New Zealand native was named by the Māori people for its distinct call: a bright, high-pitched keee-aaa!