Category Archives: Critters

Yup, that’s my tail!

Yup, that’s my tail!

Vampire Bat


Micrathena sagittata

National Geographic Explorer Jonathan Kolby was in the jungle in Honduras researching amphibians when he spotted a spider with a spectacular rear end. The spider (Micrathena sagittata) is red, except for an abdomen that resembles the head of the Pokémon character Pikachu. It’s not a rare species, just tiny and hard to spot even if you’re looking for them. But why the coloring that acts like a safety vest? A 2002 experiment on similarly colored spider in Australia hints that standing out actually attracts prey.  

Using a black marker, the researchers “erased” the spiders’ bright yellow color. The spiders whose colors had been thus muted were on average less successful at catching prey. Like arrow-shaped micrathenas, the Australian spiders are “sit-and-wait” predators that ensnare prey in large webs.

Maybe when insects see this, they don’t think “Pikachu” as much as they think “flower.” Read more about the PIkachu spider at National Geographic News. 

14 Of The Most Expensive Cats In The World

  • 1

    Norwegian Forest Cat, up to $3,000


    This fluffball’s ancestors were bred by Vikings over 2,000 years ago, with lush fur to  keep them cozy in cold forests and awesome hunting skills.

  • 2

    Himalayan cat, up to $1,300.


    Although it looks a little like a Persian cat, the blue eyes and colorpoint coloring is characteristic of a Himalayan. Bred in the US in the 1950s, these cats are friendly, calm and obedient.

  • 3

    Scottish Fold, up to $1,500.


    Scottish Folds have the cutest ears of all cats which, as the name suggests, look like they’ve folded over, the result of a genetic mutation. These clever cats are very sociable and playful, and they’re known for standing on their hind legs to watch the world go by.

  • 4

    Peterbald, up to $1,200


    Also known as the Petersburg Sphynix, this cat was first bred in Russia in 1994. They can be bald of fuzzy, and they’re sociable and calm in nature and very easy to train.

  • 5

    Egyptian Mau, up to $1,500.


    They’ve been around since Ancient Egypt, but they haven’t changed much in 3,000 years. As well as their fur, these cats actually have spotted skin.

  • 6

    Maine Coon, up to $1,500


    This super-size cat is more like a small lion than a house pet, reaching up to 1.23m in length. But they’re affectionate and playful, despite their giant size.

  • 7

    La Perm, up to $2,000


    Bred in the 1980s in the US, these cats have distinctive curly fur (like a perm, geddit?) and they’re hypoallergenic, so even people allergic to kitties can cuddle up with these fluffy pets.

  • 8

    Russian Blue, up to $2,000


    These kitties originated in Russia in 1893, and are a very popular shorthair breed, possibly because they’re said to bring luck the the house they live in.

  • 9

    Elf cat, up to $2,000


    This young breed was only developed in the US in 2006. Elfs are said to be friendly, smart, mischievous, curious and devoted — even if they look a bit weird.

  • 10

    American Curl, up to $3,000


    This California-bred cat remains small — it’s hard to tell a kitten from a full-grown adult — and when they’re around 10 days old their ears begin to turn back, like tiny little horns.

  • 11

    Khao Manee, up to $11,000


    First mentioned in the “Cat Book Poems” of ancient Siam in 1350, these were the favored cats of royalty and considered a symbol of luck, longevity, and wealth (which you’d need anyway to afford one).

  • 12

    Caracal, up to $10,000


    Technically a wild cat, this breed is in danger of extinction and kitty-lovers are encouraged to buy them to preserve their species, making them a favorite for wealthy people looking for exotic pets.

  • 13

    Savannah cat, up to $22,000


    Bred from an African Serval and a domestic cat, this leopard for your home can grow up to 33lbs and reach 1.9ft in height. They’re super clever and super active, needing lots of space to play and long walks

  • 14

    Ashera, up to $100,000


    The most exotic domestic cat in the world (and the rarest), the Ashera is a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard. Stunningly beautiful — if you’ve got a spare $100,000 lying around.

Family of Lynx

When you hear animals creeping along your porch, you think stray dogs or cats are probably responsible — or maybe a bold raccoon. You don’t think it’s going to be a mother lynx and her family of seven kittens. But such was the case for Tim Newton when he awoke to the sound of paws on his deck Wednesday morning. The Anchorage man thought it was cats, but he didn’t think it would be, well, big cats.

Hippos and Elephants get Pumpkins!

Piebald Ball Python

This snake is an albino piebald ball python known as a pumpkin pied python and is specifically bred for these characteristics. Breeder Brian Stewart also shared photos and video of his beloved pumpkin pied.

19 new gecko species

19 new species of geckos discovered in tiny little area…

See the rest, and the article, here.

Praying Mantis watching TV

Woodland Ants Spray Acid

Nature Is Scary posted this video to Twitter showing what happens when the woodland ant perceives you as a threat:

They squirt formic acid from their abdomens, which smells like vinegar, to ward off hungry birds such as woodpeckers and jays.

Ghost Trees

They’re known as “ghost trees,” and for good reason: Albino redwoods are extremely rare and nearly impossible to spot. There may be as few as 25 of these trees in the world, yet eight of them are at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park in Northern California. They lack chlorophyll and suck energy from their parent tree.

Read the rest of the story on NPR.

Ghostly, Translucent Lobster Hauled from Ocean Off Maine

CUMBERLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine lobstermen Alex Todd has hauled in blue lobsters and even some lobsters that were half blue, or half orange. But he says those don’t compare on the scale of weirdness to the translucent crustacean that he recently pulled up in a trap.

The lobster that Todd caught on Aug. 24 is a ghostly, pale blue. It almost looks to be transparent.

Todd, from Chebeague Island, said he knew when he saw the translucent lobster in his trap alongside mottled green and brown lobsters that this was “definitely weird.”

His photos have made the rounds on social media.

As for the lobster, he tossed it back into the ocean because its tail had been notched, flagging the lobster as an egg-bearing female. Those lobsters are off-limits for conservation reasons.

Snowflake vs. Spider

Caracal Kittens

Caracals are a species of wild cats that can be found in the savannas of Africa and Central Asia. Their characteristic long ears will definitely charm you. The cute caracals and their even more adorable kittens are well known for their long ears that have a black tuft on their back. For some, this characteristic makes them seem more fierce, but for others such as their babies, it makes them look so lovely. They are nocturnal hunters in the wild and their biggest threat is the destruction of their habitat by humans.


White Giraffes

In the summer of 2017, rangers with the Hirola Conservation Program captured the rare and simply stunning sight of two white giraffes, perhaps a mother and baby, as they wandered through a protected preserve in North Eastern Kenya. While the reason behind their snowy coats isn’t stated, one probable explanation is leucism, a genetic condition that causes loss of pigmentation in animals. Per Caters News, the rangers had heard of these beautiful creatures but had never caught sight of them until that day.

Rumours had circulated of a white giraffe and her baby in the local area of the Ishaqbini conservation, in Garissa County, Kenya, but rangers finally got to see the real thing after a tip off in June, this year. …’While observing the magnificent long necked animal looking at us, I could not help but see the fading reticulates on their skin. It was evident that the colouration, especially on the mother giraffe, was not as conspicuous as the baby.”

Alaskan Flat Tire

Tried to Catch Fog


Cockatoo Squid