Month: January 2011

Red-capped Robin

A small passerine bird that is native to Australia is the Red-capped Robin. It was first described in 1827 by Thomas Horsfield and Nicholas Aylward Vigors. Their specimens were found in the northern Spencer Gulf (now South Australia). Its epithet, goodenovii, is named after Rev. Samuel Goodenough who was the Bishop of Carlisle and the

Dall’s Porpoise

Also known as the spray porpoise, Dall’s porpoises are the fastest of all of the porpoises. They were named after an American Naturalist, W. H. Dall, who was the first person to identify the species. However, it was actually scientifically described by True in 1855. They are found in the North Pacific and the South

Trocaz Pigeon

Also known as the Long-toed Pigeon or the Madeira Laurel Pigeon, the Trocaz Pigeon is a pigeon that is endemic to the island of Madeira. A Trocaz Pigeon spotted in Madeira in 2008 It was first formally described by a German Doctor and Orinthologist, Karl Heineken, in 1829. Heineken was living on Madeira and he

Splendid Fairywren

The Splendid Fairywren, also known as a Blue Wren of a Splended Wren, is a passerine bird belonging to the Maluridae family. It is one of 12 species in the genus Malurus which is found in Australia and New Guinea. The nominate species of the Splendid Fairywren In 1830, the specimens were initially collected at

Harbor Porpoise

The harbor porpoise is one of the smallest cetaceans worldwide. It was first scientifically described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. It is a shy creature which avoids vessels. It is one of 6 species of porpoise. Peek-a-boo! Harbor porpoises have an average length of 1.5 to 1.6 metres long. They weigh about 45 to 60

Red-winged Fairywren

The Red-winged Fairywren is a passerine bird species that belongs to the Maluridae family. It is endemic to the south-west corner of Western Australia. This bird was first described scientifically by John Gould in 1837. A male red-winged fairywren This bird is one of the largest fairywrens. It is 15 cm long and weighs about


Also known as the Avelignese, the Haflinger is a horse from Austria and northern Italy which was developed in the late 19th century. These relatively small horse breed’s ancestry traces back to the Middle Ages. There are several theories as to why this horse was bred including its hardiness and use for mountainous terrain. Their


Algae is the Latin word for seaweed. It is a autotrophic organism that can either be unicellular or multicellular. The most complex and biggest form of marine organisms are seaweed. All algae have a nucleus wihin its plastides, as well as one or more membranes. Algae bloom in the waterway Researchers have found that Algae

Racey’s pipistrelle bat

Racey’s pipistrelle bat is a type of bat from Madagascar. It was first recorded as a species in 1905 by Thomas and Schwann, but was only formally named in 2006 by Bates, Ratrimomanarivo, Harrison, and Goodman. This bat was named after Professor Paul Racey who is the Regius Chair of Natural History at the University


The Psittacosaurus (or ‘parrot lizard’ in English) is a dinosaur that dates from the Early Cretaceous Period which was about 130 – 100 million years ago. It was found in what is now known as Asia, and is the dinosaur genus with the most member species. There are actually 9 – 11 species that are

Giant fossa

The giant fossa is an extinct species from Madagascar. This carnivore belongs to the family Eupleridae which is closely related to the mongoose. It was first scientifically described by Guillaume Grandidier in 1902. In 1935, it was recognised as a totally separate species of its own by Petit. It is not known when the giant

Common Rudd

A bentho-pelagic freshwater fish that is commonly found in Europe and middle Asia is the common rudd, also known as Scardinius erythropthalmus. This fish can be found all around the basins of the Aral, Caspain, Black, Baltic, and North Seas. It has also been introduced into Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Tunisia, Madagascar, Morocco, the USA,

Lower California Rice Rat

The Lower California Rice Rat, also known by its scientific name, Oryzomys peninsulae, is a rodent species from western Mexico. Its known distribution range is restricted to the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Only 21 individual specimens have been collected around 1900. Any kind of destruction in its riverine habitat may have driven

Northern Right Whale Dolphin

The Northern Right Whale Dolphin is a small, slender aquatic mammal that is found in the Pacific Ocean. It was first described scientifically by Titian Peale in 1848. This animal travels in pods of up to 2000 individuals with other cetaceans within the deep oceans of the Pacific. It is one of 2 Right Whale


The family, Procellariidae, is a group of seabirds that comprise of shearwaters, prions, gadfly petrels, and fulmarine petrels. They are the most abundant and most diverse family of tubenoses which range in size from giant petrels which are almost as big as albatrosses, to as small as prions which are as small as larger storm