Thursday, April 30, 2015

8 Real Animals that most Likely Inspired Pokémons

When the animated series Pokémon came out during the 90’s, a number of kids during that generation practically spent a lot of time memorizing the different Pokémon by heart. Although these cartoon characters sound too crazy to be true, some Pokémon monsters are actually based on real animals.

Below are 8 Pokémons and the real animals that they’re very likely based on.
 
Poliwag – Tadpoles
Poliwag – Tadpoles
This one’s pretty easy to figure out. Even the swirl on Poliwag’s stomach is found in certain frog species as they transform from tadpole to frog. However the swirl in their stomachs is actually their intestines developing, which doesn’t sound so cute.

Gorebyss - Long-Nosed Chimaera
Gorebyss - Long-Nosed Chimaera
Although Gorebyss is undoubtedly one of the cutes Pokémon ever drawn, the Long-Nosed Chimaera or Rhinochimaeridae looks more like something that came straight out of your nightmare. They’re deep sea fishes, so you really ever see these come up close to surface of the water. And they have jaws and a row of sharp teeth that don’t really add any friendly appeal to them.

Caterpie - Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
Caterpie - Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
It’s pretty obvious that Caterpies are based on caterpillars, but the eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar has got to be the real-life basis of this Pokémon. Native to North America, the eastern tiger swallowtail’s caterpillars actually come in a variety of colors, but the green ones look exactly like caterpie.

Luvdisc - Kissing Gourami
Luvdisc - Kissing Gourami
A strange fish with a strange name, the kissing gourami is called so because this fish actually has lips. They’re also pink and have heart-shaped bodies, but they’re definitely more aggressive compared to luvdisc. Kissing gouramis “kiss” as a form of sparring.

Mudkip - Axolotl
Mudkip - Axolotl
A lot of people wouldn’t believe that the axolotl is a real animal, until they started showing up on pet stores as exotic pets. Also known as the Mexican salamander, they’re critically endangered in the wild, but are being breed rampantly in captivity.

Magikarp - Yelloweye Rockfish
Magikarp - Yelloweye Rockfish
One of the biggest rockfish or snapper species, they’re commonly seen in the east pacific, all the way up to the waters near Alaska. The older these fishes get, the darker their color turns. Another remarkable thing about them is that they are said to be able to live for more than 100 years.

Krookodile – Gharial
 Krookodile – Gharial
One of the most distinct features of Krookodile is its long and thin snout, which is a bit too over exaggerated when compared to a common crocodile, but fits the gharial’s snout perfectly. Gharial or gavials are crocodilians found in the Indian Subcontinent. They mainly eat fish and can grow to a whopping 20.5 ft. long.

Sandslash - Pangolin
Sandslash - Pangolin
They have the same claw and scales, and even the same eyes. Pangolins are Sandslashes in reality. Different species of the Pangolin are seen all though out south east, south and south west Asia, as well as India and some parts of Africa.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

7 of the Most Colorful Birds on the Planet


Colors play a very important role in the animal world. It’s one of the features certain species need to attract mates.  With birds, the male specimen is often the one that comes with the flashy colors and interesting feather patterns.

Below are 7 of the most colorful birds in the wild.

Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
A native bird found in the tropics of South America, this large parrot has prominent blue, yellow and red colors all over its body. There is also a white skin patch surrounding its bill and eyes and it also has a long tail which makes it look even more majestic. Despite their size, these birds are actually able to fly very fast. Very social animal, scarlet macaws live in small groups and feed off fruits, seeds and nuts.

Mandarin Duck
Mandarin Duck
These medium sized ducks are one of the most colorful perching ducks found in East Asian. Male specimens are easy recognized with their distinct red bill, brown face and a white crescent above their eyes. They also have purple colored breast that have two white bars that make them stand out.  These ducks migrate to Southern Japan or Eastern China and feed on seeds, plants, small fish, snails and insects.

Toco Toucan
Toco Toucan


The toco toucan is known for its quit colorful and large bill. There are around forty different sub-species that come with a variety of bill colors. They actually don’t use their bills to protect themselves, even though it makes up more than of its body. These birds are not strict vegetarians. They eat small lizards and insects along with fruits.

Stork-Billed Kingfisher
Stork-Billed Kingfisher
Found in the Southeast Asia and Indian Subcontinent, the Stork-billed Kingfisher has a huge beak and has a wonderful combination of colors. It has blue wings and tail, as well as a green back. Their legs are a bright red, which makes them sound out even more as they live near lakes, coasts and rivers. These birds would perch on tree branches, waiting for frogs, crabs, and fish. 

Australian King Parrot
Australian King Parrot
The male specimen of the Australian King Parrot is one of the most colorful birds native to Eastern Australia. They have red lower undersides, breasts and heads with green wings. Feeding on small insects, seeds, and fruits, they live in pairs or groups in the eastern Australian forests. 

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
It’s pink plumage and gray bill, along with its size, makes the roseate spoonbill a distinctive bird in North America’s swamps, marshes and ponds. Its white feathers go down its upper back, chest, and neck, but its eyes and legs have a vivid red color. This bird keeps its bill under water to capture small amphibians and fishes in the shallow waters.

Red-legged Partridge
Red-legged Partridge
A farmland bird that looks very fragile, the red-legged partridge usually has small legs with a round body. Its pinkish legs, a bright red beak, and red rings around their eyes stand out from its cream and gray feathers. A game bird that stays mostly on the ground, they eat small invertebrates and seeds.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

8 Scary Looking Animals that are Actually Harmless


Animals come in all forms of shapes and sizes, and some of them come with scary, nightmarish looks. However, some of these eerie looking animals don’t deserve their fearsome reputation. Some of them might just even make good companions.

Here are 6 scary looking animals which are actually perfectly harmless.

Milk Snakes
Milk Snakes
The reason why people are afraid of these snakes, besides the fact that snakes are the stuff of nightmares for most, is that they have a very close resemblance in color to the coral snake, which is highly venomous. Milk snakes are harmless and are even taken in as pets by exotic pet keepers.

Aye-aye
Aye-aye
Although they look like gremlins, with their long, skinny witch-like fingers, patchy looking skin and big yellow eyes, these Madagascar natives are actually pretty harmless and would prefer to munch on grubs and insects from trees. Locals also believe that they bring bad luck and death if they would ever point their finger at you, but that’s just purely superstition.

Gharial
Gharial
What looks like a common crocodile but with a snout that’s long and narrow, Gharial’s actually can’t bite large animals because of their fragile jaws. A native of the Indian subcontinent, they live off eating small fish, insects and frogs. As long as you don’t place your hands inside their mouth, these reptiles would never harm you.

Basking Sharks
Basking Sharks
Seeing the giant mouth of this animal open wide is enough to scare the life out of any diver. But unlike their carnivorous cousins, these sharks are harmless filter feeders, meaning they live off eating tiny zooplankton and would never take a bite out of anything bigger than a grain of rice. These animals are also known to be very tolerant with nearby boats and vessels, as well as divers.

Vultures
Vultures
These giant birds are often given a negative image because of how frightening they look. Their large wing span and inappropriate habit of appearing when there’s something that’s inches away from death or is already dead makes them even grimmer, but they’d never come close if you’re still alive. Vultures soar above gracefully and are truly majestic to look at.

Goliath Birdeater
Goliath Birdeater
A lot of people are afraid of spiders. But imagine one that’s about the same size as a small plate. The Goliath Birdeater is one of the biggest spider species in the world, said to be able to take down a bird. However, normal diets for these spiders are smaller insects, and they tend to be passive and entirely harmless to humans.

Vampire Bats
Vampire Bats
They fed on blood, look ghoulish, only appear at night, and live in hollow trees and dark caves. But beside this, vampire bats are harmless. They rarely even bite humans since they only feed on goat and cattle blood. Interesting enough, they would even adopt baby bats when something happens to their mothers.

Manta Ray
Manta Ray
The biggest ray species on the planet, these giant beasts can reach a width of 25 feet. They’re huge, smart, and are commonly seen swimming in the clear warm tropical waters of the world. Since they’re filter feeders, don’t expect one to bite you if you’d ever get the chance to dive with them.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

7 Of the Biggest Insects on Earth


Although we think of bugs as something small that crawls around, there are actually a few species that might just freak you out because of their size. Now, with big insects, they’re commonly not poisonous and usually don’t pose any threat to humans, but their size will intimidate you.

Goliath Beetle

Goliath Beetle
Judging on bulk and weight, the goliath beetle is one of the strongest contender for the largest insect in the world title. A native of Africa, male specimen can grow to more than 4 inches with a weight of 3.5 ounces or 100 grams on an average. And this is just on their larval stage.

Titan Beetle
Titan Beetle
The Amazon is known to be the home of a number of large species of animals. In fact, a number of large beetle species are found in the rainforest, but the biggest one would have to be the titan beetle. This giant insect doesn’t have poison glans, but it does have jaws that are strong enough to snap a twig or a pencil in half.

Giant Stick Insects
Giant Stick Insects
Recorded as the world’s longest insect, these bugs have evolved into strange shapes that help them blend into foliage, twigs, and branches to hide from predators. The Southeast Asian giant walking stick is the biggest amongst these species, growing to around 2 feet in length. To protect themselves, they often produce a strong, pungent smell, but they’re generally harmless.

Giant Weta
Giant Weta

An endemic creature in New Zealand, the giant weta is a huge bug that’s related to the common cricket. A specimen usually grown to around 4 inches long, not including their antennae and legs, and weigh in at 2.5 ounces or 70 grams, which makes them one of the heaviest bugs on earth. 

Atlas Moth

Atlas Moth
Common throughout the areas around the Malay archipelago, these moths are the size of birds and are considered as the biggest months on earth. The atlas moth is about as long as a foot, measuring to about 60 square inches. Their cocoons are even used as material for purses some places. 

Giant Burrowing Cockroach
Giant Burrowing Cockroach
 Although most people hate cockroaches, these one are actually good to have around. Also called rhinoceros cockroach, they don’t have wings so they can’t fly into your face and scare you. They also play a big role in keeping the ecosystem healthy since them help break down dead twigs and leaves. Some people have even turned them into pets.

Tarantula Hawk
Tarantula Hawk
These large wasps are so big and fierce that they are capable of hunting down tarantulas. They lay their eggs in the spiders and their larva slowly eats the tarantula from the inside. Thankfully these wasps are pretty much docile, unless they feel threatened or harassed.
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

6 Tiny Fur Ball Mammals


Although they’re small in size, these little mammals actually have an edge, especially when it comes to surviving. Their petite figures helps them stay under the radar of predators easily, burrowing into small crevices or running up to flimsy branches to escape. And they’re also really cute.

Below are a few tiny mammals and a little info about them.

Etruscan Shrew

Etruscan Shrew
Shrews are known to be small, but the Etruscan shrew will have to take the prize for the smallest of them all. In fact, they’re recorded as the smallest mammal on earth by mass. They weigh in at 2 grams on an average and grow to 4 centimeters in length. However, for something so small, its appetite is huge. It usually eats twice its own weight in a day.

Jerboas
Jerboas
For its size, this little mammal can really jump high. Although they’re more related to mice than kangaroos, their legs are similar to the kangaroos, which lets them leap far distances. Their ability to hop quickly is a big help since they live in the vast, hot desert.  Pygmy jerboas are the smallest amongst the species. In fact they’re the smallest rodents on earth.

Bumblebee Bat
Bumblebee Bat
Also known as Kitti's hog-nosed bat, they are the smallest bats in the world. They also have the smallest skulls amongst all mammals. These bats are so small that you might even confuse them with an actually bumblebee when they fly near you. Sadly, their delicate size makes them helpless, especially to human activities. They’re now tagged as vulnerable in the IUCN.

Mouse Lemurs

Mouse Lemurs
Recorded as the smallest primate on earth, they measure at about 27 centimeters from the tip of their heads to the tip of their tail. The smallest specie of the Mouse Lemurs is the Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, which on an average weighs in at 30 grams and grows to around 10 centimeters.

Least Weasel
Least Weasel
A very active little guy, the least weasel is considered as the tiniest true carnivore on earth. It’s the smallest amongst the species under the Carnivora order, weighing at about 50 grams. Although they’re small, they are a bit aggressive. These guys are great hunters and scurry around for small rodents to eat.

Pygmy Possum

Pygmy Possum
They mature with a length of around 5to 10 centimeters and weigh in at a little over 10 grams. These tiny marsupials are native to New Guinea and Australia. They spend most of their time in the canopy, hanging upside down on trees. Because they’re so small and hard to find, a new specie was discovered in 2005.
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Saturday, April 25, 2015

8 Animals that Look Like they were touched by Midas


Call them living treasures, these 8 animals that look like they just got dug out of a gold mine. Although they’re not really made out of real gold, but their bright golden yellow colors make them stand out in anywhere.

Golden Lion Tamarin

Golden Lion Tamarin
These wonderful monkeys obviously got their name from their lion mane-like golden coats. They’re found around the coastal forests of eastern Brazil however there are roughly around 1,000 individuals left in the wild. Habitat loss and deforestation is to blame for their population decline and conservationists are doing what they can to save this species. These monkeys are definitely more special and rare than their color.

Golden Tortoise Beetle
Golden Tortoise Beetle
What looks like a small piece of jewelry is actually a creepy crawly beetle. Also known as goldbugs, golden tortoise beetles have a shiny, metal colored shell that they can actually change into a brownish color when they’re frightened or disturbed. This is possible through their ability of changing the fluid flow between the different layers of their shell.

Golden Apple Snail
Golden Apple Snail
A small, amphibious type of apple snails, they’re becoming very popular aquarium pets because of their amazing color. Along with their rich look, this snail has a very peculiar feature. It has both lungs and gills, meaning they don’t have any problems shifting from water and land habitats.

Golden Slender Mongoose

Golden Slender Mongoose
Although slender mongooses have a number of different coat colors, the golden variety has to top all of them. Its beautiful golden coat helps to blend them in with the yellow savanna grasses in sub-Saharan Africa. They look adorable, but they’re actually capable of hunting and taking down a variety of venomous snakes.

Golden Eyelash Viper
Golden Eyelash Viper
The name might sound sort of harmless, but these snakes do bite, and they are venomous. They get their names from fleshy bumps close to their eyes that look like eyelashes. Nevertheless, people still take these snakes in as exotic pets. In fact some are specifically bred to have that bright golden yellow color.

Yellow Tang
Yellow Tang
There are a number of yellow and gold fishes that are seen in the tropics, but the best looking one would have to be the yellow tang. A very popular aquarium fish, they’re actually related to the surgeonfish family. Yellow tangs are commonly seen in the warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

Gee's Golden Langur
Gee's Golden Langur
Another super stylish monkey, their fur actually varies from a deep golden yellow to cream, as well as a rust-brown. Native to Bhutan and India, they’re currently facing a population problem due to habitat loss because of continues human activities and deforestation.

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
One of the most common birds seen in North America, goldfinches comes in a number of colors, with the yellow ones standing out. Like almost all birds, male specimens are actually more colorful than female ones.  These birds have actually gotten more benefit thanks to human activity. Home owners often leave bird feeders in their yards, so these birds feel very welcome to visit.
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Friday, April 24, 2015

6 Animals that Were Revived Back through Conservation


Researchers say that we are experiencing a mass extinction, what they call the Holocene extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has tagged 17,291 animal species as threated, ad this is just a fraction of the animals that have been assessed. Despite these numbers, there are a few success stories. Below are a few animals that have actually been conserved and successfully returned from extinction.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
America’s most iconic bird almost became extinct during the early 1950’s with only 412 nesting pairs found in the wild. One of the main reasons for the decline of their population is the wide use of DDT pesticide in the farms. DDT has been banned in the 70’s and the conservation of these majestic birds started to yield positive results. Currently, there are more or less 10,000 breeding pairs in the wild. The Bald Eagle has also been taken out of the endangered species list in 1995.

Black-Footed Ferret
Black-Footed Ferret
This specie had literally come back from extinction. The Black-footed ferret was declared extinct during the 70’s. Fortunately, there was a small population that was discovered in a small part of Wyoming. A breeding program in captivity was initiated for the remaining few 18 individuals. Even with the small odds, a number of ferrets were successfully produced and were introduced back to the wild. There are around 1,200 individual ferrets in the wild today.

Southern White Rhino
Southern White Rhino
One of the biggest conservation success stories, there were only around 100 southern white rhinos left and they were hovering very dangerously near to being declared extinct by the late 19th century. After a little over a century of conservation and protection, there are more than 20,000 individuals in the wild, mainly found in the protected parks of South Africa.  Although rhinoceros as a species stull remains highly endangered, these sub-species shine a light of hope for the future.

California Condor
California Condor
One of the biggest birds on the planet, this majestic bird was placed in the extinct list during the late 1980’s. 22 individuals were actually captured and placed under a breeding program under the Los Angeles Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park. There are around 350 California condors alive today and half of them are flying in the wild in Baja California, Arizona, and California.

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale
Like many great whales, the humpback’s population decimated because of commercial whaling which was rampant during the early and mid 1900’s. Researchers even estimated that at some point, the population of these majestic, harmless creatures was reduced to 2 percent of their number a century ago. Their population has risen to 80,000 over the years thanks to protection and anti-whale hunting regulations.

Przewalski's Horse
Przewalski's Horse

Unlike the other species of “wild” horses, these horses were never really domesticated. They represent the only true wild horses after humans started domesticating them thousands of years ago. Tragically, their population declined to its lowest during the 1960’s. After conservation and protection programs, these horses have rebounded with 1,500 individuals in breeding facilities and zoos. 400 horses also roam protected sites in China and Mongolia.
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