Our friends

BIRDS

Birds occur on all continents and in virtually every habitat. With more than 10.000 different species, birds form the largest group of terrestrial vertebrates. All species have two features in common: wings and feathers. Their beaks are adapted to their diet.

Did you know…?

  • Birds evolved from dinosaurs.
  • Their eyesight is unmatched.
  • Recently three species of poisonous species were discovered in New-Guinea.
  • Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 80 times a second.
  • Argentavis magnificens, an extinct species, had a wingspan of 26 feet (8 meters).

 

INDIAN MUNTJAC (Muntiacus muntjak)

Of the twelve recognized species of muntjacs the Indian muntjac is the most widespread. It gives calls similar to barking upon sensing a predator, hence the common name of barking deer. Males have small antlers and enlarged canine teeth. Their diet includes young leaves, shoots, tree bark, grass and fallen fruits.

Did you know…?

  • Muntjacs are one of the smallest and oldest species of deer, appearing about 32 million years ago.
  • It is extremely rare nowadays to discover new mammal species; nevertheless, over the past decade scientists in S.E. Asia recorded five new species of muntjacs.

 

SEBA’S SHORT-TAILED BAT (Carollia perspicillata)

These small fruit bats dwell in evergreen and deciduous lowland forests of Central and South America. They live in harems of one male and up to 20 females. Their food consists of fruit, nectar and pollen and they play an important role as pollinators and seed dispersers.

Did you know…?

  • They weigh only half an ounce ( 15 grams )
  • Fruit bats are not blind, their vision is pretty good. They use both vision and smell to find food.

 

 

GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana)

The green iguana is a large arboreal and herbivorous species of lizard native to Central and South America. It is an excellent swimmer and when threatened can stay submerged for a long period.

Whipping its spiny tail is also an iguana defense tactic.

       Did you know…?

  • Once a year female iguanas lay clutches of 20 to 70 eggs.
  • They can remain underwater for half an hour.
  • Depending on their origin they can reach 2 m in length.

SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber)

The Scarlet Ibis inhabits wetlands and mangroves from Venezuela to Brazil. It is a social bird and often roosts in large colonies of several thousand individuals. Their distinctive long, thin bills are used to probe for shrimp and other red shellfish in soft mud. 

     Did you know…?

  • Theibis get their bright pink colour from pigments in their food, primarily red crustaceans. Without these they would remain light brown in colour.

 

WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN (Ramphastos tucanus)

These toucans are found throughout the Amazon region of South America. Their huge bill is remarkably strong but very light. They feed on fruit, flowers and nectar. Toucans nest in cavities in tree trunks where females lay between 2 and 4 eggs.

Did you know…?

  • There are more than 40 species of toucans.
  • To keep in balance while asleep, the toucan turns its head so that the long billrests on its back.
  • Toucans are able to use their over-sized bills as heat regulators.

 

VICTORIA CROWNED PIGEON (Goura victoria)

The Victoria crowned pigeon is the largest species of pigeon in the world. It is found in the lowland forests of northern New Guinea and surrounding islands and listed as a vulnerable species due to hunting and habitat destruction.

 Did you know…?

  • Pigeons and flamingoes are unusual among birds in that they produce milk in their crop to feed their young. Crop milk is produced by both female and male birds. 

 

ATLAS MOTH (Attacus atlas)

The giant Atlas moth is native to the tropical forests of South Asia with a range extending roughly from Afghanistan to New Guinea. It is considered the world’s largest moth with a wingspan measuring up to 30 cm. Despite its size, the adult moth has no mouth and lives off fat reserves built up during its larval (caterpillar) stage. After emerging from its cocoon, the male moth dies within a week. The female though, lives a little longer in order to lay its eggs.

Did you know…?

  • With its feathery antennae the male can detect odor-carrying molecules, called pheromones, released by females at a distance of 5 km away.
  • The forewings resemble a snake’s head scaring off potential predators.
  • The females lay up to 200 eggs.