The penis of female hyenas

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This occurs in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), whose females are more aggressive and dominant than males. They possess a false penis and scrotum (pseudo penis and pseudo scrotum). However, the truth is that they have an enlarged clitoris shaped like a penis actually, which is erectile and used to urinate. And the vaginal lips … Read more The penis of female hyenas

The world’s smallest deer: the pudú

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Pudu mephistophiles or Northern pudú It is the smallest deer (family Cervidae) in the world. It does not exceed 35 cm in height and 70 cm in length, and weighs between 3.3-6 kg. It lives in the high and cold steppes of the Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes. Its trunk is brown, the neck is … Read more The world’s smallest deer: the pudú

The smallest african viverrid

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The Common Dwarf Mongoose  (Helogale parvula) is the smallest viverrid of the Afican continent. Viverrids are a family of carnivorous mammals that includes civets, ginets, mongooses and alike. Its small body barely reaches 30 cm in length, with a weight that usually does not reach 300 g. The tail can measure between 12-20 cm. Its … Read more The smallest african viverrid

The giant fake “mosquito”

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More than one has been shocked after seen these alleged mosquitoes. They look like imposing and huge mosquitoes, but in fact they are Diptera of the Tipulidae family, also known as crain flies. True mosquitoes are also Diptera but they belong to the Culicidae family. They are thin, delicate-looking insects with long and thin legs, … Read more The giant fake “mosquito”

The most lethal living being on Earth

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This is the sea wasp or box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, a kind of jellyfish of the Cubozoa class: It inhabits shallow, turbid oceanic waters of Australia and Southeast Asia (although during the breeding season and polyp phase they can be found in rivers). The bell (“body”) is cube-shaped and translucid (Φ15-24cm). From each of the … Read more The most lethal living being on Earth

The fastest primate

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It is the patas monkey: Erythrocebus patas. This Old World Monkey is the fastest primate, since it can reach  56 km/h running. Males of this species weigh about 10 kg and females about 6 kg. Their legs and tails are long. They have a reddish-brown hair with lighter and darker areas. This species lives in … Read more The fastest primate

The cause of the smell of damp soil

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This smell, called petrichor, which pleases many people, is perceived after the rain. The responsible is a substance called geosmin (aroma of the earth in Greek). Geosmin is produced by Streptomyces coelicolor or Albert’s bacteria, although it is also produced by some cyanobacteria and filamentous fungi. This bacterium is found in most soils, and apart … Read more The cause of the smell of damp soil

The largest rodent

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It is the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), also known as chigüire, chigüiro or carpincho. It can measure 50-60 cm high and 1.3 m long and can weigh… more than 50 kg! This species lives exclusively in South America. It lives in more or less numerous groups in the vicinity of watercourses. A curious feature is that … Read more The largest rodent

The slowest terrestrial mammal

Bradypus tridactylus, the pale-throated sloth, belongs to the supraorder Edentata, just like the armadillo and the anteater. Ground speed: 2.44m/min (0.105km/h), although it increases slightly when climbing trees using its 3 long claws, reaching 4.57m/min (0.272km/h). Its neck has a great mobility, it can turn it almost 360º. It almost never descends to the ground, … Read more The slowest terrestrial mammal

The peculiarities of hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are a family of birds (Trochilidae) composed by many species. The size of the hummingbirds varies depending on the species: the smallest weighs about 2.2 grams and the largest about 20 g. They feed on flowers’ nectar (they are important pollinators) and small insects. They have a very large heart beating at more than … Read more The peculiarities of hummingbirds

Ballooning or the flight of spiders

This type of displacement basically consists of “floating” in the air through silk threads. That is, the air pushes the silk thread and the spider will hang from it in the air. The spider is usually placed in an elevated area, aims the opisthosoma (“abdomen”) upward and expels the thread… A timely blast of air … Read more Ballooning or the flight of spiders

The tricks of some insects to ensure offspring

Females can be fertilized by several males because the sperm share space once inside the female. As a result, different types of adaptations have appeared to ensure the reproductive success of males. Two types of adaptations can be distinguished: 1. TO ACHIEVE A PREFERENTIAL USE OF SPERM. The best known case is that of some … Read more The tricks of some insects to ensure offspring

Sodium and the courtship of butterflies

Courtship is defined as specific behavioural patterns that induce sexual receptivity, i.e. it facilitates recognition between species and also serves as a mechanism to prevent mating between different species. It can be done by visual, tactile and/or chemical stimulation. A curious mechanism is that of some species of butterflies, called “puddling“, which consists of the … Read more Sodium and the courtship of butterflies

The peculiarities of gibbons

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They do not present sexual dirmorphism (differences between males and females) in size neither in dentition, only in coloration in the first two genera of the 4 existing ones: Nomascus, Hoolock, Hylobates and Symphalangus. The intermembral index (length of upper extremities/lower ext*100) is the highest of all primates: 127-147. They are the only apes with … Read more The peculiarities of gibbons

Meet the Aye-aye

Daubentonia madagascariensis, also known as Aye-aye is a strepsirrhine endemic to Madagascar. Acording to the UICN Red List, it is endangered. They usually weigh between 2.5-2.7 kg and their life spectancy is about 24 years in captivity. SOME CURIOUS AND UNIQUE  MORPHOLOGICAL FEATURES They are the largest nocturnal primates. They have orange eyes surrounded by … Read more Meet the Aye-aye

An egg sack to take care of the offspring

The spider Agroeca brunnea makes a simple-looking egg sac and usually attaches it to an elevated site. But the curious thing is that it is bicameral, composed by the chamber of the eggs (1) and the chamber of molt (2). Eggs hatch in chamber 1 and newborn spiders pierce the cover plate, falling into chamber … Read more An egg sack to take care of the offspring

The orangutans’ “trick” to ensure their reproductive success

Orangutan females reach sexual maturity at 11-15 years. Males reach puberty at 7-9 years and thereafter they have 2 possibilities : 1.Reach adult size with all its features (such as lateral facial pads -green arrow-). 2.Stay in an adolescent state (development interrupted) in terms of morphology, but still are fertile and reproductively active. Possible meaning? … Read more The orangutans’ “trick” to ensure their reproductive success

How does the ogre-faced spider hunt?

These spiders of the genus Deinopis are weavers, but the web they manufacture consists of a few threads attached to the front legs. When prey (e.g. a moth) approaches, the spider separates the legs, extends the spiral and rushes over it to catch it. They’re called “ogre-faced” because of the “face” of the prosoma. They … Read more How does the ogre-faced spider hunt?

Orangutans, the mammals that take the longest to have a calf

The intergenesic interval (the time from one birth to a potential next pregnancy.) of orangutans is the largest of all primates and mammals: 6-8 years. During all this time the offspring are very dependent on the mother because they need a long learning period in order to survive on their own. For instance, they learn … Read more Orangutans, the mammals that take the longest to have a calf