Here's another "guess who" for you--this one features animal ears...
Figured it all out? The first one was probably the easiest, belonging to our bobcat. The backs of her ears show a pattern called "false eyespots" an adaptation used by many animals into fooling would-be predators.
Did you guess coyote for the second one?
The third one belongs to a deer:
The last one--the really odd looking one!--belongs to a turkey:
That's all for now. More "off the beaten path" in two weeks...
In my last blog, I featured the many beautiful lizards on display during our annual "Reptiles Bizarre & Beautiful," especially those exhibited by VIIPER (Virginians Interested In Protecting Every Reptile.) Today I'll feature some more amazing reptiles, and I'll start you off with some more "guess who?"....
The first is the eye of an African dwarf crocodile. This incredible crocodilian was on loan from Clyde Peeling's Reptiland in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. The dwarf crocodile is the smallest living crocodile species getting up to 5 feet long. Native to sub-Saharan west Africa and west central Africa, it inhabits swamps and rainforest rivers.
Also on loan from Reptiland was this fascinating rhinoceros ratsnake. In the photo below, I caught it yawning! This ratsnake ranges from northern Vietnam to southern parts of China. It's an arboreal inhabitant of subtropical rainforests, where is preys upon small rodents and birds.
The second "guess who" photo is of an American alligator--this one shown by VIIPER member, Jessica.
The third "guess who" photo belongs to a really gorgeous reticulated python shown by VIIPER affiliate, Eric. This snake can get up to 22 feet in length--not sure how long this snake is, but I think it weighs about 75 pounds! Native to southeast Asia, this type of python inhabits tropical rainforests and swamps. This snake is always a crowd pleaser--many thanks, Eric!
VIIPER members shared smaller snakes, too--and every bit as enchanting as the bigger snakes! Tara showed off her delicate little Namibian bug-eyed house snake, which inhabits a variety of habitats from forests to deserts to urban areas. When I took this photo, the snake's skin looked "dull" or "milky"--a sure sign that it would shed its skin in the near future.
This next snake is a rosy boa, shown by Scott, who told me it was one of the smallest boa species, maxing out at about 3 to 4 feet. The rosy boa inhabits rocky deserts in the southwest US and northern parts of western Mexico.
I was fascinated by the brilliant colors of this carpet python, native to Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea:
Another snake native to those same regions is the scrub python--take a look at the wonderfully detailed scales on its head:
More beautiful snakes....a blood python shown by Sierra:
...a gray banded kingsnake shown by Curtis:
...a black ratsnake flicking out its tongue to sniff the air. (Thanks, Madi!)
And last but not least....a frog?! Yep, even though "Reptiles Bizarre & Beautiful" mostly features reptiles, there were a few amphibians, too. This one is a black and blue poison dart frog:
Again, many, many thanks to ALL who helped make our annual event a success. I can't wait to see what next year brings!....More "off the beaten path" in two weeks....