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Map of the northern Lesser Antilles indicating the three islands where Pennatomys has been found
Pennatomys nivalis is an extinct oryzomyinerodent from the islands of Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, and Nevis in the Lesser Antilles. The only species in the genusPennatomys, it is known from skeletal remains found in Amerindian archeological sites on all three islands, with dates ranging from 790–520BCE to 900–1200CE. No live specimens are known, but there are several historical records of rodents from Saint Kitts and Nevis that could conceivably refer to Pennatomys. The animal apparently belongs to a group within the tribe Oryzomyini that includes many other island-dwelling species.
Pennatomys nivalis was a medium-sized rodent without many distinctive adaptations. The nasal bones were short and blunt-ended. The zygomatic plate, a bony plate at the side of the skull, was broad. The bony palate was long and flat. The root of the lower incisor was housed in a bony protuberance, the capsular process. The molars were low-crowned and possess accessory crests such as mesolophs. The upper molars all had three roots. (Full article...)
Aplysina archeri is a species of sponge that has long tube-like structures of cylindrical shape. Many tubes are attached to one particular part of the organism; a single tube can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) high and 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick. These sponges mostly live in the Atlantic Ocean. These filter feeders eat food such as plankton or suspended detritus as it passes them.
The Peacock flounder (Bothus mancus) is a species of lefteye flounder found widely in relatively shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific. This photomontage shows four separate views of the same fish, each several minutes apart, starting from the top left. Over the course of the photos, the fish changes its colors to match its new surroundings, and then finally (bottom right) buries itself in the sand, leaving only the eyes protruding.
The rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), also known as the dassie, is one of four living species of the order Hyracoidea, and the only living species in its genus. Like all hyraxes, it is a medium-sized terrestrial mammal between 4 kilograms (9 lb) and 5 kilograms (11 lb) in mass, with short ears and tail. The rock hyrax is found across Africa and the Middle East, at elevations up to 4,200 metres (13,800 ft). It resides in habitats with rock crevices which it uses to escape from predators. Along with the other hyrax species and the manatee, these are the animals most closely related to the elephant.
A macro view of a Gonia capitatafly feeding on honey, showing its proboscis and pedipalps (the two appendages protruding from the proboscis), two types of insect mouthparts. The proboscis actually comprises the labium, a quadrupedal structure, and a sponge-like labellum at the end. Flies eat solid food by secreting saliva and dabbing it over the food item. As the saliva dissolves the food, the solution is then drawn up into the mouth as a liquid. The labellum's surface is covered by minute food channels which form a tube leading to the esophagus, and food is drawn up the channels by capillary action.
Brittle stars, serpent stars, or ophiuroids (from Latin ophiurus 'brittle star'; from Ancient Greekὄφις (óphis) 'serpent', and οὐρά (ourá) 'tail'; referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star) are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea, closely related to starfish. They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long, slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 cm (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. (Full article...)
The flatworms, flat worms, Platyhelminthes, or platyhelminths (from the Greek πλατύ, platy, meaning "flat" and ἕλμινς (root: ἑλμινθ-), helminth-, meaning "worm") are a phylum of relatively simple bilaterian, unsegmented, soft-bodied invertebrates. Unlike other bilaterians, they are acoelomates (having no body cavity), and have no specialised circulatory and respiratoryorgans, which restricts them to having flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion. The digestive cavity has only one opening for both ingestion (intake of nutrients) and egestion (removal of undigested wastes); as a result, the food cannot be processed continuously. (Full article...)
Plate 5 from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur, showing a variety of calcareous sponges, a class of about 400 marine sponges that are found mostly in shallow tropical waters worldwide. Calcareous sponges vary from radially symmetrical vase-shaped body types to colonies made up of a meshwork of thin tubes, or irregular massive forms. The skeleton has either a mesh or honeycomb structure.
Thysanozoon nigropapillosum, the yellow-spotted flatworm, is a species of marine flatworm in the family Pseudocerotidae. The species is native to the tropical Indo-Pacific region, where it lives in shallow reef habitats. Flatworms are hermaphrodites, each being able to act as either male or female. As a donor of sperm, it can grip the margin of the recipient's body, using its two penises in a chopstick-like manner, and deposit sperm on the surface of the skin of the recipient, even while it is actively swimming.
This picture shows a yellow-spotted flatworm photographed in Manta Ray Bay, on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. The flatworm is seen swimming to the right at a depth of 12 metres (40 ft) by undulating the margins of its body. The pseudotentacles at the front have simple eyes and sensory receptors to enable the flatworm to find tunicates on which it feeds.
Glaucus atlanticus is a species of small, blue sea slug. This pelagic aeolid nudibranch floats upside down, using the surface tension of the water to stay up, and is carried along by the winds and ocean currents. The blue side of their body faces upwards, blending in with the blue of the water, while the grey side faces downwards, blending in with the silvery surface of the sea. G. atlanticus feeds on other pelagic creatures, including the Portuguese man o' war.
Eutropis macularia, the bronze grass skink, is a species of lizard in the skink family, Scincidae, native to South and Southeast Asia. It lives in both deciduous and evergreen forests, in plantations, in grasslands, and in rocky areas with scattered trees. The species is active in both the day and the night, feeding on insects and other invertebrates. This bronze grass skink was photographed on a tree trunk on the island of Don Det in Laos.
Liguus virgineus, also known as the candy cane snail, is a species of snail in the family Orthalicidae. It is native to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There have also been at least three reports of living specimens being found in the Florida Keys of the United States. The snail lives on trees and feeds on moss, fungi and microscopic algae covering the bark.
A caterpillar of Lymantria dispar dispar, also known as the gypsy moth. First described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, the gypsy moth is found throughout Eurasia, where it is considered a pest. The larvae emerge from egg masses in the spring, and then are dispersed by the wind and begin feeding on leaves. They are initially diurnal, but become nocturnal after their fourth molting.
The young generally undergo metamorphosis from larva with gills to an adult air-breathing form with lungs. Amphibians use their skin as a secondary respiratory surface and some small terrestrial salamanders and frogs lack lungs and rely entirely on their skin. They are superficially similar to reptiles like lizards, but unlike reptiles and other amniotes, require water bodies in which to breed. With their complex reproductive needs and permeable skins, amphibians are often ecological indicators; in recent decades there has been a dramatic decline in amphibian populations for many species around the globe. (Full article...)
Image 9Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck led the creation of a modern classification of invertebrates, breaking up Linnaeus's "Vermes" into 9 phyla by 1809. (from Animal)
Image 10Idealised bilaterian body plan. With an elongated body and a direction of movement the animal has head and tail ends. Sense organs and mouth form the basis of the head. Opposed circular and longitudinal muscles enable peristaltic motion. (from Animal)
Image 48A brilliantly-coloured oriental sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus vittatus) waits while two boldly-patterned cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) pick parasites from its skin. The spotted tail and fin pattern of the sweetlips signals sexual maturity; the behaviour and pattern of the cleaner fish signal their availability for cleaning service, rather than as prey (from Animal coloration)
Image 49A praying mantis in deimatic or threat pose displays conspicuous patches of colour to startle potential predators. This is not warning coloration as the insect is palatable. (from Animal coloration)
The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species, along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water, and marine), and free-living or parasitic ways of life. Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000–27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000–20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million. Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species—including those not yet described—was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[a]
^The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).
^Sluys, R. (1999). "Global diversity of land planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Terricola): a new indicator-taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies". Biodiversity and Conservation. 8 (12): 1663–1681. doi:10.1023/A:1008994925673. S2CID38784755.