This week it is the turn of the letter B, so I decided to explore adjectives that describe ARKive beginning with the letter B. With over 13,000 species, 70,000 images and over 150 hours of footage I think I can say with confidence that the ARKive collection is bountiful. With photographs and footage from many of the world’s best wildlife photographers it is easy to see why so many of the ARKive images, such as this picture of giraffe in their habitat, are brilliantly beautiful. And from the beautiful to the bizarre, the slightly shocked looking creature taking a quick bath below is actually a young Asian elephant!
B is for…Brazil
The largest country in South America, covering an area of over 3 million square miles, Brazil has a diverse variety of habitats and as such is home to an extraordinary range of terrestrial and aquatic life. The forests are home to jaguars and ocelots, harpy eagles and the yellow-headed caracara, while the rivers are inhabited by Amazonian manatees and the boto. Brazil is also host to many threatened species, including the golden-headed lion tamarin, which is classified as Endangered by the IUCN as a mere 2-5% of its original habitat remains.
Did you know there are over 2,000 bird species on ARKive? These range from the mighty wandering albatross, with the largest recorded wingspan of any bird (reaching an enormous 3.5 metres across), to the smallest living bird, the tiny bee hummingbird which is only 6 centimetres long! Of course wingspan isn’t everything, particularly if you can’t fly. Some of the most easily recognisable bird species are flightless, including penguins of which there are 18 species on ARKive, and the ostrich, which strangely has the largest eyes of any land animal!
Of the 8 species of baobab found worldwide 6 are endemic to Madagascar. One such endemic species is the Grandidier’s baobab, and in my opinion is one of the most impressive, as it genuinely looks like it has been planted upside down leaving the roots exposed! One of the most interesting features of this baobab is its ability to retain water within the fibrous wood of the trunk, evident by the fluctuation in trunk diameter with rainfall.
Whether you are an avid reader of the ARKive blog, or just an occasional visitor it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that there is a lot more to ARKive than pretty pictures. For every species we profile we aim to cover the complete life history from birth to death and everything in between. We have Barbary macaques playing, South African ground squirrels fending off a cobra with their tails and Pere David’s deer boxing to name just a few. Check out Charlie’s blog on ARKive’s Top 10 Natural Nasties for some of the more gruesome behaviour examples.
Well that’s it for the Bs, tune in next time for more captivating creatures and a close up on climate change when we explore the ARKive Cs.
Laura Sutherland, ARKive Education Officer