Dec 29

With no one wanting to be a copycat and the number of species to choose from on ARKive gradually getting lower (5 have been selected out of the 14,195 species on ARKive!) the pressure is really beginning to show. Will this week’s team member go for a cuddly critter like Hannah Mulvany or a more beastly being?

Rebecca Sennett – ARKive Media Researcher

Favourite species: African leopard

Why? The African leopard has always been my favourite species mainly because of its exceptional beauty and the fact that it is so elusive. I will never forget how I felt whilst on safari, watching two leopards drag an impala kill up onto the branch of an acacia tree, just as the sun went down below the horizon – a breathtaking and rare sight. The African leopard is a fearsome predator, combining opportunism, stealth and speed. Its distinctive, spotted coat provides excellent camouflage and enables the leopard to conceal itself in the undergrowth. With acute vision and hearing, the leopard is able move slowly and silently, frequently stalking to within metres of its prey without being detected!

Favourite image on ARKive?

Photo of an African leopard

Female African leopard grooming cub

The leopard is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List, with threats to the African population including habitat conversion for agriculture, hunting for teeth and fur and human persecution due to this species attacking livestock.

See more photos and videos of the leopard.

Dec 22

Even the most bright eyed and bushy tailed of the ARKive team are beginning to show looks of fear as the imminent deadline for their favourite species draws closer. Last week we marvelled at the magnificent scarlet macaw with Liz Shaw, which species is our staff member going ape for this week?

Hannah Mulvany – ARKive Species Text Author Intern

Favourite species: Pygmy three-toed sloth

Why? I’ve always loved sloths, they are so calm and appear to take everything in their stride. They seem really loving and on most pictures I have ever seen of them they are cuddling up to each other with what looks like a big smile on their face. As they are covered in algae they may not actually be too pleasant to cuddle in real life! I also like how peaceful they are, using camouflage and stillness in order to protect themselves from predators rather than violent conflict.

Favourite image on ARKive?

Photo of the pygmy three-toed sloth

Pygmy three-toed sloth in arboreal habitat

The pygmy three-toed sloth is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Threats to this species include illegal hunting and the degradation of its habitat due to visitors to Isla Escudo de Veraguas, the island to which this species is endemic.

See more photos and videos of the pygmy three-toed sloth.

Dec 15

Some of our animal-adoring ARKive team had a whale of a time while choosing their favourite species, whereas for others, the cat simply had their tongue. Last time Rebecca Moran shared her admiration for the awe-inspiring manta ray which super special species will come out on top this week?

Elisabeth Shaw – ARKive Species Text Author

Favourite species? Scarlet macaw

Why? I have always had a love of birds, and parrots are a particular favourite. For me, the vivid colours and loud calls of the scarlet macaw are an irreplaceable part of the rainforest. I have been lucky enough to study these intelligent birds as they gather with other parrots and macaws at ‘clay licks’ in the forest – a wildlife spectacle never to be forgotten!

Favourite image on ARKive?

Photo of a scarlet macaw

Scarlet macaw preening

The scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. Although common throughout its range, this species is threatened by habitat loss, hunting for food and feathers and capture for the pet trade.

See more photos and videos of the scarlet macaw.

Dec 8

The sleepless nights are beginning to show amongst the ARKive team as they decide which species is ahead of the pack. Our last revelation was by Rebecca Taylor with her love for the sensational sea otter, but will this week’s team member favour cuddliness or mind-blowing biological ability?

Rebecca Moran – ARKive Species Text Author

Favourite species? Manta ray

Why? I think I’m mainly fascinated by the manta ray because of its sheer size! It can measure a whopping 6.7 metres across, which would be roughly equivalent to four of me (or any lady of average height!) laid end to end! In spite of its size, the manta ray is extremely graceful, using its large wings to seemingly fly through the water while feeding on tiny planktonic organisms. I’d definitely love to don some flippers and have a snorkel with a manta ray some day.

Favourite image on ARKive:

Photo of manta ray

Manta ray swimming

The manta ray (Manta birostris) is listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List, and is currently threatened by fishing, both intentionally and as accidental bycatch. This species is now protected in many areas, with total fishing bans imposed by some countries.

See more photos and videos of the manta ray.

Dec 1

Time for round two! We have given our animal-loving ARKive team the tough decision of picking their favourite animal. For a bunch obsessed with all things wild, this has not been an easy task!  Last time Claire shared her love African wild dogs but what species is going to come out top dog this week….

Rebecca TaylorARKive Media Researcher

Favourite species? Sea otter

Why? They are the smallest marine mammal in the world and do not have blubber, instead relying on their fur for warmth. They possibly spend more time grooming then any other mammal, and look adorable when they are doing it (see our videos). Not only that, but after giving birth the female carries around her single pup on her chest, grooming and nursing it to make sure its fur stays insulated and nice and buoyant.

Favourite image on ARKive?

Photo of sea otter grooming

Sea otter grooming

The sea otter is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List. Threats to this species previously included the fur trade, but since being protected in 1911, human activities, coastal development and pollution have bought new danger to this species.

See more pictures and videos of the sea otter.

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