May 20

Welcome to the party! It’s ARKive’s 8th birthday and today we’re celebrating in style with our best contributors – the species themselves. We asked you to use the Like buttons on each species profile to show us which you think should be invited to the celebration. We’ve had a great response – the following all had at least 50 Likes and have made our special species guestlist…

The Red (List) Carpet

Tiger – Panthera tigris

ARKive Bengal tiger photo

Who better to start the line-up of guests than the tiger? Padding up the catwalk is the true king of the jungle. As well as looking handsome, the cryptic coat of the largest of big cats makes it an excellent “stalk and ambush” predator in tall grass and forest.

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko – Uroplatus phantasticus

ARKive satanic leaf-tailed gecko photo

With amazing camouflage, you would be forgiven for mistaking the satanic leaf-tailed gecko for some crispy old foliage if you saw it in the wild. Despite the sinister name it is actually quite harmless – must be the red eyes!

Aye-aye – Daubentonia madagascariensis

ARKive aye-aye photo

Definitely a guest that would only come to an evening party, the aye-aye is as utterly charming as it is bizarre! This Madagascan primate has almost cult status in biology classes for its spidery fingers, perfectly adapted for extracting grubs from trees.

Purple frog – Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis

ARKive purple frog photo

Although not the prettiest of amphibians, the purple frog’s bloated anatomy is perfect for its subterranean habit; it snuffles for termites using its conical head and sensitive snout. It is also the sole surviving member of a group of amphibians that evolved 130 million years ago, so we’re privileged to have it with us!

Giant panda – Ailuropoda melanoleuca

ARKive giant panda photo

This monochrome mammal hardly needs an introduction – it is probably the most famous threatened species on the planet, mainly for eating shoots and leaves! Make way for the giant panda!

Komodo dragon – Varanus komodoensis

ARKive Komodo dragon photo

The world’s largest, most powerful land lizard. Known for its voracious appetite, scientists also recently discovered that the Komodo dragon is poisonous, subduing its prey with slow-acting venom. Better not get in this one’s way at the buffet.

Pygmy three-toed sloth

ARKive pygmy three-toed sloth photo

The pygmy three-toed sloth is the most endangered of sloths, confined to one island off the coast of Panama. Perhaps more a fan of a pool party, this species is as happy in the water as it is in the trees of its mangrove habitat!

Kakapo – Strigops habroptila

ARKive kakapo photo

The world’s only flightless parrot, the kakapo, has suffered heavily for its defenseless nature and now only survives on a few isolated, predator free islands off New Zealand. It also has reason to celebrate – since its relocation, Kakapo populations have been steadily increasing.

Polar bear – Ursus maritimus

ARKive polar bear photo

Perhaps more whale than bear, the polar bear can swim for miles at a time and is more of a marine than a terrestrial species. Its preferred habitat is the annual ice of arctic coastlines, where it mostly hunts mammals such as seal, narwhal and beluga. I think the polar bear might have to make do with cake at our party, though!

So that was our glamorous guestlist for the ARKive 8th birthday party! It’s sure to be a great shindig – now all we have to do is keep the guests from eating each other…

Don’t forget to keep Liking and sharing the species you find most interesting on the ARKive website.

If you know any other species you think should have been on the guestlist, please let us know by leaving a comment below or posting on our Facebook page!

Charlie Whittaker,  ARKive Media Researcher

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