Nov 9

As facial hair fever sets in across the globe this month, we thought we’d share with you our favourite mo’s of the moment. From the depths of the Amazon rainforest to the frozen north of the Arctic, it seems that the animal kingdom could give this year’s Movember participants a run for their money. Here are some of our favourites this week…

Trendy tamarins

Emperor tamarin photo
The emperor tamarin has opted for a white and wispy handlebar

Sophisticated seabirds

Inca tern photo

We love the mo that this inca tern is rocking. Thanks to Alex McGill for sharing this one with us on Facebook!

Unusual amphibians

Emei moustache toad photo
The spiked number sported by the emei moustache toad proved popular on Twitter this week

Whiskered walruses

Walrus photo
We like this whiskery wonder from our Flickr group taken by Susan Shepard

Bearded beastie

Robber fly

It might not be a moustache, but this robber fly has some fine facial hair! Thanks to Mike Lewinsky for this one.

Don’t forget, if you have any wildlife-based #Movember photos you can share them with us on Facebook or add them to our Flickr group – tagged “Movember”

Claire Lewis, ARKive Researcher

Nov 5

Each year in the UK, the 5th November marks Fireworks Night, an annual commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Across the country tonight you can expect to see sparklers, blazing bonfires and spectacular fireworks. Of course, it’s not just us humans who enjoy a dazzling display. They might not be quite as explosive, but the natural world has some fantastic fireworks of its very own…..

Fountains of feathers

Male birds are some of the biggest show-offs in the animal kingdom, and their extravagant feathers can be the key to a female’s heart. We thought we would kick off our display with some of the most flamboyant, including the Atlantic royal flycatcher, the raggiana bird of paradise and an unusual albino Indian peafowl….

Atlantic royal flycatcher photoRaggiana bird of paradise photo








Indian peafowl photo

Fancy Flowers

For some explosions of colour, what better place to look than the world of plants? Our top picks are the pretty ribbon pincushion and the aptly named fire bush!

Ribbon pincushion photo

Fire bush photo








Underwater wonders

The marine world is full of incredible species, and the jewel anemone and purple sea urchin are certainly as beautiful as any firework. Lets hear an oooooh and an ahhhhh for the lovely lionfish too!

 Jewel anemone photoPurple sea urchin photo








Common lionfish photo


Pinwheels and rockets

No display would be complete without some spectacular rockets, and we don’t think they come much brighter than the golden rocket frog! For good measure we have thrown in an impressive pinwheel too, the Dlinza pinwheel to be precise!

Golden rocket frog photoDlinza pinwheel photo








A creature from the flames…

Most of us know to check our bonfires for hibernating hedgehogs before lighting them, but I bet not many of you have thought to look for salamanders before. It is believed that the common fire salamander is so-called as it often hides in damp logs, and would be forced to emerge when the wood was used in fires, giving the impression that it had crawled out of the flames!

Common fire salamander photo

Claire Lewis, ARKive Researcher

Nov 1

This ‘Movember’ why not express your inner animal through your facial hair?

Movember is a global, moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health. Starting on Movember 1st, with a clean-shaven face, men grow and style their sprouting facial hair all in the name of raising funds for a worthwhile cause.

If you are looking for some inspiration on how to tame your furry-lips over the coming month, the animal kingdom is full of stylish moustaches to tickle your fancy.

Razors at the ready as we comb through the ARKive collection for some hairy-lipped muses…

The handlebar

Allegedly named for its resemblance to the German emperor Wilhelm II, the emperor tamarin has one of the most regal facial fuzzes of the animal kingdom.

Emperor tamarin

The horseshoe

With a full moustache grown down the sides of its head, the male bearded parrotbill is obviously a fan of the horseshoe. Perhaps this is where Hulk Hogan got his inspiration from?

Male bearded parrotbill

The walrus

Thick and bushy, the muzzle of the walrus is highly distinctive, with its dense protrusion of whiskers on the upper lip. Versatile and suitable for all occasions, this rather refined looking style might even help you when foraging for tasty morsels!

Walrus photo

The Dalí

Why not coif a rather flamboyant, Dalí-inspired moustache like the brown-eared pheasant?

Male brown-eared pheasant photo

Fu Manchu

The long moustache of the three-wattled bellbird is made up of three long, fleshy black-grey wattles hanging from the corner of its mouth. Fast growing hair and a lot of gel will be required to master this particular style.

Male three-wattled bellbird photo

Ho, ho, mo

You may want to quickly shave off this L’Hoest’s monkey-inspired chin curtain after the end of Movember or you may get mistaken for someone else! Red hat and reindeer is optional.

L'Hoest's monkey

The Goatee

With its spectacular twisting horns, the markhor is one of the most striking of goats and the male of course has a characteristic black beard. This particular style is thought to date back to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.

Photo of a male Tadjik markhor

The bearded pig

Hot date? Unfortunately placed spot? The bearded pig has the perfect solution with its distinctive full-facial beard.

Bearded pig photo

Mutton chops

The yellow-breasted capuchin is a mutton chops master with its thick, black sideburns.

Yellow-breasted capuchin photo

Get involved

Have you spotted any mo’ species donning designer beards or flamboyant moustaches on ARKive – if so, lets us know!

Find out more about Movember and how you can get involved.

Jul 27

Well, the day has finally arrived! Tonight, the big spectacle that is the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will take place. It is set to be an incredible event, marking the start of an exhilarating few weeks of sporting challenges and potential Olympic glory for athletes from across the globe.

Cheetah image

Will you choose the speedy cheetah as one of your wild champions?

Here at ARKive, we’ve created our own challenge for YOU. Why not tackle our amazing fact-filled wild Olympic quiz, and see how much you know about nature’s best athletes!

On your marks…get set…


Go button


Jun 5

This year marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, and celebrations will be breaking out across the world in honour of the Queen’s 60-year reign. In true ARKive style, we decided to invite you to join in the occasion by choosing our top ten regal residents and telling you a bit about them!

Prince Ruspoli’s turaco


Prince Ruspoli's turaco image

With its red, white and blue colouration, this turaco is in the Jubilee spirit!

This beautiful bird would certainly look the part at a Jubilee street party, easily upstaging the red, white and blue bunting lining myriad gardens and parks! A resident of southern Ethiopia, the stunning Prince Ruspoli’s turaco mainly feeds on fruit…strawberries and cream, anyone?!

Queen Alexandra’s birdwing

Queen Alexandra's birdwing

This beautiful insect is the world's largest butterfly

With a wingspan of up to 28 centimetres, the strikingly marked Queen Alexandra’s birdwing is the world’s largest butterfly. This insect is a very picky eater and would be rather difficult to cater for at a Jubilee party, as it feeds from just one particular vine species, Aristolochia schlechteri.

King cobra

King cobra image

Despite its reputation, the king cobra is generally non-aggressive

The magnificent king cobra is the longest of all venomous snakes and, unlike its slithering relatives, this species does not hiss when threatened, but instead makes a distinctive growl. Even young king cobras might be somewhat unwelcome at a street party, given that when they hatch their venom is already as toxic as that of the adult cobra.

Queen triggerfish

Queen triggerfish image

A regal fish, this queen triggerfish has stunning markings

The queen triggerfish is a very regal-looking fish, with a flamboyant mixture of blue, green and yellow markings. This patterning can be light or dark, depending on the fish’s mood…we would hope to see ‘happy’ colours during the Jubilee celebrations!

This gaily coloured fish certainly wouldn’t miss any of the Jubilee action, as it is capable of moving its eyes independently of each other.

King penguin


King penguin image

The king penguin is highly gregarious, so would enjoy a big party!

The royally named king penguin is the second largest penguin in the world and, being a gregarious species, certainly knows how to get the crowds gathering! Colonies of this species vary greatly in size, ranging from just 30 individuals to several hundred thousand; a true party animal!

Queen of the Andes

Queen of the Andes image

The flower spike of this species grows to an impressive height

As well as having a spectacular flower spike which can grow up to an impressive ten metres in height, the Queen of the Andes is an amazing plant in many other ways. It can take between 80 and 150 years for it to flower; this means that if an individual had started growing at the time of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation back in 1953, it still may not flower for another 20 or more years!

Atlantic royal flycatcher

Atlantic royal flycatcher image

Check out that fascinator required!

This dazzling Atlantic royal flycatcher has a fabulous array of brightly coloured crest feathers which would add some jazzy hues to any Jubilee celebration! As a bonus, this species is thought to eat insects, so it might be useful for getting rid of those pesky mozzies as the festivities swing on into the evening!

Queen conch

Queen conch image

It may have a regal name, but the queen conch is not particularly graceful

As the queen conch is most active at night, this species would be a useful addition to a Jubilee gathering, to ensure that the party continues well after the sun has gone down! However, this royal gastropod is not so regal when it comes to moving around; it uses a strange hopping motion, pushing itself off the sea floor and thrusting forwards.

Royal sunangel

Royal sunangel image

The royal sunangel is a master of aerial acrobatics

The shimmering royal sunangel would be ideal for providing aerial entertainment in its elfin scrub home; thanks to a special wing structure, this Peruvian species is capable of performing intricate aerial manoeuvres, perfect for a royal fly-by! However, make sure you have an invite…the royal sunangel is somewhat territorial, and probably wouldn’t take too kindly to gate-crashers!

King protea

King protea image

The king protea is the national flower of South Africa

And finally, all good parties have some form of centrepiece, and as far as floral decorations go, few are more impressive than the king protea. The national flower of South Africa, this large species would be the talk of its fynbos shrubland habitat, providing a celebratory burst of colour fit for any royal event.

We hope those of you celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year have a wonderful time!

Kathryn Pintus, ARKive Species Text Author


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