Creature of the Week

Regarding the mouse lemur post:

There are actually nineteen different species. I got my information from a nature program and an online article and because I did not make a note of the number of species the program specified, I went with the article.

Sorry for the misinformation. The number has been corrected.

Week of August 25th, 2013

Mouse lemur

Mouse lemurs are the smallest primates and, like all lemurs, are strictly native to the island of Madagascar. There are nineteen different species of mouse lemur which are discernible by their unique mating calls. These lemurs have adapted such calls because they are unable to distinguish physical characteristics due to being nocturnal.

Fun facts: females hibernate through the dry season which lasts from April or May to September or October. They use up their fat reserves which they have stored in their hind legs and tails.

Week of August 18th, 2013


The olinguito is a new species discovered on August 15th, 2013. Its name means “little olingo” in Spanish and olingo is the popular term for the genus Bassaricyon, to which it belongs. It’s native to the Andean cloud forest which stretches from western Colombia to Ecuador in South America. Its diet consists of fruits, insects, and nectar and it is thought to be strictly arboreal (tree-dwelling).

Fun fact: its discovery marked the first identification of a carnivorous mammal in the Americas in 35 years.

Week of August 11th, 2013

African civet

African civets belong to the family Viverridae which characteristics include: four or five toes to each foot, half-retractable claws, and a rough, prickly tongue. They are primarily nocturnal mammals and have an omnivorous diet. To catch their prey, they rely more upon smell and sound than sight.

Week of July 14th, 2013


Fossas are the largest mammalian carnivores on the island of Madagascar. Though they have many traits in common with cats and civets, they are more closely related to mongooses. They have semi-retractable claws which allow them to climb and navigate trees with ease, giving them better access to their tree-dwelling prey.

Week of July 7th, 2013

Red panda

Red pandas, also called firefoxes, are a vulnerable species ranging from the eastern Himilayas to southwestern China. Though they mainly eat bamboo, they have an omnivorous diet. They resemble both bears and raccoons, but belong instead to the family Ailuridae which consists solely of them and their extinct ancestors.

Week of June 30th, 2013


Binturongs, also called bearcats, are a vulnerable species from southern and southeastern Asia. They belong to the same family as African civets.

Fun facts: their musk glands have a scent similar to popcorn and
females are 20% larger than males.

Week of June 23rd, 2013

Pink fairy armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest known species of armadillo, typically 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches long excluding the tail. They’re native to central Argentina where they thrive in the dry grasslands and sandy plains, spending most of their time underground and primarily feeding on ants.

Week of June 16th, 2013

Pennant-winged Nightjar

Pennant-winged Nightjars are migratory African birds. The males grow out two long secondary feathers during mating seasons that are simply dropped or broken off after successfully mating. These feathers, called pennants, increase in length as the bird ages and can grow up to twice its body length.


Bonus recording of the Brood II periodical cicadas!

[Audio recorded by 5ynthetic4nimals]

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