A COMPLICATED GROWTH…

Among the various life cycles of the myriad of forms of life, certainly the Jellyfish (Phylum Cnidaria, Class Scyphozoa) is one of the most extravagant. They, in fact, represent only the sexual planktonic phase of a small benthic polyp, that during the winter is fixed to the substrate, in the…

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WHO SAW IT?

Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia o Uncia uncia, Schreber 1775) Few animals are more mysterious and unapproachable of Snow Leopard. Only someone saw one in the wild and very little is known of how he lives. Endemic to the high mountains of Tibet, Snow Leopard has a thick greyish coat, slightly tinted…

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GHOST OF THE WOODS

Photography: exuviae of Cicadidae (Westwood, 1840) Family of insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Homoptera Auchenorrhyncha, infraorder Cicadomorpha. Probably all of us know the cicada primarily for its particularly strong and, for some, annoying buzz audible in the hot summer days (and nights). They are males who “chirp” (emit), indeed…

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THE GUIDE FOSSILS

Fossili guida

The guide fossils are used for the relative dating of rocks. It is the remains of organisms, which fulfil specific requirements: a wide geographical distribution; a relative abundance of large populations and therefore readily found in sedimentary rocks in the period of their existence; evolved rapidly: thus have a very…

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BORN TO BE SURVEYORS!

The Geometridae, from Latin geometres that means surveyors, (Geometridae, Leach, 1815) are a family of Lepidoptera (butterflies), which includes about 21,000 species. Most have cryptic drawing and coloring, suitable for camouflage in the environment, but some, such as those of the genus Abraxas, have vibrant aposematic colors, to warn predators to…

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RED LIKE A SHRIMP ….

Red Ibis or Scarlet Ibis  (Eudocimus ruber, Linnaeus 1758) As with flamingos, the bright red feathers comes from a carotene, canthaxanthin, present in certain types of fungi, algae clorofitas, bacteria, fish, shellfish and shrimp they feed on. In captivity, for lack of regular consumption of crustaceans, its plumage tends to…

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WHAT’S THE COLOUR OF WHITE BEAR?

The Polar Bear or White Bear (Ursus maritimus, Phipps 1774), large carnivorous mammal belonging to the family Ursidae, definitely looks white, but as the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. The outer hairs of the bear are actually transparent, and its undercoat is really colourless. So why do Polar…

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CROCODILE TEARS

The tale originates from the myth that crocodiles pour tears of repentance after killing their prey or after they have eaten them up. There are several variants of this myth; often the belief is referring specifically to the case of crocodiles devour human prey, but in some cases it is…

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INSIDE AN INSECT EYE

The eye of Insects is of two types: simple eyes or ocelli and compound eyes. Typically, the two types coexist, but one, the other or both may be lacking. The ocelli are divided into dorsal and lateral ocelli. The former normally coexist with the compound eyes and are three in…

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THE KILLER OF RIVERS

European Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis, Linnaeus 1758). As beautiful as fearsome, with iridescent blue plumage, this bird is actually the killer of rivers. His technique is simple and effective: it alights on a branch and carefully scrutinizes the water surface. Thanks to superfine view, it is able to polarize light without…

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