The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola) is a South American passerine about 30 cm (12 in) in length. The bright orange male has a prominent half-moon crest, which is used is competitive displays in lek gatherings to attract a female. Although the Guianan cock-of-the-rock sometimes munches on small vertebrates and insects, its diet is mainly composed of fruit –and a study found that up to 75% of the fruit eaten by this bright orange South American bird is either red or black coloured.
In 1995 a group of NASA scientists repeated and refined some earlier tests on the effect that various drugs have on the web building abilities of the common garden spider. They tested the the effect of caffeine, benzedrine, marijuana and chloral hydrate and as you can see the results were pretty extreme!
Reference: Noever, R., J. Cronise, and R. A. Relwani. 1995. Using spider-web patterns to determine toxicity. NASA Tech Briefs 19(4):82.
Quails are so confident about their camouflaging techniques that they lay their eggs on the ground, where they are more vulnerable to predators. After photographing 179 eggs, researchers found that quails known best and lay their lightly spotted eggs on light background and the heavily spotted on dark ones to deceive predators.
- Quail Moms Customize Their Egg Camouflage (livescience.com)
- Quail Camouflage Their Colorful Eggs; Playing Hide and Seek (scienceworldreport.com)
The Sea-Firefly (Vargula hilgendorfii)
➤ It only inhabits coastal waters off Japan.
➤ Rarely grows longer than 3 millimetres.
➤ It has a beautiful transparent shell.
➤ It’s best known for its bioluminescence.
Interesting fact: In World War II, the Japanese collected these creatures and crushed them in sand and water to produce their blue luminescence, which ingeniously served as light for soldiers to read maps and messages at night.