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Featured Animals

Lyretail anthias

The Lyretail anthias, also known as the Scalefin anthias, is found in the Indo-West Pacific, often in large aggregations. The brightly colored pink males and orange females can be seen feeding on zooplankton throughout the day. Like other members of the Serranidae family, the Lyretail anthias is hermaphroditic. Males choose a harem of females with which to mate. In the absence of a male, the dominant female will become a male. In this case, the female's orange coloration will change to pink and her dorsal fin will become more ornate.

Jabiru stork

Whenever this largest of the three New World storks shows up on the coast of Texas, birders from all over the country fly out to add it to their US life-list. More usually, it is found from southern Mexico to Argentina. It can stand up to five feet in height. It was once a rather common zoo bird, but is now extremely rare in captivity, though not considered threatened in the wild. It hunts in water, feeding mostly on fishes, frogs, and snails. In the Tupi language, "Jabiru" means "swollen neck".


Also known as the Whalehead or Abu Markub ("Father of Shoes" in Arabic), this unique huge bird is specialized for seizing large muscular fishes such as lungfish, bichers, and walking catfish and hauling them out of their muddy habitats. It is thus dependent on vast marshes full of papyrus and other aquatic plants. The drainage of wetlands is a major threat to this naturally uncommon bird. It is thought there are no more than 8,000, distributed from the Sudan to Zambia. The first breedings outside of Africa did not take place until the last decade.

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