A brilliantly-colored oriental sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus vittatus) waits while two boldly-patterned cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) pick parasites from its skin. The spotted tail and fin pattern of the Sweetlips signals sexual maturity; the behaviour and pattern of the cleaner fish signal their availability for cleaning service, rather than as prey
Idealised bilaterian body plan. With an elongated body and a direction of movement the animal has head and tail ends. Sense organs and mouth form the basis of the head. Opposed circular and longitudinal muscles enable peristaltic motion.
A praying mantis in deimatic or threat pose displays conspicuous patches of color to startle potential predators. This is not warning coloration as the insect is palatable.
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Manx shearwaters can fly straight home when released, navigating thousands of miles over land or sea.
Animal navigation is the ability of many animals to find their way accurately without maps or instruments. Birds such as the Arctic tern, insects such as the monarch butterfly and fish such as the salmon regularly migrate thousands of miles to and from their breeding grounds, and many other species navigate effectively over shorter distances.
Dead reckoning, navigating from a known position using only information about one's own speed and direction, was suggested by Charles Darwin in 1873 as a possible mechanism. In the 20th century, Karl von Frisch showed that honey bees can navigate by the sun, by the polarization pattern of the blue sky, and by the earth's magnetic field; of these, they rely on the sun when possible. William Tinsley Keeton showed that homing pigeons could similarly make use of a range of navigational cues, including the sun, earth's magnetic field, olfaction and vision. Ronald Lockley demonstrated that a small seabird, the Manx shearwater, could orient itself and fly home at full speed, when released far from home, provided either the sun or the stars were visible. Read more...
...that Maui's dolphin is the most endangered species of dolphin in the world, with only about 110 left?
...that the land snail Euglandina rosea is a significant threat to Hawaiian freshwater snail known as Newcomb's snail (Erinna newcombi), because the predatory Euglandina is able to hunt Erinna under water?
...that the body of the "X-ray fish" (Pristella maxillaris ) is so transparent that it is possible to see its backbone?
The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species, along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water, and marine), and free-living or parasitic ways of life. Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000–27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000–20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million. Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species—including those not yet described—was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[a]
^The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).
^Sluys, R. (1999). "Global diversity of land planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Terricola): a new indicator-taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies". Biodiversity and Conservation. 8 (12): 1663–1681. doi:10.1023/A:1008994925673. S2CID38784755.