Archive for January, 2008

Recommended: Beautiful Wildlife Photography

January 31, 2008

The BBC recently picked its favorite wildlife photography from 2007 and two of the pictures are breathtaking in color and composition…

Arctic Fox


Click here to see the other pictures.


Wildlife Words – vespertine

January 29, 2008

Our last Wildlife Word post described a matutinal animal that likes mornings, which is a specific type of crepuscular animal. Of course, there’s a word for the animals that enjoys nights…


Pronunciation: \ˈves-pər-ˌtīn\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin vespertinus, from vesper
Date: 15th century

1 : of, relating to, or occurring in the evening <vespertine shadows>
2 : active, flowering, or flourishing in the evening

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

Wildlife Words – matutinal

January 22, 2008

Our next Wildlife Word describes a specific type of crepuscular animal…


Pronunciation: \ˌma-chu̇-ˈtī-nəl; mə-ˈtüt-nəl, -ˈtyüt-, -ˈtü-tə-nəl, -ˈtyü-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin matutinalis, from Latin matutinus — more at matinee
Date: circa 1656

: of, relating to, or occurring in the morning : early

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

A matutinal animal enjoys early morning and is thus active in the dawn.

Wildlife Words – crepuscular

January 15, 2008

Our first two Wildlife Words were diurnal and nocturnal. The next word is related…


Pronunciation: \kri-ˈpəs-kyə-lər\
Function: adjective
Date: 1668
1 : of, relating to, or resembling twilight : dim <crepuscular light>
2 : occurring or active during twilight <crepuscular insects> <crepuscular activity>

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

While diurnal and nocturnal refer to day and night animals respectively, crepuscular describes animals that are active during the twilight of dawn and/or dusk. Some crepuscular animals may even be active during bright moons.

Biologists believe that these animals like the twilight as they can avoid both nocturnal and diurnal predators!

Among our Noah’s Pals collection, deer, moose, and skunks are well known crepuscular animals.

Wildlife Words – nocturnal

January 8, 2008

Our first Wildlife Word was diurnal, and our next word is its ‘opposite’…


Etymology:Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French nocturnel, from Late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus of night, nocturnal, from noct-, nox night
Date:15th century
1 : of, relating to, or occurring in the night <a nocturnal journey>
2 : active at night <a nocturnal predator>

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

A nocturnal animal is active during the night and rests during the day.

What’s for lunch?

January 4, 2008

A great picture of a beautiful snow leopard!

AMAZING Animal Crossing!

January 4, 2008

Wildlife photographer Steve Bloom captured the extraordinary image below that shows some of the nearly 1.5 million animals that migrate across the Mara River in Kenya every year.

Amazing Zebra Crossing
(Click on the image to enlarge.)

Most of the animals are wildebeest — almost half of the 1.5 million animals. They are accompanied by 500,000 gazelle and 200,000 zebra.

The crossing is dangerous… Hundreds of crocodiles wait in the water. And once the animals get through that danger, they need to avoid lions, hyenas, leopards and jackals on the other side!

An article from the Daily Mail describes the migration:

They are travelling South to reach the new grasslands of the Serengeti, leaving behind the now parched woodland of the Masai Mara National Park.

Once they arrive in February, they will spend the wet season here on their breeding ground.

Come next June they will undertake the journey north once more, to the now rejuvenated forests of Masai Mara.

It is one of nature’s most remarkable cycles, replenishing the vegetation of Northern Africa. A 500km round trip, it is undoubtedly one of the natural world’s most astonishing phenomena.

Wildlife Words – diurnal

January 1, 2008

One of our new topics in 2008 will be “wildlife words” — please feel free to share your suggestions.

Our first word is…


Pronunciation: \dī-ˈər-nəl\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin diurnalis — more at journal
Date: 14th century

1 a: recurring every day <diurnal tasks> b: having a daily cycle <diurnal tides>

2 a: of, relating to, or occurring in the daytime <the city’s diurnal noises> b: active chiefly in the daytime <diurnal animals> c: opening during the day and closing at night <diurnal flowers>

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

A diurnal animal is active during the daytime and rests at night. Many animals, particularly mammals, insects, and birds are diurnal.