Last updated 10 months ago
Learn more about the species in the exhibition of winners from the 2011 Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards. Enter your own photos online at
The cane toad may live up to 10 years and weigh over a pound.
Red foxes are the most widely distributed wild carnivores in the world, occurring in North America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa.
A social bird, the spoonbill lives in large colonies with other wading birds. Its feathers get their rosy pink color from the crustaceans in their diet.
Reclusive Great Gray Owls inhabit coniferous forests of the Northern Hemisphere and they tend not to migrate but will leave their territories if their food supply runs short. The owls hunt equally well both day and night, as they have both excellent hearing and vision.
Although lions drink regularly when water is available, they are capable of obtaining their moisture requirements from prey and even plants, and thus can survive in very dry environments.
Coyotes are among the most adaptable mammals in North America, with an enormous geographical distribution raging from northern Alaska south to Panama.
Cheetahs usually bear three to five cubs, although litters can number up to eight young. During the first few weeks of life, mothers move their cubs every few days to avoid predators.
The ring-tailed lemur inhabits dry brush and scrub, as well as closed canopy forest.
Also known as the common seal, harbor seals live near coastlines and eat a highly varied seafood diet.
Elephant society is highly complex and arranged around family units of closely related females and their calves. Family units often join up with other bands of females, and larger herds may number well over a hundred individuals.
Every other year, female grizzly bears produce one to four offspring that weigh about only about one pound. The protective sow cares for her young for up to two years.
Giraffes usually live in loose herds of 10 to 20 individuals, although herds of up to 70 have been observed.
The hippo spends the day in water and emerges at night to feed. Using the water only as a retreat, it does not eat aquatic vegetation.
The most distinctive features of walrus are its tusks, present in both sexes. The tusks are elongated upper canine teeth that continue to grow throughout the life of the animal, becoming externally visible at about one year of age.
These large rays have a distinctive body shape with triangular pectoral “wings” and paddle-like lobes extending in front of their mouths.
Leopards are agile climbers and can descend from a tree headfirst.
Emperor Penguins travel to nesting areas in March or early April, where pair formation and breeding occurs. In May or early June the female lays a single, large egg and passes it to the male parent for incubation.
The average adult male polar bear measures eight to nine feet tall and weighs from 800 to 1500 pounds.
Musk oxen are well adapted to their cold Arctic habitat, with short, stocky bodies and a thick coat of ground-length hair, enhanced in the winter by woolly underhairs for added insulation.
Black-browed Albatross traverse the oceans of the southern hemisphere, only returning to land to breed.
Clown anemone fish live in a symbiotic relationship with their host anemone. The stinging cells that the anemone uses to catch and eat other fish do not hurt the three inch-long clownfish because of its protective layer of slime.
Highly sociable animals, African Cape buffalo travel in large, imposing herds of more than one thousand individuals.
Orangutan populations on Borneo have been declining for many years and the species is in danger of becoming extinct. They are protected by law, but poaching still occurs and they are losing habitat to palm plantations.
European Shags are found along rocky, marine coastlines and islands. Preferred foraging grounds are in clear, protected waters, such as bays or coastal channels.
The dominant feature of the proboscis is the male’s large nose, which is used as a resonating chamber to amplify the monkey’s call as it swings through the forest canopy.
Found in temperate and tropical waters, the blue shark is the most abundant and widely distributed open-water shark on the planet. It is also the world’s most frequently caught open-water shark and a primary species supplying the shark fin trade.
Considered sacred in many parts of India, these langurs are active during the day and use trees primarily for sleeping.
During the breeding season, the male stag beetles use their magnificent mandibles as a warning signal to other males. They raise them in a defensive and aggressive posture to fight off a contender. They are skillful wrestlers and can even stand up on their hind legs to throw an opponent.
Swedish doctor-botanist Carl Thunberg traveled to Japan in the 18th century and named this maple “palmatum” after the hand-like shape of its leaf.
The largest and most powerful gorilla alive, the mountain gorilla is fearsome in appearance but is not outwardly aggressive without provocation.
The brightly colored Dendronephthya soft corals are abundant in the Indo-Pacific and are common in the aquarium trade, but are unusually difficult to keep alive in captivity, mainly because they lack photosynthetic symbionts and instead must rely on filtering food particles and dissolved nutrients from the water column.
The Silver-breasted Broadbill is a medium-sized bird, 6.3 to 6.7 inches in length and weighing 0.9 to 1.2 ounces.
These bottom-dwellers live on crabs, small fish, worms, and crustaceans.
Slender and arboreal, vine snakes can reach lengths of six-and-a-half feet and range in color from bright green to rusty brown. Slow moving, they depend upon camouflage for protection.
A newborn giraffe stands about six feet tall and can recognize its mother by her coat’s distinct pattern.
These fish live on Dendronephthya soft corals, usually at depth of 20 meters or more below the surface.
Become part of the EOL community—sign up for the EOL Newsletter today
Become part of the EOL community!
Join EOL now
Already a member?
Visit the Biodiversity Heritage Library