Thursday, 18 August 2011


            Crayfish or clawed lobsters They breathe through feather-like gills and are found in bodies of water that do not freeze to the bottom; they are also mostly found in brooks and streams where there is fresh water running, and which have shelter against predators. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as the invasive Procambarus clarkii are more hardy. Crayfish feed on living and dead animals and plants.

                Lobsters are invertebrates, with a hard protective exoskeleton. Like most arthropods, lobsters must molt in order to grow, which leaves them vulnerable. During the molting process, several species change color. Lobsters have 10 walking legs; the front three pairs bear claws, the first of which are larger than the others.Although, like most other arthropods, lobsters are largely bilaterally symmetrical, they often possess unequal, specialized claws, like the king crab.

                 Lobster anatomy includes the cephalothorax which fuses the head and the thorax, both of which are covered by the chitinous carapace and the abdomen. The lobster's head bears antennae, antennules, mandibles, the first and second maxillae, and the first, second, and third maxillipeds. Because lobsters live in a murky environment at the bottom of the ocean, they mostly use their antennae as sensors. The lobster eye has a reflective structure above a convex retina. In contrast, most complex eyes use refractive ray concentrators (lenses) and a concave retina. The abdomen includes swimmerets and its tail is composed of uropods and the telson.

              Lobsters, like snails and spiders, have blue blood due to the presence of haemocyanin, which contains copper. (In contrast, mammals and many other animals have red blood from iron-rich haemoglobin.) Lobsters possess a green hepatopancreas, called the tomalley by chefs, which functions as the animal's liver and pancreas.

             Lobsters are found in all oceans. They live on rocky, sandy, or muddy bottoms from the shoreline to beyond the edge of the continental shelf. They generally live singly in crevices or in burrows under rocks.
Lobsters are omnivores, and typically eat live prey such as fish, mollusks, other crustaceans, worms, and some plant life. They scavenge if necessary, and may resort to cannibalism in captivity; however, this has not been observed in the wild. Although lobster skin has been found in lobster stomachs, this is because lobsters eat their shed skin after molting.

Monday, 8 August 2011


               True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax. Many other animals with similar names – such as hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, horseshoe crabs and crab lice – are not true crabs.Crabs are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton (shell), and armed with a single pair of chelae (claws). Crabs are found in all of the world's oceans, while many crabs live in fresh water and on land, particularly in tropical regions.

               About 850 species of crab are freshwater, terrestrial or semi-terrestrial species; they are found throughout the world's tropical and semi-tropical regions. They were previously thought to be a monophyletic group (group of organisms).Crabs often show marked sexual dimorphism. Males often have larger claws,a tendency which is particularly pronounced in the fiddler crabs of the genus Uca (Ocypodidae).

               In fiddler crabs, males have one claw which is greatly enlarged and which is used for communication, particularly for attracting a mate. Another conspicuous difference is the form of the pleon (abdomen); in most male crabs, this is narrow and triangular in form, while females have a broader, rounded abdomen. This is due to the fact that female crabs brood fertilised eggs on their pleopods.

                King crabs, also called stone crabs, are a subfamily of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Because of their large size and the taste of their meat, many species are widely caught and sold as food, the most common being the red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus.

                The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws. Its shell, or carapace, is actually a mottled brownish color, and mature females have red highlights on the tips of their pincers.
Prized by humans for their sweet, tender meat, these wide-ranging, ten-legged crustaceans are among the most heavily harvested creatures on the planet. Their scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, means "savory beautiful swimmer." Blue crabs are extremely sensitive to environmental and habitat changes,Blue crabs also play a key role in managing the populations of the animals they prey on, and constant overharvesting has had wide-ranging negative effects on the ecosystems they inhabit.

               Chionoecetes is a genus of crabs that live in the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.Other names for crabs in this genus include "queen crab" and "spider crab" - they are known by different names in different areas of the world. The generic name Chionoecetes means snow (snow crab).


               Frogs are amphibians. Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits (fingers or toes), protruding eyes and the absence of a tail. Frogs are widely known as exceptional jumpers, and many of the anatomical characteristics of frogs, particularly their long, powerful legs, are adaptations to improve jumping performance. Due to their permeable skin, frogs are often semi-aquatic or inhabit humid areas, but move easily on land. They typically lay their eggs in puddles, ponds or lakes, and their larvae, called tadpoles, have gills and develop in water. Adult frogs follow a carnivorous diet, mostly of arthropods,(small insects).

                Frogs are most noticeable by their call, which can be widely heard during the night or day, mainly in their mating season. The distribution of frogs ranges from tropic to subarctic regions, but most species are found in tropical rainforests. Consisting of more than 5,000 species described, they are among the most diverse groups of vertebrates. However, populations of certain frog species are declining significantly.

Malagasy rainbow frog a sensible range of colors and can be found in rocky areas of dry forest of Madagascar's  Isalo Massif, where it breeds in shallow temporary pools found in canyons. This species is well adapted to climbing in its rocky surroundings, and can even scale vertical surfaces! When threatened, this frog will inflate itself as a defence mechanism against predators.

Crystal frog known by the scientific name Hyalinobatrachium pellucidum. We can see the inside of the body of this frog.this frog is found in humid tropical and subtropical mountains or revers.

Atelopus frog or known by another name,Costa Rica Variable Harlequin Toad. This frog can be found in Costa Rica and Panama only. The species is listed as critically endangered and is thought to be living primarily in Panama today.

Generally speaking, higher altitude means larger animals. But the world's smallest known frog species lives high in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru, between 9,925 and 10,466 feet.

The goliath frog or Conraua goliath is the largest extant anuran on Earth. It can grow up to 13 inches (33 cm) in length from snout to vent, and weighs up to 8 lb (3 kg). This animal has a relatively small habitat range, mainly in West Africa (near Gabon). The goliath frog can live up to 15 years. Goliath frogs eat scorpions, insects and smaller frogs. These frogs have acute hearing but no vocal sac.

As suggested by the name, the Red Mantella has an orange/red dorsal surface. These frogs are small, reaching a size of 2.5 centimetres (1 in) in length. It is is a small, terrestrial frog native to Madagascar.

Poison dart frog, like this sapphire-blue species, is the common name of a group of frogs in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to Central and South America. Unlike most frogs, species are active during the day, and often exhibit brightly-colored bodies. Although all dendrobatids are at least somewhat toxic in the wild, levels of toxicity vary considerably from one species to the next, and from one population to another. Many species are critically endangered. These amphibians are often called "dart frogs" due to indigenous Amerindians' use of their toxic secretions to poison the tips of blowdarts. 
The ornate horned frog can grow up to six inches long and inhabits Uruguay, Brazil, and northern Argentina. While it may look like a lifeless pincushion, it's quick to lunge when lizards, small rodents, birds, or other frogs blunder by.

 The Chile Darwin's frog was fairly regularly seen until around 1978, since when it seems to have disappeared, and the species may now be extinct. This species, which lives in the leaf litter on the forest floor, has an unusual method of parental care; the male takes the fertilised eggs from the nest into his vocal sac where they hatch into tadpoles after approximately eight days. When he starts to feel the newly hatched tadpoles wriggling, the male carries them to a stream where he expels the young. Here they complete metamorphosis.

Theloderma corticale, or the Vietnamese mossy frog, is a species of frog in the Rhacophoridae family. It is found in Vietnam and possibly China. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, intermittent freshwater marches, and rocky areas. The common name of the mossy frog arises from the fact that its skin is a mottled green and black that resembles moss growing on rock, and forms an effective form of camouflage.