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A visual encyclopedia of life on Earth

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LONDON, NEW YORK, MELBOURNE,
MUNICH, AND DELHI

DK LONDON

Senior Editor Daniel Mills


Senior Art Editor Vicky Short
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DK DELHI

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First published in the Great Britain by
Dorling Kindersley Limited
80 Strand, London WC2R ORL
Penguin Group (UK)

2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1
00118480909/13

Copyright 2013 Dorling Kindersley Limited


All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored


in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or otherwise, without prior written permission of the
copyright owner.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from AUTHOR


the British Library.
David Burnie is a fellow of the Zoological Society
ISBN: 978-1-4093-2349-5
of London, and has written and contributed to
Printed and bound in China by South China Printing Co. more than 100 books on the natural world. He was
consultant editor of DKs highly successful Animal and
The Natural History Book, and is a former winner
Discover more at www.dk.com of the Aventis Prize for Science Books.
Foreword 8

Tree of life 10

Microscopic life 12
Bacteria 14
Single-celled life 16
Zooplankton 18
Seaweeds 20

Fungi 22
Mushrooms 24
Sac fungi and lichens 26
Cup fungi 28

Plants 30
Liverworts and mosses 32
Ferns 34
Conifers 36
Flowering plants 38
Venus ytrap 42
Broadleaved trees 44

Invertebrates 48
Sponges 50 Starsh, urchins, and
Jellysh, anemones, sea cucumbers 66
and corals 52 Centipedes
Pacic sea nettle 54 and millipedes 68
Worms 56 Spiders and relatives 70
Molluscs 58 Sea spider 74
Giant clam 62 Crustaceans 76
Squid, octopuses,
and cuttlesh 64
Insects 80
Dragonies and Beetles 92
damselies 82 Butteries and moths 94
Stick insect 84 Slug moth caterpillar 98
Crickets and grasshoppers 86 Flies 100
True bugs and treehoppers 88 Bees, wasps, and ants 102
Praying mantis 90

Fish 104
Sharks, rays, and skates 106
Whale shark 110
Saltwater sh 112
Black-striped salema 118
Deep-sea sh 120
Freshwater sh 122

Amphibians 126
Frogs and toads 128
Tree frogs 134
Salamanders and newts 136

Reptiles 138
Turtles and tortoises 140
Lizards 144
Komodo dragon 148
Snakes 150
African bush viper 154
Crocodiles and alligators 156
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Birds 158
Ostriches and relatives 160 King vulture 186
Gamebirds 162 Ducks, geese, and swans 188
Pigeons and doves 164 Penguins 190
Parrots and cockatoos 166 Emperor penguins 192
Military macaw 168 Storks, ibises, and herons 194
Cuckoos and turacos 170 Pelicans and relatives 196
Owls 172 Flamingos 198
Barred owl 174 Cranes and relatives 200
Hummingbirds and swifts 176 Waders, gulls, and auks 202
Kingshers and relatives 178 Albatrosses 206
Toucans and Perching birds 208
woodpeckers 180 Red-backed shrike 214
Birds of prey 182

Mammals 216
Mammals with pouches 218 Polar bear 254 Cows, antelope,
Armadillos, sloths, Seals and walrus 256 and sheep 276
and anteaters 222 Cats 258 Hippopotamuses 280
Hedgehogs and moles 224 Lions 262 Pigs, peccaries,
African elephants 226 and deer 282
Otters, raccoons,
Rabbits, hares, and pikas 228 and weasels 264 Camels, llamas,
and giraffes 284
Rodents 230 Mongooses, civets,
and genets 266 Giraffes 286
Bushbabies, lemurs,
and tarsiers 234 Meerkats 268 Dolphins and porpoises 288
Gibbons, apes, Rhinos and tapirs 270 Whales 290
and humans 236 Horses and relatives 272 Humpback whale 292
Orang-utans 238 Plains zebras 274
New World monkeys 240
Old World monkeys 242
Bats 244
Honduran white bats 248
Dogs, foxes, and relatives 250
Bears 252

Index 294
F ly agar ic
lily
me

F la
fa e cal i s
c us
c oc
t ero
En

Foreword Life on Earth is incredibly varied, and more


species are discovered every year. Researchers
This book is the ultimate guide to all kinds of have so far identified about 100,000 kinds of
living things. In it you can find out how different fungus, 300,000 kinds of plant, and an amazing
creatures look, how they work, and how they 2 million kinds of animal. But even more species
behave, from bacteria to bugs, worms to whales. are waiting to be found, particularly in remote
If youre already a budding naturalist, youll places such as mountain rainforests and deep
know that scientists divide the living world into seabed mud. The total number of species could
groups. Each group has special features that set it be as high as 20 million, with insects topping the
apart. For example, insects are the only animals list as the most successful animals of all time.
with six legs and wings, while mammals are the Some species are good at surviving in todays
only animals that produce milk, and the only world, but unluckily many are not. They are
ones with fur. This book is divided in the same harmed by hunting, pollution, and deforestation,
way. In each group youll find lots of different or by changes in their habitats as wild places are
species, or individual kinds of living things. taken over by humans. Some of the worlds most
Tigers, golden eagles, and daisies are all vulnerable animals have already become extinct,
examples of species. So are humans, too. and many more are in danger of joining them.

P o rc u
pin
efi
sh
d

a
C ane t o
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bu tter fly
lue
n is b
A do

Blue -
r ing
ed
oc

to
pus
Thats why conservation is more important than Throughout this book you will find scale boxes
ever before. By helping individual animals and which show the sizes of living creatures
protecting their habitats, scientists and volunteers compared to you.
have already brought many species back from the
brink of extinction. These success stories include child = 145 cm (57 in) tall
some of the worlds favourite animals, such as the
giant panda and the humpback whale, and lots of
less-known species, from the peregrine falcon
and American alligator to the golden lion
tamarin. You can find out more about them in hand = 16 cm (6 in) long
this book, and you can help them yourself by
joining conservation organizations, such as the
World Wildlife Fund (WWF). By getting involved,
you can help to ensure life on Earth remains
beautiful, varied, and exciting. thumb = 3.5 cm (11/3 in ) long

David Burnie

Pa r s r
on
s ea
s
t ib i
b
wn

e
arl
ch

m
Sc
B ro
a

el e
on
The Tree of Life
Our planet is inhabited by a huge variety of living things. Biologists
work out how different organisms are related by studying their DNA.
This helps them to divide all life into kingdoms: animals, plants, fungi,
and different types of micro-organisms. Within each kingdom are
smaller groups, linking together similar kinds of creatures. Living
beings which can breed together to produce fertile offspring e r tebrat
are said to be of the same species. Most of the labels for nv e

s
I
the pictures in this book are species names.

Plants These animals


have no backbones.

Fungi
Green leaves trap
energy from sunlight
to keep plants alive.

Animals
Tiny threads that may grow
into mushrooms to
spread spores.

They are the largest


group of living things,
from aardvarks
to zebras.

ro s co p i c l
Life c
ife
Mi

All living creatures take in


energy, as food or from sources
in their environment such as
sunlight. They use this energy
to grow and change, These tiny creatures
reproduce, and adapt to often only consist of
their surroundings. a single cell.

10
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Birds
Insects are the most
successful group of
invertebrates.

ammals Feathers make these


M vertebrates unique.

These warm-blooded, furry Reptiles


vertebrates feed their
young on milk.

These cold-blooded
r tebrate vertebrates have
Ve s scaly skin.

Animals with backbones m phibians


are called vertebrates. A

F is h These vertebrates live


partly in water and partly
on land.

Underwater vertebrates,
fish breathe through gills.

11
Microscopic life
Tiny micro-organisms were the first living
things to evolve. They are too small to
be seen with the naked eye: the smallest
are less than a micrometre long, or one
hundredth of the width of a human
hair. Nevertheless, they are the most
numerous creatures on Earth, and
play a vital role in supporting all
other life forms.

Cytoplasm The inside


of the cell is made up of
a liquid called cytoplasm.
Miniature organs, or
organelles, float in
this liquid. Chemical
processes take place
in the cytoplasm to
keep the organism alive.

Nucleus This
structure contains the
cells DNA, its genetic
code. Micro-organisms
breed by splitting in half
to create two clones,
each with a copy of
the same DNA.
Gia
rdi
al
am
blia
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Microscopic life

Features
Were the first
living creatures
on Earth
Flagellum Many micro-
organisms move using these
tail-like structures, which Are so small
they can only
often spin like propellers. be seen through
Sometimes they work like a microscope
sense organs to detect
changes in temperature
or acidity.
Are often
made up of
a single cell

Often breed
by splitting
themselves
in two

Sometimes
cause diseases,
but many are
essential to life

Membrane This thin outer


layer keeps the cell together.
It allows useful chemicals to
enter and waste to flow out.
Some micro-organisms have
an extra protective layer
called a cell wall.
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Bacteria
2 Nitr
ob
Microscopic life Bacteria

ac
t

li s

er
ca
e
E n te r co ccu s fa
o

1
Cl
os
t
rid

Ni t
iu
m

so

ro
bo

spir
a
tu
lin

or Cells grow in
acter urat
um
B

de
tella pertussis pairs or clusters rob ivo
Rod-shaped cells ch r

Psy
form chains

an
s
4
s is
gien
n
dis

i
ur
th
rmi

s
3

llu ta
S

de

ph
yloco ccus ep i
ci
Ba

5 Lactobacillus acidophil
us
Fus ob ac t e r i u

Tough cell wall m


nu
c leat u m

Bacteria are the smallest and simplest living the soil, but it produces a poison that can paralyze or kill
things. There are about 5 million trillion trillion of them animals including humans. Like all bacteria it can breed at a
on Earth, each made of a single cell. They live almost phenomenal rate by repeatedly dividing in two. Nitrobacter 2
everywhere, from hot springs and seabed ooze to animal fertilizes soil and water, helping plants and animals to grow.
intestines and plant roots. Many are essential partners for other It swims by spinning a long hair, or flagellum, and can move
living things, but some can cause deadly diseases if they get 50 times its own length in a single second. Staphylococcus
14 out of control. Clostridium botulinum 1 normally lives in epidermidis 3 lives on the surface of human skin. Normally
7 Esc
he

r ic
hia
coli
6D ei

ns
no

co ra
c cus
radio du

Microscopic life Bacteria


a
ric
ente
a
e ll
on Cluster of bacteria
lm
Sa ept oco
Str c us

c
pn
e

um
oniae
aceti
a ct e r
tob
8
Ace
9 Vibri
Whip-like o cho
agellum ler
ae

Division
between cells

oc
Nost
10

e
ria
te

n
Membranes collect y se
energy from sunlight ll ad
ge
Shi

it is harmless, but it can cause life-threatening infections if it being 1,000 times over. Escherichia coli 7 is one of the
gets inside the body. Psychrobacter urativorans 4 contains most common bacteria in human intestines. Normally it
its own antifreeze, and can live in very cold conditions, while is harmless, but some strains produce food poisoning.
Lactobacillus acidophilus 5 grows well in warm milk and Acetobacter aceti 8 is used to make vinegar, but Vibrio
is used for making yogurt. Deinococcus radiodurans 6 is cholerae 9 causes cholera if it contaminates water or food.
one of the worlds toughest bacteria. It can survive intense Nostoc 10 grows in damp places. It forms long chains and lives
cold, strong acids, and enough radiation to kill a human by collecting the energy in sunlight, just like a plant. 15
Single-celled life
Microscopic life Single-celled life

Jelly-like body
protected by shell
la bathystom
A rcel a

2
ro

P
tac
anthamoeba

Green alga swallowed


by the cell

1
A r ce
lla dis
co i d e s Arcella gibbosa

yx is
trop May have up to
3
C en 12 short spines

Shell made of
mineral particles
Micrasterias
4

The smallest living creatures on Earth are made inside a yellow-brown rounded shell. Its jelly-like body
up of a single cell. Bacteria are the most numerous, but reaches out through a hole, trapping any food that drifts
another group, called protoctists, contains a bewildering by. Protacanthamoeba 2 also has a shell. Like many
variety of life. They are mostly bigger and more complicated single-celled creatures it can reproduce by dividing in two.
than bacteria. Some protoctists are like animals, while others Centropyxis 3 lives in lakes and marshes. Its shell is made
are more like tiny plants. A few are like both at the same up of tiny mineral particles stuck together with a special
16 time. Arcella discoides 1 is a protoctist that lives in water, glue, and has short, stubby spines. Micrasterias 4 is a
te
cilia
Far end of bell
d collects food
lke

a
St
6
5
Sc
aly

Microscopic life Single-celled life


ce
rc
oz
o an
Oval shell with
hole at base

lagellate
of

D in

O val - g re
7

en
ce
rc
o
ercozoan zo a n
nc
e
Mar ine-gre

Green organelles
collect energy
an

from sunlight
zo

o
e rc
tc
E le g an Cell wall covered
by protective layer
of sand grains Karen
ia b

ev
e

r
S o i l c i li a t

is

Sticky threads
radiate outwards
from cell
9 Saddle diatom

9 Grooved dia
to

8
m

Foram

green alga with a cell made of two matching halves. It of harms way. Dinoflagellates 7 live mainly in the sea,
lives like a plant by collecting the energy in sunlight, and and many of them are poisonous. Sometimes they explode
its presence sometimes turns lakes and ponds bright green. in numbers, causing red tides that kill millions of fish.
Scaly cercozoa 5 have oval-shaped shells covered with Forams 8 have round cells with a starburst of sticky threads.
flat silica plates, while the stalked ciliate 6 has an inverted Diatoms 9 have silica cells and use sunlight to grow. They
bell-shaped body on a slender stalk. If its bell is touched, are the most important part of plankton, the huge mass of
the stalk coils up like a spring, quickly pulling the body out life that drifts in fresh water and the seas. 17
ZOOPLANKTON Zooplankton are fragile creatures that drift or swim gently
through the water. Many species, such as the ones in this
picture, are so tiny that they can only be seen through a microscope. Some live as plankton all their
lives, while others are the larvae of larger creatures such as fish and crustaceans. Zooplankton are
essential to life in the sea and fresh water because so many other animals feed on them.
Size Range from microscopically small up to several metres may release eggs every two to three days. Predators A wide
long. Habitat Oceans, seas, lagoons, lakes, rivers, and other range of water-dwelling animals eat zooplankton, including
water bodies. Distribution Worldwide Diet Algae, smaller fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and corals. Larger kinds are food
zooplankton, plant plankton, bacteria, and particles of debris. for sea birds and for animals such as seals, sharks, and whales.
Breeding Most produce eggs. Many tiny species live for only Conservation status Vulnerable to warming of the oceans
a few weeks. In some species, such as Daphnia, the females or increased exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun.
Seaweeds
k
ac
Microscopic life Seaweeds

wr
ed
h
Toot
SCALE

Broad, at frond
ed
2 B r o a d we

Flat, leathery
fronds

4 Ir is h
mos
s

dasyphylla
h ondria
3 C

o ak
S ea
5

Air-lled pods
or bladders

Seaweeds look like plants, but they are the North Atlantic Ocean. It grows on rocks that are
actually simple organisms called algae, with fronds that uncovered at low tide. Found in temperate areas, broad
take in nutrients from seawater. Some are tiny, but the weed 2 looks like a big red leaf. Chondria dasyphylla 3
biggest are as tall as a five-storey office block. Most lives along shores worldwide. Like most red seaweeds
seaweeds are firmly attached to rocks, and some are it lives below the low-tide mark and sometimes grows
incredibly tough, taking a tremendous battering from the on animal shells. Irish moss 4 is another red seaweed,
20 waves. Toothed wrack 1 is an olive-brown seaweed from with flat, branching fronds. It contains a substance called
Ma
er
l
Brittle
branch

Microscopic life Seaweeds


Thin, translucent h
fronds e ec
ab
6

Se
Se

7
al

tt
e

uc
e

8
ol

P
ys i
pho
nia l an o s a

ta
a subu la
r dh i e ll
A ga

Branching,
9 Wirewe e d feather-like fronds
10
Cor
al

ee
w

carrageenan, which is used to thicken yogurt and ice cream. lanosa 8 is a red seaweed shaped like mossy tufts. It
A large, dark-brown seaweed, sea oak 5 has lots of grows on other seaweeds instead of on rocks. Wireweed 9
feathery fronds. It often grows in rock pools and has air-filled is a fast-growing brown seaweed that originally comes from
pods that help it to float. Sea lettuce 6 is a green seaweed Japan. It has accidentally been spread to many other parts
that grows worldwide on mudflats and sheltered rocks. Its of the world. Coral weed 10 has a crunchy feel. It grows
crumply fronds are sometimes collected and used as food. in rock pools and is reinforced with minerals, making it
Sea beech 7 has paper-thin red fronds, while Polysiphonia harder for sea animals to eat. 21
Mushroom Some fungi grow
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structures such as mushrooms
above the ground. These
develop to spread spores, tiny
cells which float off and grow
into new fungi.

Fungi
Fungi mostly exist as tangles of
microscopic threads called hyphae.
Some kinds grow into mushrooms
to spread their spores. The threads
spread into the organic matter on
which they grow, breaking them
down into food. By doing this, fungi
recycle dead plants and animals,
turning them into nutrients that
other organisms can re-use.
Cap The top of this mushroom spreads out
to give as much area as possible for spores to Fungi
grow. The red colour warns hungry animals
that it is poisonous.

Features
Mostly grow as
bundles of tiny
threads

Gain energy by
breaking down
other living
things

Scatter spores,
which can grow
into new fungi

Grow structures
such as
mushrooms to
spread spores

ar ic
F ly ag

Gills These thin, fragile membranes


are where the spores develop. They fill
the space under the cap so that they can
produce as many spores as possible.

Stem The stem of the


mushroom connects it to
the rest of the fungus, which
is a network of fine threads
buried underground.
Mushrooms

SCALE
st de ce
t hy
Fungi Mushrooms

iv e
e
Am

Pe tticoat mot t
ag e fungus
2 P i n k w a xc a p dc
Re

3
gi

le
Bright ll
1
colouring V i o l e t c o ra Fleshy, waxy,
fades with age l pink gills

Earp
ick f u n

Cage bursts
L awyer s w ig

from egg
us g

e d birds
Fl ut n

es
6

t
Velvet b olete

4 C u l t iv a t e d m u s h r
o om
Hairy, brown,
uted nests
5

Jack O

La
nt er
n

7
S e ss i
le e ar ths t ar

Most mushrooms grow in damp places, from a crimson mesh-like structure, which hatches from a small
grassy fields to shady woodlands with lots of fallen leaves. whitish egg. The creamy white cultivated mushroom 4
Their purpose is to scatter tiny seed-like spores, so that fungi is grown around the world for food. Most mushrooms,
can spread. Some mushrooms have unusual colours that including the velvet bolete 5 , make spores that are blown
really stand out. Violet coral 1 has brightly coloured away in the wind. The fluted bird's nest 6 has a different
coral-like branches, while the pink waxcap 2 has a rosy way of spreading. It makes packets of spores inside tiny
24 cap on a pale stalk. The unusual red cage fungus 3 has cups. If a raindrop lands in one of the cups, the packets
Foul-smelling

st
spore mass on cap
c ru
8

O ak cur t ain S i l ve r l e a f f
C h a n t e re l l

ung

Fungi Mushrooms
us

Stubb
e

le rosegill

11
St i n k h o r n
Warty scales

Hares
e Tall, orange

ar
cups
10
F ly ag a r i c

Spores grow
beneath cap
9
D e ath c ap

al l
fb
p uf
nt
a
Gi
12

splash out, landing up to 1 m (3 ft) away. The sessile mistake because of their size, colour, shape, or smell. The
earthstar 7 spreads its spores in a similar way, puffing poisonous fly agaric 10 is easy to spot with its bright
them out of a papery sac when it is hit by raindrops. While red-and-white cap. The odour of the smelly stinkhorn 11
some mushrooms, such as the chanterelle 8 , are good to carries for long distances. The smell attracts flies, which
eat, other types are deadly poisonous. The most dangerous spread the stinkhorns spores. The biggest mushroom of all
of all mushrooms is the death cap 9 , since it is highly toxic is the giant puffball 12 , which can measure more than 1 m
and looks similar to edible kinds. Some fungi are difficult to (3 ft) across, and weigh as much as 20 kg (44 lb). 25
Sac fungi aco
n

Bo g be
and lichens
Fungi Sac fungi and lichens

Sca
1 E rg o t

ly e
ar tht on
SCALE

gue
2 C o ra l s p o t

J el l y b a b y
Dust-like fungus
attacks mushroom

Spore-producing
inner surface

3
r p l e d ro p
Pu
Bolete eate

Fungus growing
on grass seeds r y mildew
de

Po w
An
em

ne

4
o

cup
r

6 C ra m p b a l l s

s
5
D e ad mans f inger

B e e ch w o o dw ar
t
uff fungus
dle sn

Fungus forms
C an

hard balls

Sac fungi make their spores in tiny containers damp wood, while the jelly baby fungus 3 grows
or sacs, which break open when they are ripe. The sacs are in clumps among fallen leaves. Both are harmless, but
much too small to see, but the fungi that produce them have powdery mildews 4 are a headache for farmers and
lots of strange and interesting shapes. Many live on dead gardeners because they attack all kinds of living plants. The
wood or rotting plants, but ergot 1 grows on grasses and first signs of trouble are white spots on the leaves, showing
cereals such as rye and wheat. It produces a powerful poison where the fungus is at work. Dead mans fingers 5 and
26 that can be deadly if it gets into bread. Coral spot 2 attacks cramp balls 6 both feed on dead wood. Unlike most fungi,
C ommon
el a s ey

Fungi Sac fungi and lichens


h
Fa
lse
7 m

or
Mo

el
rel Brown, wrinkly cap

Th i m b
l e m o re l
9 O ra n g e p e e l f

ung
8
Pr igord truffle

us
Honeycomb
produces
spores

o de
Ho d tub e -li
chen
11

Cup faces upwards


Fat, blue-grey lobes
l l i ch en
w al
on
m
m

n
liche
Co

ss
kmo
10

12 Oa
Ce

la
rc
l

up
they are hard to the touch. The morel 7 looks unappetizing between fungi and algae or bacteria. They grow very slowly
with its sponge-like cap, but is valued for its delicious taste. but can live to be hundreds of years old. The common
The Prigord truffle 8 is even more highly prized. It grows wall lichen 10 is flat and brightly coloured and grows
underground beneath oak trees, and has to be sniffed out on bare rock, particularly near the sea, while the hooded
by specially trained pigs or dogs. Orange peel fungus 9 tube-lichen 11 is common on trees, rocks, and walls.
grows on bare ground and has a vivid orange colour that Oakmoss lichen 12 lives on the bark of oak trees. It has
makes it easy to spot. Lichens are living partnerships a woody smell and is used for making perfumes. 27
CUPFUNGI These strange bowls are actually a variety of cup fungus, a group of
sac fungi that grow into eye-catching shapes. The cups produce sacs
full of spores that are scattered about by wind and rain. In some varieties, these sacs absorb water
and swell up until they burst, catapulting the spores out. The biggest cups make an audible pop
when this happens, and the spores can sometimes be seen as a faint cloud.
Size Up to 30 cm (12 in) across Habitat Moist, dead can be useful for getting rid of dead plants and animals,
wood in tropical or subtropical forest. Distribution but harmful where the fungus grows through living creatures.
Tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, from the USA, Breeding The fungus consists of a network of threads that
Central and South America, and Africa to Southeast Asia. mostly grow underground. The cup develops only to spread
Diet Dead and rotting wood. Like all fungi, they feed by spores, cells a bit like seeds that grow into new colonies of
breaking down organic matter in their environment. This threads. Number of species About 230.
Plants
Plants have the ability to trap energy from
sunlight, using it to make food and to grow.
By doing this they provide nourishment for
themselves and for the animals that feed
on them. Plants also absorb carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere and release oxygen
to replace it, maintaining the balance of
gases animals need to survive.
St
ar
ga
ze
rl
ily

Stem Plant stems can be thin


and fragile or thick and woody
like tree trunks. They are filled
with tiny tubes that carry water
from the plants roots up to the
leaves, and food from the leaves
back down to the roots.
Plants

Pollen Flowers produce a fine


dust called pollen, which is spread
by wind or animals such as birds Features
and insects. When pollen reaches
other flowers of the same species
it fertilizes them, causing them to Collect energy
develop seeds. from sunlight
and use it
to grow

Flowers Many types of plants Have cells with


grow flowers to reproduce. walls made of
They have colourful petals and microscopic
interesting smells to attract fibres
animals, which spread pollen
from flower to flower. Some
plants offer visitors a meal
Commonly have
flowers to
of sugary nectar. produce and
fertilize seeds

Include the
longest-living
things

Provide food
and oxygen that
supports much
of life on Earth.

Leaves The green colouring in


leaves is a substance called
chlorophyll. Plants use it to trap energy
from sunlight by a process called
photosynthesis. They use this energy
to combine carbon dioxide from the
air and water from the soil to form
sugars, which the plants use as food.
Liverworts
and mosses 1
Ev e
n s c al e w o r t
Plants Liverworts and mosses

Spore-producing
structures

2 C r y s t al w o r t
SCALE

3 C o m m o n l iv
Finely er w o r t
divided stems

Two ranks of
main leaves
Co ss
mm
on t amar isk mo

rt
wo
G re a t e r f e a t h er

Gr t
ea
t er w hi p w or 5 Fire mo ss
s
os
m

o rk
it ef
4 Wh

Found mainly in damp places, liverworts and brown. It grows on tree trunks and rocks, usually in the
mosses are the worlds simplest plants. They dont have roots shade. Crystalwort 2 lives on wet mud or on the surface of
or flowers, and they spread by making microscopic spores ponds. It is sometimes used in aquariums for sheltering newly
instead of seeds. Some of them could easily sit on a fingernail hatched fish. Common liverwort 3 is often seen in gardens.
and even the biggest are only waist-high. Liverworts are often In the summer it is covered with growths like tiny palm trees,
shaped like flat ribbons and keep dividing in two as they grow. which make and then scatter its spores. Mosses have thin
32 Most kinds are green but even scalewort 1 is often red or leaves and wiry stems and often grow in clumps. Many kinds,
e t h re a d - m o s s
C ap

s
os
yp
C

re s m
s-l e a v e d pl a i t
os

s
m
c ket
o
on p
6
Rosette of C omm
Sw small branches
an
thy
s-
e m n e ck
m

o ss

oss
7

m
Bl
er
ue
h
at
-l e
e
ef
av e

o ss m
m p lu
d bog

ap h-
i r- c

ic
C o m mon h a

tr
8

Os
mo

9
s

Narrow,
pointed leaves

including the white fork moss 4 , turn grey or white if they water and slowly forms peat, a brown, soil-like material, when
dry out but become green again within minutes if it rains. Fire it dies. Common hair-cap moss 8 is one of the worlds
moss 5 makes its spores in capsules shaped like matchsticks. tallest mosses, growing in springy tussocks up to 60 cm (24 in)
It grows on walls and on burned ground. Swans-neck high. Its stems are stiff and unbranched, with narrow painted
thyme moss 6 is common in woods, while blue-leaved leaves. Ostrich-plume feather moss 9 gets its name from
bog moss 7 , or sphagnum, grows in waterlogged places. its stems, which look like tiny feathers or ferns. It lives in
This moss can hold more than 20 times its own weight in forests in the far north of Europe and Canada. 33
Ferns 1 W h i s k fe r n
Silvery stripes
give this
fern its name
Plants Ferns

SCALE

2
Horse

Silver brake
ta

l
i

Bla n
ck m Glossy,
a i d e n h a i r fe r tongue-shaped fronds
3
O str ich

Branches in rings
fe r n

L adder brake

4 n
Har t
s-t ongue fer

Long before the age of the dinosaurs, ferns and It starts life underground, using fungi to help it get food from
their relatives were the biggest plants on Earth. Today they the soil. Horsetails 2 have hollow stems with rings of bright
still include some tree-like varieties more than 15 m (50 ft) green branches. They contain sharp crystals of silica and
tall, but most ferns grow much closer to the ground. All these were once used for scrubbing pots and pans. The ostrich
plants spread by making tiny spores instead of seeds, and fern 3 , found in the Northern Hemisphere, grows near
most of them have feathery fronds that unroll as they grow. streams and rivers, while the harts-tongue fern 4 grows
34 The whisk fern 1 is a primitive plant with brush-like stems. on shady banks and old walls. Common staghorn ferns 5
Toothed, pale
Feathery fronds green leaets
absorb sunlight

Plants Ferns
5 C ommon S en
s i t iv e f
s t a g h o r n fe r n er n

Antler-shaped
fronds make spores

fe r n
lla
re
b
Um

Fronds like

rn
umbrella spokes

fe
rd
6
Ha
Tough,
evergreen fronds
7
Cliff br

ken
ake

ac
9
Br

ir rels fo ot fe
S qu rn

er n
al f
oy
8
R

live in the forests of the Southern Hemisphere, where they stems that are good at coping with drought. Royal fern 8
grow on the trunks of trees. Their fronds trap rain and falling is an impressive plant with a rosette of spreading fronds. It is
leaves, making private compost heaps that help them to grow. sometimes grown in gardens, but bracken 9 is a notorious
Hard fern 6 has two types of fronds: feathery ones that weed. Fast growing and poisonous to animals, it spreads
catch sunshine, and much narrower ones that spread its by underground runners, and can form patches more than
spores. Most ferns live in damp places, but cliff brake 7 500 m (1,640 ft) across. It is found on every continent except
grows in rocky crevices in South Africa, and has wiry black Antarctica and on islands far out to sea. 35
Conifers
L eb a non
of
Plants Conifers

ar
Ced
SCALE

1
Needles grow
in dense clusters

We s t e r n j u n i p e r

C auc asia n fir


Gr
an

fir
d

Needles
op e an yew
grow in pairs
2
Eu r
Cones turn red
and soft when ripe

5
Mo
nk
ey
pu
zz

e
l

3 M a r i ti m
e pin
e
ch

Sharp, closely
la r

packed leaves
n
de
4 G ol

Conifers include the worlds tallest, heaviest, like shelves, and short, needle-like leaves. Common in Europe
and oldest trees. They do not grow flowers, and they make and the Middle East, the European yew 2 has tiny cones
their seeds in cones. Most conifers are evergreen, with that look like bright red berries. They are poisonous to many
tough, waxy leaves that are good at coping with hot summer animals, but birds feed on them, helping the trees to spread.
sunshine as well as freezing winter winds. The cedar of The maritime pine 3 grows wild in southern Europe. It
Lebanon 1 comes from the Middle East and is often is full of sticky resin, which oozes out if its bark is cut. The
36 planted in parks. It has huge branches that spread out golden larch 4 comes from China. It sheds all its leaves
g
me

fir
t
C al i fo r n i a n u

er
s ilv
Nut-like seeds

E u ro p e a n

Plants Conifers
6
s lo ra d o b l u e s p r
es Co
re y cypr

uc
Mont e

e
7G i an
t se
qu

oi
a

Round cones
produce seeds

ine
ts p
S co
Slender, closely
packed needles ru ce
sp
9

a
k
Sit
8

Cylindrical Cones open to


ne
ne p i
cones with scatter seeds
St o toothed scales

in late autumn and sprouts new ones in spring. The monkey and their fireproof bark is up to 75 cm (30 in) thick. The
puzzle 5 from South America has sharply pointed leaves sitka spruce 8 comes from North Americas west coast
and an umbrella-like shape whenw it is fully grown. The but is now grown all over the world as a timber tree. The
European silver fir 6 has upright cones, which disintegrate Scots pine 9 is one of the worlds toughest trees and the
when they are ripe instead of falling to the ground. Giant most widespread conifer. It grows right across Europe and
sequoias 7 from California are some of the largest living Russia, including places where winter temperatures hit
things on Earth. They can weigh more than 2,000 tonnes -60C (-76F), far colder than a deep freeze. 37
Flowering plants 1 G or Tubular owers
se
Plants Flowering plants

often pollinated
by moths

ine
jasm
on
mm
Co
Small ower

Li la c
Flowers clusters on
protected long stalks
Re d c l o v e r

by thorns

3
2

o n a s p h o d el

Flowers grow in
rounded clusters

H y d ra n g e a
er
mm

av e n d
Co

on l
omm

W i l d t ul i p
C
4

Flowers come in an incredible variety of open when the seeds are ripe. Red clover 2 is often grown
shapes. Some are bigger than a washing-up bowl, but the to feed farm animals and to help fertilize the soil. Found
smallest could fit through the eye of a needle with room on scrubby hill slopes in southeastern Europe, lilac 3
to spare. Many plants grow flowers to spread their pollen has strongly scented flowers. An evergreen shrub of dry
and to scatter their seeds. Like most flowering plants, gorse 1 Mediterranean scrub habitats, common lavender 4 is
attracts insects, which carry its pollen as they wander from full of fragrant oils. Wild tulips 5 have yellow flowers that
38 plant to plant. It grows its seeds in pods that suddenly snap grow from bulbs. Widespread in Europe, they are close
Funnel-shaped owers
with many petals

6 Monk
s h
oo

7
d

Wi
ca

ld
ct

c ar
us

Plants Flowering plants


rot
Af r i c an lily
Traps edged with
interlocking teeth

Ve
n us
fly t
ra p
ass
gr

C o ck s fo ot
Stem with eight
vertical ribs
8
F i el d gl a d i ol u s

Wild daffo dil


W i l d p a n sy
id
9 B e e o rc h
n
n ti a
Sp r i n g g e

SCALE

relatives of cultivated tulips, which are grown as garden their pollen, and their flowers are often small. They include
flowers. The monks hood cactus 6 is adapted for life wild plants, such as the cocks foot grass 8 , as well as
in very dry conditions. It has spines instead of leaves and domestic cereals, such as wheat and rice, which are the
a juicy water-storing stem. Like most cacti, it has shallow worlds most important foods. The bee orchid 9 is a little
roots, which soak up water during rare periods of rain. plant from a giant family. Its flowers mimic female insects,
Wild carrot 7 is the ancestor of the carrots that we eat. such as bumblebees, and spread pollen by attracting male
Grasses are flowering plants, but they use the wind to spread insects looking for a chance to breed. 39
Morning g
Flowers open
SCALE at dawn

l or
y
Plants Flowering plants

the c ar y s ros
Ap o e
10

Fan of four to
ve owers
rr y
wb e
S t ra

t
ise pl a n od
a ra d

o
f-p

ksh
-o

Mon
B i rd

12
Flowers in
11

tall column
Me a
dow

Flowers grow
bu

on slender stems
tte
rc
up

Ring of spines
beneath owerhead

h is tle
kt
14

l
Mi
C o m m on

13
Gr
ea
te
rp
p opp

er i
w i n kl e
y

Many flowering plants are grown for their sunbirds, which carry pollen on their feet. Plants are also
eye-catching blooms. There are more than 100 wild kinds visited by hungry animals, so some use special defences to
of roses and thousands of cultivated varieties. The survive. Monkshood 12 is protected by powerful poisons,
apothecarys rose 10 is one of the oldest. It has been while milk thistle 13 has sharp spines that keep hungry
grown in gardens for at least 750 years. The bird-of- animals at bay. The common poppy 14 is a frequent weed
paradise plant 11 from South Africa is also grown for in fields. Its seeds can survive in the soil for many years and
40 its spectacular flowers. In the wild they are pollinated by they start growing as soon as the ground is ploughed. The
Top owers
open last

15

17
Wa t
C o m m o n d a n d el i o n

F ox
e
16
D ais

gl ov

rh

Plants Flowering plants


y

aw t
e

horn
Ro u n d - h e a d e d l e e k
s
18 S a c re d l o t u
ly
at er l i
it ew
20
Wh
e b el l
blu

al
Ro y

Gas-lled
oats

19
Co
mm
on
wa Floating
t er
hya c leaves
inth
common dandelion 15 is even more widespread. Its plants are also common in fresh water. The sacred
seeds float away on feathery parachutes, and take root on lotus 18 grows in tropical lakes and has large flowers
roadsides, in fields, and in lawns. The daisy 16 blooms for held above the water, while the common water
most of the year. Like the dandelion, its flowers are made hyacinth 19 has air-filled leaf-stalks that make it float.
up of lots of mini flowers, or florets, packed together in a The white water lily 20 has floating flowers that close
single flowerhead. Foxgloves 17 have tubular flowers that up in the late afternoon. They hold pollinating insects
are just the right shape for visiting bumblebees. Flowering overnight and release them the next day. 41
VENUSFLYTRAP A flesh-eating plant that catches prey in its jaws is
the stuff of nightmares, but the Venus flytrap is only
a threat to flies and spiders. The hinged leaves gape open like a big, red mouth, attracting prey with
their bright colour. If an insect or a spider lands on trigger hairs on the surface, the leaf snaps shut,
trapping the prey inside. The plant then releases juices to digest its food.
Size Up to 30 cm (12 in) tall Habitat Wet, boggy areas of clusters of white flowers from May to June. The small, black
peat or sandy soil. Distribution Coastal areas of North and seeds may be dispersed in water or picked up by birds.
South Carolina in the southeastern USA. Diet Like other Lifespan Up to 30 years if cultivated. Predators Slugs,
plants, the Venus flytrap gets energy from sunlight. It evolved birds, rodents, and tiny insects such as aphids and thrips, which
to be carnivorous as it often grows in poor soil and needs the suck the plants juices. Conservation status At risk due to
extra nutrients that it can get from insects. Breeding Bears habitat loss and over-collection for the exotic plant trade.
Broadleaved
trees
Plants Broadleaved trees

1 C ommon f ig

Fig contains hundreds


of tiny owers

2
Su
ar

g
lb er r y ma
Pa p e r mu ple

M a n g o t re e
d
oo
S a n d al w

orn

5
wh

e
o

t re
Yell

ove
F oxg l

sh
4
a
on
mm

a t re e
o co
Co

6
C
3

Ribbed, oval fruit

Seeds have
papery wings

Unlike conifers, broadleaved trees are flowering hidden inside a special bud. When seeds start to develop, the
plants. There are thousands of different kinds, from mighty bud ripens into a fig. The sugar maple 2 tree from North
giants in wild forests to small, ornamental garden trees. America is famous for its stunning autumn colours. In spring
In warm parts of the world, most broadleaved trees are its sweet sticky sap is harvested to make maple syrup. The
evergreen. Where winters are cold, they often shed their European common ash 3 is a fast-growing tree with winged
leaves in the autumn and grow a new set in spring. The seeds, while the foxglove tree 4 has beautiful mauve flowers
44 common fig 1 is a small broadleaved tree with tiny flowers that appear before its leaves. Mango trees 5 come from
8
Comm
ang

on
wa

-y l
l nu

ng
t r

Plants Broadleaved trees


pl a

la
Y
7 po

Whit e
Leaves have
white undersides

9Co
m
mo

C h i l e a n f i re b
np
e ar
b ay
B ul l

ush
10 H ol l y

Berries on
female trees

n t re e
L e mo

B
la c
k gum

11

S t ra w b
er r y tr
SCALE

ee

Tubular ame-
coloured owers

South Asia. Like many trees, they hide their seeds in sweet, nuts, while the common pear 9 from Europe is the ancestor
fleshy fruits. Animals that eat the fruit spread the seeds to new of pears grown to eat. Holly 10 is a small evergreen tree
areas. The cocoa tree 6 originally comes from Central and with very prickly leaves. Holly trees are either male or
South America. Cocoa is made from its seeds, which grow female. In winter, female ones produce bright red berries,
inside fleshy pods. Ylang-ylang 7 from Southeast Asia has which are eaten by birds. Lemon trees 11 come from Asia.
richly scented flowers that are used for making perfumes. Their fruit contain lots of citric acid, a chemical that gives
Common walnut 8 produces valuable timber and nutritious them their sharp but mouth-watering taste. 45
r b i rc
e S i l ve

r
ld 14
da

h
Flowers
in catkins Re

m
rnu
labu
C ommon
Plants Broadleaved trees

t re e
ne
ni
12

i
13
Qu

Flowers in
hanging clusters
ee
tr
lk

si
nk
Pi
15

Leaves are divided


into leaets Flowers have
slender stamens

Broadleaved trees produce many useful in catkins, which scatter tiny seeds in the wind. The pink
substances as well as some that can be harmful. Common silk tree 15 has large, feathery leaves and flowers in upright
laburnum 12 contains a deadly poison, while the quinine tufts. It is sometimes called the sleep tree because its
tree 13 contains a drug that can be used to treat malaria. leaves fold up at dusk and open again at dawn. The Spanish
It grows in South America, and quinine is extracted from its chestnut 16 is a slow-growing tree with edible nuts. These
bark. Silver birch 14 is a hardy tree, living in very cold grow inside prickly cases and are often roasted instead
46 climates in northern Europe and Asia. Its flowers grow of being eaten raw. The Judas tree 17 has rounded,
Turkish hazel
an be

17
ic

ech
A mer

Jud
a s t re
e

Plants Broadleaved trees


Flowers in
upright catkins 18 E n gl
ish
16

oa
Sp a

k
nis
hc
he

nu
st

Acorns
t grow in cups

19
Po
me
g ra n
at e
Cr
ap e my r tle

20
Av o
c ad
ot
re

e
Ba y l
SCALE

au r
el

heart-shaped leaves and beautiful purple-pink flowers that tree with large, bright-red flowers. It produces tasty fruit that
appear in spring. These flowers grow in clusters and often contain hundreds of seeds. Avocado trees 20 originally
sprout directly from the trunk. The English oak 18 is a come from Mexico and the West Indies, but they are now
long-lived tree with very hard timber, which was once used grown in warm places across the world. They have small
to build sailing ships. Like other oaks it has tiny flowers in creamy flowers and pear-shaped fruit with a single, very
trailing catkins, and its seeds are acorns, which grow in large stone. In the wild, avocados fall off the tree when
scale-covered cups. The pomegranate 19 is a spiny, shrubby they are still hard and ripen on the ground. 47
Invertebrates
The largest group of animals, invertebrates
range from sponges and jellyfish to
shellfish, crabs, spiders, and insects. They
mostly hatch out from eggs. Some start life
as larvae, tiny creatures which look very
different from their parents. Others hatch
as miniature versions of adults, growing
bigger as they mature.

Legs This spider belongs


to a group of invertebrates
called arthropods, which
have jointed legs. Muscles
run through the leg joints
to enable them to move.
As well as spiders,
arthropods include
centipedes, millipedes,
insects, and crustaceans.

Sense organs The tarantula has complex


sense organs, such as these palps which feel
out its surroundings. Other invertebrates, such
as worms and sponges, are much simpler and
may not even have brains.
Animals

Invertebrates

Exoskeleton Many invertebrates have a


hard outer casing called an exoskeleton. It
Features
supports their internal organs, helps them
move around, and provides protection. The
exoskeleton does not stretch, so the
Do not have
backbones or
creature has to shed its skin as it grows. a bony skeleton

Often have
a hard outer
coating
(exoskeleton)

Often hatch
out from eggs

Me Often hatch as
xic larvae, changing
an shape to
re become adults
d-
kn
ee
dt
ar
an
tu
la

Spiny hairs Small animals such as


invertebrates make tasty morsels for larger
predators, so many have evolved defence
systems. This tarantula can release stinging
hairs from its legs, which stick into its
attackers skin, causing pain and itching.
Sponges

ge
sp on
ee
tr

d
Re
Invertebrates Sponges

1
SCALE

a Niphates alba
Leuconia nive

on sp on g e
2
L em ge crumb spo n
d

a
Yello

Bre
w

3
finge
e spong
urs
r

5
sp o
P

Bo
r in
nge

g
sp
on
ge
Water is pumped
out through volcano-
shaped holes

rin a cl a
Cl ath

th
rus

Perforated
surface

6 Re d p u
rse
sp
o
ng
e

Found mainly in the sea, sponges are some red tree sponge 1 , grow upwards like underwater plants.
of the worlds simplest animals. They dont have heads, Others, such as the lemon sponge 2 , are almost spherical,
tails, eyes, or even mouths. Instead of moving about, they while some, such as the breadcrumb sponge 3 , grow as
pump water through pores in their bodies and filter out tiny a crust on rocks. The yellow finger sponge 4 grows in
particles of food. Sponges dont have bones, but their bodies upright columns, peppered with pores. The European boring
are often reinforced by mineral crystals and fibres, which give sponge 5 uses acids to tunnel through shells and solid rock.
50 them a crunchy or spongy feel. Some sponges, such as the Growing on shallow reefs in Malaysia and Indonesia, the
Ridged surface

P ink vas e sp onge


8
Elk horn
nge

sp onge
sp o

11
Long, thin

D e ep - s e a gl a s s s p o n g e
se

stalk
A z u re v a

e
El ep

ng
han o
7

Or
ang t hide sp
e puff b all sp ong

9 M e d i t e r ra n
e an
b at
hs
po
ng
e
e

10
Venus

ll s
lf ba ponge
Go
s f l o w er b ask
et

red purse sponge 6 resembles a miniature balloon. 100 years. The Mediterranean bath sponge 9 lives
Water flows in through its sides and out through the narrow on the shallow seabed. Its extra-springy skeleton makes it
opening at the top. Vase sponges work in the same way, perfect for washing with, once it has been cleaned. Most
but are much larger. The azure vase sponge 7 and pink sponges grow near the surface of the sea, but Venuss
vase sponge 8 , both from the Caribbean, can be up to flower basket 10 lives deep down. Like the deep-sea
45 cm (11 2 ft) high, but the worlds tallest vase sponges grow glass sponge 11 , it has an intricate skeleton made of silica,
bigger than a fridge, and are known to live for more than which lasts long after the sponge has died. 51
Jellyfish, anemones,
and corals
Invertebrates Jellyfish, anemones, and corals

Flexible stalks
appear like
SCALE underwater bushes

Blue j lly fish


e
te -spott ed jelly
1
Whi f is
h

w asp
2
Sea
Box-shaped
body
H ul a
skir t s iphono
phor
e

Pu
ac e
Gas-lled oat blown
r
co p le l i along by the wind
d

3 Moon je r al h y d r o
l ly f
4

i
Po r t
sh

j el l y f i s h ea
ry
S

ugue

ow
n s tr aw ber
d
Up s ide -

se ma

ey sea p
id n
en
K

n o w

Long, transparent
tentacles
ar

Armed with stinging tentacles, jellyfish and and stings continue to work even when the tentacles are
their relatives catch and kill prey. All of them are soft-bodied, pulled away. The moon jellyfish 3 lives close to coasts
although many corals protect themselves by building hard all over the world. It is quite compact, but the Portuguese
cases or tubes. Most kinds, including the white-spotted man owar 4 has tentacles up to 50 m (164 ft) long, almost
jellyfish 1 , have mild venom, but the deadly sea wasp 2 the length of four buses. Its powerful venom makes it nearly
from Australia and Southeast Asia can kill humans who as dangerous as the sea wasp. The red coral 5 has a
52 brush against its tentacles. The poison acts within seconds, brightly coloured skeleton, which is sometimes made into
Tentacles armed 6
with stings Ma
g hroo m cor
us

ni
a

fic

l
ent
l
ora

sea ane one


dc
5
Re

m
cks ane
elo

mo
Sn a k

ne
d ead-mans fan
on f ea
C ommon s
Re d s e a w h i p

in
m

ger
Com

s
7

tub e an
on em
C omm

one
c o ra l

Parallel
chalky tubes
O rg a n p i p e
9
O ra n g e

10

ation co
rn
s e a p en

Ca

ra l

Flat mesh
of branches

jewellery. Sea anemones have extra-thick tentacles, with right-angles to the current. This maximizes water flow
stings that work like harpoons. The magnificent sea towards the sea fan and allows it to get the most food. The
anemone 6 is one of the biggest, growing up to 1 m (3 ft) orange sea pen 9 has two food-collecting lobes and a
wide. It lives on coral reefs and its tentacles often shelter swollen root that anchors it in the seabed. When touched,
brightly coloured clownfish, which are immune to its stings. it vanishes into a burrow in the sand. The organ pipe coral
The red sea whip 7 has thin stalks that bend in the current, 10 gets its name from its bright red, pipe-shaped tubes. It is
while the common sea fan 8 has large flaps held at found in shallow waters in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 53
PACIFICSEANETTLE With their soft, golden bells and fine, trailing
tentacles, these jellyfish look harmless. But
they are carnivores. Their tentacles are equipped with millions of tiny barbs which inject poison into
anything they touch. The venom paralyzes prey, which is fed into a mouth under the sea nettles bell.
Although it can give humans a painful sting, this jellyfish is rarely dangerous to us.
Size Bell up to 45 cm (18 in) across; tentacles and arms hatch into larvae. These grow into stationary structures
up to 4.6 m (15 ft) long Habitat Surface waters of the called polyps, from which new jellyfish grow. Lifespan
Pacific Ocean in autumn and winter, deeper waters in Up to a year in the wild and up to 18 months in captivity.
spring and summer. Distribution West coast of Canada, Predators Sea turtles and fish. Conservation status
the USA, and Mexico. Also found around Japan. Diet The species is not under threat. In fact, in some areas
Small fish, crustaceans, and other jellyfish. Breeding Eggs they swarm in large numbers.
Worms -h
ea
d e dl
an d fl
atw orm

lr
ou
ndw
o rm

a
ti n
el

tes
S h ov
Flat segments
1 Tapew

L a rg e i n
containing eggs
Invertebrates Worms

orm

yel l o w f l a t w o r m
nd

rm

a
t wo

Black
f la
nd
N e w Ze al a n d l a
Backward-pointing
bristles

Yellow-tipped, pimply
swellings on surface

intestinal f luke
G ol d - s p e c kl e d f l a t w o r m 2 G iant
Paper-thin body
ripples to move
through the water
Suckers cling
to hosts body

w orm
as tre e tub e
r is tm
Ch

3
5

Co
mmon ver fluke
li
4F lo
we
rs

la
f

tw
orm C and m
y str ip e f latwor

The word worms describes many different intestines of animals such as cats, pigs, and humans, and can
kinds of creatures. Most of them have flat or round bodies grow to many metres in length. Several leaf-shaped flatworms,
with a head and tail. While some are smaller than a full stop, such as the giant intestinal fluke 2 and liver fluke 3 , also
worms also include the worlds longest and skinniest animals, infect people, sometimes causing serious diseases and even
stretching further than an Olympic-size swimming pool. death. Fortunately, most other worms are harmless, although
Worms usually live in water or wet places, but many are their bright colours warn predators that they have a nasty
56 parasites of other creatures. Tapeworms 1 feed inside the taste. Flowers flatworm 4 lives on coral reefs and ripples
o rm
e r n A f r i c a n vel ve t ve tw
t h el
SCALE

6 S ou wo
rm a nv
be

ib
C ar

Invertebrates Worms
7
b er s c a
um

le
S e a cu

w orm
Ti g e Food-collecting
r wo
rm tentacles

Pa c
ific
fe a
th
e

rd
u
8 Lugworm

ste
rw
orm
St m
re a m
f latwor

Segmented
body
orm

us e
hw

o
ea m
rt

rm
9 S
ea

o
n gw
m mo a
gr

Co m
wor
Ki n

10
11 F i re
12

Bristly
legs

Poisonous bristles
used for defence
and movement

its body as it swims. The Christmas tree tube worm 5 on beaches and mud-flats. The sea mouse 9 has a bristly
stays in the safety of a burrow. It collects food with a spiral body for digging through sand. Best known of all worms, the
tuft of tentacles, which instantly fold up and disappear if a common earthworm 10 helps to make the soil fertile by
predator comes nearby. Southern African velvet worms 6 burrowing through it and eating dead leaves and other waste.
and Caribbean velvet worms 7 have short, stumpy legs. The fire worm 11 has poisonous bristles that help it to crawl
They creep along the forest floor, and capture their prey by over rocks and coral reefs. The king ragworm 12 eats
spraying it with sticky threads. Lugworms 8 live in burrows seaweed and carrion using its two pincer-like teeth. 57
Molluscs

c a r r i er s h el l
Pebbles in
Invertebrates Molluscs

rst
spiral of shell

bu
SCALE

s h el l n
ie Su
o wr 1

ell

c
er

h el k s h
2
Ti g

gw
Fo ols c ap
Shell is covered
by skin when Do
cowrie is active

el l
sh
3

shell
P rec

on
tr it
e
ap

Pr

us r ic k
io

up

w e n t le t l y P a c i f ic dr

Trump et
c h s h el l
4 P ink con Tightly coiled
spiral

5
Co

el l

mo
sh
m

nn lk
or thern whe
P ol

el l
sh
i s

ne c
k la ce
ll
he
d e d t ul i p s

Tent olive shell


n
Ba

Slit-shaped
opening

Molluscs are amazingly varied animals, house. The sunburst carrier 1 , a sea snail, fastens pebbles
ranging from fast-moving squid, to clams, slugs, and snails. to its shell, using them as camouflage. The tiger cowrie 2
Most of them live in water and have shells. Clams and their has an egg-shaped shell with a beautiful pattern and glossy
relatives have two-part shells joined by a hinge. If danger sheen. The precious wentletrap 3 has a ribbed shell. It
strikes, the shell snaps shut, protecting the animal inside. preys on anemones and corals, using cutting jaws. Found in
Snails and their relatives have spiral shells. Like clam shells, tropical oceans, the pink conch 4 and trumpet triton 5
58 they keep growing, so their owners never have to move are two of the largest sea snails. The pink conch grazes on
8
6

C om
Cha
nn e l l e

mon
t
ee
Eu
ro sw

p el i
pea
n b i tt er No ahs ark

d a p pl e s

c an

Invertebrates Molluscs
s fo
nai

ot s
l

h el l
7 C o m m o n m u s s el

Long tentacles

Ed he
ll
9

i ble s
oys t er
t I n d i a n w o r m s h el l
shell
Gre at screw

gu e oy s t e r s h el l
on
Wes

t
s
ts
Ca

Spired shell
10
G re a

ell
Subulate auger sh
ts
ca

lo
ps
l

Shell covered
in spines h el
l
seagrass and seaweed, while the triton is a predator, common pelicans foot 8 creeps across mud and sand
attacking starfish and other slow-moving prey. It hunts at on the seabed. Its shell has extensions that resemble webbed
night and paralyzes its victims with poisonous saliva before feet. The edible oyster 9 and the great scallop 10 are
beginning to feed. Like most apple snails, the channelled often harvested to eat. Mussels and oysters glue themselves
apple snail 6 has gills, and lives in fresh water. The to rocks using sticky threads. Scallops lie on the seabed. If
common mussel 7 lives just below the waterline on rocky a predator tries to creep up on them, they swim away by
shores, using its gills to filter out small particles of food. The clapping their shells open and shut. 59
SCALE
Invertebrates Molluscs

Chalky,
grit-covered

Gi
an
tube

tt
Ph i l i p p i n e w a t er i n g p o t

op
12

sh
Re

el l
da
ba
lon
e sh
el l

lug
sl u g
15 Var ico se se a

as
se
ar gine d
k-m s e on
11

en
c

ea

l
Bla

iab
sl u g

r
Va
et

C om
14
13

p
mon li m

n s e a a n g el
c er
16 Sp a n i s h d a n

mo
Com

Gills for Re d c a l l i s t a
breathing

Op
al e s c lug
en t s e a s
Some molluscs, such as the Philippine watering common limpet 13 is much smaller, but just as tough. It
pot 11 , do not need to move, because they sieve their clings to wave-battered rocks and can withstand the fiercest
food out of the water. But many others, including the red winter storms. Sea slugs, or nudibranchs, have a foot but no
abalone 12 , creep about on a muscle-packed sucker that shell. They are famous for their brilliant colours. Many kinds,
works like a foot. The red abalone grazes on algae, and such as the black-margined sea slug 14 , have a tuft of gills
its grip is incredibly strong. When threatened, it clamps its on their backs and a pair of tentacles that look like miniature
60 shell to the rock and is almost impossible to dislodge. The horns. The black-margined sea slug feeds on sponges. So do
sh
ram orn ug

l
ks
t

sn a
G re a

lac
nb
il
b a n a n a sl

pea
c
ifi

ug

E u ro
This species

c
Pa
has black or
orange skin

Invertebrates Molluscs
17

18

el l
Si lv

sh
rm
ou th turb an

Sword razor clam shell


Brown garden snail snail
We s t A f r i c a n t e l l
in
Af r ic an
t
G ian
19

Sp o t oy
ted nu
R

al c
se a
h a re o m b ve
C om
mo
np
id do

ck

Growth rings

s el
20 Sw an mus

So
f
ts
h el l cl a m

e d giant cl a m
21
F lut

the varicose sea slug 15 and the Spanish dancer 16 , world because of its large appetite and fast breeding. Back
a giant sea slug that swims by rippling its body, making in the water, clams are molluscs with hinged shells. A few,
it look like a dancer wearing a skirt. Molluscs are also such as the swan mussel 20 , grow in rivers and streams,
common on land, particularly in damp areas. The Pacific but most, including the fluted giant clam 21 , live in the sea.
banana slug 17 and the European black slug 18 live in Like its big brother the giant clam, it contains microscopic
cool climates but the giant African snail 19 is a tropical algae that live in its flesh. These algae produce nutrients,
species that has become a major pest in warm parts of the which contribute to the clam's food supply. 61
GIANTCLAM The giant clam is the worlds heaviest shelled animal, and possibly
the largest species that has ever lived. It has a huge, thick shell
formed of two parts, with a deeply folded edge. The edges of the inner body, or mantle, are often a
beautiful iridescent blue-green or gold, and can be seen when the shell opens to feed. It is a myth that
a giant clam can catch and swallow people, because a clam will only close, slowly, if it is attacked.
Size Shell up to 1.5 m (5 ft) long Weight Up to 200 kg called zooxanthellae that live inside their mantle tissues.
(440 lb) Habitat The clams anchor themselves on sand Breeding Giant clams expel sperm and eggs into the
or coral rubble in reefs or in lagoons. Distribution Tropical ocean. The eggs develop into larvae called veligers, which
areas of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans and South swim freely and hunt for food. Predators Sea stars, snails,
China Sea. Diet Giant clams filter plankton out of the sea some fish, and humans. Conservation status Vulnerable
using their gills. They also get nutrients from plant-like algae due to harvesting for food and the aquarium trade.
Squid, octopuses,
and cuttlefish
Invertebrates Squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish

sh

fi
SCALE

e
Dum

ttl
b o o c topus

cu
Bro adclub
Horizontal,
slit-shaped pupil

o pus
oct
ia nt
i cg
a c if
t hP
r
1
No
squid

inge d o c
e -r
Bl u

to
eef

pus
2
nr

Cup-like
Ca a
r i bbe
suckers

u id
n sq
mo
3 C om

Unlike other molluscs, squid and their relatives octopuses, it can squirt clouds of black pigment into the water
are fast-moving hunters with keen senses and big brains. to confuse predators. Fully spread out, its legs can measure
Octopuses have eight arms covered in suckers. Squid and over 4 m (13 ft) from tip to tip. Far smaller, but much more
cuttlefish also have eight arms, plus two long tentacles which dangerous, the blue-ringed octopus 2 has a highly toxic
shoot out to catch their prey. Many of these animals can bite. It can kill humans, although it usually swims away. The
change colour in seconds, helping them to hide. The North common squid 3 has a streamlined body with prominent
64 Pacific giant octopus 1 hunts on the seabed. Like many side fins, and lives in the open sea. Like other squid, it zooms
Prey-snatching 4 W h i p -l a s h
tentacles s qui s
d pu

to
oc
Day

Invertebrates Squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish


6
At
lan t

5
ic o c t o p

Ch
amb
e re d n a u t i l u s
us h
tl ef is
ut
onc
Bigf i m

m
Co
n re

8
ef

ant cuttlef
gi
sq

ish
an
uid
li
ra
st
Au
7

9 Mimic o c t o
pu
s
Long,
muscular arms

Co
mm
on
oc
t op
us

backwards by sucking in water and squirting it out in a jet. lairs and hunts after dark. The Australian giant cuttlefish 7
Jet propulsion is also important for octopuses when they need and common cuttlefish 8 cruise over the shallow seabed
to make a quick getaway. The whip-lash squid 4 hovers in looking for crabs and other prey. The extraordinary mimic
deep water, waiting for prey with its long tentacles extended. octopus 9 is one of the few octopuses that hunt while the
The chambered nautilus 5 has a spiral shell and about sun is up. As well as changing colour, it can disguise itself
90 tentacles which tightly grip its prey. Mostly found in shallow to resemble more than a dozen different animals, making
waters, the Atlantic octopus 6 spends the daytime in rocky it look more dangerous than it really is. 65
Starfish, urchins,
and sea cucumbers
Invertebrates Starfish, urchins, and sea cucumbers

ch in r
ur ta
o ns

a
se

i
ush
SCALE

Re d

ic c
I n d o - Pa c i f
mon br it H en r y s t ar f
C om

5
tl y i
1 od
es

sh
Bl o
t ar

Ver
m if

or
ms
e a c u c u m b er

Pu
rp
le
su
ns
ta
r
2O ch
re
s
ta
rfi
sh

Coarse, spiny
3 upper surface
er

Sea
4 P r ick l y r e
d f ish a p pl e c u c u m
b

Yel er
lo w s e a c ucu mb

Fleshy spikes

Found only in salt water, starfish and their The ochre starfish 2 feeds on mussels and other molluscs,
relatives are unique in many ways. Most of these slow-moving using the tubes to grip its prey. Sea cucumbers collect food
creatures have five arms branching out from the centre of using a ring of tentacles around their mouths. The sea apple
their bodies. They have skeletons or cases made of hard, cucumber 3 is a highly poisonous reef-dweller. It has bright
chalky plates. The common brittle star 1 moves by colours warning predators not to attack. Other species, such
snaking its arms, but most animals in this group move as the sausage-shaped prickly redfish 4 , are coloured to
66 around using hundreds of little tubes, which act as feet. match the sand. The Indo-Pacific cushion star 5 becomes
6
Cro
wn

Invertebrates Starfish, urchins, and sea cucumbers


of t
ho rn Ye
s st a r f ish ll ow f r
e a t he r s t a
Rows of
red tubercles

st a r fi s h
tle a st
i t ra l
r

r e
a db Venomous
g en
gons he spines for Re d
or protection
Icon s t ar f ish
G

7 E d i bl e s e
au
rch
in

8
P u r p l e u rc h i n

c hin
ur
e
F ir

S e a p o t at o
9

Smooth,
spineless surface
r
st a
10
cushio n

ue
Bl

st
ar Short, venomous
f is
h spines can deliver
d

painful sting
Re

short-armed as it gets bigger, eventually maturing into case, while the purple urchin 8 has extra-long spines that
a dumpy cushion shape. It often grazes on coral. The easily break off. The sea potato 9 burrows into seabed
notorious crown of thorns starfish 6 is a large species mud, and has bristly spines and a streamlined shape. Sea
with venomous, thorny arms. It can devastate reefs with its urchins use their spines for self-defence, while sea cucumbers
voracious appetite for coral. Sea urchins creep over rocks and squirt out a mass of sticky threads. The blue starfish 10 and
reefs, scraping up food with their downward-pointing mouths. its relatives have a different kind of protection: if any of their
The edible sea urchin 7 has short spines and a rounded legs are bitten off, they slowly grow back. 67
Centipedes f la
t-b acke d m

rn

illi
East e

p e de
and millipedes
Invertebrates Centipedes and millipedes

nt c e n t i p e d e

th centip e de
g ia

er
SCALE

2
Tig
e ar
w
1 Ye l l o
on e c en ti p e de an g i a nt mill
B r o w n st er
ic ip
m
ed

ip e de
A

M e g a r i a n b a n d e d c en t
e
3

e de
nti p
e d s t one ce

l ip e de
Black giant p ill millip e d
Amer ic an

4
e
nd

mi l
Ba
de

sh
B ro

o r t- h e a d e
d
pe

ns i l li
w

nake m
S o n o ra
n ti g
er c e de
llip
Flat body can
e mi
ed
n ti

t under stones
ck
p e de

anian f lat-b a
z
Tan

Centipedes and millipedes belong to a group up, they quickly wriggle away. The Indian tiger giant
of animals called arthropods, which have legs with joints centipede 2 is one of the biggest, growing up to 25 cm
and a hard body case. Millipedes are slow-moving (10 in) long. It can easily kill small rodents and can give
vegetarians, but centipedes are agile predators, with keen humans an extremely painful bite. Centipedes have two legs
senses and poisonous fangs. Yellow earth centipedes 1 on each segment of their body, but millipedes have four. The
hunt underground. With their bendy bodies and short legs, American giant millipede 3 can have more than 200 legs.
68 they squeeze between particles of soil. If they are dug Like other millipedes, it grows extra pairs every time it moults,
Invertebrates Centipedes and millipedes
5
Whi
t e -r imme d p ill millip e d

e
Black snake m
i llip
e de
de

or
ipe
B

in g mi l l

Extra-long legs
tte d millip e de

for swift movement


de
en ti p e

6 Brown giant pill mill


ip e
d
Hous e c

e
p o
-s
ow ll
Ye

8 Af r ic an giant millip e de

Legs move in a
wave-like motion

or sheds its skin. Pill millipedes are short and stubby, and the size of a golf ball. Most centipedes hunt outside, but the
often have 50 legs or fewer. They get their name because house centipede 7 often comes indoors. With its long legs,
they can tuck in their legs and roll up into a ball. The black it is an amazingly fast sprinter, scuttling up walls and ceilings
giant pill millipede 4 comes from Madagascar, while to catch spiders and other prey. With over 300 legs, the
the white-rimmed pill millipede 5 is found in Europe. The African giant millipede 8 is one of the largest millipedes.
brown giant pill millipede 6 from the forests of Borneo If threatened by predators, it releases a foul-smelling liquid
is one of the biggest pill millipedes. Fully rolled up, it is about to persuade them it is not nice to eat. 69
Spiders and
relatives
Invertebrates Spiders and relatives

A m er
la i c a n s u n s p i d er
n tu
ra

a
ot
ac
Ch
ider

1
D ome

Stinging hairs can


be red at enemies
sp

tic
s

hunt sman

Horn n
e d h a r ve s t m a

er
2

av
ar

M
ble d orb we

ider
3
G ol

sp
en

d
ro d c ra b

ider
4
Aud
s h a r vest man

sp
ui r an w olf sp
o

n s o pe
t ra p d o
o

ide
Eur

r
Pear-shaped r
i de
Say

body and
small head sp
ad ip
er

Wh
L

y b i rd s p i d
SCALE

Long front legs


used as feelers

Many people are scared of spiders, but the and comes out to feed after dark. Like all spiders, it kills its
world would be very different without them. These eight- prey by injecting venom through a pair of fangs. The
legged animals are super-efficient hunters. Out of many marbled orb weaver 2 catches flying insects by spinning
thousands, scientists have found only one kind that feeds on wheel-shaped webs, but the goldenrod crab spider 3 sits
plants. Close relatives of spiders include sun spiders, whip on top of flowers where it ambushes bees and butterflies.
spiders, and harvestmen, as well as ticks, mites, and Audouins trapdoor spider 4 lurks in a silk-lined burrow,
70 scorpions. The chaco tarantula 1 lives in a burrow by day equipped with trip-lines and a camouflaged lid. If anything
thern
Legs end in
retractable 6
S ou

blac wid
claws

k
t a ra e d - k n e e d
ow

n t ul a

ider
E u ro
r
ic an
l o n g -l e g s ea

sp
p
dy n g a rd e n
M ex

sp
Da

ider
7
5

Eight small eyes


n d re w s c ro s s s p i d e r

er
G iant hous e spid
St . A

um
er
J

ping spid
8

Goliath tarantula
er
R af t spid

er
Eleg

pid

nt s
a

jumping
9

ump ing s
nj
10
p id
B ro w

er

touches a trip-line, the spider flings open the lid and grabs its lives indoors, and so does the giant house spider 8 , a
prey. The Mexican red-kneed tarantula 5 is a forest- species that spins funnel-shaped webs. Raft spiders 9 lie
dwelling spider, and a popular pet. It grows slowly and can in wait by the edges of ponds and pools where they catch
live for more than 20 years. The southern black widow 6 tadpoles and small fish. The enormous goliath tarantula 10
from North America is far smaller but more dangerous. from South America eats insects, rodents, frogs, and even
Females are much bigger than males, and they can give bats. It is one of the biggest spiders in the world, with a
people a fatal bite. The daddy long-legs spider 7 often leg span as big as a dinner plate. 71
n
ilia wand e r ing spi
d er

a z
Br
p i ny o r b

11
SCALE

es

C ra b - l i k

-w e
av e r
Invertebrates Spiders and relatives

12

i
S a c s p d er
Sy d spider
n ey
f u n n el - w e b

Eight
walking legs

Silk egg sac


carried by female

er
13
oo

id
W
d louse sp

s p i d er
eb
w
14
N u r s er y

Four pairs
of eyes

ck
ar ti Pincer-like
s t er
e av
mouthparts
w
Lone

b- Whi
or p sc
lk orp
ion
si
A m er i c a n g ol d en
15
Cave spider

t o r b -we a
nu
ve
l
Wa

r
16

Tufts of
hair on legs

All spiders make silk, but only some species hazardous to humans. Females live in burrows, but males
spin webs to catch their prey. Many other kinds hunt on sometimes stray into backyards, and will bite humans if they
the ground. The Brazilian wandering spider 11 is one feel threatened. The woodlouse spider 13 is much smaller,
of the most dangerous of these prowling predators. It but it has extra-strong fangs for biting into the hard body cases
roams through forests after dark, and sometimes wanders of woodlice. Nursery web spiders 14 and cave spiders 15
into urban areas where it clambers over people as they sleep. make silk sacs to carry their eggs, while the American golden
72 The Sydney funnel-web spider 12 from Australia is also silk orb-weaver 16 uses its silk to build some of the worlds
on
17

pi
or

G ian

Ch
ile Sting raised to
an bur r o w i n g s c threaten enemies

t de s k-tail scorpion
er t h a hic

Yellow t
ir y s corp ion

18
co rp i o
ls

n
r ia
pe
Pincers
grip prey
20
Im
19

Gol
d s corpion
Co m

el ve t m
ion

on dv
m

it e
rp

Re

Pincers covered Eur o


with sensitive hairs op e a n s c

biggest webs. Shaped like cartwheels, and more than 1 m (3 ft) yellow thick-tail scorpion 18 is smaller, but its venom
across, the webs are strong enough to catch hummingbirds is much more powerful. It comes from the Sahara Desert and
and even frogs. Like spiders, scorpions have eight legs, but the Middle East. Gold scorpions 19 also live in the same part
they also have a pair of pincers and a poisonous sting in their of the world, but the imperial scorpion 20 is a forest species
tails. The giant desert hairy scorpion 17 is the largest kind from tropical Africa. It is one of the biggest scorpions,
in North America. Like other scorpions, it uses its pincers to measuring up to 25 cm (10 in) long. Although it looks
tear apart its prey, while its sting is mainly for self-defence. The menacing, its sting is not much stronger than that of a wasp. 73
SEASPIDER Sea spiders belong belong to a group of marine animals called
Pantopoda, meaning all legs. Their legs are so long compared
to their tiny bodies that they have to keep some of their internal organs inside them. This strikingly
coloured yellow-kneed sea spider comes from coral reefs off the coast of Australia. It is only a few
centimetres across, but larger specimens can grow up to 90 cm (35 in) from tip to tip.
Size 1 mm90 cm (1 25 in35 in) Habitat Seabed; proboscis, to extract fluids from the prey, or breaks off
smaller species live in shallow water, while larger sea pieces and puts them in its mouth. Breeding The eggs
spiders live in the deep waters of the Antarctic Ocean. hatch into larvae. In most species the larvae float around
Distribution Seas and oceans worldwide Diet Soft- freely as they grow. In some they live on their fathers front
bodied animals such as sea sponges, anemones, and coral legs, while in others the larvae live as parasites in animals
polyps. The sea spider uses its sucking mouthpart, or such as coral polyps or clams.
Crustaceans

t c ra b
er m i
1 E di
b

h
tte d
le
Invertebrates Crustaceans

c ra

Whit e -sp o
b

3
2 Re d re e f h e r m i t c ra b
Abdomen hidden
inside shell
Thick carapace

i m m i n g c ra b
Blue sw
Wide, attened
4 carapace

Pincers used for F re s h w a t e r


c ra
catching prey b

5 b
W a r ty b o x c r a
ab
An

cr

mo
e

n e p o rc e l a i n
Vel
ve t s w i m m i n g c ra b
ab
Pa

in
ted cr
6 Chr istmas Island re d cr p e b bl e
ab

Legs with a
single claw

Crustaceans are not common on land, but they human fingers, too. The red reef hermit crab 2 and
flourish in fresh water and the sea. They include lobsters, white-spotted hermit crab 3 have small pincers, and live
shrimps, and prawns, and also hundreds of different kinds in shells borrowed from other animals. Like other hermit
of crabs. Some crustaceans swim in gigantic swarms, but crabs, they change shells as they grow. Each time these crabs
crabs usually roam the seabed or scuttle over the shore. The move home, they carefully check their new shell to make
edible crab 1 has an extra-tough shield, or carapace. Its sure that it is exactly the right fit. Blue swimming crabs 4
76 powerful pincers can crack open mollusc shells, and crush have back legs that work like paddles. These crabs like
n g e c ra
Sp o b

Sp o
SCALE

tte d cora
l

Invertebrates Crustaceans
c ra
Short hind legs b

Pear-shaped
7 ra b body
O ra n g
e f id d le r c
c ra b
ow

r
ar
8 Pa n a mic

9
Jap
ane
se s
p ide
r c ra
b

Heavily armoured
legs and body

spending time on sandy or muddy coastlines. Warty box Orange fiddler crabs 7 make burrows in mangrove
crabs 5 burrow in seabed sand. They shield their faces swamps. Males have a tiny claw for feeding and a giant
with their claws, giving them the alternative name, the one for signalling to females across the mud. The Panamic
shame-face crab. Christmas Island red crabs 6 live arrow crab 8 lives on reefs, while the Japanese spider
in tropical forests, surrounded by the Indian Ocean. During crab 9 prowls the seabed. Measuring up to 4 m (13 ft)
the breeding season, millions of them emerge from the forest across, this amazingly leggy animal is the worlds biggest
and march to the coast, where they mate and lay their eggs. crustacean, with a lifespan of up to 100 years. 77
er
10 N o r w ay l o b s t r
at lob st e
s qu
Two pairs of
antennae, or feelers
ip ed
tr

s
Red, thread-like

e-
Blu
antennae
Invertebrates Crustaceans

11
Flexible body ending
in a broad tail fan
cr ay f i s h
we d
e - cl a
W hit

Long pincers

b s t er
f lo
ee
R
12

Ae
sop s h r imp t er
n y lob s
Black g sp i
tiger stripes T i g e r p ra w n -l e
ip e
13
St r

r
b ste
e r lo
pp
Paddles at end sl i
of abdomen d
e
tur

t arctic k
An ri ll
S c ul p
14

l sl i p p er l o b s t er
15

R e ga

G ia
n t a c o r n b a r n a cl e

Lobsters, shrimps, and prawns are crustaceans aquarium pets. The stripe-leg spiny lobster 13 has extra-
with long bodies and lots of legs. The Norway lobster 10 long antennae that can make a creaky, clicking sound to scare
lives in a burrow, and feeds at night on live animals and dead predators away. If it is cornered, it swims backwards at high
remains. Blue-striped squat lobsters 11 are close relatives speed. Antarctic krill 14 live in the icy Southern Ocean,
of crabs. Like other squat lobsters, they have 10 legs, but the in swarms that can stretch for kilometres in every direction.
last leg pair is small, and tucked away under their tails. Reef These finger-sized crustaceans are a vital food for penguins,
78 lobsters 12 are brightly coloured, which makes them popular seals, and whales, including the blue whale, which can
ga p o re b a m b o o s h r
im
S in

SCALE
ti s shr im p
man

Invertebrates Crustaceans
co ck
P ea
16
Legs specially designed
for smashing prey
17 G ian
td
e ep
Domed carapace se
ai
can curl up s
into a ball

op
od
Com

on
m

p ra
wn
Eyes spaced far
apart on the head

Long, thick,
spiny antennae

om
C

mon shr im
r
s te
r
P in

lob
te

ks
quat lobs i ny
ta l sp
Na

a l t a d p ol e s
rn h
Ve

r im
18

p
p

19 im
C om
m o n m a r bl e shr

swallow more than 4 tonnes of krill per day. The sculptured light is extremely faint in deep sea, this isopod has large
slipper lobster 15 has a rounded shape, and blends in antennae to help it feel its way around. Vernal tadpole
against seabed sand. The peacock mantis shrimp 16 shrimps 18 from California breed in short-lived freshwater
is a predator with a knockout punch. Using its front legs, it pools. The adult shrimp die when the pools dry up, but their
smashes open snail shells and crabs, and can even shatter the eggs can survive for up to 10 years, hatching when it rains.
glass of aquariums. The giant deepsea isopod 17 scavenges The common marble shrimp 19 is brown with green
food on the sea floor, occasionally feeding on live prey. Since spots during the day, but turns red at night. 79
Insects
From beautiful butterflies to
buzzing mosquitoes, insects are
the most successful creatures on
Earth. Their bodies have a hard
outer casing and are divided into
three sections: the head, thorax,
and abdomen. Most adult insects
have wings and many kinds can
fly. Scientists believe there are
still millions of new species
left to discover.

Wings Most insects have two


pairs. One pair may be adapted
into another form, such as a beetles
wing-cases. This female jungle
nymph cannot fly, but can shake its
wings, producing a hissing sound
to scare off attackers.
ph
J u n g l e ny m

Head The first section of the


body carries the brain, sense
organs, and mouth. Insects
mouths are adapted to suit
their diet. This jungle nymph
chews leaves, while butterfly
mouths are suited for drinking
nectar from flowers.
Animals
Abdomen The last section of
Insects
the body contains the digestive
and reproductive organs.

Features

Have six
jointed legs

Have
compound eyes

Thorax The middle


section supports three
pairs of legs and two
Mostly have
wings
pairs of wings.

Mostly have a
body divided
into three
sections

Have antennae
to sense their
surroundings

Antennae These sense organs


can pick up scents from the air,
a bit like a human nose. Some
insects also use them to feel
their way around.
Dragonflies
and damselflies
Insects Dragonf lies and damself lies

SCALE

1 Comm
on gree
n darner

Large wings
for speedy ight

y
o nf l
Te t r
ac anthagyna plagiata ke r d ra g
2 S o u t h er n h a w

n o i s r ive r c r u i s e r
I lli
3

All four wings 4 F lam


almost equal Blue and 5 Az e skim
in size black markings m er
ur

Distinctive on male
Gre
ed

stripes on
e
dra n-eye
am

body
Wingspan is larger
se

go d fl than body length


nf
l

Club-shaped end y
ly of abdomen

Speeding through the air on transparent wings, use stealth and camouflage to catch their prey. The common
dragonflies and damselflies chase insects for food. Dragonflies green darner 1 flies over streams in North America. Its
are robust with rounded heads, whereas damselflies are more stiff wings stick out sideways when it rests. The southern
slender with broader heads. Both have extra-large eyes for hawker dragonfly 2 , from Europe, breeds in small ponds.
spotting anything that moves and can zoom sideways and It hunts away from water, and approaches people that come
even backwards as they close in for a kill. Their young, known nearby. The Illinois river cruiser 3 patrols rocky streams
82 as nymphs, are also hunters. They grow up underwater, and and rivers, while the flame skimmer 4 prefers warm water,
Colourful markings
to attract a mate

Insects Dragonf lies and damselflies


Emp eror dra gonf ly
P r i n c e b askettail Bright colouring makes
it easily recognizable

P l a i n s cl u b t a i l

e -l e g g e d
Large eyes
to spot prey

el f l y
St

6
al k
-w

dams
Whit
ing
ed
da
C o m e t d a r n er

ms
7

el f
ly
8
Br
o ad
-b o d
ie d chaser

9
B and
e d dem
ois e
ll
e

Tw in-sp ott e d spiket ail

10 G re y p
e t al
t ail
Male has
scarlet abdomen

sometimes hunting over hot springs. The azure damselfly 5 of its time on the wing. The broad-bodied chaser 8 rests
breeds in small ponds and streams. Like other damselflies, it on plant stems and rushes out to grab passing insects from its
has a very slender body, with widely spaced eyes, and wings perch. The banded demoiselle 9 has a flitting, butterfly-like
that fold back when it lands. The emperor dragonfly 6 is flight. The grey petaltail 10 hunts over swamps and often
one of Europes largest insects, but it looks small compared stops to settle on trees. Its young are ferocious predators,
to the giant comet darner 7 from North America. This crawling over the surface of swamps on damp nights and
dragonfly can outpace an Olympic sprinter and spends much catching other insects in their fast-moving jaws. 83
STICKINSECT Masters of disguise, stick insects sit quietly on tree branches,
looking exactly like dead twigs or green shoots so that
predators dont notice them. There are thought to be more than 3,000 species across the world,
ranging from tiny leaf and twig shapes up to branches 55 cm (22 in) long. This stick insect from
Madagascar resembles a thorny bramble shoot, a very unappetizing prospect for predators.
Size 2.555 cm (122 in) Weight Up to 65 grams (214 oz) Breeding Females lay live eggs on their own or by mating
Habitat Rainforests and jungles. Distribution Tropical with males. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which moult several
and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia and Australia, also times as they grow into adults. Lifespan From a few months
Madagascar, South and Central America, and southern USA. to a few years. Predators Birds, small reptiles, and rodents.
Some species also found in mainland Europe as well as the Defences include camouflage, sharp spines, flashing wings,
British Isles. Diet Leaves of trees and shrubs and berries. hissing, or spraying bad-smelling or burning liquid.
Crickets and
grasshoppers
Insects Crickets and grasshoppers

1 Gre en mi
lkwe e d l
o cust

Antennae longer
than body

pe
et

S
c kl
Large eyes e d bush- cr ick

s
alicu
2 D e s er t l o c u s P y g my l o c u s t
t

us it
Cal liptam
Hou
se cr icket

r
3 F o a m i n g g ra s s h o p p e
r
pe

C om
sh op
mon
m a c ro t o n a g ra s

With their powerful back legs, crickets and locust 2 holds the record for numbers. Some of its swarms
grasshoppers are some of the best jumpers in the insect contain more than 30 billion insects, which is four times
world. They are also some of the loudest, rubbing their the number of people on Earth. Most grasshoppers rely on
legs or wings to make high-pitched sounds. Many live on camouflage for protection. The foaming grasshopper 3 ,
their own, but locusts are famous for migrating in enormous however, oozes poisonous froth from behind its head, while
swarms. The African green milkweed locust 1 is one its day-glow colours warn that it is dangerous to eat. Adult
86 of the biggest of these insect travellers, while the desert grasshoppers usually have two pairs of wings, but some
SCALE

Insects Crickets and grasshoppers


Co et
mm
o n bl a c k c r i c k
5 Mole cr icket
4

oo
C

kS
tra
it
gia
tw We
llin
n

et
a gt
on Shovel-like front legs,
r icket t re developed for burrowing
6 O ak bush c ew
et
Powerful jaws a

7
Af r i ket
c a n c av e c r i c

Spines on
back legs
deter attackers

B ro w
n m o u n t a i n g ra s s h o p p e r C om m p er
o n f i e l d g ra s s h o p

8 Violet-w ing
ed
gr
as
sh o p p er

crickets are wingless and cannot fly. The biggest of these underground burrows, feeding on worms, roots, and grasses.
include wetas from New Zealand. The Cook Strait giant Like real moles, it has massive front legs that work as shovels.
weta 4 is almost as large as a mouse. If it is threatened, it The oak bush cricket 6 is a hunter, while the African
raises its spiny back legs over its head, making it look ready cave cricket 7 feeds on almost anything, from bat droppings
for a fight. Most crickets and grasshoppers feed on plants, but to carrion. The huge violet-winged grasshopper 8
some species are predators and scavengers. Some others even comes from South America. Measuring up to 12 cm (5 in)
feed on their own kind. The mole cricket 5 spends its life in long, it is even bigger than some birds. 87
True bugs and
treehoppers
Insects True bugs and treehoppers

scorp b ug
T ter ed
1
i
a ad
To ad bug

on
e
ho

W
t-h
rn
r
bug

Wa
2
Nut-shaped
head

3 Common
Pe anut-he ade d bu

green shield bug Brightly


coloured
hindwings
r
Wa

Spittle

te
re

r m e as u
bug

Co m

p sid
on
ca
m
4

g r e en
g

Large eye spots


to keep away
g

Be d bu
6

predators

True bugs are a special group of insects that such as the wart-headed bug 2 , can be bigger than some
live in fresh water as well as on land. They have sharp butterflies. This bug has brightly coloured hindwings to
mouthparts for sucking up liquids. Some feed on plant sap, startle enemies that get too close. The green colour of the
while others eat blood or fluids from their partly digested common green shield bug 3 helps it to blend in among
prey. Sap-sucking bugs feed in the open, and often use leaves. Young spittle bugs 4 shelter inside nests of foam,
camouflage to hide. The thorn bug 1 has an amazingly which protect them from hungry birds. The peanut-headed
88 realistic spike that looks just like a thorn. Tropical species, bug 5 , another tropical species, has large eye spots on its
Strong claws to
overpower large prey
g
rn shield bu

Insects True bugs and treehoppers


ho
wt

Ha

7
Wh
ite
-sp
ott
ed assassin b
Co m m

ug

g
rb

on
f lo w e

8 Common
p ond skater
d bug
o o te

bug
f-f

a
Le

a t er
nt w
G ia
9

a
F i r e bu g
laya n c icad
Hima

ug
Eur

10

eb
pe
o

a n to r to is
SCALE
b ug
Bir

ch
bar k
hindwings to confuse predators. The bed bug 6 is a land. A strong swimmer, the giant water bug 9 is big
flightless parasite, which emerges after dark to suck human enough to prey on frogs and fish. It can even give humans a
blood. Many predatory bugs ambush their prey. On land they painful bite. Most bugs are silent, but some make amazingly
include the white-spotted assassin bug 7 and its many loud sounds. Male Himalayan cicadas 10 attract females
relatives. In fresh water, predatory bugs are even more by making a deafening courtship song. Like other cicadas,
common. Some, such as the common pond skater 8 , they sing when they are adult, but the rest of their lives is
live on the waters surface, attacking other insects that crash spent feeding on roots underground. 89
PRAYINGMANTIS With strange angular features and triangular heads,
praying mantises look almost like creatures from
another planet. They are instantly recognizable by their long, folded front legs, held up together as if in
prayer. These can lash out with astonishing speed to catch hold of live prey. Some species, such as this
Thai boxer praying mantis, are brightly coloured, but most blend in with their surroundings.
Size 1.215 cm (1 2 6 in) Weight up to 10 g (1 3 oz) and other mantises. Females eat males after, or even during,
Habitat Rainforests and jungles. Distribution Tropical mating. Breeding Females lay hundreds of eggs in an
areas, especially Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Also egg case stuck to a plant or buried in the ground. Eggs
South and Central America and the southern USA. Some hatch into nymphs. Lifespan 1012 months. Predators
species are also found in Europe, Central Asia, and Japan. Large birds, frogs, chameleons, snakes, bats, and monkeys.
Diet Flying insects such as moths, grasshoppers, flies, Mantises protect themselves by camouflage.
Beetles Se

4
xto

H e rc u l e s b e e t l e
n be
etle

Jewelled
frog beetle
Insects Beetles

wo
V i ol i n b e e tl e

we

T
t
po n t y - d

s
t lad y b ir
2

n-spot la

Seve

dybird
5

Eu
pho ei
lus linn

Flat body
squeezes into
tight spaces

Emus hir tus


6
W al l a c

ar
le
C

d i n al b e e t
es

ris candidip
ac
lon

en
gh

n
Ony

nis
orn
neus demo

beet

Long, feathery
mi
C ra

antennae
os
da
le

om u s r od
t
ha

With around 400,000 species, beetles make up lays eggs in these remains, so her grubs have their own
by far the largest group of insects. They start life as larvae, private food supply. The violin beetle 2 squeezes its flat
also known as grubs. Adults usually have two pairs of wings. body under tree bark, where it feeds on other insects and
Their front wings, called elytra, are specially hardened and snails. The grubs of the jewelled frog beetle 3 grow up
fit over the hindwings like a case. Beetles eat a huge range inside plant stems. Beetles vary greatly in size. While the
of different foods. The sexton beetle 1 buries the dead smallest could easily fit on the head of a pin, the biggest
92 bodies of small birds and rodents such as mice. The female kinds, such as the Hercules beetle 4 , can be more than
c k o i l b e e tl e

J e w el b e e t l e
Bla

Massive

Insects Beetles
Shiny shell
jaws to ght
appears oily
other males

ides polychrous
Sca

le
et
le t
l i l y be

r
g ged f lowe

rb
Thick-le

t le
P ol
e et le
le n e e
7

b
St

tun
ag
be

Nep
et

e
l
d beetle

G ir
a f f e - n ke d w e e
Gol

ec

Phos
phorus jansoni
v

il
tle
8Gr

ea
ee

t diving b Ant b eetle

10 Click b eetle
SCALE

9 G ol i a t h b e e tl e

15 cm (6 in) long. The seven-spot ladybird 5 feeds on in ponds and streams, where it swims with back legs that
aphids, making it a useful ally for farmers and gardeners. work like a pair of oars. It eats tadpoles and even small fish.
Wallaces longhorn beetle 6 grubs bore into living trees, Measuring up to 10 cm (4 in) long, the goliath beetle 9 is
while stag beetle 7 grubs live in rotting wood. They stay the heaviest insect in the world. Its grubs can weigh up to
hidden for up to six years, before turning into adults. Adult 100 g (31 2 oz). Beneath the soils surface, click beetle 10
males fight with their antler-shaped jaws and the winner grubs, known as wireworms, chew their way through roots.
gets a chance to mate. The great diving beetle 8 is found They can cause serious damage to crops. 93
Butterflies
and moths
Insects Butterflies and moths

r
ge
i
G a rd e n t

h
1

ot
A d o n i s bl u e m
Wa

l ic D iva
l

hs
owl moth
Male has feathery
antennae
2 Que en cra c ker Sn o u t m o t h
Re
ge nt skipp e r

ia p ie
ral n m a g
mo t h
A us t

ollo
Ap

Blu e
e t r i a n gl
Blue t

O a k e g ga r ar o lu me
h

ps ep
oth

ascan
m
t
W hi

oth
ag
suns et mo

es m

d
Ma Blue band on
upper side of
l
rcu
4

each wing
He
th

5
C o p p er

o p a t ra

x-s
Si

et

o t bur n dy
y

C le

p s p h an i a
Unlike other insects, butterflies and moths are their wings when they fly as a way of marking their territory.
covered with thousands of tiny scales, which create vivid Apollo 3 butterflies often live in cold climates on mountains,
patterns. Butterflies are often brightly coloured, while moths but far more butterflies and moths come from warm parts
are usually drab. Most moths, including Wallichs owl of the world. Often mistaken for a butterfly, the beautiful
moth 1 , fly by night and use their camouflaged markings Madagascan sunset moth 4 is a daytime flyer. The
to hide during the day, but some fly by day and have eye- Hercules moth 5 is one of the largest species, measuring
94 catching wings. Male queen cracker 2 butterflies click up to 34 cm (13 in) across. From Papua New Guinea,
6
Qu
e en

Insects Butterflies and moths


A
lexandras birdw ing
P u r pl e e m p e ro r ra g o
nd

nt
e
G re

Hornet colouring ail


deters predators
or
n e t mot
H

T ig e C lar
7 r p ie r i d as s atin moth
Mo
n a rc h b u t t e r f ly Gu
ava s k i p p er

Sm al
8

l po
Indian

stm
n

a
l e a f bu

B ig
g r e asy butt e r f ly
tt e r f
ly

False eyes
Pol
frighten attackers
yp

9 Silk moth he
Narrow tail mus mot h
mimics leaf stalk Sm a moon mo
p p er th
American

l l co
R aja
h Br

10
o ok
es
b ir

i l lar y
D u ke o

Long
dw

hindwing tail
ing

fB
it

u rg u n d y f r

Queen Alexandras birdwing 6 is the worlds biggest butterflies 8 are easy to spot with their wings open, but
butterfly with a wingspan of up to 31 cm (12 in). It flies high look just like dead leaves with them closed. Silk moths 9
up, and in the past collectors used shotguns to knock it out of have been bred in captivity for thousands of years. Silk is
the trees. The North American monarch butterfly 7 is the made by unwinding the cocoons that shelter their caterpillars.
greatest traveller, flying 4,500 km (2,800 miles) from Mexico The American moon moth 10 lives for less than a week as
as far north as Canada to breed. When winter comes, it flies an adult. Like many other moths, it only eats as a caterpillar.
all the way back again to escape the cold. Indian leaf Adults do not have working mouths. 95
11 Pur eu
p le mor t bl

ly
Blu
e

rf
nig e
h t b u tt

SCALE
Insects Butterflies and moths

i lv
ot

h
S
e r- a c arp ent er
m A c ac i moth
host
sp ot 12
t ed g
W h i t e ad

La
rg e e e ra l d
mi

al th m
st mo
r

ng gho 13 Tiger swallowtail


n t-w i
B e

D r in
ke
mo

r
th

Narrow tail
r s mes
me
on hindwing
en
Cra

Ili
a unde r w i ng
14
Zeb r
C air n

a
s w al lo w t ail
s b ir
Ele

h
ot

dw

ha
nt hawk m
p

i ng

t ail
ll ow 16 Sca r tail
S wa ce s w al l o w
15

Ca Bl
lifo ce ack ite
r n i a d o g -f a - v e in e d w h

Butterflies and moths live their lives in four The tiger swallowtail 13 from North America lays its
stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult. The caterpillar eggs on many kinds of plants, but the zebra swallowtail 14
stage is the main feeding period, and butterflies and moths always picks out pawpaw trees. The swallowtail 15 and
are often very choosy about their food. The purple mort scarce swallowtail 16 have caterpillars with inflatable
bleu 11 , from Central and South America, grows up on coloured horns. The horns suddenly appear if the caterpillar
bamboo leaves, while in Australia caterpillars of the acacia is touched, and they have a repulsive smell that helps to keep
96 carpenter moth 12 bore their way into wattle or acacia trees. predators away. The common morpho 17 , from Central
ro
ea
B

k
wn h
airstr B u f f- t i p

18

Insects Butterflies and moths


A tl a s
Metallic blue
upperwings

m
La
pp et moth

oth
17
C ommon

Transparent
windows on
all four wings

Ar

le
ge
nt and s ab
rph mo

19
Ve r d a n t s p h i n x
o

Long, oval-shaped
forewings

Sm
Pine-tree l

20
Ow al l w h i te
lb
ut
te

rf
ap

ly
u
r

ra
p

ph
O

et
ng
e - b a r re d s u l
i pp a Sp
on
t Agr ani
sh fe s t o
G ian
21

Forewings much
longer than
Son
hindwings o ra n b l u e

False eyes
on hindwings

Red patches on
forewings scare
off predators
an
Gi

th

S ch O ra o
u l z e s a g r i a s nge tip t le
o p a rd m
and South America, has striking, bright blue wings. The streamlined abdomens help these moths to attain top speeds
butterfly was once collected for use in jewellery because of more than 35 kph (22 mph). The owl butterfly 20 gets
its blue colour does not fade even after it has died. The huge its name from the huge eyespots on its hindwings. They
Atlas moth 18 , found in Southeast Asia, has the largest wing give it a scary face, making birds think twice before risking
area of any butterfly or moth. At over 400 cm2 (62 sq in), it is an attack. The giant Agrippa 21 has the biggest wingspan
the size of a dinner plate. The verdant sphinx 19 and its of any insect. The largest giant Agrippa moth on record
relatives are some of the fastest fliers. Narrow wings and measured 36 cm (14 in) from tip to tip. 97
SLUGMOTHCATERPILLAR Butterflies and moths begin
life as wingless larvae called
caterpillars. Some of these are hard to spot but others, such as this slug moth caterpillar from Papua
New Guinea, are brightly coloured and bizarrely shaped. You might expect such a colourful creature to
develop into an equally striking adult, but fully developed slug moths are often dull in colour.
Size Variable, but small Habitat Lowland forest, swamps, figs. Some species are seen as pests as they eat crops.
and mangroves. Distribution Tropical, subtropical, and some Breeding Caterpillars retreat into hard, round cocoons, from
temperate areas, including the eastern USA, sub-Saharan which they emerge as adult moths. Adults mate and lay eggs
Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Australasia. Diet In that will hatch into new caterpillars. Predators Parasitic
many species adults have no mouthparts. They do all their flies and wasps. Pest species may be killed by humans.
eating as caterpillars, devouring the leaves of plants such as Number of species About 1,000 slug moth species.
Flies

SCALE
Insects Flies

St M a r k
Elongated
1 Hous e f ly front of ly sf
head an ef ly
ars h cr
4 M
Sy

rp
sii

hu s r i be
2 B l u e b o tt l e f l
y
Single pair
of wings
3 M o s quit o

hs nip e f ly
Sic

ars
us

f er Long, fragile legs M


rug Long tongue
i ne for feeding
at owers
r hous e
ss e
us

f
Le

ly
Slender
ly abdomen
ef
Be
5

f ly
ah t set se
e f ly Sa va n n
on
7
Dr
6 B at f ly

m idge
er
zz
F le sh f ly
Bu

Sticky body
helps to carry
pollen to plants
Flat, wingless body

Flies include some of the worlds most helpful in mid-air. The humble house fly 1 is the best-known of
insects, as well as some of the most harmful ones. Many these insects, with an annoying habit of flying indoors. It eats
of them have bristly bodies, and most have just one pair of anything sweet and spreads germs as it feeds. The bluebottle
wings. In place of the rear wings, they have a pair of tiny fly 2 lays its eggs on meat and carrion, which its maggots
knobs. These work like an aircrafts gyroscopes, keeping burrow into, eating as they go. Mosquitoes 3 have sharp
the fly stable in the air so it can perform extreme aerobatics. mouthparts and drink blood by piercing the skin of other
100 These include landing upside down and hovering steadily animals. In some parts of the world they carry parasites
8
G ian
Long, exible
snout for stabbing
and sucking prey

t blu
e r ob b e
f ly

Insects Flies
ed
St al k- ey

r f ly
9

ro ot f ly
ge

a
C abb
10 B a n d e d b ro w n h o r s e
f ly

F o re s t f l y

Legs with
strong claws

ta
na
gi
ar

am 11
Mo

ur Tim
ty
t

be
hf

rf
Pl a
ly

ly
Dark cloud
on wing
Leu
co
zona le ucor

um Dumpy
Ma ly
ver f
rm a abdomen
lade ho
that can cause malaria and other killer diseases. The marsh robber fly 8 from Australia grabs other insects on the wing,
crane fly 4 has extra-long legs that break off if it is and flies with a distinctive buzzing sound. Male stalk-eyed
touched. Bee flies 5 do a useful job by pollinating flowers. flies 9 have bizarre heads with eyes set far apart. In the
The bat fly 6 has no wings. It does not need them because breeding season, males stand head to head, and the one with
it spends its adult life in the fur of bats. Drone flies 7 are the widest eyes wins. The banded brown horsefly 10 bites
very good at mimicking honey bees. Like bee flies, they horses, and sometimes humans, too, but timber flies 11 are
are effective pollinators. The awesome-looking giant blue harmless and do not feed at all as adults. 101
Bees, wasps, W o o d ant

and ants
Insects Bees, wasps, and ants

bee Tip Egg-laying


1 H o n ey h i i d w asp tube
fl
i d s aw y
b ic
m

Ci
t wo o d w as p
G i an

nt
ya
rm

2 A
Bristly
leg

4
ea

L
f- c u tt er ant
ee
te rb
p en
t c ar
3 G re a

5 F i re a n t
Sw

Ro s e s a w f l y at
e

be
e

C h al c i d w a s p

Pe
rg
id s a
w f ly

Bees and their relatives are very useful insects. and care for the young. Army ants 2 also live together but
Although many of them pack a painful sting, they help do not make a permanent home. Instead, millions of them
farmers by pollinating crops and killing pests. Apart from rush across the rainforest floor, grabbing small animals with
sawflies, they all have slender waists and most have two pairs their powerful jaws. The great carpenter bee 3 feeds on
of transparent wings. Honey bees 1 live in nests containing nectar from flowers, and lays its eggs in tunnels in dead wood.
thousands of workers ruled by a single queen. The queen lays Like other bees, it uses its sting only if attacked. Leaf-cutter
102 the eggs, while the worker bees build the nest, collect food, ants 4 make giant nests underground, and feed on a special
sp
mo th w a
6 Mam

O rc
hi
db
ee

Insects Bees, wasps, and ants


Extra-long
tongue

Slender
waist

Spl e

p
was
7

nd
de

ld
C om
m e ra

i
Long
antennae

mon
p l e g al l w w asp
ap
O ak

8
asp
P las terer b
ee

Pt
Hornt ail

e ro s p
malid wa
10

Fur like
bristles
SCALE

Egg-laying
be
e

Bu
9

ff-t e
aile d b u mbl
tube

fungus which they grow on chewed-up leaves. These ants are young. Plasterer bees 8 and buff-tailed bumblebees 9
harmless, but some others are not. Tropical fire ants 5 have nest in the ground. Plasterer bees waterproof the walls of
a vicious sting that feels worse than a burn. The mammoth their nests with a fluid from their bodies. Bumblebees have
wasp 6 is a predator. It paralyzes the grubs of scarab furry insulation which lets them fly in the cold days of early
beetles and lays eggs on their bodies, so its young have a spring. They are good crop pollinators. The horntail 10 looks
private food supply. Common wasps 7 make papery nests, dangerous, but cannot sting. Females lay their eggs in pine
and help to get rid of pests by hunting insects to feed their trees, and their grubs feed by chewing through wood. 103
Fish
Fish were the first vertebrates to evolve. They live underwater and their
streamlined bodies are adapted for speedy swimming. They breathe
by absorbing oxygen from the water through their gills. Fish have
a special extra sense, using organs along their sides to detect
vibrations in the water.

Tail Most fish use their tails


to power themselves through the
water. This lionfish can use its tail
to stay steady in the water, so it
can hang motionless, ready to
ambush passing prey.
Fins Fish fins consist of bony spines
Animals
linked by membranes. The fish uses them
Fish
to steer its body through the water. In some
species they are adapted for other purposes
such as burrowing into mud or sand to hide.
This lionfish can inject venom through
spines in some of its fins.
Features

Mostly lay eggs


to reproduce

Live
underwater

Absorb oxygen
from the water
Re using gills
dl
io
nfi
sh

Swim with
the help of
fins and a tail

Are mostly
cold-blooded

Gills Like all animals, fish need oxygen to survive,


which they absorb from the water using gills. As the
fish swims, water constantly flows across a stack of
fine membranes inside the gills, through which
oxygen passes into the fishs bloodstream.
Sharks, rays,
and skates
Fish Sharks, rays, and skates

1 Fr ille d shark
SCALE

Undulate
ra
y
ill shark
Blunt n o s e s i xg
2
3Sp o

ed
tt

ra t
fish
Parallel
gill slits
Tail n almost half
of body length
te

hant fish chim


B l u e s ka

p
E le ae r a shark
4 ra
5
Ze b
ay
le r

c k ra y
ba
e ag

Co
Th o r

y
6

a i l ra
Blu
ed

m mo
n s t i n g ra y ont
-s ibb
ott

p o t ted r
Sp

a ra y
7

a nt
m
nt
8
G ia

Ha
l ler ay
s round r
Flap funnels
plankton into
mouth

Razor-sharp teeth and powerful jaws make replaced throughout their lives. Their relatives chimaeras,
sharks the most fearsome hunters in the seas. Like skates and a group of blunt-headed fish, have teeth that last the whole
rays, they have skeletons made of cartilage or gristle. Frilled of their lives. The spotted ratfish 3 and elephant fish
sharks 1 and bluntnose sixgill sharks 2 live in deep chimaera 4 use their flat teeth for crushing molluscs and
water, but many other sharks live near the surface, in open crabs. Some sharks have to swim non-stop to breathe, but
water or close to the shore. Most sharks have a streamlined zebra sharks 5 spend the day resting on the seabed, waking
106 body and several rows of sharp teeth, which are constantly up to hunt after dark. Skates and rays have wing-like front fins
h
f is
h s aw
t o ot
al l
9 Sm Nurs e shark

Fish Sharks, rays, and skates


Snout can sense prey
buried in seabed

shark
10 L o n gn o s e s a w

Sensory barbels used


to detect vibrations
Wing-like
front ns

d d ev i
S an l

Brownish grey colour


acts as camouage
on the ocean oor

Ma ra
y

rbl e
d el e c t r i c

E p a ul
ette c at shark

and mouths on their undersides. Some kinds, including the Measuring up to 9 m (30 ft) across, this colossal but harmless
common stingray 6 , have a venomous spine in their tails. fish is the largest ray in the world, with an exceptionally big
Accidentally treading on these fish can be very dangerous. In brain. The smalltooth sawfish 9 is a rare and unusual ray
some cases, a single jab from a spine can kill a person. Rays with a toothed snout like a saw. It uses this to dig up animals
swim by beating their front fins like a birds wings. The spotted in the seabed and to slash at other fish that come nearby. The
eagle ray 7 feeds on seabed animals, while the giant manta longnose sawshark 10 looks similar, but is much smaller,
ray 8 scoops up plankton as it flies through the open sea. with two barbels, or feelers, attached to its snout. 107
12 Gre at white shar
k

11
Sho
r tf
in
ma
ko

gfish
P ike d do

Large, saw-like teeth


for ripping apart prey

Blac Kitefin shark


kno
se
sha
rk

Large
dorsal n

St a r r y d
smo oth-houn

ark
13 Blue sh
Sharply pointed
snout

15 Sm o o t h h a m
me
rhe
SCALE

ad

Pectoral ns act
14 k
t shar
as stabilizers
Small-spotte d ca

Some of the worlds biggest sharks roam the this gigantic and much-feared predator typically attacks from
open seas. The shortfin mako 11 is one of the fastest of below, and sometimes bursts out of the water as it slams into
these tireless hunters. In short bursts, it can swim at more its prey. The beautifully streamlined blue shark 13 travels
than 70 kph (43 mph). Makos feed mainly on fast-swimming thousands of kilometres a year, between the places where
fish and squid, but the great white shark 12 has a taste for it feeds and the places where it breeds. Like most large sharks
seals, dolphins, and occasionally humans, too. Growing up it gives birth to live young. Small-spotted catsharks 14
108 to 7 m (24 ft) in length, and weighing as much as 2 tonnes, and their relatives lay eggs with leathery cases. Called
Highly exible tail
used to stun prey
ark
Horn sh
16
Po r
t Jacks on shark

17

Fish Sharks, rays, and skates


18
Th r
e sh er s h a r k

Light and dark


shading hides
shark from above
and below

S h a r p n o s e s eve n g i l l s h a r k

k
tip re ef shar Tail with two
rk

Whit e equal-sized
ha

20 blades
fs

e
p re
k ti
19 Blac

21 B ul l s h a r k

mermaids purses, they can take over a year to hatch. The thresher shark 18 is an open-water predator. Its extra-long
smooth hammerhead 15 belongs to a family of sharks with tail works like a whip, stunning other fish and making them
strange T-shaped heads. Its eyes are at each end of the head, easy to catch. Blacktip reef sharks 19 and whitetip reef
enabling it to see all around as it swims. Port Jackson sharks 20 rarely harm humans, but the bull shark 21 is a
sharks 16 and horn sharks 17 live on the seabed. They notorious man-eater, with a habit of swimming up rivers and
have downward-facing mouths and flat back teeth, which cruising close to the shore. Despite its size, up to 3.4 m (11 ft)
crunch up molluscs and other hard-bodied animals. The long, it can hunt in water just 1 m (3 ft) deep. 109
WHALESHARK By far the largest fish in the world, the whale shark
has a huge mouth that stretches almost as wide as its
whole body, armed with up to 300 rows of tiny teeth. However, despite its fearsome appearance,
this gentle giant feeds on plankton. In fact, it is often followed by shoals of smaller fish that keep
the shark clean by eating bacteria and debris from its mouth.
Size 712 m (2340 ft). Some may grow even larger. gills to filter out the food. Breeding The female carries
Weight Up to 181 2 tonnes Habitat Tropical and warm up to 300 embryos and gives birth to live young. Lifespan
temperate seas. They migrate thousands of kilometres Unknown but thought to be up to 150 years. Predators
every year. Distribution Pacific, South Atlantic, and Indian Adults have no enemies except humans. Other sharks,
Oceans. Diet Plankton, small fish, and crustaceans. Whale sailfish, and killer whales may attack the young.
sharks feed by taking in water then pushing it through their Conservation status Vulnerable due to hunting.
Saltwater fish
Fish Saltwater fish

h
1 Sp ott e d b oxf is

White -sp ott e d puffer Body swollen


with water

2 Long-s ish
p i n e p o rc u p i n e f
War ty f ro gf ish

Spiny front
fins can grip
seaweed

3
C lo w n t r i g g er f i sh

Sa
4

Large mouth has


rga blunt teeth adapted
s sumf ish for crushing prey
el

rd en e
y Sp o t t e d g a
ra
ra mo
5 Ze b

Tail burrows into


sand as anchor

Saltwater fish come in a mind-boggling variety swallows lots of water and turns into a prickly ball. The
of shapes, sizes, and colours, and scientists discover many new clown triggerfish 3 lives in the Indian and Pacific Oceans
kinds every year. Rays and sharks have rubbery (cartilaginous) and jams itself in coral reefs if danger comes its way. It feeds
skeletons, but most saltwater fish have bony skeletons and are by crunching up sea urchins and other hard-shelled animals.
covered in scales. The spotted boxfishs 1 scales fit together The sargassumfish 4 lives in floating seaweed around the
like armour plating, while the long-spine porcupinefish 2 world. Even in broad daylight, its incredible camouflage
112 has scales with sharp spines. If it feels threatened, this fish makes it almost impossible to see. The zebra moray 5
6 Ne e dlef ish
Var ie gate d lizardfish

Fish Saltwater fish


St r i p e d e
el c a t f i s h

P i n e a p pl e f i s h

Longs
p i n e d b ul l h e a d

F ly in Crowne d squir relf ish


ish

gg f
ur
n 7 Re d l i o n Camouflage
imitates rock
ar
d

Upturned

Yellow se ahorse
mouth sucks
in smaller fish

9
8
St o n
ef ish

on
g
e d y s e a d ra

Tail winds
Sm h
around
al l s c a
le s corp ionf is solid objects

10 C oral t oadfish
We

Extra-large ns for
gliding over seabed
SCALE

Trump etf ish

comes out to feed at night. To firmly grip its prey, it has a can give humans a lethal jab with its venomous spines. The
second set of jaws in its throat, which can spring forward yellow seahorse 9 swims with its body upright. Like other
into its mouth. Needlefish 6 live near the surface of the seahorses it is one of the worlds slowest fish, with a maximum
sea. Large specimens have been known to spear people by speed of just a few metres an hour. Male coral toadfish 10
jumping on to boats. The red lionfishs 7 striped colours make strange grunting or whistling sounds to attract females.
warn predators that this fish is venomous. It defends itself After the females have laid their eggs, the males guard them
by spreading out its poison-tipped fins. The stonefish 8 until the young fish hatch and swim away. 113
SCALE

sh
lf i
ge
r an
e ro
Fish Saltwater fish

p
11 Em

12 B ande d a
rc h e
r f is
h

R o y a l g ra m m a
f ish
an g el
Long dorsal fin
Ro y a l ea g re
nm
raised like a sail ow
Br
h
ch lf is
O

re - na
st r ip e d c a rd i

Butter f ly blenny

m
b re a
d se a
o tte
e- sp
13
Blu
bl u e
der-
ow onf ish
P ge
ur
14
s

o s e hawkf is
ngn h
Lo
15
C lo
wn a ish Slender body
nemone f fits in burrow

Re d m u l l e t Fleshy barbels help


detect buried prey

More fish live on coasts and coral reefs than seabream 13 eats animals on the seabed, while the beautiful
anywhere else in the seas. The emperor angelfish 11 and powder-blue surgeonfish 14 feeds mainly on algae and
its relatives are some of the most colourful reef-dwellers underwater plants. Surgeonfish look harmless, but when
with vivid markings that change as they mature. Banded attacked they fight back using two sharp blades on either
archerfish 12 live in estuaries in Southeast Asia. They look side of their tails. The clown anemonefish 15 hides in
for insects on overhanging branches and knock them off by the tentacles of sea anemones. Unlike other fish, it is not
114 squirting a jet of water from their mouths. The blue-spotted harmed by their stings. Common bluestripe snappers 16
Har
le q
uin
sw p er
e 16 C o m m o n bl u e s t r i p e s n a p

et

Fish Saltwater fish


lip
s
ish
Bold pattern 17
Harle quin tuskf
camouflages eyes

h
efis
Blu

18 M e d i t e r r a n e a n p a r ro t f i s h
19 A tl a n ti c m u d s k i p p er

Foxface rabbitfish

Re d b a n d f i s h

20
Alb
acore
tuna
live on coral reefs. They move in fast-swimming shoals by mangrove swamps where they climb up roots or hop across
day, dispersing at night to feed. Harlequin tuskfish 17 flip the mud. Their front fins work like stubby legs, and they can
stones over with their teeth to get at small animals hiding survive out of the water by breathing air through their skin.
underneath. The Mediterranean parrotfish 18 crunches The albacore tuna 20 belongs to a family of high-speed
up food with its beak-shaped mouth. Like many other swimmers with muscle-packed bodies and long, razor-like
parrotfish it starts out life as female, but may change into fins. Unlike most fish, tunas are warm-blooded, and can
a male as it grows older. Atlantic mudskippers 19 live in hurtle through water at up to 80 kph (50 mph). 115
SCALE 21 S h o re ro c k l i n g
Fish Saltwater fish

Snake-like body

Three fins
on back

Slippery body
without scales

G u n n el
t
r bo
Tu
23

l
ma ckere
22 A tl a n ti c

24
Upper side Le s ish Sm al l s
camouflaged s e r w e ever f a n d e el
against seabed

Sea fish thrive in cold water because it is often live on the seabed. Very young flatfish look like other fish.
full of food. Shore rocklings 21 search for shrimps and crabs As they grow up, one eye moves around their heads until, as
in rock pools using sensitive whiskers or barbels. Atlantic adults, they swim on one side with both eyes facing up. The
mackerels 22 live in the open sea. Like tunas they have lesser weeverfish 24 also lives on the bottom, with its body
muscle-packed bodies and a streamlined shape for speeding half-buried near the shore. This venomous fish has spines on its
through the water. They have to keep swimming, as they rely back, which it raises to defend itself against predators. It can
116 on the flow of water to breathe. Turbot 23 and other flatfish even give humans a painful sting. Sockeye salmon 25 spend
25
Soc
keye
s al
mo
n
Large eyes give
good vision

Fish Saltwater fish


26
Jo
hn

Do
ry
27 A tl a
n ti c
co d

Jaws extend
to catch prey

Fleshy barbel
on chin

28 A tl a n ti c h e
rr i
ng
Pe r u
v i a n a n c h ove t a

Alli
s sh
ad
Both eyes on right-hand
side, which always
faces upwards

e
p laic
e an
30
p

Com
ro

m
Eu

n
29

so
le

their adult lives in the northern Pacific Ocean but return to 5 million eggs every time they breed, but their numbers have
fresh water to breed. In some rivers, thousands of sockeyes plummeted due to overfishing. Herrings are some of the most
fight their way upstream, creating a feast for fish-eating eagles common fish in seas. A single shoal can contain more than a
and bears. The John Dory 26 looks big when seen from the billion members, attracting predators such as seals, whales, and
side, but it is good at sneaking up on other fish because its body larger fish. The European plaice 29 and common sole 30
is as thin as a human hand. The Atlantic cod 27 and Atlantic are two flatfish that are highly prized as food. Both of them
herring 28 are often fished for food. Cod can produce often hide on the seabed by covering themselves with sand. 117
BLACK-STRIPEDSALEMA These tropical sh are found in
waters around the Galpagos
Islands. They form huge schools of hundreds or thousands. When a predator approaches, the school
bunches into a tight cluster known as a bait ball. By swarming together, splitting, and changing
direction in a ash, these sh try to confuse predators, making it difcult for them to attack.
Size Up to 30 cm (12 in) long Habitat Reefs and rocky without scales or fins, which slowly develop into young
areas in shallow waters. They gather in large shoals during fish. Predators Dolphins, seals, penguins, and sharks.
the day, but disperse at night. Distribution Eastern Pacific Conservation status Vulnerable due to changes in its
Ocean, only around the Galapagos Islands. Diet Plankton environment. Recently, a weather system called El Nio has
and fish larvae Breeding The female releases eggs that disrupted the oceans around the Galapagos, increasing water
float freely in the ocean. These eggs hatch into tiny larvae temperatures, which may affect fish like these.
Deep-sea fish
mon fangt
Fish Deep-sea fish

1 2
C om oo
Tr i pod f ish th

istlemouth
Br

ic hatchetfi
cif
Pa

sh

Elongated rays
form a tripod

3
Or
an
ge
Lure can be held ro u
in front of mouth g hy

N o r t h er n s t o p l i g h t l o o s e j a w

f ish
b al l
ot
4
Fo
Giant
super-exible
jaws

Tiny lights or
photophores
on both sides
Vip e r f i s h

The deep sea is dark, silent, and bitterly depths of up to 5,000 m (16,400 ft). It feeds on smaller fish,
cold. The fish that live here have evolved strange shapes grabbing them with its needle-like fangs and swallowing
to survive. Food is hard to find, so deep-sea fish cannot them whole. The orange roughy 3 gathers over ocean
waste any chance to catch a meal. The tripodfish 1 perches ridges and underwater mountains. It grows very slowly
above the seabed, propped up by three long rays that stick and can live to be 150 years old. Footballfish 4 attract
out from its fins. It faces into the current and catches small their prey using luminous lures that dangle in front of their
120 animals that drift by. The common fangtooth 2 lives at mouths. If other fish come near to investigate, they are
5 Pa c if ic grena d i er

o u s l a n t er nf i
Lumin sh
6 Black sw
al l o w e r

N a r ro w n e c k
ed o l a n t er nf i
cea
nic p otte d sh
S
ee
l

ish
Pr
ick Slender ns
ly lant e rnf held above
body

7
F e el
e r f ish

Sail-shaped
dorsal n

Pe a r l f i s h
ish
se lan cetf
8 Longno

Long, whip-like tail

9 Pe l i c a n e e l
SCALE

instantly sucked inside. Female footballfish really are fins are thin and whiskery and work like antennae for
as big as footballs, but the males are tiny and often fasten sensing food. The longnose lancetfish 8 is a daily
themselves to the females as parasites. The Pacific visitor to the deeps. It hides in the dark by day, coming
grenadier 5 cruises over the ocean floor, gently rippling closer to the surface to feed when night falls. The pelican
its long, rat-like tail, while the black swallower 6 has a eel 9 has enormous jaws but tiny teeth. It uses its mouth like
super-stretchy stomach and can gulp down prey larger than a scoop to catch its prey. Like the black swallower, it has an
itself. Feelerfish 7 stay close to the ocean floor. Their front expandable stomach to deal with over-sized meals. 121
Freshwater fish
s unf ish
re en
1 G oldf ish G

Clo
wn
l
oa

Extra-large
ch

decorative scales

2
Ko i
ca
rp

c h
Ten
3 Glass c atf ish
Br
ow
n bu
llhe a
d

4 kerel
Ti g e r n p ic
s h ove
lno s e 5 Chai
cat f is
h

Sensitive barbels
to probe for food

G iant
whipt ail c atf ish
Fish live in a huge variety of freshwater including the goldfish 1 and koi carp 2 , have been raised
habitats, from lakes and rivers to streams and ponds. They in captivity for hundreds of years. There are many varieties
can be found in hot springs where the water temperature is of both these fish, and the rarest koi carp can be worth more
a steamy 40C (104F), and in chilly caves hundreds of than $1 million. Catfish are common freshwater fish,
metres underground. The smallest fish, even the fully grown particularly where the water is murky or the current is slow.
ones, are not much bigger than a grain of rice, while the The glass catfish 3 from Southeast Asia has a transparent
122 biggest are as long as a family car. Some freshwater fish, body. The South American tiger shovelnose catfish 4 has
This cave-dwelling
species has no eyes

ho dus 6
stic Re d p

Fish Freshwater fish


Longsnout di M e x i c a n t e t ra i ra n h a

dlef ish Mudminnow


an p ad
7 A m er i c

8 Ti g er f i s h
Prominent jaw
with sharp teeth

tc
r ha he tf i
ve St r i p
e d an o s t o m u s
sh
Ri

9 Europ e an e el

Large rear ns
help the sh to
hover in one spot
SCALE

long barbels that probe the riverbed for food. The chain ferocious, but it feeds only on tiny animals filtered out by its
pickerel 5 is an ambush hunter. It lurks in the shallows and gills. Tigerfish 8 are fierce predators from Africas rivers.
lunges at other fish with a powerful flick of its tail. The red They are famous for putting up a tremendous fight if hooked.
piranha 6 from South America usually eats fish, worms, The European eel 9 is a long-distance migrant. It spawns in
and crustaceans, but a large group of red piranhas can the Sargasso Sea, in the North Atlantic Ocean, and its tiny
attack big mammals, stripping away chunks of flesh with young travel all the way back to Europes rivers, an epic
their razor-sharp teeth. The American paddlefish 7 looks journey of up to 6,000 km (3,700 miles). 123
Long lower
h a n t n o s e f i sh
jaw used to
probe for food 10
E lep
SCALE

Chip okae kn i fe f i s h
Cl own

11
E le c
t r ic
e el
Mouth can
gulp air in
stagnant water

12
F ou r e ye d f i
sh

Slippery skin
without scales

b ot
Bur

Large mouth
e d c t en o p o m
ott
with strong jaws
Sp a

s e f i g h ti n A rc t i c c h a r
me rafish 14
Ze b
gf
Si a

Thin, rounded tail


ish
13

Many freshwater fish have special skills that foureyed fish 12 has eyes that are divided into two, letting
help them to survive. The elephantnose fish 10 from it see clearly above and below the waterline. Siamese
tropical Africa lives in murky rivers. It finds its way by giving fighting fish 13 are small but famously aggressive. When
off weak electric signals and probes for food using its long two males clash, they sometimes fight to the death. Far away
lower jaw. The electric eel 11 from South America uses from the tropics, the Arctic char 14 lives in icy rivers and
electricity to find and kill prey. It can give a jolt of up to cold lakes. It is one of the worlds most northerly freshwater
124 650 volts, enough to knock a person off their feet. The fish, surviving as close as 800 km (500 miles) from the North
an perch
Eu ro p e

Fish Freshwater fish


15

il apia
16 Nile t
h
f is
lung
Af r ic an
17

Blade-shaped tail

ut
18 R a i n b o w t ro

Thread-like
front ns

19 Longno s e gar

Pole. The European perch 15 is a patient predator, lying that can dry out for months at a time. They seal themselves
in wait for its prey. It lays eggs in long ribbons and fastens up in cocoons of mud and survive by breathing air. The
them to underwater plants. A distant relative of the European rainbow trout 18 originally came from North America
perch, the African Nile tilapia 16 breeds in a very different but has been introduced into lakes and rivers in many other
way. The female scoops up her eggs, up to 2,000 at a time, parts of the world for food and sport. Another American
and holds them in her mouth until they hatch and her young fish, the longnose gar 19 bursts out of hiding to stab
swim away. African lungfish 17 live in lakes and swamps other fish with its needle-sharp teeth. 125
Amphibians
Amphibians spend part of their lives in the water and part on
land. Some kinds undergo metamorphosis, like many invertebrates,
starting out as water-based tadpoles with gills and evolving into
air-breathing adults. They need fresh water to survive, and
many species are threatened with extinction due to pollution,
disease, and destruction of their habitat.

Poison glands Many species


of amphibian secrete a poisonous
slime from glands in their skin.
This helps to keep them moist as
well as to deter predators. Some
amphibians simply taste nasty,
while others, like this cane toad,
can be deadly to some predators.

Skin Amphibians have


permeable skin, so water
can pass outwards and
evaporate. This means they
mostly live in water or in
damp areas to stop their
bodies from drying out.
Animals

Amphibians

Features

Usually lay eggs


to reproduce

Have moist
skin, and may
die if they
dry out

Often spend
much of their
lives in water

Some hatch as
tadpoles, and
change shape to
become adults
Ca
ne
to
ad
Are cold-
blooded

Legs Some amphibians only


have legs as adults. These
kinds hatch out from eggs as
tadpoles, tiny swimming
creatures with tails. As the
tadpoles mature, legs grow
out of their bodies and their
tails shrink and disappear.
Frogs and
toads
Tongue ips out
to catch prey
Amphibians Frogs and toads

A grub makes
a tasty morsel

1
L e m u r f ro g

3 Austr
al i an
gre e
n tr e ef
r
2

og
G ia

Loose skin soaks


up water for use
nt

in dry conditions
b ro a d

Fr
in ge
-l i
mb
-he ad

ed
tre
ef r
og
e d treef ro

Suckers on
g
all toes
f ro
ee
g

tr

ed
ad
he
e-
4 Amazon mi lk f rog

qu
cas
O r a n g e - l e g g e d l e a f f ro g tan
Yuca

f rog
n ed
P a ra d o x i c a s hor
I sl a n d
5
l fr og n
mo
olo

6 S
SCALE

Frogs and toads look very different to other climber with slender, sucker-tipped toes. The giant broad-
amphibians, with their stubby bodies and long back legs. headed treefrog 2 lives in South American forests. It
Frogs are usually sleek and slippery, but most toads have dry, clings to tree trunks and branches, while the Australian
warty skin. Nearly all of these animals start life as tadpoles, green treefrog 3 sometimes climbs into houses, where it
changing shape as they grow up. The lemur frog 1 from makes itself at home in water tanks and kitchen sinks. The
Central America hunts insects by night and hides under Amazon milk frog 4 lays its eggs in rain-filled tree-holes.
128 leaves during the day. Like other treefrogs, it is an expert It lives high in the treetops and hardly ever comes to the
7
Eur
op
ea
nc
ll

a
om Go

8
lden mante

m
on
to a
d

El
eg
an
tM
da

a
gas
can f rog

9Ma
stubfo
Guyana n

l ay
Eyes with slit-shaped
ot toad

an
pupils detect small,

tre
moving prey

et
10
Ca

oa
ne

d
to
ad
R aucous t
o ad

Warts on males
skin develop dark,
sharp spines in the
breeding season

er j a c k t o a d
Natt

ground. The South American paradoxical frog 5 spends its The rare golden mantella 8 frog from Madagascar is
life in lakes and pools. It gets its name from its monster brilliantly coloured, warning predators that it has poison-
tadpoles, which are up to four times the adults length. The covered skin. The Malayan tree toad 9 is one of the few
Solomon Islands horned frog 6 has a pointed snout and true toads that lives off the ground. The enormous cane
horn-like projections above its eyes, camouflaging it perfectly toad 10 gulps down mice and even snakes. Originally from
among fallen leaves. The European common toad 7 hunts Central America, this ravenous predator has become a major
all kinds of small animals, including beetles, snails, and slugs. pest in Australia and other parts of the world. 129
C om m o n p arsl e
yf

ro
B ra t
p o is z il-n u ro g

g
on- dar t f
Amphibians Frogs and toads

g
13
g

f ro
ro

G ra
nf nu

Ye l l

g
o

rt
lar a

f ro
m
m n- dar
t f ro g p oison- d

o
co is o

w-
ba

rt
an po nde da
op
e de
n
D ye i n g d p oison-
r p o is o
G ol
Eu n- d
11
a
12

rt
f ro g
g
14
E d i b l e f ro
Circular
eardrums Th
behind eyes p o re e -str ip e d
is on
- d a r t f ro g

16
Ame
r ic
an
bu

15 W o o d f ro g
llf r
og
SCALE

ra f r o g
ga
n
Tu

Toads usually move by crawling, but frogs away. The golden poison-dart frog 12 is the deadliest,
often hop and jump. In emergencies, the European with enough poison to kill two African elephants, while the
common frog 11 can leap more than seven times its own granular poison-dart frog 13 is one of the smallest, and
length, equivalent to a human athlete clearing a school bus could easily fit inside a matchbox. In the past, native
without a run-up. In Central and South America, tiny Americans used these frogs to make poison hunting darts,
poison-dart frogs climb up trees or hop over the rainforest which is how they got their names. In the breeding season,
130 floor. Their bright colours are a warning to predators to stay frogs and toads often make loud calls. Male edible frogs 14
18 Indian bullf ro g

ro g
df
rne
ho
an
A si

Amphibians Frogs and toads


17

d
mb a re e f ro g tump -t o e d
B ol i f a ts
Gian

f ro g
C om
mo
ns
kit
a d
to

te
ed

r in
m al l y w a r t f r
t

R aj a

g f ro g
in

og
Pa
19

Sticky, bright
red skin to ward C o u ch
off predators s sp
ade
fo o
t

21
Ti n
ker
ssi b anana f re e
ula ro d fr
Fo g o
g

20
To m a
to f rog

and wood frogs 15 sound like quacking ducks, while the It usually climbs out after a few minutes, but can stay
male American bullfrog 16 sounds more like a mooing underwater for several hours. Painted toads 19 and
cow. This massive frog swallows almost anything it can cram tomato frogs 20 live on land and come out to feed at night.
into its mouth, including smaller frogs, young turtles, and Their skin is covered with a glue-like substance, which helps
small water birds. The horns and the brown colour of the to protect them from attack. Tinker reed frogs 21 from
Asian horned frog 17 help it blend in among fallen leaves. Africa lay their eggs on waterside plants. Their tadpoles
The Indian bullfrog 18 leaps into water if it is disturbed. wriggle down into the water after hatching. 131
burrow ing t
xic an o ad
Me
22

SCALE
Sp otte d-t
high
p o is on- da e
r t fr

d
o
Amphibians Frogs and toads

g
ie d t o ad frog
i re -b ell supia
l
n t al f ar
Orie d m
Ho r ne
23
ted frog

Eggs wrapped around


males hind legs

25
F l e is c h m a
n
n
Pai

n s
gl a s s f ro g
24 M i d w i fe t o a d

Mouth as
wide as head

26 Ornate horned frog


d rain f rog
a de
- he
Bi g

Masc ar g
e n e r i d g e d f ro
Frogs and toads have lots of different shapes, on her back. Instead of producing tadpoles, they hatch
and varied lifestyles that help them to survive. If threatened, directly into baby frogs. The midwife toad 24 is so called
the Mexican burrowing toad 22 can blow itself up to because the male carries the females eggs. When the eggs
resemble a small balloon. It lives underground and feeds on are ready to hatch, he takes them to water so that the tadpoles
ants, coming to the surface only when it breeds. The horned can swim away. Fleischmanns glass frog 25 lives in trees.
marsupial frog 23 has a strange way of breeding that lets it On its underside, its tiny beating heart can be seen through
132 stay high up in trees. The female carries her eggs in a pouch its transparent skin. The ornate horned frog 26 is a sit-and-
D ar w d el N e w Ze a

Afri
man
Webbed feet
in
sf work like
oro

land frog
can f
ro parachutes C

g
oam-nest tre

Amphibians Frogs and toads


27 D e s er t
ro ef ra i n
g f ro

g
Sou i p p i n g f ro g
th ern wh
rog
yf
ss

Mo

ro g
gf
in
f ly
es
28 Wa l l a c

c a n t re e f r o g
fr i

We

og
A

st
Ca fr
me ee
ro o n f re s
o t tr

u wn -str ip e d marsh f
Bro
i

ro g
P u er t o R i c a n co q

29
F ra s
er s clawe d f ro g

fro g
robber
n
Limo

31 C ommon sp d
30 A f r i c a n b u l l f ro g a d e fo o t t o a
wait hunter from the grasslands of Argentina. Camouflaged stays in water all its life. It has a flat body, sensitive fingers,
by its green and brown markings, it lurks in muddy ground and upward-facing eyes. The African bullfrog 30 lives in
and grabs anything edible that comes nearby. The desert grassland and savanna. Big and aggressive, it sometimes eats
rain frog 27 lives and breeds among Namibian sand dunes, its own kind. It spends the dry season underground. Males of
hiding beneath the surface during the day. Wallaces flying this species defend their eggs fiercely until they hatch. The
frog 28 glides through the forests of Southeast Asia on common spadefoot toad 31 digs burrows with its back
its webbed feet. Frasers clawed frog 29 from Africa legs, and spends half the year hidden away. 133
TREEFROGS There are more than 900 known species of tree frogs, most of
which live high up in the branches of tropical rainforests. These
red-eyed tree frogs are easy to recognize, thanks to their startling colouring. Their bright eyes are
thought to surprise predators and discourage them from attacking. However, during the day they often
keep their eyes shut, relying on their green skin to camouflage them among forest leaves.
Size Up to 7 cm (23 4 in) Habitat Trees and shrubs near five days and tadpoles fall into the water. Lifespan
water in warm, tropical forests and jungles. Distribution Up to five years. Predators Many climbing and flying
Central America Diet Insects such as crickets, flies, birds, reptiles, and mammals, including snakes and
and moths, also worms and spiders. Breeding Females monkeys. Fish may prey on tadpoles. Conservation
lay a batch of 50 eggs on a leaf over water. This process status Numbers of some species are declining where
is repeated several times. The eggs hatch after about their forest habitats are being cut down.
Salamanders
and newts
Amphibians Salamanders and newts

SCALE

Lor
st a
F i r e s a l a m an d e r

e
1
n n ew t

3 Cro co dile
2 T i g er s al a m a n d er

ne
wt
Sp o
tle s s
st out new t

Sensors in skin detect


prey by vibrations

4 J a p a n e s e g i a n t s al a m a n d er

Blue markings
attract a mate

r
O i t a s al a m a n d e
Splayed legs

With their slender bodies and long tails, lay their eggs. The Asian crocodile newt 3 heads for ponds
salamanders and newts look very different from frogs and at the beginning of the monsoon, while the Japanese giant
toads. Many are well camouflaged, but others, including the salamander 4 is fully aquatic and never leaves its watery
fire salamander 1 and tiger salamander 2 , have bright home. Measuring up to 1.5 m (5 ft) long, this huge, wrinkly-
warning colours. This shows other animals that they are skinned amphibian feeds on fish and freshwater insects, and
poisonous and best left alone. Some species spend all hunts after dark. Young salamanders and newts breathe
136 their lives on land, but most return to water to mate and using feathery gills. Some salamander species, such as the
6

O lm
5 A xo l o t l
-l i n e d s al a m a n d er

Amphibians Salamanders and newts


ee
Feathery gills

Th r
S a rd i n i a n b r o o
k s al a m
ande
r

er
nd
I t a l i a n c av e s a l a ma 7 G re a t c r e
ste
dn
e
wt

ia n ew t
o rn
lif
Ca
8

S h a r p - r i b b e d s al a m a n d er Bones can poke through


sides for defence

Ca
l i fo
r n i a g i a n t s al a m

an
der
Alp ine new t

at i n a s al a m a n d
ns er
9
E
Sp e c t a cl e d s al a m a n d e r

10 Thre e -to e d amp Fou


hium
de
r

a r-to
e d s al a m a n
axolotl 5 and olm 6 , keep their gills throughout their lives. On land, salamanders and newts live in damp woodlands
If the axolotl loses a body part, it can regrow the entire part and rocky places, and hunt mainly after dark. During the
within months. The olm lives in dark, flooded caves. Extremely summer, many species, such as the California newt 8
slender and totally blind, it finds its food by smell and touch. and Ensatina salamander 9 , keep moist by hiding under
Great crested newts 7 breed in ponds, and have elaborate rotting logs. The three-toed amphiuma 10 buries itself in
courtship displays. The male grows his impressive crest in mud, and makes a waterproof cocoon. This slimy, snake-like
spring and uses it to attract females waiting to lay their eggs. amphibian has tiny legs but a powerful bite. 137
Reptiles
Millions of years ago reptiles ruled the Earth in the form of dinosaurs. Modern
reptiles are mostly smaller, although they still include fearsome predators such
as the Komodo dragon, giant snakes, and ferocious crocodiles, which can attack
and kill human beings. However, they also include gentle vegetarians, such as
giant tortoises and the green sea turtle.

Cold-blooded Unlike birds and


mammals, reptiles cannot keep
their bodies warm by burning food.
Instead they rely on sources of
heat in their environment
to keep warm.
Animals

Scaly skin As well as skin, reptiles have an Reptiles


outer layer of protective armour. Lizards and
snakes are covered in scales. Turtles, tortoises,
crocodiles, and alligators have scutes, horny
layers of skin backed by bony plates.
Features

Mostly lay eggs


to reproduce

Have dry,
scaly skins

Are mostly
meat-eaters

Mostly live
in warmer
climates

Are cold-
blooded

Lungs Reptiles have


lungs and must breathe
n air to survive. Even turtles
e le o that live under water,
am
r ch usually return to the
he surface to breathe.
nt
Pa

Legs Most reptiles have


four legs. Some groups,
such as snakes, have no
legs at all. They move by
pushing against the ground
with their flexible bodies.
Turtles and
tortoises
Reptiles Turtles and tortoises

tl

e
1
Yell ur
n coin tu o w-marginat e d b ox t
ndi ngs tur t G ol d e rt
Bla le le

2
Re d
- b el l i e d t u r t
le

ks b i l l s e a t u r tl e
H aw
Jaws can cut
sh in two

R e d - e a re d s l i d
er
4 L e a t h er b a c k s e a t u r tl e 3 C a ro l i
n a b ox t u r t l e

Rubbery shell

te r t e r ra p i n
t wa
S al

5 C ommon snapp ing tur


tl e

Hooked beak delivers


a powerful bite

With their domed shells and beak-like mouths, burying itself in mud. Turtles and tortoises come in many
turtles and tortoises are easy to recognize. The yellow- sizes. The smallest ones are not much bigger than a baseball,
marginated box turtle 1 has a hinge on the underside of but the record-breaking leatherback sea turtle 4 can
its shell. If danger strikes, it quickly pulls in its head and legs, weigh as much as a small car. It is one of the greatest
and shuts itself away. The American red-bellied turtle 2 travellers in the animal world, swimming vast distances with
likes sunning itself near the shore, while the Carolina box its large flippers. Sea turtles live mainly in tropical oceans,
140 turtle 3 escapes the heat by retreating into cover or by but freshwater turtles live in rivers and lakes, where they eat
e se sof t-shel Pa i n t e d t u r t
6 Ch i n le d 7
le

tu
tl e

rt
Big-h e ade d tur

le
ond turtle at a
np m
ea at a
M

p
ro
Eu

Fal s e m a p t u r t l e
e -ne cke d t u
C ommon snak r tl
e

A s ian
l e a f t u r tl e

8 Alligat
or s Mis tl e
s iss ip
nap
pin p i mud tur
g
tu
r tl
e

Co e Or le
mm
tur
tl n a t e b ox t u r t 9 Lo gge
on musk r h e a d s e a t u r tl e

SCALE
Paddle-like limb

Yellow slider

plants or animal prey. The common snapping turtle 5 , female alligator snapping turtle 8 leaves the water in
from North America, is one of the worlds biggest freshwater spring to lay eggs, whereas the male spends most of his time
turtles. It lurks in the mud at the bottom of rivers and lakes. at the bottom of rivers or lakes. Sea turtles, including the
The Chinese soft-shelled turtle 6 has a nose like a snorkel, loggerhead 9 , dig nests in sandy beaches. After hatching,
and spends most of its time in the water. Turtles and tortoises the young turtles dig their way to the surface and then scuttle
breed by laying eggs. Freshwater kinds, such as the painted towards the sea. It is a dangerous time, and many are caught
turtle 7 , lay theirs in holes not far from the waters edge. The by predators before they reach the waters edge. 141
Saddle shape
allows tortoise
SCALE to raise its head

11 Herma nns tor toise


Reptiles Turtles and tortoises

10
Re
d -f
ooted
to

rt
o is
Sharp jaw for

e
cutting through food

c ake tor toise


Pa n

13
e
to r t o is
a nt
gi

t or t o is e
Scales on
ra

shell show it
pr
ab

growth rings s
Ald

w
Bo
12

Tortoises are close relatives of turtles, but Hermanns tortoise 11 , for example, has a lifespan of
they have stronger legs and spend all their lives on land. 50 years, while the Aldabra giant tortoise 12 from coral
Like turtles, tortoises breed by laying eggs. Most of islands in the Indian Ocean can survive for more than two
them are vegetarian, although some, including the South centuries. One recently died in captivity at the astonishing
American red-footed tortoise 10 , also eat small animals age of 255. Most tortoises have high shells, which predators
and dead remains. Tortoises are famous for being slow, but find hard to break. The African pancake tortoise 13 is
142 to make up for this, they can be amazingly long-lived. The almost flat, which allows it to hide in rocky cracks to avoid
14
G al 15 R adiat e d t or
p a toi
go s Shell with se
to vertical streaks
r to
i se

Reptiles Turtles and tortoises


gat e d t or t
E lon ois
e

s t a r re d t o r
ian to
d ise
In
16
Knobbly shell h i n g e - b a c k t or t o i s e
S e r ra ted

ig he d t or t ois
- th e
ur

Wo o d t u r t l e Le
Sp

op
a
17

rd
t or
to
is e
t t or t o
18 D e s er ise

predators. It has the tiniest families, as it lays just one egg have shells with raised knobs, but the lumpiest shell belongs
at a time, although it usually breeds several times each to the Indian starred tortoise 16 , which has star-like
year. Galpagos tortoises 14 live on islands in the Pacific markings that hide it in dry grass. The spur-thighed
Ocean. They are as large as the Aldabra giant tortoise, and tortoise 17 from Europe and North Africa has bony
often have shells with a saddle-shaped front. This lets them projections on its hind legs. It lays up to 20 eggs at a time,
stretch their necks high up to munch prickly cacti, their while the desert tortoise 18 , found in small burrows in
primary food. Radiated tortoises 15 , from Madagascar, the deserts of North America, lays as few as four eggs. 143
Lizards 1
E m e r al d s ki n
k
Reptiles Lizards

Slender toes for

SCALE
climbing trees

a n ol e
een

Ca
G r

pe
gir
dle
dl
iz a
Shiny, beadlike
r
G ila monst e

rd
scales 2

ho rne d lizard
rt or
D es
e t er m o n i t
3 A s ian w a

agasc ar day ge cko


4
Mad

Toes with sharp


claws for climbing

There are more than 4,000 lizard species in of the few lizards with a poisonous bite. Fortunately, it is a
the world, more than all other reptiles put together. Most slow mover, so attacks on people are very rare. The fierce
of them hunt small animals, and most lay eggs, although Asian water monitor 3 grows up to 2 m (61 2 ft) long. A
some give birth to live young. The emerald skink 1 preys good swimmer, it hunts all sorts of animals, from fish and
on insects. It spends most of its time on tree trunks, while frogs to crabs. The Madagascar day gecko 4 is mostly
the heavy-bodied Gila monster 2 stays on the ground. found on trees and belongs to a family of lizards famous for
144 Found in North American deserts, the Gila monster is one their sticky toes. Like other geckos, it can cling to almost
5

Fr
il le
d li
skink
S andfish

zar
6

Reptiles Lizards
Frill opens like
an umbrella

Strong back legs


Long, attened tail built for speed
used in swimming

7 Gre en b as ilisk
Kni
gh
t a n ol e

p s a m m o d ro m
rge

us
La
Spiky crest

r in e i g u a n a
8
Ma

l i z a rd
Ro u g h - s c a l e d p l a t e d

Viv ip arous liza


rd

Wo n d
er g e
cko

any surface, and can even hunt upside down. When faced by swimming through it. The green basilisk 7 from
with danger, many lizards shed their tails. This distracts Central America has the most impressive escape trick of
their enemies while they run away. The Australian frilled all. Standing on its back legs, it runs over the surface of
lizard 5 has a different technique to protect itself. It stands lakes and streams, before swimming away from the predator.
its ground and opens up its frill, making it look much more Found in the Galapagos Islands, the marine iguana 8 is
threatening than it really is. The North African sandfish the only lizard that feeds in the sea. It uses its blunt jaws to
skink 6 dives for safety, disappearing into the desert sand tear seaweed from underwater rocks. 145
9
10 Slo w w o r m
Co
mm
on leo p ard ge

ck
o
So
Reptiles Lizards

lo
mo
n
I sl a
nds skink
11
C om
m o n s c al y fo o t

B e r b er s k i n k
Medit e
r ra n
e a n g e c ko 12
Gre e
n i gu a na

l i a n w al l l i z
It a

a rd
c ko
ge

h
Mo or is
on
el e
13 Parsons cham
Tail can wrap Co
around branches lor
ado a rd
d e s e r t f r i n g e -t o e d l i z
SCALE

Fr i d
n g e -t o e d l i z a r
Geckos are widespread in warm parts of the looks like a snake with tiny leg flaps, Both these lizards
world, where there are plenty of insects for them to hunt. hunt insects and spiders, finding their prey on the ground.
One of the most popular reptile pets, the common leopard The Central American green iguana 12 is a much bigger
gecko 9 from South Asia is easy to look after. This small reptile, with a spiky crest. Although it looks dangerous,
gecko has an amazingly loud call for an animal just 20 cm it feeds mainly on plants and often climbs high up trees.
(8 in) long. The slow worm 10 , from Europe, has no legs Chameleons are even better climbers and hardly ever come
146 at all while the common scaly foot 11 , from Australia, to the ground. Parsons chameleon 13 from Madagascar
We st ern
b a nde d ge e cko
ay g
Tok

ck
14

Reptiles Lizards
r agon
ed
Yellow-sp ott e d nigh t li zard G re e n - s t r i p e d t
re

i c a n fa t
15
Af r -t aile d ge cko

Body fat in
tail used as a
food reserve

m el e o n
a c k s o ns cha
16 J
17 Re d t e g u

is the largest chameleon. It creeps along branches using hunts indoors. African fat-tailed geckos 15 live in deserts.
its feet and its tail and catches insects by shooting out its Unlike other geckos, they do not have sticky toes, and rarely
unbelievably long, sticky tongue. Like other chameleons, climb. Jacksons chameleon 16 lives in East Africa. The
its eyes swivel in all directions, and it can change colour males of this species are identified by the three horns on
to match its background or to show its mood. The tokay their snouts. The red tegu 17 is one of the biggest lizards
gecko 14 gets its name from its harsh to-kay call. This in South America. A predator and a scavenger, it sometimes
large gecko from Southeast Asia lives in houses and often steals chickens from farms. 147
KOMODODRAGON Like a creature out of a horror film, the Komodo
dragon lurches over the ground in search of carrion
and live prey. The worlds largest lizard, it has a poisonous bite, and can smell food more than 5 km
(3 miles) away by flicking out its forked tongue. It can swallow small prey whole and knock down
bigger animals with a swipe of its powerful tail, killing them with a bite to the throat.
Size Up to 3.1 m (10 ft) long Weight Males up to 90 kg pigs, water buffalo, snakes, and lizards. Lifespan About
(198 lb); females weigh about half as much. Habitat Tropical 30 years Top speed 20 kph (12 mph), but only in short bursts.
forest and scrub. Adults live on the ground, but young dragons Predators Adults have no natural enemies. Young dragons
are more agile and live in trees to stay safe. Distribution may be eaten by snakes, birds of prey, and even other
Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and western dragons. Conservation status Komodo dragons are
Flores. Diet All kinds of carrion and live prey, including wild threatened by hunting and by forest and scrub clearance.
Snakes
e
ak
l e sn
air ie ratt
Pr

1
G ab
on

o
v ip
er
Reptiles Snakes

i tv i p e r
SCALE

p
an

M a l ay
b ra A s p v i p er

Red colour
darkens with age i c t or
str
co

ng n
tti

o
M ol e v i p er

Bo a c
2
Red spi

3
es

D
er
td

4
ea

th
add er
k
e

Sun
b e am sna Wide scales
ese pip e
on underside lo n s
C ey

na
an d boa

ke
a ns

r ic
Af
st
Ea

Neck widens into


hood to scare
b ra off predators
g co oa
Ki n
b

5
R ainb ow

a
c ob r
6 M o n o cl e d

With their sleek, shiny bodies and needle-sharp up to 5 cm (2 in) long. In a single bite, it can inject enough
fangs, snakes often trigger panic and fear. Most kinds are venom to kill a baboon or an antelope. The African mole
harmless to humans, but venomous ones kill more than 20,000 viper 2 catches small animals underground, while the
people a year. All snakes are legless, and nearly all eat live prey. extremely venomous desert death adder 3 from Australia
Their amazingly flexible jaws and stomachs let them swallow attracts food by using the thin, worm-like tip of its tail as
animals much wider than themselves. The African Gaboon a lure. The boa constrictor 4 from Central America is
150 viper 1 waits to ambush its prey with record-breaking fangs non-venomous and kills by muscle power alone. Like other
ttlesnake
c ke d ra
a
-b
nd
o
iam
Rattle made
of dry skin
nd
t er
We s

Reptiles Snakes
7

Des
er t h o r
ne d v ip
er

Dusty colour
provides camouage
a
nd
aco
n an
G re e
8

10
Yel l o

w-
lipp rait
e d s e ak
e
Ce

nt
ak

ra l A m e r i c a n n
c o ra l s
ake
sn

Eu
9

ra s i a n b l i n d
a
bo

sy
Ro

constrictors, it coils around its prey, tightening its grip while the its tail to warn off enemies. The mighty green anaconda 8
victim slowly suffocates. Boas feed mainly on mammals and is one of the worlds longest and heaviest snakes, weighing
birds, but the Asian king cobra 5 is an expert at eating other more than 100 kg (220 lb). At the other extreme, the Eurasian
snakes. At 5 m (16 ft) long, it is the biggest venomous snake blindsnake 9 is often less than 30 cm (12 in) long. It feeds on
on Earth. The monocled cobra 6 expands its neck into a ants, spiders, and centipedes. Most snakes are good swimmers.
hood when threatened, while the North American western The yellow-lipped seakrait 10 spends its life in tropical seas,
diamond-backed rattlesnake 7 makes a rattling sound with coming to land only when it is time to breed. 151
11
B
se d snake

lo
-no

od
L ong

py
on

th
sn
fly ing ake
ed

B a nd
12 G re e

13
nt
re e p y t h o n

14 Burme s
e py t h
on

n ra c e r
lka
Ba

Heat sensors in front


of eyes to detect prey

ia mount ain kin


Smo oth snake if orn gsn
ake
15 C al
Some snakes give birth to live young, but most about in trees. It jumps from tree to tree, gliding up to 100 m
breed by laying eggs. Female blood pythons 11 from (330 ft) by stretching out its body and flattening its underside.
Southeast Asia coil around their eggs to keep them warm. The Burmese python 14 is one of the longest snakes in the
The mother stays with her eggs for up to three months, world, measuring up to 7 m (23 ft) from head to tail. Like
and does not eat until her young have hatched. The green all pythons and rattlesnakes, it has heat sensors on its
tree python 12 from Australasia is a superb climber, but head, letting it see warm-blooded prey even when it
152 the Asian banded flying snake 13 is even better at moving is completely dark. The brightly patterned California
Sp

ott
17 G ra s s
ke

e d py t h
s
na
es

na
os

ke
n
ho g

on
Pointed snout
g a sy
adapted for
al a

Reptiles Snakes
burrowing

M
nt
G ia
P ine snake Distinctive yellow
16

collar

Ru
thvens ki
ng
Brow sna
n tre esnake ke

e w a t e r c o b ra
Fa l s
18

Broad black
streak behind eyes

er snake
g re e n r rt
t aile d
Ga

d- a ts
Re
19
na
ke

SCALE

Tail used as an
anchor while climbing

mountain kingsnake 15 looks venomous, but its colours bite, and warns away enemies in the same way as a
are a trick and it is actually non-poisonous. Other snakes true cobra by widening its neck. In places with cold
use different kinds of self-defence. The pine snake 16 from winters, snakes hide away and hibernate. Most hide on
North America squirts out horrible-smelling fluid when their own, but North American garter snakes 19 gather
threatened, while the European grass snake 17 turns upside together in hundreds in underground dens. They come
down with its tongue hanging out and pretends to be dead. to the surface in spring and squirm in tangled masses as
The South American false water cobra 18 has a dangerous they fight for the chance to mate. 153
AFRICANBUSHVIPER This small but deadly snake hunts mostly
at night. Although it eats small animals, its
venom can cause serious illness or even death in humans. However, this hasnt stopped people from
keeping it as a pet. This snake is sometimes called the variable viper because it exists in a variety of
colours, including green, yellow, red, and orange, and because it may change colour as it matures.
Size Males average 65 cm (26 in) in length; females birth to up to nine live young, abandoning them immediately
average 71 cm (28 in) Habitat Bushes and shrubs in tropical afterwards. The young are venomous and able to hunt for
forests and other densely vegetated areas. Distribution themselves from birth. Lifespan 1020 years in the wild.
West and Central Africa Diet Small nocturnal mammals Captive vipers may live longer. Predators Adult African
such as rodents and shrews, small birds, frogs, and reptiles. bush vipers have few if any predators. They may eat the
Breeding Mating occurs in the rainy season. Females give young of their own species.
Crocodiles and
alligators C u b a n c ro c o d i l e
Reptiles Crocodiles and alligators

Strong legs to
race short distances
SCALE

co dile
c ro c o d i l e 2 Nile cro
1 Dw ar f
S i a m e s e c ro c o d i l e

3 S al t w a t e
r cro co di l e
Nostrils at
tip of snout

ic a n cro codile
4 A m er

Skin armoured
with bony plates

A u s t ra l i a n f
reshwa
t e r c ro c o d i l e

Lurking in rivers, lakes, and sheltered shores, they drown. The African Nile crocodile 2 often lies in
crocodiles and alligators use stealth and muscle power to wait near the banks of rivers and water holes, where it
ambush and kill their prey. Even the smallest kinds, such as attacks animals coming to drink. Females are devoted
the African dwarf crocodile 1 , have scales like armour parents, guarding their eggs and carrying their young to
plating, while the largest can smash open boats with their water once they have hatched. Found in Australia and
giant jaws. Crocodiles swallow small animals whole. They Southeast Asia, the saltwater crocodile 3 is the biggest
156 tear bigger ones apart, after pulling them underwater so reptile in the world. Measuring up to 7 m (23 ft) long, it is
t or
iga
n al l
er ic a
5
Am

Reptiles Crocodiles and alligators


6 C h i n e s e al l i g a t o r Cuv ier s dwar f c aiman

an
7 B ro a d - s n o u t e d c a i m
Sharp teeth to
tear prey apart

8 Sp e
O r ino co cro co dile ct a
c l e d c aiman

9 G h a r i al

Eyes high on head


to spot prey from
S chn eider s dwar f c ai m an underwater
Yac are c aima
n

M a r s h c ro c o d i l e

an
Black c aim

a notorious man-eater, often attacking after dark. The South America. The broad-snouted caiman 7 lives in
American crocodile 4 feeds mainly on fish, while marshes and swamps, while the spectacled caiman 8
the American alligator 5 eats all kinds of animals, from lives on coasts, as well as in inland lakes and rivers. The
frogs to deer. Like the rare Chinese alligator 6 , it can be critically endangered gharial 9 is a unique fish-eating
told from true crocodiles by the shape of its head, and by species from India, with extremely narrow jaws and
the way its teeth fit together when its mouth is closed. dozens of sharply pointed teeth. It lives in deep rivers
Caimans are relatives of alligators from Central and and finds its prey mainly by touch. 157
Birds
The masters of the air, birds can fly higher,
further, and faster than any other creature. l t u re
vu
Their front limbs are adapted into wings, lls
pe
and their bodies are covered in feathers

p
R
for warmth and for a streamlined
shape. Their bones are partly
hollow, making them light but
strong and ideally suited for
flying through the air.

Beak Birds use their


beaks as their main
tool. This vultures
beak is adapted for
tearing flesh, but other
birds use theirs as drills,
saws, or even sieves.
Animals

Feathers Different types of feather have Birds


different uses. Warm, fluffy down feathers
keep the bird warm. Long, stiff feathers
grow on the wings to direct the air in
flight. Many species grow brightly
Features
coloured feathers to attract a mate.

Lay eggs to
reproduce

Have beaks
instead of
teeth

Are covered
in feathers

Have wings
and most
can fly

Are
warm-
blooded

Wings All birds


have wings, although
not all of them can
fly. The wings flap
with great force to
lift the bird off the
ground. Once in the
air, some birds simply
hold their wings out to
soar like a glider, while
others can perform
amazing aerobatics.
Ostriches and

Emu
2
relatives
Birds Ostriches and relatives

o e ka
ok

T
SCALE

Males have
pink necks

Long bill to forage


for worms

ic h Helmet-like

s tr crest or casque
O
1

Wings used for balance r t h I sl a n d ki


while running No w
i

t e d kiw i ry
wa
t sp ot
so

ea as
Gr

c
er n
3Nor th

Two-toed foot

Standing more than 2.5 m (8 ft) tall and as big, with feathers that look like shaggy fur. They have tiny
weighing up to 160 kg (350 lb), twice as much as a man, wings, and three toes on each foot, where ostriches have two.
ostriches 1 are the worlds biggest birds. Ostriches cannot Thousands of emus sometimes gather together in flocks,
fly but they are the fastest animals on two legs, with a cruising crossing deserts and raiding farmland in search of food. The
speed of 70 kph (45 mph). They live in Africa and feed on northern cassowary 3 and southern cassowary 4 are
seeds and fruit, swallowing stones as big as golf balls to help rainforest birds from Australia and New Guinea, with a
160 them grind up their food. Emus 2 , from Australia, are almost helmet-like crest on their heads. They live on their own and
5
Grey neck

Lesse
rr
hea

Birds Ostriches and relatives


S o m al
i os
t

r ic
h
s p o t t e d k i wi
le
4 S o u t h er n c a s s o w a r y L itt
6

e
7 G re a t r r h e a

Grey-brown
plumage for
Powerful legs camouage
for running 9 E le gan
ou

t
and swimming
am ti n a m cr
tin o
es
te d
Ornate

u
8

can be dangerous if cornered, kicking out with their claws. forests and feed at night, sniffing out insects and worms.
Rheas come from South America. Males are hard-working Some are very rare. The little spotted kiwi 6 lives on
parents, sitting on the eggs and taking care of the stripy offshore islands, safe from predators. Greater rheas 7 live
chicks. Lesser rheas 5 live in flocks of up to 30 birds. in flocks of up to 100. Males use impressive wing displays to
During the breeding season, males fight for attention of attract potential mates. The ornate tinamou 8 and elegant
female partners. Kiwis come from New Zealand and are crested tinamou 9 also come from South America. They
chicken-sized, flightless birds with long beaks. They live in can fly, but prefer to run away from danger instead. 161
Gamebirds Ch
u ka
rp
ar tr idge
Birds Gamebirds

l
u n gl e fo w
1 Re d j
SCALE

Strong feet
2
Wi kick aside
ld fallen leaves
tu
rk
ey

llie d hill p
Inatable
-b e ar
neck sac ut

stn

tr
3 en

id g
G re
a t e r p ra i r i e c h i c k

Che

e
Male has
red wattles
nt

Be ard ed g
sa
ea
ph
-
ck

Bare-f
co

5 an
ea

u
ac
p
an

ed c
aw
Pa l

urassow
Fan-shaped tail 4 S a ty r t ra g o p a n
in display

nea fo w l
gui
in e
u r
Vult

ce g ro u s e
ru
Sp

Gamebirds are often good fliers, but the cock-a-doodle-do call. It is the distant grandparent of
majority of them spend most of their lives on the ground. chickens, which are the most common birds on Earth.
They peck at seeds and small animals, and scratch up food Found in North America, the wild turkey 2 is another
with their feet. Unlike most other birds, they dont like large gamebird that has been tamed. Gamebirds live in
washing in water, but they love taking a dust bath to keep a variety of habitats. Some, such as the greater prairie
their feathers clean. The red junglefowl 1 from southern chicken 3 , live in open grassland, but others are found in
162 Asia looks and sounds just like a farmyard rooster, with its forests, mountains, or wind-swept Arctic tundra. The satyr
as ant
phe l
sts ro u
6 L ady Am he r

R o ul
7 Siame se fi reb ack

Birds Gamebirds
Grey
f
an

r
c ol
in

ck
e aco
a c h al a c a
ch
We s t e

d
ail

an p
Plain

de
ea
qu
ch

di
rn c

y- h
In

an
8
ac

G re
rni
a p e rc a i l l

h al

i fo
ac a

C al
ie

Sooty
9

g ro
G re

Ro c
Co k pta r mig an
u se

m m o n q u ai l
yp
ar t
r id g
e

Red patches
around eyes
p h e as ant
on
m

m l e e fo w l
Co M al
10

Males extravagant tail


used to attract females C auc a guan

tragopan 4 lives in cool forests high in the Himalayan plumes that open like a fan, attracting peahens. Most
mountains. Most gamebirds roost, or sleep, in trees, but the gamebirds nest on the ground, and some produce incredible
bare-faced curassow 5 feeds above ground, too. Male numbers of eggs. One grey partridge 9 laid 25 eggs at one
gamebirds are often much more eye-catching than females. time, which is a world record for any bird. Females usually sit
Male Lady Amhersts pheasants 6 are stunningly on the eggs to incubate them, but Australian malleefowl 10
coloured, and Siamese firebacks 7 have red faces and bury their eggs inside a nest that looks like a huge compost
a feathery crest. Indian peacocks 8 have extraordinary heap. The heap warms the eggs until they hatch. 163
Pigeons SCALE

and doves
Birds Pigeons and doves

Eu
r hi

W
Shaggy blue te

op
mane ea -ti p
nt pe
ur dd
tle ov
d ov
n
eo

e
p ig

Mo
ur
ar

nin
gd
ob

ove
Nic

Long, tapering tail


separates it from
similar species
3 Af r i
c an
g re e n
pi
n
eo

ge
Multicoloured
p ig

on
beak
d
W oo
2
e on
p ig
t
s an
5Phe a

ig e on
kp
4 P in
n
ve

ig eo
do

er i al p a il-
imp qu
P ie d W est
Key
Large legs
and toes

Pigeons and doves include many common mostly brown or grey, but some tropical kinds are much
birds, as well as others that are very rare. They have more colourful. They include the African green pigeon 3 ,
rounded bodies and short legs, and their heads often bob which clambers about in trees like a parrot, and the very rare
backwards and forwards when they walk. All of them are pink pigeon 4 from the island of Mauritius in the Indian
vegetarians, and many, including the mourning dove 1 Ocean. The pink pigeon almost became extinct in the 1990s,
and woodpigeon 2 , live near fields and farms, which but was rescued by conservationists when just 10 birds were
164 provide a steady supply of food. Pigeons and doves are left in the wild. The pheasant pigeon 5 from New Guinea
Permanently ov e
raised spiky crest
n c u cko o - d
Brow

6
Wo m p
ge o

n
pi

x
o o f rui

i fe
Spin

Birds Pigeons and doves


t d ove

7
Inc a d
ove

d ove
al
mer d d

g ro u n d
E

ov
e
Lacy crest bobs
backwards and

esi
forwards as the

law
bird walks

on
i ge

Su
p
k le d
ec
Sp

White-speckled
wings
in g
ew

ro nz
o nb
m
Wo n g a p i

C om

e on
p ig
ge

n e d
o

Spotted underparts o wn
cr
rn
he
ut
So
n
eo

10
p ig

N a m a q u a d ove
tic
es
m
Do
8

d d ov e
m on
9 Di a

has strong legs and feeds on the ground, while the wompoo urban areas, where it dodges traffic, nests on buildings, and
fruit dove 6 lives high up in rainforest trees. It swallows eats scraps of leftover food. The tiny diamond dove 9
fruit whole and scatters the seeds in its droppings, helping from Australia is often seen in pairs or small groups, feeding
trees to spread. Pigeons and doves are found in dry places, on the ground. It is only 20 cm (8 in) long. At the other
too. The crested spinifex pigeon 7 lives in the rocky hills extreme, the southern crowned pigeon 10 from New
of central Australia and feeds on the seeds of desert grasses. Guinea weighs as much as a chicken. It is one of the biggest
The commonest of all, the domestic pigeon 8 thrives in pigeons in the world, measuring up to 75 cm (30 in) long. 165
Parrots and ro
nt e d mac aws

-f
Re d
cockatoos
Birds Parrots and cockatoos

k i n g p ar ee
t
an ik
al i
rot

str d lor
de p a r ro t l e
Au

ic s s pa
ce
a

t
-he

r ro
c if

Pri n
ve

Pa

ts
O li

1
m ac aw
el lo w
-y
d
an
e-

Cha
Blu

tte
r ing
2

lor
y Grey p ar rot

3
Powerful beak
to crack nuts
4
Bu
dg

ri
e

ga Crest can
r be raised
or lowered

5
Ka
ka
po

Sharp beak
shreds bark
and leaves

te r n ro s e l l a
Eas

6
Sulphur- crest e d co ckato o

Parrots are some of the worlds brainiest, small, all parrots have strong feet with fleshy toes. They
noisiest, and most colourful birds. Most of them live in tropical use them for climbing about and for holding their food.
forests, although a few favour open habitats. They use their The African grey parrot 3 and the budgerigar 4 , from
curved beaks to crack open nuts and seeds. and they vary Australian grasslands, are amazingly good at mimicking
greatly in size. The tiny Pacific parrotlet 1 is smaller than human speech. One record-breaking budgerigar learned
a sparrow, but the bigger ones, such as the blue-and-yellow more than 1,700 words, while trained grey parrots can
166 macaw 2 , can be nearly 1 m (3 ft) from head to tail. Big or answer questions and even count. Found in New Zealand,
f ro n t e d p a ra
Re d - ke e
SCALE t

Birds Parrots and cockatoos


Ke

a
10

e- he ade d
Blu

pa
r rot
Yel l

i rd

w-
eb
o

coll v
a re d l o Female is red,
with blue
Male is an p ar r
d-f
neck band
mainly green

ot
Re
9
Ec

le c
tus
p ar r
Sc

ot s
ar
le
tm

ac
aw
8
Ga
la h

Long, sharply
n e d hanging
pointed crest
r ow p
-c

Tail as long
ar
Blue

as body ro t
s
7
C o ck
a ti el s

o
at o
St

ck
c k co
Vin

t aile d bl a
Re d -
cen
t pa
rrot

Distinctive red
patch on tail

kakapos 5 are the worlds rarest and heaviest parrots. lives in dry scrub and grassland. Most parrots nest in tree-
They cannot fly, and come out only at night. These slow- holes, and many, including the galah 8 , pair up for life.
moving birds are easily caught by predators, and only about Male and female parrots often look the same, but eclectus
125 kakapos are left in the wild. Cockatoos are parrots with parrots 9 are so unalike that they were once thought to
feathery crests. Found in Australia and New Guinea, the be different kinds of bird. The kea 10 lives in the mountains
sulphur-crested cockatoo 6 sometimes flies into city of New Zealand. Unusually for a parrot, it eats almost
gardens and parks, while the cockatiel 7 , like the budgerigar, anything, including live animals and carrion. 167
MILITARYMACAW One of the largest and most dazzling members
of the parrot family, the military macaw has
spectacular plumage, with a bright green body, shimmering sky-blue wingtips, and scarlet patches on
its head and tail. Its large beak is adapted for picking fruit and cracking open nuts. Highly intelligent
and sociable, it is popular in zoos and is sometimes kept as a pet, although it can be noisy!
Size Body length up to 75 cm (30 in) Wingspan Up to they sometimes eat clay from river banks, possibly to remove
1.1 m (3 ft 6 in) Weight Around 900 g (2 lb) Habitat toxins they have swallowed in their food. Breeding They
Lowland tropical forests and semi-arid woodland. Lives in perform complex courtship flights and mate for life. Lifespan
large flocks, nesting in treetops or on cliff faces. Distribution Up to 60 years in the wild. Predators Large mammals, some
Central America and northern South America. Diet Fruit, reptiles, primates, and birds of prey. Conservation status
vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. In the Amazon rainforest, Threatened by habitat loss and illegal trade in cage birds.
Cuckoos and
turacos
Birds Cuckoos and turacos

cucko o
Phe as ant- cucko o

5
G re
Jacob in
oo

yg
1 Com mo n c uc k

o-
aw
3

ay
b ir
d
2
a
t cou
Tail fanned
during courtship 4 G ian
display

C ommo
n ko el

o
r ac
aa tu
Kl

ss b lue
c
e at
Gr
uc

6
ko

ac o
s tu r
u b
la
rt
Ha
aco
tur
et

Vi
ol

o
ucko
Yellow-bi lle d c

Raising a family is hard work for birds because breeds in Europe and Asia and spends the winter in Africa,
they have to build a nest and look after their young. Many undertaking a yearly journey of up to 15,000 km (9,300 miles).
cuckoos skip these tasks by laying their eggs in other birds The pheasant-cuckoo 2 from Central and South America
nests. The nests owners do not realize that they have been and the jacobin cuckoo 3 from Africa and Asia also cheat
tricked, and raise the young cuckoos themselves. The when they breed, but the giant coua 4 from Madagascar
common cuckoo 1 is one of the best-known of these makes its own nest in trees. Cuckoos feed mainly on small
170 birds, with a loud cuc-oo call that gives it its name. It animals such as spiders and caterpillars, but turacos live
Gr

o
ra c u c k o

ea
te
rc
o u c al
Gui

Birds Cuckoos and turacos


SCALE
7
G re

Fa
at e n-

o
t ai o
rr
oa le d cuck
dru
Gr nn
ea er
ts Wings used for
po
tte balance when
d cuc
running
ko o

Permanently
raised spiky crest

o
ko
uc
cc
z in
e ri
D id
at

9
Ho

8 G re e n t u
ra c o

Strong toes grip


branches tightly
creste d turaco
Re d -

Short,
stubby beak

but turacos live mostly on fruit. Found only in Africa, they a top speed of about 30 kph (18 mph). It sprints after lizards
include the noisy grey go-away bird 5 and the great blue and snakes, battering them against rocks before swallowing
turaco 6 , which feeds high up in trees. Turacos have strong them whole. The green turaco 8 lays two eggs in a flimsy
feet, and they run along branches like squirrels as they look nest, and its young clamber out among branches before they
for food. The greater roadrunner 7 , from the USA and learn to fly. The hoatzin 9 from South America is a strange
Mexico, is an extra-large cuckoo that spends much of its life bird that feeds only on leaves. Its chicks are good climbers
on the ground. It is a great runner, as its name suggests, with thanks to small claws on their wings. 171
Owls

l
U ra l o w
Birds Owls

SCALE

3 Bl a
ck ow

l
-an d
-w hit e

2
or
N
th

er
nh
ub awk-
wl
C

an p o
ygmy
owl 4 E lf o w l

Long tail, like


that of a hawk

ech owl
re

d sc
wl

appe
o
Wing feathers
rey
mufe the g
Black-c
t

sound of ight
ea

5
Gr
o wl

Tropic
y
Tawn

a
sc
l

re
ec
ho
wl

When the sun sets, most birds settle down to owl 3 lives in the jungles of Central and South America.
sleep. Owls are the opposite, because this is when most of The tiny elf owl 4 is a desert-dweller from the southern
them start to hunt. Guided by their large eyes and super- USA and Mexico. It weighs only 40 g (12 5 oz), which is
sensitive ears, they noiselessly swoop on their prey. Owls much lighter than a mobile phone. The great grey owl 5
come in many different sizes, and they live all over the world. is nearly 50 times heavier. It has a flat, rounded face and
The Ural owl 1 and the northern hawk-owl 2 are from staring yellow eyes. Its face channels sound towards its
172 northern Eurasian forests, while the black-and-white ears, letting it pinpoint small mammals on the ground,
E u ra s i a n s c o p s o
Large ear tufts
extend sideways

6 Sn o w y o w l

Buff y
fish owl
wl

Birds Owls
White plumage
ecked with black

c t a cl e d o
owl

pe

wl
S
r ed

a
-e
rt

7
Ba
Sho

rn
ow
l
8 No

9
Gr e at h o r
r th
ern

aw
s

-w
h

ne
et

d owl
w h i t e -f a
owl

rn
ce
S outhe

us pyg
ino
d o wl

my
Ferrug

owl
De
L o n g - e a re d o w l

se
rt
e ag

10
le - o

Ea s

er
wl

t
ns

Razor-sharp
cre e

talons can tackle


large prey
ch o
wl

or even under snow. The snowy owl 6 lives in the high Owls are silent when they hunt, but many have strange or
Arctic region, where its white plumage makes good winter spooky calls. When it is alarmed, the northern saw-whet
camouflage. The sun never sets during the Arctic summer, owl 8 makes a sound like a saw being sharpened, while
so the owl has to hunt by day. The ghostly barn owl 7 is the great horned owl 9 has a deep and echoing hoot. The
one of the worlds most widespread birds, and lives on every eastern screech owl 10 is a short, stocky bird, with a large
continent except Antarctica. It can hunt in total darkness, head and almost no neck. Despite its name, this owl doesnt
flying with slow wingbeats just a few metres above ground. screech, instead it whistles and trills. 173
BARREDOWL Named for its brown-and-white striped plumage, the barred owl
is also known as the hoot owl for its distinctive, repeated call.
Barred owls roost in trees during the day and hunt by night, seeking out animals such as rodents and
rabbits. The feathers on their wings are specially shaped to allow them to fly almost silently so they
can take their prey by surprise, swooping down to grab their victims with razor-sharp talons.
Size Up to 51 cm (20 in) long Wingspan Up to 1.1 m rabbits, birds, frogs, reptiles, and fish. Breeding Females lay
(43 in) Weight Males about 630 g (22 oz); females about a clutch of one to five eggs. The chicks can fly at six weeks
800 g (28 oz) Habitat Forests, wooded swamps, and and mature at around two years. Lifespan Up to 18 years
suburbs. Distribution Originally found in the eastern USA, in the wild. Predators Great horned owls may occasionally
down to Texas in the south. Now also found in California, take adult barred owls. Raccoons and weasels may eat eggs
Oregon, southwestern Canada, and Mexico. Diet Rodents, and young. Conservation status Not threatened.
Hummingbirds
and swifts
Birds Hummingbirds and swifts

1 R ac
k
pu

e t le g
-t a i
ff
by

le d
ru
n
l ia
Bra z i

SCALE

2
Ande a

Broad-b
vi s o r b e a re r

n hi
gbi
rd o de d
Ho

i l le
d

llst
in
g b ir

e ll i e d humm

dh
ar
op e hummin

um
in g b i rd in

m
mm gb
d hu ird
b ir u

s
ng fo
f f-b

mi Ru
C al l i

um b i rd
Bu

h ng
l le d

i
-b i
3

mm
Tongue protrudes
o rd from beak

Blue-thro at ed hu
4
Sw when feeding
a
nc
ed i

ngbir
mi
d

llar

m
u

Co
dh
te
r oa

5 Strip
y- t h

e-

Allens
Ru b

br

h
ea

Lucif
um

ste
ming

er

d st
hu
m
b i rd

ar th
m in g

er mi t
o at e d h
ro a

-t h r
S c al e
b i rd

In different ways hummingbirds and swifts (16,400 ft). The calliope hummingbird 3 spends the winter
break all kinds of records as they speed through the air. in Central America but migrates northwards as far north as
Beating their wings up to 70 times a second, hummingbirds Canada every spring, an amazing feat for such a little bird.
zip forwards, backwards, or hover on the spot like tiny Most hummingbirds have long beaks that work like drinking
helicopters. They include species such as the racket-tailed straws to suck sugary nectar from flowers. The sword-billed
puffleg 1 , with its eye-catching tail plumes, and the Andean hummingbird 4 is the only bird with a beak longer than its
176 hillstar 2 , which lives high in the Andes at up to 5,000 m body. It feeds on large trumpet-shaped flowers, hovering
w if t

rd
6
es

Be
Vio n

bi
eh pi
le t
s abr umming Al
ew ing 7
An
na
s h

Birds Hummingbirds and swifts


um m
ingbird

White -ve

ift

nt
e d sw

ed
v io
h ro a t

let
-ea
r
W h i t e -t
8

Co

9
ph m
sy l

mo
d
ile

ns
g -t a

w if t
Lon

Wh
it e

Curved beak to
drink nectar
-t i p

from owers
ped s
Whit e

az
op

i c kl e b i l l
yt
-ne cke d ja

R ub

Scythe-shaped
cob

wings for
high-speed ight Orange-red
in

tail fanned to
attract females

underneath them to get at its food. The stripe-breasted white-throated swift 8 nest in rocky crevices. Like all
starthroats 5 folded wings are much longer than its tail. swifts they have tiny feet that cling but cannot hop or perch.
The tiny bee hummingbird 6 from Cuba is the smallest The common swift 9 from Europe, Africa, and Asia is
bird in the world. Males are 5 cm (2 in) long and weigh less one of the worlds fastest birds. It spends most of its time
than a sugar cube. Hummingbirds are found only in the on the wing, and even eats, drinks, and sleeps in flight. After
Americas, but swifts live all around the world. They feed on leaving the nest, a young swift does not land until its second
insects that they catch on the wing. The alpine swift 7 and or third birthday, when it starts to breed. 177
Kingfishers
Racquet-tipped tail can
swing like a pendulum

ot
1B lu

tm
-c r o

e
and relatives
o wned m

ill
nb Large eyes with

ed hor feathery eyelashes


2 Re d - b i l l
ot

Hollow chamber
otm

ound hornb ill amplies


he rn gr hornbills call
dm

rt
3
No
o i s e - b ro w e
u
Turq

ill
rnb
r
b e e- e a t e

r p ie d ho
p e an

M al a b a
Euro

4
5

6 White -
thr
oa
t
ed

Short claws on
be

strong feet
e-e

Tail with central


at e

spike seen in adults


r

Kingfishers often live near water, but most of Central and South America swoops on insects and other
their relatives are land-based. Many of them hunt small animals from a favourite perch. The African red-billed
animals, and nearly all dig nest holes in riverbanks or in hornbill 2 lives on the ground and in trees, while the
trees. The biggest of these birds are ground hornbills, which northern ground hornbill 3 patrols Africas grasslands
can weigh twice as much as a farmyard hen. At the other on its large scaly feet. Hornbills get their name from the
extreme, some kingfishers weigh just 10 g (1 3 oz), which helmet, or casque, that many have on top of their beaks.
178 is less than a CD. The blue-crowned motmot 1 from The Malabar pied hornbill 4 from South Asia has an
Crest raised on quet-t a
R ac

8
take-off and landing i

er

C o mm
le d

adis e kingf ish


ro l l

on king f isher
er

Birds Kingfishers and relatives


ar
ted p
Bl u

Buf f- b r e as
e -b
oe el l i
ed
op

ro
Ho

7 ll er

r hornb ill
p ete
m
Tru

kingfis
er

my

h
p yg
an
Slender beak

A f r ic
to probe
for insects
in trees
Flattened bill
for catching
Brown plumage
insects in ight
camouages the
G re e n w o o d

bird in trees

9
rra
Belted k
dy
Ja

ma bu
ho op o e

ican to o ka
o
gk

ing
hin

L i tt

fish
ug
La

le

ki
er

ng
10

f i s h er
n gfisher
k i n g f i s h er

i
Yellow-billed k

SCALE
P ie d

extra-large casque, and its wings make a distinct whooshing kingfishers 8 live along rivers and streams, where they dive
sound as it flies. European bee-eaters 5 and white- for fish. The North American belted kingfisher 9 is another
throated bee-eaters 6 are experts at catching bees while waterside hunter. Like its relatives, it hits its catch against a
flying. After they have caught one, they wipe it against a perch before swallowing it head-first. The Australian laughing
perch to remove its sting. The hoopoe 7 is a migratory kookaburra 10 is the worlds biggest kingfisher, with a noisy
bird that breeds in Europe and Asia. It uses its slender beak laughing call. It lives in woodland and swoops on anything that
to probe in the ground for grubs and worms. Common it can swallow, including insects, lizards, and snakes. 179
Toucans and

G re a t b a r b e t
woodpeckers
Birds Toucans and woodpeckers

fr on t ouc anet
S af
SCALE

Beak with
serrated edges

ac ar i
la re d ar
C ol

b i rd
u c an 5
to
ney
d
te

ho
e as

d
ke
-br

c
n -b a t
G re e nle
Re d

u
R u s t y - b re a s t e d n
1

3 Wh
it e
-w
his
ke
re
d pu

rd

i
f fb
ffbir

ar ed pu
d

t e-e
ca net 4 W hi
t ou Beak has

il le d honeycomb-like

t-b
air spaces
o
Sp tnut- e are d ara
2
6 Che s c ar
i
Bl ack-f
ro
nt

d
e

nu
Long, slender nb
tongue ird

Toucans and woodpeckers look very different spaces, saving a lot of weight. The spot-billed toucanet 2
but they belong to the same group of birds. They live mainly has a smaller beak but it feeds in typical toucan style. After
in woods and forests, and usually nest in holes. All of them picking a piece of fruit, it tosses it in the air and then swallows
have specially shaped feet for clinging to tree trunks, but it whole. The white-whiskered puffbird 3 and white-
the most attention-grabbing feature of toucans is a giant eared puffbird 4 feed mainly on insects, and often nest in
multicoloured beak. The red-breasted toucan 1 feeds old termite mounds or in holes in the ground. Like toucans,
180 mainly on fruit. Like many toucans, its beak is filled with air collared aracaris 5 and chestnut-eared aracaris 6 live
To

e r b i rd
u
ca
n-b

tin k
arb
et

ed

8
ro nt

Nor

r
w -f

tte d wo o p ecke
7 To co t
Yello ouc

the
an

d
rn
fli
c
ke
r

a t s p o
Gre
Beak more t

le
than half the

9
Sp ott e d picu
birds body length

D
Ar
na

Re b a
ud

-h

d
rb e ad e
s b

et d
ar
be
t

Prominent
red crest is
or always raised
N

Two toes face th


forwards and er
nw d jac amar
ile
two backwards
ry
ne c
a
s-t

k
fo u

Long, thin,
Ru

dagger-like
beak
11
et

P ile
rb
ba

at e

w
ello
Re d - a n d - y
dw

r
ke
oo

e c
dp
dp
ec
o

Yel
wo

ke
owl
ed

O c h ra c e o u
10

-b
nt

s l
He ar

el
f ro

er

pi

ie

Tail braces body


w-

cul

d
e ck

against tree-trunk
sa
t-sp
lo

et

ps
Yel

ot
dp

te d woo
uc
ke
r

in the forests in Central and South America. They roam the and hammer into them with their beaks in search of insects
treetops in small flocks and roost together in hollow trees. to eat. The great spotted woodpecker 9 from Europe
The toco toucan 7 is one of the largest birds in the toucan and Asia eats wood-boring grubs, while the heart-spotted
family. Its colossal beak allows it to reach fruit growing on the woodpecker 10 from Southeast Asia probes for insects
tips of branches. It also eats small animals such as insects under bark. The North American pileated woodpecker 11
and frogs. Some woodpeckers, including the northern is one of the largest of these wood-busting birds. Despite its
flicker 8 , feed on the ground, but most cling to tree trunks impressive size, it feeds mainly on ants. 181
Birds of prey 1 B at e
leu
r

SCALE Sw ai
nso
Birds Birds of prey

ns
ha
wk

Finger-like
flight feathers

L i z a rd b u
z za
rd
wk

ha
ile d
wk Re d - t a
is s ha
Har r
2

Golden bronze
feathers, only present
on the head and nape

le 4
e ag
B al
n
lde
Go
de
3
ag

A f r ic a n h a w k e
le

a gl
e

Powerful wings
for heavy lifting

With their hooked beaks and piercing claws, North America is one of the few that work in teams. The
birds of prey are natural killers. Most of them use their golden eagle 3 hunts over mountains and the Arctic
feet to grab food, and their hooked beaks to tear it apart. tundra. With its huge wings and powerful legs, it can lift
Some, such as the African bateleur 1 , eat carrion as prey as heavy as itself. North American bald eagles 4
well as live prey. Vultures, on the other hand, are full-time often gather near water, where they catch live fish or eat
scavengers, gulping down rotting remains. Birds of prey dead ones that wash up on the shore. They build massive
182 usually hunt alone, but the Harriss hawk 2 from nests from sticks, and the biggest one on record weighed
el

r
st
ke
on
Eu

Comm
ra
s ia
nb
uz
n

Birds Birds of prey


lco

za
y fa

rd
G re

7
5

Forward-facing eyes
Pe r
eg
for judging distances r in
e
A mer ic a lc

f
on
an kestrel
Large, broad wings
and a short tail

rd
a
zz
bu

Eagle-like
n g -l e g g e d

head, with a
hooked beak
9

ec
S

r
et a
Lo

r
yb
i rd
M er l i n

Snake about to be
swallowed whole
8
Os
pr
ey

Afr
ic a

Long, partly
np

feathered legs
yg
m
yf
alc
on

Reversible outer toe for


a better grip of prey

nearly 3 tonnes. Falcons and kestrels are much smaller 300 kph (186 mph), which is almost as fast as a Formula 1
birds, with slim bodies and slender wings. The Australian racing car. Found all over the world, the osprey 8 hunts fish,
grey falcon 5 dives down on other birds, while the snatching them from the water's surface and then carrying
common kestrel 6 hovers in mid-air before dropping on them back to its perch. The African secretary bird 9 has
voles, insects, and even worms. The peregrine falcon 7 extra-long legs and hunts on the ground. An expert snake-
is the fastest animal on Earth. Hurtling towards the ground eater, it uses its wings as shields and often stamps on its
with its wings partly folded, it can hit speeds of more than prey before swallowing it whole. 183
re
a ra c a ra
Yel l ow-he ade d c Adult has l tu
black streak
e y-v u
behind the eye rk

Tu
11
Birds Birds of prey

a