Category: Uncategorized

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae (Pythons)

Genus/Species: Morelia bredli

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: A large, heavily built species, unlike its two more slender Aspidites exhibit companions, who are built for burrowing. Distinct, but variable colors and pattern; often brown-to-reddish background color with cream patterning surrounded by black.
Undersides lighter. Note the multiple heat sensing pits in the upper and lower jaws.

Length up to 2 m, known to reach 3 m in captivity

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Northern Territory of Central Australia in arid desert areas. Most often on rocky outcrops and river banks in or around trees and shrubs. as birds are a favored prey item.


DIET IN THE WILD: Birds are a favored prey item. Like all pythons, a non-venomous species that kills by constriction. To save energy during the dry season when food and water are scarce, pythons reduce their body temperature.

REPRODUCTION: Centralian Pythons are oviparous, like all pythons. The female coils around the eggs, protecting and warming them with heat generated by muscular “shivering” for the incubation period.

REMARKS: Like all pythons it is a non-venomous species that kills by constriction. To save energy during the dry season when food and water are scarce, pythons reduce their body temperature. 

Color of Life note: Pit vipers, boas and pythons have heat sensing organs which detect infrared wavelengths on their face. This feature that detects heat is used in the dark to detect warm blooded prey.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Water Planet little water 2018

The Reptile Database 1981

Inland Reptile. bredli.htm

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Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Charochyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Rhizophoraceae

Genus/species: Rhizophora mangle

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Height from 6–15 m (20-50 ft); has multiple prop roots descending from widely spreading branches; reddish-brown. Their unique prop roots system also help the tree to combat hypoxia by allowing it a direct intake of oxygen through its root structure. The tree produces pale pink flowers in the spring.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Native to tropical estuarine ecosystems throughout the tropics in the New World, Atlantic and Pacific coastlines plus Galapagos Islands; Western coast of Africa and Pacific islands.
They are found in salt-saturated sand or mud, inundated twice daily, along tropical seacoasts, river and estuary margins; often adjacent to coral reefs.

REPRODUCTION: Its viviparous “seeds,” called propagules (reality a living tree) become fully mature plants before dropping off the parent tree.

CONSERVATION: They are planted to stabilise and reduce erosion of coastal land.

REMARKS: Red mangroves are harvested to provide timber for building, fencing, fuel and charcoal and they are planted to stabilise and reduce erosion of coastal land.

R. mangle are considered an invasive species in some locations, such as Hawaii, where they forms dense, monospecific thickets. However Mangroves are important providing  nesting and hunting habitat for a diverse array of organisms, including fish and birds as well as preserving the shore lie in storms.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium The Shallow Reef and Mangrove Pop-Up,Main floor (level one) 2018

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Atlas of Living Australia

Eden Project…

Smithsonian Marine Station.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Geoemydidae

Genus/species: Heosemys spinose

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The sharp, pointed, spiky-edged carapace, and spiny keel are unique to this turtle. See photo at  Arkive
It is thought that this spiny ‘armour’ acts as a deterrent to predators, such as snakes. However, the, strongly-serrated carapace edge and spiny keel become worn down and are lost with age, so that larger individuals are much smoother than juveniles and less likely to be needed.
The carapace is brown with a pale streak down the central keel, and the head and limbs are greyish-brown, usually with a yellow to red spot behind the eye and similar-coloured speckling on the legs.

Length carapace; up to 220 mm (8.6 in)
Weight up to 2 kg (6.6 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Southeast Asia, from Thailand and possibly southern Myanmar southward through Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo and Natuna, numerous small Indonesian Islands and the Philippines.
This semi-aquatic species is found in shallow, wooded mountain streams, but spends considerably time on land foraging or burrowing amongst the leaf litter of the forest floor.

DIET IN THE WILD: Apparently herbivorous in the wild, preferring fruits and vegetables, but will accept some animal foods in captivity.

The spiny turtle is in grave danger of extinction due to over-collection from the wild for the Asian food market and international pet trade, as well as being threatened by the destruction of its habitat.
This species is difficult to breed in captivity but some institutions have been successful bred. (Atlanta and Knoxville Zoos in the US., and Durell Wildlife in Jersey, Europe


California Academy of Sciences Rainforest (L2) 2018

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IUCN Red List August 2017.

Ecology Asia.


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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes (Eels and morays)
Family: Muraenidae (Moray eels)

Gymnothorax mordax 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Color is dark brown to green, mottled. The is somewhat compressed and has no pectoral fins
(all eels lack pelvic fins)..

Length up to 1.5 m (5 ft)

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT: Found from Point Conception to south Baja California in rocky subtidal areas diurnally resting in crevices or holes with their head usually protruding. Depth 6–40 m, typically 0.6–20 m.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds nocturnally upon crustaceans, octopuses and fishes. Prey is detected by smell.

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: They can live up to 30 years.


REMARKS: Morays constantly open and close their mouth. They do this to aid respiration. It is not a threat display. California Moray bites can cause serious lacerations, and may be unprovoked.

Much of its time they hiding in holes and crevices amongst the rocks on the ocean floor. They are able to remain out of sight from predators and are also able to ambush any unsuspecting prey that passes.

California Morays may be eaten but some species of Moray are poisonous.


California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium 2017

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer, Herald and Hammann page 64

More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes of the Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 pages 83-84

Animal Diversity Web


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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Sebastidae (Rockfishes, rockcods and thornyheads)

Genus/species: Sebastes serriceps

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  One of the most striking, unusually marked rockfishes, with 5-6 black bars over a yellowish to olive body and red lips and chin. Compact body with large head venomous spines.

NOTE: Other barred rockfishes are not yellow or olive.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  San Francisco to central Baja California Inhabiting areas with numerous caves, crevices and other protective recesses. They are solitary and territorial and usually found between 6–40 m (19-125 ft) a maximum depth of 45 m (190 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Most probably either crepuscular (feeding at dawn and dusk) or nighttime ambush predator, feeding on shrimp, crabs and small fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous, same as other Sebastes sp.

PREDATORS: Sharks, dolphins, and seals.

LONGEVITY: Live up to 25 years

REMARKS: S. serriceps is an important species in both the nearshore recreational fishery and in the commercial live fish fishery.

Serriceps means “saw head” in latin, referring to the large head spines. See below on this immature Treefish.


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California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 151

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press ppg. 193-194


CA dept of fish and

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus/species: Mus musculus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: it has a dull greyish-brown fur and the tail, which is the same length as the body, It has a
distinctive strong ‘stale’ odor. Length: 6 – 10 cm (2.36 – 4 inches)

IMG_8925 (1)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Global, origin probably Mediterranean

DIET: House mice are typically active at night eating invertebrates, most human food and more.

IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: The House Mouse is partially color blind communicating with squeaks, ultrasonic calls and pheromones.

Predators such as pit vipers, boas and pythons have heat sensing organs which detect infrared wavelengths on their face. This feature that detects heat is used in the dark to detect warm-blooded prey such as mice.

M. musculus is one of the most widely distributed and successful mammals in the world.


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California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

Kingdom:Animalia (animals)
Phylum; Chordata (chordates)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Gobiidae (Gobies)

Genus/species: Coryphopterus nicholsii


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Northern British Columbia to central Baja. Habitat: Subtropical quiet water, usually in sandy areas near rocks. Intertidal to 100 m (260 feet).

 Blackeye Goby3156957770_6f372fc8f5_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Eye and tip of first dorsal fin black. Large scales. Fleshy ridge extending from area between the eyes to dorsal fin. Pale tan overall with small blue spot below the eye. Max. length: 15 cm (6 inches).

 Blackeye Goby3968321166_3e2284847f_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crustaceans and mollusks including amphipods, copepods, isopods, decapods (particularly hermit crabs), snails, and clams.

Blackeye Goby3707835699_7a6d5047ff_b

REPRODUCTION: A protogynous hermaphrodite (born female and change sex to male). Forms permanent harem groups composed of a single male and several smaller females Oviparous, Male cleans spawning site under rock, then attracts female by rising from bottom to display his black pelvic disk. Male guards nest after female lays eggs.


REMARKS: Defensive strategy is to freeze on the bottom but if a predator comes too close, the goby dashes for safety under a rock or to another protective spot.




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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Embiotocidae (Surfperches)

Genus/species; Amphistichus argenteus  


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: . Travels in small groups. Silvery or white; 8–10 rust-colored vertical bars on side with spots in between. Length to 43 cm, max (17 inches), Max published weight: 2,000 g (4.4 pounds).

Barred Surfperch5037562334_42d46250cd_b

 DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Subtropical marine. Bodega Bay, California to northern central Baja California.Found near sandy beaches in surf; found in trawl catches up to 73 m. (240 feet).

 DIET IN THE WILD:: Crabs; clams, and other invertebrates. Feed primarily on sand crabs which were present in over 90 percent of all stomachs containing food, and made up over 90 percent of the food by volume in a study by University of California. (;NAAN=13030&do…)

 MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Life span: to 9 years.

 CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.

 REMARKS: An important sport fishery for most surf fishermen in California. Anglers use sand crabs, sandworms, blood worms, shrimp, squid, cut fish, Gulp! sandworm and small hard baits to catch these fish.





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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Labridae (Wrasses)

Genus/species: Clepticus parrae


GENERAL/CHARACTERISTICS: Color primarily violet or purple; large individuals with a wash of yellow on lower two-thirds of body; prolonged portions of dorsal and anal fins and tips of pelvic fins blackish. Max length : 30.0 cm (1 foot).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Atlantic: Bermuda, southern Florida (USA), and Bahamas to northern South America. Found in seaward reef slopes; occasionally on shallow patch reefs.
Depth 10-30 meters (33-100feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton small jellyfishes, pteropods, pelagic tunicates and various invertebrate larvae

REPRODUCTION: Form leks during breeding (a place where males assemble during the mating season and engage in competitive displays that attract females). Protogynous hermaphrodite The largest fish in a group is a dominant breeding male, while smaller fish remain female. If the dominant male dies, the largest female changes sex.


REMARKS: Like many wrasse, it changes color markedly during its lifetime, with juveniles being almost completely violet-purple. As it matures, it develops a yellow patch on the rear part of its body.





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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets)
Subfamily: Epinephelinae (groupers)

Genus/species: Gonioplectrus hispanus

Gonioplectrus hispanusIMG_9063


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Head, body, dorsal and caudal fins yellow; 6-7 salmon-colored stripes from the head to the dorsal and caudal fins; blood-red blotch on the front half of anal fin; white blotch on the side of belly; pinkish purple pelvic fins. Max. length 30 cm (12 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Atlantic: off North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and south to Vitoria, Brazil Found in deepwater on sandy bottoms and reefs. Demersal; depth range 35 – 365 m (115-1200 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Piscivores (feeds on fish)





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Vetted Matt Wandell,  Biologist California Academy of Sciences




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