Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Monachus monachus

Some of my Mediterranean Monk Seal photos published in the Arkive website (www.arkive.org).

“The Mediterranean monk seal is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. The description of this species by Aristotle was the first known written description of a pinniped (a group that includes seals, sea lions and walrus), and the head of a monk seal appeared on one of the first ever coins, around 500 BC. Adults have a brown or grey coat, which becomes paler on the undersurface and males often feature a white patch on the belly. Old males are darker in colour and often become black, but retain the ventral white patch. Newborn infants are black and woolly with a white or yellow patch on the belly, the shape of which can sometimes be used to determine the sex of an individual” – in Arkive.org

Monday, 18 January 2010

Oriolus crassirostris

Another two of São Tomé's photos published in the Arkive website (www.arkive.org).

“Orioles are fairly large, boldly coloured, woodland and forest birds; only one species of oriole occurs on the island of São Tomé. Male São Tomé orioles have black heads and pale olive plumage on the upperparts, with darker wings and tail and greyish-white underparts. Touches of greyish-yellow decorate the back of the neck and the tip of the tail. Females, however, lack the bold black head and, like juveniles, have pale streaks across a darker breast. Both sexes have a down-curved pink-red bill , and are often detected by their loud ringing song” – in Arkive.org

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Otus hartlaubi

Two of my photos of the São Tomé scops-owl have been published on the Arkive website (www.arkive.org).

“This small owl, named after the only island it inhabits, has warm reddish-brown plumage with indistinct, fine reddish markings and black streaks. The underparts are lighter but are boldly streaked with black and have brown, rufous and white markings. The tail bears narrow buff coloured bars and the feathers on the shoulders are adorned with white spots tipped with black. The rounded face, typical of all owls, is also a light reddish-brown, with a white chin, white ‘eyebrows’ and tiny ear tufts. The sharp, hooked bill and large, forward-facing eyes are yellow, and are both adaptations for hunting and capturing prey. The São Tomé scops-owl calls with a high-pitched ‘hu-hu-hu’ or a low, harsh ‘kowe’ “ – in Arkive.org