Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

The hoopoe is a colourful bird found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive “crown” of feathers. It is the only extant species in the family Upupidae. Nine subspecies of hoopoe are recognise. hey vary mostly in size and the depth of colour in the plumage. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when probing inside the soil. The hoopoe has two basic requirements of its habitat: bare or lightly vegetated ground on which to forage and vertical surfaces with cavities in which to nest. In what was long thought to be a defensive posture, hoopoes sunbathe by spreading out their wings and tail low against the ground and tilting their head up. The diet of the hoopoe is mostly composed of insects, although small reptiles, frogs and plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well.

And may I add that its call seriously sounds like a “whoop whoop whoop”?

photo credits: funmozar, wiki, wiki, wiki, azawakh-idi

Fried Egg Jellyfish Are Kind of Adorable – & That’s No Yolk.

There are two species that hold the whimsical title of “Fried Egg Jellyfish”: Phacellophora camtschatica and Cotylorhiza tuberculata though the two are quite different from each other in all aspects beside appearance.

Phacellophora camtschatica is a huge jelly that prefers colder waters. It’s bell can reach up to 2 ft across and its dozens of tentacles reach over 20 ft long! If you don’t think this floating egg creature looks very menacing, you’d be right. It has a very weak sting and many small crustaceans take advantage of the jelly by riding on its bell (breakfast to go…?) while snatching up extra food.

Cotylorhiza tuberculata is a much smaller jellyfish that hangs out in warmer waters. It only reaches about 35 cm in diameter, so don’t go for this Fried Egg Jelly if you want a big breakfast. Unlike most jellyfish, C. tuberculata can swim on its own, without relying on the currents for movement. It’s sting (if you can even call it that) is so feeble that it has very little to no effect on humans at all. I mean, it does look like a breakfast food, after all… how powerful could it be?