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Biota Reference Libraries

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Coontie Zamia pumila
2009-06-17 12:42:42

The Coontie (Zamia pumila) is a species of woody plant native to the West Indies and Cuba. It was the first species described for the genus. It is found in a variety of habitats that has well-drained sands or loamy soils. It prefers filtered light to partial shade. It is now isolated to central Cuba and the Dominican Republic. It was once abundant in southern Puerto Rico and Haiti, but are now...

Chinese Prickly Ash Zanthoxylum simulans
2009-06-17 12:33:16

The Chinese Prickly Ash or Flatspine Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum simulans) is a species of flowering plant native to eastern China and Taiwan. It is one of several plants of Zanthoxylum from which Sichuan Pepper is produced. It is a small spreading tree that grows to 23 feet tall. Its leaves are 2.75 to 5 inches long and pinnate (having parts of a leaf arranged on both sides of the stem). Each...

Flame of the Forest Butea monosperma
2009-04-28 16:08:40

Butea monosperma, Flame of the Forest or Parrot Tree is indigenous to tropical areas of southern Asia. This deciduous tree grows to nearly 50 feet in height with leaves that feature 3 smaller leaflets that are approximately 4 - 8 inches in length growing symetrically along a center stem that is approximately 3 - 6 inches long. Small colorful reddish orange flowers less than an inch long,...

Eurasian Wryneck
2009-04-07 16:02:40

The Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is a species of bird that is part of the family of woodpeckers. It breeds in the temperate regions of Europe and Asia. It is a migratory species and winters in tropical Africa and southern Asia. Its habitat is open woodland and orchards. It can also be seen in sandy areas along its migration route as it forages for ants. The wryneck gets its name from...

Black-headed Gull
2009-04-01 14:11:15

The Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) is a species of bird that breeds in most of Europe and Asia, and coastal Canada. Most of the population is migratory and winters further south. There are some year round resident populations in westernmost Europe. Some birds will over-winter in northeastern North America, where it was formerly known as the Common Black-headed Gull. The...

Great Black-backed Gull
2009-04-01 13:58:56

The Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) is a species of bird that is found on the European and North American coasts and islands of the North Atlantic. It is mainly a resident species, but some birds may move further inland to large lakes and reservoirs. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, "Systema Naturae". The adult is 24 to 28 inches long with a 55...

Kelp Gull
2009-04-01 13:50:28

The Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) is a species of bird that is found on coasts and islands throughout much of the southern hemisphere. There are two subspecies: L. d. vetula occurs around southern Africa, and L. d. dominicanus is found around South America, parts of Australia (where it overlaps with Pacific Gull), and New Zealand (where it is known as the Southern Black-backed Gull). The...

Smew
2009-01-17 19:13:34

The Smew (Mergellus albellus) is a species of duck that is intermediately placed between mergansers and goldeneyes. It is the only member in its genus Mergellus, which is sometimes grouped with the Mergus genus of mergansers. However, it is most likely closer related to the goldeneyes, and has interbred with the Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). The Smew is found in the northern taiga...

Squirrel Cuckoo
2009-01-17 16:26:28

The Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana) is a species of bird ranging from northwestern Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay, and on Trinidad. The habitat is woodland canopy and edges, second growth, hedges and semi-open areas from sea level to as high as 8200 feet in altitude, though it is not common above 4000 feet. Its name is derived from its habit of running and jumping along branches much...

Greater Scaup
2009-01-17 14:55:32

The Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) or just Scaup in Europe, is a species diving duck found in northern Arctic and sub-Arctic North America and Asia. Its habitat is lakes and bogs on the tundra and at the northern limits of the boreal forest. These birds migrate further south to coastal waters in winter. In North America, Greater Scaup populations have been on a steady decline since the 1990's....

Word of the Day
bawbee
  • A coin originally worth six pennies Scots, and later three; held equivalent to an English halfpenny.
  • (in plural) Money; cash.
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