From a beautiful southern African antelope, down to a small pouchless Australian marsupial and to an endangered Hawaiian goose, these animals that begins with N are surprisingly awesome!
The nuthatch is a small, compact passerine bird that belongs to the bird family Sittidae, comprising 25 species where 15 species are widespread in Asia and few species inhabiting the woodlands of the Northern Hemisphere. Resembling that of a small woodpecker, nuthatch sports blue-gray upperparts and whitish belly. It average 100mm – 195 mm in length and weighs around 10 g – 47 g, has large a head with a black eye stripe, a powerful, black pointed bill, short tail and legs. An omnivore, nuthatch feeds primarily on insects, hazel nuts and seeds.
The Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) is a medium sized Southern African antelope, which inhabits dry savanna woodland close to a water source. Adult males average 1.4 – 1.6 m tall and weigh between 55-125 kg; females around 90 cm tall and weigh a half as much as the male. Males have dark brown colored head and body with thin white stripes, whitish mane and white mark on the face, neck and eyes. They have loosely spiraled horns which can reach up to 80 cm long. Females are red-brown in color, carry white “V” between their eyes, but lacking in horns. Nyala drinks water daily and primarily feed upon fresh grasses, leaves, twigs, flowers and fruits.
The Numbat (Myremecobius fasciatus), also called the Banded anteater, is a pouchless marsupial found in open woodlands and forests in western Australia. This small animal grows to about 35-45 cm including its bushy tail. It has a reddish brown fur mark with white and black stripes along its back, tapered head, round-tipped ears, and long, powerful tongue. A solitary diurnal creature, it is active during the day searching for food and sleeps at night in hollow logs. Using its long, sticky tongue, numbats feed almost exclusively on termites. Adults need up to 20,000 termites each day.
A nandu, commonly known as Rhea, is a flightless bird (ratite) native to South America. There are two known extant species: the Lesser or Darwin’s Rhea and the Greater or American Rhea. This ostrich-like bird carries a gray-brown plumage, long necks and long legs with three toes on each. Adult males can reach 1.50 m and weighs about 40 kg. These omnivorous birds gather in flock to search for fruits, seeds, leaves, roots, and small animals like grasshoppers, beetles, and lizards.
A Honey Possum (Tarsipes rostratus) or Noolbenger, is a small Australian marsupial (a mammal with a pouch) inhabiting low woodlands, and shrub-filled lands with abundant nectar-giving flowers. This unique mammal averages about 6-9 centimeters long and weighs between 7-11 grams. It has a long, prominent, whiskered snout; long bristled tongue and toes with sharp claws used in gripping leaves and barks. A nocturnal creature, it spends most of the day sleeping hidden in hollow branches or by low-growing plants. Honey Possum travels in group in search of nectar and pollen from flowers. They start to mate at about the age of a half-year and breed during summer. Life span is about two years.
Nightjars are about 60 to 70 species of medium-sized night-flying birds, comprising the family Caprimulgidae. They are widespread around the world, inhabiting open woodlands, forests and conifer plantations. Nightjars average 25 – 28 cm long, with reddish-brown, brown or gray plumage that resembles tree barks. These nocturnal birds have long pointed wings, tails, very short bills and small legs. An expert night hunter, nightjars feed primarily on moth and beetles. They make their nest on the ground and lay one or two eggs.
The Nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) or the Hawaiian goose, is a medium, -sized goose native to the Hawaiian Islands found in grasslands, vegetation, lava plains and coastal dunes. Males, which are bigger than females stand between 53-66 cm and weigh around 1.70-3.05 kg. Adult males sport gray-brown body plumage, buff cheeks, black head and crown, and dark brown iris. The bill, legs and webbed are black. A non-migratory bird, Nene feeds on leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds of grasses and small plants. The most endangered goose in the world, its current population is around 1000 individuals in the wild and a few hundred captive in several zoos.
The biggest Asian antelope, nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), is found in most Indian plains, eastern Pakistan and parts of Southern Nepal. Inhabiting woodlands and grasslands, this diurnal animal feeds on grasses, buds, leaves and fruits. Adult males also called blue bulls grow to about 180-200 cm long, about 120-150 cm at shoulder length and weighs between 120-240 kg. Males have a bluish-gray coat, long, narrow heads with white spot on the cheeks, two conical horns, erectile mane and white throat bib.
The nutria (Myocastor coypus)or coypu, is a large, herbivorous, web-footed, semi-aquatic rodent originally endemic to South America found living in burrows along riverbanks, wetlands and lakeshore. Resembling a large rat with a brown coat, nutria grows to about 40–60 cm (16–24 in) long, weighs 5-9 kg and with a 30–45 cm (12–18 in) tail. Its diet includes roots, aquatic plants and small animals like mussels and snails.
The Neon Tetra
One of the most popular and beautiful aquarium fish, The neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) is a freshwater fish of the family Characidae, widespread on the waters of South America, particularly Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. It sports a bright transparent coloring with blue back and a silver-white belly. A distinctive mark of the fish” is its shimmering blue horizontal stripe running from both sides of the body down to the adipose fin base; a glimmering red stripe that starts at the fish body and stretches to the end of caudal fin. Neon tetras grow to about 3 cm in length. Males are slender while females are rounder. In an aquarium, it feeds on fish flakes and dried foods.