SPECIES SPOTLIGHTS

Before each adventure we create a checklist of target species ranging from the reptiles, the birds, the insects to the arachnids. To see which animals you hope to encounter on your adventure, scroll to a region below and test your knowledge with our animal fact sheets & videos.
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Australasia

Australasia

A diverse continent with large expanses of desert through the centre of Australia moving to subtropical woodland and rainforest across a northern belt. The region is famous for its unique animals including the marsupials such as kangaroos and koalas. Also home to the monotremes, the world’s only egg-laying mammals.
South East Asia

South East Asia

Southeast Asia is one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. Most of the region is tropical with high rainfall giving rise to its rainforest ecosystems. On the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are home to iconic mammals, the orangutan, the Asian elephant, the Malayan tapir, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the tiger and the clouded leopard. On the island of Komodo the largest species of lizard, the Komodo Dragon, can be found.
Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Area covering Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. A diverse region of savannah scrubland, desert and woodland habitats. Home to a great diversity of predators within a natural food chain.

Fact Sheets

Boyd’s Forest Dragon

Lophosaurus boydii

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This characteristic lizard is one of two “forest dragons” (genus Lophosaurus) living in Australia. This one is larger living in certain rainforests in North East Queensland. It has a distinctive crest and enlarged cheek scales. Males are larger than the females.
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Black Headed Python

Aspidites melanocephalus

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A strikingly beautiful python living in Australia. As its name suggests has a black head. Is one of two species in the genus (the other the woma python), both of which specialise in eating other reptiles. Can sometimes be mistaken for venomous snakes including western browns, inland taipans, but of…
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Australian Dingo

Canis familiaris

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The Dingo is Australia’s wild dog. It was introduced to Australia ca. 4,000 years ago by Asian seafarers, where they were domestic. They have now adapted to a wide variety of habitats and although not technically native, they are considered Australian fauna. They have been attributed to the decline of…
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Blue Tongue Skink

Tiliqua scincoides

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Blue-tongued lizards are the largest members of the skink family. At night they hide among leaf litter or under rocks and logs. Early in the morning blue-tongues emerge to bask in sunny areas before foraging for food. Blue-tongues live alone for most of the year, but between September and November…
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Coastal Taipan

Oxyuranus scutellatus

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Coastal Taipans are mainly diurnal, active in the early to mid-morning period. They are oviparous (egg-laying) where the female lays up to 21 soft-shelled eggs in a log hollow or cavities in the ground. The Coastal Taipan is often regarded as the most dangerous snake in Australia. They are extremely…
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Common Death Adder

Acanthophis antarcticus

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The common death adder occurs over much of eastern and coastal southern Australia. Thanks to its banded red earth stripes, the death adder is expertly camouflaged, hiding beneath leaf litter. It is an ambush predator, unlike most Australian elapid (the front fanged venomous snakes). The death adder venom is toxic,…
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Short-Beaked Echidna

Tachyglossus aculeatus

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Found throughout Australia and southern New Guinea. They are mostly active at dusk and dawn (i.e. are “crepuscular”). In winter they hiberate in holes in the ground. The echidna is famous for its coarse hairs and spines which it uses to defend against predators, where it will burrow into the…
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Southern Cassowary

Casuarius casuarius

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The southern cassowary is the largest bird in Australia, and the third largest in the world. They are solitary pairing up only in breeding season. The male builds a nest on the ground and uses this to attract a female to mate with. The male also incubates the eggs and…
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Orangutan

Pongo abelii (Sumatran)

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Orangutans are great apes found in the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia. They are the most arboreal of the great apes living in trees. They are known locally as “person of the forest”. Their species are considered critically endangered, with their habitat being depleted and also being hunted for the…
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King Cobra

Ophiophagus hannah

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The largest venomous snake in the world that is known the world over. The species lives across northern India to China down to Indonesia. They are threatened by habitat destruction and are listed as vulnerable to extinction. The kind cobra is noticeable not just by its size but also by…
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Malayan Horned Frog

Megophrys nasutus

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A large frog of the rainforest living across South East Asia. They are known for the camouflage where they sit in ambush amongst the leaf litter. They can be heard by their loud call which is a “honk” . Breeding takes place in streams, female frogs attach the eggs to…
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Atlas Rhinoceros Beetle

Chalcosoma atlas

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They’re among the largest of all rhinoceros beetles. They exhibit sexual dimorphism where males are larger than females, with more prominent horns. The Atlas beetle is a species living in Southeast Asia. They are incredibly strong beetles able to lift objects that are up to 850 times their body weight.
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Flying Draco Lizard

Draco volans

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Also called the flying dragon, this is a species of lizard in the Agamidae family. Living in Southeast Asia they have an incredible ability to glide or “fly” using winglike flaps that join their forelimbs with they body. Strictly they are arboreal. Males extend a dewlap to communicate. Image…
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Jungle Nymph

Heteropteryx dilatata

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The Jungle Nymph is the heaviest of all stick insects and have the largest eggs of any insect in the world. Females are much larger than the males. The females are bright green in colour and can live up to 2 years. They are found in the Malayan Peninsula, Borneo,…
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Mangrove Snake

Boiga dendrophila

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Nocturnal snake that during the day lays still in trees, at night comes to the ground and hunts prey such as rodents or even eggs. Living by river edges it is known to be an excellent swimmer. It is a venomous, rear-fanged species. Has a beautiful colouration, black with yellow…
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Orchid Praying Mantis

Hymenopus coronatus

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The orchid praying mantis is found in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. It is also found in the Western Ghats of India. This species mimics the orchid flower with the four walking legs resembling the petals of the flower. It can be used as both a camouflage against predators but…
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Wagler’s Pit Viper

Tropidolaemus wagleri

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Wagler’s Pit Viper is often also called the Temple Pit Viper. It is a common species in Southeast Asia. Found on low vegetation, but can be found mid-canopy. As an ambush predator this snake can remain in the same spot for a month. It is a sexually dimorphic species, meaning…
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Meerkats

Suricata suricatta

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Is a small mongoose that is highly social living in mobs of up to 30 individuals. Their home range is 5 square km. They live in a burrow systems which are cooler than the outside temperatures of the Kalahari desert where they live. They have specialised forclaws that are used…
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Puff Adder

Bitis arietans

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Very widespread viper species, found from as far north as Morocco to the Cape of South Africa. Known for its large size and caterpillar-like locomotion. It is responsible for causing the most snakebite fatalities in Africa, mainly due to being an ambush predator it is easy to stand on one.
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Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

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Black rhinos are the smaller of the two African rhino species. It differs from the white rhino being a browser of shrubs and trees, rather than a grazer of grasses. To grip this food it has a hooked lip. Unfortunately the black rhino populations in the wild are under threat,…
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Cape Fur Seal

Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus

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A marine mammal living in southern Africa. The Cape fur seal is a great swimmer able to dive to over 400m. They have external ears, which is the difference to the “true seals”. They are hunted on the coastline / land by jackals abd hyenas. At sea they are preyed…
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Giraffe

Giraffa giraffa angolensis

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There are currently nine different giraffe subspecies recognised in Africa. The Angolan giraffe is found in northern Namibia, south-western Zambia, Botswana, and western Zimbabwe. With only 13,000 remaining in the wild there are conservation efforts to monitor them and conserve their habitat.
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Leopard Tortoise

Stigmochelys pardalis

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The fourth largest tortoise in the world, and the largest in Southern Africa. It is the only member of its genus. Found commonly in thick shrub and grassland habitats, they are grazers of grasses and succulent plants where it gets most of its water needs. It may inhabit holes but…
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Namaqua Chameleon

Chamaeleo namaquensis

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This chameleon species is the largest in Africa. Occurs through the arid western part of southern Africa, particularly in the Namib Desert. It is terrestrial and is usually seen walking along the ground, rarely climbing unlike many other chameleon species. They are preyed upon by hawks & jackals as well…
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Namib Web-Footed Gecko

Pachydactylus rangei

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This beautiful gecko that is nearly translucent, in the right light you can see the organs under the belly. They are nocturnal spending the day in self-dug burrows. Its unique webbed feet are the perfect adaptation for life in the Namib Desert.
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Perenguey’s Adder

Bitis peringueyi

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Also known as the sidewinder, this snake lives in the soft dunes of the Namib Desert. Its venom isn’t considered deadly to humans but is powerful enough to subdue insect and lizard prey. Wiggles its caudal lure (tip of tail) in order to attract prey. Capable of drinking coastal mist…
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Zebra Spitting Cobra

Naja nigricincta

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This species is native to Southern Africa, including in the countries of Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. It is mainly active at night but can be seen out in the mornings and evenings. Known for its unique zebra-like vertical stripes. Flattens its head into a hood like other cobra…
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