Here's one of four Tasmanian devils that have just moved into new homes at the San Diego Zoo. They're the only Tasmanian devils in a U.S. zoo, and though they're in quarantine right now, they will soon be marquee attractions in the zoo's Australian Outback exhibit. Fortunately, Tasmanian devils don't actually spin like tornadoes and whirl through everything in sight.
It's fall in the northern hemisphere, the time when many bird species take wing and head for warmer climes. Which bird takes the longest non-stop flight of any in the avian world? This one does: the Alpine swift. Researchers at the Swiss Ornithological Institute and the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Burgdorf, Switzerland, have observed from collected data that Alpine swifts take little, if any, time off during their migration from Switzerland to their winter homes in Western Africa and back again the following year.
Meet the star-nosed mole. Its face won't launch a thousand ships, or even a dozen row boats, but it's the world's fastest eater and that puts it in the record books -- ahead of more comely creatures. If that weren't enough, its nose looks like a flower, allowing it to poke out of the ground, as though it were a plant. And the "flower" on its nose has the highest density of nerve endings known in any mammalian skin.
Alejandro Arteaga / Tropical Herping
Speaking of prominent proboscises, Pinocchio anoles were thought to have been extinct for about 50 years, but they have recently been rediscovered in the cloud forests of northwest Ecuador. They may have rejoined the world, but be careful believing anything they say.
Ever feel like you're being watched? Two owl butterflies drink from orange wedges, during a visit of the butterfly conservatory at the American Natural History Museum in New York.
It might not have spooky owl eyes, but the Atlas moth, another guest of the butterfly conservatory, is the largest moth in the world. We're gonna need a bigger light bulb.
Single file, everyone. Elephants and calves lumber across the plain on Oct. 8, 2013 at Amboseli National Park, approximately 137 miles (220 kilometers) southeast of Nairobi. The caravan of giants has no idea there might be a census taker overhead: The Kenyan and Tanzanian governments have begun a joint aerial count of elephants and other large mammals in the shared ecosystem of the Amboseli-West Kilimanjaro and Natron-Magadi landscapes.
Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Corbis
There are winners and losers in life, and this week the winner's column included Noodle, an 11-month-old female cocker spaniel/poodle cross breed (or "cockapoo," if you really want to rob the dog of its dignity) that won the Westminster Dog of the Year competition, a yearly match among Parliamentarians' pets. Here, Noodle enjoys the thrill of victory with Member of Parliament, and proud Noodle owner, Alan Duncan.
Noah, a baby yellow-footed rock wallaby, and not owned by a Parliamentarian, sits on a rock in the Tierpark Zoo in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 11, 2013. About eight months old, the cub spent several months in its mother's pouch and has now decided it's time to emerge and meet the public. Yellow-footed rock wallabies are an endangered species, and the Tierpark Zoo, along with some other facilities, maintains a special breeding program for them.
Then Chih Wey/Xinhua Press/Corbis
Wildlife Reserves Singapore has been on a roll in 2013, its breeding program having produced more than 400 animal babies between January and August. This female orangutan in the Singapore Zoo is a prime example of the program, as she cradles her two babies on Oct. 3, 2013. The baby at left may or may not be busy sending a text message to someone. Kids these days ...