This is the largest known species of jellyfish, reaching a diameter of up to eight feet. The tentacles can reach 120 feet long, making it one of the longest-known animals in the world. They are normally found in colder waters but, being subject to the tides and currents, may sometimes wash up on our shores.
Females of this species may grow up to 2.65 inches, with males being slightly smaller and more slender. It can be found throughout the Southeast region, typically on leaves and shrubs. This species is capable of squirting a strong-smelling and painfully irritating defensive spray.
Eastern Glass Lizard
Scientific Name:Ophisaurus ventraliss
Sometimes called legless lizards, this species may easily be confused for a snake. They have movable eyelids, whereas snakes have fixed eyelids. Other key differences include external ear openings, uniformly sized scales, and a regenerating tail. They are diurnal and quite common, especially on barrier islands, making them a familiar sight in the lowcountry.
Great Horned Owl fledgling
Scientific Name:Bubo virginianus
The fledgling in this picture is using a threat posture to deter potential predators by increasing its apparent size. Through the Spring season, baby birds from Owls to Chickadees may be encountered outside of their nest. In almost all situations, baby birds can be safely returned to their nest or left where they are on the ground (the parents may be watching you, even if you can’t see them). Never keep a baby bird, as all migratory birds are protected under Federal law. Do your research and educate others on what can be done if they encounter a baby bird.
Scientific Name:Carduelis tristis
Even in winter plumage, this bird has white wing bars which contrast with its black wings. Its winter range includes coastal South Carolina, but may be seen year-round in the upstate. Look for this bird in weedy fields, along roadsides feeding on thistles and sunflowers, or at feeders.
Scientific Name:Ambystoma talpoideum
These salamanders have large, flattened heads which they use, in combination with their front legs, to burrow during the day. They are most often encountered when they migrate to wetlands on rainy nights from October to March.
Marsh Rice Rat
Scientific Name:Oryzomys palustris
As its name implies, the marsh rice rat is common near marshes and wet meadows, like the old rice impoundments that are so common in the lowcountry landscape. They create flat expanses of bent marsh plants to be used as runways. They also weave marsh grasses into nests. Everything about this animal is supremely adapted to life in the lowcountry.
Scientific Name:Trachemys scripta scripta<
The elongated foreclaws of the male yellow-bellied slider feature in a very curious courtship ritual. The male wows the female by vibrating his claws in front of her face while both are underwater. Once the female is ready to lay eggs, she may travel more than a mile from water to find a suitable site.
Scientific Name:Bombycilla cedrorum
Cedar waxwings are a gregarious species, travelling in large flocks in search of their favorite winter food, berries. The first part of their common name refers to their affinity for juniper berries, found on cedar trees. The second part of their common name refers to the waxy red “droplets” that form on the tips of their wings.