The axolotl is a newt-like creature, 4-7 in. long, usually black, or dark brown with black spots, but albinos are quite common. The legs and feet are small and weak, while the tail is long, with a fin running from the back of the head to the tail and along the underside of the tail.
The aye-aye could be described as almost squirrel-like, except for the bizarre hands and feet. Like those of other primates (lemurs, monkeys, apes) the hands and feet have opposable thumbs.
The beauty of the axis deer or chital lies in its coat, which is bright reddish-brown with lines of conspicuous white spots, set off by the white underparts and the insides of the ears. . The chital, also known as the spotted deer, is unusual in that the stags shed their antlers at all times of the year and the fawns can be born at all times.
Avadavats live in damp areas where reeds and tall grasses flourish. Well known as cage birds, they do well in captivity. There is only one species, with three races of avadavat: the Indian or Bombay avadavat, the Javan avadavat and the golden-bellied avadavat of Burma.
Alligators are more sluggish than crocodiles; this may possibly have an effect on their longevity, for there are records of alligators having lived more than 50 years. They spend most of their time basking on the banks of rivers.
Alderfly is a primitive insect whose larvae live in water. It is not a true fly, like the housefly, but belongs to a group of insects which includes the lacewings and ant-lions. This group reached its zenith during the times when the coal measures were being laid down, 300 million years ago.
Adélie penguins live on the Antarctic continent and on many small, surrounding coastal islands. There is a story of Adélie penguins which seems to credit them not only with a high level of intelligence but with a selfishness that is rivalled only by the most callous of humans.
Adder is a snake, member of the viper family. The adder has a relatively stout body for a snake and a short tail. The average male is 21 in. long, the female 2 ft — the record length is 2 ft 8 in. The head is flat, broadening behind the eyes to form an arrow-head shape. A The adder’s tongue looks menacing but is harmless.
The movements of addax are intimately related to the distribution of their food, which in turn is related to the weather. Addax are most likely to be found along the northern fringe of the tropical summer rains, moving north in winter as the Mediterranean trough system brings rain southwards.
Accentor differ from sparrows in having slender and finely pointed bills and a well developed tenth primary wing feather. Accentors are found throughout Europe and Asia. The dunnock can be seen all over Europe except in parts of the far north and south.