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Archive for the ‘Wonderful Wildlife’ Category

What is a Seahorse? Check out the role of the father!

October 15th, 2016 Comments off

Photograph by Don McLeish – In this remarkable capture, a seahorse checks out a diver’s watch (and own reflection) underwater.


Seahorses are found in the warmer waters of the world, generally in shallower waters near the coastline.

Seahorses are not covered in scales like other fish. Instead they have bony plates that help protect their bodies. As seahorses do not have ribs, the bony plates do the job. Some kinds of seahorse develop spiky bits that look like twigs sticking out, and these help with camouflage. Seahorses change colour to match their surroundings. They do this by expanding or contracting the pigment cells in their skin. They can appear in many colours from white to black, greens, bright oranges and reds.

The tail is prehensile, which means it can wrap around seaweed to anchor the seahorse, where its upright body looks rather like a part of the plant. Seahorses have a dorsal fin that moves them forwards. On their sides they have pectoral fins, which help them steer.

There are about 35 different kinds of seahorse as far as we know. They range in size from less than a centimetre in length to about 30 centimeters.

Seahorses feed on brine shrimp, tiny fish and plankton. A seahorse sucks in food through its long snout, and is continually feeding. Seahorses have no teeth and swallow live food whole.

Life Cycle
The male seahorse has a pouch on his belly. During mating, the female lays as many as 2,000 eggs into his pouch. The eggs are fertilised inside the pouch, and supporting veins grow around the eggs to give nutrition to the developing babies. About 2-6 weeks later, tiny seahorses hatch and come out of the pouch. The male squeezes his body to push groups of hatched seahorses out of the pouch. This can take two days, and leaves him exhausted. A male and female seahorse may stay together for life. However, some scientists do not think this is so.

source: kidcyber.com

Elephants

October 14th, 2016 Comments off

Approximately 394 different skeleton muscles set the elephant’s body in motion.

The most remarkable part of the elephant’s body is the trunk .

The trunk consists of about 40,000 individual muscles. They give it a remarkable flexibility and deftness.

Elephants are the largest land animals now living. The elephant’s gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal.

At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh  260 lbs. They typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years.

Sadly, the largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956. This male weighed about 24,000 lbs  with a shoulder height of 13.0 ft, a yard taller than the average male African elephant.

The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete during the Pleistocene epoch.

The elephant’s greatest threat is man.

The Cardinal Gynandromorph

October 13th, 2016 Comments off
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No, this isn’t photoshopped. This is a cardinal “gynandromorph” – an animal that exhibits both female and male sexual characteristics. As different sexes are differently coloured, each half of the bird is a different shade.

Why aren’t zebras domesticated or used as pack animals?

October 13th, 2016 Comments off

Zebra Behavior
Family groups are stable members maintaining strong bonds over many years. Mutual grooming, where zebras stand together and nibble the hair on each other’s neck and back, helps develop and preserve these bonds. Family members look out for one another if one becomes separated from the rest, the others search for it. The group adjusts its traveling pace to accommodate the old and the weak.

The females within a family observe a strict hierarchical system. A dominant mare always leads the group, while others follow her in single file, each with their foals directly behind them. The lowest- ranking mare is the last in line. Although the stallion is the dominant member of the family, he operates outside the system and has no special place in the line.  (outtoafrica.com)

Sounds nice, but when asked why Zebras haven’t been domesticated and used as pack or draft animals, Marilyn vos Savant, Parade, answered:

Because zebras are mean!  They are almost impossible to tame, which means they would be even harder to domesticate – a genetic modification that takes place over many generations.  So,as zebras offer no advantages over horses, there’s little reason to even try.  They are among the most dangerous animals in our zoos and wildlife parks.  Their bite is vicious, and they aim to kill.


From the Lens of Bill Stice

October 12th, 2016 Comments off
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293367_245847018779420_2765964_n“A female lion yawning showing her formidable canine teeth. Taken at the North Carolina Zoo near Asheboro, North Carolina.”

Bill Stice

 
 

 

 

Koko doesn’t understand us, neither do I.

July 12th, 2016 Comments off

Koko, the Western Lowland gorilla turned 45 this July 4th.  Can’t help but wonder if she might be thinking, “Poor human beings, look what they are doing to each other.”

koko

 

 

Selfie With Great Horned Owlet – Yeah, it is Wisconsin’s Scott Diehl

July 3rd, 2016 Comments off

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“My status? Why, 30 feet up in a tree putting a fallen Great Horned Owlet in a surrogate nest. Both parent owls are not far away and are voicing their concern.”   Scott Diehl 

Scott is a gifted artist as well as the Wildlife Director at Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Wisconsin Humane Society

@WiscHumaneWildlife

 

A Babe in the Woods, Photo by J. Wilm of Wisconsin

July 1st, 2016 Comments off

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Natural Beauty, West of Gonzales, TX on 90. Photo by Jim Welch

April 7th, 2016 Comments off

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Love this face . . . A Gelada Baboon

March 24th, 2016 Comments off

Gelada

 

Geladas live along the edges and steep slopes of precipices. They never move far from the rim . At night they climb down the steep cliff faces to caves where they roost on ledges, often huddled close together for warmth .

Babies cling tight to their mothers even in sleep. In the morning in the warm sun they climb up again to the top of the cliff and spread out to feed.

Geladas are mainly vegetarian, living on herbs, grasses and roots, but they also eat insects and locusts. They never eat meat, or hunt or kill even small birds or mammals. As a result of this restricted diet they are obliged to spend a very high percentage of their lives foraging and browsing in order to obtain sufficient nutrients to survive.

This may explain why they are so extremely peaceable by nature, with very little squabbling even amongst themselves. They have no natural enemies (except of course, man, who takes a fair toll with his rifle. The great mane of the adult male is used for traditional headresses by highland warriors).

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