Thursday, June 23, 2011

African Wildebeest (Connochaetes Taurinus)

Description and Characteristics:

The wildebeest is also known as the gnu, it comes below the antelope family as a hooved mammal. They have a look of features much like a cross between a cow and a horse.

The Wildebeest is resident to Africa and there are 2 species: the Black Wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu and the Blue Wildebeest, or brindled gnu. Gnus belong to the family Bovidae, which include antelopes, cattle, goats, and other even-toed horned ungulates.

Female wildebeest (cows) are smaller than the male and have both have horns.

Feeding/drinking behavior:

The major food basis of wildebeests is grasses. The seasonal life of the African grasslands forces wildebeest to drift. They like to drink daily when water is obtainable, but can go for a few days without water.


Its habitat consists of grassy plains and open woodlands in southern, central, and eastern Africa. They are especially productive in the Serengeti National Park.

Size & Lifespan

Wildebeest grow to 1.15–1.4 meters at the shoulder and weigh between 150–250 kilograms. Wildebeest can live more than 20 years.


The gestation period in a female is eight and a half months, producing one offspring. The calf is able to stand within minutes of the birth. In a few days it is able to keep up with the herd.

Predators and Threats:

The number of wildebeest has increased steadily over recent years but human habitation leads to less grassland which threatens their long term numbers. The Wildebeests main predators lions and hyenas.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Amazing Facts Of Animals

  • A horse weighing approximately 1,200-pounds, eats approximately seven times it's own weight, in a year. That amounts to almost 8,400-pounds of food. Wow! What an appetite!

  • Apart from human’s even chimpanzees can learn to recognize their own image in a mirror.

  • A cow can give far more milk than a human can consume their lifetime. Any guesses? Almost 200,000 glasses full of milk!

  • While there are so many cows grazing in the world, no two cows will ever be found with identical pattern of spots.

  • A probable identity crisis we have here! Though named polecat, this creature is not a cat but a nocturnal weasel-species in Europe.

  • Is a zebra black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? Any guesses? Well, it’s white with black stripes.

  • Talk about noise pollution in the jungles! A lion’s roar is so loud that it can heard upto a distance of five miles.

  • Cheetahs maybe large and fast, but when they roar they chirp. This sounds more like a bird or a yelping dog. Beware, it is loud enough to be heard upto a mile away.

  • The tusks of elephants grow through their life. The tusks weigh over 200 pounds.

  • Only the male Asian elephants have tusks.

  • The male and female African elephants have tusks.

  • The largest ever lobster to be found weighed 19 kg. It was found in 1934.

  • The largest recorded jellyfish measured 2,3 m across its bell. Its tentacles measured 36 m (120 feet) in length.

  • The largest giant squid ever found weighed 4 tons. It was traced in the in the North Atlantic in the year 1878.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Island gray Fox

With less than a thousand individuals left, the island gray fox (pictured) may not be capable to outfox extinction, according to the new Wildlife Conservation Society report "Rarest of the Rare."

The island gray—the negligible fox in the United States—is found only on California's Channel Islands. The minute mammal has succumbed to predation from golden eagles as well as diseases from domestic dogs introduced to the islands, experts say. (Related: "Wild Pig Hunt Aims to Save California Island Foxes.")

"Extinction is disastrous, particularly if it is avoidable," according to the report, which was free earlier this month. The paper things to see a dozen species scheduled as critically endangered, and so most at risk of extinction, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The rare species—a mix of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds—will also be featured in the 2010-2011 edition of the WCS book State of the Wild: A Global Portrait.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Does Ants have fungus on brain.

Tropical carpenter ants (Camponotus Leonardo) live high up in the rainforest canopy. When infected by a parasitic fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) the behavior of the ants is dramatically changed. They become erratic and zombie-like, and are manipulated by the fungus into dying at a spot that provides optimal conditions for fungal reproduction. New research, published in Biomed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology, looks at altered behavior patterns in Zombie ants in Thailand and shows how the fungus manipulates ant behavior.

A multinational team of scientists investigated O. unilateralis infected carpenter ants in Thailand's rainforest. The growing fungus fills the ant's body and head causing muscles to atrophy and forcing muscle fibers apart. The fungus also affects the ant's central nervous system and while normal worker ants rarely left the trail, zombie ants walked in a random manner, unable to find their way home.

The ants also suffered convulsions which caused them to fall to the ground. Once on the ground the ants were unable to find their way back to the canopy and remained at a lower, leafy, 'understory' which, at about 25cm above the soil was cooler and moister than the canopy, provided ideal conditions for the fungus to thrive.........

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

C@@l pics Of Animals

World's largest bird-Shoebill

Balaeniceps rex, also known as Whale head, is a very large bird related to the storks. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.
The Shoebill is a very large bird, averaging 1.2 meters tall, 5.6 kilograms and a 2.33 meters wingspan. The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.

This species was only discovered in the 19th century when some skins were brought to Europe. It was not until years later that live specimens reached the scientific community. However, the bird was known to both ancient Egyptians and Arabs. There are Egyptian images depicting the Shoe bill, while the Arabs referred to the bird as abu markub, which means one with a shoe, a reference to the bird’s distinctive bill.

Shoe bills feed in muddy waters, preying on lungfish and similar fish. They nest on the ground and lay 2 eggs.The population is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, the majority of which live in Sudan.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Okapi- A Rain forest Animal's Fact

The okapi is one of the last remaining ancestors of the common giraffe, despite the fact that the striking markings of the okapi give the okapi can almost zebra like appearance.The okapi is native to the Ituri Rain forest, a 63,000 square kilometer rain forest that is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the North East Africa. Around a fifth of the rain forest is made up of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, which is a World Heritage Site.

The okapi is a herbivorous animal that spends its time rummaging for tasty treats to munch on. The okapi eats more than 100 different types of plant includes leaves, grasses, buds, shoots, fruits and even fungi. Many of the plants that the okapi feed on would be poisonous if ingested by humans.

The okapi has a red-brown colored coat of fur with horizontal white striped markings, that are found on the legs of the okapi. The okapi develop these extraordinary markings at a young age, as the white stripes of the okapi are thought to give the okapi good camouflage from predators in the dense African jungle.

The main predator of the okapi is the leopard, an animal that spends a lot of time resting in the trees and surveying the surrounding area for potential prey. Other predators of the okapi include wildcats such as the serval, and the human hunters in the area.

The okapi has large ears which enables the okapi to detect approaching predators with enough time for the okapi to get away and hide. The okapi also has an impressively long tongue, with the okapi being one of the few animals in the world that is able to lick its own ear!

Okapi are active during the day meaning that the okapi is diurnal. The okapi spend their waking hours foraging for food. As well as the plants that the okapi eat, they also eat a reddish clay that provides essential salt and minerals to the plant based diet of the okapi.Okapi are generally not sociable animals and okapi do not seek companionship. However okapi may occasionally feed together in small groups for a short period of time. Okapi prefer to live alone in large, secluded areas.

Male and female okapi come together briefly to mate, then go their separate ways. Female okapi take themselves deep into the forest to give birth to their young. A mother okapi usually gives birth to one baby okapi at a time, and this baby okapi will remain hidden in the nest of foliage for the first couple of months. The mother okapi return to the baby okapi to allow it to nurse and she will then wean her offspring at about 6 months of age. However, the baby okapi will not reach full size until it is about 3 years old.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Crustaceans Facts...

Crustaceans are a type of Arthropod. The name may not sound familiar, but you probably know them. You may even have eaten one.

Crustaceans live mostly in the ocean or other waters. Most commonly known crustaceans are the crab, lobster and barnacle.

Crustaceans have a hard, external shell which protects their body. Crustaceans have a head and abdomen. The head has antennae which are part of their sensory system. The abdomen includes the heart, digestive system and reproductive system.

The abdomen also has appendages, such as legs, for crawling and swimming. Many crustaceans also have claws that help with crawling and eating.