Monday, December 31, 2007
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll actually know the name of the oryx when you see him walk across in front of the ostrich. The zebra is not biting his fellow herd-mate, but grooming him. I loved the surprise of the hippos popping to the surface. And even baby hyenas are cute. This video reminded me of those African animals not yet blogged, so I plan to remedy that over the next few days.
If you’d like to hear some real African music while watching more animals, try this video of Kenya music. Warning: it’s 9 minutes long and there are sections with just bird sounds.
Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Saltwater tropical fish on the whole are more colorful than freshwater tropical fish. However, a salt aquarium takes more care than a freshwater tank. First off, you need at least a 30 gallon tank to maintain the proper environment. Saltwater fish need more space per fish and a better water quality than freshwater fish. Damselfish, clownfish, and gobies are hardy saltwater fish for the beginner aquarist.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Gerbils were once called desert rats. The gerbil subfamily includes about 110 species of African, Indian, and Asian rodents. The ones raised as pets in the US are Mongolian gerbils. (I had no idea!)
Monday, December 24, 2007
Cockatiels are small cockatoos and are also known as quarrions and weeros. They are native to Australia. They have gentle and sociable natures which make them good pets although they can be quite noisy and are not good for small children.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas. See you on the 26th!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Guinea pigs are native to the Andes. Europeans started keeping them as pets in the 16th century. They weigh 1 ½ to 2 ½ pounds and are about 8 to 10 inches long. They live an average of 4 years. Baby guinea pigs are called pups.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Pet rats are known as fancy rats, not that they themselves are fancy, but that their owners "fancy" rats. Male rats are called bucks and females, does. Female rats are more active than male rats.
Pet rats live about 2 to 3 ½ years.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Cats walk directly on their toes. Unlike dogs and many other mammals, cats move both legs on one side, then both legs on the other side. They share this latter trait with camels, giraffes, and some horses.
These natural hunters may supplement their human-fed diet with prey such as small rodents. At night their light-reflecting eyes give cats an advantage over prey. I have one kitty who loves going after, and catching, the wild baby rabbits in spring and early summer. Of course, he has to bring them to us...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I had no idea until today that they are hunting dogs as well as pets and are good at underground work and beating the bush. In fact their name simply translates as badger (dachs) dog (hund) as they were used in Germany more than 300 years ago to hunt badgers.
*The term dapple refers to the pattern of the coat.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Mice that are bred for pets are common house mice. Mice eat grains, fruits, and seeds, and like sweets, though chocolate is toxic to them. Despite all the stories of mice and cheese they don’t actually like cheese.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
One website said that ferrets are the 3rd most common uncaged animal in North America (after cats and dogs, of course); another said they are the 3rd most popular pet. Ferrets are usually black, brown, gray, white or mixed though there are all white and yellow ferrets, too.
Ferrets are sociable, playful, curious animals. It’s really fun to watch them at play, especially when they do their sideways hop.
Ferrets sleep about 14 to 18 hours a day and are most active at dawn and dusk.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Rabbits kept in homes as pets are typically called house rabbits. They need a pen at least 4 times the length of their body. Rabbits can be house broken and allowed the run of the house. They are very social animals and can get along with cats and dogs. However, it is not recommended to have a rabbit in a house with small children, as bunnies startle easily.
If you’re looking for a rabbit or bunny yourself, you might consider adopting one through the House Rabbit Society, an international nonprofit organization that rescues rabbits from animal shelters, or contact your local animal shelter to adopt a rabbit.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I've seen them in Yellowstone National Park and on buffalo farms.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Pronghorns eat cacti, grasses, and plants. Their major predators are wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and of course, humans.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Depending on species and where you live, male deer are called stags, harts, bucks, or bulls, and females are called hinds or does. In North American bucks and does are the most common terms.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
During mating season bull elks antler wrestle and bugle. Listen here—it autoplays when you go to the website. The bull in the picture is bugling. Elk cows “bark” to warn of danger.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Moose males have flattened antlers, called palmate antlers. European, Siberian, and Scandinavian elk have less flattened antlers.
Adult moose are 5 to 6 feet tall at the shoulder! They weigh from 600 to 1180 pounds with the males on the heavier end of the range. Moose front legs are longer than their hind legs. They have good sense of hearing and smell, but are nearsighted.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
In Russia and Scandinavia reindeer are domesticated. Wild reindeer are found in Norway.
Reindeer are good swimmers. Both male and females have antlers. Reindeer eat lichen, mosses, grass, birch and willow leaves, mushrooms and other tundra plants.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The frilled lizard is also called the frilled neck lizard and the frilled dragon. His frill is activated by the lizard when frightened as he opens his mouth wide. As part of the bluff the lizard may hiss and jump towards the threat. The lizard prefers to run rather than fight and runs on its hind legs to the nearest tree which it rapidly climbs.
Until 1991, a frill-necked lizard was featured on the reverse of the Australian 2 cent coin.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Cockatoos have a movable head crest.
Cockatoos are also an endangered species.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Cassowaries are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals to keep in a zoo. They have a dagger like claw about 5 inches long. When cornered or threatened, a cassowary kicks out and can inflict fatal injuries.
The Southern Cassowary is endangered.
I really like this head on picture!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
During nesting season, if a magpie feels threatened, they will swoop at the intruder and snap their beak. They come from behind so it can be a bit frightening. Hence this sign…
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Emus eat plants and insects.
Females lay an average of 11 eggs, each weighing 1.5 to 2 pounds! But it is the male emu who incubates the eggs.
I forgot to ask my friend if she fed this emu.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
But is this peacock an albino or what? Not albino, just a color variation of the Indian Peafowl. These birds have blue eyes. White peahens are also pure white. White peachicks start out yellow with white wings.
Peacocks are the national bird of India. The Indian Blue Peacock is the one we see the most in this country.
The Green Peafowl is a separate species and naturally occurs from Myanmar to Java.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Australian pelicans can have a wingspan of 8 to 11 feet and weigh 9 to 18 pounds.
The high school I went to in Oregon had the white pelican as mascot as we had white pelicans living on the lake.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Compared to ground dwelling kangaroos, tree kangaroos have longer tails, stronger forelimbs, shorter and broader hind feet, longer claws and spongy soles on their feet and front paws—all which help with balancing and gripping.
Looking online I found 11 varieties of tree kangaroo. I like this picture of the Buerger's Tree Kangaroo as you can see the unique coloration well. However, only 2 species of tree kangaroos live in Australia: Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo and the Bennett's Tree Kangaroo. The rest live in Papau New Guinea.
Three species are endangered due to loss of habitat.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Numbats have been endangered, but due to management are now are only at vulnerable status.
Picture courtesy of Gnangarra.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Once a widespread species, the bilby’s population and reach is on the decline. Conservation efforts are underway to help protect the bibly. The second Sunday in September in Australia is National Bilby Day, to raise funds for conservation projects. During Easter, chocolate bilbies are sold with portions of profits going to bilby research. To read more about the bilby, click here.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I’d blogged about Dingos before, but didn’t realize they could be white. I just want to bring one home… Of course, if I got to bring every animal home that I thought was cute, there would soon be no room in my house for me!
Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving with family and/or friends.
So doing some research I discovered that the term wallaby applies to almost 30 species of macropods. Wallaby is an informal designation given to these marsupials that are smaller than kangaroos and wallaroos. The agile wallaby and the red necked wallaby are most closely related to kangaroos and wallaroos and are most frequently seen in the southern states of Australia.
This picture was also taken by my friend, Jennifer. She thinks it is a red necked wallaby.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Wombats are herbivores. They have an extremely slow digestive system—it can take up to 14 days for food to be digested!
These timid creatures are nocturnal, so are hard to spot in the wild. Here’s what my friend had to say when I asked her about wombats, “I did see them - asleep in their burrow. They look like enormous hamsters. They are amazingly cute. They can dig like crazy and that is how they escape predators.”
And I just think their name is amusing in itself...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves, which don’t give them a lot of energy. The spend most of their time sleeping. These marsupials have fingerprints just like humans and primates do!
Click here to hear koalas.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Asian elephant females don’t have visible tusks. Asian elephants also have two bulges on their forehead, while African elephants have flat foreheads.
Loss of habitat is their primary threat to survival.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Bactrian camels will eat nearly any vegetation in the rocky desert. The Bactrian camel has special sacks around its stomach to store water (about 1.5 gallons). It takes about 30 gallons of water fill up a Bactrian camel who has used all of its water.
Bactrian camels live in central Asia.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Rainforest habitat loss is the biggest threat to orangutans. They are endangered.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It reminds me of how my cat will tease my dog, then dash under the bed where the dog can’t reach him.
It also made me more curious about gibbons. According to Wikipedia:
“Gibbons are masters of their primary mode of locomotion, brachiation, swinging from branch to branch, distances of up to 15 m (50 ft), at speeds as much as 56 km/h (35 mph). They can also make leaps of up to 8 m (27 ft), and walk bipedally with their arms raised for balance. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals.” I believe it! Though I don’t think this gibbon would have picked on an adult tiger!
(If you want to read more about tigers go to our animal facts page on tigers.)
Monday, November 12, 2007
Japanese giant salamanders have mottled black, brown and cream, and heavily wrinkled skin. These harmless creatures can breathe both on land and underwater.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
These reptiles live in India and are endangered.
For pictures and more info check out this site.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Sally Lightfoot crabs feed on algae as well as dead fish and birds.
These cormorants are blackish on top brown underneath. They have a long hooked beak and turquoise colored eyes.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The entire population of lava gulls is estimated at 400 pairs and they only live on the Galapagos Islands.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The most notable feature of the frigatebird is the male’s inflatable red gula pouch on his neck and chest. He blows it up big to attract the attention of females. The birds have black feathers with the female having a white belly.
Click here to check out a video of that pouch.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Blue-footed boobies are also great divers. They can dive into the water from 50 feet above the ocean. Their favorite prey is a small sardine-like fish called salema.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
There are 7 species of lava lizards on the Galapagos Islands. They range in size from 5-6 inches to 1 foot long. Lava lizards vary in color from mottled gray or speckled copper to black with gold stripes. Males are more brightly colored and much larger than females. Females have bright red throats. Males are very territorial; they stake out a prominent spot on top of a boulder and indicate ownership by bobbing their heads up and down.
Wish I could have found a video of that...
Friday, November 2, 2007
The land iguanas eat prickly pear cactus pads and fruit—including the spines!—and other plants. Baby iguanas eat insects. The marine iguana is the world's only sea-going lizard and feeds on marine algae and sea weed. Big males can dive as deep as 40 feet and stay underwater for almost 30 minutes.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Galapagos tortoises vary in shape. The tortoises with flat or saddle-shaped carapaces (shells) live on the coastal lands. They eat leaves from low-branched trees and shrubs. The highland tortoises have larger, dome-shaped shells and feed on plants, grasses, and fallen fruit. A favorite food is the Manzanillo fruit (or poison apple). If a person eats a few, it’s deadly!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Yesterday’s bat, the sac-winged bat, eats insects. The tent making bat eats fruit, mainly figs. The tent making bat’s body is pale gray, with two bright white stripes on top of the head, and a single white stripe down the center of the back.
Tent making bats are slightly larger than sac-winged bats—their length is 2.3-2.7 inches and they weigh 0.5-0.7 ounces.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The fur on the back of these sac-winged bats is dark brown with distinct white lines, the rest of their fur is dark gray. These bats are the most commonly seen in the rainforest.
Monday, October 29, 2007
These frogs feed mostly on spiders and small insects such as ants and termites.
One source said wash your hands after handling these frogs. I think I'll pass on handling them!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Strawberry poison frogs are found mostly in Central American and Puerto Rico. During the wet months, in parts of Puerto Rico, there can be almost 400 frogs per acre!
These red frogs have blue legs and are also called the blue jeans frog.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I’m glad they did part of the video in slow motion so we could see those legs churn. The rate of that sprint on the surface of the water is about 5 feet per second. It only lasts about 3 seconds, but still impressive!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Anaconda females weigh more than the males. The snake averages 350 pounds. The average length is 20 feet! That’s a big snake!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Toucans are noisy birds that sound a lot like a frog. They mainly eat fruit. When roosting in holes in the trees, toucans fold back their tail and rest their beak on their back making themselves into a feathery ball. In most toucan species, the female and male look alike. There are more than 40 species.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
She was not quite what you would call refined.
She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.
It made me laugh. But today we aren’t going to talk about parrots as pets, but parrots in the wild and specifically Amazon parrots, since we’ve been in the western hemisphere for over a week.
There are 27 species of Amazon parrot. They are predominantly green with accenting colors. Many are named for their coloration. Most Amazon parrots live in trees, especially in lowland tropical forests. They eat fruit, seeds, nuts, berries, buds and blossoms.
The Orange-winged Amazon Parrot is usually seen during the day flying in pairs above the forest canopy. At night they roost communally in groups of up to 600 birds.
The Lilac-crowned Amazon Parrot is usually seen in flocks, sometimes up to 200 to 300 birds.
The Tucumán Amazon from Argentina and Bolivia is rare and endangered due to habitat destruction and trapping for the pet trade.
The picture below is an Amazon Blue Front Parrot. From this picture and others I've looked at, the blue front refers to the area above the beak.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Chinchillas are rabbit sized, have big mouse like ears, squirrel-shaped bodies, and bushy tails.
These South American rodents are also raised as pets. Here is a video of a pet mother chinchilla and her babies. You can hear them squeak.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
This excerpt from a longer video is fun and actually shows a sloth in action!
Maybe I should have put action in quotes.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I’ll have to discuss African anteaters another time.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Did you see that flexible nose?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The first time I remember coming across these animals was in a picture book that does a southwest retelling of the 3 little pigs story using javelinas and coyotes. Fun version.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Is it really worth eating such a small animal?
Monday, October 15, 2007
In this video of agouti (at what I consider a poor zoo habitat) you can hear the agoutis gnawing on the nuts.
Agoutis come in black, too.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I love this picture where the fox blends into the red rock.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
And you might not recognize it as a dog either as it looks more like it should belong to the beaver or otter family. It’s even semi-aquatic and has webbed feet. The bush dog is also known as the vinegar dog or the savannah dog. Nothing I saw explained the former name.
To read more and see a picture go here.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Click on this link to watch a video of them. If you want more information, this site offers that, too.