Monday, September 30, 2013

Little Spotted Kiwi Bird

The Little Spotted Kiwi bird, also known as the Grey Kiwi, is the smallest species of kiwi.

Picture from Kiwi Bird

Original from New Zealand, Little Spotted kiwis have a length of 14 to 18 inches. They weigh about two pounds and have pale-mottled gray looks. Like all kiwis, this species also lacks a tail. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Happy Horse Is A Social Horse

 A horse very seldom roams alone.

Picture from Horse Breeds Info

Wild horses generally gather in groups of three to twenty animals. The stallion leads the group, which consists of mares (females) and young foals. When young males become colts, at around two years of age, the stallion drives them away. The colts then roam with other young males until they can gather their own band of females.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not New Guinea Pigs

 Guinea pigs are originally from South America.

Picture from Guinea Pigs As A Pet

The animals were domesticated by native tribes around 5000 BC as a food source in South America and were later brought back to Europe by European traders to sell as exotic pets.  It is believed the got their name from Guinea being a route the animals were often shipped through.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fox Hunting For Fun

Fox hunting is an activity that began during the 16h Century in the United Kingdom.

Picture from NJDEP

While the hunting of foxes with dogs is now banned in the UK, hunting without dogs is still permitted.  Fox hunting is also a recreational sport in several other countries including the United States, Russia, Ireland, Italy, France, Australia and Canada.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Elk Extinction

Two of the six subspecies of elk are extinct in North America.

Picture from NPS

Most of the elk that survived early settlement and over hunting live in the Rocky Mountains, and are referred to as Rocky Mountain Elks.  Elks that live in the Coastal Pacific Northwest are Roosevelt's Elks, which are similar to Rocky Mountain Elks, but have smaller antlers.  Tule Elk are unique to California, and Manitoban can be found in the Great Plains area.  Elks that lived East of the Mississippi, Eastern Elks, are now extinct.  As are Merriam's Elk which lived in the Southwest and Mexico.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mr. Dolphin's Close Relatives

Dolphins are closely related to whales.


Dolphins and whales are members of the same scientific order, Cetacea.  There are a total of 36 species in the dolphin family, including the largest dolphin which is actually the killer whale.  The most well known dolphin however is the bottlenose dolphin.
The scientific order, called Cetacea, includes dolphins, whales, and porpoises. The dolphin family Delphinidae has 36 species in all. It can get confusing at times, because some members of the dolphin family have the word whale in their common name. In fact, the largest dolphin is the killer whale! Depending on the species, dolphins range in color from white, pearl, and pink to darker shades of brown, gray, blue, and black. - See more at:
The scientific order, called Cetacea, includes dolphins, whales, and porpoises. The dolphin family Delphinidae has 36 species in all. It can get confusing at times, because some members of the dolphin family have the word whale in their common name. In fact, the largest dolphin is the killer whale! Depending on the species, dolphins range in color from white, pearl, and pink to darker shades of brown, gray, blue, and black. - See more at:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Watch Those Antlers Grow

A deer's antlers are the fastest growing living tissue on Earth.
Picture from FCPS

The antlers grow between the Spring months and the Fall months.  While growing, the antlers are covered with a soft tissue known as velvet, which contains a sensitive network of nerves and blood vessels.   In the Fall, the velvet is shed and the antlers harden.  The antlers are then shed in the winter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Copperhead's Venom Myth

Venom alone from a copperhead snake is not deadly.
 Picture from Venom Byte

Contrary to popular belief, the venom from a copperhead snake bite is not fatal.  When people die from copperhead snake bites it is due to an allergic reaction. People who are weak or either very old or very young may experience a significant impact on their body functions from a copperhead snake bite.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Chipmunk's Hibernation Habit

 Chipmunks do not store fat for hibernation.

Unlike other animals that spend their winters hibernating, chipmunks don't store fat for the long winter months.  Instead, they spent the months prior to winter stocking up their burrow or nest, and then eat that food during the winter.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Many Uses Of Badger Hair

 Badger hair is water retentive.

Picture from Animals Adda

Due to the fact that badger hair is water retentive, badgers are commonly commercially trapped for their pelts in order to make shaving brushes.  They've also been known to be used in clothing, specifically as trim on Native American garments, as well as paint brushes and even doll hair.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Medicinal And Magical Antelope Horns

The antelope's horn is prized for medicinal and magical powers in many places.

Picture from The Wildlife of India

In Eastern practices, the horn of a male antelope is hunted and ground up to serve as an aphrodisiac.  In the Congo, the horn is thought to confine spirits.  And in Christianity, the two horns are believed to to serve as a symbol of the Old Testament and New Testament.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sink Your Teeth Into This Shark Fact

 A shark's teeth are constantly replaced throughout it's life.

Picture from Mad Betty

 Multiple rows of replacement teeth grow in a groove on the inside of the jaw and steadily move forward.   Some sharks lose 30,000 or more teeth in their lifetime. The rate of tooth replacement varies from once every eight to ten days to several months. In most species, teeth are replaced one at a time as opposed to the simultaneous replacement of an entire row. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What Keeps A Yak Warm?

 A wild yak's hair helps it keep warm in colder climates.

Picture from Springbrook

A yak is insulated by it's dense, close, matted under-hair, along with their shaggy outer hair.  They also secrete a special sticky substance from their sweat glands which helps keep their under-hair matted, acting as extra insulation.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What's A Warthog "Sounder"?

Warthogs live in groups called sounders.

 Picture from Digital Journal

Younger male warthogs live in bachelor groups, but leave on their own when they become adult.  They will only join a new sounder with a sexually receptive female warthog.  While females tend to stay in their natal groups, the males will leave to wander, but remain within their home range, or area.  The females live in their sounders with their young and other female warthogs.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Multiple Turkey Mates

 Male turkeys (toms) will mate with several female turkeys (hens) during the mating season.

Toms will spread their tale feathers, much like a peacock, and drag their wingtips on the ground, strutting and gobbling to attract hens.  Toms will stake out a territory and fight with other males while they try to gather four to six hens for their harem.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stinging Stingrays

Stingrays are not aggressive animals and they do not aggressively attach humans.

Picture from I Am Wilderness

The most common occurrence of people getting stung by stingrays happens when they accidentally step on one.  It is advised that one should shuffle their feet when walking to avoid stepping on a stingray.  Also to avoid getting stung while wading, stones should be thrown into the water to scare stingrays away.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Salamander's Smile

Salamanders have teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.

 Picture from California Herps

 The larval teeth are shaped like pointed cones, while the teeth of adult salamanders are adapted to allow them to grasp prey. All of the salamander's teeth are absorbed and replaced at intervals throughout it's life.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rabbit Rage

While they look cute and innocent some rabbits have been known to become aggressive.

 Picture from Wikipedia

When they feel threatened rabbits can become aggressive and grunt, lunge or even bite.  However they do not bite hard enough to break the skin, just hard enough to startle the individual.  With the proper behavioral tools, one can train their rabbit not to behave in such a manner.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blubber Eating Bears

 While polar bears are almost purely carnivores, adult polar bears only eat the skin and blubber from animals they kill.

Picture from Bear Life

Majority of a polar bears diet comes from hunting seals, which they swipe out of the water and onto the ice.  The skin and blubber of seals and other animals like walruses, beluga whales and carrion is rich in calories and fat, providing sufficient nutrition for the older animals.  However younger polar bears need the protein to grow, so they do eat meat.