wild dog, also called Cape hunting dog or painted dog, typically
roams the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.
long-legged canines have only four toes per foot, unlike other
dogs, which have five toes on their forefeet. The dog's Latin
name means "painted wolf," referring to the animal's
irregular, mottled coat, which features patches of red, black,
brown, white, and yellow fur. Each animal has its own unique
coat pattern, and all have big, rounded ears.
wild dogs live in packs that are usually dominated by a monogamous
breeding pair. The female has a litter of 2 to 20 pups, which
are cared for by the entire pack. These dogs are very social,
and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak
or ill members. Social interactions are common, and the dogs
communicate by touch, actions, and vocalizations.
has a more distinctive coat than the zebra. Each animal's
stripes are as unique as fingerprintsno two are exactly
alikealthough each of the three species has its own
zebras have stripes at all? Scientists aren't sure, but many
theories center on their utility as some form of camouflage.
The patterns may make it difficult for predators to identify
a single animal from a running herd and distort distance at
dawn and dusk. Or they may dissuade insects that recognize
only large areas of single-colored fur or act as a kind of
natural sunscreen. Because of their uniqueness, stripes may
also help zebras recognize one another.
are social animals that spend time in herds. They graze together,
primarily on grass, and even groom one
dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia's Lesser
Sunda Islands for millions of years, although amazingly, their
existence was unknown to humans until about 100 years ago.
10 feet (3 meters) in length and more than 300 pounds (136
kilograms), Komodo dragons are the heaviest lizards on Earth.
They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin,
bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.
dominant predators on the handful of islands they inhabit,
they will eat almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs,
smaller dragons, and even large water buffalo and humans.
When hunting, Komodo dragons rely on camouflage and patience,
lying in wait for passing prey. When a victim ambles by, the
dragon springs, using its powerful legs, sharp claws and serrated,
shark-like teeth to eviscerate its prey.
|The American Crocodile
crocodile is considered an endangered species in nearly all
parts of its North, Central, and South American range. Survey
data, except in the United States, is poor or nonexistent,
but conservationists agree that illegal hunting and habitat
depletion has reduced populations of this wide-ranging reptile
to critical levels.
remnant population lives in southern Florida, but most are
found in southern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean,
and northern South America. Their habitat of choice is the
fresh or brackish water of river estuaries, coastal lagoons,
and mangrove swamps.
creature, it is distinguishable from its cousin, the American
alligator, by its longer, thinner snout, its lighter color,
and two long teeth on the lower jaw that are visible when
its mouth is closed.
is among the largest of the world's crocodiles, with Central
and South American males reaching lengths of up to 20 feet
(6.1 meters). Males in the U.S. population rarely exceed 13
feet (4 meters), however.
diet consists mainly of small mammals, birds, fish, crabs,
insects, snails, frogs, and occasionally carrion. They have
been known to attack people.
squid remains largely a mystery to scientists despite being
the biggest invertebrate on Earth. The largest of these elusive
giants ever found measured 59 feet (18 meters) in length and
weighed nearly a ton (900 kg).
their inhospitable deep-sea habitat has made them uniquely
difficult to study, and almost everything scientists know
about them is from carcasses that have washed up on beaches
or been hauled in by fishermen. Lately, however, the fortunes
of scientists studying these elusive creatures have begun
to turn. In 2004 researchers in Japan took the first images
ever of a live giant squid. And in late 2006, scientists with
Japan's National Science Museum caught and brought to the
surface a live 24-foot (7-meter) female giant squid.
are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned
for their power and strength.
were eight tiger subspecies at one time, but three became
extinct during the 20th century. Over the last 100 years,
hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations
from hundreds of thousands of animals to perhaps 5,000 to
7,000. Tigers are hunted as trophies, and also for body parts
that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. All five remaining
tiger subspecies are endangered, and many protection programs
are in place.
tigers live in India and are sometimes called Indian tigers.
They are the most common tiger and number about half of all
wild tigers. Over many centuries they have become an important
part of Indian tradition and lore.
live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to
keep their rivals away. They are powerful nocturnal hunters
that travel many miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and
other large mammals.
interesting zoo facts
It has been estimated by WAZA that over 600 million people visit
zoos each year. This is almost certainly an understatement
* It is estimated (by us) that there are more than 2,800 zoos
& aquariums in the world.
(1.2.2003) has 414 registered zoos and the most in any single
USA has at least 355 zoos.
105,656,000 visitors went to the 202 (out of the total of
355 zoos) responding institutions in the USA in 2002.
* 29 zoos
& aquariums in the USA have more than 1,000,000 visitors
Gardens Tampa Bay has the most with about 4,500,000 visitors.
adult entrance price (247 zoos) is $ 9.01 in the USA.
expensive adult entrance fee is $ 58.00 into Safari West in
Santa Rosa, California.
child entrance price (247 zoos) $ 5.53 in the USA.
expensive child (age 3 to 9) entrance fee is $ 29.99 (plus
tax) into SeaWorld San Diego, California.
oldest running zoo in the world is Vienna Zoo in Schonbrunn
which dates from 1752.
Zoo was opened on July 1st, 1874 and is said to be the oldest
zoo in the USA.
Zoo, Germany, with over 1.500 species has the largest number
of species in any zoo in the world.
Monterey Bay Aquarium has about 124.000 individual animals
and the largest number of animals in any zoo in the world.
largest zoo in the US is Red McCombs Wildlife with over 5.000
hectares (12.500 acres).
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