Natural Wild Life | Tortoise | The tortoise (Testudinidae) is a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles (Testudines). The tortoises closely related to the tortoise's marine cousin, the sea turtle. The tortoise is found in many countries around the world but particularly in the southern hemisphere where the weather is warmer for most of the year. Tortoises have a hard outer shell to protect them from predators but the skin on the legs, head and belly of the tortoise is quite soft so the tortoise is able to retract it's limbs into it's shell to protect itself. The tortoise's shell can range in size from a few centimetres to a couple of metres, depending on the species of tortoise.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Kowari | The Kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei) also known as the Brush-tailed Marsupial Rat, Kayer Rat, Byrne's Crest-tailed Marsupial Rat, Bushy-tailed Marsupial Rat and Kawiri, is a small carnivorous marsupial native to the dry grasslands and deserts of central Australia. It is monotypical of its genus. The Kowari is a ground dwelling carnivorous marsupial, living either in its own dug burrow or in the hole of another mammal. The Kowari is a solitary animal and marks its territory with secreations from a scent gland and leaving scats and urine at certain places throught their home teritory When approached, Kowari are very aggressive with much hisssing and chattering and thrashing of its tail.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Mayfly | Mayflies are insects which belong to the Order Ephemeroptera. The mayfly is medium-sized insect that is found in a variety of habitats all around the world. The mayfly is one of the most short-lived animals in the world and is most closely related to dragonflies and damselflies. There are 2,500 known species of mayfly generally found close to water, all around the world with over 600 species of mayfly natively found in North America. Mayflies are extremely sensitive to pollution and can therefore only be found close to water that is of a high quality.
Natural Wild Life | Binturong | The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae. The binturong is native to the jungles of south-east Asia and is commonly found in countries such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. The binturong is a large carnivorous mammal that has a long bushy tail and hunts small reptiles, birds and mammals. The main part of the modern binturong's diet surprisingly comprises of fruit! The binturong is generally about the size of a large dog and have been known to live to 26 years old in captivity. The binturong population numbers have been severely reduced due to deforestation today.
Natural Wild Life | Llama | The llama (Lama glama) is a South American camelid, widely used as a pack and meat animal by Andean cultures since pre-hispanic times. The llama is thought to have originated in North America around 40 million years ago and the llama is believed to have then migrated to South America and Asia around 3 million years ago, before the American and Asian continents finally separated at Alaska. The llama is thought to have become extinct from North America during the ice age. Today the llama is most commonly found in the Andes mountain region of South America where the llama was kept as a pack animal by the ancient Inca people. Llamas are used for meat, wool, skin and for transporting heavy loads (a little like donkeys).
The llama is thought to have evolved from the old world camel-like animals that inhabited the regions that is today the Middle East. Although the llama has many similarities to the camel, the most noticeable difference between the llama and the camel is that the llama does not have a hump on its back. Llamas are very sociable animals and enjoy being with other llamas in a herd. The llama is also believed to be a particularly intelligent animal as llamas are commonly taught tasks which the llama picks up with only a few repetitions of the task.
Female llamas give birth to baby llamas (known as crias) standing up. The gestation period for a llama is between 11 and 12 months and the birth of the cria is usually over within half an hour. Baby llamas are generally standing up and attempting to walk within an hour of birth. Llama mating takes place throughout the year and baby llamas tend to be born in the morning when the weather is warm. This is believed to increase the fertility rate of the cria.
The llama is a herbivore and gets most of its nutrition from grass, leaves and young shoots. Llamas also do not have the same water retaining properties of their camel cousins, meaning that the llama must drink more often and llamas therefore prefer to be close to water.
Natural Wild Life | Markhor | The Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a large species of wild goat. The markhor is an endangered species of wild goat that is natively found in the mountainous regions of western and central and Asia. The markhor is thought to have been named using the Persian word for snake, either because of the large coiled horns of the markhor or due to it's ability to kill snakes in the wild, although the exact reason is unknown. The markhor is found in northeastern Afghanistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Nagar Valley, northern and central Pakistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir, southern Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan. The markhor is most commonly found inhabiting the high-altitude monsoon forests that litter these areas.
Natural Wild Life | Grouse | Grouse are a group of birds from the order Galliformes. The grouse is a heavily-built bird that is found in the cold, forested areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The grouse is most closely related to other game birds including chickens, peasants and turkeys and, although not commonly farmed commercially, the grouse is hunted by humans in its natural habitat. The grouse inhabits both hot and cold environments, and can be found in a variety of habitats like forests, moorland, shrub-land and close to rural farms.
Natural Wild Life | Water Dragon | The water dragon is a large species of lizard native to the forests and jungles of Asia and Australia. Water dragons are arboreal animals meaning that they spend most of their time in the trees, often close to a large body of water. There are two different species of water dragon, which are the Australian water dragon and the Asian water dragon. The Australian water dragon is the smaller of the two water dragon species and is found on the east coast of Australia. Australian water dragons have powerful legs and sharp claws which help them to climb trees more effectively.
Natural Wild Life | Lemming | The lemming is a tiny rodent that is found in or near the Arctic Circle and are thought to be related to voles and muskrats. The smallest species of lemming is the wood lemming measuring around 8 cm. The Norwegian lemming is roughly three times the size of a wood lemming and is one of the largest species of lemming. Lemmings do not hibernate and instead endure the tough Arctic winters, with the lemming having special protection from the cold from its thick fur. The lemmings spend the winter searching for bulbs and shoots that are often buried beneath the snow. Lemmings are surprisingly solitary animals, only coming together to mate then separating again. Wild lemmings are thought to never get older than a couple of years due the harsh conditions in their natural habitat and the small and very edible size of the lemming. The lemming is easy prey for most meat-eating mammals and birds.
True Wild Life | Albatross | Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). The albatross is a large species of sea bird found throughout the Pacific and even the Antarctic oceans. The albatross spends much of its life either fishing at sea or nesting on one of thousands of little islands. There are more than 20 different species of albatross found across the southern seas, but sadly 19 of the different albatross species are said to be threatened with extinction.
Natural Wild Life | Avocet | The avocet is a type of wading bird that is found across mudflats in the world's warmer climates. There are four different species of avocet which are the Pied avocet, the American avocet, the Red-necked avocet and the Andean avocet. The avocet is generally found in watery habitats close to the coast including marshland, wetlands and swamp. The exact habitat of the avocet is dependent on the species as the Pied avocet is found in Europe and Asia, the American avocet is found on the Pacific coast of North America, the Red-necked avocet in Australia and the Andean avocet is natively found nesting high up in the Andes Mountains.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Natural Wild Life | Olm | The Olm, or Proteus (Proteus anguinus), is a blind amphibian endemic to the subterranean waters of caves. The olm is also known as the human fish, which refers to the colour of it's skin. The olm is the only species in it's genus and is found inhabiting the waters that flow underground through an extensive limestone region including waters of the Isonzo river basin near Trieste in Italy, through to southern Slovenia, south-western Croatia, and Herzegovina. The olm is most well known for living it's entire life in the darkness of the underwater caves, which has led this species to adapt quite strangely to life without light. The most notable feature of the olm is the fact that it is blind as it's eyes are not properly developed and instead it must rely on incredible hearing and smell to understand it's surroundings.
Natural Wild Life | Antelope | Antelope is a term referring to many even-toed ungulate species found all over the world. The antelope is a deer-like mammal found in Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. There are many different species of antelope including the tiny Royal antelope that stands at the height of a rabbit! Unlike deer that renew their horns annually, the antelope has strong permanent horns, that antelope mainly use to defend their herd or to fight other antelopes. An antelope tends to get to between 8 and 10 years old in the wild although they have been known to live for longer when kept in captivity. Many antelope individuals however, wouldn't last into old age in the wild as antelope are a key target for many large carnivorous mammals. If the antelope was old then the antelope would naturally be slower at running from danger.
Natural Wild Life | Lobster | The lobster is a large crustacean and like the crab is similar to shrimp and prawns. The lobster is one of the largest types of crustacean with some lobster species known to get to weigh over 20 kg. Lobsters live on rocky, sandy, or muddy bottoms close to the shoreline to beyond the edge of the continental shelf as the lobster prefers the shallower ocean water. The lobster is generally found to live by itself, where the lobster hides in crevices and in burrows under rocks.
Natural Wild Life | Bat | Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera. Bats are found all around the world and there are hundreds of different species of bat, living in caves and forests, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. The bumblebee bat found in the jungles of Thailand, is the smallest mammal in the world and weighs less than a penny! Bats hunt at night using their exceptional sight to pick out their prey, generally insects, frogs and small rodents. The size of bat varies with the species, but some bats can have a wingspan of over 2 meters, like the Indonesian giant flying fox! Smaller bat species can be as little as only 2 cm.