What is a scut?
A scut is the short, stubby tail of a hare, rabbit, or deer.
What does variegated mean?
Variegated means that the animal has different colours, usually irregular markings, patches, or streaks. It is a variety of colours, or varicoloured.
What are the similarities or differences between the eyes of a Cat (Felis catus), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Lion (Panthera leo), and Tiger (Panthera tigris)?
The Domestic Cat is nocturnal, active at night. The Cheeth and the Lion are diurnal, active during the day. The Leopard and the Tiger are crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk.
The eyes of a nocturnal animal have vertical pupils that look like a black line, called slitted eyes. The eyes of a diurnal or crepuscular animal have round pupils.
The Chameleon has zygodactylous feet. Zygo means paired, joined, or fused, and dactyl means digit (finger or toe). Scientists would like a more appropriate word, because the chameleon does not have true zygodactylous feet, like the parrot.
It has five toes on each foot. The toes are grouped into two fascicles (a bundle of structures).
Two or three toes in each fascicle are fused together, which makes its feet look like tongs (the tongs people use in the kitchen to pick up food).
The Chameleon has very distinctive eyes.
The upper and lower eyelids are joined, with only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through.
Each eye can pivot and focus independently, allowing the chameleon to observe two different objects simultaneously.
The Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), from Africa, lives in a hierarchical group. A hierarchy is a system of status or authority, from the leader or leaders to each member of the family order.
Baby Vervet Monkeys play and fight amongst each other. Babies younger than three years old fight for hierarchical positions. Young Vervet Monkeys older than three years old fight more aggressively and for conflict reasons.
What does a tiger’s tongue look like?
Mammals have tongues. A tongue is a muscle. The left and right sides of the tongue are separated by a vertical section of fibrous tissue, called a lingual septum. A tongue has a tip and a blade (the part just behind the tip).
A tongue is used for chewing, tasting, licking, swallowing, washing, and making sounds. A tongue’s upper surface is covered with taste buds. The tongue has nerves and blood vessels, and is kept moist with saliva. It can be pink, reddish, or dark-coloured (like a giraffe’s tongue).
A human’s tongue is about 10 centimetres (4 inches) long. The Tiger (Panthera tigris) has a tongue that is about 18-23 centimetres (7-9 inches) long.
What does a butterfly eye look like?
A butterfly has two compound eyes.
Each compound eye has up to 17,000 ommatidia. Ommatidia are smaller round eyes within the larger compound eye. Ommatidia are image-forming eyes or light-receptor eyes, each with a short visual focus, that acts like a kaleidoscope.
How does a bird take off for flight?
It takes a lot of energy for a bird to go from standing to flying as it takes off for flight.
A small bird does a simple jump and flaps its wings.
A large bird needs more than a jump. A large bird takes a run up, just like a plane does when it taxies on the airport runway.
Why do some vultures have a featherless neck – or almost featherless neck?
A vulture’s head and neck are featherless as an adaptation for hygiene.
The Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungos) from Africa is a small, short-legged carnivorous mammal that lives in burrows, called dens. It has long, strong claws that dig through soil.
Its claws do not retract, so they are always visible. There are five toes on each foot, and each toe has a medium-sized claw.
The African Rhinoceros is a distinctive animal due to its thick, armoured skin and large curved horn. Rhinoceros means ‘nose with a horn.’ The critically endangered Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is also called the Hook-Lipped Rhinoceros. The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is also called the Square-Lipped Rhinoceros. Most rhinos in zoos are the Southern White Rhinoceros.
Some animals are described as ‘rhinoceros’ in their scientific or common name because they have a horn that looks like a rhinoceros horn.
The Rhino Catfish (Pterygoplichthys scrophus) from South America is a fish with a ridged, armoured body and two horn-like protrusions from its head that looks like the horns of a rhinoceros. The protrusions are actualy nostril flaps so that water doesn’t get up its nose. Its body is completely covered in small plates that look like armour.
What is unusual about the ears of the Praying Mantis?
Animals have two ears. The Praying Mantis is an insect and most insects have two ears.
But the Praying Mantis is the only animal in the world with a single ear.
Its one ear is located in a fold on the underside of its thorax.
What is the difference between the African Lion and the White Lion?
The White Lion (Panthera leo) is a feline, or felid, mammal – a wild cat. It is different from the African Lion (Panthera leo leo) and the Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), but it is more similar to the African Lion.
The White Lion is not albino. It is leucistic, which means that it has reduced colouring, but not complete albinism. An animal that is albino lacks colour and has pink eyes. A leucistic animal does not have pink eyes.
The wings of dragonflies are generally clear, apart from the dark veins and the pterostigmata – the small black marks at the top of the wings.
A dragonfly has two pairs of wings attached to its thorax. The wings are long, veined, and membranous, narrower at the tip and wider at the base. Females have shorter and broader wings than males.
What is an elytron? What are elytra?
Elytra are the wing cases of beetles. Wing cases are also called sheaths or shards.
One wing sheath is called an elytron. The plural is elytra.
Why do ostriches, the largest living bird species, with the largest eggs of any bird, have two legs but four knees? Specifically, ostriches have four kneecaps, and therefore four knees. Emus and cassowaries have no kneecaps.
Sophie Regnault, and her research colleagues at the Royal Veterinary College in London, examined a dead ostrich donated to the college.
They bent and straightened the ostrich’s knees, and used an imaging technique called biplanar fluoroscopy to track how the bones moved. Then they built a simple model to understand how the kneecaps affected the leverage of the muscles controlling the knee.
Kneecaps help animals to flex the extensor muscles in their knees, so that they don’t need to exert force to straighten their knees.
However, ostriches have an upper kneecap and a lower kneecap on each leg that act differently from the kneecaps of other animals.
What is a maggot?
A maggot is the larva stage of a fly, such as a housefly (Musca domestica) or blowfly (Diptera).
The correct term for a maggot is fly larva, or the larvae of flies (plural).
What is cartilage?
Cartilage is smooth elastic tissue, such as the human rib cage, ear, and nose.
Cartilage does not contain blood vessels or nerves.
Sharks, rays, and skates are cartilaginous fish because they have a skeleton made entirely of cartilage.
What is biofilm?
Biofilm is a slimy bacterial mico-organism that sticks to a living or non-living surface.
Dental plaque on animal or human teeth is biofilm.
Biofilm can be a single species or a group of micro-organism that form a biological system, like a community.
Biofilm can be found everywhere, all over the globe, even in extreme climates, such as glaciers. Mostly, it is foud on rocks and pebbles on the bottom of stagnant and still rivers and streams.
Fish and aquatic animals love to eat biofilm.