What are retractile claws?

What are retractile claws?

Some animals, mainly cats, have retractile claws. 

Retractile claws can be retracted – they can go inwards so that they are not visible. 

Human finger nails and toenails cannot retract – they cannot disappear into the skin of our hands. Our nails are flat, but cat’s claws are narrow, long, rounded, and curved at the tip.

The Cheetah is a cat that cannot retract its claws – they are always visible. The lion, leopard, and domestic cat can retract their claws.

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Slime Mould

Slime Mould (Physarum polycephalum) is a single cell organism in the Physaracae family of myxomycetes. It is not a fungus. It is an amoeboid protist – a mould (mold). It is generally known as the Blob.

Slime Mould is bright yellow in a network of interlaced tubes. It does not have a central nervous system, a mouth, stomach, arms, legs, eyes, and other usual features. However, it can move slowly (at 4 centimetres per hour) and it can feed itself. 

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Behind the Scenes at the New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in America. Established in 1896, it is located on the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. It was first in Castle Garden in Manhattan and relocated to Coney Island in 1957. The water for its aquarium exhibitions is taken directly from the sea.

In 2018, the New York Aquarium built a new enclosure called “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” that took ten years to construct. The delay was caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 which flooded the facility.

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Animal Feeding in the Zoo

Animals in zoos need a diverse range of food. 

A zoo needs to cater for:

  • herbivores (grass eaters such as rhinoceroses and tapirs);
  • folivores (foliage eaters such as giraffes); 
  • frugivores (fruit eaters such as lemurs); 
  • carnivores (meat eaters such as lions and lynxes); 
  • piscivores (fish eaters such as penguins); 
  • omnivores (all types of food eaters such as baboons); 
  • granivores (grain eaters such as weaver birds); 
  • insectivores (insect eaters such as anteaters); 
  • nectarivores (nectar eaters such as fruit bats); and so on.
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