Claws of the Tasmanian Devil 

The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a marsupial mammal from Tasmania, Australia. It is a dasyurid.

It is the size of a small dog, but it is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world. It grows to about 65 centimetres (26 inches) long. 

Similar to a hyena, its front legs are slightly longer than its back legs. Its jaws and teeth are similar to a hyena’s jaws – very strong and powerful, enabling it to crush bones and tear meat from its prey. It eats small kangaroos, wombats, possums, sheep, birds, fish, reptiles, vegetation, and carcasses (the bodies of dead animals).

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How do birds know when winter is coming?

How do birds know when winter is coming?

Many bird species migrate when winter is coming. They are called migratory birds. They migrate to locations near and far to find food, to find nesting grounds, to return to breeding colonies, to find new places if their habitat is damaged or destroyed, to escape predators, or for other reasons. 

The birds that do not migrate are called residential birds. They stay in the same location and prepare themselves for winter. 

Birds need to know when winter is coming so that they can start their migration, protect themselves from winter storms, start hoarding food for the coming winter, or fluff-up their feathers to protect themselves from the winter chill. 

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Animal conservation: Which countries have the most National Parks by number and area of land?

Which countries have the most National Parks by number, land area, and percentage of land area to support the conservation of animals? 

SafarisAfricana, a website based in the United Kingdom that researches safari destinations and experiences, published a blog article on National Parks around the world.  

First, what do conservationalists mean by ‘National Park’? The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has clear definitions for the designation of a National Park. The IUCN stated in 1969 that a National Park must be a large area of land with one or several ecosystems, unaltered by humans, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats, are of special scientific, educational, and recreational interest, or which contain a landscape of great beauty. The country’s authorities must have taken steps to conserve and enforce the respect of the whole area. Visitors are allowed to enter under special conditions. 

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How long does it take for a sloth to digest its food?

How long does it take for a sloth to digest its food?

The Sloth is a mammal in the sub-order Folivora. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Central America and South America. It is arboreal, meaning that it lives in trees. It is also nocturnal, mostly active at night. 

It does not have many teeth; only 4-5 pairs of teeth. It has canine teeth, but no incisor teeth. It eats mainly leaves, so it does not need sharp incisors. Some sloths are omnivorous, eating leaves, insects, fruit, and small dead animals.

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What is a smart egg?

What is a smart egg?

The Oregon Zoo and researchers at the San Jose State University of California, in the United States, used a smart egg to learn more about the nesting behaviour of the California Condor. The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a large accipiter, bird of prey, in the Cathartidae family. Native to North America, it is critically endangered. 

Zoologists placed a smart egg – a dummy egg – into the nest of a pair of nesting California Condors during the spring of 2023. It was a single, enormous egg.

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Hundreds of new animal species found in Asia’s remote Mekong region 

Hundreds of new animal species have been found in Asia’s remote Mekong region, say scientists, due to the inaccessibility of humans and other animals in the mountainous area. Not only new animal species, but also new plant species have been found, reported the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in May 2023. 

The greater Mekong region is a forested mountain area around the Mekong River that separates the countries Laos and Thailand, and also covers areas in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. It has no roads, making it remote and inaccessible to humans. 

Scientists from universities, research institutes, and conservation organizations have, to date, found 290 new plants, 19 new fish, 24 amphibians (such as frogs), 46 reptiles (such as snakes), and one mammal (a bat). 

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Emu head feathers

What do the emu head feathers look like?

The Australian Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is a flightless bird in the Casuariidae family of ratites, and a relative of the Ostrich. It is the second tallest bird in the world, after the Ostrich.

The Emu has soft, shaggy feathers, that are mostly brown or flecked with black. In the red desert of Australia, the feathers have a reddish or red-bown colour. It does not fly, but it can run fast – and it flaps its wings as it runs.

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Why are snails active when it rains?

Why are snails active when it rains?

Land snails are active when it rains. 

They must keep their bodies moist to survive. The human body consists of 60% water, but the bodies of snails consist of about 80% water. If the weather is hot and dry, their bodies will shrivel up and they will die. 

Their shells protect them from the weather. Summer is too hot and dry, and they could die in the heat so they stay inside their shells. Winter is too cold with too much rain on the ground so they hibernate or estivate in their shells. Land snails cannot breathe under water, so they don’t like flooded areas. Whenever they are in their shells, they seal the opening of their shells with mucus that dries, making it act like a plug or a door.

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What is a koala corridor?

What is a koala corridor? 

In Australia, koala populations are benefiting from two farming families who have partnered with Landcare Australia and the clothing brand Country Road since 2020 in The Biodiversity Project to restore farmlands and increase biodiversity in cotton-growing regions. 

Brother and sister farmers, John and Juanita Hamparsum, are continuing their father’s farm, Drayton, bought in the 1960s, and are revegetating 16 hectares along the Mooki River near Gunnedah as part of the Biodiversity Project.

The Hamparsum’s are also creating wildlife corridors, including a koala corridor on land and a fish passage in the river. The wildlife corridors enable a variety of native animals to travel across their habitat easily and safely. 

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What does the Capuchin monkey use as insect repellent?

What does the Capuchin monkey use as insect repellent?

The Capuchin (Sapajus apella) is an arboreal (tree-living) primate in the Cebidae family of monkeys, with a long, thick, prehensile tail.

The Capuchin is diurnal, which means that it is active during the day. It feeds during the day on fruit, as well as small animals that it finds on the ground.

It lives in the rainforests of South America. Rainforests are in hot, humid locations. Mosquitoes, and many other insects, live in rainforests because they like heat and moisture.

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