Variegated

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.

Cat, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Tiger Eyes: What’s the difference?

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.

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Zygodactylous Feet – Chameleon Feet

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).

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Vervet Monkey – Babies

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.

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Tongue of a Tiger

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.

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Rhinoceros look-alikes: the similarities

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.

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Praying Mantis ears

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?

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.

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RESEARCH: Why ostriches have two legs but four knees

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.

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Cartilage

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.

Biofilm

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.