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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CREATURE FEATURE: South American Cougar

The South American Cougar (Puma concolor puma) is a large wild cat in the Felidae family. It is a felid. It is a sub-species of the Cougar (Puma concolor). It is also known as the Puma.

The South American Cougar is one colour (concolor means one colour), which is usually tawny brown or reddish-brown. It has lighter patches on its underbelly, chin, and throat.has a rounded head, and a long, slender body with powerful forequarters, larger front feet, and large paws. It has four retractile claws on each hind (back) paw and five retractile claws on its forepaws (front paws), but one is a dewclaw (digit). Retractile claws can extend and retract, protecting them with a sheath of skin when they are not being used. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Eurasian Otter

The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is a semi-aquatic mammal in the Mustelidae family of weasels and otters. It is also known as the European Otter, Common Otter, Old World Otter, and Eurasian River Otter.

The Eurasian Otter has a streamlined, elongated body, and a long, strong, flat tail. It has two layers of dense brown water-repellent fur, and a cream underbelly. It has a short neck, small dark eyes, a black nose, long white whiskers, and small rounded ears. It has five long toes and webbed feet to swim in water, but it needs air to breathe.

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Southern Lechwe

The Southern Lechwe (Kobus leche) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of cattle and antelopes. It is also known as the Red Lechwe.

The Southern Lechwe is golden brown with a white belly. The male is darker than the female. The male has long, spiral horns. The female does not have horns. Its hind legs (back legs) are longer than those of other antelopes – perhaps to be able to walk in the marshy soil. Its legs have a water-repellent substance on its legs, which enables it to run in knee-high water.

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White-Belted Ruffed Lemur

The White-Belted Ruffed Lemur (Varecia veriegata subcincta) is an arboreal (tree-living) primate mammal in the Lemuridae family of lemurs. It is a sub-species of the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur. It is also known as the Northern Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur.

The White-Belted Ruffed Lemur has fluffy black and white fur. Its stomach, tail, hands and feet, forehead, face, and crown are black. It is white on the sides, back, and back legs. It has a distinct white belt around the middle of its body. It has a black nose, small ears, and bright orange eyes. Its tail is long, black, and bushy. 

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What is the difference between the male and female Greater Kudu?

What is the difference between the male and female Greater Kudu? 

The Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of cattle and antelopes.It is a browser, eating plants, leaves, flowers, and fruit. It is native to the bushlands of eastern and southern Africa. 

A male Greater Kuduis called a bull and a female is called a cow.

Both the male and the female Greater Kudu have a sandy-brown body with huge cupped ears, a white chevron stripe between its eyes, 6-10 vertical white stripes on its sides, a ridge of dark hair along its back, and a short, bushy black-tipped tail. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Guianan Brown Capuchin

The Guianan Brown Capuchin (Sapajus apella apella) is an arboreal (tree) primate in the Cebidae family of monkeys. It is also known as the Brown Capuchin, the Guianan Black-Capped Capuchin, and the Pin Monkey.

The Guianan Brown Capuchin has dark brown-grey, rough fur, and a long thick tail. It has black hands and feet. The cap or tuft is a bunch of hair on its forehead that looks like a wig or a hat. It has a prehensile tail that is strong and able to grasp branches.

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Similarities and Differences in Tiger Stripes: Amur, Bengal, and Sumatran Tigers

What is the difference in tiger stripes between tiger sub-species: Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), and the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)? They all belong to the Felidae family and Panthera genus.

As a form of camouflage, tigers have stripes – not to confuse their predators but to hide from their prey. Tigers like to sneak up close to their prey, hide in tall grass and trees, then pounce on their prey.

Their form of camouflage is called disruptive camouflage because the stripes are broken – short, irregular stripes. 

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Fossa

The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a carnivorous mammal in the Eupleridae family of euplerids and mongooses.

The Fossa looks like a cross between a large mongoose and a small cougar. It has cat-like features, but with a longer, slimmer body than a cat. Its fur is short, straight, and reddish brown, or light and dark-brown. It has large, rounded ears, brown eyes, and a short, rounded nose with whiskers.

It has semi-retractable claws – it can extend its claws but they cannot retract fully into their big paws. It has flexible ankles that enable it to climb up and down trees head-first. It can also jump from tree to tree. It has a long tail. It has scent glands.

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Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn?

Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn? 

The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an African ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Giraffidae family, related to the giraffe. It has chocolate to reddish-brown fur. Its legs have white horizontal stripes with white ankles. Its face, throat, and chest are greyish white. It has a long neck and large flexible ears.

The male has two short ossicones (bony structures) on its forehead, covered in hair. They are not horns. 

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