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. 

Continue reading “Similarities and Differences in Tiger Stripes: Amur, Bengal, and Sumatran Tigers”

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.

Continue reading “Fossa”

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. 

Continue reading “Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn?”

RESEARCH: Elephant trunks use extreme suction to suck up water quickly: faster than a human sneeze

Extreme suction helps elephants suck up water quickly, and to hold water and food in their trunks. Extreme suction enables elephants to inhale water at speeds nearly 30 times faster than humans exhale air during a sneeze.

New Scientist magazine, on 2 June 2021, announced recent research results on the effectiveness of elephants using extreme suction. Elephants use their trunks, which weigh more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds), in a variety of ways: to forage through vegetation for food, to drink, and even as a snorkel when wading through deep water.

To better understand the trunk in action, scientist Andrew Schulz at the Georgia Institute of Technology in America, and his colleagues, filmed a 34-year-old female African Savannah Elephant (Loxodonta africana) while she completed a series of tests at a zoo in Atlanta.

Continue reading “RESEARCH: Elephant trunks use extreme suction to suck up water quickly: faster than a human sneeze”

What is the difference between the South American Fur Seal and the South American Sea Lion?

What is the difference between the South American Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) and the South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens)?

The South American Fur Seal and the South American Sea Lion are both marine (saltwater) mammals in the Pinnipedia clade of sea lions and fur seals. They are both pinniped mammals, which means that they are fin-footed.

The South American Fur Seal are both in the Otariidae family, which means that they both have ears. The South American Fur Seal has no external ear flaps, whereas the South American Sea Lion has small but clearly visible external ear flaps. 

Continue reading “What is the difference between the South American Fur Seal and the South American Sea Lion?”

South American Fur Seal

The South American Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) is an aquatic marine (saltwater) mammal in the Pinnipedia clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. It is a pinniped (fin-footed) and an otariid (eared seal).

The South American Fur Seal has dark-grey or brown fur. The male has a mane of hair around its neck. It has a thick neck, broad chest, broad shoulders, and an upturned nose. It has white whiskers on its chin called vibrissae. It does not have external ear flaps.

It has flippers for swimming. Its movement in water is called aquatic locomotion. Its body is streamlined with oily fur for swimming fast underwater. It has a fatty body, called blubber, which keeps it warm and buoyant. It has a flexible spine (backbone). It has short fins, and on land, it has difficulty walking, so it crawls.

Continue reading “South American Fur Seal”

South American Sea Lion

The South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens) is a marine (saltwater) mammal in the Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. It is an otariid, which is an eared sea lion. It is also known as the Southern Sea Lion and the Patagonian Sea Lion.

The South American Sea Lion has orange to brown fur. The male has a very large mane of hair on its back, like other sea lions. It has a sleek, slender build with a thick neck, broad chest, broad shoulders, and a long, protruding face and upturned nose. It has white whiskers on its chin called vibrissae. It has small external ears on the sides of its face. 

It has flippers for swimming. Its movement in water is called aquatic locomotion. Its body is streamlined with oily fur for swimming fast underwater. Its fatty body has blubber, which keeps it warm and buoyant. It has a flexible spine (backbone). On land, it walks on its foreflippers (front flippers). 

Continue reading “South American Sea Lion”

Juvenile Azara’s Agouti

The Azara’s Agouti (Dasyprocta azarae) is a rodent mammal in the Dasyproctidae family of incisor-toothed agouti, native to South America, in countries such as Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

The Azara’s Agouti is a stout brown-furred animal, with a russet-yellow rump. It has pink ears and a pink nose with a white chin. It has dark eyes. Its front feet are grey-black with four toes, and its back feet have three toes. It has a small tail.

Continue reading “Juvenile Azara’s Agouti”

Juvenile Arabian Oryx

The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of bovine antelopes.

The adult Arabian Oryx is whitish-cream with a shoulder bump, long straight horns, and a tufted tail. Its underbelly and legs are brown. It has black stripes where its head meets its neck, on its forehead, on its nose, and from the horns across its eyes to its mouth. Both males and females have ringed horns. 

Continue reading “Juvenile Arabian Oryx”

Alaskan Wolf

The Alaskan Wolf (Canis lupus pambasileus) is a mammal and subspecies of the Grey Wolf in the Canidae family of dogs, wolves, and jackals. It is a canid or canine mammal. It is also known as the Yukon Wolf.

The Alaskan Wolf is dog-like with thick tawny grey or rusty-tan fur with a mixture of black hair. It has a triangular-shaped face with a wide forehead and medium-sized ears and brown eyes.

Continue reading “Alaskan Wolf”

Tolai Hare

The Tolai Hare (Lepus tolai) is a lagomorph mammal in the Leporidae family of hares. 

The Tolai Hare is variable in colour, but it usually has pale-brown, sandy-grey, or brownish-yellow fur. It has a white underbelly. It has black-tipped elongated ears. It has long legs, a flexible neck, and a short, stub tail, called a scut, with a brownish-black stripe on the top. It has large incisors (front teeth) as well as cheek teeth. It has orange-brown eyes.

Continue reading “Tolai Hare”