Ragdoll Cat

The Ragdoll Cat (Felis catus) is a breed of domesticated cat in the Felidae family. It is called Ragdoll because it goes limp (floppy) and relaxed when it is picked up. It is often known as an ‘apartment cat.’

The Ragdoll Cat has a semi-long, silky, soft coat of hair. It has blue eyes, thick limbs, a soft body, and a long, bushy tail. It has a wide space between the ears. Some have upside-down V-shaped markings on their forehead. 

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Pygmy hippo born at Metro Richmond Zoo in December 2022

The Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia, America, is celebrating the birth of a baby Pygmy Hippo. 

Born on 6 December 2022, the Pygmy Hippopotamus does not yet have a name. Its parents are Iris and Corwin. Iris was pregnant for 7 months before giving birth to her daughter. 

She weighed 7 kilograms (16 pounds) and is growing rapidly. After a week, she was already 11 kilograms (24 pounds). When she is an adult, she will weigh up to 272 kilograms (600 pounds).

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Pony Express

What does pony express mean?

The original Pony Express doesn’t exist any more, but the phrase is still used.

The Pony Express was an American express (fast) mail delivery service, using horse riders, instead of stagecoaches. 

The service was used for 18 months in 1860 and 1861 between the east and west coast of America. It was fast, reducing the delivery time from months down to 10 days. The fastest delivery from to Fort Kearny in Nebraska to California was only 7 days and 17 hours. 

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How many ants does an Anteater eat?

How many ants does an Anteater eat?

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is a large mammal in the Myrmecophagidae family from Central America and South America. Its head is elongated, with a thick neck, and a long, and tubular snout (nose). At the end of the snout are small nostrils and a small mouth with no teeth. 

The Giant Anteater is insectivorous – it eats insects – especially termites and ants, as well as beetles and honeybees. It does not destroy the ant nest or termite mound completely – instead, it leaves some ants and termites so that they can rebuild the colony to ensure that there are more ants and termites in the future. It uses its claws to dig them up, and then it uses its long, sticky tongue to collect the insects. Its tongue has backward-curved papillae with sticky saliva. 

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Common Green Lacewing

The Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperia carnea) is an insect in the Chrysopidae family of lacewings. 

The Common Green Lacewing is pale green with long, threadlike antennae and compound eyes. It turns yellowish-brown in winter. The wings are delicate and veined (membranous), which makes them look like lace. The wings are also translucent (see through) with a slight iridescent sheen. 

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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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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.

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

What is the difference between the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) and the South African Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)?

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal are both marine (saltwater) mammals in the Pinnipedia clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. 

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal have external ear flaps. Therefore, they are both otariids.   

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Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle

The Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle (Cicindela tranquebarica) is a large insect in the Carabidae family of ground beetles. 

The Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle has a small rounded head, a small thorax (chest), and a long brown-grey abdomen (body). It has yellowish lines on its back, on its wing covers, called elytra. One wing cover is called an elytron. It has wings and can fly. Its antennae are long, black, and ridged. It has a groove on its foreleg with a comb of hairs used for cleaning its antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has six long, thin, hairy legs. 

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Lookdown Fish

The Lookdown Fish (Selene vomeror Argyriosus vomer) is a marine (saltwater) game fish in the Carangidae family of carangids. It is similar to the Atlantic Moonfish. 

The Lookdown Fish is a silvery fish with a pinkish tinge along its back. It has a scythe-like dorsal (back) fin and a forked tail fin. Its body is rhombus-shaped and laterally compressed (thin). Its head has a low-set mouth, high forehead, and big eyes. 

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Slender Seahorse

The Slender Seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Syngnathidae family. It is a teleostfish. It is also known as the Longsnout Seahorse.

The Slender Seahorse is brightly-coloured. The male is usually orange and the female is usually yellow. Both the male and the female have small brown or white spots unevenly over their body. During courtship, the spots may change colour to pink. Its snout (nose) is thin with a stub end. Each eye moves separately, enabling it to see its predators from all directions.

It has a forward tilt, and a long, coiled tail. The male has a smooth, soft pouch-like area at the base of its abdomen, with a small fin. The female has a pointed stomach and a larger fin at the base of her abdomen. 

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Long-Bodied Daddy Long-Legs Spider

The Long-Bodied Daddy Long-Legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is an arachnid in the Pholcidae family. It is also known as the Cellar Spider.

The Long-Bodied Daddy Long-Legs Spider has a light-brown or dark-brown carapace (shell) and a brown, beige or grey abdomen, but mostly it looks pale and translucent (clear). It has scissor-like jaws, called chelicerae, that move from side to side. It has eight small eyes grouped closely together. It has very long, thin legs that are banded at the joints. 

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What is the difference between the American Bison and the European Bison?

What is the difference between the American Bison (Bison bison) and the European Bison (Bison bonasus)? 

The American Bison and the European Bison are large ungulate (hoofed) mammals in the bovine (cattle) family.

The American Bison and the European Bison are artiodactyl, because they have cloven (split) hooves.

The American Bison has longer hair on its neck, head, and forequarters than the European Bison.

The American Bison has less hair on its tail than the European Bison.

The American Bison has shorter horns and tail than the European Bison. 

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California Sea Lion

The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) is an aquatic marine (saltwater) mammal in the Pinnipedia Clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. It is an otariid or otary – a seal with external ear flaps – and a pinniped – fin footed. 

The California Sea Lion has light to brown or black fur, although the female can have light grey or silver fur after moulting. It does not have a 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 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. It has a flexible spine (backbone). On land, it walks on its foreflippers (front flippers). Its fatty body, which keeps it warm and buoyant, is called blubber.

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Signal Crayfish

The Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) is a freshwater crustacean. Crustaceans include shrimp, lobsters, and crabs. 

The Signal Crayfish has a hard, bluish-brown to reddish-brown exo-skeleton (outer shell), called a carapace. It has a white to pale blue-green patch near its claw hinge like a white signal flag. It is a decapod because it has 10 clawed limbs, with two large, smooth, front claws called nippers. It has eye stalks. It has gills to breathe oxygen from the water. Its abdomen has six segments, ending with a fan-shaped tail called a telson. 

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Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly (Danus plexippus) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of milkweed butterfies. It is also known as the Milkweed Butterfly, Common Tiger Butterfly, Wanderer Butterfly, and the Black-Veined Brown Butterfly. 

The Monarch Butterfly has black, orange, and white wings. The undersides of its wings are orange-brown. It has black veins and small white spots in the margins at the edge of its wings. The male has a black spot on each hind (back) wing. Its body and its six legs are black. 

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