The Giant African Land Snail (Lissachatina fulica) is a large mollusc in the Achatinidae family.
It is regarded as an environmental and agricultural pest (an invasive species) when it is introduced into other countries in other continents. The photographed snail was found in south-east Asia, in Cambodia. It is a pest because it damages agricultural crops and native plants. It is listed in the top 100 invasive species in the world.
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Is there a limit to how big animals can grow?
Joshua A. Krish poses this question in his article in Live Science (March 2023) and he says that there is a limit – animals can’t grow indefinitely.
The largest land animal is the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) which is a mammal that reaches 250 centimetres (8 feet 4 inches) tall and 750 centimetres (25 feet) long, weighing about 6 metric tons (7 tons). It is not a meat-eating carnivore. It is an herbivore and eats grass, trees, bushes, fruit, and bark.
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A land or terrestrial snail has a thick grey-to-cream body with antennae and a shell.
On the underside of the body is a small mouth. The mouth is partially covered by a pair of lobes (like ear lobes) or lips. The jaw on the upper lip can be seen when the snail is feeding.
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What is stomach acid?
Doctors at Healthline say that human stomach acid is a watery, colourless fluid (liquid) produced by the lining of the stomach. It is also called gastric acid.
Stomach acid helps to break down food so that it can be digested. Food that is easier to digest makes it easier for the body to absorb nutrients from the food.
Human stomach acid has to be strong so that it can break down meat and plant-based food, such as vegetables. Scientists classify humans as omnivores because humans mainly eat both meat and vegetables.
Animals also have stomach acid to help them digest food. Animals that eat only meat have higher levels of stomach acid than animals that eat only plants and vegetation.
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How does a Red-Necked Wallaby drink?
The Red-Necked Wallaby, also known as the Bennett’s Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus), is a medium-sized macropod marsupial mammal. Macropod means big feet, and a marsupial mammal has a pouch for its baby.
A group of wallabies is called a mob. It is generally solitary, but it will gather with a mob to feed. It is mainly nocturnal, feeding at night. It is an herbivore, feeding on grass, roots, leaves, and weeds.
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Animals in zoos need a diverse range of food.
A zoo needs to cater for:
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- herbivores (grass eaters such as rhinoceroses and tapirs);
- folivores (foliage eaters such as giraffes);
- frugivores (fruit eaters such as lemurs);
- carnivores (meat eaters such as lions and lynxes);
- piscivores (fish eaters such as penguins);
- omnivores (all types of food eaters such as baboons);
- granivores (grain eaters such as weaver birds);
- insectivores (insect eaters such as anteaters);
- nectarivores (nectar eaters such as fruit bats); and so on.
The Sawfly (Taxonus pallipes) is an insect in the Allantinae subfamily and Tenthredinidae family of sawflies. It is related to ants, bees, and wasps.
The Sawfly has a black, shiny, elongated soft body with long antennae. It does not have a wasp-thin waist. Instead, it has a broad connection between the abdomen (stomach) and the thorax (chest). It has wings with dark veins.
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Which animals chew with side to side mouth movements?
Herbivores chew with side to side mouth movements and back to front mouth movements, called grinding.
An herbivorous animal eats plants, such as grass, leaves, fruit, bark, and flowers.
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The American Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the bovine (cattle) family. It is a bisonid. It is an artiodactyl, because it is cloven (split) hooved. It is also known as the American Buffalo, and is closely related to the European Bison, which is also called the European Wisent.
The American Wood Bison has a shaggy dark-brown coat of fur with a massive head. It is broad and muscular. Both the male and female have short, curved horns.
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The Spotted Surgeonfish (Ctenochaetus strigosus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish. It is also known as the Kole Tang, the Yellow-Eyed Tang, or the Goldring Surgeonfish.
The Spotted Surgeonfish is brownish with light-blue to yellow horizontal stripes on its body. It has spots on its face. It has a vivid yellow area around its eye.
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What is a ruminant?
To ruminate means to chew something over and over again.
Many mammals, such as humans, cannot eat grass and plants, but herbivorous animals can eat grass.
A ruminant is also a herbivore–a herbivorous animal. A ruminant is a hoofed mammal that feeds on plants. A ruminant has a special four-chambered stomach that can digest and ferment plant-based food.
A ruminant uses its teeth to grind their plant food into balls, which are stored in the stomach and can be regurgitated later. Re-chewing is also called regurgitation. A ruminant re-chews its food ball, which is also called the bolus, or cud.
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The Common Degu (Octodon degus) is a small rodent from Chile, related to the chinchilla and guinea pig. It is a mammal.
The Common Degu has brown fur with a creamy-yellow underbelly, and yellow around the eyes. It has a paler band around the neck. It has a long, thin tail with a tufted, black tip, dark sparsely furred ears, and pale grey toes. Its fifth toe is small with a nail, rather than a claw, on the fore feet. Its hind feet are bristled. Its cheek teeth are shaped like figures of eight – and that’s the meaning of Octodon.
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The South African springhare (Pedetes capensis) is not a hare, nor a rabbit. It is a large rodent. It is a mammal.
The South African Spring Hare is cinnamon-brown to yellowish-gold with black-tipped hairs. Its underbelly is white to yellowish-white. It has an elongated body with long hind-legs (back legs) and shorter fore-legs (front legs). It has long sharp claws. It has large ears, large eyes, and a long bushy tail. Its fur is long and soft.
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What’s the difference between the teeth of carnivores and the teeth of herbivores?
Carnivores – or carnivorous animals – eat the flesh (meat) of other animals.
Carnivores have specialized teeth for killing an animal and tearing its raw flesh. These long, sharp teeth are called canine teeth or carnassial teeth. Some carnassial teeth are so strong that they can cut through bone.
Carnivores also have powerful jaws, a short nose, a strong neck, and powerful legs. This is because carnivores need to actively hunt and catch their prey, so they must be fast and strong.
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